VOLUME ONE: GUILT
Have you ever had a moment of complete irony? I once looked up what the definition was. According to Siri irony was, and I quote,
"a state of affairs or an event that seems deliberately contrary to what one expects and is often amusing as a result".
Irony is amusing? I don't think so. Irony can be cruel and hurtful and completely damaging. For me anyways. You see six months ago I would have thought Irony was just a word in the English Dictionary that everyone knew, but couldn't exactly put words to explain. Now I know what Irony truly means, I'm living it.
Pain slices through the back of my head at an alarming rate. I can hear a voice in the background, but am unsure of what it is saying. My back lands hard on the kitchen floor. God, I hate our hardwood flooring. Of course, Jared had to have the most expensive hardwood floor that cost sixteen hundred dollars a square foot. I'm not sure why, but when we moved in, he was very specific about what amenities he wanted.
Jared picks my body up not giving me time to brace myself for his fist flying to my nose, the one body part he once told me he loved the most. I scream in agony as he grabs my blouse with his fists and brings my face closer to his. I used to love looking at his beautiful blue eyes. They were so expressive, I could always tell what he was thinking.
"What did I tell you about talking back to me Laynie?" He screams. I didn't even realize that I had spoken back to him.
I try not to say a word. I just do what I always do. I Cry. Weak. I hate being weak.
"Jared, I'm sorry. Please stop!" I cry out, my hands trying to block his.
The pain of his fist flying at my face over and over is unbearable. He stops, grips my hair tight in his grasp and looks at me, I beg for the man that I have known since I was fourteen, to come and rescue me from this monster that has taken over. As usual all I receive is another fist that connects me with the darkness I have come to crave.
I leave her on the kitchen floor. The darkness has corrupted me once again. Call me a monster, call me a demon, or a woman abuser. I don't and can't control it. The anger I have deep inside chooses when to come out. I can usually suppress it at work, but today was a particularly bad day. My career as a contractor who owns his own business allows me to control it with a secluded environment, but when I'm home the anger takes over. Unfortunately, it happens around my wife. My wife. The woman I used to care for most in the world. The woman that despite being in the damn hospital with a fucking cop hanging over me, will never betray me. Which in turns makes me pissed. She can't read me? Good. Neither can I.
I have always had this darkness in me. Never knew when it started. I was never one of those kids that skinned the neighbor's cats. Never the teenager that grabbed girls inappropriately. Nothing like that. I was just always fucking angry. As I walk into our bedroom, I notice the laundry is not done. It's just sitting there. Not a usual occurrence in this house. Laynie always has the house immaculate when I come home. She never has the laundry out, kitchen messy, nothing. I trip over the occasional shoe, but other than that she is a bit of neat freak.
I glance at the alarm clock on our Bernhardt nightstand. 1:46 pm. Wait, what? I run back out to the kitchen and look at the clock on the wall. 1:47 pm. One whole minute has passed with the realization of me being home 3 hours early. Shit, that's right. I left right after I fired those assholes. I glance at Laynie in the corner of my eye still lying almost lifelessly on the ground. My guilt and shame or maybe embarrassment has me leaning down to her and lifting her face off the ground and onto my lap. I want to ask myself why I have hurt this woman. The same woman that was never hesitant to marry me, even though I took away her dream wedding. She loved me that much. She knew I was in a hurry to get to New York. How many times have I told her she wasn't good enough? How many times have I shown her? How many times has she believed me?I want to blame the darkness that has consumed me but the truth is, I am a coward. I slowly lift her into my arms, my Armani suit being tainted by her blood that has somewhat dried on her lips crusting the edges.
I carry her to our bedroom and lie her in the bed on her back. I would clean her face a bit so it doesn't stick to our Egyptian linens because I know she will turn sometime in her sleep. I should cover her in our blankets, because I know she will get cold in the middle of the night. I should pull her hair up in that weird fucking bun thing she always puts on the top of her head right before she goes to bed. I should, but I don't. I just stare at the woman I have destroyed. I go back to the living room where my bar awaits me in the corner, where my scotch beckons me, and burry my day in that. Because I'm a monster, even if I don't want to be.
I awake in a cold sweat. My eyes drift to the left where I'm expecting to find Jared, only I see emptiness. I feel around his side of the bed and my fingers grasps coldness. He hasn't been to bed yet. I look at the clock wondering where my husband could be. I see it's only 8:39 pm. Strange, I never go to bed at this time. Immediately I am reminded of what transpired today. I feel my face, already pinpointing where it is starting to swell. Jared came home early. Way earlier than usual. Jared is usually home by p.m. I have a certain schedule for my days. Between breakfast, the gym, then cleaning when I get home, I barely have time to make him dinner every night. So, when he came home earlier than usual, I had just finished my workout and was working on cleaning.
He came home in a terrible mood. It has been a while since I have seen him that angry. I have no idea why he came home so early. We have had this same schedule for the past year, ever since we moved here. I get up in search for my husband because I'm not sure if he wants his dinner, late or not. Once I'm out of bed, my back screams at me in pain. I look towards our bathroom that is connected to the bedroom, and hesitate. I usually do not want to look at the damage that reflects in the mirror but I don't have a choice tonight. The attorney that is in charge of my mother's estate is coming bright and early tomorrow morning to talk to me about the will and I have put it off long enough.
I slowly go over to the bathroom and grab hold of the doorframe. My face is throbbing in pain and I'm not sure if I want to look and determine if I can cover it in make up or if I just want to call her and reschedule. My mind decides on the latter as I move to the living room. I look around for my husband and my phone, when I discover both at the same time. Jared is sitting behind the couch slouched awkwardly on his rear, leaning to the right a little, so it looks like he is in the middle of falling. In right hand he is juggling my phone and in his left hand is a tumbler of what I'm assuming is his scotch. Jared was never a drinker until we got to New York. Just another thing to change since we have been here.
His face looks like he is trying very hard not to fall over from laughing. What he's laughing at looking at my phone, I'm not sure, but it does worry me. I talk to my best friend Annabelle via text message about Jared and my relationship often. I don't tell her anything too detailed but she knows I am unhappy. Thankfully, she lives all the way in Minneapolis. When Jared and I moved last year to this New York house, I hated leaving her, but I thought I was following my dream. How wrong was I?
I lean down on my right knee, then my left, until my legs are flat on the floor in front of him, and lean forward, almost until we are touching. I can smell the scotch rolling off of him in waves. Seems like he decided to snoop while drunk because he is looking through my text messages from Anna and instead of making my face hurt further, he is having an all-out laugh fest. I'm not sure if that's better or not. I quietly whisper his name almost hoping he can't hear me. He looks up slowly and produces a serial smile.
"There she is." he says quietly.
"Jared are you alright? Would you like me to make you something to eat or maybe help you to bed?" Please say yes.
He closes his eyes and smiles even wider, showing teeth, then suddenly grabs my throat throwing me down on the ground, I can hear the sound of his glass breaking, followed by my phone landing on the ground somewhere near us. He is on top of me with his hands around my neck, but he is not squeezing. He is just holding me in place. He may not be hurting me but I am far from comfortable with his hands around my neck. I no longer know this man in front of me.
He slowly moves his mouth toward my right ear, and says something that stills my shaking form.
"Would you do it? Would you leave me?" he whispers.
My eyes slowly connect with his blue ones, and in that moment, I swear I see guilt, shame and maybe a little bit of fear. Those beautiful blue eyes I used to trust with my life. I get ready to give my answer when he lifts himself up and then reaches down to pick me up. I let him, trying to remember the last time I was in his arms without pain, He cusps my face with both hands and inspects what I assume, is his damage from a few hours before. He leans down and kisses my left cheek then my right. He reaches my ear again and says something about a monster, then turns around and heads to our bedroom.
I stand there stunned for I don't know how long. I am petrified to head into the bedroom after him. I clean the scotch, clear the glass, and head to the kitchen to clean there. I give myself another hour before heading to the bedroom to join the man I no longer know.