She placed the bag of groceries down on the small fallen apart porch so she could get out the keys to the trailer and let herself in. His car was in the driveway, but there were no lights on inside. Guess he went out drinking again with those assholes he calls friends, she thought. Once the door was unlocked and she found the living room light switch, turned it on, picked up the bag of groceries and stepped inside. The place looked like a dump. She had spent all day cleaning it yesterday, then went to work all day today, and now to come home after being on her feet for 14 hours and finding the place trashed infuriated her. She slammed the door and walked over the crap lying all over the floor and went into the kitchen. No one should live like this, she thought to herself.

“Guess that’s what you get when you get knocked up in high school, marry at a young age, and move away from home to try and make a better life for yourself. Guess I fucked that up!”

She put the bag down on the kitchen table and went down the hallway to the bedroom so she could change out of her waitress uniform. She reeked like grease and onions, her bleached blond hair was pulled up in a bun under a hairnet and cap, and her uniform itself needed washed because she spilled ketchup on it while trying to refill the bottles for each of the tables. The babysitter would be here soon to drop off Kayla, so she didn’t have enough time to take a bath. Instead, she hurried up, slipped on a pair of jeans and a ratty old tee shirt and undid her hair. She had to hurry and get dinner started and clean up before the asshole got home from where ever the hell he was.

Quickly she picked up all the ashtrays that were overflowing with cigarette butts and emptied them into the garbage. Then she collected all the empty bottles and cans of beer lying all over the coffee table and end tables. Some of them had chewing tobacco spit and cigarette butts inside them. Those ones she just tossed in the garbage without emptying them first.

A knock came at the door. It was the babysitter bringing little Kayla back. Kayla’s 3rd birthday was coming up in a few weeks. Roberta had made arrangements with her boss to have a little birthday party for her at the diner. She couldn’t wait! God, she loved her daughter so much. Kayla was the best thing that came out of her marriage to Mike. Marriage? What a fucking joke!

She hurried up and washed her hands and called out to hold on she was on her way. When she opened the door up, there was Kayla, big smiles reaching out for her mother and the babysitter standing there smoking a cigarette.

“Mommie!” Kayla cried. “I missed you!”

“Well I missed you too pumpkin. Did you have fun at Lisa’s today?”

“Yeah! She took me to the playground and I got to ride the swings and slide down the slide.”

Roberta smiled. “How much do I owe you, Lisa...I forgot to pay you yesterday, so...”

“Don’t worry about it, Bertie.” Lisa interrupted. “I’m not in any great need for cash right now. You can pay me at the end of the week.”

“Okay, well thanks for understanding.”

Kayla ran past her mother and down the hallway to her bedroom.

“Oh, before I forget to tell you, Bert, Kayla said something to me about Mike hurting you? I know it’s none of my business, but I worry about you.”

Roberta wanted to change the subject right away. She never knew Kayla saw what went on when they fought.

“Oh, don’t worry about me, Lisa, I’m a big girl. He’s just a jerk whenever he’s drunk and we’ve had some really bad fights, but you know...couples always fight. It’s not that big of a deal.”

Lisa decided to leave it at that. She knew Roberta was lying, so she figured not to get into it. “Well anyway, same time tomorrow?”

“No, I’m off tomorrow, so I’ll be home all day. You could come over though and we could have lunch and hang out.”

“Sounds good to me. I’ll call ya once I’m up and about.”

“Okay, dear, thanks again for watching Kayla.”

“You know I love babysitting her, Bertie. But anyway, have a good night and I’ll see ya sometime tomorrow.”

With that, Lisa walked down the porch steps and walked up the driveway to her car. Roberta closed the door and leaned up against it. She had to get out of there. She had to call someone about getting a divorce. This was just too much.

Roberta quickly finished cleaning up the place and began dinner. Two hours later, that’s when Mike showed up. He came stumbling into the trailer, fell flat on his face and laughed at himself. When he saw Roberta standing in the kitchen looking at him he yelled at her.

“What’s your problem, bitch?”

“Nothing, Mike. You’re dinner’s ready.”

Mike attempted to get up off the floor and staggered into the kitchen. He plopped down at his usual seat and stared at the food in disgust.

“What the hell are you feeding me, bitch? Pig slop? This ain’t no meal set for a king.”

She stood there, saying nothing and allowed him to complain about the beef stew dinner that sat on the plate in front of him.

“Get me a beer, bitch.” He demanded.

Roberta walked over to the refrigerator and opened the door. There wasn’t any beer left. Oh, God, this is going to be bad, she thought to herself. She knew she forgot something when she went to the store.

“We’re out.” She quietly said.

He slammed his fists down on the table and made Roberta jump. “I swear you do this shit on purpose! I am so sick and tired of you not doing what I ask. I don’t ask for much, do I?”

She couldn’t speak. She knew she was in for a beating. Possibly rape. “No, sir, you don’t ask for much.”

“WHAT??? I didn’t hear you!”

She was now trembling. “I said no, sir, you don’t ask for much.”

“Damn right I don’t! Now get over here and quit standing there like some dumb bitch.”

Oh God, please, don’t let him hurt me. Please. I can’t take anymore of this. She prayed in her mind. She slowly walked over to the table and waited for the first punch. Instead, he grabbed her by her hair and slammed her face down into the plate of food.

“There! You feed me pig slop, I’ll make you eat it like a fucking pig!”

She started crying and tried to push her face away from the plate of food. He suddenly pulled her backed up with her hair and then slammed her head down again into the plate of food.

“You whore! I know you’re cheating on me. The boys told me so.”

“What? No, I never...”

“Don’t you lie to me bitch, I know. I can smell it. I can smell another man.”

He unbuckled his belt and slipped it off. Roberta took in a deep breath and waited for the first whip from the black leather belt, which he used so many times on her.. He started whipping her over and over and over again on her back. She tried so hard not to scream out in pain because all that did was provoked him and he would beat her longer and harder.

When he was done using his belt, he threw it down onto the floor, grabbed her by the hair and then threw her across the kitchen and into the living room. She fell up against the corner of the coffee table and let out a yelp from the pain.

“Well, you’ll never fuck me over again! You’ll never see daylight again! Say goodbye...because, you’re dead woman!”

Roberta closed her eyes and pictured her smiling daughter’s face. This was it, she knew she should have left him years ago when he started the beating and raping. Now, it was too late. Now she would never see her daughter grow up. Now she would never see her daughter become someone special, like a doctor or famous singer.

That’s when everything went dark.

“There! Now you’ll never bother me again!”