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She listened patiently, then said, “Bring the kids here and stay with me as long as you like, as long as you need to. You’ll be safe here.” I was stunned. I never expected a reaction like that.
I had my destination and I’d gathered my team, angels who had worked in secret. All the documents were ready. I’d done it. Now it was just the three of us, Jennifer, Ryan and me. Leaving. Leaving for good. I couldn’t know what the future would hold, but I knew too well what it could have been if we had stayed.
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I pulled out a stapled set of papers that had been tucked in my purse, my legal request for a divorce, and put it on the kitchen table.
I said a prayer for protection and prayed too that my children would understand. Then we headed out to the car. Jennifer pulled herself up into her car seat. Ryan sank into his, looking up at me with his big, brown, searching eyes. I buckled the belt around him with trembling hands.
How much did they really know? How much would they ever understand?
“Mommy,” Ryan said, “now you don’t have to cry anymore.”
I got into the front seat and pulled out of the driveway. I turned the corner and our house quickly disappeared from view.
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