The extra shifts were punishing, and it seemed that he went out of his way to leave more dirty dishes and trash for her to deal with the more tired she got. But every morning, as he slept, she looked at the picture of those beautiful blue roller skates. She imagined herself flying around the track in them, playfully elbowing her friends out of the way. She knew it wouldn't be long before she could ask them to help her to leave, She'd find friends with these skates, she'd find a new life. Every day at work, when she took a rare break, she'd close her eyes and dream of what her new life would be like.
Finally, payday arrived. There was four hundred extra dollars on her paycheck. Her hands shook as she walked towards home. It was finally going to happen! Those wheels were hers, and they were going to steer her straight to a better life. He was sitting up, smoking when she came through the door. A rare smile crossed her face as she signed the back of the check. and handed it to him. "Let's get going!" she said, unable to conceal the excitement in her voice. She gathered some clean clothes for him to wear. "We can get to the bank and get this money on the card, then I can come back here and order my skates!" "About that" he said, a hint of a smile on his lips. "This isn't a good idea. You didn't tell me it was a roller derby league you wanted to get into. You're too weak for that. What would happen if you got hurt and couldn't work." Stunned, she balled the clothes up in her hand. "Besides," he leered at her, "I can think of some ways you can work that fat off right here with me." As he pawed at her clothing, she knew she would never see those skates. Or those friends. Or that money she had so blindly just signed over to him. A more cunning opponent than she had estimated, she thought, as he relished in her defeat.