I have that feeling, like I’m about to jump off a cliff.
She took a second to close her lids and breathe deep. She pictured his eyes how they used to be, full of warmth and light, as she made her way into the bedroom.
‘Babe. I’m so sorry for everything. How about if I make some tea, and we talk about it?’
He just smiled, looking confused, so she leaned over and kissed him.
‘I’ll be right back’
In the bathroom, she knew she had to be quick. She’d left the kettle to boil, and she could only hope he wouldn’t come out. She could see the pills between the trough and the wall, but didn’t have anything to draw them out with. She stood on the toilet to try the window one more time, noticing a magazine on the sill. She jumped down to the trough, sliding it along the wall, bringing the foil pack along the tiles. She noticed the cover and her stomach lurched. Guns.
Her sleeping pills. She could have wept with relief. She popped four out and replaced the pack where it was.
‘I put some lemon in it’ smiling, she handed him the mug, feeling chills up and down her spine. When he started to drink, she had to fight the urge to snatch the cup off him, to fall at his feet and beg him to be the person he was at the start.
Instead, she lay next to him, saying ‘I’m sooo tired hun, can we have another nap?’ Forcing her breathing to be deep and even, she wondered if he could hear her heart. ‘I’ll just pop some music on’
He spooned her until he drifted off, and she cried silently, trying to gather some strength.
In the bathroom, she stood on the toilet again, with a cushion cover wrapped around her hand. One of the slats was already broken so she started with that, holding her breath. At first she tried to be quiet, but became frenzied when she thought of being trapped with him if he saw evidence of her attempt to escape. It had to work.
Her stuff was on the front porch. She had never felt more grateful for anything in her life than when she held the car keys as she jogged down the street.
She drove to the Police Station, sat in the car, and thought. Tried to remember everything that would be in the apartment. Drugs. Guns. Her stuff. She would’ve bet any money they’d drug test her. She thought about her family, and wondered if they were worried. More likely they were used to her behaving erratically, and she was the ‘moral one’ anyway.
She decided to go in, and just see how she felt. Maybe she could just ask some advice.
The cop at the desk was a large man, and she felt her stomach freeze over. He watched her as she made her way forward. As soon as he smiled and she felt his calm authority, she burst into tears.
The story she told, wasn’t what had happened.
When she was faced with telling it, she couldn’t. Some parts, were concerning, other parts she sounded so young and naïve, she could see it measured in his eyes. It didn’t occur to her that she had been raped as they discussed mental health services.
Really, he’d just had a bit of an episode, an emotional breakdown maybe, but he could send someone around to check if she’d like.
The only problem was that the name she gave didn’t match the description, or the address. Did she have somewhere to go? Of course she did, she was still technically at her Grandparent’s address, had just been staying with him.
No real problem then.
The cop felt worried, but knew he wasn’t allowed to lead her. She was maybe just a kid who had got herself in a bit deep. Drugs? She looked pretty clean-cut, no record, smart, well-spoken. Obviously hiding something, the way she fidgeted. He made sure to be reassuring, to tell her to come in anytime, to give her accurate information about what constitutes assault and abuse.
As she walked back to the car, she knew what it was like to really, truly, hate yourself.