The screaming woman next door

by Regis Boff

The sounds of vicious husband and wife fights in our neighborhood drew us together as a family.
My dad would turn off the TV or radio, and the three of us would sit near the window that offered the best reception.
The phone might ring with another neighbor asking us if we were listening.
Sometimes the woman would show up at our door crying with marks, mostly on her face.
She and my mother would sit in our kitchen with the doors closed. She would urge her to return to him.
Nobody liked witnessing a woman being dragged darkly back home by a muscular arm.
We had no asylum to offer. Marriages had sanctity back then.
The police were afraid to come. After all, it was his house, and he would already be black with anger when they arrived. We all had guns.
I would hide in my room when our time came.