by Marian Bulnes
Doors slammed and wooden floors creaked. With each nearing boot step, my breath accelerated. He returned from work five hours early.
He stood on the threshold of the bedroom and stared at me with darkened eyes, making my skin shiver. Sweaty black strands glued to his forehead. Before I could notice, his breath sat on my face when the first blow struck. My right cheek numbed.
He had a bad day.
Slaps turned into kicks, and my already purple skin crawled within my bones. Blonde locks fell on the floor as he pulled on my scalp. I whimpered and salty tears rested in my mouth. Maybe it’s blood. Ten minutes went by.
“I’m sorry babe. I love you,” he said clasping his cherry lips with mine.
My trembling hands led me to the closet. I had to change the damp clothes suffocating my skin. I just wanted everything to go away. I grabbed the nearest object, a blue tennis racket he played with on our first date at Pinebrook Park. We walked there together when we bought our house months later.
First swing hit the back of his head. New prints covered the light-yellowed walls with the second blow. This was my canvas. Hot dripping liquid splattered on my face as the tiny squares of the sport’s object imprinted his Indian features. The clock struck 11:11 am.
“I love you, too.”
Our bodies lay in complete unison, and I submerged in the holiness of his frame. We locked eyes and fell into silence.
The distant ringing of the doorbell diffused into a Mozart melody. The front door burst open. There were rumblings and turmoil in the back of my head.
“I heard screams,” crooned a woman.
I looked away from my husband and saw my neighbor and police officers dressed in black.
Someone must have died today.
"I will use the raqueta."