I stare at myself in the steamy bathroom mirror, proud. Even though I have a blue-yellow bruise down the side of my face, I'm alone. While usually, alone isn't something to be happy about, it means I'm not going back to an abusive relationship ever again. I get dressed and head to my job at First National Bank. It's definitely not the best job, however, it pays my bills, and right now that’s all that matters. Halfway to my regular bank branch, my manager calls and asks me to head to a different location to fill in for someone who just called in. I quickly pull a u-turn and went to our branch across town.
As I drive, my mind wandered to the last two years of fighting, broken promises, and my broken spirit. Waking up in the hospital shouldn’t have been the breaking point for me, it should have been way before now. But all I could do now was move forward. Being alone was better than where this relationship had ended up.
Midday rolls around and I make my way to the break room for yet another cup of coffee. I close my eyes and let the steam travel over my face and the heat roll down my throat. Silence fills the space around me while I walk back to my desk. Lost in my own thoughts and the coffee burning its way down my throat, I don't notice the shift in my surroundings. I'm quickly yanked out of my thoughts when I reach the main hallway and hear loud voices followed by a high-pitched scream. Realization slaps me in the face. My bank is being robbed. I should be in fear, worried, or at the very least, my heart should be racing. Whether it was living with a Narcissist the last two years, or being at a point in my life where I had no idea what to do next, I fearlessly step into the main hall with my coffee mug at my lips and one arm raised in the air, unafraid.
“HEY! Where did you come from? Get over here with the rest of your friends” a husky guy dressed in all black yells across the tiled room.
He stalks over to me and grabs the arm I have raised into the air, yanking me towards the counter where the scared faces of my co-workers stare at me in disbelief.
“Careful you’re spilling my coffee!” I yell with my other arm stretched out to steady my mug.
“Are you kidding me?” He scoffs, turning to me.
This guy wasn’t going to scare me, I’ve been through worse than this, I realize as I begin to chuckle. I stand as tall as I can for a girl barely over five feet and shake my long straight hair out of my face to stare him down. The smile suddenly falls from his face as he finally takes in my unobscured face. His eyes comically bulge from his gaunt face as he throws his hands in the air, dropping my arm as if it had shocked him. Slowly he backs away from me.
“I didn’t touch her, I swear, you have to tell him that I didn’t touch her. Her face already looked like that!” He yelled to the others
I look around and furrow my eyebrows in confusion as four men dressed exactly the same stare at me in amazement.
“We have to leave, he’s not gonna be happy. We have to scrap the job you know the rule” one of the masked men scrambling back towards the door yells.
“What are you talking about?” I call after the retreating thieves, trying to figure out what is going on
“We can’t touch you, you’re on The List. We didn’t know you worked here” the man closest to me whispers before running out the door with the rest.
I stand in the middle of the grand marble room utterly confused while my co-workers stare at me in amazement. What the hell just happened?