The Choice of Flight

So my fist met his face, and I almost felt the need to apologize, like someone might if a dog jumped on a neighbor. I’m so sorry, I don’t know what my fist was doing. It never behaves like this. It won’t happen again. But was I sorry? And could I really promise that it wouldn’t happen again?

There was a split second of diorama-like stillness: myself, standing in the doorway; 5’11 of long-suppressed, teenaged anger against the man who had married my mother and ruined my life; and the man himself, flat against the wall, somewhere between disbelief and homicidal intentions.

Then the moment was over, and things went hurtling back into reality. “YOU- YOU LITTLE…” This was it. Fight or flight. Somewhere in the back of my mind, I wondered what I’d done.

I chose to fly.

Far, far away, I watched the boy with the mess of brown hair leap from the doorway, keys in hand, and flee towards the car. Saw him jam the keys in and start the engine, U-turning his way to his new life.

Then it was just me.

View this story's 3 comments.