A Long Night

He came up behind me and I felt his warm breath on my neck, his words falling out of his mouth in a slur. “You always thought you were better than me.” His mocking tone was full of contempt that only came out when he drank. Normally sweet and gentle, Paul was harmless until he had a few drinks. Then his insecurities and fears surfaced and he inevitably directed them at me. I stood still, afraid to move or say anything. I never knew what might further agitate him. I had learned the hard way that silence was best.

He circled me, fingers pulling at my french twist until it unraveled and my honey locks spilled against my shoulders. “You and your fancy hair, your fancy dresses, always acting so prim and proper.” He leaned in closer and the sickly sweet smell of bourbon on his breath made my stomach turn. “But we both know the real truth don’t we? We know exactly how far you’d go to get what you want. All the way down to your knees, right baby girl?”  I fought the urge to slap him. His use of humiliation always took me to a dark place and I knew he was pushing me for a reaction so he would have an excuse. I wouldn’t give it to him. I refused to be his punching bag tonight.

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