It was seven atm and Abby hadn’t slept. She glanced over at Jake, who was lay sleeping next to her in their bed, and she shuddered. Her eyes carried dark circles, as she looked down at her bruised arms, where Jake had pinned her down. Her tongue stung as she rolled it against her teeth. All night, the event played over and over in her head. Abby wasn’t sure if Jake had actually convinced himself that they had consensual sex, as he acted like he normally would after they both made love.
Abby heard her daughter’s voice from the other side of the bedroom door, and for a moment, she panicked – wondering if she had heard them last night. Jake moaned as he woke.
“What’s up, Clarke?”
Jake looked at Abby as she spoke. He sat up and Abby half-flinched when he placed a kiss on the side of her head.
“I need you to drive me to my game in Polis. Bellamy’s going to be late, so I can’t get the car with him.”
Abby and Jake both looked at one another as Jake spoke.
“We’ll both be down in a minute to take you.”
Clarke smiled. Her old parents were back, and she was relieved. Abby heard Clarke’s footsteps ascend downstairs and she got out of bed – not looking Jake. Then she felt his hands slide around her waist and cuddle her.
“It’s good to have you back, Abby.”
“Get off of me.”
Abby shrugged him off and shoved on a white t-shirt and blue jeans.
“Don’t touch me.”
Jake stood there as if he didn’t know what he’d done and it angered Abby. She strutted out and waited in the car.
The car ride journey was only twenty minutes to the Polis soccer pitches, but Abby was sure it felt like an hour. Clarke shoved on her boots in the backseat of the car, as she talked about spending the day out now her parents were on ‘good terms’. Well, according to her anyway.
“What about the beach? We can invite Thelonious, Sinclair and Marcus with the kids, like last year.”
Jake didn’t respond – his eyes still on the road so Abby replied.
“It’s not a bad idea. I think I have next weekend off work too.”
Jake turned his head to look at Abby, expressing his disapproval. Clarke smiled, and it wasn’t long before the car pulled up at Polis soccer pitches. Clarke stepped out of the car and ran over to her team who were already warming up. Abby stepped out soon after, and she noticed Marcus’ car pulling into the parking space next to her. She quickly walked over to the sideline, making sure Jake didn’t see them together. She didn’t want to trigger another of his tantrums.
Marcus stepped out of his car, wearing a fake smile as he hugged his friend.
“We’ve not spoken in a while. How are things?”
Marcus’ voice was drenched in sarcasm as he pretended to show concern. Jake was blunt when replying, barely making eye contact as he walked over to the sideline to stand by Abby.
Jake saw Bellamy run onto the pitch in his football kit, immediately greeting his daughter. Octavia followed soon after. Marcus joined Abby and Jake at the sideline and Abby barely moved throughout the game. Marcus stared at her for most of the match, hoping that they’d make eye contact but Abby couldn’t even bring herself to look at him in fear of Jake’s reaction.
When the final whistle blew, Jake nudged Abby’s shoulder, signalling her to walk over to the car with him. Instead, Abby stayed and waited for Clarke to come off to congratulate her on the win. Jake, before the kids come off the pitch, grabbed Abby’s wrist and pulled her – strongly yet subtly. Marcus spotted this, his automatic response batting his arm away from Abby.
“What are you playing at? Don’t touch her like that.”
Infuriated, Marcus stepped in front of Abby, as if to protect her and stared Jake in the face. She felt a blush creep across her face at the commotion.
“Who are you to tell me how to treat my wife? Look what happened to yours.”
And with that, Marcus shoved Jake and the pair began to brawl. The kids came running over, their faces panicked and confused. Clarke and Octavia watched in horror as Bellamy tried to intervene, pulling his father back by his shirt.
Abby couldn’t even register what was happening around her. She heard nothing but her heart pounding in her head. She felt Clarke’s hand grip her arm, and she was shouting something that she couldn’t quite make out.
It had taken Jackson, Sinclair and Thelonious several attempts to break them up. Both of their faces we grazed and flushed when they finally separated. Abby had never seen Marcus like this before. Being a paediatrician, his temper levels were slim to none. In their whole career, Abby had only seen Marcus angry once, and that was when his junior doctors accidently switched a dose of medication and almost overdosed a patient. But even then, Marcus didn’t throw himself into a fist fight.
Marcus swept his hair back and looked at his daughter, who was trembling.
“O. I’m so sorry.”
Octavia hugged her father, gripping him tightly. Jake was still furious, and anxious to intervene, Abby took Clarke’s hand and watched as Sinclair and Thelonious continued to walk him away from the sideline.
“Are you okay?”
Abby heard her brother’s voice as he stepped in beside her and Clarke.
“Jackson? Why are you here?”
Abby looked confused, and still shaken.
“I came to watch Clarke but I arrived rather late. Are you okay?”
“Yeah. I’m fine.”
Jackson’s eyebrows furrowed as he looked at her.
“What was all that about?”
Abby knew fine-well what that was about, and shrugged. Images flashed across her mind from last night and the colour fell her face, leaving her pale and weak. Suddenly, she felt sick.
“Abby, are you okay? You look... ill.”
Before she could reply, her hand fell from Clarke’s grasp as she ran to the trash can, her head hanging over it as she vomited. Jackson rubbed her back, comforting her.
“Okay, I’m going to drive you home.”
When they were kids, Abby would always be the one taking care of Jackson. As the older sibling, she would always help him with his Biology homework, cook up his favourite meals and drive him to places when their parents worked. But as they got older, when Abby moved in with Jake and fell pregnant, Jackson would call her everyday – just to check on her.
Marcus watched as Jackson and Clarke supported Abby’s limp body over to the car park. When she saw Marcus, Abby tried to walk without dragging her feet and tried to straighten the pained expression on her face, but failed, it making her feel more nauseous. Marcus ran over as Abby sat back in the passenger seat and knocked on the window.
“Abby, are you okay?”
She faced away from Marcus, ignoring the fact that he was concerned, but remembering that he had attacked her husband in front of the kids. The pair of them had completely humiliated her.
Her head rested back on the seat and Clarke looked back from the back seat for her father. Marcus stepped back from the car as it reversed.
“Abby! I’m sorry!”