Katie stood with her face pressed against the pane of glass, while listening to Eddie play with his big red truck. The sun was setting, and she knew Chris would soon be home from work. He would carry a scowl across his face, while his breath would stink of whisky. He would be angry over one thing or another.
Dinner was in the oven and the table was set, in hope to appease the beast as he entered his man cave. This used to be a home, but that was when they were in love. Now she was his bitch who waited on his every move. Life before all of this was enjoyable, but if she had only known the outcome, she would have walked away. Although she would never trade her son for anything. Eddie was her pride and joy, now all she had to do was to save him from this hellhole.
Katie stood over the table serving dinner as Chris bolted through the door. His face carried a stern expression covering what used to be a smile, and instead of flowers he held a box of beer beneath his arm. Trying to hide what she felt, she smiled and asked about his day. He glared at her as if she had asked for a million dollars and popped open a beer, "What's for dinner? He said in a gruff voice while pulling out his chair. She watched as he examined the table and the dinner she provided, "I made your favourite. She said as she smiled at him.
Katie finished serving Eddie, then moved on to fill Chris's plate. There were days when she wouldn't get to eat because he needed more. He would sit filling his face and leave nothing for her. She didn't dare to say anything for each time he would beat her black and blue and since she never left the house, no one ever knew or cared to ask. Now she was smart and would eat as she cooked. He didn't seem to bother Eddie much, perhaps it was because he was a boy and his heir.
It had been a little over a year since this began. It has been that long since she spoke to her best friend Charlie, who was in a panic right about now. Just before it all happened, Chris bought a house and before she could contact anyone, he cut the cord so she couldn't call for help. Now she wandered through this large house with a monitor on her ankle, which she had no idea how to remove. Many days she sat picking at it, and at the end of the day it remained locked. It was a heavy plastic that snapped into place, there was no keyhole and no obvious way to take it off. Something somewhere controlled it and chances were, it was on Chris's phone.
She thought about leaving daily but doing it without a plan wasn't wise. His words echoed in her mind each time she attempted to come up with a strategy.
"Leave me and you forsake life, my love. You're no longer an independent woman I'll tear down your life and kill Eddie if you attempt to go. If you succeed, I'll hunt you like an animal and feed you to the fish. "
Tears filled her eyes at the mere thought that she loved this man at one time. Oh how she was wrong about her choice in love and here they sat in danger with every breath they took.
Katie waited for Chris to finish eating before snatching his plate and placing it in the hot soapy water. He preferred if she had the dishes done right after he completed his meal, this way he never laid eyes on a dirty dish. The house was spic and span, not a thing out of place. She preferred a home that looked lived in, but who would argue with an irate man? Her cupboards were lined by size and shape, the cans pushed tightly against each other with the newest in the very back. Her bathroom towels were never on the floor and always presented neatly. Katie had the bed made the minute Chris left for work. Her entire day comprised of work, while caring for her child. Eddie often asked his mama why she was crying and how come daddy is being so mean. Katie attempted to answer his questions in ways to educate him, but never gave him an answer that would provoke Chris if he dared to repeat her words. She completed the dishes and stood drying her hands.
Chris sat in his old easy boy chair cleaning his gun; Katie realized it was time. She knew he only cleaned that damn gun when he had a lot on his mind. He swore one day he would kill her if she didn't stop her foolishness, whatever that meant. She could tell he was irritated with her and that the time was close when he would keep his word. More and more each day he became impatient and violent, some days it only took a smile while other days it could be as simple as asking him how his day was.
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