Thursday, April 04, 2013

Time to Leave?

Soggy. That's how my right side feels, above my butt, below my ribs, with a knife made for sharp stabs protruding from it. It's what I've gained from sitting, listening to the rain for too long, and typing gibberish about moments in time.

I cock my head at the airy tap-tap of tennis shoes headed down the stairs. His tread is lighter since the attack. Before, the steps were like rocks being dropped one at a time, huge breadcrumbs leading to destruction. I'd heard him, ignored the warning. Minutes wasted.

"Going running. Hi George. Leave that inside when you're finished." He says the words loud enough for our "good as it gets" neighbor to hear, happy enough to twist the knife in my back.

I try to get to my feet, but the planks of the floor smack my face. It hurts. It hurt when he was laying down new ones and hit me in the head with a 2x4 last year. I got up then. I can get up now.

My hands slip in the wet goo of my insides spilling on the hardwood. Eight quarts, two probably gone in the first couple of minutes. That leaves me about six to live.

"Linda?" George drops the rake he'd borrowed, envelopes me.

"No." I think I say the word, push at him, but he doesn't let go.

"Forgot my phone. What's happened? George, what the fuck have you done?" Boulders landing, unmistakable, right outside the evidence pool of red. "Hold on, Linda. I'm calling 9-1-1." He backs away. "Help. The neighbor attacked my wife."

"No." The word takes all my breath. It will take a minimum of ten minutes for EMS to get to our house.

Last time, he'd gotten in nine punches before then. Said I'd be dead, if he'd wanted me to be and he'd get away with it. Said keep your mouth shut. I'd told them all was okay. I figured they were too late to save me anyway.

He edges forward, smirks.

The scarlet pool spreads. I am ready to go. Not one quart at a time though.

"No." My focus shifts from the man outside the red zone to George the Good. I take his hand, press it to my wound. I hold on tight to the moment. It isn't quite right for leaving. This time, it's not too late.

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