Little Red Riding Hood

February 10, 2010
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“He wasn’t always like this,” I whispered. “He was so gentle and kind. He never struck me as a…monster.” I began to weep. My psychologist, Dr. Wood, nodded.

“They always come off that way. You can’t trust everyone. That’s the ugly truth in society,” said Dr. Wood. “This is not your fault though, Meredith. Rob is an angry, threatening man, and unfortunately he took his anger out on you. Don’t ever blame yourself.”

Despite this, I still couldn’t stop crying. “He told me he loved me. I can never love again.” Dr. Wood looked at me softly.

“You can’t think like that. Be patient, Meredith. Real love will approach you soon.” I shook my head. I was at a loss for words. There was a pause between us. “Sorry Meredith, but this is the end of our session. I will see you next week.” I attempted a smile and walked out of his office.

Robert Wolff, the man of my dreams. He was so good to me. There was a time where we were so deep in love. Rob was passionate and romantic. He showered me in flowers, beautiful jewelry, and of course love. How was I supposed to know that such a beautiful relationship would eventually get ugly?

A memory began playing in my head. It was the first night he hit me; the night that will always haunt me for the rest of my life. I came to Rob’s apartment after work for dinner. I was running late due to traffic, but I knew he’d understand.

Or so I thought.

“Hi, honey,” I said. I went over to give him a kiss. He turned his face away. “What’s wrong?” I asked. Suddenly, his face began turning red and he grinded his teeth. My stomach began to churn. “Sorry I’m late,” I whispered. “I was stuck in traffic.” Then, the unpredictable occurred: he slapped me across the face.

“LIAR!” Rob screamed. “LIAR! You were with another man! You’re a dirty, disloyal LIAR!” he grabbed me by the hair and pulled me towards his face. Tears began streaming down my cheeks. I was petrified; I couldn’t speak. It was as though Rob wasn’t really…well, Rob. “Where were you?” he demanded. No words came out of my mouth. My silence seemed to make him even angrier. He slapped my face again even harder then the first time. “TELL ME SO I CAN DESTROY THE MAN YOU WERE WITH!” I looked him straight in the eye.

“Rob, I can’t believe you! I love you and only you.” I began shaking and the tears continued. “I was stuck in traffic. It happens. I know I should have called. I’m sorry. I love you.” I did my best to butter him up, for I feared he would hit me again. Rob stared hard at me. The rage in his eyes seemed to increase.

“Liar! You disgust me!” he yelled. He shook me hard. Pain ran throughout my entire body.

“GET OFF OF ME!” I screamed. I pushed him as hard as I could so he’d get off of me, grabbed my purse off the table and ran out of the apartment and didn’t stop until I got to my car. I sped away as fast as I could. I cried the whole way home, making the ride home difficult. What happened to my sweet, caring Rob? I didn’t recognize him. It was as though something evil took over his body. I could never look at Rob the same. In fact, I never wanted to see him again. Rob never struck me as violent. He had a soft touch and was the nicest man I knew. The next day, Rob called me. “Baby, we need to talk,” he said. I was stunned. What was he thinking?

“Talk?!” I spat out. “There is nothing to talk about! You assaulted me, Rob. We’re over! I hate you! Don’t call me ever again!” I hung up and turned off my phone. I suddenly became scared. What if he came to my house and beat me up even worse then last night? Obviously he must still be angry. All that day, I did whatever I could to keep my mind off of Rob and the attack.

The following day, I found a dozen yellow roses (my favorite flower) and a note in front of my apartment door. It was from Rob. Puzzled, I picked them up and went to sit on my couch to read the note. The note read:

“To my beautiful Meredith,

I am so, so sorry for what I have done to you. You are an amazing woman and you didn’t deserve what I did. I can’t live without you, Meredith. You are the woman of my dreams and the best thing that has ever happened to me. Please forgive me, Meredith. I will never do such an awful thing to you again. I love you so much and I can’t lose you. Call me as soon as possible.

Love now and always,


I felt my jaw drop. My Rob was back! My loving, fascinating Rob. He did that because he was just to scared to lose me to another man. I smiled and went to call Rob. Everything was back to normal! The next few weeks were amazing. Rob gave me all of the attention and wanted and constantly reminded me of how much he loved me. I was floating in ecstasy. Rob made me smile unlike anyone else and treated me like a princess. However, life’s no fairytale.

One day, Rob randomly came to my job to surprise me and take me out to lunch. When he came, he walked in to see my fellow employee, Joe, talking and laughing about our crazy boss. Rob instantly became jealous. We got into Rob’s car to go eat lunch, when suddenly he dove into another episode.

“ I KNEW YOU WERE A LIAR!” he screamed. He punched me in my shoulder as hard as he could. I yelped. “YOU ARE CHEATING ON ME WITH THAT MAN! You’re so despicable!”

“Joe’s my friend! We work together, for crying out loud! You’re over reacting!” I yelled at him. He grabbed my wrists so tightly I thought they’d break. “Let GO of me!” I bit his right hand.

“Cheater! You’re a horrible, cheating liar!” Rob screamed. He took his hands off my hand and slammed my head three times into the car window. I began sobbing. I opened his car door and ran to my car. I had to escape from him…I just couldn’t do it.

Of course, Rob sucked up to me again and I was vulnerable enough to give into him. For the next six months, this pattern was like a ritual. That is, until Joe saw the bruises. After continuously asking me about them and the other injuries I got in the past six months from Rob, including a black eye from him punching me and a broken leg as a result of him pushing me down a flight of stairs, I finally broke down and told Joe the truth. His eyes widened.

“You have to report this,” Joe said. “You can’t stay with Rob and let him continue beating you, Meredith. If this keeps up, he’ll eventually kill you.” I shook my head.

“I can’t leave him. We’re in love. Rob just gets nervous that I’m going to leave him. It’s fine,” I stated. This time, Joe shook his head.

“You’re trapped,” Joe said. “I’m willing to help you escape. In fact, we’re going to report this to the police when we get out of here. I’m doing this because you don’t deserve to get thrown around like a rag doll. You’re a good person, Meredith. This abuse cycle has to come to an end. No excuses. We’re going.” I cried, but I didn’t argue. Finally, my secret was out.

At the police station, I told the policeman, Scott, every detail of what has been occurring for the past six months. An hour later, Rob was arrested for assault. A few months later, he was put in jail. At last, I was free. No more hitting. No more punching or kicking. No more rape. No more fear.

Rob was a confused man. He was an angel who transformed into a monster. I know that now. It’s sad to say that not everything is the way it seems, but like Dr. Wood said, it’s the truth.

When I got home from Dr. Wood’s office, it all hit me. I didn’t create this monster. Rob was always one, but was well hidden. For the first time in a very long time, I cracked a smile. The bad times were over now. My break through has finally arrived.

I am a survivor. I’ll put my past behind me and live my life. At last, I’ve learned the meaning of freedom.

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