BEYOND

Tanya gripped the steering wheel with white knuckles, struggling against the air that seemed to press down on her. Sweat streamed down her back. The erratic thump, thump of her heart drowned out the honking horns behind her. Drivers gestured and screamed for her to move aside. She was holding up the daily commute, one that she hadn’t partaken of since coming to this place with him, asleep, in the dead of night.

There was nothing out there for her, he’d said. No hope, no love, no people. Only he would have her. Confidence slowly eroded, just like the banks of the island. Her world shrunk until all that was left was his will.

This wasn’t the first time she’d hovered at the edge of this bridge, staring as it disappeared into the distance. Each time, fear had held her back, the panic of that big empty expanse of water with only a thin layer of concrete and steel for safety. Fear of how she could survive alone, without him.

Nausea gripped her as she struggled to decide. She’d suffered his poisonous words for years, even the occasional slap, but last night left more than her self-confidence beaten. If it was just her, she’d suffer through, but this wasn’t a life to bring another into.

Movement caught her eye. He was coming, charging down the road, mustache twisted up into small horns. Even at this distance she could see the fury in his expression.

Hands shaking, she slammed the accelerator. The car rocketed into the unknown. Free at last.

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About A. L. Kaplan

I am a writer, artist, and parent.
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