She’s been thinking a lot about courage today. She didn’t think she was an especially courageous person. No, courage was not the characteristic about her that immediately sprang to mind.

She was many things. Many great things, perhaps. She didn’t really know. Kind, maybe, and passive. She was involved in the church and all the other ladies said she made the best cheese and broccoli casserole. They wouldn’t let no other ladies make it but her. She didn’t tell them the secret ingredient was Campbell’s soup. So, maybe she wasn’t all that honest either.

But this morning, she thought of herself as courageous.

She, perhaps, had not been courageous the first time he hit her. The time she yelped as she was hit, before she learned that he enjoyed her cries of pain and surprise.

But today, she is courageous.

No, she had not  been especially courageous the many times since the first time, when she slunk to the back bedroom and did her best to remain quiet, lest he hear her over the sound of the TV.

But today, the bag was packed and sitting by the door, waiting for her to pick it up and walk out for good

Nor had she been especially courageous the last time, when she had to go to the hospital. The doctor had asked her what happened, but she simply said she accidentally stumbled down the front stoop. It was not very plausible. And she knew it. And the doctor knew it. And she knew the doctor knew it.

But today, she is courageous. And as she looks out over the plains, she wonders what her new life will bring.



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