I had terrible bruises, and it hurt to sit on the little wooden bench in the phone booth. I was trying to stay out of the chill wind that was blowing in off the ocean. My eyes had finally adjusted to the dark, and I looked out over the dunes, waiting for my husband.
I’d been on a walk with my friend Jill, and when we finished, her ride came. Mine didn’t. Leaving me stranded was one of Tony’s favorite pastimes. I could have ridden with Jill, but if I did, he would hurt me. I touched the stitches in my lip. In the past few months, he’d added physical abuse to his repertoire. I would have to call him and plead for a ride.
I dropped some change into the coin slot. It was an old rotary phone and the receiver clicked through each number.
“Hello?” His voice sounded cold and flat.
“Please, Tony. I’m freezing.”
“It will all be over soon.” There was a crackle, then silence.
Minutes stretched into an hour. I heard a sound and he appeared at the phone booth door, his face twisted with rage. He hammered on the glass, yanked it open, and lunged at me with a knife.
Even standing close, I doubt you would have heard the three pops over the crashing waves. Tears ran down my cheeks as I slipped the little .380 automatic into my pocket.
I took a deep breath and made a last call to 911.