I still hadn't decided if I was actually 'running away'. True, I had packed a suitcase but there were as many reasons to stay as there were to leave. My stinging left cheek and eyes that felt like they'd had sandpaper raked repeatedly across them had served as reminders over the past hour that John had broken the promise he made five years before. Almost visible beneath the clinging fabric of my dress was the bulge which constantly brought it back to me that it wasn't only myself that could be harmed by further violence. My hand found it as I sat in the car and tried to gather myself together.
Eventually I snapped the car off, tugged the keys out and dropped them determinedly in my handbag.
Perhaps I was being selfish. I had to consider Julian too. I didn't have him with me tonight but I knew, if I left John for good, he would have to be taken away from one of us. I couldn't take him away from his father during the rare times John got to be with him, and yet I couldn't stand to think of life without my precious son.
I hesitated for a minute, wondering if I should bring my suitcase before I forced myself into a decision by dragging it across the seat towards me. I lugged it up to the house and, hoping with all my heart that Jane would actually be there to answer, knocked anxiously on the Ashers' front door.