She was a playground mom. I didn’t know her name, in fact, I didn’t know her at all- it was one of those connections you make in life that is one spot above stranger, but several notches below anything you could call “friend”. We never spoke- she was always talking on her phone, whispered, urgent words. We would interact when I saw that her daughter left something somewhere- I would walk over and hand her the lost object, she would mouth, “thank you”, and then return to her phone call. She was someone I saw, and recognized, but didn’t know anything about. She was pretty, with curly red ringlets and porcelain white skin.
I heard his car door slam that day, jumping slightly at the sound. He marched across the grass, making a beeline for her. He was shorter than her, darker skinned, but he looked strong, like he had spent his life lifting things. He walked right up to her, standing very close, exchanging angry phrases, his face contorted, his finger pointing. She recoiled before him, not speaking. I was stunned when he suddenly fired a punch, hitting her nose, knocking her onto her back, blood spurting onto her designer sweatshirt. I got up to help her, do something, but he was already stalking his way back to his car, and she quickly gathered her charge up, blotting her nose with a tissue, and left.
I never saw either of them again.