He held her closer, his grip tightening. She moved to swing her legs from around him, but his hands locked tight against her waist.
“Let me go.”
It was the refrain of the night, but it wasn’t entirely accurate. It wasn’t letting her go, it was the choice to watch her walk away. She cursed her initial phrasing.
She had thought it was going to be better after that, that the sex would make her feel better. Let her accept. The quiet of the night just sank heavier now. They would make up, and the morning would bring…what would change? She curled up on the edge of the bed.
What would change.
The strongest soldiers became the weakest dolls outside of combat. The shell was shed and she had let him see the tender bits. And he pressed up against them, cutting off her circulation. Unconsciously or no, he would hurt her again and again. And she would take it. Why? She had no idea.
This was the point of her running away. The point of leaving for all the assignments she did not have to take, the more dangerous the better. Out there, in the daylight, she had armor. She was strong, bulletproof. She was a soldier of the microphone. Not an anchor, not a ditzy blonde, but the hardened type. The one they occasionally forgot was a woman.
But here, in the dark, on the edge of the bed, wanting to sleep on the couch, but wanting to be near him, she was the antithesis of herself. At times, she loved it. And she hated it. She was powerless to his touch, to the words he whispered in her ear. She didn’t even care what he said, but the feeling of his breath so close, it was intoxicating. So she let her guard down. And sooner or later, words and actions from him jarred her. They would remind her of boyfriends past, of the men she tried to forget who hurt her physically and mentally. The men who had made her walls so easy to build.
She sat straight up. This was not who she was and at the same time it was who she wanted to be. He brought out a side of her she missed, but had walled away so far that even she had forgotten it was there. But it should remain protected. The needy, desperate woman she was on these nights scared her. It scared her more than bombs, rebels and machetes against her throat.
He was asleep, of course. The comfort of sleep came easier to those who hadn’t seen what she had seen. Those who hadn’t known what she knew. A comfortable corporate job made for a comfortable corporate sleep. She slowly drew her pillow away and retreated to the couch.
Sleep came easier here. Out by herself. She fell asleep until a sound woke her up. He called for her. She stayed silent. He fell asleep again.
In the dawn, she grabbed her clothes, cell phone and backpack. Once she was out the door she called the office.
“What have we got today?”
Anywhere but here. Escape was the only way to save herself.