underneath the bed there were always empty jars. she kept them there, lined up like soldiers anticipating battle.

every time she heard his footsteps from behind the door, waves of sound would begin to flood her body.

liquid trickled down the inside of her thighs. it burned like petrol but smelled of water.

for those first years there was no greater joy than that secret relief.

in the morning the room was laced with the scent of stale urine. she would empty the jars out of the window. the neighbours thought they heard rain on the corrugated iron roof.

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