I posted the beginning of this story a good while ago. I finished writing it recently. I've revised the beginning. So I'll post the whole thing here. Hope you enjoy it! ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ "Please don't let him kill me, Lord." Zoña could feel her heart pounding against her chest. She sat in the far corner of the bedroom, nervously rocking back and forth. She struggled to catch her breath as beads of sweat trickled down her small, round face. The only thing she could do was pray and ask God to protect her. "Bring ya butt back out here, Zoña," Ty demanded. He twisted the knob, but, much to his dismay, the door was locked. "Come on, Zoña. I-I just wanna talk to you. Dat's all I wanna do, baby. Can you open the door for me, please?" Zoña shook her head in disbelief. It was a trick. She knew there would be an endless fight for her life if she opened that door. Although she was terrified, she stood her ground. "You never wanna jus' talk, Ty. All you ever wanna do is fight." Her lips quivered and her voice was barely louder than a whisper. Feeling as though he was being outsmarted, Ty became even more enraged. He began banging and pushing on the door, trying to scare Zoña into unlocking it. He refused to be made a fool of. He was determined to get through the door even if he had to tear it off its hinges. Frightened, Zoña sat in the far corner of the bedroom holding her head in her hands. She tried her best to calm herself, but her efforts were in vain. She leaned back and rested her head against the wall. Tears fell from her hazel eyes and rolled down her cheeks. "Please, you gotta help me, God. Please, I'm beggin' you," she wept. Unfortunately, her prayers went unanswered as Ty proceeded to kick in the bedroom door. After what felt like one thousand attempts, Ty's efforts finally paid off. The lock gave way, the door swung open, and that's when all hell broke loose. When Ty made eye contact with Zoña, it was as if something clicked and he couldn't control himself. He didn't try to keep his cool, he didn't fight it. He balled both fists and charged towards Zoña like a cheetah going after its prey. Zoña could see the rage in his eyes. She began to wail uncontrollably, "Please, Ty. You said you wouldn't never hit me again, please. Whatever I did, I apologize for it. Jus' don't hurt me!" But Ty ignored her pleas. He picked her up by her neck, pushed her against the wall, and began to choke her. He squeezed her neck tighter and tighter until her face turned red and she began gasping for air. In an attempt to free herself from his grasp, Zoña raised her right hand and scratched Ty's face, leaving a deep wound that stretched from his right ear to the corner of his mouth. This only pissed him off even further. Taking his left hand, Ty grabbed Zoña by her shirt collar and pinned her firmly against the wall. He raised his right hand and struck her face so hard that he broke her glasses. Her knees buckled and she fell to the floor. Like a well pouring water, blood began to run from her nose and mouth. Zoña released a spine-tingling scream that was so loud people in Africa could have heard it. She began to bawl like a little child as Ty stood over her. He seemed to be somewhat proud of himself for what he had just done to this poor, defenseless soul. "You stay in here 'til I say you can come out," Ty shouted. "And you betta think about dis next time you feel like runnin' off at da mouth." He slammed the bedroom door behind himself, leaving Zoña lying on the floor, sobbing pitifully. She could hear him fussing and cursing as he stomped down the hallway. Zoña slowly sat up and held her head in her hands, feeling sick and dizzy from the tremendous blow that Ty had given her. She glanced at herself in the full length mirror that sat in the corner across the room. Although she looked a mess and felt like hell, she was thankful to be alive. There had been times in the past when she nearly lost her life during one of Ty's rampages. At least this time she didn't have to be hospitalized. Zoña did as she was told and stayed in the room. Soon, she heard Ty slam the front door. She stood up and peered out of the bedroom window. Shaking her head, she watched in disgust as Ty fumbled in his pockets for the keys. He swung the car door open and took one last sip of his OE before tossing the unfinished bottle into the neighbor's freshly pruned flowerbed. Without a care in the world, he got into Zoña's brand new 2010 Ferrari and sped off. She began to feel more at ease now that Ty was out of the house. Zoña made her way across the room and opened the door. She felt like a convict being released from prison as she crept out into the dark hallway. There wasn't a single light on in the whole house, plus her glasses were broken, and her eye was swollen shut which made it even more difficult to see. She felt her way down the corridor and flipped on the light. Nothing in this world could have prepared her for what she found. The living room had been thrown into shambles during the fight. It looked like a warzone. The chairs, as well as the 52-inch plasma TV had been knocked over, family pictures and expensive artwork that had been neatly hung on the wall, now were a mass of metal and broken glass strewn over the floor. Even Zoña's most prized possession, the glass sculpture that her grandmother had given her, was now a pile of shattered garbage. She stumbled to the bathroom, trying not to trip and fall over the furniture. She switched on the bathroom light. Tears began to roll down her face as she examined herself in the large vanity mirror. Her eyes and cheeks were puffy. Her lip was busted and the blood that ran from her nose and mouth was just beginning to clot. Her normally rich caramel brown skin was now covered in welts and bruises. She was a bloody mess. Zoña sat down on the side of the tub and tried her best to stop crying, but the harder she tried to stop, the more her tears flowed. Ty always did have a quick temper, but as of late, his rampages had become increasingly violent and destructive. The smallest things seemed to set him off. And no matter how hard Zoña tried to avoid confrontation with him, he always found a reason to start a fight. If he wasn't punching, slapping, or kicking her, then he was criticizing her weight, the clothes she wore, or the company she kept. She had made several attempts to escape from Ty's hell on Earth in the past, but every time she tried to start her life anew and erase all memories of him from her mind, Ty would always make a complete nuisance of himself to get her to come back. He would call her at any random time of the day or night just to tell her how much he missed her. He even showed up at her job, crying and begging for her to take him back. Zoña would try to ignore him, thinking that he would soon forget about her and move on to the next unlucky soul. But, Ty would remain consistent with his pleading and whining until; finally, she would surrender to his nagging and give him another chance. Things would be fine for the first few weeks. Then, Ty would revert back to his old ways. Zoña was fed up with the constant torment that she was forced to endure on a daily basis. She was determined to free herself. She had finally reached her breaking point and would literally rather be dead or in jail than suffer through another day with Satan himself. An overwhelming since of closure suddenly swept over her like a cool breeze. She stood up, shut and locked the bathroom door, and began running her bath water. She took off her clothes and glanced at her battered face one last time before slipping into the tub of soothing warm water. After taking a long, rejuvenating bath, and tending her wounds as best she could, Zoña climbed into her comfortable king-sized bed in hopes of getting a good night's rest. She hadn't heard from Ty since their fight earlier that evening. She had no clue as to where he was or what he was doing. She didn't know whether he was safe and sound or in harm's way. And, frankly, she wasn't really concerned. In fact, he could have been dead in a ditch for all she cared. At least she wouldn't have to deal with him and his unpredictable rampages any longer. Zoña closed her eyes and did all she could to stop herself from thinking about Ty. But, the harder she tried to stop, the more her mind seemed to drift back to him. She kept replaying the day's events over and over again in her head. She couldn't understand how Ty could be such a warm, affectionate person, and then, within a split second, morph into this mean-spirited, cold-hearted dog that would downplay her and treat her as less his equal. Zoña tossed and turned for hours before finally drifting to sleep. But, just moments after dozing off, a loud ruckus coming from the hallway jolted her awake. She didn't even have time to get up and see what it was before Ty staggered into the room, nearly falling flat on his face. "Zoña, baby," he slurred. Ty most likely had been drinking all while he was away. She sat up and watched in silence as he drunkenly toddled towards the bed, struggling to maintain his balance with every step. He managed to make it halfway there before he lost his footing and fell face first onto the floor. He started giggling uncontrollably, laughing at his own deplorable self as he crawled over to the bed. He grabbed the edge, pulled himself up and climbed in next to her. His clothes smelled sour. The rancid odor made Zoña wonder if he had gotten them from the bottom of the clothes hamper. She could smell the pungent odor of alcohol on his breath as he leaned in for a kiss. She frowned and turned her head just seconds before his lips met hers. "Tha hell's wrong wit' you," Ty snapped. The tone of his voice startled Zoña causing her to jump. "I mean, you actin' like you really don't wanna be bothered wit' me or somethin'." She shook her head. "No, it's not that at all," she lied, "it's jus' that...you're drunk, and you know I don't like it when you get like that." There was an indifferent expression on Ty's face, as if he wasn't trying to hear Zoña's excuse. He leaned in for another kiss, but was rejected once again. Frustrated, Ty clinched a handful of Zoña's hair and yanked her head back. She squealed and winced, "Ty, you're hurting me," she shrieked. But, Ty ignored her cries and planted a very forceful and sloppy kiss right on her lips. He took his free hand and wrapped it around her throat. Then, he shoved her down, pinning her against the bed. He tried to force himself on top of her, but Zoña managed to gain the upper hand. With all the strength she could gather, she raised her leg and kneed him right in the groin. Holding himself, Ty rolled off of her, moaning and groaning in agony. Free from his grasp, Zoña jumped up and backed away from the bed, in fear of what Ty might do once he recovered. She stood in shock, surprised at herself and at her sudden display of boldness. It was as if another person had gained authority over her body. She and Ty had fought thousands of times in the past, and Ty would always manage to remain in control every time. This time was strangely different, however. This time Zoña was the dominant one and Ty was the one at the receiving end of the abuse. She was the one in control now. A huge wave of confidence suddenly overcame her as she stood there watching Ty struggle to regain his masculinity. He managed to bring himself to his knees. Then, without hesitation, he pounced towards Zoña. But, she was no longer intimidated by him. As he charged towards her she balled her fist and punched him in the face as hard as she could. He fell to the floor and blood began to spew from his nose like a water hose. As he struggled to collect himself, Zoña ran to the other side of the bed and pulled out the top drawer of the nightstand. In a daze from the massive strike, Ty slowly sat up and shook his head. Slightly disoriented, he managed to pick himself up off the floor. He touched his nose to make sure that it wasn't broken. "I don't know why da hell you actin' so big and bad all of a sudden," Ty chuckled sinisterly, "but I promise ya I ain't about to just stand here and let you get away wit' it!" He turned around and started in Zoña's direction, but what he saw stopped him dead in his tracks. The sight of the .45 caliber handgun aimed directly at his heart drained every ounce of hostility and aggression from his character. He was immediately reduced to a sniveling wimp as he realized that his fate lied within the hands of the very person that had suffered so much on account of him. The only thing Ty could focus on was the gun's shiny metal barrel and all he could hear was the faint click as Zoña took the safety off. In fear of what was about to happen, Ty dropped to his knees. "Please, Zoña. Don't do dis, please!" Tears were running down his face as he begged and pleaded for his life. He was, without a doubt, the sorriest excuse for a man. Ty's pleas fell on deaf ears. Zoña's heart began to beat faster and faster as a surge of adrenaline coursed through her veins. In a daze, she racked the gun's slide, loading a round into the chamber. She aimed at her target and squeezed the trigger. The momentum of the speeding bullet sent Ty's lifeless body tumbling backwards, hitting the floor with a thud. The sound of the gun firing snapped her back into reality. She couldn't believe what just happened. "Oh my God," Zoña cried, as she realized that she had just taken another person's life. A deep feeling of remorse suddenly overwhelmed her. Dropping the gun, she knelt down and prayed to God for Him to have mercy on her soul. Then, she crawled over to the nightstand and grabbed the telephone. She tried her best to keep her hands from trembling as she dialed 911. She answered all the dispatcher's questions as thoroughly as she could. "Alright, I'll get someone out there as soon as I can, Ms. James," the dispatcher assured. "Yes, ma'am. Hurry, please." Zoña sniffled as she hung up the phone. Then, she did the unthinkable. She crawled back over to the gun, picked it up and loaded another fatal round into the chamber. Swallowing hard, Zoña cautiously brought the cold barrel up to her temple. She said one last prayer before she closed her eyes and slowly squeezed the trigger.