I watched as her usually steady hands began to shake

when they reached for the door.

She never knew.

I was entranced as she peered about her house.

She never knew.

I chased her as she scurried quickly to her room.

She never knew.

Captivated I witnessed her remove her carefully placed make up.

I guessed what she knew.

Shocked.

My eyes popped as she undressed, more and more bruises appeared.

I knew.

We knew.

We gazed at her reflection in the mirror, I cried with her.

We knew.

What we didn’t know was that tonight would be her last.

What we didn’t guess was that after tonight there’d be no more pain.

We couldn’t know that tonight would be the night she would die.

He walked into the house, swearing and stomping.

We knew.

As we pleaded with him, begged him to stop.

We knew.

As he hit her for the last time and she fell, I saw freedom in her eyes.

We knew.

She was gone.

Nobody knew her pain.

I wasn’t there.

I couldn’t know.

Now everybody knew.

But it was too late.

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