A Christmas Romance Short Story
Chapter One: Safe Haven
“Jason, I want out.”
That was all I said to get myself locked up and terrified for my life in our tiny walk-in closet that could barely fit one individual, much more to accommodate my protruded tummy that was starting to hurt from the pressure of this cramped space.
He screamed my name and I flinched, whimpering silently as I trembled with thoughts of the worst that could happen if he found out about my hiding place.
Where else could I have hidden in our tiny two-bedroom apartment that was safe enough to shield me from sight until Jason calmed down enough to be reasoned with?
God, I shouldn’t have spoken knowing he was high as a kite, but I’d had enough and this wasn’t the life I planned to birth a child into.
“Grace! Come out, now! You can’t hide from me forever,” he yelled, crashing into things as he spoke. My right hand immediately went up to cup my lips and my left, slide beneath my tummy to run soothing circles around it.
“You want out? You’ll have to get past me to reach the door tonight, and I’m certain you won’t make it that far,” he threatened with a sneer just as bright rays of light blinded me and hands grabbed my hair and pulled.
My voice dried up, blanketed by terror when I fell forward and landed on my side. Still hurting and without much time to process the fall, he pulls me by my hair, tightened in an excruciatingly painful grip.
“Let me go! You’re going to hurt the baby,” I scream, hurting all over. My head buzzed like a swarm of bees were having a summertime party in my brain. But he held on tightly unfazed.
“That bitch you’re carrying around isn’t mine. Stop calling it that!” he yelled, smacking my cheek so hard, my head rolled sideways and hit the wooden bedframe to my left.
The slow trickle blinded my vision, and my nostrils hurt like hell, the same as my jaw. I groaned in pain, trying to shield my face from him, and gasped in horror when I saw my palms stained red.
Trying to crawl away from him proved useless because a few feet from him, I felt a sharp sting in my lower abdomen when his boots came down hard. My brain sizzled and I almost blacked out, but I knew that if I didn’t fight back now, I’d lose my child to this maniac because I was too afraid to run and too scared to face the world alone.
Jason has always been my world, but the last two years as a mule had taken a drastic toll on him, and finding out he was going to be a father, drove him over the edge of madness. He becomes more erratic and unstable and blatantly refused to get him or quit the trade.
He had come up with conspiracies and absurd claims that I was either cheating on him or trying to ruin his life by getting him locked up, either of which he could not stand by and watch happen.
His attitude escalated over time as he began to use more often than he sold, leaving me to suffer the consequences of his late-night rampage; come morning, he’d be acting like a proud papa and morosely apologetic for the unintended black eye he branded me with.
Frantically searching behind my head for anything sturdy enough to cause damage, I used my thrashing legs to keep his feet away from my tummy before he caused more harm.
Every cell in my abused body screamed for mercy, but none was forthcoming because the deranged man hovering over me wasn’t done with me yet.