The bedroom door slammed shut.
She listened to the sound of footsteps descending the stairs.
Wiping the tears from her eyes, she walked over to the vanity and sat down. It took her a full minute to look in the mirror.
By the time she got downstairs the guests were waiting.
“Hello, everyone,” she smiled.
They smiled back.
She mingled with them.
She made small talk with them.
She listened to their conversations; nodding or shaking her head in response to a question, smiling when someone said something complementary.
“The kids are all in college now?”
“The house looks wonderful.”
And then finally …
“It was a lovely dinner.”
Once the dishes were clean and the downstairs’ lights were off, she went back upstairs.
She could hear his heavy breathing as he slept.
She walked over to the vanity and sat down.
When she removed her makeup, the bruises were still there.
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