New neighbors moved in next door to us two years ago during the summer. They're a couple a bit younger than me each have kids that are adults from previous marriages so it's just them in the house. Just them and lots of cats and a snippy little dog who I can attest is an ankle biter. When they moved in we went over with some fresh ground coffee and some new coffee mugs to welcome them to the neighborhood. After that however our contact was limited.
We'd bring them fresh tomatoes one month and maybe the next they'd drop by to say hello or to check to see if their cats were getting along with our cats. Other then the usual mailbox hello's and waving pulling out of the driveway that was the extent of our interactions.This Christmastime we were surprised when they asked to borrow money, not something we felt comfortable doing so we told them no. Then a few months back there were a few occasions when she'd knock very early in the morning ask for a ride to work saying their car was broke down when it was brand new, strange, but Bill gladly obliged.
We had decided long before that there was just something off about them. Did you ever just get a feeling? Nothing tangible just a nagging feeling that something wasn't quite right.
This past holiday weekend my house was full with family, eating, the kids were playing and the adults were enjoying a cold beverage. The weather didn't cooperate so we were indoors, music playing, voices raised in family banter.
And the neighbor knocked. And now I finally know what the "it" was that I always sensed. She was coming here because he had hit her and pushed her around. My husband confronted him and he denied it, not surprised! I'm not sure if she wanted the police involved but clearly she was afraid enough to flee to my house.Without missing a beat Bill called 911. Believe me when I tell you Bill didn't ask her if she wanted him to call he just did.
He'd been on enough domestic calls when he was a cop to know they were needed. Sad thing was we couldn't physically keep her here and she took a walk down the block to clear her head. Shortly thereafter the deputy arrived but we didn't go over or interject ourselves in that part of the situation. I'll be curious to see the arrest list in the paper next week to see if he's in there.
I know this relationship is one of many many years. That fact doesn't mean I'm not gonna try to say something or do something. I also know a place she can go where he can't get to her where there's people trained to help her. My friends daughter Mary works in a local battered woman shelter, it's safe and there's counseling available. I'm going to bring all the information and give it to her at work. She needs to know there's help available for her. I'm sure she's feeling pretty alone and isolated right now.
I'm also not naive and I realize she's gotta want help. Lets all pray she does.
Sad thing, isn't it?