The Darkest Night


The young woman sat huddled in the bus shelter for what little warmth it offered. In the early hours of a January morning, in below freezing temperatures, she found herself in a coat and a summer skirt, the frosty air biting at her flesh through her clothing. All she wanted was to lie down on her soft mattress and sleep, but her cozy bedroom was no longer an option; it was lost to her forever.

“Get out of my house” he had barked at her, hate shooting from his strange silver eyes like laser beams. And she had fled in terror of his seething rage.

Late-night revellers passed her by, every one of them pretending they hadn’t seen the shivering, sobbing figure slumped on the floor of the bus shelter. Nobody wanted to know how the young girl had arrived at such a crises, and none wanted to offer their help. She was probably an addict of some kind, made homeless by her own stupidity and poison of choice. Perhaps she was even a prostitute waiting for her pimp – more and more of these people were creeping into leafy suburbia these days.

The girl was none of those things. She was well-bred, educated, a hard worker in a local nursing home. She loved people and animals, and until tonight she had loved the man who had now so thoughtlessly cast her out of the home they had shared for three years – just yards away from where she now sat with not even a sleeping bag to keep her from the worst of the cold.

He had duped her. Worn her down and subtly abused her emotionally for years, until she was depressed enough to agree to anything to keep him with her – including taking her own name off the rent agreement. He had paced and loomed over her as she had signed the paperwork which had sealed her fate.

He had planned this; of that she was certain. She had already suspected that he was having an affair.

She had her phone with her, and she used what little credit remained on it to dial a number. Twenty minutes feels like twenty years when you are homeless, freezing and frightened, but eventually a car stopped and gentle arms were around her, helping her to stand. A soothing voice in her ear prevented her from collapsing completely – and presently she was inside the car, on her way to warmth, safety, and an uncertain future.

This night she had become one of the hidden homeless, as he had laughed at her from an upstairs window and ejected her from what was now his kingdom and domain.

About Missus Tribble

Media volunteer for Epilepsy Action (UK) and advocate for both epilepsy and autism awareness. Seamstress, cross-stitcher, sci-fi lover, ukulele player and Chelmsford's own Pickling Pagan who wants to inherit a TARDIS when she grows up. In the process of writing an as yet unnamed book, with anecdotes and information about being epileptic and autistic - and seeing the funny side! Also an entertainment journalist for What Culture, where I write about Doctor Who.
This entry was posted in Abusive Behaviour, Cheating, Creative Writing, Fear, Hidden Homeless, Homelessness. Bookmark the permalink.

19 Responses to The Darkest Night

    • I think I was there for about an hour before it occurred to me to call one of my work colleagues – family members couldn’t (or in some cases, wouldn’t) help and I was running out of options.

  1. willowdot21 says:

    it was felt with such feeling and skill

    • Yes, this was my situation ten years ago. I’ve tried to write something about it in the past but it only turned into a pity party and not worthy of public consumption. I’m not even sure it’s good enough now, but I’m quite pleased with it for a first attempt.

      • WordsFallFromMyEyes says:

        It IS good enough now, be assured. I really get that, & it didn’t feel like a pity party. The unseen homeless. A very serious fear of mine, how one “ends up”…

        His kingdom & domain…. So who will he rule now? I doubt, himself.

      • As far as I know he married a beautiful African girl (I only know this because I once saw them together and I knew they were engaged).

        I just hope he’s treating her better than he treated me – otherwise I’d be begging her to make a break for it.

        Thank goodness I eventually found the right man :)

      • WordsFallFromMyEyes says:

        You did find the right man, Missus Tribble, & the most disturbing thing about “life” or “nature” or “the laws of attraction” is that THERE brought you to HERE. Ugh! to give ‘there’ any credence….!

        I am so glad at your recent marriage, & I so sincerely wish you well in this which you are now facing (disorder). And what a wonderful man he is, to be with you when things are not plain and simple…
        :)

  2. littlesundog says:

    You are an amazingly resilient woman! These pivotal moments in our lives show us a strength we didn’t know we had deep inside. Once we tap into our spiritual core, we can overcome, and make the changes required to rebuild and formulate a new plan. I am so proud of you, my friend! What a beautiful soul you are!

    • Thank you so much Lori; your words mean a lot.

      That truly was a very dark time in my life, but I think I learned a lot about myself. Sadly not enough to save myself from a similar situation later on, but I looked on the failure of my second marriage as an adventure and a blessing from the very start – it meant I could go back to my ancestral roots and be a Gypsy for a while :)

  3. y_ddraenog_goch_2 says:

    What a moving and beautifully-written account of an awful, callous betrayal. Thank goodness for *real* friends who help people when they’re in desperate need.

  4. sweet detik says:

    It’s a good post.

  5. terry1954 says:

    i have a story very similar to yours except it took me too long to finally learn i was worthy of more. great story and i related to it

  6. My heart was touched. I was so relieved when at the end of that story…’gentle arms were around her, helping her to stand. A soothing voice in her ear prevented her from collapsing completely – and presently she was inside the car, on her way to warmth, safety’….. I was so hoping for someone to help her/you until you had the strength to go on, help yourself. I’m sorry you had to know such grief, pain. Granny Gee/Gloria

  7. Pingback: Gypsy Road – Part One | Wine And Roses From Outer Space

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