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Addalina lay on the soft-carpeted floor, breathing heavily and feeling the warm blood trickling from her nose. Every part of her body ached, and she knew this time he must have broken at least three of her ribs. With an effort that sent excruciating pain shooting through every part of her, she managed to roll onto her back. For long minutes she just lay there, staring at her bedroom ceiling, lacking even the energy to cry. But she couldn’t stay here. Gritting her teeth, she tried to pull herself to her knees.
“Get up, and I’ll lay you flat on your ass again.” His heavily slurred words came from the dark corner.
Her boyfriend, Joel, stumbled a couple of steps into the room.
She should have seen the signs of his abuse, but by the time she’d finally caught on to how he really was, it was too late. He had seemed to be the perfect man, so sweet and caring at first, and just a little jealous, which had made Addalina feel wanted. Their relationship had been great until they had decided to move in together.
That’s when the demon in him finally came out. He would stay out late with his friends and come home piss ass drunk only to accuse her of having another man over while he’d been gone. At first, Addalina had denied everything and hadn’t really let it bother her. She’d excused his erratic behaviour for a drunken man’s thoughts. When he had started with the pushing then the slapping, she had known she was in trouble.
Of course, she had tried to leave him. She had even had her bags packed when he had come home early one day to find her on the verge of escaping. He’d gone crazy. As he always had before, he’d apologised after his abuse, but Addalina knew he would always be like this, and she had feared for her life. Yet until now, she had never spoken to anyone of the way he treated her and had always hidden the bruises and cuts well when she’d gone out.
This morning, though, she had finally reached out to her sister, Sersha, for help. Sersha had been angry Addalina had waited so long, but had been so understanding and loving it had made Addalina weep with thankfulness. She’d packed her bags and had been about to walk out of the door when Joel had come home, horribly drunk again, with a bottle of Jack Daniel’s in hand.