Ana was almost home from work. It was a night by the end of October and she was starting to get cold, so she ran home to get there as soon as possible. It had been a year since she moved to the new apartment and what she loved the most was the bathtub, where she usually filled it with hot water and a bath bomb when she felt stressed after work.
When she got home, she left the bag in the closet and the boots under the radiator, since they were wet because of the rain. Before entering her room, she went into the bathroom and opened the faucet to start filling the bathtub with hot water. Once in her room, she took her clothes off and went to the bathroom again to remove her makeup. Afterwards, she lit up the candles and chose the bath bomb that smelled like roses.
Once she lit up all the candles, she put her foot in the warm water and little by little she submerged her body until her head was under water. She was starting to feel warm again, now that she was under the hot water.
Five minutes later, another noise. This was louder and clearly from inside the house. Ana didn’t move. One could only hear the dripping of the faucet. She didn’t dare to breathe. She lived alone and no one else had the keys. “Victor“, she thought. Even though it was imposible, it was the first person that she thought of. Her ex boyfriend, Victor, that had abused her for three years.
No one knew where she lived; she moved from the big city to a small town so he couldn’t find her. Silence. Don’t move. Don’t make noise. Don’t even breathe. She knew that if she moved, whoever it was would hear her. The lights were all off, and the bathroom was only illuminated by the candles so, with a bit of luck, the intruder wouldn’t see that she was home.
Ana realised that she was shaking when the water around her started to move, following the vibrations of her body. She wanted to be able to control her body, but that was the way her body had to react to fear. A tear fell on her cheek. She remembered the beatings she suffered from Victor, the insults, the way he had isolated her from her friends and family. Now she still couldn’t see them, but that was the only way she was safe.
Her hearing was as sharp as it had ever been; after the first punch, she learned to identify his gestures, his expressions and any noise that he would make to know what his mood was the moment he entered home. She tried to identify where the intruder was. The first banging of a door was without doubt from the entrance door. Although she didn’t hear the first steps, now she knew that they were getting closer to where she was. Ana was still terrified. She wasn’t sure who was in the house, she wasn’t sure it was Victor, but still, someone was in the house. She was naked, shaking in fear in the bath and she had nothing to defend herself.
She was thinking a lot of things: what she could do and what she didn’t do. She had no weapon in the bathroom, and although the kitchen was door to door, she didn’t dare to open the door in case she had to face the intruder. Very slowly, she got up to grab the bathrobe, but when she intended to step out of the bath, at the other side of the door she heard the footsteps stop. She was out of her breath again, on her feet and with drops that fell into the bathtub making a noise that at that time seemed tremendous.