Story 53

A different take on Story 52

It was easy to hate him. Anyone who heard what he did would form immediate opinion of him and hate him. He would not blame them; even he hated himself for those things. Yet, she never complained. She understood him; perhaps better than he understood himself.

He did not lock her up. She had the option to leave him whenever she wanted but she never did. She was always at home when he returned from work. She cooked his favorite dishes, she watched his favorite movies with him and she listened to his favorite music. She cleaned the house and washed his clothes. He had never asked her to do those things for him but the fact was he had not even stopped her from doing them. He had kind of gotten used to it; he liked that someone cared for him. Having lived his entire life alone; her presence in his life was God’s gift. The gift he had not valued and taken for granted. He knew it was a mistake and he was going to rectify it. She had been loyal to him; now was the time to return the favor. He was going to change himself – for her.

She was the daughter of a friend but was too old to be like a daughter to him and she was young to be his life partner. Hence he had always been skeptical; why would someone like her be interested in spending her entire life with someone like him. He had taken care of her after her parents' death. He had been there for her when she needed someone in her life to take care of her. He still remembered the look in her eyes when she woke up screaming in the middle of the night because of the nightmares. He still remembered how she held his hand tightly, not letting him leave her alone. He often slept in her room on the floor near her bed, holding her hand. He liked the way she felt safe because of him. He would keep her safe, he had promised himself.

He homeschooled her, even if it meant working overtime. Even if it meant skipping meals. Dinner they ate together. Breakfast, he told her, made him feel lazy and lunch he said he would have at his workplace. He worked hard and saved enough for her tuitions. He could have just gotten her admission in a public school but her fears made him doubtful. Having to see your own parents die in a car crash in front of your own eyes, was something he would have not even wished upon someone he hated. This girl had already seen too much in her life; she did not need bullying by other students. She did not need the fear of not returning home alive. She did not deserve to be afraid with each step she took.

He had once tried to take her out of the house, to a nearby park. She’d wrapped her arms around his waist and buried her face in his chest as a group of boys had passed them on skateboards. The sounds of children playing in the park had been too overwhelming for her. He would have liked to take professional help for her but it was way beyond his capacity.

Therefore, he opted for the alternative. She did not even go through with that. She told him she did not want to study. He asked her the reason and she told him that her heart was not into it. At the back of his mind he was aware that it was perhaps because of the expenses. He admired her for the decision and accepted it. He should have not. He should have let her study. He should have taken professional help for her. He should have not let her get so used to him. He should have not allowed himself to get used to her. But, it had happened. They had grown too used to each another.

The night she had approached him telling him that something was wrong with her; maybe she was injured because she was bleeding; he realized she needed a woman’s presence in her life. For the first time, in all the days that he had spent taking care of her he felt that he had failed. She’d never gotten the opportunity to learn about the physiology of woman’s body and he had never talked to her until that night. It had been late night and he was almost asleep when she had knocked on the door of his room. He’d asked her to wait for him in the living room and walked out of the house to buy sanitary napkins for her. Back home he talked to her, giving as much information as he could without embarrassing himself or her. He had even considered talking to one of his buddy at work requesting that his wife talked to the girl but he had immediately discarded the thought.

She was his responsibility and he was capable of handling it. He had known that things had changed between them; they were meant to. He maintained as much distance from her as he could. He avoided watching movies with her so that she could no more rest her head on his shoulder and sit arm in arm on the couch. He did not want to feel his arm pressing against her chest. He did not want her anywhere near him because he did not trust himself. He had even started to lock his bedroom door. A couple of times he had avoided rushing to her bedroom when she had screamed in fright but when it happened repeatedly he could not stop himself. Even then he stood at the door of her bedroom, saying comforting words to make her feel safe without really waking her up. Only once he had entered her room and held her hand. She’d turned in bed and wrapped her arm around his waist and he had stood up immediately waking her up in the process.
That had been the only time he had entered her room after she had started menstruating. Until –

He had a rough day at work and had been very tired. Feeling slightly dizzy, he had asked to be excused. He returned home early, hoping to catch on some sleep. He had opened the door with his keys and on his way to his bedroom he had seen her bedroom door ajar. Not only the bedroom door but the bathroom door as well. He had looked away but before that he had glimpsed her fair skin. He wanted to walk away but he could not move. Something had changed in him. He had turned around to look at her again through the gap in the door. Her naked skin glistening as water ran over her body had aroused him. For a moment he had been ashamed of how his body had reacted; he had even tried to get rid of the erection but the very next moment she had seen him and his desires had reached the peak. He had pushed open the door and almost ran towards her. He watched her; taking in details of her naked body as she stood motionless, looking back at him. He had willed her to stop looking at him, move and close the bathroom door in his face, he wanted the tempting moment to be over but she had not moved. He had then moved closer to her, standing under the shower he had touched her; running his hand over her breast and then over her waist. He had heard her gasp and felt the heat radiating through her wet body. Even she had been aroused. Finally giving himself in to the sinful moment; he had undressed and taken her then and there on the bathroom floor under the shower. She had screamed in pain and he had calmed her down saying it was natural and that it would soon be fine. She had passed out because of the exertion and he had picked her up in his arms and put her in bed. Wiping her body with a towel he had dressed her up and tucked her in bed. On his way out of her bedroom he had thought about how wonderful the experience had been. He had never felt so alive.

Back in his room he had wondered how they would react on coming face to face with one another after what had just happened between them. He did not know what he would say to her, apologize or thank her for making him feel this way. Making him feel as if he belonged to someone. All of a sudden the emptiness within him, the void, had been replaced with a feeling of contentment.

But, the scenario had been different. When she had woken up she had started cooking in the kitchen as if the intercourse had been nothing but a dream, something unreal. He had been perplexed. He had tried to read her mind, tried to know what she thought about it? Wanted to know whether she hated him for what he had done, for crossing his limits. But he could not gather courage to talk to her. He had then suggested watching a movie and she had agreed. As they sat on the couch, she sat close to him and as he put his arm on the backrest of the couch, she had hesitated for a moment but then she moved closer and rested her head on his chest.
After that he could hardly concentrate on the movie. He knew she was in pain and it would have been wrong to put her through that again so soon. He had enough guilt filling up inside of him; he did not want to add to it.

He could not stop himself for long; he wanted her, he needed her. She had become an important part of his life. It was not only about the sex, being with her filled him with hope for future. Having lived a lonely life; it finally felt good to belong to someone, to know that someone belonged to him. Through the intercourse he found stability and meaning to his otherwise meaningless life.
He was not ready for a family, not yet, so he asked her to take contraceptives and she agreed.

He did not drink often but when he did he crossed the limits almost always. He started drinking in the first place because of the chaos inside his mind. He wanted to start a new life with her but at the same time he thought it was too early. If he wanted to have a future with her; it was important that he earned enough money to give her financial stability. The pull he felt towards her and the stress at work started to mess with his head. And, so to clear his head, he started drinking. Unfortunately, that backfired. He could never think straight once he was drunk. He told himself several times to stay away from her but he always lost the battle. He could not keep himself away from her; she had become a necessity. He had become addicted to her. The conflicting thoughts still ran through his head as he undressed her each time and the frustration started to build up over a period of time. As a result, he found himself going limp during the sex and that irritated him further. The irritation turned to anger and since he could not hurt himself he hurt the only person he thought he had the right over. He hurt her. The first time he slapped her, he saw the frightened look in her eyes and even though he hated it later; at that moment her fear had helped him to get back in action. So, he had hit her again.

The after-sex moments were often filled with guilt. He cried and he kissed her wounds and promised that it would never happen again but just like he was addicted to her, he became addicted to alcohol and to hitting her.

It was wrong, he knew. He was totally messed up but he wanted to be normal again. He wanted to be able to make love to her and not have violent sex. Things had changed after that night.
He had come home frustrated and drunk. She had been working in kitchen, wearing his favorite dress. He had wanted to take her then and there on the kitchen floor but he had picked her up in his arms and taken her to bed and much to his disappointment he realized it was not going to work. He had closed his eyes and taken a deep breath and then slapped her hard across her face. He hated the man that took over him, the man who slapped, punched and kicked her. The man who derived pleasure by inflicting pain on her. It was time to put that man to rest because things were about to change.

He knew that she was on contraceptives, she took the after-pills. He had assumed that she had taken the pills even that day but he realized she had not. He had always been observant. He always noticed the changes in her when she was menstruating. He knew about the mood swings and he adjusted with her. He often helped her in the kitchen trying to reduce her workload. He helped her to clean the house, he even washed her clothes sometimes even though she did not like it.
Therefore, he noticed when she missed her periods. Even though she never told him; he knew she was pregnant. Ready or not ready; he was going to be a father and that thought filled his heart with hope. Hope for a wonderful future.

He promised himself that he would stop drinking. He promised himself that he would never lay a hand on her. He decided to take professional help to stop drinking. He looked at the brochure in his hand and told himself that he would fight the addiction.
He took out a small box from his jeans pocket and opened it. He smiled as he imagined the surprise on her face after seeing the ring. He was going to propose marriage to her. She had always been with him, supported him and cared for him. Even though they had been together all these years; it was finally the time to make it official.

He put the ring back in his jeans pocket and started to walk towards the house. He had almost reached the house when he saw her stepping out. She had a bag with her. He stood frozen where he was. He felt suffocated all of a sudden, felt a tightness in his chest. She was leaving him. After all these years, she had decided to leave him now, when she was pregnant with his child. It obviously meant that she did not want him to know about the child; did not want the child to know about him. He was not welcomed into their lives.

He felt a piercing pain in his chest, which radiated to his left arm and he collapsed on the ground but not before seeing her enter the house of the neighbor.

Story 54: In continuation of Story 52 and 53

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