winter sun

It was years before I realized that he had arranged some mirrored pictures on the walls so that he could easily watch my every move in the kitchen from his favorite chair in the living room. I was stunned. All the tears that I thought I had hidden behind that kitchen wall, every one had been seen, and probably laughed at. It felt like such a betrayal, as if battering wasn’t enough, spying on me felt even worse.

The last time he came at me, I could see the hatred so clearly in his eyes and his mouth, even the stretch of the skin over his nose and cheek bones showed violence. I had never seen such naked hatred. I had never felt such total fear. I knew he wanted me dead. I didn’t know if he was capable of killing me, but his face sure looked like he could. I melted to the floor and screamed to the angels in heaven to save me.

They did.

He swung at me and twisted around and fell over his own feet into a heap in the tiny space of the hallway. He was drunk/high/or both. He would wake up in a few minutes. I walked around him. It was time to pick the girls up from school.

Our escape wasn’t long after that. We did it together. We walked away one bright sunny morning and went to the shelter instead of their school. My two little girls. They expected me to have the courage to leave. So, I did. We did.