a writing by Elizabeth Padillo Olesen

She got the resolve to end it all. Weak to stand and walk, she forced herself to make the necessary steps that could take her to the police station. The man was out of the house, probably on a drinking spree with some friends in town. She had blue marks on her face and on her arms and legs. She touched her hair, and discovered how strands of her hair had left an empty bald space on her scalp, as they were being pulled out by this man whom she, once in a while, looks at as a beast, once he is drunk. Now is her time to avenge herself.

Nicole put on her sunglasses, as she was about to walk out from her apartment. This could possibly hide the abuse done to her as she often has done it, using eyeglasses to hide her black and red eyes. Protecting herself from the neighbors’ glaring eyes, and scared to be left by this man, who gives her a feeling of being much loved by his embraces and kisses when he is sober, she had to put on her these dark eye glasses, a secret hiding place for her pain. But this time, she thought, her limit is being reached. She cannot go on wasting her life. She needs the help from the authorities. The police station is just a walking distance.

This is not the first time that she gets beaten, not even the first time for her to think of leaving him or reporting the abuse to police or the doctor. Often she tries to justify his beatings by looking at herself as the punching bag of her boyfriend’s aggression. She often would have a smile on her lips, thinking that her body, being subjected to blue marks and gnawing wounds, has pacified this man, enabling him to love her again after seeing her physical pain. Nicole could not really find out, why her boyfriend would derive joy from her physical pain. But for a period of time, she thought, that as long as he could be so loving and caring after the physical blows on her, then she could forget the pain and then celebrate the erotic love they have for each other.

She made her steps down the stairs and tried to hold firmly the ladder or else she could hold her balance This is not the first time that her face has turned black and blue, only the dying blood on the veins sometimes turning red which showed that there was life left on her face. This is not the first time for her to walk on the street, wondering if people who could stare at her face would look at her as zombie in town. But nobody managed to stop her on the street. Nobody stopped greeting her or asking what happened. It happened only once. A small boy stopped and drew the attention of his own mother by pointing at Nicole. But the mother simply signalled him to keep quiet. Nicole realizes her case is a silent matter that should not be talked about. She concludes she is alone in this world, left to the care of her lover and beast.

But she would not allow herself to be forever battered by this beast in her life. She had to show her face to the police, hoping that they in authority would be able to help her find retribution for her life. She walked like a duck, not being able to walk straight. People who looked at her would think that she was drunk. She said to herself that she is not drunk, although in trying to drown her pain and frustration, she succeeded to gulp a small bottle of red wine. And she could not anymore get out of it. Her body seems to be hooked to it and which she cannot free herself from, a constant spiral of pain and the need for comfort from the spirit of wine. Anybody who would come nearer to her could easily smell that awful smell from her mouth and her clothes. Not only the smell of wine but also the accrued smell of cigarette smoke makes her not an appealing presence to be with.

“What is your name”, asks the policeman.
“How old are you??
“47 years old.”
“What has happened to you”.
“My boyfriend, Tiger, had done this on me”
“ Poor you. This is really bad ha,. What do you want now? “
With stammering voice, she said, “ I just want to report and to ask for your help … that he should not come to my apartment anymore.”
The police looked at her closely. “Well, it is your decision. We will take your case seriously.”
And Nicole signed papers, necessary for the police authorities to take action.

When she went out from the police station, she felt much relieved. She thought that at last she had tried to protect herself, to revive that sign of dignity in her as a person. As she opened her apartment, she saw Tiger on the chair watching football. “How are you, darling” he asked her and he stood up, kissing and caressing her.

“Listen,” he said,” I will do the cooking today. I have just been from the grocery. I will make it very special for you and me. I would like to say, forgive me, darling.” And she held the hand of Nicole close to his mouth and he tenderly kissed it.

Nicole gave a weak smile while removing his hand from her shoulder.

“I know you must be tired, my darling. You should go to bed and let me start cooking.”

Tiger carried Nicole to the room, removed her shoes and covered her with a light blanket. He also removed the blouse of Nicole. Nicole liked it as the noon walk to the police station had made her body so warm. She tried to lie down on bed, trying to cool off her body from the noonday walk to the police station. She tried to close her eyes, attempting to forget her encounter with the policeman at the station.

In the kitchen Tiger was whistling a melancholic song of love. Then once in while he dropped by at the room of Nicole and showered her with kisses. Nicole pretended to be sleeping. Then he went back to the kitchen. When the food was about finished, he went back to the room of Nicole, massaged her neck, her feet , her back, legs and arms. And Nicole once again felt that mystery of feeling being loved, and felt obliged of giving it back, of surrendering her whole being to this great lover and beast. It was noontime but both could not refrain from gratifying each other by fulfilling their sexual lusts for each other.

Their exercise for physical oneness exhausted Nicole, enabling her to sleep. By the time she woke up, she saw that food was prepared on the table with candlelights and a bottle of wine. She thought she would just remove the bottle of wine, because she knew the spirit of it when drunk would trigger the beastly nature of Tiger. But of course, their reunion should be celebrated. The reunion which made her forgive him, the reunion which allowed her to cease from looking at him as a beast but only as her lover even within a short period of time.

She tried to smile, while Tiger held her hands, caressing her now and then and planting kisses on her neck. She must have taken two glasses already and Tiger came to the kitchen again to get a bottle more and a bottle more. The food was delicious, boiled potatoes, fried chicken and green salad.
”Thanks for the food”, Nicole declared.
“You are welcome, my dear. You know I will do everything for you. Sorry that I hit you. But I promise I will not do it anymore. It should be ok.” And again he acted like the old Adonis planting kisses on her, as if Nicole was the most important creature on earth.

“ By the way, where have you been? He raised his curiousness.

Nicole caught unaware. “O,” with a stammering voice. And she could not continue.

Tiger ardently asked. “Tell me the truth, darling. We are like husband and wife now although we have not been married by a priest but we should be true to each other and so there is no secret between us. Nothing. No secret between us,” Tiger declared his allegiance as he showed a face getting red because of the glasses of wine he has gulped into his throat.

“Tell me, darling,” he said. “Promise me I will not do harm. You were out for sometime. Where were you? “

“I was just out to get fresh air,” Nicole answered, trying to evade from looking into the eyes of Tiger.

“Are you sure, my dear? Are you telling me the truth?” while kissing her neck again and again.

Nicole tried to be honest but her voice was more staggering as this time, she had gulped more than 3 glasess of wine.” I do not want to harm you but I just want the police to know that you harmed me and you pulled out my hair. It was very painful, my darling. It should not continue. “

Tiger stood up. “You mean you spoke to the police about me and you mean you seek that I will be imprisoned? You have betrayed me”, he shouted. And his face turned red and Nicole saw that his hair seemed to stand erect not by horror but rage.

“No, my darling”Nicole reiterated with a voice like an animal who was so scared of a devil. “ I did not mean it that way, darling”, she tried to pacify him. “ I only wanted “ and she stammered, “ that the police would record it so you will stop. You need help. Your hands should be helped not to hurt or hit me. You are very quick at it.” Then she thought she had delivered her speech, which she must have uttered much earlier.

Tiger slapped her face. And Nicole felt her head turning. She heard another slap on her head and mouth and she could feel the blood on her teeth as Tiger withdrew his hands after the hard blow. Nicole felt her face, feeling the warmth of her face, seemingly hit by a burning iron.

Not satisfied with the malady he has inflicted from his beastly fingers, Tiger took a piece of wood and hit Nicole’s feet, seemingly intending to make her handicap from walking.. “ Now,” he screamed at the top of his voice. “Let us see if you can go out anymore from this room.”

Nicole heard the bone on her leg clicking, feeling the searing pain that seemed to have come from nowhere. Her surrounding turned black in her eyes but still she could utter the words. “Stop, I did not want to harm you.” Then the world turned completely black.

It was dark when she woke up. She could not stand up. The pain was awful, She saw blood on her legs and feet, oozing out of her. There was no life in the house. She tried to call, “Help” Tiger are you there”, she called the last desperate call for help in that lonely apartment. She was more convinced that she was left alone in her situation. Slowly, she crawled her way to the kitchen to get a piece of cloth from one of the drawers. She had to bandage her legs. Then she reached out for her mobile telephone and dialled 112.

The medical men came and with them was Tiger. Caringly, Tiger led the two medical men to where Nicole was lying. “Oh, my darling, what has happened to you. I am sorry.” He uttered these words loudly for the men to hear. Nicole looked at him coldly.

One of the personnels asked Nicole, what had happened, “You’ve got a nasty cut here on your feet” while examining her and binding her wound with a piece of cloth.

Nicole answered. “I slipped in the toilet and I was hit by something. I did not know what it was.”

Tiger added,” That is often the same mistake she has. Often she hits her head or her feet and I don’t know why it is very easy for her to lose her balance.”

Nicole pretended that she did not hear the words of Tiger. In her mind she was convinced that it should be her last time to lie.

And winter is changed into spring, and spring into summer and summer into fall and yet Tiger continues to batter Nicole every time they both get drunk. Once bleeding and tumbling, she would manage to stand up, trying to shower Tiger with loving kisses and embrace, hoping that the warmth of her touch would ever pacify Tiger’s beastly nature.

But no, Tiger refuses to be tamed by a woman like Nicole. As she stands up to reach him out, she is pushed away from him, landing on the wall, grabbed and thrown to different sides like a simple toy that has to be crushed. Losing all the strength, she only cries as her weapon, drowning the apartment with her melancholic sobs.

Tiger then growls, does the last spanking and squizzing of her neck and arms, leaves her, closing the door behind him.

“Don’t go. We have to talk.” She managed to raise her voice, raising it out loudly even if she knows that her voice could not be heard anymore. Maintaining her sense of dignity, she managed to stand up, still trying to gather her voice which is now is just whispering, “ If you just leave me now, you will be imprisoned. I promise you.”

And she grabbed the telephone, almost tipping down the table. She could not even carry her body. And she dialled the telephone number of the police.
Tiger was in prison for 42 days . During these days Nicole visited him and received him during his release. Tiger returned from prison to live with Nicole and the same cycle of verbal abuse and beatings were repeated a hundred times, sending Nicole to the intensive unit in the hospital under the respirator.

Under a critical situation in the hospital and the power of the machine for breathing, will Nicole make up her mind to run away from the beast of her life? In a situation between life and death, Nicole is confronted with the choice to make, to run or live with the beast to edify him as a lover or accept that her body cannot anymore tolerate a beastly presence.
Nicole died one day in fall under the respiratory machine in a Danish hospital.

Fiction story, bringing in the situation of abused women and the problem with alcoholism

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