Dinner grew cold on the dining table, as she sat trying to knit a cardigan out of the clump of red wool in her lap. The big living room windows were open, letting in the November air.
The clock struck three. Any moment now the baby would cry for milk, her punctuality inherited from her mamma. As she got up to prepare the formula, the front door rattled. She imagined him fumbling, trying to get the key into the hole. She resisted the urge to open the door for him. The baby first.
He was already glued to the large flat screen, PlayStation console in one hand, half-finished cigarette in the other, when she came out of the bedroom a few minutes later.
“Please don’t smoke inside the house. We have a baby.” It was the only thing she had asked of him in a long time.
“Sorry wifey, I keep forgetting!” His grin, at 38, was still as infectious as a child’s. He patted the cushion next to him, inviting her to sit and watch him destroy a convoy of Albanian tanks.
“Dinner?” She knew the answer, but she asked anyway.
“I already ate. Long meeting.” He spoke to her without taking his eyes off the tv.
She fought the feeling of despair rising up inside her, but it was a lost battle today.
“Fuck you, this is not fair,” She could not keep the months of pent up anguish out of her voice.
The first kick landed on her hip, sending her sprawling, the rug barely cushioning her fall. The second kick landed right in the middle of the back, eliciting a cry of agony from her lips. She tried to get up, but a blow on the side of her face sent her reeling into the tv cabinet. The sharp edge of the cabinet tore into her cheek.
He pulled her up, his grip vice-like on her hair. She struggled but it hurt so she stayed limp, unaggressive. It was the best way, she knew from experience.
“How many times have I told you not to use that word,” he hissed, his face almost in hers, his breath reeking of his favourite rum. And the other woman’s favourite perfume.
She kept her eyes closed, and he finally pushed her away, rummaging for a cigarette in his shirt pocket, his back turned away from her.
The tears burned the gash on her cheek as she tried to brush them away. Her heart though, wept on, as she climbed up the window and onto the low ledge. She looked down twenty floors.
“What are you doing?” there was fear in his voice, as he sprang to the window, clutching at her hand.
She turned and looked into his eyes. She had always loved how they had crinkled at the edges.
“I love you,” he whispered. “We love each other.”
“I truly believed that once.”
She let go of his hand.
Photo By: Alban Martel
This is an entry for #TheLie #Five00-8, a room8 writing event –in 500 words.
Check out the event guidelines here: https://writers.artoonsinn.com/room8/thelie
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