There are times in our life when we look back and clearly see the moment we stood at the edge of a new beginning. This was one of those moments for me.
“You’re leaving?” he said, as he sat by the window smoking.
“Yes, I’m sorry,” I replied from across the room.
“You’re sorry?” he sneered. “Sorry’s not good enough.”
“I know,” I said.
I sounded small and scared. I didn’t want to engage him. One wrong word and he would likely fly into a rage. He was volatile like nitroglycerin.
“You don’t love me?” he said.
His face crumpled and suddenly he looked small like a vulnerable child. I felt my resolve waver. I wanted to put my arms around him and tell him everything would be okay. But this was not the time for false promises.
I walked past him to leave, my heart pounding, my legs like jelly. He lifted his head to look at me and the face of a little boy was replaced with a look of stone-cold hatred.
“Show no fear, show no fear, show no fear” I repeated in my head. I walked to the door without looking back. I made it to my car, hand shaking as I turned the key in the ignition.
“Stay calm, stay calm, stay calm,” I silently repeated.
I kept my eye on the front door. He owns guns, he’s unstable and now he’s mad as hell.
I backed onto the road and put my car in gear. Fear took over and I sped away. I kept glancing in my rearview mirror terrified I would see him standing in the road tracking me through the crosshairs of his gun. The road was empty.
When there was enough distance between us I stopped checking my mirror. I took a deep breath and exhaled. I was fleeing the darkness and on my way to a new beginning.