The room mate next to Sis is a retired doctor. She has a broken arm and a dislocated shoulder...Done to her by her boyfriend.
A policeman comes in and questions her to why she has come to the hospital. Where is her boyfriend?
"He had a business trip." She answers the questions cooly.
"Mam, has there been domestic abuse in your home?" The policeman looks into the woman's troubled brown eyes. One which is black. Her hair is a mess, standing up in all directions.
I want to smooth it down for her, and stand beside her for emotional support. But I don't know her.
So I close the curtain to give her privacy..A small act of kindness. She gives me a look of gratitude.. I smile at her softly.
"Officer there has been no violence committed in my home. I fell down. I fall down all the time." As she says this her voice cracks.
In my heart I know she is lying. I've been abused. I've had my shoulder dislocated. Lied, like her, to protect the guilty.
"Mam, we have had reports that there has indeed been violence in your home before. That your boyfriend has beat you up before." The officer says this in a very determined tone.
"Rubbish!" She quips back at him.
"OK Mam, if this is how you want to play this I will not push you. But I want you to think about something. You aren't getting any younger. Next time he could kill you." He sighs defeatedly. Having gone through these kind of situations on a daily basis, I am sure.
He walks past me with tears in his eyes. And I know he is a good man. Probably had a mother who was abused, because of how strongly he reacted. I am guessing this. But I am a good judge of emotion.
Mrs. X begins to cry.
I walk around the curtain. Because curtains are not walls. And I hug her, and she hugs me back with her good arm
The one, not broken, by her boyfriend.