She sat on the edge of the bed, photograph of happier times in one hand and set of house keys in the other. A sports bag with essential clothes and toiletries sat in the doorway, ready to leave with her if she so decided. Exhaling slowly and evenly, she wondered ‘Could I really leave Dave?’ The man she had loved so tenderly all those years was now an unemployed, drunken brute. The photograph, a picture of the happy, smiling couple at the beach, faded now with age, beckoned her to stay, but the stinging wound above her right eye, fresh, acquired last night begged to differ. The open cut seemed to send a message straight through to her brain, “danger! Get out! Get out now!” The keys tightened in her hand. As she squeezed them it was like pulling a trigger. Thoughts and plans went off abruptly in her mind. ‘I could easily leave, head over to mum’s… It’s not like there are any children or pets…’ She formulated bitterly. Dave hated kids, she reflected miserably, and the only pet they had ever had together, a tiny tabby kitten, had its neck wrung when Dave had been in one of his angry drunken stupors…
The front door slammed violently. She shuddered and clenched the keys tightly in her fist. The deceiving photograph fluttered to the floor and lay forgotten, along with happier times. She set her jaw. “I am leaving this house. Tonight. Forever.” She said out loud as a positive affirmation. She jumped off the bed, grabbed the sports bag and marched into the kitchen. Dave was leaning against the fridge, an open beer in his hand. He looked at the set of keys and the bag full of clothes and smirked nastily. “As is, Sarah,” he sneered. Sarah was determined not to be fazed though. She took the eight slow, decisive steps towards him, pulling the carving knife stowed in her skirt-waistband out as she did so. So drunk he didn’t see it coming, she plunged the knife, once, twice, three times into the supple skin of Dave’s stomach. Then she turned and fled. The house keys imprinting in her clenched hand and the photograph still lying on the floor.
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