Living in Fear of my Abusive husband

It’s 6pm.
Her heart is beating fast.
Too fast.
Worst part of the day.
The unknown.
She waits for the sound
The dreaded sound
Of the key in the lock.
She is shaking.
Sweating
Frozen
She can’t move.
Just waiting
Waiting.
She can hear a car parking
Is it his?
No
Wrong sound
Another car
Is it this one?
Yes
Definitely his car.
Her eyes dart around the rooms
Checking
Frantically checking
Any last minute mess.
He hates mess.
Makes him angry.
She can’t afford to make him
angry.
Car door slams
Yes
That’s him.
She can tell by the sound of
The slam and the shoes.
She’s terrified.
What mood will
He be in today?
She wants a happy home
Still hopes it will change…
If only she did everything
Properly
He would love her
and they would be
Happy…
Smile smile smile
She tells her inner self.
She had put make up on
Brushed her hair
Tidied the house.
Anything
Anything at all to make him
Happy…
Fake smile plastered on
She watches the front door.
She hears him outside.
Is he angry?
Happy?
Threatening?
Condescending?
Patronising?
Or maybe the one
She hates most…
Critical.
Nothing ever good enough
His standards
Are high.
Too high.
Unattainable.
Unrealistic.
Yet she tries
Tries hard
To be perfect.
Still never good enough.
The key is in the lock.
She’s visibly shaking now…
He staggers in
Beer in hand
Another few in a bag
He’s carrying.
She puts her fake
Smile on
And asks about his day.
He doesn’t respond.
He’s looking around.
There’s a toy left
Under the table.
Why is the house
Such a mess
He barks at her??
Her heart sinks.
It’s gonna be a long evening. 
She picks it up
Puts it away.
Now it’s perfect.
Or is it?
What’s for dinner
He demands to know.
She’s scared to answer.
Afraid of his reaction.
Roast chicken she says
With pasta.
Pasta?
You made pasta?
I hate pasta.
You know that.
It’s dog food.
Make me something else.
She does.
Her eyes are stinging
She feels beaten down
Broken
Wants to end it all
There’s no way out
Can’t live like this
Forever.
Her eyes well up.
She can’t stop
The tears falling….
She hears him coming in
Wipes the tears away
So he shouldn’t see her
Crying
But it’s too late.
Pull yourself together
He yells at her
Why are you crying
Just make the
F**king dinner
That’s all I want of you.
She looks up at him
Stares into his eyes
She’s not done this much…
She sees anger
Fury
Violence
And the pain is too much.
She knows he’s never
Ever
Gonna change.
She has to make the
Change
Has to leave him.
She knows it will be hard
Very hard
But a different kind of hard.
Manageable.
Quiet.
Love.
Just her and her children.
Her imagination runs
Away with her.
It makes her stop crying
She wants that life
Not this one.
She resolves to make it
Happen
Immediately
Before she gets sucked
Into his lies and bullshit.
She knows she will
Never regret this decision.
He’s had enough chances
To change
and he didn’t.
So there’s no more
Talking.
Now is the time to do.
To act on her feelings
And get the hell out
there and then.

          *   *   *   *

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