He seemed like such a nice young man,

she was enchanted with his charming smile,

and beguiling words of flattery;

He dressed neatly, kept his hair trimmed,

had neatly cut fingernails and seldom

seemed to raise his voice.

He called her every day, just to see how she was doing,

sometimes had flowers sent to her at work,

and offered to accompany her to church on Sundays.

“That one is a keeper” her mother said

and all of her girlfriends were wild with envy.

He took her on dates, to the nicest restaurants,

to the theatre, wherever she wanted to go;

she asked him about his family and he said

he had no one, no one at all.

How sad, she thought, she would make it up to him

and share her family….

but he gently turned down invitations to spend

weekends or evenings with her family;

“I just want to be with you” he said

with that enticing smile and she agreed.

How wonderful it was that he only had eyes for her!

Before long, she spent less time with her family

and friends; all of her spare time was spent with him;

she began to think he would propose

and she would have a dream wedding. And he did propose

but gently–oh so gently!–steered her away

from her dream of a big wedding.

“Let’s just run away and elope” he said one evening

. “Think how romantic it will be, just you and me

–we can go to Las Vegas and get married there!”

and he pointed out that the money they would save

—all that money could be spent on furnishing an apartment,

and so they took off one weekend for Nevada

and were married at one of those little white chapels

all over the city of Las Vegas.

And she couldn’t say exactly when everything changed.

Perhaps the day they got married.

He began to raise his voice, challenge any her of opinions,

call her names– she tried desperately to keep him placated,

but a temper she had never witnessed before rose

to the surface and she began to fear him.

And finally the day came when his rage knew no bounds

and he began to slap and punch  her, all over her body,

kicking her, telling her  how worthless she was.

It was her first encounter with evil; she didn’t recognize

what it was until it was too late.

When he came at her with a long sharp knife.

her eyes were opened as she stared into his sadistic, dark face.

She thought, as she lay dying, this is what evil looks like.

Sandra Lee Smith

updated April 10, 2019

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