* One week later*
The bottle in my hand feels weird, foreign even. I can hear Daniel upstairs moving around his office in that drunken manner he gets when his alcohol levels mix with his lack of sleep. I've been doing well so far this week. I've only had about six hours sleep in total in the past six nights and thanks to my overload of coffee and those pills, I can barely feel the tiredness that must be there. But I'm good at hiding things.
I've often wondered what would happen if I were to take more then the recommended pills. Having the bottle in my hand, I search it now for any warning, but my mind registers that there is no warning because I ripped the label off in case Daniel asked questions and I could just pass them off as the birth control pills he loves so much. Still, I have to wonder the possibilities. I know taking to many sleeping pills can put you to sleep for good, but what about these? Would they keep me awake forever and ever?
In my slightly delusional state, I don't hear Daniel climbing down the stairs until he's standing in front of me.
"What are those?" he asks, swaying on his feet and eyeing the bottle in my hands.
I swallow quickly and look away so he doesn't see the guilt in my eyes.
"The birth control pills."
"Isn't that a new bottle though?" he squints. "I thought you didn't need so many."
"I topped up," I lie smoothly. "Can't have me running out, can I?"
The last sentence comes out terse and clean cut, something very very abnormal for me. Daniel picks up on it, like he would any other time.
"Why do you have so many pills, Lilith?" he asks. Drunken manner forgotten, I know he's clear focused now and odds say I won't win this battle.
"I told you-"
"No," he cuts me off. "We've only slept together once this week and there's a full bottle still upstairs. I know because I just shaved."
I decide that the best thing for me to do is stay quiet and stare at my hands, my palms beginning to sweat.
The table rocks underneath my arms and I can practically feel him leaning on it, trying to get close and into my personal bubble of protection - trying to intimidate me.
I make the mistake of looking up and as soon as I do, Daniels palm hits my right jaw, nearly sending me falling from my chair.
"Who's the man, Lilly Lilith? Who have you been sleeping with?"
"No one," I clutch the side of my face. "I swear, I haven't slept with anyone."
"You lie, you little bitch," he grabs a fist full of my hair and slams my face into the table, smashing my nose on the corner where it instantly begins to bleed.
"I'm not," I sob. "I swear I'm not lying to you."
"You expect me to believe you? You expect me to believe that someone as evil and disrespectful as you would remain faithful to a loving husband?"
I cringe at his words, but the last two cut through my layer of submission.
"Loving husband?" I slowly raise my head. "When have you ever been a loving husband to me?"
He looks confused that I'd speak up in such a way at such a time. I'm a little confused myself. I wonder if a side effect of taking the pills is fiestiness. Either way, it doesn't sit well.
"See?" Daniel roars and shoves me backwards. The chair hits the ground and I smack my head, an egg appearing almost immediately as I roll to my knees. "You're an ungrateful bitch, a little slut who doesn't realise what she has going for her."
"Oh I know what I have going for me," I shake my head. "And it's nothing I should be grateful for."
When his foot kicks out at my stomach, I grab his leg and sharply pull, sending him sprawling onto his back.
I'm only barely managing to keep up with what I'm doing. I seem to have lost control of my body. Fighting back is something I've never done before and it's come as a shock to both me and Daniel. I'm scrambling to my knees even though I knew I should just take it, take it, take it. It's what I've always done and what I'll always do. I'm a party girl, not a fighter girl.
I'm running for the hallway, my bottle of pills still stuck in my hand. Daniels absolutely roaring by now, threats coming like no tomorrow as he tries to stand in his drunken state.
"I'M GOING TO KILL YOU. I'M GOING TO FUCKING KILL YOU."
I forget almost to late that the door can only be unlocked from the outside, Daniels method of keeping me locked in. I could try to run for the back door which he usually leaves open when he's home and he knows I won't run, but to do that I'd have to pass him in the kitchen and right now I can hear him searching the draws.
Probably for a knife.
I dive into a cupboard, just as Daniel drags himself from the kitchen. There's a gap between both doors and I can see his shadow shuffling around, trying to find me no doubt.
"Come out, come out wherever you are."
I realise now as he walks past the doors, butcher knife clutched in his hands that he would kill me for what I've done and it's not a threat anymore.
It's a promise now.
I used to imagine that when I'd die, it'd be from old age with grandchildren at my side and a loving husband holding my hand. Not here, not now. Not trapped in a cupboard with my husband stalking me with a knife, plans of maybe torture and mutilation in his mind. I know he has a record, good old Daniel, but I never questioned him much. Why did he spend three years in juvie? Did he hurt someone like me?
I don't want to die at his hands. I want to die at my own time, at my own choosing. But here in this cupboard, with Daniel making his way around the house, I'm limited on choices.
I don't think about it very much, just unscrew the lid as quietly as I can and tip back my head to chug down the pills. How many are there? Thirty? Fifty? Their dryness makes me choke and cough, but I hope it's not loud enough for Daniel to hear. With his boots stomping up the stairs, I highly doubt it.
Nothing happens at first as I lean back against the back wall of the cupboard, trying not to trip over the shoes that are scattered on the ground and the jackets that are hung up. But then, as I'm listening to Daniel calling my name psychotically, I feel the numbness begin to spread, from my fingers, up my arms and down my torso. Down my legs and down my toes. I slide to the ground before my legs can give out, just as the throbbing in my head begins.
It's a gentle pulse at first, but it increases with length and strength and before I know it, I'm weakly clutching my head between my hands.
My sight goes first. It goes blurry for starters before completely black, no matter how many times I try to blink. Then I begin to realise I can't feel anything and that my sound is starting to go fuzzy.
I don't know how long I'm in this state. I don't know how long it takes for Daniel to find me.
But when he does, there's nothing he can do for me because I, Lilly Lilith have escaped this nightmare.