The Words over at Three Word Wednesday are admire, follow and piece. Yes, this is the latest I’ve ever turned in a #3WW. Wednesday, for me now, is production day for the newspaper. I’ve got to have it to bed (sent to the press) by 9:30 a.m. That means I get to work about 6 a.m. Not sure how to rectify this new situation I find myself in.
Not This Time
His words burst against her, like tiny pieces of shrapnel, sharp and stinging.
She sat at the tiny dining room table, the one that doubled for a desk for his kids, when they were actually here. You couldn’t eat as a family together, since there was now just two chairs, and one of them was beginning to wobble from the last time he hurled it against the wall.
The blood had stopped and now was it was starting to form an itchy crust around her nostrils.
He was screaming at her to clean herself up.
Not this time.
Oh, she went to the bathroom to roll some toilet paper into a plug to stanch the blood, just as he told her to, and came out again without it. She did, however, put his cell back on the counter, exactly where he’d left it. Without him noticing.
She felt his eyes follow her, prickly heat in the middle of her shoulders, as she went to pick up the tumble of their last altercation.
“Leave it and get your ass in here.”
Shoulders hunched, she sighed, turned on bare feet, and thought that her toenails needed a fresh coat of polish. Perhaps a color that matched the rising purple around her eye.
She lowered herself onto the couch, the one he let the dog sleep on, opposite the shit-brown recliner he paid way too much for at a garage sale. The one he now sulked in.
He already was wearing his puppy-dog face, the consolatory one. She knew a talk was brewing. Sweet and sappy, how much he loved and cared for her. How he couldn’t bear to live without her.
She used to admire these talks, like the beatings were almost worth it. That she got to see an emotion out of him that wasn’t rage.
She jumped when the doorbell rang.
“That would be for you, asshole.”
And crossed her arms across her chest in a tight squeeze, an affirming hug.