But if anyone asks, tell them we’re fine

I wrote this story following a prompt relating to bullying. It didn’t turn out as I expected, but then my stories seldom do. 😀

But if anybody woman 28.8.16

In common with women the world over I thought I could change him when he became abusive.

When we first met he was charming, and I couldn’t believe my luck when he chose me over younger, prettier girls. He said the age difference didn’t matter, showered me with small, romantic gifts and made me feel good about myself. I’d never been very confident but he treated me like a queen.

It was only when he moved in that I started to see his dark side. At first it was just verbal, chipping away at my self-confidence until bit by bit I was afraid to think for myself. My clothes, my hair, my friends and my cooking, all fell under his scrutiny until eventually I believed I could do nothing without his approval.

I tried hard to make myself look nice, slaved over the stove to improve my culinary skills, and gradually stopped my friends from coming to the house when he told me they weren’t the right type.

Once I’d had some savings, but when I became flustered about interest rates and bank charges he took over checking my statement to save me the worry.  I found it difficult to manage on what he gave me, and finally agreed it would be better to sell my house and move to somewhere smaller.

It was when we started living in the remote, secluded property that I finally pushed him too far with my stupidity. Even if money was short I should not have suggested we didn’t have enough for him to treat his friends when he went to the pub. How could he feel like a man if he didn’t put his hand in his pocket?

I deserved the slap he gave me but then the physical abuse became a daily occurrence. There were no close neighbours to hear my screams or notice my black eyes or bruises. I felt a virtual prisoner and sank further into depression, accepting my life of misery as I deserved no better.

The night he came home early from the pub I didn’t have his dinner ready and he totally lost it, berating me for being the most useless human being on the planet. Knowing I was due another beating I raised my hands to try to protect my face but he wouldn’t stop.

As I tried to keep from falling my hand brushed against the bread knife and I struck out in terror.

I wasn’t even aware that I had connected until, with a surprised look on his face, he sank to the ground in a pool of blood. For several moments I just stood looking at him until a loud rap on the door brought me out of my reverie.

Two policewomen stood on the step.

“Good evening Madam. We’re sorry to disturb you but we’ve had reports that you might be in need of some assistance.  We’ve come to see if you’re alright and ensure you’re not in any danger.”

“I appreciate your concern officers,” I replied, “but if anyone asks, tell them we’re fine now.”

© Voinks August 2016

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