Staring at her reflection, she could hardly recognise the face that she had lovingly pampered, that morning. Whilst rubbing it with the granules of the latest product that would give her skin a new life. She wandered bitterly, if there was some mixture that would breathe new life into her body, perhaps it would erase the memory of what had happened. She had, in carefree moments actually imagined herself with Darren. These thoughts had plagued her mind when he had been safely married, or when she herself had been in one of her relationships. In those moments she had smiled about her secret thoughts.
Pain, or what she thought pain might look like, reddened marks made a patchwork on her skin. The dark purple bruise on her thigh was the only evidence that she had attempted to fight him off. She had tried to fight him off her, she remembered that much. This was not how she had imagined their time to be together, she would never have thought he was capable of what he had done, he was so gentle and kind and that was what had made him such an integral part of her life.
Perhaps she could start the morning again, yes, that’s what she would do. She switched on the hot tap and began to run the water. On her shelf, boots would be proud of her collection of products. Some called it an obsession, her response was ‘If a girl can’t take care of herself then who would?’
Dead sea salt, full of healing minerals, just what she needed to eliminate the feelings she had within. Tears sprang up behind her lids as she closed her eyes to stem the flow. Her head felt light as she squeezed her eye shut. The red space she could see punctuated by waves of light. She took in the fragrance of the essential oil, beginning to breathe again, only just realising that she had been holding her breath. For what, she did not know.
Salty tears that she thought were over, she had cried so much in the last few weeks, she could barely believe there were any tears left in her body. She was over it now surely. She couldn’t be crying for the same reasons. Things were alright now surely, because he was back from the conference, he was here, he could protect her now.
She looked at him pretty much as she had looked at him before. Was this the same man she had known and loved for the past few years? Is this same man that had inspired her for so long, the same one who made her feel safe and comfortable? Looking at him now, the curve of his lips in a smile, she wondered if he suspected any of the rafts of emotions she felt inside. She wondered if he could sense her feelings of confusion, overpowering and threatening to squeeze the last bit of breath from her body. She wondered if it were obvious that she was plastering on a smile and look of certainty where nothing was certain for her.
She wondered what he was feeling, did he feel as if he was walking on quicksand, feeling the muddy sludge slowly working its way through his body, creeping up, enveloping, and wrapping his body in the gloopy mixture. Did he feel as though each breath he took was drawing him into a vortex, where he was in above his? The daily confusion of working towards the greater good as inside was screaming, but the words to relate evaded her, she wasn’t even sure how she looked any more.

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