The sky looked bruised. An ominous sign that signaled a violent storm in the makings, with rains that promised more than a late summer’s sprinkle.
It matched her mood perfectly. Bruised and roiling with a violence she was afraid she could no longer suppress. She needed to leave, him and this place. Before she imploded.
Turning from the window, the sharp pain in her side reminded her of the need to get out. She strode into the kitchen doing her best to ignore the other hidden bruises littering the landscape of her frame.
Why did she stay?
As if that question was easy to answer. Or maybe it was. The question was simple, but her life was so damn complicated she’d stopped trying to answer it when her family asked.
At least he doesn’t mark her face anymore, isn’t that what she told her friend? She conjured a weak smile at the small triumph. Like that tiny change explained why she hadn’t quite left yet.
She pulled the turkey out of the fridge and got to work making him dinner. The expectation was there that dinner would be on the table or he’d lay hands on her for disobeying. He’d beat her bad enough she wouldn’t be able to work. Again.
The simmering violence exploded in her then. One moment she stood stuffing the turkey and the next she was on her knees on the cool tile screaming in panic.
She couldn’t die here. She couldn’t…
The need to leave rose up strong and she heeded it. He’d come after her, of that she was sure, but she couldn’t stay.
She had five hours until he got off work. It was a matter of throwing a few things in a bag and leaving. Nothing really belonged to her expect her mother’s necklace and one old skirt anyway. The rest could burn for all she cared.
Stepping outside was a relief. It was almost heady, making her sway with the intensity of it. It wasn’t that she felt free just closer to relieving the pressure cooker of emotion inside her.
A spot of light appeared in the distance, as if God was finally offering her a guide. She couldn’t let the optimism carry her away. No, the car would have to do that.