|The cold metal slipped through her fingers and fell to the floor, as she unconsciously headed for her home. She walked dazed into the bathroom and twisted the knob on the claw foot tub. Waiting as the water rose, she slipped out of the stained jeans and torn t-shirt. She dipped her pale body into the water, and slipped her head under, surrounded by water trying to calm her thoughts. After what seemed like hours she dried herself off and put on sweat pants and another t-shirt on. The bloody clothes she flung on to the floor lay taunting her of her sins. She gathered them and headed into the living room, placing logs into the fire place. Stoking the fire she gingerly tossed the clothing in.
She slept, there seemed to be nothing else to do. As she lifted her head from her pillow she felt empty and worthless, just the way he had wanted her to feel. He was gone but she could not shake his cold eyes, the lifeless look they gave her as she left the blood spattered room.
“Anna why are you so stupid, God! My girlfriend is such an idiot.” Gavin’s voiced screamed in her head, she wanted to scream back. He easily tossed her into the wall, watched her slide to the floor, the slew of cursing and profanity escaped his lips. His fists met her face and no sooner than touching her face, they uncoiled and gripped her arms leaving marks when he released. As she laid in a crumpled pile on the floor he came over, his face glistening with tears.
“Anna I am so sorry, Anna, look what you made me do. Why do you have to be so stupid? Anna, answer me Anna.” All I did was take his hand, and squeeze it, afraid if I spoke I’d yell awful things and he already looked so upset. I stayed silent after that, after nights like I never talked I agreed with everything he said, so afraid I’d make him mad again.
The flashback stopped, someone was calling my name. It echoed but I could not connect with my body. My mother shook my shoulder breaking my trance. Her lips moved, but I could not make out words anymore. “Anna, Anna? Are you okay?” I shook her hand off my shoulder. “Mother I am fine, wh-what do you need?” My vision focuses and I see that by her side is a bowl of macaroni and cheese, and places it on my night stand her eyes fixed on me the whole time. “Sweet heart, remember to bring the bowl down when you’re finished.”
Does she know what I did? Does she know what images are racing through my mind like a nightmare? Does she know how much blood there was? Does she know …?
The next morning I awoke to the news blasting. I heard weeping. What is going on? I jogged downstairs worried someone was hurt or dead. Gavin’s face was plastered across the television screen. I felt all the warmth drain from my body. My mother sat straight up on the sofa my father’s arm around her shoulder; she motioned me to sit next to her. I turned around heading back to my room, I needed to get out, and I could not breathe anymore.
I heard my parents calling my name as I ran down the street, they probably thought I was upset, with my boyfriend dead and all. I wasn’t, I felt relief and fear, not afraid of his fists but the consequences of the brutal things that happened in his house yesterday. I sat on the swing in the playground I once thought was the greatest place on planet earth. It all flooded back. His cool lips angrily pressed themselves against mine, his hands squeezed so hard it made my eyes tear. He pulled back with a dirty smirk across his face; I’ve never felt hate, but my body filled with hatred. I said no, I pushed him off, he was so strong. Afterwards he laid heavily breathing, the smirk still on his face, I saw evil, I saw hate in his eyes as well. “Anna stop fighting me, you are mine Anna, you are my girlfriend.” He grabbed my wristed and propelled me into the wall, dropping with a thud to the ground. His once attractive soccer calves swung back and kicked me, leaving me limp as a rag doll gasping for breath, reaching for his hands. But my hands had a mind of their own, reached for his baseball bat; my legs once like jelly were now stable. I was far from a baseball player; I swung and connected with his rib cage. The sound of his ribs cracking encouraged me, motivated me to go further, swing harder. He staggered towards me enraged, I was dominating now.
Another swing, he was on the ground clucking his chest. I could not stop, I felt like an animal my instincts overwhelmed me, all my built up fear and anger. I kept going, unaware of the blood pelting my face and arms, the spatter dancing and creating designs on the white walls. My arms finally numb released the bat, the chaos in my mind halted. I knelt next to him; my fingers closed his eyes, my lips pressed against his lips, for the very last time. I was free.
I stood, releasing the swing’s chains for my grip. I was shaking as I sat on the park bench. I noticed his pacing in the parking lot his hands in his pockets. He looked old and worn out but he wasn’t, we were in the same grade, attended the same school and at one point were very close. Gavin did enjoy my involvement in other's life, especially other men, saying Gavin was the jealous type was an understatement. But I digress … the boy across the street was an old childhood friend lost like many others when Gavin came along. Alec was now standing across the street staring at the bench when I sat, I motioned him over. He sat by my side and just like I remembered he smelled like wood and apples. He nudged my shoulder and I poked his arm and I knew in that second he was going to save me.
“I feel like no time has passed between us, you are still one of my best friends,” his smile was like Gavin’s secretive but contagious. I took his hand and we walked around our neighborhood one last time, unsure and confused about our future ahead only knowing that now we were in it together. As we marched up to my room I was confident I could tell him all that had happened and as I fall back on my bed my lips moved faster than my mind, the tears poured unexpectedly from my eyes and his arms were around me and his lips pressed against my forehead. After I told him everything I was mentally and physically drained, I fell asleep quickly in his arms but awoke and he was gone. I thought he’d stay the night; the only thing that seemed odd was the duffle bag in front of my door with a note taped on. We were running away.
I showered, ate, and got dressed, loaded the bag with anything important, traded my blackberry for the old prepaid phone I took on trips and left a note on the screen on my ancient desktop explaining everything and anything to my parents, the police, and the town. Alec was patiently waiting outside in his truck, an old 1971 GMC, it was plain white, and the license plat hung crookedly on the back bumper. I knew this was crazy, that now we both were in a lot of trouble, but for once I could not put up with the good girl act anymore. I had been so hurt and ruined by Gavin, that night I tried for the first time to protect myself and to get my life back. But I never meant to take his. As these thoughts floated through my busy mind I let down my stiff bun and inhaled freedom that lied ahead.