‘Is it such a good idea love?’
‘I won’t call him,’ Martha tried to assure her friend. ‘I know he nearly . . . he nearly.’
‘You can say it,’ Theresa said, and knelt in front of Martha. ‘He nearly killed you and you have to be strong this time.’
‘He didn’t mean for it to go that far,’ Martha said. ‘He had a lot to drink.’
‘I’ve told you time and time again, it’s not your fault. No man should ever hit a woman. No excuses!’
‘It isn’t his fault.’
‘He’s a bully and always has been. He won’t change whatever you do.’
Everything Theresa said made sense. Yet she still blamed herself for his actions. There was no comfort in Theresa’s embrace. Thomas was the only person allowed close enough to care.
The moment she was left alone, Martha grabbed her mobile. She listened to Thomas pleading with her to come home. I’m so sorry I hurt you Martha. My actions were unforgivable, I know that now. I’d had too much to drink and was worried about my promotion. Please, Martha please, I’m nothing without you. I promise it won’t happen again. If you come home, I’ll change. I’ll stop drinking if that’s what you want. Please Martha don’t desert me!
Martha stopped the recording and sank back into the pillows. His apologies bounced around the walls. When was the last time she had left him? It was the church she turned to that time. There was no taking away from the cold, unfeeling wood of the pew beneath her legs. Charles with the same comforting expressions. God would guide her through this difficult time. Her place was with Thomas, and he was grieving too. Hadn’t she lost so much already?