I remember how her eyes flashed when we met. She had a fiery spirit and I believe that is what attracted me to her. That first night we went to her home and made slow, passionate love and I believed I had met the fabled “one”. The sex was great, but that wasn’t the reason. The reason was her eyes. 2 comments
It sounds silly saying I married someone for her eyes, but that is the cut-and-dried version of events. They mixed the colors of a crimson sky with the hues of the ocean depths. Staring into them I was lost and so, seven months later when we got married, it was like waking from a dream; but at the same time entering a nightmare. 2 comments
The night we got married, we lay on our bed and I moved closer to her. She stopped me.
“Things have to change now you know?” she said matter-of-factly.
“Change?” I blundered. “How?”
“I’ll put it to you simply”, she said. “From now on we do things my way or else.”
“Or else what?” I asked.
“You’ll find out if you don’t do things my way.”
She turned her back to me and switched off her light. Her gentle snores told me she had fallen asleep, and I lay there on my back, looking at the spot of light the bedside lamp threw on the ceiling wondering exactly what I had gotten myself into.
Days turned into weeks. Our marital bed had cooled a lot. It seemed as though putting that ring on her finger took her libido out to the back porch and put a bullet in it. Her eyes hardened and the glint that I saw in it when we first were together came less and less now. She turned into the epitome of every man’s nightmare wife.
It didn’t take me long to figure out exactly what she meant on our wedding night. On the second day we were back from our honeymoon, she had called me to tell me to bring a quart of milk with me on my way home. I shelved it away in the recesses of my mind, deciding to concentrate on the project I had in mind. Minutes turned into hours. We closed off at around two in the morning and I drove home, a sleepy man aiming straight for his bed. As I pulled into the driveway, it struck me as strange that the puppy I had bought a couple months ago did not come capering up to the car, as he was wont to do. Regardless of the time I got home, he was usually right there to greet me, and I was grateful for his company. I whistled for him softly, but after waiting out there in the driveway for ten minutes and not noticing any sign of the bugger, I called it off and decided to hit the sack.
I unlocked the front door as softly as I could and walked into the living room. My feet tripped over something round and caused me to stumble forward. I reached the light switch and turned it on. In the centre of the living room floor was the head of my puppy in a plastic bag. His eyes were open and empty, staring into the nothingness that stood between me and him. On the couch there was a note written in large capitals so as to be readable from the light switch. It said simply “MILK.” 5 comments
Things steadily got worse. She insisted on a regimen for everything and after the horror story that used to be my beloved pet, I agreed. I didn’t want to end up with MY head in the plastic bag next time. In the thirteenth month of my torture, she took pregnant. On the bright side, it seemed to calm her murderous desires. There were more intervals where her eyes approached normalcy. I even managed to laugh a few times without having to force myself. I considered that maybe motherhood would change her and she would go back to the woman I had fallen in love with. I am told they are called delusions for a reason. 1 comment
The baby came, a beautiful baby girl, skin a healthy olive and eyes that shade of amazing that I had fallen for in her mother. It was love at first sight. My heart yearned to teach her, to mold her. I wanted to show her the world, tell her she could be anything she wanted to be. I reached out to her with my emotions and felt her reach back. In the midst of it all was a dark shadow that felt like a wall between us.
From the minute she got back home, my wife resumed her rule, her iron fist crushing the life out my freedom and bringing me to heel. I was afraid of leaving my daughter alone with my unbalanced wife, so I would hurry home each day, not stopping or taking any detours. One’s work-to-home habits cannot go unheralded by one’s peers for any great length of time, but I was a good sport about all the jeering. I was, after all, a tool of my wife’s. 1 comment
The times I would spend with my daughter out of the shadow of my wife were few, but regimentally scheduled. My wife would go out to the gym every weekday and most weekends as well, leaving me to care for our daughter for the time, which would sometimes run between two and three hours. Eventually her time at the gym became more and more, but I didn’t really care all that much, since it afforded me more time to spend with my daughter alone.
I enjoyed reading to her. She loved the stories about fairies, even the scary ones like Hansel and Gretel and Cinderella. The way her eyes would open wide when I read about the details of the villains or a description of some scary location was a sight to behold. Her eyes would fill up with tears when the main character would be faced with a near insurmountable task. They would light up when the hero or heroine completed her task. Oh how I remember those days, they were the times I looked forward to the most during those dark hours of married life. I would say that it was probably Nell who saved me from that marriage
One day Nell came running up to me as I came into the kitchen, her face a shade of pale I had come to associate with the presence of her mother. Whatever that woman did to Nell during the day I had no knowledge of and Nell was tight-lipped on the subject. Scars and bruises appeared on her body at random locations, but they were always easily concealable. Nell refused to talk about them and quickly changed the subject when I brought them up. The fear of her mother loomed over both of us it seemed and we clung to each other like drowning rats.
“Daddy, I found something” she said in a near-whisper.
“What is it?” asked in the same urgent whisper.
She handed me a crumpled sticky note with the name of a hotel, a room number and the time “6pm” written on it in sharp capitals. At the bottom was the legend “Walker”. Nell rushed out the door and I found myself in the singular position of glimpsing a light in an ever darkening tunnel.
On my lunch hour I made a few discreet calls and arranged with a private investigator friend of mine to collect a few photographs of my wife and do some snooping for me. I whistled on my way home from work and was even cheerier than usual when my wife went out to the ‘gym’ that evening. Nell and I sat around talking about what life would be like without her mother in the picture. I had to put a stop to the “ice cream for dinner every night” fantasy, but it was pretty fun speculating. 2 comments
My wife returned at her usual time and I noticed for the first time just exactly how flushed and bothered she looked when she returned from her trysts. About an hour after she got back and was taking Nell to bed, my phone rang. I answered it away from her prying ears and got news that made my night. My wife was cheating on me. He had gotten pictures. This was grounds for divorce. 1 comment
The hearing was pretty straight forward. She put on a farce; crying her eyes out and all, but I saw the hate that brewed in those eyes under the theatre act. It was evident what she was thinking. Her testimony (punctuated by myriad fake sobs and blowing of noses) amounted to her calling me an abusive husband, pinning the gruesome death of the dog on yours truly. If this were a drama, she would have gotten a nod for best actress surely, but for one small detail: her eyes never changed. 1 comment