Running Away

INT, afternoon.

Paulie: Has it stopped ringing now?

Kerry: It comes and goes. At night it’s worse. My jaw hurts when I swallow. At least I should lose some bloody weight now.

Paulie: Sometimes he hits me hard, too.

Kerry: This is different, Paulie. My head was ringing constantly for two days. I didn’t want anyone seeing me but your Dad said I had to do the shopping.

Paulie: Why don’t we just leave? Get away from Dad forever.

Kerry: Sometimes I dream of running away. It always turns out the same. We put some things in a suitcase and I take you all on a train. For a day or two, we’re OK, staying in a B&B by the sea. But he always finds us. He finds us and he’s so angry, Paulie, you’ve never seen him so bad. He screams at me for taking you away, doesn’t care who hears him. He beats me black and blue. You’re all crying but he doesn’t stop till he’s killed me. But dying isn’t the worst part. The worst part is leaving my children with him, knowing I can’t do anything to protect you.

Paulie: When I’m older, I’ll protect you, Mum.

Kerry: No you won’t. Then you’ll be just like him.

Paulie: I won’t. I’m nothing like him.

Kerry: Then keep it that way. When you’re old enough, get far away from here and don’t come back.

Paulie: One day, things’ll be different, you’ll see. I’ll make enough money that you can come and live with me.

Kerry: I’d like that. Very much.

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