Sunday, March 08, 2009

'You don't want to admit that you're afraid of the person you're sleeping next to'

I have a long narrative story in today's Wausau Daily Herald about a young woman's experience as a victim of domestic violence:
March 2008. Kasha Oelke's cell phone wakes her up in the middle of the night. It's a restricted number but she knows who it is. It is her ex-boyfriend, and he is standing outside her apartment.

"Look outside your window," the voice on the phone says.

On this night, when she looks out and sees him there, all he does is laugh at her and walk away. It is not a friendly laugh. But on this night, that is all that happens.

Only a few weeks before, the call that woke her up in the middle of the night was him screaming into the phone that she had tried to poison him. She tried to poison him and he knew all about it. He had saved all the poisoned food and would be shipping it all back to her. He was sounding not just angry and irrational but actually crazy, his voice straining with rage. That was a voice she recognized from when the two of them were together. But by this time they had been broken up for nearly a year.

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