split Second

Split second

“Muthafucka see what you made me do!

I didn’t want to do this, this did not have to happen!!!

Simone was visibly shaken up; pacing back and forth in the cement hallway of her apartment atrium.  She had tears in her eyes, hate in her heart, and a kitchen knife in her hand.

“They are all dead.” She gasped frantically to herself with a deep breathe. Her response was more like a question that answered itself type of deal. She knew they were dead. She could look at them and tell they were dead.  But she still had to ask herself to be sure that what just happened indeed just happened. She Stabbed them; wildly, the both of them, repeatedly; bloody and lifeless, at her feet, but she couldn’t wrap her head around what happened just that fast to make her snap but it was too late what was done was done.

 Earlier that day started off like any other day for Simone. She awoke and got ready for work.  Woke her girls and prepared them for their day as well. She had no clue it would end the way it did.

“Peanut, wakey, wakey, green eggs and bakey,” she whispered close to her youngest ears as she gently tickled her to arise.  Her eldest was already up and going through the motions of their well oiled morning routine. 

Everyone took a toll in the restroom and while Cricket was taking her turn, Simone was wrestling with Peanut.

“Cricket you got your bag ready for your dads this weekend?”

Simone asked.

“I don’t want to go. I have a meet on Saturday and I know he’s not gonna take me.” Cricket snapped back in her pre-pubescent way.

“Well you know you are gonna have to be one to tell him that. Otherwise, he’ll think it’s my doing. You know how he does.” Simone cracked back.

The morning progressed, everyone got out the door to school and work without a hitch. Simone went to work like any other day; checked a couple emails, read a document or two, and engaged in some light office banter with her office mate.

“Girl,” Simone said, “Cricket doesn’t want to go to her dads this weekend.” She took a deep breath and another sip of coffee.

Her officemate looked at her with wide eyes, “Ugh.. so what are you gonna do? You know how he does?”

“Hell, I know but what can I do?  I’m not gonna make her go if she doesn’t want to but I did tell her she has to tell him. Girl you know I’m not calling him with that mess.”


She knew it wasn’t going to go over well but hoped that coming from Cricket, it wouldn’t be so bad, but boy was she wrong.


The day quickly ended and Simone rushed home to meet her girls.


“Girls you know what to do; chores, homework, snack, and Cricket don’t forget to call your dad.”  She didn’t want to take the chance of him arriving and Cricket having to face him with her decision and his wrath. All decisions with him were much better dealt with from afar and she knew that they both did. Cricket picked up her mom’s cell phone and proceeded to make the call. Simone was within earshot but didn’t hover as to let Cricket have a bit of privacy.


The call was made.


Simone’s stomach sank and she developed a knot right in its pit and braced herself for the backlash of this call and sure enough, like a terminal force wind the situation down spiraled faster then Simone could brace herself for impact. She intensely listened to Cricket plead her case and when she knew she wasn’t getting anywhere she knew she had to intervene.


“Hello,” Simone said stern yet calm.


“Bitch, you trying to keep my daughter from me. You skanky foul pussy smelling slut.  I told yo ass to stop playing with me hoe!” The voice on the other end shrilled words Simone was too familiar with but still grated her senses like nails on a chalkboard.


“She said she didn’t want to come Earl.” Simone spoke those words as calmly and as quickly as possible. Just enough for him to get the message and hang up before he could start in again.


Simone had been going through this for years. Name calling, threats, verbal and emotional abuse; mental torture.  She had taken out protective orders, went to court, called the police and even had been seen before several judges to put an end to his lunacy only to no avail. She only agreed to let him back in her life because her Cricket had gotten to an age where she wanted to know her father and Simone had hoped that after several years he had finally gotten over whatever demons he had that had pitted him against her.


See Simone and Earl had been together for three years when Cricket was born and lasted a solemn two more afterward.  He actually walked out on Simone but the relationship was long over and Simone had grown numb to his abuse, but that time she decided she wasn’t going to let him back in, and she didn’t.  Earl’s abuse and intimidation continued for several years after but from a distance.  He would be active in Crickets life only at the expense of Simone’s sanity.  She would move and Earl would find her and the cycle just continued.  He would come around physically a couple of time to give Cricket lavish birthday and holiday gifts and snoop in Simone’s love life.  If it wasn’t what he wanted to hear then he would go off in a rage, attack Simone anyway he could then disappear.  He only seemed to be satisfied if when Simone was alone. 


But that wasn’t the end he called back several more times and sent threatening text messages.  Simone ignored them but every vibration every chirp and flash or her phone simply re-victimized her and reminded her of what she had been trying so long to escape. She put her phone on silent tucked it away; out of sight out of mind. 


She saw the pain in Cricket’s eyes for it was her own reflection. She walked over to her, gently put her hand on the side of cheek cupped the back of her head and gently kissed her on the forehead. Cricket knew her mother’s pain as she had seen the wells of her eyes fill to brim on many nights much like this one but never run over, as she turned and ran her hand down her arm and cupped Cricket’s hand. She walked downstairs.  Her solitude was her only refuge at times like this.  She had to be strong always for her girls, always.  It was quickly interrupted with a banging at the door. It startled her to pieces as she already knew who it was. 


“Who is it?” She wanted it to be anyone but him.


“Open the door, Simone,” he sounded calmer then Simone expected but Simone knew better. He was sick, mentally sick, that’s what he does. 


She stood in front the door hesitant, she didn’t want to call the police she just wanted him to get help or go away but that wasn’t gonna happen. Simone knew that if she talked to him sweetly and make him think he was in control she could calm him down, she had done that before and that’s all she wanted to do now. He was starting to cause a commotion at her door with her children inside and calling the police may set him off even more.


” Earl,” Simone said through the door, “You need to leave.”


“Open the door you slut ass bitch.  You got my daughter in there while you sucking whoever’s dick. Open the door bitch!”


Simone’s hesitance gave him just enough time to switch into overload.  There was o stopping him now. Simone was in a zone now. A complete state of disbelief, a fog. She went there a lot when interacting with him. It was her safe place. The berating had gone on for about 45 seconds which is forever when time stops, but for Simone, it seemed like hours!  She snapped out of it, to the sound of Peanuts voice in the distance crying, frantic, and afraid.  She had already opened the door. He had gotten loud enough to alarm her kids of what was going on.  A maylay had ensued.  Earl was in full attack.  Cricket, by this time, had descended downstairs.  She was shielding Peanut from the flying debris that Simone hadn’t even realized had begun to get slung about! Everything moved in slow motion and Simone was catatonic with only her hands around his hands that were around her throat. Her gasp took minutes but with every gasping breath, she saw flashes like flash focus photography, the type that bombards celebrities on the red carpet, as she slammed into the ground. On her way down she saw Peanut, she blinked,  flash, she saw Cricket, blink, flash, and then she saw Earl, slow motion, blink, flash.


Everything had gotten back up to speed now when she hit the ground.  Earl was on top of her, his eyes bulging, face contorted, lips pressed tightly with the occasional sight of his teeth with the slight overcast by his grimace expression. He looked like a demon.  He was shaking and the veins in his neck were protruding. He was enjoying this to a certain extinct but Simone could see the pain in his eyes. He was hurting and he didn’t know why nor did she know why he chose to direct his hurt onto her.


Gasp “Earl,” she sputtered she slipped her hands scratched at his eyes and the skin on face “Earl,” she sputtered again through gasp. 


“Get off of me,” “Earl,” “Stop.”   She has managed to roll her body that positioned her close the Cricket’s snack plate from earlier. She was cutting cheese cubes and ham to eat with her crackers. Simone scramble for the blade. By now they were back on their feet. She had to survive by any means necessary and she needed to get Earl off of her. They stumbled towards the open door when she did it. She plunged that ordinary kitchen knife into the side of his neck. His grip didn’t loosen.  She withdrew the blade and plunged it in again. His grip loosened but her hatred tightened her grip on the knife and she plunged it in again and again. She was in rage now. She sank that blade into his body for every foul word that had ever come out of his mouth towards her, for every police report filed, for every summons, for every judge that dismissed her pleas. This was about them now and how they could have stopped this but they didn’t.  His grip had loosened and his stare dead.  She hadn’t noticed until his limp body folded out of the door into the pavement. She didn’t care.  She continued to stab. Simone was blind with fury now. She felt a touch on her arm and she turned and plunged the knife into the gut of the person who had disturbed her. It was Earls wife. She must have been in the car waiting and figured there was an issue when Earl hadn’t returned with Cricket.  She exited their vehicle and started towards Simone’s sidewalk when she got wind of the commotion and came quicker to investigate the thuds.   She wasn’t prepared for what she happened upon.  She was in just as much disbelief when she spotted Simone on her knees crouched in front of was she suspected but dreaded was Earl’s lifeless body.  That was her fatal mistake, she got it too.  Simone knew she was just as much as a victim as she had been but she, in Simone’s’ head, was just as much as a conspirator and instigator too and Simone paid her back for all the add lib she had delivered over the years.  


“Muthafucka see what you made me do!” she cried out.

“I didn’t want to do this, this did not have to happen!!!” she sputtered between gasp as she fell against the concrete wall of the entrance.  She cried hard but silently, she thought of Cricket and Peanut and what she had just done.  She stood sobbing with blood on her hands and hate in her heart.  It was over but only for the moment.


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