A Short Story: This Time

This time it was over for sure.

As the door slammed shut behind him, Belle sat silently on the floor whimpering. She fixated on the window to see if he would return.

“Jack,” she called half-heartedly, but she was met with deafening silence. The clocked ticked in the kitchen and the sun broke through the clouds hitting the corner of her face in the hallway. Belle pulled herself up and staggered into the kitchen holding her arm. It was sore from when he grabbed her moments before.

A single tear rolled down her cheek and dropped onto the counter edge. It wasn’t the first time they had fought. It wasn’t the first time he had been angry at her. It wasn’t the first time he laid his hands on her. Belle hooked back the hair from the side of her face and looked over her shoulder. Everywhere she looked was left with reminders.

To her right was where Jack threw a plate at her during an argument about going to visit her mum for the weekend. To her left was where he had screamed in her face for not bringing him a beer fast enough while he was watching the UEFA Champions League.

Belle moved to the back of the house and up the stairs. She remembered the repeated number of times he yelled at her and said nasty things to her unprovoked. She stood coldly at the entrance to their bedroom. She remembered catching him with another woman when she got in early from work. That woman was her best friend since high school. Belle felt her heart go heavy as she sat slumped on the bed. She bent over and put her head in her hands and gave out a heavy sigh.

This time it was going to be different.

This time she was going to say no. Belle clenched her fist and pulled out a suitcase from under the bed. It was already half packed. She had felt this way for a long time, but was too scared to do it. Her mind felt warped and not her own anymore. She was alone, away from family and friends. She was unhappy. Jack made her unhappy.

The bed creaked as she stood up to empty out some more clothes from the wardrobe. She had it all planned. It had been planned for months, but she had always been so scared. This was it, she going to leave him for good. Enough was enough. A small smile stretched across her face at the thought of the relief. She could be free and start fresh.

Belle put on her jacket and took her suitcase to her car. It wasn’t everything but it was the essentials. She unlocked the car and put her bag on the back seat. Her life in one medium sized case, “tragic really,” she thought but anywhere was better than here. As she went to put her leg into the driver’s side of the car, a hum came from the entrance of the driveway. A van pulled up and parked alongside hers. Her eyes darted and felt an uncomfortable chill overcome her.

Jack was back and returned quick. Quicker than usual.

“Where’d you think you’re going?” he asked bluntly as he inspected her from head to toe like an old perverted man. Belle panicked and gripped the car keys tight in her hand,

“To the shops, I forgot to pick up some stuff for dinner.” Jack stomped forward and noticed the suitcase in the back of the car and sniggered in disbelief.

“To the shop eh, with a fully packed suitcase? You must think I’m a retard or something,” he paused and glared at her; she looked down at the floor and went to get into the car. “No, I don’t think so,” he snapped. Jack grabbed her by the hair abruptly and dragged her back into the house. She screamed and started to cry. Jack ignored her plea and threw her onto the floor.

“Get up you silly little bitch! Thought about leaving me did you.” Belle’s body banged against the wall knocking her head. She shuffled backwards and picked herself off the floor. As he lunged for her she stabbed the main car key into his side. He seemed indifferent and grabbed her hand and twisted it around.

Belle’s mouth was open as she silently screamed from the searing pain. She should have been quicker. She was supposed to be on the motorway back to her mums by now. Her hearing had mumbled as she zoned out from the agony.

She found herself fighting back, it was like something else had possessed her body. They struggled for a couple of seconds before Jack violently pushed her out of the open front door. She stumbled over the porch step and felt herself fall. She saw Jack get further away as she was falling lower and lower to the ground.

This time it was meant to be different.

Her body was still. She had hit her head on a large ornamental rock which decorated the entrance. A pool of blood seeped from the back of her head down the rock and onto the driveway.

This time it was different… she was dead…

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