Out Of Silence

Inspired by true events
Chapter One – 1966

A naked, almost anorexic image in the full-length mirror stared back at a shocked Ruby. She dragged her hands down the sides of her skeletal figure and over ribs and bony hips that seemed to push through her skin. Only now did she realize how very thin her body had become. The dress she chose hung more loosely than it was ever meant to. She’d lost her appetite.
Eating was just not a priority these days. She slowly walked back to the closet and selected a dress with a fuller skirt and ruffles that concealed her frame. Tears gathered when she saw her gaunt face and sunken eyes reflected in her vanity mirror. She leaned in for a closer look. It would take more makeup than ever to transform her face and cover the discoloration of older bruises.

Her gray-hued skin and the bags under her sad, deep-set blue eyes told her story. Everyone used to admire her inner glow; where had it gone? She tugged at her shoulder-length blonde hair and pulled it forward to cover the bruises on her neck and hide her emaciated face. Tears pooled in eyes that had once twinkled with happiness.

Earlier that week, Ruby had been busy cooking dinner when her husband, Jason, interrupted to announce in an unusually upbeat tone, “Hey, Ruby. Lloyd, the new guy at work—I don’t think you’ve met him—is having a house party this Saturday. We’re invited along with several of the guys from our department. I think you’ve met some of them at other functions. I would
really like to go. It’s actually sort of important to me.”

She was so lost in thought, trying to figure out how she felt about going to an office party, that she didn’t realize that he had paused, waiting for her reaction to the invitation.

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