To the woman next door

To the woman next door:

I don’t know your name; that I should be ashamed of. When my husband, Massimo, called 9-1-1 they asked, and he couldn’t say. I’m sorry. Please forgive me.

When we heard him yelling at 1:30 am, it woke us all up. Massimo with a startle. He didn’t know what was wrong, but his body knew and he was up and dressing before I even realized the yelling wasn’t in my head.

Just so you know, when we heard banging, and suspected he was throwing you around, he wanted to come over immediately. So did Massimo’s best friend, an Army sergeant who happened to be spending the night.

They both wanted to go over there and make sure you were alive, make him stop hurting you. They feared to go because the culture today is that if you step in, you can get in just as much trouble as the instigator. They talked about how horrible that culture is: it’s not like back in the day when you could do lend a hand when your neighbor was getting beat up by her boyfriend at two in the morning.

I wonder what you would have wanted, and I hope we find out some day.

Just so you know, we all listened in silence in the thirteen minutes it took for the police to arrive. We listened for your voice, to make sure the worst did not already happen. It took an eternity for them to arrive. I prayed you were okay.

When they finally finished questioning the clearly drunk man you choose to live with, I don’t know what happened. I don’t know what you told the other officer who was talking to you, but I hope you told the truth.

I want you to know three very important things I cannot get out of head since last night:

  1. We do not judge you one bit for being with him. I cannot begin to imagine how hard it must be to watch someone you love do something like that. I have no idea how hard it would be to walk away, and I can’t possibly judge your choice to be with him in the first place, let alone stay with him. I hope that no matter what, you find healing and peace, the kind that can only come from our Heavenly Father.
  2. Not all men are like him. I tell you this because I have no idea what any other men in your life are like, but just in case you have a poor sample, I want you to know with one hundred percent certainty that there are great men out there that would literally never so much as raise their voice to you. Two of them wanted to go and help you that very night.
  3. I’m really, truly sorry for what happened. I was comfortably asleep when the conflict started; for all I know it has been the same one going on for years. I don’t know how you got where you are, but I really hope you in no way blame yourself. You are a beautiful daughter of the Most High King, worthy and loved; it breaks his heart when you hurt, in any way, and You. Do. Not. Deserve. This.

Finally, please forgive me if I did or said anything wrong. I again am sorry I don’t know your name. I hope we can talk soon.


-D. E. Barbi Bee



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