Her heart thumped as she heard the familiar footsteps nearing the entrance of the house. She heard him hum the same hum that haunted her nightmares, as he unlocked the main door. She sat on the floor near the bed. She didn’t move or say anything as he entered the house; instead she lowered her eyes and concentrated on the floor. The struggle that it had taken him to unlock the house door confirmed to her that he was drunk yet again. Her heart thumped faster as he walked into the house. She noiselessly got up and brought him a glass of water which he promptly drank and yelled at her to bring him his food. She hurried out of the room and quickly filled a plate with food and brought it to him. He ate the food in silence and threw the plate on the floor, to indicate that he was done with dinner. She picked up his plate and wiped the floor before proceeding to the kitchen. Silence. She waited in fear in the kitchen for him to call her, hoping with each passing second that he’d have fallen asleep instead. Her hands clutched the granite kitchen slab in front of her for support as she thought back to all that had happened with her over the last two years, two years that had felt like 20 years to her. She had married him two years back at her dying father’s insistence so as to secure a good future for her. She had been worried about how she would cope with married life with a stranger but that should have been the least of her fears. The day she entered his house was the day she entered purgatory. To say the least, he was an animal. An animal of the worst species. He kept her locked in his house with no contact with the outside world. He beat her mercilessly and derived pleasure from hearing her scream. He raped her every time he was drunk, which was often. Whenever she mustered the courage to protest, he would beat her black and blue before locking her up in the attic and starving her till she was nearly dead. There were no phones in the house and he locked all the doors and windows before leaving to make sure that she couldn’t contact the outside world. Even if she could, who would she ask for help from? She had no relatives and she had long lost touch with her friends. She ran her fingers over the scar on her face which he’d caused with a broken glass bottle. She smiled. It would all end tonight. All the torture that she had put up with for two years would end tonight one way or the other. The smile didn’t leave her face as she reached for the sharpest knife in the kitchen. She had sharpened it just this morning. She picked it up and tested it on her finger till she a few drops of blood fell on the clean grey floor of the kitchen, satisfied she walked out of the kitchen. It would all definitely end tonight.