Golden rays of the sun shone over Creon. The pleasant warmth in the air made walking outside enjoyable. Ava was taking a walk through the yard. She liked the peaceful feeling being in the open gave her.
Maybe it was because she had nothing to fear when she was alone, bathing in the sunshine. Her husband was still sleeping. He drank again too much last night. But that was no surprise anymore. Like it was no surprise he enjoyed hitting his wife.
Last night was no different. Though the long sleeve Ava was wearing covered her bruised hands, the pain was there. But at least the pain inside left her while she was here, by herself.
When she found out she was pregnant, it was the happiest day of her life. First, because she loved her husband, in spite of everything, and a baby from him was the greatest gift. Second, she believed this might stop him from hitting her.
Unfortunately, that was not the case. The beatings went on, as viciously as before. She made her best to protect the baby. And since she got pregnant she was having thought of leaving, but she had nowhere to go, even if she could get away.
Lord Hartstel took her as his wife when Ava was still a child. At seventeen years old she was well grown, already a woman. She wasn’t what you would call beautiful, but there was something about her. The lord was the first man to pay attention to her. He was a handsome man, and he was charming. When he asked her in marriage, she felt like a princess. For the first time in her life, she felt lucky. And it felt like that for a while.
The first couple of months were wonderful. She was able to forget all the hardships she had to endure, her growing up without a family. For the first time, she felt like she belonged like she was allowed to be happy.
In the night it happened for the first time, Ava didn’t know what to make of it. She thought she might have done something wrong. Then it occurred again. And again. She always found reasons for his behavior. Even if they were not real, it helped her make a sense of the situation.
After a time it was as common as breathing, for her to be covered in bruises. Most of the time the old ones were barely faded when new ones were made.
She would forget all about it, in the days the lord acted like the man she fell in love with. And she never stopped loving him. That’s why she expected things to change when she found out she was bearing a child.
She still believes that when lord Hartstel will hold their baby in his arms, it will make him be the man she first knew. And she will be again allowed to feel happiness.
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