The fight is over. He’s passed out on the bed. Earlier in the evening he had drank the entire twelve-pack. She’d said the wrong thing again, or perhaps she’d moved the wrong way. It doesn’t really matter now.

Slowly she creeps to the bedroom door and opens it just enough to check that he is still asleep. She closes the door as quietly as she can and starts picking up the broken glass and the furniture pieces which he destroyed in his rage over something she will probably never completely know how she caused. She knows it’s her own fault though, it always is.

It’s 2:30 in the morning now. Half the night was spent screaming as he chased her around the now broken furniture, threatening to kill her as the children cried. Now it’s time to pack a bag and get out of there before he wakes up. She quietly packs the kids up in the back of the family mini-van. It’s time to head for the shelter for a few days until he talks her into coming back. He’s only dangerous when he’s drunk. He’ll be sure to promise he’ll never do it again.

As she drives her sleeping children to the women’s shelter she thinks about how she is going to hide the new bruises and what the new alibi will say. The children in the back seat stir as she hits a ditch in the road. In the back of her mind she thinks “Another ditch in the road, you keep moving on.” She comes to an intersection and thinks “Another stop sign, you keep moving on.” The people at the shelter know her by name now, so many years of being beat. The years fly by around her as the social worker wonders how they ever made it through this long.

Why does she go back to him they wonder but she wonders what choice she has. She needs his income because she’s been out of work since he broke her back last year. There are the children to think of. Her babies are asleep in the back seat. She wonder’s how they’ll ever make it through this living nightmare. He’s never hurt the baby and only hurt their older son once and that was just because he got in the way. The mind is an amazing thing, it’s kept her children safe and sound so far. The boy’s eyes glaze over and his mind goes off to happier times whenever the fighting starts. His head fills with dreams of candy and new toys. The baby is still too young to understand.

The shelter gets her a room at yet another cheap hotel. It’s just her, her beautiful sleeping angels, two beds and a coffee machine now. She cries as she watches her children sleep in the hotel bed as she thinks about how there are groceries to buy. She knows she’ll eventually have to go home and he will still be there. For a few days, maybe even a few weeks, things will be fine between them but then he’ll start drinking again…

She just sits on the end of one of the beds of the hotel room for now, thinking. Another bruise to try and hide, another alibi to write. She looks out the window at the lonely highway in the black of night. She sees hope in the darkness, for she knows they're going to make it. They’ve survived this long, they can survive a little longer, just until she finds a job. Her back is almost healed enough now. She keeps it all hidden, not ever letting him know how close she is to leaving for good. One of these days she’ll pack up the kids and move far away and get a fresh start.

Another ditch in the road
Keep moving
Another stop sign
You keep moving on
And the years go by so fast
Silent fortress built to last
Wonder how I ever made it


Based on and lyrics from:
Two Beds and A Coffee Machine
By Darren Hayes/Daniel Jones

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