Amanda leaned back against the shutters of a long since closed curry house and sighed with relief. Fear still jerked her pulse widely but excitement was starting to take over. I did it! She thought to herself, a slow grin spreading across her face. I finally left him.
She tugged the bag higher on her shoulder and looked around in apprehension, the small smile still playing on her lips. She wasn’t in the nicest of neighbourhoods, all the businesses had shut up shop, the boarded up and shuttered windows were smothered in graffiti. The streets were covered in rubbish; it smelled like rotting food and piss.
Still anywhere was better than the false security of her home, she could imagine herself as a stranger looking in, seeing her cosy living room, with the fake fire crackling away merrily and the worn leather sofa, the bright Christmas tree in the corner adorned with blinking lights and fake snow. They’d see her charming husband, eyes glittering brightly as he calmly made a pot of tea. She could imagine what a stranger would think, not knowing that just around the corner on the bathroom floor the young wife that so lovingly made that house a home lay broken and bleeding on the floor.
Amanda rubbed her stomach, just below the belly button, caressing the life inside her. That had been the last straw, her periods weren’t regular, hadn’t been for years; the doctors said it was stress. It was only when she began throwing up at the same time every morning that she suspected. She could handle the beatings, she’d grown used to them and on some level, thought she deserved them but she would not let this innocent life suffer for her own sins. She did the test in secret, using the toilet in the supermarket where she’d bought the test- positive, 6+ weeks. Though she knew, she must be at least twice that far along based on how long she had been throwing up.
Amanda hadn’t bothered going home to pack her things, she knew that once she saw his eyes full of fake regret and heard the insincere apologies, she’d believe them and never work up the courage to leave again. So she walked out of the 24 hour Tesco, calling a cab firm from her phone on the way. Booked it, to pick her up on this seedy street, knowing her dear husband wouldn’t lower himself to walking these filthy streets.
She checked her phone again, willing the cab to hurry up and whisk her away from here, not knowing where she was going or where she would end up but knowing deep in her bones that it would all work out now.
Just as a car pulled up at the curb, Amanda felt the first flutter under her fingertips, still pressed lovingly to the warm skin of her taut stomach.
Yes, it would all work out now.