'Exit Plan' by Christina Taylor

Before you go, check the door is locked. This will stop the darkness in its tracks. The gloom erases everything; bruises, memories, life. As you leave, take nothing but your coat and bag; you need to travel light. The dark blue coat is best, it makes you smaller, insignificant. Walk straight up the street, don’t look back. Don’t slow down, even as your heart rattles in your chest and your legs threaten to crumble like chalk. Instead, hurry along the path, chasing the white ghost of breath that leads the way. Then as you cross the road, watch out for amber lights reflected back at you. When they catch your stare, look away. Focus on the ground twisting beneath you, the slow motion laughter of breaking glass. Do not think of the fading pulse of his heartbeat as you fall to earth. Just remember this: you are free.


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