There were days when he moved silently, almost as if he were invisible, watching every move she made. This was one of those days.
The children sat at the table, eating their breakfast and she was standing at the kitchen counter, making his lunch. She spread the last bit of mayonnaise on his sandwich when he grabbed a fistful of her hair, weaving her long dark tresses through his fingers, tightening.
Making her listen, he forcefully whispered in her ear “Did I tell you to put mayonnaise on my sandwich?”
The pain tore through her skull and she fought the threatening tears. She shook her head no. Even though he’d had mayonnaise on his sandwiches for the past seven years of marriage, no, he did not tell her to make it that way today. She managed a slight whisper “I’m sorry, it won’t happen again”.
He used her hair to propel her face forward into the open face sandwich. “Let this be a reminder to you. You do nothing without asking me first. Do you understand?”
She nodded, trying to breathe as both her mouth and nose pressed into the bread, the sticky white condiment quickly filling the open spaces.
He yanked her head up, turning her to face the children, who watched with open curiosity, “Look at your mother kids; doesn’t she look ugly with mayonnaise on her face?”
The youngest, being two and finding humor with most anything, pointed and began to giggle. The five year old followed suit. Only the eight year old remained quiet. She stared at her mother for a moment then grabbed her school bag and headed for the door. The five year old ran to catch up.
When everyone had left for the day and the two year old was busy playing with toys, the woman sank to the floor and cried tears that flowed from the depths of her soul.