Front Desk Woman; Volume 7
“What do you have to say for yourself?” her husband asked, before rising to intimidate her with the full of his stature. “You left me with this screaming child. No three-month-old should holler like this. She needs discipline and you’re too weak to adequately do it.”
Pansy, though she’d gained width, was still much shorter than her husband. Actually, he towered her like a monster. That used to be endearing, she swore, but now, it was only terrifying. She watched him close the space between them and thought, of course this child was wailing. He held her like he was about to throw her – clamping down on her tiny torso with one large hand and scratching his clueless head with the other. Her fragile brain bouncing inside her not yet fully formed skull. I’d be screaming too, Pansy thought. As soon as she took the child from his uncompassionate grasp, she quickly quieted down which he surely took as an affront.
“And look at this disgusting house,” he said, diverting attention from his failure and onto something he could control. “I should call child protective services on you. No child should live in these conditions.”
And alas, there it was, his ace card. His golden gun. The terrifying threat he knew would always effectively bend her knee. Pansy looked around her to see an empty pizza box, un-swept dog hair dust bunnies of Springtime, a day of dirty dishes, and few soiled diapers in the middle of the floor. Through logical eyes, Pansy saw the typical home of a mother of an infant. But through threatened eyes, she saw adequate reasoning to rip joy from her arms, leaving them empty and barren again.
So she did what she was told to do. Precious child in one arm, she kneeled at the feet of her master and began cleaning her home. She winced at the not-yet-healed stitch pulling at her ripped vagina, but there was zero pity within him. He only seemed to relish in it. He looked satisfied – like a man who’d won something immensely important. A marathon maybe, or the Powerball.
But all Pansy could think of was the fate of her daughter. One day, she would grow up. Develop height and width and body and easily broken adolescent self-esteem. Watching her supposed superhero mother kneel at the feet of such a man, would she think this was the right thing? Pansy accidentally began to cry, and also accidentally, caught eyes with her husband.
Now he’d absolutely won.