From the moment I wake up every noise and sudden movement feels like a door slamming in the house I grew up in, or shouting from three rooms away. A man punching another hole in the wall. A woman shattering glass.
“You’re so beautiful,” a random guy says to me. My only safety is to pretend I didn’t hear, but I did, his words reverberating in my spine. “Wait, please. Let me talk to you,” now echoing in my stomach. I think I lost him, but everyone I pass looks at my breasts, and sees a face I don’t recognize. Cars pass by and their engines wrap around my throat. The sun on an overcast day blinds me.
I reach my home and He is waiting for me, and my eyes show him I have been battered and beaten and need peace.
The first thing He does is take my hand, and forces me to hold eye contact with His stare. One deep breath and my shoulders relax. I close my eyes and everything goes silent, no breaking glass, now one screaming, no man chasing me down the street because he sees things that aren’t there.
My vulnerability sheds and lies about me in tatters in piles of scrap and waste on the hardwood floors. When he backhands me across my face and my body goes flying, my eyes open and for the first time all day, I look up to see someone who actually sees the me I see.