Contemporary Fiction



This book will launch on Feb 3, 2020. Currently, only those with the link can see it. 🔒

To the world they appeared to be perfect. Behind Closed Doors they were struggling to survive.
Behind Closed Doors is the first in a series of gripping short stories about living with, and hiding, domestic violence.
Four fictional characters with very different perspectives and experiences.


Sitting in the emergency room once again she wondered how her life had come to this. When did she stop loving herself? Had she ever loved herself? How could this be happening to her? And, why didn’t she see the warning signs?

As she sat on the cold, sterile hospital bed with that awful gown on, waiting for the doctor to examine her, she couldn’t remember what caused yesterday's outburst. She wasn’t surprised: she rarely remembered what caused him to lose it. These days it seemed as if anything, and everything, had the potential to make him lose it. When she tried to softly suggest that he spend a little more time with their daughter, he lost it. When she tried to lovingly coax him into spending more time with her, he lost it. If she didn’t talk to him enough, he lost it. "Losing it" was the new norm in their household.

Realizing she had no ability to control when, why, or how he might lose it, she gave up on the idea that gentleness would make a difference. While she constantly felt on edge, she rose every day and reminded herself that life with him was simply “survival of the fittest”. Maybe, just maybe, if she beat him to the punch and showed him that she too could be a royal asshole, he would one day call a truce, and they could return to life as she knew it, before her husband had become a monster.

Her “biggest asshole” approach meant they spent a lot of time screaming and yelling; screaming and yelling which ultimately led to him physically assaulting her in some way. Unfortunately, the violence between them had begun to take its toll on their three- year-old daughter, as well. Their adorable little princess always seemed to be fussy and on edge. Their adorable little princess also had taken to whacking her mother, and others, when she did not get her way. In fact, this past weekend when they were at the playground, she witnessed her daughter calling one of the little boys a dumb ass while simultaneously slapping him across the face. Stunned and embarrassed by what she just witnessed, she grabbed

her daughter by the arm, put her in the car, and sped off, as the little boy stood there wailing at the top of his lungs.

Yesterday was no different. After about 15 minutes of yelling and screaming about God knows what, he once again exploded, this time punching her, with all of his might, in the face. Silenced and dazed from the sheer force of the punch, she did not realize blood was pouring from her nose as fast as water from a faucet until she noticed the look of terror in her husband’s eyes. When she reached up to touch her face and realized that her fingers were covered in blood, she began to scream and cry uncontrollably. It was only when she began to scream and cry that she then realized she was lying on her back, on their kitchen floor. Had he fucking knocked her out, too?

Hearing her screams and cries and watching the blood cover her white, linen shirt, jerked him into action. Grabbing all of the dishtowels he could find, he knelt on the floor beside her and covered her nose, quietly whispering, “I’m so sorry, I’m so sorry”. The more he whispered how sorry he was, the more hysterical she became until she glanced to her left and saw their daughter standing in the hallway, just staring at them. Quickly she gathered herself up and told him to get the baby and take her upstairs while she cleaned up the mess from his latest attack. Looking ever so remorseful, he turned, placed a big smile on his face and ran to grab their daughter, showering her with kisses and hugs as he carried her upstairs to play in her room. 

About the author

Tonza D. Ruffin is a woman, mom, and lawyer who is finally listening to that inner voice and pursuing her passion for writing. Her passion for writing led to the birth of her blog SouthernMomJD; a chapter in the anthology, Divorced...Not Devastated; her books Pieces of Me and Behind Closed Doors. view profile

Published on December 01, 2019

Published by Shero Publishing

5000 words

Contains explicit content ⚠️

Genre: Contemporary Fiction

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