She watched as the sun came up. Sleep had been elusive and she yawned broadly as she rested her head against the cold window pane. She would have to leave for work soon. It would be a few hours escape from him, but she would have to deal with them. They suspected what she was dealing with. Thinking apparently that if she would accept that from him, she would readily take it from them. Not so. She would spend the next eight hours fending them off as usual. Ignoring their innuendos, dodging wayward hands, refusing offers of gifts of this or that. All for one hundred dollars a week. But it was more than the restaurant paid. Even there she had dealt with being held in a corner and... pushing that thought away as she pushed herself from the window she turned to face the room. He was sprawled out on the bed snoring. Another night of heavy drinking had him out of it for now. She knew he wouldn't awaken but still she eased quietly out of the room. Passing through the bathroom she ignored the mirror as she passed. She couldn't bear to look herself in the eye.
She descended the stairs slowly, carefully listening to the noises from above her. He slept on. Opening the door she walked out into the yard. Greeted by their Doberman she scratched the dog's ears as she pushed the gate open and headed for the car. She hated this. She was a small town girl accustomed to country and woods and birds. Here she was trapped in a city with houses on top of houses, interstates threading across the landscape and water- lots and lots of water. She was careful whenever she had to go around the water being she didn't know how to swim.
Turning the key in the ignition she sighed. It was moments like this that she hated. It was now, that she could hear those old pearls of wisdom, "you made your bed, now you have to lie in it."A lone tear threatened escape as she gripped the steering wheel, 'it would be so much easier,' she thought out loud, 'but the directions not included makes it so confusing and hard.'
Backing the car out of the short drive she turned in the direction of the interstate. Weaving in and out of the neighborhood streets she turned the radio up loudly. Sometimes it drowned out the loneliness and despair, not today. Her route on the interstate was usually short, today it was being extended thanks to a detour due to a problem on her exit. Now what? She only knew the one way. Exiting the interstate as quickly as she could she began to drive along the various roads. Taking one turn then another she made her way in the general direction she needed to go in. Tears threatened again as she tried to find something familiar. Time was passing quickly and she knew she was going to be late for work. She had no way of contacting anyone for directions, she feared stopping out here in the middle of this madness. An errant though slipped in, 'maybe you'll get lost enough that you'll find yourself on your way back home.' Just as she was about to give up and pull off somewhere and seek help she recognized a road sign. Turning onto that road she followed it the few blocks to where she needed to be. She had actually found her way there, and she wasn't too terribly late. She did however have a terrible stress induced headache.
The manager tossed a bottle of over the counter pain reliever to her with the instructions, "take two and call me in the morning." She managed a tight smile as she thought, 'you are so not funny.'
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