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No Way Out

By M K Lee 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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romboili000: As I read this book it made me realize the importance of trusting big God. And believing that you can love even when it feels impossible. This story definitely has made me what to become a better person in Christ and just life. So thank you that's all I have to say because you wrote this story so...

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jessiehs: This was absolutely amazing. I loved how it went back and forth between perspectives. I actually cried at the end I was so happy. This was amazing. I can't even think of another word to describe it. Thank you for writing his.

christylynnr5: This was such an amazing story!!! It showed newly found friendship slowly developed into love. The story never got boring and always had drama happening to keep you reading. I would defiantly recommend this to anyone who loves a good love story!

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zoheusher20: What more can I say? The writing style and little details drew me into the book and for the entirety of the story I was Juliet. I felt her turmoil and emotions and every trouble or triumph as they arrived. This story was very different and had quite a few little but unexpected twists that made it...

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

christylynnr5: This was a really good book. I couldn't stop reading it. I loved how the story had its ups and downs and it kept you on the edge of your seat. But the only thing I had a problem with was the grammar errors. I know everyone makes mistakes but this one had more than just a few. and in some places I...

Alkira Joan: I'm worried and scared but absolutely love this book please write the second one please don't leave me hanging.....,.,..,.,.,..,.,.,..,.,.,..,.,.,..,.,.,.,..',', , ,', , ',',..,.,.,.,.,..,.,,bbdbx.,..,.,.,.,..':-)''.'.'.'.'...

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