My eyes flew open. I knew my ears heard something, but the sound hadn’t registered in my consciousness. It could have been something in the park across the road, a commotion on the main road below my window, perhaps it had even come from within the apartment block I lived; I just didn’t know what had awakened me. I lay awake a little while longer then turned on my other side to fall sleep again.
There it was; a scream of frustration and fear. My heart rate increased; tears stung my eyes. By this point in my life, I didn’t find it so difficult to bear the scars of my past. Hearing her shriek paralyzed me. I could have been her. I had heard her before but it was always followed by silence. I was never completely sure if I had actually heard anything. I had seen them together a few times. As I approached, I would discretely study her face looking for a plea in her eyes, unhappiness. However, there was none. Then again victims know how to hide the grotesque truth from outside eyes. We do it well.
I heard the scuffle. “Let me go!” she shouted. The commotion continued. The UK had just gone into lockdown. I was painfully aware of the fact that many victims were now forced to occupy limitless time with their abusers. Neriah was my advocate, and now I would be my neighbour’s. I jumped out of bed to get my phone and called the polie. I gave the particulars over the phone, all the while my heart thumping against my temples, my stomach feeling nauseous. She didn’t know me, so she could never thank me, and perhaps if she did know me, she wouldn’t have
appreciated my intervening, but it would surely buy her some time because they would surely lock him up for a while. I felt a compulsion to pace the floor, but with my squeaky floorboards, I didn’t want to cast suspicion on my being the ‘snitch’. I knew they lived directly below me. I sat on the sofa and waited. Downstairs was eerily quiet. Within a few minutes, I saw the glow of blue lights flashing on my curtains. I took a peep; the police had arrived. My heart rate slowed. I walked back
to bed. No sooner had I put my head down than my door knocked. Well, I knew it had to be the law. I scrambled out of bed again and opened the door. The female officer at my door wanted me to confirm which apartment I heard the noises from. Though I was concerned about being identified I would see it through to the end. I hurried down the stairs behind her and pointed at the door where I knew the sounds had come from. A male officer was knocking the door but no one was answering.
“Oh, they are there alright.” I said before retreating upstairs and returning to bed.
By the time I slipped under my sheet, I could hear that a conversation had started between the police and the occupants of the apartment. I breathed a sigh of relief and thanked God that at least she could still leave that night (assuming he owned the apartment of course). Why didn’t she leave? Why didn’t I leave? Either way that night, he was surely leaving whether or not he wanted to.
Sometimes, we suffer through cycles of habitual sin. Like the apostle Paul said; ‘but what I hate, that do I.’ who doesn’t identify with this? We try not to yield to temptation, even run from it, but still, we find ourselves giving in to it. It ensnares us like a possessive abusive partner. The sin forever states the elusive promise of happiness, but delivers nothing but dissatisfaction. Like the boa constrictor, the more you struggle out of its deadly grip, the tighter its crush. Jesus Christ offered up his life to save us from the restraint of sin. The enemy incarcerates;
the Saviour liberates!
Christ has set us free to live a free life. So, take your stand! Never again let anyone put a harness of slavery on you. Galatians 5:1The Message Bible
DISCLAIMER: The following YouTube clip does contain one profane word used in the chorus; therefore, some viewers may want to watch with the volume muted. The depiction of domestic violence, though beautifully choregraphed, may upset some viewers.