Life Lesson

Posted in 18+, Female, Horror, Leinster, Love/Romance, Non-fiction, Short Stories
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We met like lots of couples do these days, the weird and wonderful web! His tanned skin, dark hair and penetrating gaze were enough to fuel my bravery and respond to his simple, yet impacting request: Meet me.
Conventional behaviour was never my strong point so instead of the usual drink in a public place, I told him to pop the kettle on and drove to his house. It was so empowering, or ridiculously careless, depending on how you looked at it. The reward for my bravery was a strong embrace from a buff and beautiful stranger. My suspicious mind was curious as to his flaws and where they lay but this inner -voice seemed to be coming from a very far-away place, and not one inch of me wanted to listen.
Flashes of that first day when he pulled me carefully into his arms run through my mind as my blood pools on the polished wooden floor. My head connects with the hardened floor again and his beautiful face blurs in front of me. My mind desperately seeks a safe haven, something to deny this fierce and volatile reality and comes up blank. Sleep seems an enticing alternative but I know that if I allow my body to slip from its semi conscious state, I may never wake up. Instead I conjure up another memory, of the first time the mask slipped and I saw the demon behind the smile.
I pulled the jeep into his drive and gave my usual, happy- go – lucky double honk of the horn. Today I was introducing him to my best friend and he was eager to meet this new love of my life. We sat and waited content in our carefree chatter. Time ticked by with no sign of movement from the house so I suggested I go in to retrieve him. His housemate let me in and I ran happily up the stairs. He was about to jump into the shower, only awake at such a late hour in the day. I explained we were waiting for him and if he isn’t ready I could come back for him when he was. He was not happy with me, that much I could tell. A cold and stern look was given to me before he agreed and closed the bathroom door on me. Confused, I simply went back to my friend in the car explaining he isn’t ready and I would come back for him. And true to my word I came back an hour later to be greeted with a person I no longer recognised. His temper flared as he demanded to know why I chose to disrespect him in front of my friend. Of course I had no answer to this because I had no idea what he was talking about. His aggressive attitude had me running for my car and he was hot on my heels. I managed to jump into my jeep and close the door before his hand could grasp my arm. I gunned the engine and went to reverse out of the drive just as his fist came down on the hood of the car, hard.
Screams brought me back from my revelry to the bloody present. He had said something that required an answer but my swollen ear hadn’t heard it. Never mind, I thought as his hands gripped my throat and tightened. No need to reply now. His hands feel like a vice. I have a copper taste in my mouth. No need to listen to his insane ranting anymore. I’d listened to it for a year already and I knew the script. The hallway darkens and only for the throbbing in my right knee, I would have been convinced that was my exit from the world.
My mind wanders again. I had been gone too long and he needed to know what had kept me. He hadn’t meant to get so angry. He was worried about me. The idea of me being hurt somewhere had upset him. I kept this mantra in my mind as I made myself busy washing down an already sparkling counter top. My back ached from the demanding nature of his concern, as he slammed me into the kitchen wall and clutched my upper arms. But he had apologized when he saw the bruised hand prints on my body. He had even wept. He listened carefully as I told him he had overreacted and even seemed to understand he was in the wrong. He held me so gently that night. Like back at the start, like I was precious.
Water wells in the corner of my left eye and spills down my swollen cheek. Darkness takes me then, but only for a moment. I hear the door slam and glass shatter and then silence. I lie there, unmoving. Time has no meaning. I force my eyes open and instantly see the crimson pool forming beside me. The glint of the blade he had held in his hand flashes in my mind and the disturbing reality of what he has done dawns on me. I haven’t the will to sit up and assess his latest handy work. Breathing seems like such an effort. Sleep beckons me. I hear distant voices and pray it’s the neighbours. Pray they heard the dramatic end to my relationship and probably to me….