Bea’s first sign that Karl was abusive was realized when they attended an amateur boxing match. She was seventeen. He was twenty-seven. It had been an enjoyable evening and her first time ever attending live boxing. Bea was excited!
She marveled at how the mist of perspiration made the boxers’ bodies shine and at how streams of heavy sweat actually flew upon impact from glove to skin. Although she’d seen it on television, it was still a fascinating phenomenon to experience. Bea winced often as the deep jabs met pounds of flesh. Not once, though, did she second guess why Karl brought her to a boxing match. Her mother found it strange, however. “Who takes a pretty girl to a boxing match?!” Mama asked. “Couldn’t he find a nicer venue for a date? Going to a boxing match seems like something he’d do with the guys. I just find it very unusual.”
Bea thought about it momentarily and then pushed it out of her mind as she found a new annoyance; that being the bevy of beautiful, bikini-clad women who took turns strutting around holding placards high in the air, announcing what round was about to begin.
“Now THAT is annoying!” she thought. “And very sexist.”
From that point forward, Bea began viewing and analyzing the boxing experience from a different colored lens. It was a view of insight and intrigue. When she mentioned it to Karl, he bristled and seemed to take offense saying nothing was wrong with it. Bea was slightly turned off by his response but kept it to herself.
When it was time for intermission, the couple walked to the concession stand together. Along the way, Bea saw two fellas from class. Being the outgoing person that she was, Bea waved and called their names until she got their attention. They walked over to her smiling and asked what she was doing there. Together they laughed about her “hanging with the fellas” and hugged before going their separate ways.
She looked up at Karl to tell him how much long they’d been friends and how much fun they had in school but he looked angry. Bea tried to imagine what she could have done to upset him but nothing came to mind. When asking him what was wrong, he gave her the silent treatment so she just left him alone and said nothing more. She didn’t have the sense or insight to know that Karl’s anger was only beginning to seethe. All of a sudden he stepped out of line, grabbed her arm and started walking rapidly through the crowd of men and a few random women. They hadn’t even ordered anything yet and Bea had no idea what was going on. But by the time they got outside, he shoved her against the
concrete wall and grabbed her face so hard that s