Kimberly lay across the edge of the tub, half-drowned and too exhausted with his abuse to care anymore. She lay as though dead, amazed she was able to think at all. He had nearly killed her this time.
“One hour late from girls’ night out is not call for this,” she raged with no ability to move. She wondered how or why she had survived for this long as she stared into the mirror across the room, her makeup running down her ashen face, almost wishing he had succeeded tonight.
Everything inside her was screaming,
“I’m done with this fucking shit!” Done! DONE,” but she had no energy to utter a sound.
She couldn’t even summon the strength to strip from her sodden dress and dry herself, but the voice in her head wouldn’t stop. Not this time…
“DONE! FINISHED! OVER! THE END! DONE!”
On nights like this, she used to wonder why she had married the bastard. Now, she only contemplated ending it.
She closed her eyes and really thought hard this time. She hit extremes without fortitude to put plans into action, so she lay there drenched, gasping for air… and plotting.
Finally, a quiet strength encompassed her as an actual plan took shape.
Kimberly knew she couldn’t divorce the asshole. She had inherited millions when she lost her parents,
…and I’m not going to lose it to him, she fumed angrily, I’d end up supporting the lazy bastard too!
Thoughts of losing house and home to him were nearly unbearable but the money she inherited from her parents was non-negotiable.
No! That is NOT going to happen, she railed at him mentally while realizing she would likely get stuck with paying alimony too.
Then her weakness began to subside. Kimberly knew now that she had options.
Okay, no attractive options, she surmised while rummaging through her thoughts, examining each of them one-by-one, but do-able, she stated to herself determinedly.
She pushed herself upright and every bone in her body ached. Her lungs hurt from fighting him for tiny amounts of oxygen. Kimberly wondered how many hours she had struggled with him tonight. With arms weak and limp at her sides, she succumbed once more,
Why didn’t you just do it this time, you fucktard? You could have spared both of us this, she yelled without sound at the blue light of the television flickering through the doorway, knowing he was passed-out drunk in front of it.
Kimberly slipped from her precarious perch on the edge of the bath tub to the cold, tile floor.
What the hell am I thinking, she questioned herself as she sat in a heap of wet clothing with limbs askew, Am I really thinking about… but she couldn’t finish that thought.
She crawled to the cupboard beneath the sink, opened the small door and reached inside, fumbling in the unlit interior until she grasped the items she sought.
With trembling hands she extracted his straight razor and his old, rolled-up belt. A small smile claimed her lips and she found renewed vigor. Kimberly placed the items in the sink and pulled herself up by the surrounding vanity.
Suddenly she realized that she was still in her stiletto heels. Kicking them off, she thought of how far away the night of fun and gayety with her friends seemed to be.
That was maybe, eight or twelve hours ago, she thought, staring at her haggard appearance in the mirror more closely, Seems like it’s been years.
At twenty eight years old, Kimberly looked forty years older than that and her rage was renewed.
“I – will – not – let – him – do – this – to – me,” she whispered haltingly at her reflection.
Grabbing up the razor and belt, she tucked them into her elbow holding them close to her side, and raced quietly past the bedroom where he sat, exactly as she knew he would. He was sprawled, with his head dangling to the side of the easy chair, with beer cans and a whiskey bottle strewn about the floor around it.
She stared at him for a second thinking, So unlike you. You’re gonna make this easy for me. Aren’t ya, dickwad?
Knowing she would lose her nerve in a moment of pause, Kimberly raced out to the garage and collected a large coil of rope and cut off a length of duct tape. She stuck the tape to her upper arm and got into the truck she had so carefully parked only hours before. She backed it into the driveway making sure to leave the keys in the ignition.
In a moment, she was standing in the soft glow of the porch light with her heart racing. She leaned down to grip her knees focused on slowing her breathing. When she realized that her dress was still damp, she was enraged anew.
In a shot, she was back at the bedroom padding in quietly, even knowing that dynamite wouldn’t wake the drunken shit. She laid the utensils on the ground, nearly tripping over an unseen bottle of half-empty Tequila, and set about the task at hand. Quickly, she wrapped the rope around him, effectively binding him to the La-Z-Boy recliner and bound his legs with the leather belt. She almost snickered, thinking,
Boy, you really missed your calling, you lazy fuck! You should have made commercials for La-Z-Boy!
She stifled a hateful smile and gingerly peeled the duct tape from her arm, then pressed it to his mouth and firmly anchored it behind his head.
He stirred from his alcohol-laden sleep to find himself immobilized. He struggled and tried to yell, as he had when he was trying to drown her. Kimberly bent down resolutely and picked up the straight razor. With a final, wounded-animal cry, using every ounce of pressure her tired arms would exert, she dragged the razor across his throat unleashing all her years of pent-up rage, screaming,
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