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Pen Your Pride

Three

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Emma stood in her bedroom doing her hair when she heard the front door open and close."Spoony is that you?" She called out.

"Who else would it be?" A male voice called back.

She fixed her hair in place, grabbed her purse, and exited into the living room where Spoony sat on the couch in his black suit and hat sparking up a joint.

"Where do you think you're going?" He asked, exhaling a plume of smoke.

"I told you I work today." She replied.

He got up from the couch and pressed in close to her. His hand grasped her hair and he puffed on his joint. "You better not be lying to me." He growled.

"It's Monday. You know I always work on Mondays."

He pulled her head back tilting her chin upward. "If I find out you're seeing that dick head Josh again behind my back I'm going to make you regret it."

"I swear I'm just going to work." She tried to free herself from his grasp. "I haven't seen Josh in months."

He pushed her toward the door forcefully enough to make her stumble and nearly fall. "I'm the best thing that ever happened to you. "You're nothing without me. Don't you forget that." He said as he sat back down on the couch and turned his attention to the TV."

"Bye." She said as she opened the door. "I'll see you tonight."

He waved a hand in her general direction dismissively.

Emma walked down the stairs onto the streets and headed toward the bus stop that would take her to the Coney Island where she worked. While she waited she looked at the flyers plastered all over the glass enclosure. One in particular caught her attention. She ran her finger along below the words "Support group for those seeking light in a wicked world."She thought about it for a moment. Turned away. Then turned back and took one of the tabs at the bottom which held the times and address for the support group.

A few minutes later she hopped on the bus for the twenty minute ride to the stop near the coney island. She spent the ride staring at the little slip of paper held between her fingers. She contemplated what Spoony would say if he caught her going to a support group. She put the paper away when the bus reached her stop and hopped off. She made the short walk to work then put on her apron and started serving tables.

About two hours into her shift she found an unexpected guest in her section. "Josh you shouldn't be here." She blurted out as soon as she saw him.

"Nice to see you too Em."

"Seriously, you can't be here."

"Have I been banned or something? What's wrong with me getting a bite to eat here?"

"You know Spoony will flip his shit if he finds out you were here."

"I won't tell if you don't." He smiled broadly.

She looked around nervously. "He has eyes everywhere. If someone sees me with you they'll tell him."

"You're just being paranoid."

"I'm being careful."

"Can I order now?" Josh asked still wearing a stupid grin.

"Fine, what do you want?" She replied dejectedly.

Hours later she closed out her shift. By then she was tired and not in the mood to deal with the commute back home. When she finally got home she found Spoony right where she left him.

"You're late."He accused of her before she could even close the door.

"No I'm not. It takes about thirty minutes to get home from the restaurant" She retorted. "My shift ended at eight and it's only eight thirty-five."

"You're later than I'd like."

"You know how Stephanie is when she gets talking. It's hard to get away from her."

"I'd just smack the bitch and tell her to shut her whore mouth."

"I can't just haul off and smack my co-workers. Don't be ridiculous."

"Fuck that place.I told you, you don't have to work. I got plenty of money."

"I like it there." She walked passed him into the bedroom where she started changing out of her work clothes.

He appeared in the door way and watched as she stripped down to her underwear. "Keep going." He ordered.

"I'm tired."She answered bending over to grab a night shirt from the floor.Suddenly he grabbed her by the hips and tossed her onto the bed.

"You're not tired. Not yet. You'll know what tired is when I'm through with you."He said as he unbuckled his belt.

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