The Last Vestiges of a Lost Battle

“Tell him to go away. We can work this out. Together.” I tried to stay calm but memories were exploding inside my head: The warmth of Sabrina’s hands, the sweetness of her mouth. Joey, Karen’s brother, working out in her dad’s garage. His body looked like the rock wall at the gym. Inexplicably mixed with all of this was my birthday two years ago, when Karen had pulled her hands away, uncovering my eyes to reveal a new laptop. The screen saver was running pictures of our vacation in San Diego.

“Move.” Her voice was quiet but there was steel in it now. She knew she was safe.

“Okay, but you’re making a big mistake. I can’t believe you, I thought we had a lot more trust in each other. You’re letting them win.” I kept talking as I got out of her way.

She placed one hand on the door frame, and trembling, used her other hand to pull the chain away from the door. I dialed nine-one-one on my phone and placed my thumb over the SEND button but didn’t press it. I just wanted to be ready in case things got violent.

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