Her ears rang and burned.  The lies and questions hung in the air like tangible things, she could grab and use for want of a better weapon.  Her heart pounded and raced, her breathing was ragged, and red crawled up her neck.  She stood clutching the chair before her as if it were her only life line.  The only solid thing left in her twisting life of turmoil.  She stared at him blinking back tears, of rage, of hurt, of disappointment, but he did not meet her gaze. 

She imagined the anger in her leaking out in waves pulsing blood red and midnight black, equal parts frustration and despair.  Her grip tightened as she strained to make her voice level and calm, “We going to talk about it?”

Silence was her only response and the breath she took, shook, undoing the small composure she had.  The angry, hateful, hurtful things she wanted to say were so loud, as they rolled from her mind to her tongue only to slam into her teeth like so much rainwater against a damn, that she couldn’t hear herself think. Without an escape the imagined sounds just echoed and reverberated through her wholly until they become just another layer in her shell of self preservation. 

With a conscious decision she unlocked her jaw and tried again, “It won’t help a thing to let it sit like this”. 

Now his glare was added to the equation.  She shook her head unable to stop it, as she went off to do anything else.  She could even swallow her pride again, she thought, but God help her if she had to be civil at this moment in time.  If he called for her it would be over and she knew it. 

She could taste the final straw, and it wasn’t sweet like freedom it was bitter like defeat.