Getting back home was a nightmare. I ended up taking off my t-shirt and wrapping it around the top of my head. I used what water I had left to wash my face. I felt like I was covered in shit. I knew he had marked me and in doing it he had violated me worse than any possible beating he could have given me. I didn't want to see anyone and I sure as hell didn't want to be seen. That turned out to be impossible. The area was too heavily populated for me to go unnoticed. The thing was that I did. I was invisible. Worse. I was a leper. No one looked for long except a couple of kids who pointed at me as I passed and said "Serious beat down there." I snarled at them. They laughed. That didn't help my already bad mood. Even Mr Happy Face wasn't working. Doing it made my face hurt.
I was really hoping Fire wouldn't be home when I got there. It was not my day to be lucky. I forgot she was having carpenters in to build bunk beds in the extra bedrooms. The house was echoing to the sounds of nail guns and Latino gibber jabber. That ended when I came in and one of them met me at the door on his way out to his truck. He looked at me, said "Holy shit" and yelled "Anna! Anna! Come quick!" I yelled "No!" and bolted for the nearest bathroom. I hoped the stupid bitch had put towels out. I hit the door just as a Jose was coming out buckling his pants. I went past him, slammed the door shut, and yelled "Mother Fucker!" Of course Jose had just finished taking an egg burrito dump that he had probably been sitting on for days. Of course there wasn't any towels. Of course Anna decided to start beating on the door and yelling "What's a matter! Are you okay!" I looked at myself in the mirror and wanted to scream. Scream at her. Scream at the world. Scream at the fucker who had done this to me. Instead I took a deep breath and let it out. I repeated that three times. Enough to get centered. Enough not to go insane and draw any more attention to this shit.
Instead I cracked the door and told Fire "I'm okay. Just get me some towels an any antiseptic we might have."
"Mover...your soaked with blood...Do you want to go to the hospital?"
"No Fire." This was taking a lot of effort on my part but I continued calmly "Just get the towels and a first aid kit. If we don't have one maybe the workers do. If they don't please go buy one."
I think it was the "Please" that worked. I heard her yammering at the workers and movement as people went to do what I had asked. Now was the moment of truth. I took off the t-shirt I had wrapped around my head and put it in the sink and turned the water on. I squeezed it out and washed away the blood enough to see what he had cut into my forehead. It was still oozing blood but I could see it. I froze. Then I screamed and punched the drywall hard enough to put my fist through it. The sonofabitch had carved a happy face on my forehead like I was a pumpkin.