Another night, another fight, and this time it’s different. This time, I’m actually willing to throw a few punches of my own.
It’s late by the time I slam the door behind me, yelling, bitch, leave me alone, and the wind hits my face like a slap, cold and hard and furious. There’s a lump in my throat and I feel as though I were choking, a dog with a leash tied ’round its neck, struggling to break free.
The ground is stable beneath my feet, but my thoughts are swirling in a tempest. I break into a run.
Run, run, past the trees, past the houses with their beautifully maintained hedges, past the shining brand-new company cars, a symbol of their corporate success, past the snooping neighbors with their windows thrown open to hear my screams better.
Outrun the stars, outrun the moon. The heavens mock me with their serenity.
Outrun the past, which I will always carry with me, a great heavy burden that will eventually crush me. Outrun the present, which pretends to be full of the promise of freedom but betrays me, traps me, helpless in my own life. Outrun the future that will never, ever be mine, but hers and hers alone, to show off as a trophy when they get together with fellow mothers.
I trip and hit the ground running, feet aching, hands thrown out to break the fall. As I sit down on the curb to examine my wounds, I blink away tears and see the scratches in my knees form a map of my life, planned out neatly, some lines intersecting, some parallel, the blood shining in the moonlight.
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