At least

Just Beneath the Surface I

My heart was racing as I leaned against the bathroom door. I could not stop playing it back in my mind. But in that bathroom, I finally quotAt-least-he-apologizedfelt safe. A loud bang on the other side of the door sent me sprinting to the opposite side of the bathroom. I only stood there staring at the door for a moment, waiting for whatever was next. But nothing happened. He did not yell at me, break the door down or hit me. I sat down on the bathroom rug and stared at the door shaking my head.

What did he expect from me? How was I going to turn into a house cleaning, laundry folding, cooking, jumpy woman waiting for the next time she would be shoved into a wall?

At least he did not actually punch me. He had not even slapped me. Maybe his anger stopped there, at grabbing and yanking. Although he had crossed the line and choked me, I had no choice but to examine myself as well. I was the idiot who was stupid enough to get drunk and stay out until one in the morning. Was it really fair of me, she who had no job and contributed nothing to her household to come walking in at this hour? Especially when he had had a horrible day and only wanted a home cooked meal and some clean socks in his drawer? Maybe I was over reacting.

I had been sitting there on the bathroom rug thinking, running what I said and what he said back in my mind over and over again. The alcohol had worn off, and the back of my head was tender from the blow to the wall. After taking a couple of over the counter pain pills, I convinced myself that I was ready to come out of the bathroom.

I opened the door just enough to see out and found Spencer lying across the bed with a pillow over his face. I crawled onto the bed and listened to him cry softly. He jolted and sat up straight as I placed my hand on his arm. My instincts told me to take cover as I was still a bit rattled from being flung into the wall and choked. But instead of running back to the bathroom, I sat still as he took my hand. We stared into each other’s eyes silently as though we could read one another’s thoughts. And for the longest, neither of us spoke.  

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