Abuse

The red is gone from my eyes.

I emerge to find you're crying again.

"Oh, sweetheart…"

Crying so hard you're inconsolable.

A tiny ball on the floor.

It's like you're ashamed, trying to hide.

And I'm standing here like a fucking idiot.

Standing here and watching you cry.

"Honey?"

You don't seem to hear me.

"Baby, please look at me."

You don't seem to hear any of this.

You just keep crying.

You cry even harder when I try to roll you over.

I just want to…

Step back, letting you go.

I don't even know anymore.

How did it ever get to this?

We were so in love.

I remember how…

When you had that crappy job in the supermarket, your eyes would light up upon seeing me every time I came to the counter.

I think you blushed when I called you by your name the first time.

You had a tag.

It wasn't anything fantastic, but to us, it was special, I guess.

We dated for a full year before I finally got my shit together and fixed my life.

Fixed it so I could fully include you in it.

So when I asked you to marry me, you could say yes and we could truly be happy.

I wanted to be a better partner for you.

My intentions were so good back then, so why are you crying now?

My knuckles throb.

Of course, I know why you're crying.

But how?

How'd it come to blows?

The first time I hit you, I had just gotten back from a shitty day in the office and you forgot to take the pot off the stove.

Dinner was ruined.

I was hungry and tired.

You were so apologetic.

Sorry sorry sorry so sorry.

I just felt the need to lash out at you.

Your voice grated on my ears for the first time.

Your face was mocking me, making me feel less than I really am.

It was like every breath you took you took to patronise me for existing.

I wanted you to stop annoying me.

Now and again, I think back to the first time.

I promised it would never happen again.

Bought you flowers and gifts every single day for a month or so before you left the damn pot on the stove, again.

Or you didn't get the trash out in time.

Or you asked me why I was home late that one time and another and another time.

Many times.

I hit you each and every time until you simply stopped talking to me.

'Speak only when spoken to.'

That's your motto now.

But even the silence is maddening.

I'm so guilty.

This will be the last time, I swear it.

"Sweetie, let's just… talk? Can we do that?"

You wail.

You never say anything anymore.

I have to ask you questions just to get your mouth to move.

Making love is empty without my name on your lips.

I frown.

I'm wrong.

We never make love anymore.

I just have sex with your body and you go elsewhere whilst I'm doing it.

It's not the way I want it.

I know that one night, when some dumb shithead keyed my car, I'd come home really mad and I wanted to sleep with you.

You made this… this sound.

A sound I used to like, but right then I was so strung, so into the act, that it pissed me off.

I told you to shut up whilst I was working you and I suppose it's stuck.

But that doesn't account for your utter lack of participation.

Come on!

I'd have the same thing I get with you if I just humped a pillow with your scent on it.

I tried that once.

I was sad and lonely because you'd gone out with some friends.

It was your pillow.

I did it because I missed you.

I miss you now.

I told you that you weren't allowed to go see your friends anymore.

You snuck visits anyway and I beat you for it.

I am careful not to touch the visible places.

You can't go out in that cute little blue number nowadays.

I'm rather sad about that.

But it doesn't matter, really.

The outfit was for special occasions.

You won't be needing it.

I know for a fact that you've learnt to be obedient, and that you only leave home to go to work or do some shopping.

So why am I always so angry with you?

What is it about you that leads me to this?

Beating you up.

"Let's talk."

Make me understand.

You shift, cowering.

It hurts me.

I swallow and go to the kitchen.

Turn on the kettle.

Watch the water boil, then fetch two mugs and drop tea bags into their bellies.

Fill them up.

Let them brew.

It's three spoons of sugar for you, two for me, and a little milk for the both of us.

Stir it all up.

I feel calm.

I think it's the ritual of the whole thing.

Put everything back the way it was and bring the steaming mugs through to the sitting room.

Then I come back and fetch you.

"Here."

I gently pick you up.

"I've got you."

You're so limp.

You've grown quiet.

But you're still hiding your face from me.

I want…

I will not lose my temper.

"We'll talk, okay?"

You don't respond, so I carry you over to the table and sit you down close to me.

"First off, I want to say that I am sorry."

You turn to gaze with bloodshot eyes at the two mugs.

I reach over to carefully push one towards you.

You flinch, as if expecting to be struck.

I feel pity.

"I saw the brochure. That's why I was so angry."

Your lower lip trembles.

"But you're right. I'll get some help."

I try to show you that I am being truthful by touching your hand.

Seeing your eyes fearfully dart at the contact…

That hurts more than anything.

You must see me as some sort of monster.

Rub your fingers lightly with my thumb.

"I don't want to be angry anymore. Our marriage is a mess. I can feel you and I are drifting apart and I don't want that."

You lower your head.

I pull you into a hug.

You don't return it, though I don't expect you to.

"I mean it this time. I will fix things."

Stroke your back.

"It'll be just like the way it was with us."

Finally let you go.

"I love you."

Kiss your lips.

I can taste blood on them.

You bit your tongue.

We part and I move to rest my head on your quivering shoulder.

We sit in silence for a while.

You don't touch your tea.

That's fine by me.

The sun eventually goes down and we move upstairs.

Soon we are lying in bed.

I know one thing.

I miss you.

I want to touch you right this time.

I want to make you happy.

I want to make love to you and have the both of us enjoy it this time.

Every time from tonight onwards.

I kiss your neck.

"Do you know who the most beautiful angel is?"

I start slow.

Pull you over into me.

Press you onto your back and slide over you.

My favourite position.

Trace shapes along your jaw with my tongue.

"You."

You swallow.

I close my eyes and breathe you in.

"So beautiful."

Suckle on your throat.

Knead your hips, then drag my hands upwards.

You've gone all stiff.

That's all right.

It's been a while.

You just need to get into it, that's all.

I do that thing you told me you like…

The thing where I run my fingers through your hair and then down the sides of your face.

Your cheeks, I discover, are wet.

Open my eyes again.

"Why are you crying, sweet angel?"

You don't do or say anything.

Just lie motionless beneath me.

Stiff and not reciprocating.

"Hey, what's up?"

Your lips part but no sound comes out.

I'm getting impatient.

"Aw, come on."

Finally you shake your head.

No.

You don't want me to touch you.

My loving intentions slowly wither away and die inside.

"Why do you do this to me, beautiful angel?"

You're silent and close your eyes to act like you're dead.

Fine.

Seize your throat in my hands.

Squeeze.

Be that way.

Now you're responding to my touch.

You struggle.

Kick about.

But I'm bigger than you.

Stronger than you.

And if you don't want me anymore, even after I apologised and promised for real to change, then I will grant you your last wish.

'Til death do us part.

Soon enough you give up and I kill you.

Get up.

Go to the kitchen.

Find a knife.

Stab myself with it.

Make my way back to you.

The end.

I hope you're happy now.