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No Way Out

By pillango All Rights Reserved ©

Drama

Short Story

The key turns in the lock of the front door and even from all the way up here, through wood, metal and plasterboard, it revs the engine of your heart, pounding it into fearful fight or flight life. 

The duvet, moments ago warm and faking safety, now feels part clammy with fear and part shackled prison. 

You've timed it. From key in door to foot in bedroom doorway takes around four minutes. So you have four minutes to go over your options. 

One, lay there, pretend you are asleep. Sometimes that works.

Two, spring into elated partner-mode and greet them mid-stair, praying for a happy mood.

Three, just pray. To what, to who, you're not quite sure any more.

Four, check out. Go numb, passive, submissive, limp. You once learned in a talk on car accidents in school that you should never tense for impact. It only causes more damage. 

Time does that cruel dance it often does where four minutes feels like both four seconds and four years simultaneously. 

You've had time to go over your options and now you go over your whys.

Why is this happening?

When did everything go so wrong?

What did I do wrong?

Will tonight be the night that I...

A dry swallow is followed by a forced, shallow breath, and you screw your eyes up, wishing yourself away, any where, any other life.

Your mind races back to earlier, sunnier days when touch meant love, not bruises, and looks of promises for later meant cries of wanting, not of hurting.

When did it all go wrong?

When did you go wrong?

Memories of the way your left eye teared up and swelled, your cheekbone reverberating painful shoots up through your skull and down through your teeth. Of the agony of straightening up from the cramping bruising of your stomach and the Tim Burton-style rainbow of black, blue and yellow that you inspected later, wincing as the arnica you dabbed on got into your broken nail beds. Of how you should probably get that damp patch under the window at the bottom of the stairs checked; it's funny what you notice when you're winded, on your back, after falling down a full flight of stairs. 

This is your fault. 

You did this. 

You made this happen. 
There is no other way.
Memories of the vicious words in your ear reminding you to keep silent. Of pointed remarks in front of neighbours and possessive ones under the gaze of the A&E nurse. And your fake smile. 

Spread so wide you felt your cheeks might split open. Which they have done, from time to time.

No way out. 

From the pillow through half-hooded eyes you watch as the handle on the door slowly lowers and the bottom of the door skims in deceptive gentleness against the soft carpet beneath it.

You hold your breath.

Please. 

Let it be a good mood night.

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bkachholia29: What a beautiful story!to start with.. i came across this beautiful story as i recently developed passion for reading. Karen you're a wonderful writer I am fan of you now!!if only Rob & Jayla were real characters would like them to meet in person.Karen has penned down her imagination so brilliant...

Lea Sutherland-Doane: I love this story and it hurts me that it is on a cliff hanger. Please write the next story fast so I can enjoy more of your wonderful writing skills. Your writing skills are amazing and I cannot wait to read the sequel, I promise that this is the best book I have ever read and I love it will al...

annie08c: I really like this story, I can relate to it a lot and with how she feels, the boyfriend and the events that happened but I'm a little bit younger. It was really good plot, really liked how you stuck to the topic and you had a new title for every chapter making me guess what's going to happen. Ma...

Alkira Joan: amazing story and plot, you just need to work on re reading and punctuation and gramma .'.........................................................................................................,.,.,..,.,.,.,.,..,.,.,..,.,.,..,.,.,..,.,.,.,..,.,..,.,.,..,.,..,.,.,.

hsng12: A very nice book to read with lots of touching moments. It makes me reflect on my life, learn how to appreciate love from people around us. The story needs a bit of editing here and there just to make it perfect. Overall message well conveyed and I love it. It made me tear, really inspiring I wou...

chloe: This story is so beautifully written! The characters have gone through so much character development. The plot itself is amazing and it's nearly impossible to not get emotional while reading. It's very realistic and the unique writing style only adds on to the effect of the story altogether!

biviaana: i love the plot line of this story and i fell in love with all of the charterers. though the spelling is a bit off at times. but i do understand well to often.

ryder: This is an excellent read. From beginning to end the author showed his creative and imaginative writing skills. Twists and turns, surprises, humor, and sorrow: This book has it all. I strongly recommend this book, and I am already recommending it to my friends.

PaulSenkel: If you like Arthur C. Clarke's Odyssey, especially The Final Odyssey, then you will probably also enjoy this book. I definitely did.It does, however, address a more adolescent public than the above-mentioned book.I enjoyed the story and finished it in a few days. The overall situation on earth an...

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