The bruises were black at first then turned an ugly yellow color. They were hidden though. He never marked my face or anywhere that could be seen. I always wore long sleeves and outfits that hid the marks and my fear until that faithful day.
The day of the big game.
The stands were crowded; the stadium full. Arthur, my husband, was in the beer line, of course.
I hated baseball and I hated going to the games with Arthur. And he knew it too! Every year he purchased season tickets for seats that were above the players' dugout and always in the first row high in the balcony. He knew I was afraid of heights.
That wasn't the worst though. Usually something would happen out on the playing field and he'd jump up screaming loud obscene profanities at the players. It humiliated me so much I often slid down in my seat and covered my face. He'd laugh with his friends and point at me, making it worse.
I had fought with Arthur about going to that game.
"We're going next weekend and that's the end of it!"
"I won't go,” I said firmly to him.
"You're going whether you like it or not so quit your lousy yammering.”
Still I pushed and I’d gotten the yellow for it and I was at the game anyhow.
Arthur slid into his seat on the end next to me his hands full of beer as the game started.
Everything was nice until the ninth inning. The score was tied, the other team was up, and a bunch of their men were on the bases. The crowd was roaring
The pitcher threw the ball, there was a loud crack, a great groan went up from the stands, and the ball flew up toward the outfield wall.
Arthur jumped to his feet and I knew what was coming next.
I slid down until I was cramped and tiny and jammed into the seat.
Arthur cut loose with a huge deafening foul word and lunged toward the front rail to spew out more venom.
My legs, cramped and tortured into knots when I slid down, shot out from under me as Arthur lunged. One leg caught him across the ankles. His forward momentum made him airborne and he barely cleared the railing.
Hanging in space, surprise on his face, he looked over his shoulder at me. Then he disappeared like a rock tossed over a cliff.
The stadium screamed.
Everyone was on their feet.
I nearly passed out.
I opened my eyes to see that a dot sized man had caught the ball.
I was totally numb and in shock.
Everyone was standing and leaving. After all, the game was over. I walked uncertainly to the railing, braced myself, and casually looked down.
I staggered and grabbed the railing.
On the roof of the dugout below was a bundle of trash. At least that's what it looked like from way up. The dugout was slopped forward and down with high walls to keep people off the roof and away from the players. It also kept anyone from seeing Arthur unless you looked straight down. He must have landed on the roof at the exact moment the crowd screamed. All the players were out on the field and apparently no one heard or saw a thing.
I sat down weak and trembling.
I waited until the stadium was empty before leaving.
At home I stumbled over to the couch to wait and think. They'd find him eventually. Someone would come.
I honestly felt it was an accident. I mean...I hated him, but not enough to, no! I didn't. I couldn't. I wouldn't.
It seemed to take no time and yet forever before I heard a car door slam. Jumping up from the couch, I crossed to the window and carefully pushed aside the curtain.
Two police cars were across the street and men were getting out. One of them checked a paper in his hand and pointed at my house.
My breath was rapid and short and I fought for control as I crossed to answer the knocking at the door. I pause with my hand on the handle to straighten my dress and prepare myself.
Would I ever be able to convince anyone that what had happened was an accident and that I was a grieving widow?
Please God, help me, please.
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