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Eyes fixed on the portal to a change of life.  Twenty-two years lived behind it, a door not of protection, but of ice.  It froze her life at the upper edge of teen years, deprived her of subsequent maturation into personal confidence, and blocked access to ability-feeding knowledge and practical experience.

This outcome she designed not in dreams, not then, not now.

Robin not once felt an angry hand upon her body, and there opinion worked against her.  No one saw the marks left by esteem-robbing comments, none of which she cared to recall.  She intended to incinerate the memories on a bonfire celebrating her reawakening.

First, she needed to walk out the door.  Alone.

She last drove a vehicle four years before, the year before her license expired.  Their lone car sat in the drive, left there when Mike hunted with friends on an overnight.  The usual keys went with him, but Robin owned another, declared lost two years before.  Mike groused over their loss and declared her stupid for the garbage toss to the curb.  Save for the initial two days, he accepted it as fact.

Her plotting began that long ago, before courage solidified it into something more than fanciful dream.

Dreams.  Robin knew her mom offered refuge.  Grades once good enough for acceptance at two Ivy League schools spoke of innate ability.  Her aim tempered across years, perhaps no further than a community college, but this formed goal one on the freedom trail.

She packed the night previous.  A late sleeper, Robin defied routine and rose with the sun, ready.  The chestnut stained barrier blocked her path, its Christian heart insisting on a turnaround.  For an hour full, it held fast.

A hand twitched on a handle.  Little rollers squeaked to life.  A wrist twisted left.