They gathered what they could quickly grab, not much, not even all of the essentials something like this would need. She gently lifted the baby out of the cot while he gently woke their older son. They had to leave. Now. And they didn’t know when, if at all, they would be able to return. One last look back before they locked the door for good was all they could do for now.
They had been in this situation countless times ever since they’ve got together. Although years back, he remembered the time as if it was yesterday. He was a teacher in a picturesque little country town, she was the wife of one of the most influential businessmen in the area. Their paths crossed on a regular base standing in line in their favorite coffee shop, waiting for their coffee to be made. From the very beginning he was attracted to her. She was a beautiful, smart woman. And there was that little something. That feeling that is hard to describe but makes you feel so at ease when you around someone. He could sense it when she entered the coffee shop, he knew it was her without turning around and it already put a smile on his face before he even laid eyes on her.
It took them a while until they started a conversation. First it was about the weather, the local news and eventually about their jobs. While they were just chatting in line in the first couple of weeks after they’ve met, they chose to actually sit down and finish their coffees together one day. From then on their daily take-away coffee turned into a little get together that both of them enjoyed thoroughly.
Maybe he didn’t notice in the beginning, maybe she did a better job covering it up, or maybe she decided one day to not cover up properly so finally someone would notice. That day he noticed the bruise in her face and he asked her. He knew she would give him some kind of lame excuse like walking into the door or falling. But he knew it was more. He had witnessed it as a child. He heard his mom telling lies over and over again to protect the man he once called dad. And then he watched as the same man beat his mom over and over again.
From the beginning he could feel the chemistry between them. He knew that they were meant for each other and he knew that she knew it too. So he told her. He told her that she could safe herself the story. That he knew. He told her that he had feelings for her and that she deserved better. And he told her that she had to get out. He knew she would eventually do it. The question was when.
They met a couple of times after this chat and one day even ended up at his place. It was the best morning spent in a long time. Although she had to rush off after showering forever he felt that they were finally together.
He didn’t hear from her for a couple of days, only saw her from far. And then she called him. In the middle of the night, crying, hardly able to talk. He knew that it was now or never. He grabbed whatever he could take with him and drove to her place to pick her up. She was standing on the street, covered in blood, her face severely bruised. She only had her purse and the blood stained clothes she was wearing. There was no time to waste, he had to get her away from her husband. The beating was worse than ever this time and he knew from experience that it would never get less. Next time she would not survive.
They left town that night. They left many times in the middle of the night. They managed to settle into new places easily as all they needed was each other. They were careful with making new friends and didn’t stay in touch with the ones they left behind. It was easy in the beginning but when they had their son it got more complicated. Somehow her ex always caught up with them again. Somehow he found them over and over again.
He knew that had to change. For her, for their son. For their daughter. And for all of them.
When they left this night, with the kids in their arms and again only a few of their belongings on them, he knew what to do. It would end now. It would end here. They deserved to be free. Free forever.
In response to Author SB Mazing’s Blog Event ‘Finish It!’
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