Every morning I collect the empty bottles first, careful not to let them clink, careful not to wake him. I’d left a pitcher of coffee by the front door. I gather half-empty cups around it, tiptoe in the kitchen, and pour coffee over the glasses in the dishwasher before setting the cups inside. Black blood splashes over dirty plates in the bottom rack and my heart races. It looks like a crime scene. It’s my favorite part of the night. Then I close the door, it latches – and the chaos is erased.

If he ever found out, he’d kill me.