She had stopped rubbing him several minutes ago. That's what he called it. Rubbing. He would force her to sit with him in bed and trail her hand up and down the length of his body. Slowly and lightly. Not really touching the skin, but skimming over the top of it. Caressing it. "Rub. Now," he would say. She would make a point to divert her hands from the private parts. But he would just shove her hand where he wanted it. No area was off-limits. Most of the time he would lay face down. Sometimes he would lay face up. Sometimes he made her take her clothes off. Every time he was naked. All the time she hated it.
Her left foot was finally uncovered. She slowly edged it off the bed. Moving in increments so small that her muscles cramped. Her right foot had been easier to untangle and was now planted on the floor.. His breathing was deep and even. She felt certain he was asleep. Shifting her weight towards her right side, she began twisting her body around. She kept her breathing slow and steady and tried to match his. Breathe in...breathe out. Breathe in...breathe out. Inch by inch. Almost there.. After what seemed like hours, she felt carpet beneath both feet. She waited a few seconds and continued to breathe. She began lifting herself up.
"Did I give you permission to stop?' It was a low growl coming from behind her. Mean and hard and seething with evil. She swallowed hard. Her intestines turn to ice. She froze from the inside out.
"No sir, I didn't have permission to stop."
Fast as lightning and just as painful, he yanked her backwards by her hair. The back of her head connected with his knee and pain shot through her eyes. He wrapped her long hair tighter around his hand as he pulled himself up onto his knees. Her body flailed as she struggled to right herself. She found nothing to hold on to except the bed sheets.
She could hear his voice, but couldn't make out any words. the room was spinning some and things were wild and out of focus. But she could feel the power, the rage, the anger in the air. It was so thick it was hard to breathe. He was pulling and scratching and clawing at her, trying to gather her closer to him. He was beyond angry. She had to get out. She had to find a way out.
She heard an incredible roar and felt herself flying. she was disoriented. The bed sheets tangled in her fingers did little to slow her trajectory. No sooner had she felt air beneath her when she slammed into the wall. Her entire body just stopped as she hit. She felt the air catch in her chest as she slid to the floor. Just as she hit the ground she felt small taps and pings on her body from above. The mirror. The sliding mirror doors of the closets. They had broken. That's what she'd hit. They had shattered and were now falling in pieces around her. Her brain was fuzzy and her eyesight dim. She heard tinny sounds in her head. It was unnerving, but also nice as it drowned out the rest of the yelling and madness.
She began to hear wild screaming and cursing. It became louder as her vision cleared. He was on a tirade. "LOOK WHAT YOU DID YOU LITTLE WHORE! THIS IS GOING TO COME OUT OF YOUR HIDE! AND I'M GOING TO GET OFF ON TAKING IT, TOO!" He charged at her with eyes blazing. Hot red and on fire. Sweat was pouring from him in rivers and spit strings were dripping from his mouth. His penis was erect and bobbing as he stormed towards her. She should have been more scared than she was. She should have been terrified. But she felt disconnected somehow. She could almost count the seconds it took for her body to comply with her thoughts. If this was the end, and he was going to kill her, at least she was at peace. She took a deep breath and tried to brace for the impending pain.
He lunged at her. Hard. As if to jump on her. But just as quickly he jumped back awkwardly on one foot and howled. "SON OF A BITCH!" More obscenities flew as he hopped. Like a fat, white, deranged flamingo. Glass. He must have stepped on a piece of glass. She knew she should use this opportunity to run, but she was stunned. She felt like she'd been swimming in Ginger Ale. Get UP! Getup getup get up! She shook her head to pull herself out of the haze. He was sitting on the edge of the bed shouting and inspecting his foot. He seemed not to notice her for the moment. In fact, he turned his back to her as he positioned himself for a better look. That was the only invitation she needed. She ran.
As she flew through the living room towards the front door, she grabbed the blanket off the sofa. She felt sharp pricks and pokes on the bottom of her feet. She probably stepped in glass, too. She should check it out, but there was no time. Only stopping to ball up the blanket, she turned the door knob. Ever so quietly, she slipped out. Even though her mind was racing on overdrive, she instinctively moved with almost no sound. If she was lucky, he may not have noticed her yet and wouldn't for a few minutes more
She leapt off the porch of the apartment, wincing as she landed on her feet. She walked at a quick clip through the grass. She didn't run. Move too fast and someone might notice her. She stayed off the sidewalk. Any blood from the cuts to her soles would only lead him, or someone else, straight to her. She hurried around behind the apartment. Theirs was at the end of the row. Her parents bedroom was on the back corner. She was right outside their window. There was banging and slamming inside. It was a good sign that he was pre-occupied, so she kept going. Knowing this day may come, she had planned ahead and created a hiding space between the A/C units in back of the apartment row. there were 12 of them in a cluster. The units were tall enough she wouldn't be seen and loud enough she wouldn't be heard.
The blanket fit perfectly on the concrete between two of the units. Shortly after they moved in, she had stashed some snacks and a jacket behind one of the units. She had found a large popcorn tin with a lid in the dumpster and taken it, knowing it would be of use some day. It was just what she needed to hold the food and keep bugs and animals out. She settled in and took a few deep breaths. "It's ok. I'm ok," she told herself. Over and over until her heartbeat eventually steadied. She began inspecting her feet for glass as she waiting for nightfall.