Thirty-five Years and One Day

My blogging friend,  Elephant’s Child, participates in a weekly meme called Words for Wednesday. It’s an opportunity to encourage people to write. The prompts can be words, pictures, or even a phrase. It’s a lot of fun. A few weeks ago, I wrote a longer prompt than usual and thought I’d share it here too.

Photo credit from the prompt goes to Bill Dodds

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She couldn't help herself from inhaling her husband's scent before she carefully slid out of her side of the bed. They'd been married for thirty-five years. Thirty-five years and one day. Last night they celebrated with too much wine for her and too much vodka for him. Much too much vodka for him. He wouldn't be up for several more hours despite the sunshine already making its way across their tiny front lawn.

Their children had left her the expected text messages wishing her Happy Anniversary and checking on her, but none of them had called. That stopped long ago.

She quietly used the bathroom in the hallway. Despite her husband's snoring, she didn't want to risk waking him up. She didn't flush nor did she wash her hands. She didn't even bother to put her shoes on. Instead, she looked at the black eye and dried blood crusted around her nostrils. Her anniversary gift from her husband when she said she was too tired for intimacy.

With tears streaming down her face, she grabbed her pocketbook and cell phone off the kitchen counter and ran out of the house leaving the front door wide open. She put the car in neutral and let it roll back down the driveway before she started it.

She called her daughter who cried tears of joy when she heard her mom was finally on her way. The bedroom was ready for her. It was always ready for her mom and her father didn't know where to find them.

The moment she rounded the curve on the highway, she knew she was free. She was finally free and this gorgeous open road was just the beginning of her new journey, full of beauty and life, just like her.

What do you see in that picture? Freedom? Adventure? Excitement?

If you or someone you know is the victim of domestic abuse, there is help available. The National Domestic Violence Hotline is available 24 hours a day by phone or by chat. You can start by following the link provided or by calling 1-800-799-SAFE (7233). You're not alone. They have people available to anyone who has been affected by relationship abuse, including those who are currently in abusive relationships, those who are working to heal, friends or family of victims and survivors and anyone in the community who has questions about domestic violence. They have the ability to provide phone services in more than 200 languages.