No matter what, Jean was there for her husband. “He works hard” she often thought, and so she would do everything in her power to keep him from the need to do more at the house.
Of course, with two small children and a set of baby twins, it was easy for Jean to find herself falling behind in her ‘wifely duties’. This did not stop Jean, though! She would just rush to get her home chores done, bake some biscuits, and get dinner on the stove so that it was ready when he got home. She did not dare to make dinner late!
Jean’s neighbor would sometimes come over and relieve her from some childcare by helping with the twins. This was such a relief for Jean. Not only did she get help, she also got adult company. That did not happen often. Even when her husband is home, he rarely spoke to her, instead choosing to watch something on television that Jean did not care to watch.
Yet, Jean did what she had to. She was lucky to find such a good man. Jean was plain; with her brown hair and unkempt face and clothing. She was clean, but there were no fancy clothes, no jewelry–not even a ring. She was not much into makeup. He liked her to be plain. That way no one would pay attention to her; no one would take her away from him.
Jean had no idea she was pretty. She had very little idea that she was very intelligent. She was his wife and the mother of their children, and that was enough for her.
One day Jean’s neighbor came over and picked up the infants. She said “Come on, Jean. Let’s get you out of here!” and proceeded to walk the 100 yards to her home. Jean went with glee. She was finally going to see something other than the tiny trailer she lived in or the grocery store! She made a friend!
The older children were playing in the yard with the neighbor’s puppy, and the twins were quiet and content in the arms of the two women. Jean and her neighbor were talking about everything that could be benign and nothing about Jean’s husband.
Then came the shouting… Jean’s husband came home. She had lost all track of time. Jean came out of the neighbor’s house with one of the babies crying in her arms. Her husband came and snatched the other baby out of the neighbor’s arms as she was telling him that she thought Jean could use a break. He mumbled something about the babies being Jean’s responsibility. Jean looked behind sadly and just followed him home.
Shouting turned into arguments. Jean was at the end of her rope and refused to go down without a fight. Well, her husband was up for one! He grabbed Jean by the back of her long brown hair, tangling his fingers for control. He whipped her around like a blanket and she kept screaming from the pain. He then threw her to the floor and kicked her. He did not care that she was his wife. He did not care that she had just given birth to twins two months prior. His only concern was that dinner was not on the table and Jean had the nerve to leave their home and get someone to help her with her children.
Jean recovered after he apologized, kissed and hugged her, and promised he would not do it again. He had done this before and would likely do it again, but Jean believed him. She loved him so much.
Jean turned on the stove and began cooking some meat for tacos. She pulled vegetables from the garden and chopped them and cooked some homemade tortillas. She usually had more time, but tacos only take a few minutes to prepare. She thought she would be OK with this and a nice salad. When Jean served her husband the look on his face told her she needed to back up quickly.
He took the plate of food she served him and threw it across the room, barely missing the five-year-old. The little girl screamed and hid behind the sofa. The three-year-old brother was confused and thought the plate merely fell. He wanted to help his daddy so he started to clean up the mess. “Leave that alone!” was shouted, which made the little boy jump. He ran to join his older sister.
Jean screamed at her husband that he had no right. She had made him a fine dinner. He called it “pig slop” although it was a nice dinner. His expectations, based upon her usual dinner fare, was higher than a taco meal with salad. Jean made a mistake when she shouted at him, though. She got just close enough for him to lunge and grab her by her arm and the back of her neck. He dragged her kicking and writhing body to the front door and threw her out. She hit her face on the rail when she flew out the door, breaking her nose and bloodying her face. She laid on the ground for what must have been minutes but seemed like hours.
Later, her husband came out to see where she was. He grabbed her, apologized many times for hurting her, and dragged her limp body back into the house. She was weeping quietly, which caused the blood to flow again. Her hair and skin matted with dry blood, she was a wreck. Her husband did not even try to hide this from the small children. Jean went right to bed, and passed out from exhaustion and bruises.
The next morning he got up to the sound of the alarm clock. Jean was still in bed. She looked so peaceful, so serene. He leaned over and kissed her on the cheek. Jean did not respond. He figured she was still upset with him, so he got up and left for work.
When he got home there was an ambulance and police officers outside his home. The neighbor was holding the twins in her arms and the two older children were clinging to her legs. The police rushed to the husband when the neighbors nodded. They put him in handcuffs and took him away.
Jean would be alright but had a concussion with major contusions on her brain and scalp. She had a broken nose and two black eyes. She had a sprained shoulder and whiplash. Would she learn, now? What will happen when he gets out?