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Rated: 13+ · Short Story · Contest Entry · #1735554
Is there a limit to what a woman will sacrifice for a friend?
At the kitchen door, Sharon paused to look through the window at Teresa seated at the cheap dinette table, rocking back and forth at a frenetic pace. Teresa’s tangled chestnut hair obscured her face. Sharon no longer gasped at the bruises and blood she knew now lay hidden behind Teresa’s long tresses. She gently rapped on the diamond-shaped pane to signal her presence. Teresa catapulted out of her chair, the bang of the fallen chair accompanied by her high pitched keening.

Sharon spoke quietly as she slowly moved to her friend’s side. “It’s okay. It’s just me, Teresa, let’s get you packed. We’ll be long gone before Bobby gets home from work.” Sharon stroked her friend’s hair. “Please, let me help.”

“Help.” Teresa’s voice was flat. “Not possible.” With each word, the split in her lower lip grew wider. Blood filled the concave dip in her chin.

“Please, before it’s too late.”

“Bobby will see me dead before he’ll let me escape.”

Trust me, Teresa.”

“Trust has nothing to do with it. I need you to be my friend; a friend who’s there when I need her. A friend who won’t judge.”

“I need to be more.” Sharon’s voice rose pleadingly

Teresa took her hands in hers. “I need you to be safe. If he comes home to an empty house, he’ll find you first.”

“I’m not so dumb that I’d hide you at my house.”

“You’ve seen my scars- all by the hands of a man who says he loves me. What do you think he’d do to you, Sharon?”

“It doesn’t matter.”

“It’s all that matters. I’ll take the beatings, but I’m not risking you getting hurt.”

“Do you hear what you’re saying?”

“Yeah, but I'm pretty sure The Doors said it first, ‘People are strange.’”

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