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My feet hit the cold wood floor as I make my way to the bathroom. I trip over the dog and fall, but catch myself with my hands. I pull myself up with the door frame and flip on the light switch. I suck in a gulp of air in a gasp.
The girl in the mirror looked back at me, but it wasn't my face. This girl had greasy blond hair, dark blue and purple circles under her eyes. They were also blood shot with sleep deprivation. Her skin was sallow and her clothes were old, dirty, and hosted several holes or patches where holes had been. There were cuts and scars on her arms.
Who was this girl? It wasn't me. I mean, sure, I had drifted a little, but not this much, right? I realized that I had been holding my breath. I let it our and if left a patch of fogged up mirror in its place. It faded away slowly and left me to continue staring at this stranger.
How long had it been since I had looked in a mirror? How long had it been since I had eaten anything? I thought to myself as I looked at my body, all skin and bones.
I raced to the toilet and lifted the lid and let everything out. I t spills into the toilet and the putrid smell reaches my nose, making even more of what is not there come out. I lift my head up, cold sweat forming on my forehead.
I turn the tub's faucet on, the water pours out as if form a waterfall, sounding like thunder in my hang-over- ears. I look up towards the light bulb, not covered my anything. It shines in my mind so bright that it hurts my head.
I turn the water off; hear a crash from the bedroom at the bedroom at the same moment. I ignore the nearly overflowing bathtub and go to the bedroom to find the lamp shattered on the floor and Keith standing over it, fuming. His head pops up as I come in.
'Where were you?' He nearly screams at me.
'I was in the bathroom,' I say, barely hearing my voice as if it were through a thick haze. 'What happened to the lamp?'
'NOTHING!' He screamed.
'Something happened to it,' I said very calmly, total opposite of his tone.
'WHY DON'T YOU JUST MIND YOUR OWN BUSINESS?'
'Why don't you tell me what happened to the lamp?' I said, my voice growing a little more defensive, but not angry.
Suddenly, I was on the ground, both the left side of my face and my shoulder throbbing. I pulled my shirt aside and saw a red blotchy spot on my shoulder. He picked me up off the floor just to push me on the bed, and started unbuckling his belt while holding onto my wrists. I screamed, though no one was around to hear me. I fought against his grip. I was useless.
Somewhere outside of my head, behind my high-pitched screaming, I could hear someone pounding on the apartment's door. Maybe someone had heard the commotion.
The pounding on the door got louder. Now it sounded like someone was yelling something and trying to beat down the door.
Something mad an ear-splitting crack, drowning out my screams. Four policemen charged in just before Keith was able to harm me anymore. Three held guns that pointed to Keith while one had a pair of handcuffs, ready and waiting. They grabbed him and started pulling him through the door. I pulled my skirt down and fixed my position.
I caught my breath and saw a police officer coming toward me. His name tag said Handson. He approached slowly, obviously not wanting to frighten me. He pulled something small out of his pocket. It was red and I recognized it as a small book of the new testament, one like my mother used to have. I took it, rolling it in my hands, feeling the soft, cool cover.
That day, my life changed forever. I started going to church on Sundays, sometimes Wednesdays, and AA meetings.
6 Months Later'
I walk up the sidewalk to the front door. I pause. I knocked loudly three times and smoothed down my clean, white skirt, pulled a curl behind my ear.
The door opened up. I smiled a warm smile, my eyes tearing up as I saw my Mama for the first time in 2 ' years. She had tears in her eyes as she swept me up in a big hug. I squeezed her tight and thanked God for the millionth time for Officer Handson rescuing me that day six months ago.