You say until death do us part in your wedding vows but I had no idea how real and how soon those words would come to life for me. My husband and I reunited and we tried to make it work. Things went well for a little while, as they always did, but then he started slipping back into his old, familiar character. The insults and back-hands were back on the scene. I’ve told you my husband was an alcoholic but that’s not all….he was a drug dealer as well. This is important because one of my husband’s many “promises” to me was that his street life would never touch our family life. Well, he didn’t make good on that promise either. One day our home in an affluent, gated community was broken into in the middle of the day. It was clear that they were looking for drugs, being that they left jewelry, flat screen TVs, and other valuable items untouched. It was then that I decided to leave him for good. I knew that I would have to leave without a trace and start over somewhere else if I truly wanted to be free from him, so that’s what I started planning for. I rented a storage unit so that I could start squirreling away things need for my move. I updated my resume and sent it out to headhunters in the Orlando and Tampa areas. I was just bidding my time until the right opportunity came. In the meantime my husband became more and more cruel, subjecting me to humiliating and painful acts of disrespect and abuse. I never did get the opportunity to leave because on August 20th of 2006 while I was cleaning my home, I found a kilo of cocaine stashed between the mattress in my guest bedroom. I was furious to say the least, because my kids would often play in that room. I made up in my mind to confront him when he came to the house and tell him to leave and not to return. I had no intention of letting him know that I was ultimately leaving, but I wanted him and his drugs gone until I could safely escape. When he came home, I met him in the garage with the intention of telling him to get back in his car and leave, however, he had other plans. He told me, while waving his gun at me, that he had no intention of leaving or allowing me to leave (in the past, I had fled the home with my kids in tow, to stay at a hotel or sleep in my car if necessary). I threatened to call the police and alert them to his dealings, but instead of scarring him off, I infuriated him. He put down his gun and began to beat me. In the chaos, his gun fell on the ground. Soon, I was on the ground too, and was able to arm myself with his gun. I pointed the gun at him and pleaded for him to stop. He laughed at me and told me that I didn’t have the guts to shot him. He lunged at me, and that’s when my whole life changed, I closed my eyes and shot him two times.
Noni J. Stinson