Domestic Abuse

The Beaten Road

She squints as the light streams through the open door. It is the break of dawn and with it came a chill that awakens her bones. She breathes in this new dawn and the feeling of relief lifts her from the darkness of the many nights she had wasted on him.

 

He only had eyes for her, she controlled him like no other. His thoughts, his body, his actions were all her. Others would not understand his love, his passion. But she did.

 

She sees the way they look at her, the whispers behind her back. They know, they all know. There is no mirror but she can see her face. A swollen eye, a cut on her forehead, matted hair. She had once been so beautiful that it filled the room. Now she hated herself. Unrecognisable from the woman she wanted to be.

 

Hate filled his bones. No it was more that hate. His hands trembled, his blood felt like it was boiling against his skin. Their vows intertwined their love and when she acted this way – glanced at others, smiled too long, laughed too hard, she was breaking that bond. His right hand curved into a fist and he sees her recoil into the shadows. She shouldn’t have done what she did. His fist escapes him.

 

She cowered in the corner. Daring to look up, he loomed over, blocking the light. His nose flares when he reaches this point of no return. She notices that her blood has smeared his shirt. There use to be a time when he would leave no trace. He turns away, leaving her in the corner in her evening dress, which drowns her whole.

 

She tells him he is obsessive, that she can’t breath, that she is scared for her life. It is her fault that she makes him so angry. She makes for the front door, but he blocks her way. She can’t leave him. Till death do us part – that was the pact.

She runs away from him and he follows her. He turns into the room as she struggles with the back door. He stands over her. She turns, knife trembling in her hands. He laughs at her – what was she thinking? He makes for the knife and she swipes at him, missing. Panic fills his gut. He goes for the knife again, grabbing her hand and she cries as she struggles against his weight. He pushes her down towards the floor and he sees defeat. He releases his grip.

 

Her eyes widen.

 

She grips the knife, and plunges it upwards into his chest. Slowly he falls beside her.

 

 

The light streams through the open door at the break of dawn. She looks down at him, motionless and breathes in this new dawn, which lifts her from the darkness of the nights wasted on him.

 

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