She was forced to make a two-story leap to the sidewalk to escape an abusive ex-boyfriend, but an unexpected visitor put her at ease.
- Posted on Apr 25, 2018
I stood on the window ledge trying to gather courage. In front of me was a two-story drop down to the street. If I jumped, I risked hitting one of the wrought-iron fence spikes. But the alternative was even worse.
My ex-boyfriend had somehow found my rented apartment. He’d burst inside, reeking of alcohol. I thought I had finally gotten free of him. I was trying to get my life back on track, trying to start fresh. But I felt damaged. Like no one would ever really love me. Like I didn’t deserve a normal relationship.
He staggered around the room, his body off-balance, attempting desperately to stay upright. His big, menacing figure lunged toward me on the ledge.
“Come back here!” He had a knife! He wielded it like a sword. He’s going to stab me, I thought desperately. He’d hit me before.
“You can’t run from me,” he slurred as I ducked.
Maybe he was right. Maybe I could never run far enough away from him. His arms swung wildly, the knife slicing the air near my head. I was trapped.
I looked down. It seemed so far. I can’t ever get away from him, I thought. He’ll always find me, no matter what I do. I had to make my decision. If I jumped, I’d have a chance, but if not, I didn’t have a chance against him and that knife.
I closed my eyes and jumped.
I landed hard on the concrete, narrowly missing the fence. I clutched my wrist in pain. Picking myself up, I ran to neighboring doors, calling for help. Couldn’t anybody hear me? I ran across the street, cradling my arm to my chest. “Please! Please help me!” I screamed, pounding on a locked door.
Finally, a woman cautiously cracked the door open, her eyes wide. For all I knew the monster was right behind me with his knife. I didn’t turn around to check. The woman pulled me inside and shut the door.
The police arrived. Then a fire truck. Across the way, my room was on fire. As I left for the hospital, I saw a curtain of flames surrounding a figure in the window. He would stop at nothing. I was no match for his strength and resolve. I was powerless, hopeless.
At the hospital, the doctor told me my wrist was broken, but I was fine otherwise. Fine? I burst into tears, recalling why I was there in the first place. The doctor excused himself, and I turned to the wall. How could anyone understand what I was going through?
“It’s going to be okay,” someone said. “It really will be okay.”
I turned. A woman stood at my bedside. She had long, light brown hair, bright eyes and a warm smile. “I was once in your shoes,” she told me. “I thought that I would never get away from the man who abused me. But I did. And you can too. God is watching over you.”
I started to cry. The woman put a reassuring hand on my shoulder. “Be strong,” she said. “I’ll see you in the morning.” That was the last thing I heard before drifting off to sleep.
In the morning, the doctor came in with the police officers who wanted to interview me.
“Where is that nurse?” I asked. “The one who visited me last night?”
“No one visited your room last night,” the doctor said. “We made sure you weren’t disturbed.” But I knew someone had been there. Someone who gave me hope that I could be free—and maybe even loved one day. I had seen her, heard her voice, felt her touch.
Though I never encountered the mysterious woman again, whenever I feel hopeless I remember that gentle hand on my shoulder. And her promise that I would be okay because God was watching over me. He kept me safe when I jumped out that window, and keeps me safe to this day.
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