I was upstairs. I could hear them yelling. They were downstairs in the room directly under me.
They were fighting about me. He deliberately yelled louder; he wanted me to hear every word that seethed out of his mouth.
I knew the game he played; for he had been in my life for roughly 10 years.
When I was 15, I had moved from a small rural town where everyone knew your name to a big city in Virginia. I was at a crossroads in life, trying to find my way. I did not trust life. I did not trust people.
“Why don’t you talk to her?” my mother yelled.
At that moment, his voice rose even louder. The words burned into my memory long before they registered in my mind.
“Because if I see that little bitch, I will kill her!”
I did not think. I did not hesitate. I ran.
I bolted down the stairs as fast as my short legs would take me. The front door to the house was at the bottom of the stairs. I had one goal in mind: get the hell out of there as fast as possible.
I wasn’t fast enough.
To this day, I’m not sure how he made it to the bottom of the stairs that fast. He had to leave their bedroom, go through the hallway, through the dining room, and swing himself into the stairwell. All I had to do was bolt down the stairs and go straight out the door.
He stood between me and the bottom of the stairs. He stood between me and the front door. He stood there oozing hatred like a venomous snake waiting to strike. I saw it in his eyes and I felt it in his hands.
He grabbed me around the throat with both hands.
I did not think. I did not hesitate. I kicked.
I was two steps up from where he stood.
I kicked for everything that he brought into our lives.
I kicked to be free of him.
I kicked for survival.
I ran many nights in Virginia, but on this night I ran the hardest…..
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