Authors: Elly Grant
Never Ever Leave Me
by Elly Grant
Published by Author Way Limited at Amazon
Copyright 2013 Elly Grant
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Katy heard the slap, a muffled thud against her ear, a split second before she felt the sharp sting on her cheek
. Her eye blurred as it watered, running tears down the side of her nose. The impact knocked her head round and for a moment she felt disorientated. She staggered, slightly off balance, but managed to stop herself from actually falling, instead she grabbed the edge of the sink to steady herself.
“Do you think I want to be out of work, you stupid bitch? Do you think I want to be down at the
pub drinking with those losers?”
Katy cowered, her hand holding her cheek where Gordon had hit her. She was shaking with shock.
“Cat got your tongue, nothing smart to say? Now there’s a change.”
Gordon reeled away from her towards the kitchen door. As he manoeuvred past the table he swept the
stack of newly dried crockery onto the floor then kicked at the debris sending shards of broken china across the room. Katy exhaled her bated breath and began to cry. She was scared. The man she loved, the man she’d married only six months before had changed beyond all recognition. Gordon blamed everything on losing his job, but it was his fault he was fired. He was always a smartass, always thought he could get away with anything. He assumed the manager was stupid and wouldn’t figure out who was stealing the stock. Katy had tried to warn him.
“We don’t need the money,
” she’d said. “We’re both working and we’re doing okay. Surely it’s not worth the risk.”
“Everyone needs a bit extra,” he’d replied. “Besides, I won’t get caught. That old duffer will think
the customers are stealing the stuff. He’ll never know it’s me.”
But Gordon was caught and he was lucky just to be fired and not charged
. That incident happened three months ago. The day before Katy found out she was pregnant. If he’d appeared in court he’d have had some explaining to do as she had no knowledge of his previous record. Now, understandably, nobody would employ him. Living in a small town the word went round quickly.
was rather controlling even before they were married. Powerfully built, sex with Gordon was all about him, but Katy had never had a lover before and mistook his roughness for passion. She expected nothing and therefore wasn’t disappointed. Her own father had been a cold and distant man so any attention was welcome.
Annie, Gordon’s sister, tried to warn
her. “He’s just like my dad,” she’d said on more than one occasion. “My dad is a violent drunk, but my mum always takes him back.”
“Gordon isn’t like him,” Katy protested. “He loves me and we’re going to have a good life together. Besides, I’m not like your mum. A man would only have to lift his hand to me once and I’d be out
of the door.”
could visualise Annie’s pursed lips, the shake of her head, her despairing look. The bruise forming on her cheekbone clear evidence that Annie was right. She stood motionless, listening fearfully, trying to determine where in the flat Gordon was and, more importantly, if he was returning to the kitchen. An involuntary shudder ran down her spine. ‘Aye, aye, lass, someone’s just walked on your grave’, her mother’s old saying popped into her head and she shuddered again. Her instinct was to run, but Gordon might try to stop her, he might hit her again and where could she run to? Her shoes were in the bedroom, her handbag in the sitting room, a suitcase to pack her clothes was in the cupboard in the hall. She strained to listen again then she heard the bathroom door close and the lock turn.
she was moving like lightning. She raced into the sitting room and grabbed her handbag then practically flew into the bedroom where she stepped into her shoes before grabbing a neatly ironed duvet cover from the pile of fresh laundry on the blanket box. She stood still and listened again, to her relief she could hear the shower running. Not wasting a moment, she grabbed clothes from the wardrobe and underwear from the drawer then she stuffed everything unceremoniously into the pocket of the duvet. She added to this the biscuit tin containing her important and precious items which she’d kept at the bottom of the wardrobe then ran for the door.
the bathroom she heard the shower stop flowing and for a moment she panicked. Should she go or should she run back to the bedroom? Another shudder rippled down her spine and the decision was made. She grabbed her coat from the hall stand and bolted.
Katy wasn’t stupid, but given the circumstances, she found it difficult to think clearly. One thing she did know, however, was that now she’d made her choice, she had to get as far away from here as she possibly could. Her first port of call was the supermarket where she withdrew two hundred pounds from the ‘hole in the wall’. From there she made her way to the station.
“Can I help you, Madam? Do you want to buy a ticket?” the clerk asked.
Katy fumbled with her purse. She hadn’t a clue where to go. Finally she said, “Scotland, I want to travel to Scotland.” She wouldn’t just move town she’d move country. Gordon would never find her there.
“Scotland is a big place,” the clerk said. “Did you have a particular town in mind or should I just guess,” he added sarcastically.
Overwhelmed by the question
she began to cry. The clerk relented.
“It’s getting rather late in the day, but you’re still in time to catch a train going to Glasgow. Would that suit you?”
The truth was she had no idea if it suited her or not, but nevertheless within ten minutes she was sitting on a train headed north. She was aware of other passengers staring at her and little wonder, her face was tear-stained, her hair dishevelled and all her worldly goods were stuffed into a duvet cover which was decorated with overblown pink roses. She must look a very strange sight. Katy opened her handbag removed a tissue, her hairbrush and her make-up bag, intending to tidy herself up when she spotted her house keys at the bottom of the bag. The realisation that she’d never be returning to her home, to the rooms she’d lovingly decorated, the furniture she’d saved up to buy and all her precious ornaments and nick-nacks made her weep again.
“Are you all right? Are you feeling
ill?” a man’s voice cut through her misery and she looked up to see a tall, handsome, athletic-looking man.
e slid into the seat at the opposite side of the table. “This really is my seat. See fourteen B, it’s on my ticket. Honest, I’m not trying to come onto you.” He held out his ticket for her to see. “I’m going all the way to Glasgow Central,” he continued.
held her hand in front of her mouth, holding back a sob and stared silently at the man.
“I’m getting a coffee from the buffet car. Do you want one? By the way, my name
’s John.” He offered her his hand to shake and she automatically accepted.
“Katy, my name’s Katy and I’ve just left my husband
“Is that who gave you the shiner?” he asked nodding towards her rapidly blackening eye.
Her hand immediately touched her face and fresh tears filled her eyes once again.
“Sit tight and I’ll be back in a minute with the coffees. Don’t upset yourself. The worst is over.
You’re safe here.”
John disappeared down the carriageway Katy sat with her head in her hands and her elbows resting on the table in front of her. What have I done, she thought to herself, what on earth have I done?
A wave of nausea
swept over her and she realised she hadn’t eaten for several hours. Her morning sickness, for some reason, seemed to appear at any time of the day, especially when she was hungry so she was grateful when John reappeared carrying not only the coffees but sandwich packs and chocolate biscuits as well.
“Thank you, you’re very kind,” she said staring into his soft green eyes.
“You look like you could do with a break,” he replied. “I know what it’s like to be hurt and alone,” he added. Then he looked down and cleared his throat as if he was embarrassed.
“Did someone special leave you?”
“In a manner of speaking,” John replied. “My wife died last year.
I woke up one morning and she was dead beside me. The doctors said it was an undetected heart condition. I still can’t believe she’s gone. Carol and I were childhood sweethearts. We went to primary school together. I loved her all my life.”
“I’m so sorry,” Katy replied. She didn’t know what else to say.
There was an awkward silence for a minute or two then John said, “Help yourself to a sandwich I wasn’t sure what you’d fancy so you have a choice of roast beef or chicken. I hope you’re not a vegetarian or I’m afraid I’ve got it completely wrong.”
As she ate the nausea passed and Katy found herself telling John her life history. Word after word, sentence after senten
ce poured out of her and as she spoke, she felt unburdened. She realised that her entire life had been spent running away from one thing after another. Her first flight had been to university to escape the family home and her cold controlling father. Then when he died she returned home to support her mother. She couldn’t stand living within the confines of the house. She’d forgotten about her mother’s obsessive compulsion to clean and tidy at all times of the day and night. It drove her mad. She’d had four years of making her own decisions at university. She liked being able to leave her clothes in a heap if she chose, but living at home made her feel stifled, claustrophobic. Then Gordon came along and offered her a way out. She thought he loved her. He called her his uptown girl, and she was. She came from a middle-class background whereas his family were working class. Katy had run to him with open arms. Now she was running again.