"Did he hit you? He hit you! He hit you!" Jesus says to me in disbelief. The man is still standing there, staring at me. "You hit her." Jesus turns to him, half expecting concern or even panic. "You fucking hit her!" I look up at the man, my face covered in blood. He runs.
I feel strangely ashamed. I saw him lean back into the punch. I saw it, yet I couldn't believe it. I still can't believe that this man, twice my size, would so randomly punch me with all his strength and anger. I didn't put up a single hand. I didn't move. I stood there and let his man crush his mass against my face. All I could do was brace myself against the force.
"Where did he get you? Are you okay?" Jesus's shirt is torn from the fight and he rips off a piece of it and places it on my ear. "You're cut," he says. "Hold this here. Hold it tight." I want to answer his questions. I want to tell him that I am okay, ease his panicked tone. I want to hug him, even cry. Yet my mouth will not move. My mind is not yet processing the pain. I only know that I cannot move my lips to speak and all that comes out at him is "ughmmm! mmm!" I motion towards the man who is now in his truck about to get away. I think that I realize what has happened now, what this man has done. I hardly know that half of it. I think that he has caused me pain, made me bleed, yet I have not yet begun to know the pain and hardly started to bleed.
Soon Jesus will tell me that the man drove his truck into the ditch and was ushered into the vehicle that had been parked in my driveway. He is explaining to my neighbor, Sean, who has just arrived in his driveway that he needs to call the police. Sean shouts up at his wife, Sonia, who is now peering outside her bedroom window and looking down upon the driveway. “A girl has been assaulted and the guy fled the scene. Call the police and an ambulance.”
My other neighbors are all hard at work trying to get the man's truck out of the ditch. When Jesus mentions the police I hear one of them say, “wait a minute, that bitch deserved it. That bitch was asking for it.”
Sonia has come down from her bedroom and finds me a chair. "The police are on their way," Jesus explains softly. "An ambulance is on its way. We're going to get you to a hospital."
I look up at him, confused, and shake my head. No hospitals, I tell him with my eyes. I don't have insurance. I don't need a hospital. I'm strong and I can take pain. I survived that terrible motorcycle crash, nothing broken, no hospital. He looks at me with a new intensity, his eyes telling me that no hospital is not my choice. "Your ear is hanging off, baby. It's hanging off! You won't stop bleeding. You are going in the ambulance."