A tug of the sleeve. Fixing of the collar. Add some concealer-perfect! It won’t hide anything. The jacket comes off. Bruises cover the once pale skin. Some are old, yellowing. Some are new, distracting with their purple-blue hues. The shirt comes next and meet the jacket in a clump on the floor. Stretch marks etch permanent ridges across the flat expanse of stomach before dipping to meet pointed hip bones. Those give way unto layered, misshapen scars. They travel down and around thinning thighs with deadly precision. A cat? No. Not even an animal would cause this upon another without a guaranteed reason to leave its mark. A turn. A second mirror. Trailing reddening, fresh looking marks through the shoulder blades yet stopping within sight. Another turn. Staring at a swollen eye. It’s as red as the other angry marks but compares to nothing once the focus is the red cuts looking from a dull knife above a full breast and under a showing collarbone. Left side. Blood soaked gauze is still there. Drying. Dirty. Strong arms. A fleeting shoulder kiss. The unraveling and placing of new gauze to all affected areas. The gentle reassurances whispered to listening ears as a shirt, too big, is coaxed on. Baggy sweatpants follow without scraping against any angry marks. Leaning back onto a strong chest. Security. Marks rest on the arms. Gentle kisses to stave off anymore pain. A hum of appreciation followed by a faint squeeze of the hand. Relax. Breathe. Safe.