One dark blue suitcase, tattered and worn, little wheel broken off, bulging sides crushing clothing hurriedly stuffed inside. A beige trench coat, slung over the suitcase, belt missing and two buttons pulled off leaving hanging threads. A second smaller suitcase added to the pile, heavier than the first, containing not clothes but some of the few remaining unbroken things from the flat – some books, her hairdryer, Grandma's watch saved by being hidden in a sock, candles, DVDs she doesn't watch, Phil Collins CD.
One woman preparing to flee. No make-up or perfume, even though those wouldn't make her a fucking tart. Clothes from charity shops, mostly without stains and from M&S if you find them in the right area. Shoes from before she met him, comfy but heels worn too far to repair now. Sunglasses to hide the night before. Ditto scarf knotted high at her throat.
One last look at home, a half laugh accompanying the simple name of her prison. A sheet of paper, tented on the kitchen table, reading “I won't be back. Don't try to find me.” The note retrieved and stuffed in a pocket.
One trench coat put on. Two suitcases picked up. One door pulled to. Three flights of stairs. One car ride to a new life.