She’ll sit at the foot of her bed and watch Ben slip into his jeans. He won’t look at her, but she’ll notice his discomfort with her staring at him. She won’t look away though because, for once in that horrible night to come, she’ll feel dominant. She’ll feel in control; like she’ll be breaking him down. The hard look on his face won’t all be formed by uneasiness; she’ll notice then, but also with a rage that she’ll know would cause him to hurt her again if she didn’t look away, so she will. She’ll be enraged as well, probably more than him, but fear will hinder any consequent action.
Her whole body will tremble and all she’ll be able to think is, How could I let this happen? I’m so stupid for letting this happen. She’ll feel like breaking something.
“Abigail,” Ben will say in a low voice, breaking the silence.
The sudden augmentation of his mere voice, from nothing to suddenly slicing through the darkness, will cause her to jolt. She’ll look back up at him and he’ll be staring at her, fully dressed.
“I love you,” he’ll say simply, blinking.
Those very words will echo in her head. It’ll start to feel like someone had punched her in the chest and tears will well up in her soft eyes. How will he be able to say that? What kind of love will he really be talking about? It wouldn’t possibly be the same love he claimed he had for her when she was a little girl, or when they comforted each other after her mom died.
“What are you talking about?” She’ll try to ask him, but the words will get stuck in her throat.
The tears will finally leave her eyes and fall off her chin and into her bare, bruised lap. It won’t be long before he leaves the room. The light from the hallway will pour onto her tear-stained, red, and puffy face while she allows a salty tear to seep between her dry lips. A sudden surge of the coldest kind of adrenaline will shoot through her body and lift her off the bed, taking her toward him as he’ll be walking down the hallway. She’ll be feeling so ready to just kill him at that time, because he’ll be leaving her with the words, “I love you,” still lingering in her mind. Something inside of her won’t want him to leave her, all while wanting him out of her life completely. He’ll already be halfway down the stairs when she gets to him.
She’ll let out a hoarse cry as she tries to punch him in the back of the head, but she’ll miss. He’ll turn around just in time to grab her wrist. They’ll stay there for a long minute, both struggling silently as he tries to throw her down the staircase, his face tense with anger and grip firm like steel. But finally, she’ll manage to free herself, turn around, and stumble back upstairs.
“No, no, no,” she’ll whisper quickly to herself as she runs back to her bedroom, tripping on her own feet a couple of times. He’ll run after her, wild and hot.
Once she gets back into her bedroom, she’ll slam the door shut and press her palms against it, leaning forward to apply extra pressure. She’ll be able to hear Ben grunting on the other side as he bashes it repeatedly. She’ll be sure the door will break off its hinges and he will get to her. The thought will frighten her. They’ll both seem to be applying the same amount of pressure for a moment until she’ll use her entire body to shut it. She’ll stay there on the door for a second, and then rest her forehead against it. She’ll start to sob, wishing for a way out. After a minute of that, she’ll hear Ben stomp down the staircase. She’ll turn around, rest her back on the door, and stare into the dark room. The front door will slam and she’ll feel angered, abandoned, sad, misplaced, and disappointed from his certain absence. She’ll look over to her bed. The sheets will be a mess and her shirt and mini-shorts will be on the carpeted floor. A flashback will creep into her head then:
By that time still to come, Ben would’ve past been on top of her on her bed, and she’d have been struggling to get him off. He’d have trapped her screams with his dirty hand and she’d have glared into his big green eyes. Her struggling would’ve slowed. Her muffled screams would've started to sound more like a growl. He’d have entered her intrusively and she’d have screamed out in a sob as her eyes shut tight. She’d have started to writhe and try begging for him to stop. Just then, he’d have slapped her across the face and she’d have gone quiet. Her face would've been wet from sweat and tears while staring up at him, with a crease between her eyebrows.
As the ugly thought will then leave her mind, she’ll walk to the nightstand beside her bed and pick up the alarm clock there. It’ll claim to be just after two in the morning. She’ll throw it across the room with a bark, tugging it out of its outlet. The lamp there also will tip over from the flying plug of the alarm clock. She’ll pick it up, and throw it too, shattering the bulb. Screaming angrily, she’ll kick the bed mattress and then crawl over the bed to get to the window and tug the curtains down, and then throw them to the dresser near the other side of the room. When she’ll hear glass break, she’ll calm down in an instant.
She’ll walk over to the dresser to find a picture of her, Ben, and her mom, smiling and having fun about nine years earlier at a water park on that sunny day. She’ll slip the picture out of its broken frame and sit with her back on the wall behind her. Her eyes won’t leave the picture. She’ll cry silently when seeing how happy Ben looked. As she’ll cry, she’ll get up and violently begin to rummage through the dresser to find a pair of scissors. Once she finds them she’ll cut out Ben’s face from the picture, leaving behind his muscles and lightly tanned skin. The scissors will fall from her hand as her arm falls to her side, once the deed is done. It won't even take as much as the picture of her mom, her, and Ben’s cut out face, to realize that this family will be ruined. It won’t even take her mom’s death to; she’ll see that it has been for a while.
* * *
Abigail’s mom is now being rolled down the corridor in a wheelchair, clutching her protuberant belly and breathing shallowly. Her dark hair is wet from sweat and clinging to her face and neck. She screams in pain as she’s brought into the delivery room. Her husband follows the doctors in. After Abigail is born, her mom caresses her with a loving smile. Her dad smirks.
It’s only a matter of time.