John heard the yelling again, just like he did every Friday night when Dad came home. Mom, knowing what was to come, had sent him to his room and had him turn up the TV. Her eyes were already beginning to fill with tears and Dad hadn’t even gotten out of the car yet. It was going to be a long night, he thought, as he heard Dad come in.
“Where were you this time Mark?” Mom asked.
“None of your damn business,” Dad yelled, “as long as your bills are paid, you don’t need to worry about it.”
“Were you with a woman again?”
“I told you, woman, it is none of your concern.”
“It is my concern Mark, we are married! Do you remember what that means?”
“I sure do”, he replied “it means that you have to obey me, and I said quit asking me about what I have been doing.”
“Mark, you need to stop going to the bar and running around with those women. What kind of example are you trying to set for John?”
“John doesn’t know what is going on, besides if he did all he would see is how a real man behaves.”
“A real man, Mark? A real man takes care of his family and respects his wife. He acts as a father to his child and teaches him about the Lord.”
“What did I tell you?” he yelled, his voice continuing to rise, “I don’t want you talking about that stuff in my house. It ain’t real and I told you before I won’t hear it!”
Before she could react, he was on her and the hand was moving. The flash in her eyes was blinding, and her eyes began to water. It took a second for her mind to register what had happened.
“You hit me again!” she yelled, shoving him away from her.
“Do you want more? There's plenty more where that came from.”
John threw open his door and ran into the room. “Daddy, don’t hit Momma!”
Mark spun, raising his hand again and moving towards him. As he got his hand all the way back, his face went pale and he grabbed his left arm. Slumping to the ground, he felt like an elephant was standing on his chest.
“Help me Honey” he whispered, “I can’t breathe.”
Nancy gathered John in her arms, hugging him tight. She continued to hold him as Mark lay gasping, his face slowly turning a deep shade of purple. Bowing her head, she began to pray.
“Heavenly Father, I want to thank you for removing us from this situation. I hope that you can forgive me for not helping him…”
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