I can clearly hear the tapping of his shoes downstairs. He is impatient but if I didn’t put the make-up on the way he liked he would have gotten mad.


The echo of his footsteps gets louder as he gets close to the stair case. I hate it but I caught myself holding my breath until he was quiet once more. My breath came out in a shaken sputter when he called my name out in the quiet house. I mentally kicked myself when he asked if I was “All okay?” That was an easy question to me but I could still sense the underlying frustration in his voice.

“Oh yes, sure thing. Be down in a few.”

I really hoped my voice didn’t wobble like I thought I heard it did. I didn’t want to go out to dinner tonight. It was his idea. He told me two nights ago that I was at college too much.

First things, first is that my University is an hour away from my dinky townhouse. It takes an hour to get there and then another hour to get back. I have three classes, then I go to work. I am home at seven in time for dinner. Not too much time in my mind.

Yet the tension in my townhouse was too much. We were sitting at the kitchen table and I could tell something was wrong. His normally combed out blonde hair was disheveled and when I reached out my hand to fix it he snapped.

He slid my other hand from my lap and placed them in both of his. He didn’t look at me for a while and when I shuffled away I wondered if he could hear how hard my heart was pounding. I can clearly remember how he held my hands with crushing force. He said, “You never spend with me anymore,” while his eyes were tightly closed.

After he said that I kept screaming at myself not to say anything. I was afraid of what I would see in his eyes if I said the wrong thing, which is something I often do. My mouth wasn’t cooperating and said “But I see you every night.” His usually warm brown eyes were turned cold as he open them. I noticed his jaw trembling and I reached to scoot closer to him. Then it happened.

That is when he hit me.

The table shook with impact when he slammed one hand on the surface of the table and then one on my cheek. That is the reason I am still crammed in my bathroom applying foundation to cover up the purple blemish.

Even now when I lightly brush over the tender spot I can’t help let out a dry sob.

After he hit me, I placed my head in my lap and tried to block out all the things he was saying. It was the bullshit about how he was sorry, and how he “Really did love” me. I hear this rehearsed every time.

I bumped my head into the tiny medicine cabinet in my bathroom and was flooded of a night similar to that at my kitchen table to one in his car. Then at his apartment, and the time he bruised my arm out at the movies when I sat between him and another guy. During the credits I had counted ten pinch marks.

I felt a pressure on my head from brushing a comb through my hair as I raked over the spot where my skull was bashed into a window. That was over two months ago but when I part my hair just right you can plainly see the yellow welt.

I can hear him calling me now, complaining that we needed to go. I quickly adjust the dress to cover the bruises on my back and slide into my sweater to hide the nail marks on my forearms.

I take one look back in the mirror to remember how I look. I need to take inventory every time I look in a mirror, for it doesn’t take long for rainbows of markings to change my appearance.

I can’t help myself from muttering a quick prayer and practice hiding the strain on my face and then flick off the light. I quickly walk down the stairs expecting anything to happen.

aug 20 2012 ∞
aug 20 2012 +