I’m safe here. Curled up into a ball, my knees hugged tight to my chest. This is my secret place and he won’t find me here. I make myself even smaller, trying my hardest not to move. I hear the uneven steps of his gait on the parquet floor. His ugly, raspy breath now more audible.
‘Come out darling. Daddy wants a cuddle.’
I hold my breath and slam my eyes shut. I think of beautiful things; the moon, a meadow, my bunny Alfie. If I don’t open them then nothing can happen. But I do and he’s right there.