A loud bang echoed downstairs and someone pounded on the door. “Open up, before I break open the door.” a voice was heard shouting just outside the door.

“Max, please…she will kill me this time. She is just outside the door. Can you come right now? I need you…” Sierra said with panic rising in her voice…

“Sierra calm down…I’ll be there in 10 minutes…just stay away from her and keep talking with me. Keep yourself locked in your room. I am ending this shit tonight. You can’t keep suffering any more, you’ll have to fight back. I swear I will kill her if anything happens to you.”, Max was shouting in the phone as he backed his car out of the driveway.

“But she is my mother. I just can’t hit back. She is sick.”.
,Sierra’s voice wavered as the pounding got loud at the door. Suddenly door flew open and banged on the wall. A woman stood at the door with poker in her hand. Her hair was disheveled and her black eyes held a storm of fury. Phone fell down from Sierra’s hand.

“Who are you talking to? I told you, you can’t talk this late at night? I provide you with everything and this is the way you show your gratitude..by disrespecting me. You should have died rather than your dad. You are the reason he’s dead. You took him away from me.” She threw poker down and grabbed Sierra by her arm.
Sierra could smell alcohol on her breath.

“Mom please. I wasn’t talking to anyone. I didn’t do anything. Please mom you are hurting me.” Sierra cried with pain.

“Don’t call me your Mom. I am not your mom. I’ll show you what you did. I’ll show you what hurt is…”

She pushed her out of her room in the freezing night. Sierra fell down and lay sprawled on the cold balcony while her mother locked the door.

“Now you’ll know what pain is….”, she shouted from inside.

Sierra’s body was still sore from beating it took yesterday. She sat up and hugged her knees. Her cotton pajamas and top were already damp from the falling mist. She wondered where Max was. Her mother had pushed her out on her room’s open balcony. It was on the second floor and there was no way to go in the warm house. Hot tears scalded her face and wouldn’t stop flowing. The silence of her surrounding was broken by a car coming to screeching halt.

Max drove the car as fast he could when he heard Sierra’s room door open with a loud bang. He cut the call and called police and told them Sierra’s home address. The officer told him that police will reach in approximately 20 minutes.

“Max”, Sierra shouted, frightened and yet relieved that he was here. He looked up and saw her standing on the balcony. She was shivering and was wearing a short top and pajamas.

“Sierra, what happened? Go inside…It’s freezing cold. I am coming up.” Max shouted back and moved towards the front of the house to ring the doorbell.

“No, don’t. She is drunk and she has locked me out. Oh Max..thank god you are here..”Sierra said and started to cry, putting her face in her hands.

“Babe, don’t cry…look at me. We will find a way to get you down…” Max looked around hoping for inspiration to strike him.

“Sierra, can you jump? I will catch you. just look at me and jump.”

Sierra looked back through the locked glass door and was frozen on the spot. Her mom was in the room. She must have heard her speaking with Max. Fury contorted her face. She took determined steps towards her.

“Max, she is coming”, Sierra shouted, her voice wavering with fear.

“JUMP NOW!!!”, Max screamed…

Sierra took a nano-second to make her mind. As soon as locked clicked on the door, she jumped. Max was ready and caught her. Both of them fell on the wet ground. Sierra trembled from the fear as well as cold. Max took off his jacket and made Sierra wear it.

“I will kill you. You should be dead and I will kill you right now.” Her mom screamed and went inside the house.

“She has a gun, Max. We must go, please.” Sierra begged. Police sirens were heard down the street.

“I called police. Don’t get angry, she needs medical attention. She would have killed you.”Max murmured holding Sierra against his chest. Two cars stopped and police came out. Max told them the situation. Both Max and Sierra went to sit inside one of the cars. Sierra was crying again and all Max could do was to let her cry. An ambulance stopped outside and few men got down and entered the house and brought a body bag and placed it in the ambulance.

“What is happening?”, Sierra cried rushing outside.

“Your mother slipped down the stairs. She is dead. I am sorry.” Detective replied.

Max caught her before she fell on the ground, unconscious.

Four years have passed, Sierra and Max are now married. She has coped very well with her mother’s death. She sold the house and gave money to a charity working with Women under depression. She finally understood why her mother did what she did. It was love—love for her dad for their family which drove her towards alcoholism and it was her love for Max, which finally saved her. She never had courage to fight back or leave her mother but whatever happened, happened for good. Now she finally had love in her life, she had Max.

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