13th April 1996 PROLOGUE
He’s gone. Two and a half years of my life gone with one final slam of the front door. The sound still echoes in my ears, an over dramatic slam that rocked the very core of the house. The windows rattled, the picture frames toppled and the mirror threatened to smash. It sent a very definite message,
‘There is no turning back. This is the end.’
Right, I need to gather myself and my thoughts. I have managed to reach my diary from its hiding place and it opens its covers to me. Thank god for writing.
Since the slam, I have been just here, by my bed, cowering. I am not scared to move, I am not consumed with sadness, I am just still and reflective. I know why it has finally come to this, I understand His anger and His need to destroy, I am unsurprised by His lack of respect and violence. The events of the last twelve hours have been strangely predictable and dreadfully familiar. And now that the devastation has ended I can sit here in the calm aftermath of the rest of my life. I feel refreshed and relieved as I can finally, after nearly three years of being weak and dependent, see a future without Him. A future of freedom.
Feeling a murmuring of regained confidence, I have ventured a tentative glance around my surroundings. What I see is unprecedented even by His standards. My once peaceful, cosy, nondescript corner of my shared student house looks like a scene from the apocalypse. The majority of my life possessions have been purposefully and cruelly vandalised or destroyed. There are no memories, nothing remains whole from our life before. CDs wrenched from shelves lie in glittering fragments over cigarette burnt rugs. Uni books and files gape open ripped, battered and red wine stained. My clothes lay trampled and torn peppered with make up, jewellery, perfume, pens, anything he could get his hands on at that precise minute of his rage.
He did this.
And I did this.
My sanctuary is shattered, my nose is bloody and my hands fumble as I write in my precious book. But, in this moment, I feel different. My resolve is stronger than ever before as a familiar mantra helps me up on my feet.
“NO MORE, I CANNOT TAKE ANY MORE.”
And this time I mean it.