Moving on

Fear and hope had Hannah’s good eye riveted on Austins’s chest. She counted. One, two, three… to fifty. There was not one rise or fall. Not one breath, not one beat. Austin’s eyes were open, but Hannah could no longer see the hard, brown that seemed to always look right through her.

The phone felt heavy in her hand. Or perhaps that was the guilt weighing down on her. She should have called for help. She should have done something. Right? The problem was, it wasn’t only guilt she felt. There was something else there.

An unmistakable feeling of freedom. A sharp, shooting pain caused Rebecca to gasp. Adrenaline began to wane agony set in. As the prickly fingers of unconsciousness began to pull her under, Rebecca quickly sent a text to the first person she thought could help, right before her eyes closed and she dropped to the ground.


"Welcome back" the voice of a young woman with chestnut hair, probably in her late twenties greeted Hannah Morales as her eyes fluttered open and she was met with bright fluorescent light.


Hannah’s head automatically swung towards the smooth tone, landing on an extremely attractive, kind-looking woman dressed in a white coat. Her vision wasn’t that great, but from what she could see, the woman had shockingly green eyes.

“I’m Dr Fisher. Do you know where you are?” The woman asked softly as if she knew Hannah’s head was pounding.


"Good. Do you know you're name?" Dr Fisher scribbled down on the writing pad she held.

"Hannah. Hannah Morales" 

A pause settled in as the doctor wrote. "Do you know what happened to you?"

"Beaten" Hannah Morales wished she could give more than just worded answers. She'd watched too many dramas to know the importance of these questions.

"Are you a doctor?" 

The red-haired smiled. "It appears so. I also have a patient with broken bones, bruises, and who just spent hours in surgery. Anyone who can do that to another person deserves to be mutilated"

"Hours? What hours..?"

"You sustained internal bleeding. We had to go in and remove some other things, but we'll talk more about this when you're lucid"

Hannah Morales nodded. 

"Is there anyone I can call for you?" 

Hannah Morales thought hard and long about that question. Did she have anyone she could call? Yes, she had her mother. But did she want the ageing alcoholic to show up here and blame her for getting beat up by her husband? Hell, would she even show up sober? Lately, her mother seemed to care more about Austin than her daughter.

So, yes. Hannah had someone to call. But she shook her head. 

Dr Fisher gave her a pitiful look before turning on her heels and walked away. 

Despite the pounding in her head, Hannah Morales couldn't help but wonder what happened to Austin. Was he alright? Would the cops be walking in the next minute to question her? Hannah pondered to herself until her eyelids slowly shut.


For the next couple of days, Hannah Morales stayed in the hospital. The only visitor she had was the kind red-haired who now played two roles in her life; her doctor and her friend. When she was playing the role of Dr Fisher, she was playing the role of Rachel. 

Hannah was starting to realise that despite her salty attitude towards Rachel, the red-haired was determined to stay close to her.

Out of pity? Perhaps. But Hannah didn't care. It was the most loved and safe she'd felt in forever. 

News reached Hannah that Austin was declared dead. Coincidentally, his funeral was being held the same day as Hannah was supposed to be discharged from the hospital. 

Did Hannah want to attend the funeral program of a man who'd promised to love her but caused her nothing but pain? No. But Hannah needed to be there. She needed to see his casquette being lowered. She needed to know he would never hurt her again.

So, Hannah dressed in the dress her friend Rachel was so generous to lend her and they drove to the cemetery. 

They were there. All those who, once upon a time were envious of her and her marriage to Austin but quickly switched once things started to go downhill for her. There were there, tears brimming their eyes. She listened to their eulogy, praising Austin and how perfect he was as a person and as a husband. How he didn't deserve what happened to him.

Hannah Morales smiled at their sinicism. Oh! How she wanted to walk up to them, call them hypocrites and spit on Austins’s grave and tell him he didn't deserve to die. Dead was too easy. He needed to suffer in his skin whilst praying for death to end his suffering. 

It was the least he deserved after the scaring he'd given her. 

Rachel Fisher sensed the energy radiating off Hannah and placed a comforting hand on her shoulder.

Hannah Morales turned to her and smiled. 

The celebration came to an end and Hannah began to make her way back to Rachel's car when she felt a tap on her shoulders.

She turned and came face to face with her mother. The older woman looked like she'd aged by seven compared to the last time Hannah saw her. There were bags under her eyes and her face looked grey. She was entirely different from the woman Hannah loved growing up. It's crazy how the loss of one person can cause so much damage to another.

"Oh, look who finally decided to show up"

Hannah let out a sigh and signalled to Rachel that she'll join her in the car.

"It's good to see you too, mom" Hannah spoke. 

"No, it's not. Why are you here? This was supposed to be for those who loved Austin and cared for him. You did not love him. You caused him pain and then you abandoned him when he needed you the most, just like you left me" 

Hannah's heart contorted. She could hardly believe sputtered from her mother's mouth. 

"Mom, he hurt me. He abused me. He raped me. I was in the hospital because of him, how is this any of my fault?"

"Because you deserved it. You were selfish, you neglected your husband and even your mom. Austin was the only one who cared for me. He was the only person who came through for me and you took me away from me"

"Because he gave you drugs! He supplied you with that deadly substance" Hannah blurted out. She took several breaths to fight back the tears that quickly gathered before her eyes.

"I needed you mom. I needed you to be there for me after dad died. I needed my mom to help me through that pain. Instead, I had to step up and be there for you, whilst managing the company dad left for me and dealing with Austins’s abuses. I needed you, mummy" Hannah began to sob. "The man you're defending put me in the hospital" 

Hannah sobbed, allowing the tears to run down freely. Her mother stared at her with a blank look, almost as if she wasn't there entirely. 

"We're right on one thing, Austin didn't deserve to die. He deserved worse than that because the scars he left me with will haunt me for life, and the fact you even stand here and defend him speaks volumes" 

Hannah didn't know when, but Rachel appeared next to her. 

"That's enough. Let's go" she whispered, although Mrs Morales could hear.

Hannah looked at her mom one last time. As she began to walk away, she began to feel waves of relief and hurt. Hurt because she knew that will be the last time she'd see her mom. Despite everything, she loved the woman dearly.

"Hannah" she heard the woman call out. Hannah didn't turn. 

"I hope you die" And she felt another kind of hurt because the woman she loved hated her.



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