She sat on the edge of their bed, watching him sleep. The only time he was peaceful.

At the beginning of their marriage, things had gone as planned: they went to work, came home to fix dinner together and trade chore duties. He was a god to her, perfect.

Six months after the wedding, he came home in a foul mood.

“Why can’t you have dinner ready when I come home?” he demanded. “Can’t you do anything right?”

Confused and hurt, she lashed out defensively. Who did he think he was? The argument escalated until he ended it with a slap to her face. She was stunned; this wasn’t the man she married.

The next day, she pretended it hadn’t happened. She didn’t want it to have happened; quite simply, she loved him. It got worse. Sometimes, she feared for her life.

She fingered the matches in her hands, contemplating. This was the only way. She lit a match and touched it to a curtain, watching the flame dance. She looked at her husband’s face one last time before curling into bed next to him, the Valium kicking in.

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