For three years, she listened to every insult that came from his mouth and she felt every slap across her face with stoic acceptance. She had read about husbands who came home drunk and beat up their wives. But Jack didn’t drink. He didn’t like anything alcoholic. Jack was just mean. That was all there was to it.
Amy watched the clock as though her life depended upon it, and somehow it did. She knew that he would walk through the door at precisely 5:17 and sit down at the dinner table. If his iced tea wasn’t sitting there with exactly 6 ice cubes and exactly 4 teaspoons of sugar mixed in [with NONE sitting at the bottom of the glass], she would sport a brightly bruised eye for the next week or so.
If his meat wasn’t cooked to precisely medium rare, she would have bruises down both arms, and if his vegetables weren’t steamed just right, the bruises would extend to her legs.
But if the butter was too warm on the crystal plate his mother had given them at their wedding, her back would be covered with welts from his belt.
Amy watched her hands begin to shake. She couldn’t control them. Then she watched as that crystal butter plate dropped to the floor and shattered into dozens of pieces. She was going to die.
That was when Amy made her decision. Enough already.