(Trigger/Content warning: This post contains references to abuse that readers may find to be triggering.)
I get tired of seeing him hit her. "Granny, you don't have to take that," I tell her all the time. He is a much younger man, married with children, and nowhere near as attractive and smart as she is. Even at 53, Granny is still fine. Her hair hasn't turned grey yet, her skin is smooth. Her smile is sparkly white and her breasts are still high. The only thing wrong with her is that her cheeks are a little sunken in and her stomach is a little pudgy because of her ARVs for HIV/AIDS. But she still looks good and I think she can do better than him. But Granny thinks that no man is going to want her because she has AIDS. Not any man her age, anyway. When she grew up they hardly used protection and everything could be cured with a shot of penicillin. She said they used to call STDs "VD." Everything was different.
This man is 39 years old and I know his kids. One of them, his oldest, graduated high school the same year as me, but we didn't know each other well. I don't think his family knows what he is doing, but it still makes me feel bad when he comes over and stays the night with my Granny when his wife thinks he is working the overnight shift.
And I don't like the way he acts. Even though he helps my Granny with bills and helped her get a car I don't think he has a right to hit her. He didn't used to hit her in front of me, but now sometimes he does. I wish my Paw-Paw was still alive because he was a nice man and he never hit her. He died when I was a little girl, in a car accident. I can still remember his laugh.