She sat there drinking them in. Watching, smiling, nodding, speaking but deliberately not leading.It was a defence mechanism. Taken back to days long ago when her views, dreams and stories were considered stupid or childish.
First she learned to be quieter, and for a while she thought occasionally she was safe, until the words she cast out were spat back on a haze of alcohol and abuse. The stories and verses were burned or binned, because that’s what happens to trash. See?
Foolishly, when she’d thought he believed in her, she gave him a story to read. Since then, daily she’d become a little quieter, a little less herself. One day she realised she wasn’t sure who she was anymore.
That was the day she walked away. She left with less than she arrived with in belongings. Inside, she left with strength, determination to do what she had to, wanted to. Most of all she left with stillness. No longer a racing mind. No longer a terror of the key in the door. No more threats or delivery of nasty surprises to keep her “on her toes”. He awoke her strength hidden deeply away. He unwittingly gave her stillness. He kept everything they had so she could keep her stillness.