A year ago I walked along Las Vegas Boulevard I had been married for less than four months. In those four months I had struggled to understand my new role, my expectations as a wife. I held my breath often knowing the frequency that I now met my Husband's rage. Something after the vows had changed. It went from bad to worse and for the first time standing there outside the MGM in the desert heat I realized it wouldn't get better.
The next day my girlfriends and I drove from Vegas to LA. Through Primm across the miles of sand and past the mountains. My face leaving makeup marks on the glass as I sat there in awe of a place I have always wanted to be.
I spent years of my life thinking I would grow up, move to LA without any other plan. It might not have been a reasonable dream. But I would have thought somewhere in my 25 years I would have taken time to see it. He didn't travel, especially not to a place like LA. There was nothing there for him so there was no need for us to go.
The mountains took my breath away, the palm trees swayed in the breeze and I sat there. We finally started seeing the city. Me still in the back seat. Face still pressed to the glass.
I always wanted someone who would take me to my dreams, or at very least join me. Someone who could be part of my adventure and I could be part of their's. I wanted to see these places, know what they were like. I didn't care if at the end of the day I hated it, I had to know. But to my Husband they were always stupid. A waste of money he worked too hard to spend on something like that. It didn't matter how many Icelandic tourism videos I watched alone in my room, we would never go.
In 2012 I decided I would go alone, wrangle the friends I could and go. So, I did. As I explored he became angrier.
I can pinpoint the moment, staring at the luxury homes build atop the mountain. Furious with myself that it had taken me this long to come. Knowing that for the first time in a long time I was having fun, without being afraid of what happened when my front door would close.
On Saturday we flew back. I knew I would go. I had no idea how to make it happen. The days after that trip I couldn't stand him, his voice made my hands shiver. The way he spoke to me made my gut wrench. Convinced that my withdrawn behaviour after my return was an indicator that I was cheating on him he grew angrier.
Eventually, the fighting became nightly. I went through cover up faster than a 13 year old girl. I cried when I was alone, staring out my window knowing that I couldn't do it anymore. That the decision I had made in Vegas had to stand and I had to ensure that I would never go back....