Everything was getting dark. She could feel his hands getting tighter and tighter around her neck. She tried to scream, but she couldn't. She couldn't do anything. The cold hard bricks behind her scraped her back as she slid down, her body going limp in his hands.
"Kelly...Kelly...It's okay. You're ok. You're safe."
She opened her eyes, her lungs ached as she gasped for breath. It had seemed so real. She could feel his hands on her, smell his breath as his mouth loomed over hers, hear his voice as he growled into her ear. And now she was here in a hospital bed, with her husband beside her.
"Kelly," Kevin said softly, touching her arm, "I'm here."
She pulled away, her eyes studying his face. "Now. You're here now." The tears spilled out in spite of her best efforts to quell them. Last night was about being afraid, this morning had been about being hurt and ashamed, and now she was angry. She was angry this had happened to her. She was angry she hadn't been strong enough to fight him off, but she was angriest at the man who sat beside her. This was the man that had promised to be there for her, but he hadn't.
Nothing could have hurt him more-not even if she had slapped him across the face. Even after all the events of the past few months, she'd never looked at him like this. She'd never called him out directly-never said the words out loud that he thought to himself.
"I'm so sorry, Kelly," he said quietly, barely able to look her in the eyes.
"Where were you?" she asked, already knowing the answer, but somehow needing to hear him say it.
"Where were you? she asked again, her tone more serious and with a hint of accusation. "I went looking for you-you weren't there."
"I know," he reached for her hand, swallowing hard when she jerked it away. "I don't know what to say, Kel. I don't."
"You were drunk, right? You were passed out in bed while some bastard threw me up against a wall and..." Her voice broke. She hadn't been raped, but she didn't feel any less violated. Her whole body ached. She could taste the blood on her lips and her ribs ached when she moved and breathed. That man had hurt her physically, and this man, the one she'd pledged her life to had hurt her as well-just in different ways.