I got a call one morning from my friend and she asked me how I was doing. It was unusual, to have this kind of small talk, it wasn't the way we would normally communicate over the phone. I could tell her tone was different and her words were rather faulting. I continued to press, to ask her how she was and what was wrong. She eventually revealed that she was in a car accident. Not just any car accident but a pretty serious one that had left her in the hospital the night before. Her tone quickly changed when I told her that I was stopping by, she was terrified saying that she didn't want me to see her that way.
But I wasn't going to let that stop me, so I arrived and anxiously knocked on the door. Her familiar face appeared and she invited me in. I noticed that one side of her face was grey. No, actually it was black after further inspection. She explained that it was dirt that had been fused into her skin and flesh. I touched it, almost not able to believe the sight that was in front of me, but it was the sight before me was very real.
The story she told was that the man she was dating had gotten into an accident and she was with him in the passenger side. I’ve known of the stories of his abusive nature before but this was just too much. He had seen her texting in the car and gave into a fit of rage. His insecurities took over and he lost sight of the road. It was raining and slippery so the car lost control and flipped. She wasn’t wearing her seat belt, she was flung through the windshield and into the hard concrete road. She skid so hard that the dirt sunk into her skin leaving it in this condition.
I examined more of her, and I could now see dirt inside her arms and shoulders. It was a confusing moment for me but I continued to listen and I heard the determination in her voice to leave this man once and for all. As if the verbal abuse and beatings weren’t enough of a motivation before.
I left shortly after and continued to hope that she would do the right thing in the near future. Later that month I randomly stopped by to see how my friend was doing. I saw her packing her boxes outside and bringing them to her car. She was shocked to see me, but I wanted to drop off a Christmas gift to her before I left to go home from work. We talked for awhile and I found out that she had accepted a second engagement from the man that hurt her and agreed to move in with him again.
It was then that I knew she was lost to me forever, and the memento that I left for her that day would be the last love and compassion that I had for her. I couldn’t follow her down that dark path, but she also agreed to his wishes for not speaking to me ever again. Or anyone of her friends ever for that matter. I really couldn’t understand her decision to even put her young son under those conditions once more. I saw the same fear in her eyes that I saw the day I visited her after the accident. It just proved fear is in fact a powerful adversary and an undying villain.
This blog was based on a true story. Some details were modified to protect the identity of the victim(s).
Written By: Viet
Edited By: Alexis
Volunteer Painter: Alexis Khaleihla