Sadie heard the commotion downstairs. It was loud enough to disturb her tenants. Sadie took her responsibility to her tenants seriously. Then there was her son who put up with the constant abuse this woman dealt out. She feared for everyone—including herself.
Sadie made her way downstairs slowly, carefully. Age forced this. One stair at a time towards danger. Her heart revolted—blood plunging through it with anticipation. She was afraid.
Sadie had already lost one tenant due to her son’s girlfriend’s drug-addled dementia. She couldn’t afford to lose another. The woman slammed doors so violently the house trembled, and she screamed her rage at empty ears. It happened so often almost nobody listened.
Sadie entered the second floor with trepidation. Each step towards the commotion in the front of the house was laced with fear. Her son was not going to stop anything. He knew of his mother’s plight and did nothing. It was up to her. Finally, she was there.
The door to the front room stuck. It was damaged. Fleeting thoughts of the costs to repair the damage this woman caused ran through her mind. Sadie became angry.
Sadie flung the door open and loudly told the woman:
“You have to stop this.”
“I don’t have to stop anything,” the woman screamed. “I’m thirty-two years old.”
Sadie had no idea what age had to do with common decency. Her emotions roiled inside her. This was her turf—her castle, and she would defend it—her tenants—her son.
Sadie moved in close to the woman, giving her an angry glare.
“You have to stop,” she said.
Split second—the younger woman head-butted the old woman in the nose—knocking her to the floor.
Sadie lie there, stunned at her own frailty. How rude for age to steal her ability to keep things livable and safe. The devil was not at her doorstep, she was in her house, and it appeared there was nothing Sadie could do about it.
Time slowed, and Sadie grappled her way up from the floor, blood bursting from her nose as she did so. She stood, wiping the stream coming from her nose. Her son finally sprung into action, holding the woman back.
This is elder abuse—when the young and stronger move in to take what’s not theirs—when they hurt those unable to defend themselves—when they move in for the kill.
Sadie finally resorted to the system of courts to keep the young woman away. One would think the frail would engender compassion, but this is not always so.
Copyright 2018 Joyce Bowen