Nov 18th – Plastered Petticoats

November 18th – Plastered Petticoats

17.46-17.56

The rain fell hard, and long, and heavy.

She didn’t have anywhere to go, then. She couldn’t go home, not yet, not now. There would be too many questions that she didn’t have the answers for, and she couldn’t go back there.

It was supposed to have been good. It was supposed to have been great. All the things she thought it was going to be had folded in on themselves, until the only thing left to do was go. She ignored their words; the words that called her back to them, to the warm and the lights and the drinks and the music, and she ignored them.

She must have left her coat behind. It didn’t matter now. None of it mattered.

Everything was closed. The lights on the high street mocked her: Christmas displays, too early, promised warmth and closeness and colour. All she felt was grey.

She wrapped her around her, for warmth, possibly, for security, probably, and for modesty: her shirt drenched to transparency by the force of the deluge. Puddles taunted her feet, swallowing her reflection already shattered by raindrops. Her boots, like her shirt, like her skirt, were heavy with water. The layers of petticoats underneath, a Victorian twist to her 21st century style, were plastered to her skin.

It didn’t matter whether or not she was crying. The tears would never beat the rain.

She’d left her confidence back there, with her coat. The confidence that had taken her out under a heavy sky, under the clouds that threatened but held back. She was going to tell him what she felt, what she really felt, and then she would be free. Free to enjoy the evening. Free to be with her.

But he had mocked her, first, and manoeuvred her into the kitchen when no-one else was there, pushed her against the door, closing it with her back as his hands bit into her arms and he told her that he would decide, not her; that she was nothing, anyway, and he didn’t know why he bothered with her. Anyway.

She had sunk to the floor when he let her go, dragging her out of the way of the door so that he could pass, back into the lights and the noise and the people. She had looked at no-one when she forced herself up off the floor, caught no-one’s eye, heard no-one’s voice as she ran down the hallway and out into the November rain.

And now she was walking, with nowhere to go, either forward or back.

She stood at the crossroads, waiting for the lights, even though it didn’t matter where she went, when the car pulled up alongside her. She swept her hair away from her smudged eyes as she heard the window slide down.

“Don’t be stupid. Get in.”

She didn’t need to look. She reached for the handle. It was her.

 

Inspired by a prompt from here.

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