Write a new post in response to today’s one-word prompt.
It wasn’t the dirt or the mud, the twigs in my hair, or the blood crusting my lip. It was his touch, that he actually touched me, and it didn’t matter what I wanted. It was always about what he wanted. He wanted to go out, we went out. He wanted to eat, we ate. He wanted sex, we had sex. He wanted to hit and hurt and I was hit and hurt. He wanted to talk, we…but he never wanted to talk. Not like real talk. He talked with fists and belt and pinning me down when he wanted. Everything about talk to him was about how worthless I was, how weak, how useless.
I wasn’t useless anymore. Walking into the rushing river washed his touch away. His hurt faded. His hate, his demeaning, his anger stripped away, lost in the swift flow of the water. I didn’t know what was on the other side, but I knew it had to be better than living like a kept cur. Either way would be peace and safety and freedom.
I kept walking, current tugging my bare legs. I’d taken nothing of his, not even the clothes on my back. They were his clothes and I didn’t need them. I didn’t want them. I couldn’t stand the feel of them on my skin.
Water rose up my calves, knees, tugging at me with the whisper of freedom. Over my hips, rising to kiss the undersides of my breasts as the current pulled my feet out from under me. With a cry, I sank, sucked in by the rush towards rapids. At the river’s bend, the current slowed momentarily and I struggled for the shore. It was too far. Too hard. I was too tired.
The hand caught me, holding me safe as it swung me to shore; lifted me free of the baptismal, laying me on the ground. I coughed; gagged dirty water.