Strong Women & Survivor Stories

Just for Tonight

Contributor Chrystal Dawne tells the story of one woman who escaped abuse

The quiet of the house seemed to swallow them up. It had been a long three days, but they’d finally landed; stopped running. A ticking clock sounded a steady rhythm and she felt her body ache, trying to convince her brain to relax, shut off.

It was too much to shut off and her mind still scrambled for tomorrow. No money, no home, no income and she couldn’t hide in this house, waiting for a solution to find her. Her life was a bunch of problems to solve and the more she thought about it, the more there was to figure out.

The voice in her head that expected more of her, that said she had to get her act together seemed to swell against the exhaustion and pain of her week. It all happened so fast and between talking to police officers, hospital staff and the women at the shelter, she felt drained and wished a little bit that she was still on the road. Running seemed like the easy part now that she was still and her thoughts drifted back to her aunty. She'd handed over the last of her money so Fallon could leave town. She'd arranged to get her a ride to the bus station and made sure no one found out that she was leaving.

If only she could go back to the beginning somehow. Her life had changed so much and so quickly…had it truly only been a year since they first met? She was supposed to be graduating next month…

Curling up at the very corner of her bed bug-resistant mattress, her thoughts drifted to her body. Her arms cradled the only memory of him she would carry on with her. Unsure of how far along she was, or if she still was…the thoughts swallowed her and the house melted away as the tension in her body heaved from her core. She barely made a noise but the tears soaked her pillows and when she couldn’t cry anymore, the wet pillowcase reminded her that she was still awake.

For this moment they were safe—both of them. No matter how alone she felt, or how badly her soul wished it was in the wind, she thought that she wanted to be was strong and safe. She had felt weak and scared long enough.

Closing her eyes, she breathed deeply through her nose; she imagined the air traveling down into her womb, slowly she exhaled from her mouth. She felt strong and slept.

To be continued...

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    Anonymous, January 07, 2016 @ 1:39pm

    As I was reading I felt a personal connection to the character of the story. Though my path is very different, I can say the visceral emotions being shared between the story and I had drawn me in and brought me back to a time I thought I had forgotten. I enjoyed the upbeat ending, and I look forward to tuning in for the rest of the story/ woman's journey. Her thoughts and feelings are so relate-able that my inner feelings were almost provoked. Can't wait to read more.