Steven Massaro

Her face a huge scar on it right above her eye. It was the kind of scar a person who’s been physically and emotionally abused would have. Her eyes were wide, allowing the “window to the soul” to be accessible for the entire world to see. She was staring out the window with a blank stare, probably trying to forget all of the horrible things that disgusting man did to her. As she sat on her bed in the room she shared with her roommate at the Battered Women’s Home, I stood in the doorway trying to remember how things got this bad. She was happy once, when her new husband walked her down the aisle and proclaimed to the world that she was his. Little did she know what actually waited ahead of her: beatings, violence and other certain acts that exceeded in horror the butcheries of Genghis Khan. Daily acts of violence such as the husband arriving home, clubbing his wife with a tire iron and then leaving for the bar; only to return to beat his wife again. It was on one particular morning that after making her husband breakfast and getting stabbed with a knife that a neighbor saw what was happening and called the police who, when arriving on the scene, promptly arrested the man and rushed the woman to the hospital to treat her for life-threatening wounds to her head, chest and neck. Well, I got the call when she was on her way to the hospital and I rushed right down there to see just how bad this monster had hurt my little girl. I remember getting there at the hospital just as they were lifting her off the stretcher. I could hardly stomach what I saw. Right above her right eye was cut wide open revealing her facial tissue and something white that I knew was her skull. Her skull that nestled her big, beautiful brain that earned her a full ride to Yale and the honor of being Valedictorian of her high school class. Her cheeks were swollen to the point where if I wasn’t her father, I wouldn’t been able to recognize her. They were shouting to each other for different IV’s and chemicals as they rushed her into emergency surgery and all I could remember was the tears in my eyes and thinking “Dear God, don’t let my baby die.” Well, after three hours of waiting in the ER, a doctor came over to me and said: “She’s gonna be just fine.” I breathed a heavy sigh of relief. “Now, I’m going to recommend that she stay here until she is fully healed.” Well, three weeks later, they moved her from the hospital to the Battered Women’s Home for therapy and rehabilitation. She was very messed up. She couldn’t speak because her lips were still swollen and mainly because she refused to speak. I thought to myself: “What’re they going to do when she has to testify on the stand?” But, that was pushed out of my mind as the nurse tapped me on the shoulder and told me that it was time for her daily therapy and that I had to leave. I complied and left the home and as I got into my truck, I thought to myself “When I met this guy, he seemed so nice and so caring about her.” And that’s when I lost it; I started crying to myself, thinking “How could I have been so stupid?” And I was suddenly reminded of why my wife left me. Well, it was then I decided that I would have to do everything in my power to make sure her husband never walked the streets again. I didn’t know how I would do it, but I headed to the diner to grab a bite to eat and plan out my strategy. He was going to pay. God, was he going to pay…

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