She lied next to him staring blankly at the ceiling. A single drop of tear smeared down her left cheek. She took a deep breath and the smell made her sick. Strong stench of old pizza, dirty laundry and damp air filled her lungs. She sniffed the pillows and they smelt like the fragrances of hair and cologne. This room hadn’t seen sunlight or felt fresh air since he’s moved in.
Her eyes glanced around the room and stood still at a table with every type of glass, cups and plates he owned, soiled with food from the last time she was there – a week – it was his way of expressing his dissappointment because she was away for seven days for a job project.
Her thoughts ran to the first day they started seeing each other. For a long long time, at least till she thought she fell in love with him, he kept himself extremely well-dressed and fit. Too well dressed. He said he liked dressing up and even though she found him a bit odd , suddenly deeming himself in extremely formal get up even when they were simply studying at a library – she decided to ignore the oddity. He said dressing up made him feel worthy of her – she had no clue what that meant, but smiled at his sincerity.
She always considered herself a one man girl – so naturally, she slowly started turning blind to the activities of the one man who became a dominant part of her life.
She considered her-self lucky. He was at her tail all the time! He made time to pick her up, drop her off from work. He paid her visits for lunch everyday – and at first his attention made her feel a bit guilty. She was always tired from the ten something hours of work five days a week. With what spare time she had, she spent studying and paying visit to her only living relation – her nanna at an aged care facility. She’d been forever grateful to him for understanding her priorities and going out of the way to give her time. She returned his love by being “his girl”.
Unconsciously, she let out a sarcastic laugh, and the usual guilt filled her over.
Was she really that ungrateful? After all, he has so much patience for her demands. Should she be grateful that he doesn’t hangout with his friends or smoke and drink? Is she lucky that he demands all her waking hours to be with her? Was she lucky that he waited for her calls anxiously and looses his temper if she forgets to call? Was she a bitch if she wanted to spend sometime with her friends, or by herself basically be anywhere but with him?
She turned to watch the peaceful face sound asleep. She thought of the words “his girl”. A long time ago, those words from his mouth made her feel secured, happy, lucky. Now, when he says it, she feels the burden of shackles around her hands and neck. “His girl” now sounded like he declared of his ownership of her. She was expected to laugh because he was being funny, not smile or look happy, because he was upset; he liked to say things to upset her and then laugh at her sillyness. She closed her eyes from the calm sleeping face and thought of the times he looses his temper. She admitted to herself he’s never hit her. Yet.
But that was also because she took every pre-caution to not upset him.
She called him every other hour to let him know where she was. She never made plans with friends because it would ruin his mood.
She wanted to step out of the house. Take a deep breath filling her lungs with fresh air and take a bus to her nanna’s. But that would ruin his mood too and he may end up throwing a fit – the next time she saw him. She recalled a day when he was barking his responses publicly on her, simply because she stood to talk to catch up with a friend in the streets. The thought gave her shivers. She poked him to drive her to her nanna’s.
To be continued…