• Vol. 04
  • Chapter 02
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Warmth, sensation, heat.
What makes it painful not pleasurable? Emotions supply the fuel and never more than now.
The fire was stoked again, the ever-present embers blown upon.
His voice asked a simple direct question, “Where were you”? However, his face promised more for a misstep.
Do I tell him, dare I risk it? We had moved through this, and many other verbal dances before.
A missed bus, a twenty minute dash, I would have made it if his journey had had more red lights.
He was seeing red now though.
“Where were you”? He asked again in that quiet before the storm voice.
I stepped back, feeling again that void behind me.
“I missed the bus,” I said hoping my words would at best quell his anger or at worst distract him.
The clock in the hall chimed into the silent void between us.
In a voice too small to fill it I said. “Should I put the tea on, I’ve got your favourite, lamb chops and new potatoes”.
“No, I want to know what you’re up to.” His ability to focus on me to the exclusion of all else could be frightening, and no more so than now.
I was in that place again, the rock and the hard place place.
I could not tell him, this time I would not.


The warmth turned to fire as his temper took over and the light went out of his eyes, he was not really seeing me anymore.
The first slap was expected and I somehow rode it to the floor, the kick took me by surprise and my breath whistled as it left me.
Later, as I lay in the bath soaking the aches away, I thought back over the day.
Six hours shopping for just the right designer shirt, silk of course.
I’d saved up out of the disability and sold some jewellery, but he was worth it, even if he was out of work he needed to look smart.

Maybe next time I’ll tell him it’s not right to hit your mother, especially at Christmas.