Their vile words were shouted at such a high pitch
the neighbors banged on the thin walls.
The words were delivered from the heart,
full of abhorrence, strife and bitterness
that her soul shivered at the sound.
The SLAP came so fast and with so much force that she didn't at first registered it.
She didn't register when she hit the floor her head banging hard against the wall.
Nothing registered to her, not even the pain across her face, time seems to stand still while he stood over her shouting and pointing at her.
She was in a tunnel the only thing she could see was her young daughter sitting in the corner. Her little legs pulled up to her chest with her small hands covering her ears staring frightfully at her mother while she cried.
In that moment she remembered she had been that child once, fearful of what might happen to her mother, fearful of what might happen to her. She remembered the screaming and the fights. She remembered the nightmares that came afterwards and the sickness that always stayed in her stomach. She remembered the picture of her mother hiding the black eyes with makeup and long sleeves. She remembered the look in her father's eyes and the way her mother cried. She remembered it all. The picture her daughter was now seeing is a painting that she promised herself she'll never paint.
She stood up, fought her way passed him to her daughter. She picked her up and ran across the room and out the door. She doesn't remember opening the door or his voice calling after her, only the soft thumping of her daughter's heart.
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