The sun is so near I can feel each ray warm every particle on my face as i lean back on the swing with my eyes closed. I rotate my neck slowly in a circle as I stretch it, breathing and exhaling along the way. I guess you can say that I’m meditating. I feel grounded with my body, my core and  am aware of what surrounds me.  The playground is mostly empty only a mother and her little girl.  The little girls giggles warms my heart and gives me a little bit of baby fever all at the same time. And though the sun is splendid and warm, there is a slight cool wind slicing through the trees that surround me.  I love that sound. I wiggle my bare toes so the wind can tickle them when it blows. I had kicked off my flats as soon as I had started getting into the rhythm of the swing. My mind is so quiet, something that I’m not used to. The amount of concentration I am able to obtain amazes me. I’m content with myself for the first time in a long time and this is the first time I have  acknowledge that. It feels damn good to be happy.

After a while I decide to go home, its been a long day and I had only stumbled across the park when I decided to try a new shortcut home. As I walk down the sidewalk nearing my house, I grow more and more hesitant to approach it; there is a man sitting on the steps I’m not sure I recognize.   As he becomes more clear to me my heart drops.  He sees me now too and waves to greet me.  I stand there stunned to see him, how he got my address, is beyond me.  His smile fades as he sees me keeping my distance.  I can smell the alcohol on him even from where I stand.

I part my dry lips “Why are you here?”

“Hey!” He screams much louder than needed.  “How’s my girl doing?  Looking good!…mmm, mm, mm!”

“Yeah what do you know, not having bruises on me from head to toe really makes a difference,” I chuckle in a sarcastic  way”Why are you here?”

“Your mom sent me,” He sucks his dingy teeth, gross.

“Of course she did,” I mutter, poor mom.

“I’m tired of this cat and mouse chase , come home.”

Rolling my eyes I make my way up the stairs to my apartment, he’s still in the way.  I bend over to look him right in the eye. “Not. Happening. Oh and fyi I have a restraining order against you, it takes one phone call and bam you can spend the night behind bars.”

He gives me a mischievous grin he had always been proud of my sass, which made me hate it.  But when I needed to get something done its the only way I knew how to get my way.  Bribing, threatening, surviving, that was my childhood, amongst other things, none of which were good.

“What should I tell your mother,” he stands up towering me.   The little girl inside wants to shrivel up, even if hes just a old man now, but i dont.

“I would tell her to run while she still can.  I would tell her to live with me, but hey thats just what I would say.”

“You always did crack me up, but you sure as hell know that woman anit going no where.  It ain’t no never mind to me anyways, less mouths to feed.  I’ll tell your mother I gave it a shot, at least now she’ll shut up about you.  See you around Marsha”

I watch him fade with the sunset down the street, ” Goodbye Dad,” I whisper.

I’m free.

____________________________________________________________

[abuse is real and is a issue not talked about nearly enough. It’s important to know that there are people out there who have been in the same crisis as you and have made it out, alive. THERE IS A WAY OUT and there is always support that you can find. TAKE THE FIRST STEP]

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