Beth was slumbering gently when a chink of light snuck rudely through the gap in the curtains. It filled the room with bright sunlight. She immediately sensed the flat empty mattress space beside her in their double bed. How strange she thought. Beth rolled onto her side taking most of the thick duvet with her. She took a sleepy gaze at the alarm clock. 5:05  am! Earlier than she originally thought. Where in god’s name was Harrison at this time? Beth always awoke before him, naturally she was an early riser but also tried to spend as little time in bed with him as possible Harrison repulsed her! She decided to roll over and catch a couple more hours of sleep. Beth awoke with a startled jump just before 7am. The front door slammed with almighty force  and shook the whole house. Jesus! that’s one way to damage the door! Beth thought. Harrison entered the bedroom, he was suspiciously dressed in black and completely breathless. Beth froze, pretending to be asleep. She kept one eye upon Harrison as he quickly undressed throwing his clothes into the wicker wash basket in the corner.

Beth eyed something upon his neck. What was that? It looked suspiciously like blood, but there was no apparent wound. Beth had to prevent herself from gasping, the blood was not his own! oh lord! Now Beth really wanted to scream, had he been fighting, was he involved in crime? more importantly had someone else been injured, and how badly? Beth’s inner self was conjuring up so many questions, ones she daren’t ask! She cancelled out the drunken fighting question in her frightened mind. He was clearly capable of more dangerous things than ‘woman beating’ he had ‘bad news’ stamped all over him!

Beth was fretting but kept herself busy the next day washing, ironing and packing Harrison’s vast amount of clothing. She was very tempted to burn it all with the steam iron, purely out of spite. Once again she was being treated like some pathetic doormat. She placed the heavy lid down on the suitcase and closed the zip. Harrison’s departure came around more quickly than she had imagined. Beth was overjoyed. This mornings argument caused by god knows what had been pretty terrible. She hated being shouted at like some insignificant animal. Beth could barely even recall how it had started, but it had resulted in yet more bruises. As Harrison left the house, Beth gingerly kissed him goodbye. “Have a nice trip” she stated politely. “Be good” was his reply. Beth was irritated, he treated her like a child. In fact she had less significance in his life than some stupid lap dog.

He closed the door behind him, Beth didn’t bother to wave him off and breathed a deep sigh of relief! For 6 whole weeks she was FREE ! This was her chance to live life to the full! Beth was going to do something for her, she was so sick and tired of living under this harsh dictatorship. Secretly while Harrison had been at “work” , Beth had been updating her CV handing it out at various places.The chirpy phone call she received the next day was to change her life for the better.

The phone rang out boldly, Beth jumped and ran to answer it . “Hello” she said curiously “Hi is that Beth?” came the gentle reply in a lilting Scottish accent. “Yes it is”

“I’m Annie Woods the manager of Summer Cottage care home, we’d like you to come in for an interview tomorrow afternoon. Hope it’s not too short notice but we desperately need the staff!”

Beth hesitated. “Wow that would be great what time is the interview?”

“Would 2pm suit you?”

“Yes brilliant thank you for your quick reply.”

“No problem, we look forward to seeing you then”

“Thank you so much ! bye”

That was short but sweet ! Beth put the phone down, grinning like a Cheshire cat. Please god let me get this job she thought. The interview was fairly informal, yet professional and Beth impressed Annie with her care knowledge. They shook hands warmly. Beth had got the job !



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