He shoved her hard and she stumbled backward, nearly falling; standing inches from here face, he dared her to push him back. But she knew how quickly things would escalate, so she spoke to him in quiet tones as she always did to calm his raging fury, while deep inside her heart told her that he’d crossed the line and there could be no turning back; it was time to hatch a plan for her survival.
As soon as he left the house to set up for his band gig that night she began making calls, first to her daughter in a nearby state to ask if she could come and stay with her for awhile, then to her boss to ask for time off to take care of personal business.
Quickly she put her plan into action, packing a suitcase and stowing it in trunk of her car, and putting a few personal treasures in a box in the back of a closet under quilts where they would be safe if he started smashing things when he discovered she was gone.
She played it cool when he came home to shower and dress before returning to the club where he would be playing, pretending to read a book though the words escaped her; she knew she needed to wait until the gig began so she would have enough time to get many miles away.
No sooner was he gone than he was back for a piece of sound equipment he’d forgotten, and she trembled inside to realize how easily he might have caught her; as his tail lights disappeared once again into the darkness she left a note for him on the counter, tossed her cats into their carriers, and drove away into the night.