The water ran a purple black, spiraling around the corroded drain before descending away from the stained porcelain sink.She finished rinsing the remainder of the dye from my new short hair. Maybe cutting it herself wasn’t the smartest idea.It was far from stylish and definitely uneven from left to right.The chin length due was the shortest it had ever been and she wasn’t sure whether or not her face shape could pull it off.
Her face was still discolored, but it was the swollen lip that served as her only real concern.A clever round of make-up could fix a black eye, but there was no amount of gloss that could mend the split pink flesh.People would definitely stare.They always did.But who could blame them.It was in their inherent human nature to stare at the train wreck, wanting to help but not knowing how.The train wreck was worse than their lives, thus they stared.
She actually knew better but she just didn’t care anymore.She pushed his buttons on purpose. She pushed and pushed and pushed until she knew he would lash out.It’s not that she particularly enjoyed getting hit, but she was looking for a reason.She just needed it to happen one more time.She had been telling myself that for years.Just one more time.All she needed was one more time.But circumstances had finally led her to a point that ”just one more time” was ultimately a genuine goal and not just a meek attempt for personalpseudo-gratification.She had gotten serious and serious people don’t sit around and wait, they act. So she picked and poked, used the phrases that always elicited reaction until he snapped.And did he ever snap.
It began with the China closet.All of the elegant dishes from the perfect wedding were destroyed.She had been the moving target for the coffee cups.The saucers and plates moved on indirect paths, making them easier to avoid.Luckily the dishes didn’t splinter into thousands of pieces upon impact.She supposed that meant they were of good quality.From her body’s perspective they were like well aimed rocks thrown from a pitching machine.A series of bruises were splashed across her back, arms and abdomen, finding their soft tissue targets with great ease.
But these types of bruises were easy to cover up.Long sleeves worked great, as did scarves and tights. And she had a closet full of “cover up clothes” as she liked to call them.After he broke the plates beyond repair, came his very furious fists.
She would rather take a random object thrown at her any day than have someone actually put their hands on her. Flesh touching flesh was too personal. It involved direct, meaningful emotion.The sound of flesh hitting flesh wasn’t what she thought it would be like.The movies make it sound strong and almost regal.For her, it was a quiet sound that was deep and awkward, not a thunderous pronouncement of strength.It was not booming and demanding.It just occurred without recourse.
She couldn’t help but think that the human body wasn’t meant to be hit.It damaged way too easily.It should be a stronger covering and there were too many areas that were vulnerable to injury.If only humans had evolved in a way to protect against such things.
Luckily skin heals quickly and usually without permanent outward damage.it didn’t take her long to realize that a bruise could be aged. They almost always start out a deep bluish purple and slowly turn blue, brown, then green and ending up as a yellowish tint.Most bruises faded within a week.She always had a collage of colors sprinkled about her body, each one telling a unique story.
He didn’t always hit her. For the first year of marriage he never even laid a hand on her in anger.He was loving and attentive, charming and handsome.The problems only really started after he got promoted at work and the hours got longer and the job got harder.At this time she also chose to go back to school.That did not last very long.
The first time wasn’t really his fault, at least that is what she convinced herself.She had accidently gotten bleach stains on his work clothes.And after having been up all night then getting called back in, he was exhausted and furious.It was just a slap to the face but he had profusely apologized and promised me it would never happen again.She had believed him besides it was her mistake.
The second time happened nearly two months later.She had been running errands that day and came across a woman in the grocery store parking lot with adorable kittens.She knew he did not wish to have animals in the house, but she foolishly brought home a black and white fuzzball.She named him Oreo, after the cat from her childhood.
For this incident, she was not the physical brunt of his anger.The cat became his target.It was hurled into a wall.The little guy hit so hard that it cracked the dry wall.He never fixed the crack.Instead he put a hollow frame around it as a reminder to her of what could happen if she did not obey.He wouldn’t even let her clean off the small blood stain.
She dug out her license, credit cards, debit card, and any other form of identification that she could find in her wallet.One by one they were lined up around the edge of the sink like a train of plastic credentials.It’s strange that all of those cards seemed to be such a necessity, but snapping apart the first one was like finding the trick to squirming out of a straight jacket.One by one, the plastic traps were snapped in two.She plucked up the license and stared at the woman whose fake smile stared back. She was not the woman in the picture anymore.
She brought out the lighter that had belonged to her grandfather and flicked it.Before long the pungent smell of burning plastic filled the small bathroom.She let the small card melt in her grip until there was but a smidgen of a corner left.With great disdain, she chunked it along with the credit card remains into a waste bin.
Glancing to her watch, one of the few personal possessions she had left, she sighed.It wasn’t an expensive item but it had sentimental value.Time to go.
Fixating her gaze into the mirror, she stared at the new face.“You can do this.” She shoved a baseball cap from a random minor league team she had never seen play over the black locks that were still moist.“One foot in front of the other.Everything will be fine.”A comical pair of large black sunglasses nestled over her eyes.She took the one bag that contained everything she chose to keep and tossed it onto her back. She was now ready.
The bus trip across country was uneventful.It gave her time to think and reflect, formulate a game plan.She had enough money to last her a few weeks but she would need to find a place to live and a job as quickly as possible.And she had to do all of this without any identification.