I stare at the broken glass in front of me, trying not to flinch when I hear Daniels fit on the landing, coming down the stairs.
"What the hell was that?" he yells as he comes into the kitchen. I immediately drop to my knees and begin to gather the glass together.
"It slipped out of my hands," I say quietly. It is true, this time anyway. Sometimes I'll deliberately break a glass just to get him to emerge from his office, but I got absent minded washing the dishes and now it looks like I'll pay the price.
"Damn it, Lilith!" Daniel yells right behind me, making me jump. "I'm the one who pays for all this stuff!"
"I'm sorry," I mumble quietly.
"What was that?"
"I'm sorry!" I say louder, but he doesn't care.
He never cares.
Out of reflex, I jerk a little when he grabs the back of my neck and pulls me to my fight. When he shoves me back into the cupboards, I stumble a little before regaining my balance, bringing my hands up to cover my face, just in case. I'm ready for impact when his foot connects with my rib, but I still crumble onto the ground, landing on the glass. It cuts into my hands.
I've long since forgotten how to cry in these situations. I've been with Daniel now for two years. In the first few months, I began to understand what true pain felt like.
As I'm lying on the ground, completely exposed to the kicks he throws at my stomach and legs, I let all those memories come back to me. The ones that make me feel alive.
"You are such a flirt," Daniel teases, nudging me with his elbow and I try not to smile. The lights from the club flash around us, making me feel dizzy, but light and free all at the same time. My friend Becca sits across from us, smiling mischeviously at us.
"You know," she flips her hair over her shoulder. "You two would make a good couple."
My mouth drops open and they both laugh.
"How bout it, Lilly Lilith?" he teases, using my nickname.
"You're three years older then me," I say nervously. "I'm only sixteen."
"Age doesn't matter when you're in love," he whispers in my ear.
I snap out of the memory moments after Daniel delivers his final painful blow to the small of my back. At least he's drunk today. It hurts a lot more when he can focus on the task at hand.
"You ungrateful bitch," he hisses as he straightens up. "Clean that up and then bring me a beer. Robert's coming over in an hour."
He marches out the room and I climb to my feet, all but numb to the pain that throbs up my sides. Becca used to tell me that I never felt pain because I was such a party girl with no care in the world. I used to find that a compliment, but now it seems more like an insult.
Maybe because I didn't suffer in my younger years, I'm paying the price now. At least I can keep it buried. She still thinks I'm living the dream.
Apparently party girls can get hurt.