“Something needs to be done. I can’t keep on living like this.” Elizabeth stated with the pale blue dustpan in hand. The bruises from tonight’s argument stood out against her porcelain coloring. But that was normal—she probably deserved it.
I watched as her weary form bent to begin the nightly clean up of our home. Valuables were none existent in my home. Shattered glass shimmered in the dim light and I quietly watched my wife sweep up her mess.
“Elizabeth, our son didn’t doing anything wrong.” I stated, walking past her. “I’ll see you in a little while.”
A clatter filled the air as the broom and dustpan hit the floor. I spun around to gaze at my lovely wife. “No...” She whispered as we made eye contact.
“What did you say, Elizabeth?” My voice took on a dangerous tone.
Her doe eyes blinked twice as she stood. She was trembling but I had to admire her for her bravery. “I said no, Jon.”
She moved to pick up the broom and shuffled to the closet. “What did you say, Elizabeth?”
She remained quiet, making shuffling movements as she pulled a bag out of the closet. My hands clenched into fists as I crossed my arms over my chest. She didn’t look at me and I closed the distance between us.
Elizabeth stood her ground and a rough smile crossed my lips. I raised my hand, waiting for her flinch before I struck her.
I stand there, knowing that I have to get out. Knowing that I have to endure his anger one last time, and for all I knew, it might be the end of my life. According to my husband, Jon, our son never does anything wrong, even when he throws the vases against the wall, shattering them, and then following in his father’s angry path.
Today is the final straw. For the first time, I ordered my daughter upstairs and to lock herself in her room for her own safety. And today is the day that I knew I had to escape from here.
My husband’s fist makes contact with my cheekbone and I struggle to keep my feet underneath me. I need to keep standing, at least for my daughter’s sake.
Jon strikes me again, over and over, until I crumple to the floor. I can hear his smirk as he popped his knuckles and stalked towards the stairs.
“Clean yourself up, Elizabeth. I will see you in a few minutes.”
I remain there, waiting, bidding my time. I can’t leave without my daughter, and I can’t get her until Jon is sound asleep. It is only a matter of time now.
Precious time that I wonder if I actually have...seconds drag by and finally, I can hear his snorting snores. It was now or never. I wince and pick myself off the hardwood floor, I know I need to move quickly.
With more strength than I know I have, I run up the stairs, and tap three times on my daughter’s door. It is our signal. It is safe, for now.
“Momma,” she whispers as I grasp her hand.
“Not now, dear. I’ll explain everything later.” I retort, my voice equally as low.
A neighbor has offered us help, a refuge from the anger that lives in this house and now, I am going to take advantage of it. Safety is my concern.
First, to the neighbor, then... my mind freezes. I didn’t know where to go from the neighbor’s house. It doesn’t matter, I have to get my daughter out of here—now.
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