- Tell Chai Latte I’m moving out and he can’t stop me. Have him beat me up because he wants to give me a going away present. Get an apartment where he’s a permanent fixture, peering in my window. Get stalked for years until I decide I’d rather have him next to me in my bed where I can keep an eye on him than maybe around the corner in a dark night.
- Call the battered women hotline and get put on hold. Talk to an undertrained volunteer who is manning, or womanning, the phone to comply with court ordered restitution. Get a room in a woman’s shelter with a snoring roommate. Get kicked out because I tried to suffocate her with a pillow. End up homeless, living under a dumpster like that cowboy dude.
- Lie back, spread ‘em, and take it, like I’ve taken many before. Whatever he says, say, “yes sir,” right back. Hope he doesn’t think I’m being sarcastic, or ingratiating, or robotic, or too much of a wishy-washy wuss for his taste. Get privately bitter until the Stockholm Syndrome takes over and he trusts me to leave the house. Let him use me to recruit another poor girl to replace me, so I get jealous that he doesn’t hit me and rape me as much as he used to. Go on like this for years until the cops raid his house and I get hauled to prison for being an accomplice.
- Play the Spellbinding Fish Fry over and over again, hoping that the song I’m playing syncs up perfectly with whatever song they are playing at whatever concert they’re playing at. This will make our vibes resonate so that I’m transported bodily to the front of the stage, leaving behind this shit hole and the people in it. Find out the hard way that it’s not humanly possible. Have Chai Latte get so sick of listening to the Spellbinding Fish Fry, even the little bit that leaks out of my headphones, that he rips the buds out of my ears and smashes my iPod all to hell.
- Bat my eyes and flirt with every guy who comes by so they’ll want to save me. Risk Chai seeing and beating me up like he never did before. Listen to a hundred guys repeat what Silent Bob said: “Bros before bitches, dude; bros before bitches.” Find out that the only guy who can stand up to an abusive prick is another abusive prick. Jump out of the deep fat fryer into the searing flames of hell.
- Sneak out late with as much as I can carry in a bag and push my car silently down the block to where I don’t think he can hear it start. Drive like hell in a direction he’d never expect me to go. Run out of gas somewhere in the woods of Maine. Get chased by a moose and a bear until I come upon a trapper’s cabin. Ask him if I can use the phone, only to be told there ain’t no phone. Ask him for directions to a gas station, only to be told you can’t get there from here. Spend the rest of my life tanning hides and missing whatever happens on the Walking Dead.
- When Chai is out, stand behind the front door with a baseball bat. Then, when he comes home, jump out and bonk him over the head. While he’s still passed out, douse him with gasoline from the can he keeps by the mower. Throw a match and watch him wake up to find himself covered in flames. Laugh as he staggers around the room, tripping over the coffee table and banging into the walls. When he sets the curtains on fire, run out of the house, and get hit by the fire engines coming the other way. Have a good looking fireman jump out and give me CPR. Die happier than I ever was in my lifetime, but thinking it really sucks I can’t go home with him.
- Go on doing what I’ve been doing, hoping Chai Latte will change. Enjoy the good days and try to keep my head down on the bad. Nurse my bruises, take a lot of Tylenol, and try to find a good dentist. Take up drinking so I can sleep at night. Count down the days, or years, it takes for Chai to become an old man and need me to take care of him. Then, kick his walker out from under him and, as he lays on the floor with a broken hip, tell him how I really feel. Steal all the money he keeps under the mattress and go to live in Aruba.
I’ve considered my options carefully. It looks like the best one is #7. I’ve always had a thing for firemen.