Trifecta Challenge # 20: Jo

I remember her well. I met her through a friend. In the short time that I knew her, she seemed so troubled.

I asked her out to a movie once. She seemed really excited to go. When we got to the movie, she started listing all the things I was not allowed to do. I was not allowed to hit her, even if I was angry. I was not allowed to touch her unless I asked her first. I wasn’t to expect sex, not now at least.

I started out by assuring her that I would never wanted any of those things, I just wanted someone to go to the movie with, maybe a casual chat afterwards.

Jo was a woman who had escaped from a very violent relationship with the man who fathered her two kids. Rape is what she called their relationship, which ended when she reached out for help and almost got killed in the process.

The trouble was that she didn’t continue with the help. She stopped therapy once she felt that she was over the trauma that she suffered. She was wrong to think this.

Jo said that men made her feel ‘cheap’ and useless. We never dated again, but she did call, often. She called me on nights were she had flashbacks of her relationships. She called me to tell me about the fears she had, the one night stands she ended up regretting, and she called me to say good-bye.

When she said goodbye, I didn’t realize for how long.

A news report the following day told me just how long she was going.

Apparently Jo lay down in her bathtub and let the water fill up around her until she was no more. She drowned herself to death on that night, forever ending the cycle of abuse that she lived her entire life.

The Trifecta week #20 prompt is cheap, 3rd definition:
3 a : of inferior quality or worth : tawdry, sleazy (cheap workmanship)
b : contemptible because of lack of any fine, lofty, or redeeming qualities (feeling cheap)
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16 thoughts on “Trifecta Challenge # 20: Jo

  1. SnB, that was very tragic and sad…I think the death of that other woman in your city is coming through in your writing today.

  2. You are correct in that one. Her death has affected so many in the community today. I tend to deal with things through my writing, and this day is no different. I am in no way related to the woman or her husband, but living on an island, a person remains close to all who exist there.
    Thanks for the comments, I appreciate them

  3. I thought this was a well-written story. Such a sad situation. I had a sense that it would not end well as I read it, but still I had hoped for a hopeful ending. But like life, stories don’t always end that way.

  4. As someone who has had to find out from someone else just how long goodbye was meant to be, this was heartbreaking. But I take comfort in the fact that Jo had someone to talk to before she decided to leave this place. I loved this story very much

  5. This is a true story. Jo was a woman who dealt with many issues, including very low self esteem. Many years after her death, one of her sisters approached me to thank me for listening to her. Many of her close friends didn’t. She was living in another province when she took her own life. It was her way to leave a life that was filled with abuse, both as a child and later as an adult.

    1. If you have a friend who is dealing with similar issues, do not do what I did. Rather, try to direct her to resources that can help her deal with those issues. There are Mental Health departments in most communities that can help her through what ever she is dealing with. Don’t let my friend Jo die in vain, do something for your friend. Sometimes it will get to the point where a person has to actually report suicidal behavior to the authorities, despite the fact that you may lose your friendship because of it. My biggest regret with Jo is that I did not notice the signs in time.

      1. I have tried to get her help. She lives 700 miles away. She says she’s reported the abuse, but according to her, the local police can’t do much. I have a hard time believing that, but don’t know what else I can do. I keep the lines of communication open, and check on her every day.

  6. Then remain her friend. Offer her solutions. Find a safe place for her to go where he cannot find her. There are women’s centers spread throughout communities all over the country, so do some research, and find your friend a safe place to go. Talk to her family members, begin a support group, find counseling for her abuser, and make sure that you remain her friend

  7. The one port in a storm, and so she called you to say goodbye. That must haunt you, but at the same time, I think you did the right things given the circumstances. NOW, in hindsight, you seem to know other things you would do for her, but I doubt you knew how to direct her to those things at the time. I’m sad for you, and I’m sad for her.

    But.

    The fact that she kept calling you says that your friendship was a bright spot in a dark life, and that’s something to hold on to.

  8. Tragic story snb. It must have been a tough one to write for sure. You do a good job of painting the picture of this girl. Agree with Jester though – hold on to the fact that she continued to call. Thanks for linking up.

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