For You

By , Ann Arbor, MI
The door slams, and you stumble in, a beer bottle in one hand, the other a raised fist...raised at me
It slams against the side of my skull, and I fall, facedown, seeing the chipped linoleum through the tattered carpet...the floor of our apartment
For you, I came here
for you, I made this work
for you, I gave up my dignity....my purity
Will this be the night I give up my life?
Suddenly you back away from me...you go for our son, crawling in, terror on his face as he takes in the hellish scene
"Mommy?" he whispers. Anger boils up within me as I watch our defenseless son cower back, scared of the man who should be the most important person in his life...his father
For you, I have lost so much
Family...friends...respect...the ring once resting proud on my finger.....
I remember hearing it fall to the ground, remember your whispered promises wrapping around me in a shroud to replace it....
Where are those promises now?
Gone.
Vanished.
Left me here, nothing left to give but myself...something you never tire of taking.
As you edge closer to him, as the panic spreads across our son's face, I slowly push myself up
For you, I have given up so much...but you will not take our son.
He won't sacrifice for my mistake...the mistake of trusting you, of loving you...
I scoop him up and run, weak legs pushing me faster, feeling every mark on me, courtesy of you.....
Your voice rings after me in the night, screaming out my name.
Tears fall, as I run faster.
Your footsteps pound after me, crunching over the glass from the beer bottle that's dropped from your shaking hand...a hand steady enough to take when I thought I had nothing left to give.....
Our son whimpers, and I push myself forward. For you, I gave up my dreams...but for him, I will sacrifice even the pitiful attempt at life I have now, and jump in the unknown.
Finally, your footsteps stop, a curse dropping from your lips as you stare after me, after my retreating form, retreating as fast as the boy I loved did, when he turned into the alcoholic monster you now are.
I sink down outside a bus station, my weary body collapsing, a mix of fear and adrenaline coursing through my veins . The night rearranges around me like a star studded cloth, as I whisper into the silence "I'm sorry" to our son. He is the one thing I will never give up for you.





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