It is morning. The light outside is sharp, knifing into my bloodied eyes relentlessly. Fresh snow has fallen to cover the red stains on the icy driveway, but I know that they are there.
“You don’t have to do this,” he says, opening the truck door for me and helping me up into the seat. Somehow, I manage to buckle my seat belt, gasping as my chest prickles in pain from being touched.
“You don’t have to do this,” he repeats. “You don’t have to go back. I’ll stay while you pack a bag and I’ll bring you back here.”
I hear what he says. I comprehend. He is offering me safety. He is offering me freedom. He is offering me peace of mind.
“I don’t know,” I whisper. Everything looks different in the bright light of day. And I wonder what I might be going back to.
He looks at me for a long moment, his expression pained and pitying, and he backs the truck out of the driveway.
It is a two-minute drive, and we are silent. Or maybe we aren’t. The sharp, winter light slices into my memory and I no longer recall if there were words exchanged at all.
The truck slows, sure-footed on the icy pavement, and he turns left onto my street. He stops the truck in front of the house and shifts into park. I am shivering, but not from the cold.
“Are you sure that you want to do this?” he asks. “You don’t have to. You know that.”
I take a deep breath and look out the window. There are fresh footprints in the snow, and I know that I will not be alone. Someone else is inside. With him. I catch a glimpse of my face in the side view mirror as I turn away.
I have not looked into a mirror yet. I avert my eyes.
“I have to do this,” I finally reply. “I have to know why.”
End Part 2.
If you know someone who is being abused by their partner, or you are a victim of domestic violence, you can get help! Visit this website: National Domestic Violence Hotline or call 1-800-799-SAFE.
Stay tuned next Monday for Part 3 of my vignette: Mirror, Mirror.