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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 2 – Intermediate)
Topic: At Witís End (02/13/14)

TITLE: I Can't
By Ramona Cook


The trip here had been a long one. It seemed the path had been filled with rocks and was often overgrown with kudzu leaving to one's imagination what was being walked upon. It was not supposed to have been this way.

Letting go of her dreams had been so difficult, especially when the problem causing the angst could not be identified by her.

Looking back over the problematic years that the trip had required to arrive at this point, Meredith felt a strange combination of nausea and exhaustion, and now, here she was; she stood for a moment at the entrance of the door feeling some hesitancy to really going inside.

Maybe she could just get information that would assist her decision.

Taking a deep breath and fluffing her hair she opened the front door; then entering the elevator she pressed #2 and stood there in numb disbelief.

When the elevator opened there in front of her eyes was the door that bore the names of, "Hardin and Wertz, Attorneys at Law, Specializing in Divorce."

With a deep breath she placed her hand on the door and entering the
waiting area, she approached the Receptionist announcing that she was Meredith Welford and had a 10:00 o'clock appointment. She was advised to be seated while her presence was made known. Why did minutes seem like hours?

Finally a gentleman of middle age appeared. He had a nice and warm smile and as he extended his right hand to introduce himself, she felt that talking to him might be okay.

As she was comfortably seated in his well decorated office, Mr. Hardin asked Meredith what she felt was the problem with her marriage?

Oh, how she wished he had not asked her that question because she did not know.

"I don't really know," she said. "I only know that I am miserable and I am physically abused."

" Well," said Mr. Hardin, "Don't you think the physical abuse is a problem?"

Adjusting herself in the chair and leaning forward she said, "Yes." "Yes, but I don't know why he is abusive," she volunteered. "I don't do anything bad; I do everything he wants, and I don't lie to him, or spend money without his approval." "I don't run around on him," she added, "I just don't know what the problem is."

"Do you want to begin the divorce process?" asked Mr. Hardin.

"Oh no, I don't think so, I just want to get information."

"Oh," he replied, "You would like to cut the dogs tail off in little pieces so that he won't know it's gone?"

She felt so embarrassed and thought she should not have come. Mr. Hardin realized he had been too blunt and asked her to try to describe to him her relationship with her husband.

Meredith tried to explain, and wandered around to this and that problem, but added with each report that she would not get a divorce over just that."

Mr. Hardin, as a Divorce Attorney, often encountered those persons whose life was unlivable, but who could not identify their problems. He wondered what her religious persuasion might be and if she had hesitancy to getting a divorce. "Have you talked with your pastor about this problem?"

She answered, "I did, but he said that I should be submissive to my husband."

With a voice of passion and facial expression of desperate hopelessness she blurted out, "I just can't take it anymore!"

With her face in her hands she began to sob.

"Mrs. Welford, Meredith," said Mr. Hardin, "you have come to the end of your ability to cope with this problem, and you are in grave danger if you live in a physically abusive relationship; you must find a place of safety, a place without the charged atmosphere, so that you can think and begin to understand your problems."

Meredith was comforted, and rubbing the tears from her eyes, she could understand that the advice was right.

"Do you have family or any place you can go to stay, far away from your husband, while you get things clear in your mind?"

"I do," she replied; "but I am so embarrassed to let anyone know that the man I love and to whom I gave my life does not love me."

Laying his hand gently on her shoulder, Mr. Hardin said, "But your family wants to know about it."

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This article has been read 122 times
Member Comments
Member Date
CD Swanson 02/22/14
Very well done...you took a difficult subject and brought it to life without depicting the "violence" --The MC was clearly at the end of her rope, and she struggled with so many things that were swirling about in her mind.

Excellent story telling. The tone was authentic and the outcome hopeful.

Nicely done.

God bless~
Stephanie Eckenroad02/23/14
This kept me reading! I could feel myself entering and being in the office. Good job!
Toni Babcock 02/23/14
You have deftly and compassionately described the feelings of shame and despair involved with divorce. It would be interesting to find out how this dilemma is resolved. Keep writing.
Dave Walker 02/26/14
You did a great job of showing the conflict and confusion that occurs in an abused person's mind.
It probably would have more drama with more showing than telling. For example, for 'she felt embarrassed', how did that look? Did she blush? Look down at her nails? etc.
All in all, a captivating read on a very topical subject. Thank you.