So I was seeing this guy at work, and yeah he was married, but his wife wasn’t around. I mean, she was going to come later, after her visa came through. Because he had status. From ICE. He had papers, so he was bringing her and the two kids up, but it takes years and years. And meanwhile, he is a man, and things can change, and we were both lonely, and two years go by and we are happy, and then she pops in out of the blue. Her visa came through. They arrived. Her and the kids. You know?

Well, I tried to back off and let him, you know, have his family, but I guess after all those years of waiting, he found out he wasn’t that happy with her after all. He was not the same person anymore. And I think the fact that he hadn’t really been waiting for her, like she had been waiting for him, you know, they were arguing at home. And she heard about me, of course. People talk and she was not happy about me. She heard about me, because a lot of us are here from the same area and she has like five cousins both male and female who work with us at the packing plant. So I backed off.

A few months go by. He’s still living with her but now he’s unhappy and lonely just like when I met him and he misses me and he starts looking at me all goo-goo eyes and regretful and bringing me coffee on breaks and pretty soon he is walking me to my carpool and then he wants to give me a ride himself and then he drops me off last and you know. He’s all wistful and needy. It happens. And it happens a few more times, and one time I’m like, remember, you have a wife, and he’s like, well, I want to come back. I am happier with you. I want to leave my wife and be with you. And we can have kids and all that. Me and you, baby. I love you best, and I promise to treasure you and protect you as much as the eyes in my own face.

So he gets brave for once, which our men are not known for in these situations, and he breaks the news to his wife, and she goes ballistic. She really loses it. We walk out after work the next day and she is there with two of her female cousins, and they grab me right in front of him and put me in a car – and he just stands there! He just stands there half-smiling like an idiot, in shock, I guess. But here I am in a car with an angry woman on each side of me holding one arm and the wife is driving and this is not good. Not good. I didn’t even know she knew how to drive! So she drives us out to this long gravel road and then she just pulls over by the river, under the trees, and they take me out of the car. And the two of them hold me by the arms and she starts in on me. And she is shaking with rage.

No, I know. I’m the one charged with assault here. I mean, I know I’m the suspect for this fight. I know. This isn’t that beating. I’m trying to explain the situation from before so you can try to understand. You look young. I don’t know if you’ve gotten married yet or if you have kids but people can get fierce. Where I am from, it’s not that unusual for women to fight and it is always over a man. I’ve heard women here just walk away and are like, oh well. Hope they’re happy. I’ll get another one. But we don’t like to switch. We aren’t raised that way. We get stuck on the one guy, and if there are two of us, there will be trouble until somebody wins and somebody walks away. And I tried to walk away but he came after me. Not my fault.

Anyway, the wife said a bunch of really nasty, vulgar stuff. Excuse my language, but she kept saying “I’m gonna show you what a whore looks like!” and I was thinking, well I’m not a whore, I’m more like his other wife kind of, but of course I couldn’t say anything back. I just stood there held by my arms and she kept screaming at me and then she slapped me a bunch of times but she was still mad so she punched me and pulled my hair and scratched my arms and face, and then they pushed me down and kicked me, her and the cousins did. I just curled up trying to protect my face.

I thought they might throw me into the river – I really thought this was the end of me and I was kind of glad I don’t have children yet. But then they just walked away and left me there and drove away. I just lay there for a while like a wounded deer, wondering what the hey. In shock. In pain. Thinking of the foolish look on my man’s face when his wife was shoving me into the car. What a wimp! Where was he when I needed him? Yeah, sure, he’s gonna protect me like the eyes in his face. Sure, buddy. I guess you’re destined to go blind then. He didn’t have the …. bravery to protect me after he said he would. Empty words!

I managed to get up partly because it started raining and I had to move, but everything hurt like crazy. It turns out I had a broken rib. I had to walk forever, limping along, then I got a ride and the people who picked me up took me straight to the hospital. By now my face was swollen up bad. Anyway, I guess the doctors routinely call the police when somebody shows up like I did, and luckily they didn’t call ICE on me, because I don’t have papers. The police gave me a bunch of information about where I could get help. They figured a man had done it so they gave me stuff on domestic violence and immigration both. The looks on their faces when I said it was a woman! The cops were two men and they were like, dang!

So funnily enough, because she beat me up, I called the numbers the police gave me about my rights and all that, and it turns out if you are the victim of a crime or a even witness and you help the police to solve it, you can get a special visa called a U-visa. I think it was set up for solving drug crimes or something like drug trafficking, but it also works for people who get beat up like me. So my rival was going to get me a visa. God is great. But then the devil fools with the best laid plans. My foolish pride.

The thing is, our traditions. Maybe someone from here could get that happy ending, and be like, hey lady, thanks for loaning me your husband a couple years, and then thanks for getting me a visa. I won. But what she had done rankled my heart. Not just the beating. This woman, she had hurt my feminine pride. Dragging me away in front of my man and him doing nothing. And I was really injured, too. My face was every shade of purple and blue and one eyes was swollen shut. The rib took a couple weeks to heal. I had to stay away from work because it’s a lot of heavy lifting. I was staying with some girlfriends from the plant and they would come home with gossip and tell me about my guy, who by the way never came around. And I had nothing to think about but my guy and his wife and the look on his face and the things she had said to me, and me waiting to get tossed into the river. And feel my pain and it hurt to even move. And my pride rose.

When I was better enough to go back to work the first thing I did was walk straight up to him and ask him what he was going to do. Was he going to make a life with me like he had said he would? I was ready for it now. He looked sheepish and mumbled something about how he was married in the church and he had to stay with his real wife. I started to argue and then he looked up and said, “The thing is, she fought for me. She was willing to fight for me. She might go to jail! So she must really love me.”

I was stunned silent, and I walked to my station, and just stood there, sorting apples, like a robot. Who knows where the apples ended up, seriously. So there I am thinking to myself, are you kidding me? You just told me that you are happier with me. You want to be with me. You’re going to take care of me. We’re gonna start a family. And now you get all remorseful just because your wife beats me up? Really? I mean, really! Well, okay. You find it exciting and thrilling to have a woman fight for you? Okay! I can fight for you, too, if that’s what it takes. I mean, I was willing to back up, but not after this. God who sees all knows my heart was enraged!

So yeah, in answer to your question, yeah, everything in the police report is true. Yup. We fought and I won. And he just stood there like an idiot once again. Doing nothing. And now I might get deported, unless you can help me, and then he’ll probably just find somebody else at work and start over, because that’s what men do. They’re not like us. They don’t have soft hearts. I loved him with every fiber of my being. Even if he isn’t worth it, my heart still goes out to him. So I don’t want to lose this case. I don’t want to have a criminal record. I don’t want to get deported. I have to win this.