This week at Write On Edge, we were asked to write a piece of fiction or creative non-fiction about a countdown, starting with “Three, two, one.” It could be about anything – New Year’s Eve, gathering your nerve, disciplining your kids.
Three, two, one…
She closed the door behind her, locking it with her key and then hiding the key under the flowerpot.
She looked down at her daughter in her car seat, smiling up at her with those, big, innocent eyes.
She glanced back at the flowerpot, wondering if she was doing the right thing.
She had exactly three days until he returned from his business trip.
How far could she get in three days?
Where would she go?
She looked down at the bruises on her wrist…
And she left. She drove all day and for most of the night, too afraid to think about where she was going, what she was doing, lest she somehow send out a telepathic signal of her intentions.
Two days until he was home and knew that she was gone.
She sped across the state line and glanced in her review mirror, half expecting to see his headlights blazing behind her.
Her daughter lay quietly, head slumped against the side of the car seat, gazing out the window.
She hadn’t asked where they were going yet. She hoped she wouldn’t until they were too far for it to matter.
Six states away.
She wondered if she should check her voice mail, log in to her email to see if he had tried to reach her, to see if he came home early, but thought better of it.
Better that she not know.
And then, just as the sun was rising, hours before we would arrive home to find them gone, she pulled into her parent’s driveway.
*While this is my response – almost a week late – to the Write on Edge prompt regarding a countdown, it was inspired by my involvement in the Brave Woman campaign.
One in four women is affected by domestic violence. If you, or someone you know, is the victim of domestic violence, please know that it is never to late to seek help and to escape from an abusive situation. I took the pledge at BraveWoman.org, and I hope that you will as well.