Starting from today, you can read a part of my bestselling debut, the contemporary romance novel "When I See Your Face", here on my blog and on Wattpad. I will be posting a few paragraphs every day until the book is finished. For those of you who don't want to wait: The eBook is available for free download here.
Cathy wiped at the tears streaming down her face with one hand while the other hand continued to stuff her clothes into a suitcase that was as medium-sized as her life. Whatever she could lay her hands on wandered into the suitcase until it was half full. Bending down, she selected two pairs of summer sandals and threw them on top of the clothes pile. Mechanically, like a toy soldier wound tight and confined to tiny, practiced movements, she dumped the suitcase onto her bed, walked over to her dressing table and grabbed a handful of items for her cosmetic bag.
She avoided looking into the mirror because the sight of her own face with its puffed-up red eyes and runny nose from all the crying and not least its ugly swelling on the left cheek might have stopped her in her tracks. She didn’t need the mirror to remind her of the latest beating.
This time, nothing should be able to stop her. Not her guilty conscience. Not her insecurity. Not the physical and emotional pain. Not the shiny wedding ring with the tiny diamond. Not the snoring from downstairs that was audible whenever she ceased sobbing.
She grabbed the first couple of books she could lay her hands on. The sobbing had subsided by the time she had closed the suitcase. Six steps across the room brought her to the desk where she packed her laptop into its richly embroidered case, slid her phone into her handbag and as an afterthought took a notepad and pen out of the upper drawer. She poised the pen to write, but her hand hovered uselessly above the blank paper.
What to write? There was nothing she felt like saying. No word or sentence that could sum up what she felt right now and didn’t want to feel anymore.
After a few moments of hesitation, she took a deep breath, dropped the pen onto the desk and turned around to look at her room. It was impossible to figure out whether she had taken everything important or when and how she would get what had been left behind. Actually, it was impossible to think at all. Better to act as long as that strange determination still held her captive.
She slung her handbag over one shoulder, hefted the suitcase off the bed and left her room without a backward glance, turning the light switch with an elbow and softly kicking the door shut with her heel. As mechanically as before, she padded down the stairs into the foyer, slipped into a pair of comfortable sneakers and headed for the door. The snoring from the living-room followed her, like the growl of a tiger lying in wait or the purr of a car speeding after her.
As if her feet had a will of their own, they carried her to the front door, through it and all the way down the driveway to the front gate. It was there that she turned and spared the house a last glance. A place that had never really been her home but rather a prison, especially for the past few months. An elegant façade and grand exterior that held nothing but deceit, cruelty, despair and a failed marriage.
With a gesture speaking of true determination for the first time, and of finality, Cathy let the big black cast iron gate click shut behind her. Her tears had dried and she was still full of some kind of energy that might be adrenaline or shock or both. With hurried steps and a heartbeat racing ahead of her at a frantic speed, she all but ran to the station where she knew she would find a way to escape.
(To be continued tomorrow.)
Read Part 2 here.
Read Part 3 here.