I exhale slowly as my back slides down the bathroom door. For now, he is quiet. I don’t know how long I am going to have to stay in here. Now that there is stillness, the sobs jolt me. “I don’t understand. What did I do wrong? How can I get him to calm down?” The weight in my stomach threatens to come up and I make myself breathe. I hope my kids can’t hear me.
Heavy footsteps climb the stairs and stop outside the bathroom door, “Oh you big baby. All you do is cry about everything. Every time we try to talk about something, you run away. You’re just a big, fucking baby,” J growls. I swallow the rest of my sobs. I turn out the light and lie on the rug. “You have to come out of there sometime.” I hear him rustling around the room, anxious for someone to fight. I wait for silence, signs of sleep. Around midnight, I sneak out of the bathroom and lay lightly on the edge of the bed by his snoring, heavy body.