She stood by the doorway, watching in silence. So many memories trying to force their way into her mind. He busied himself exploring the other rooms of the large house.
‘My God, what a house, and what a garden. Your so lucky to have brought up here’, as he stood beside her. His arms enveloping her fragile body. If only he knew.
She didn’t answer, but put her head in his large shoulders. Were he to see her face, he would see the tears, and the sadness it held. Again the memories pushed at the gates of her mind, where she kept them hidden. How could she share them with anyone, even him. How would he be able to trust her. She did not want to lose him. Some secrets are better left untold.
‘So when can we move in ?’, he asked, with childish excitement. The wide smile, and happy eyes, features that attracted her attention when she saw him across the shopping mall, that Saturday, not so many years ago.
‘Well, anytime now’, she responded. Hiding the memories and images behind her pristine smile
‘Well that’s, brilliant. I’ll get things moving’, and he held her close once more. Again she felt somewhat safe, and secure in his arms. She loved his enthusiasm. His drive and determination to achieve a goal, once set. They left her family home, just outside the small prosperous town, that was surrounded by wide fields of corn, and the high mountains and forests that were visible from every area of the town, adding to the beauty. They drove past the lake, where she had spent many summer days. He yelped with delight, and smiled at her, as the stunning scenery unfolded before them, and headed back to the tiny Manhattan apartment, in the overly busy, slow moving, mainly gridlocked traffic. Surrounded by the other near claustrophobic high rise blocks, that loomed large, so close by. There living space were tiny, cramped, with their goods and belongings packed high and tight. The space and freedom would be more than a welcome relief to both.
It was a struggle at times, living in such a small cramped space. But they were in love, and they struggled with the living conditions together. He set about the task of packing up their belongings with boundless energy. Their dog joined in with unabridged enthusiasm, sensing the excitement.
She left him to pack their belongings, using a brief shopping trip as an excuse for time alone. Time to consider her past, and her future. She sat alone in the corner of the darkened coffee shop, in the quiet street. Grateful for the peace and solitude. The staff sensible and intelligent enough to know when one of their patrons needed time to be alone, to reflect upon their life, or write their memoirs or just be allowed the luxury of thinking. The cafe being a haunt of many whom liked to write, to reflect, and needed the peace and solitude.
She watched the few people passing on the street, and wondered about their lives. Did anyone, she considered get out of this life without, the drama and heartache. Did anyone, anywhere among the billions, actually get an easy ride through life. She doubted it. she considered there future together. Like many before her, and like many would in the future, she considered was he the one. Was he the man she was willing to spend the rest of her life with. Was now the time to settle down. To possibly have children with him. An option she had yet to consider. What of her career. Did he have enough to offer. She began to mull over his positive characteristics, which were many. His kindness, empathy, and gentleness. His ambition, and determination, while impressive, had yet to lead to any substantial success. But he certainly had potential, and that was good enough. His honesty, reliability, and discretion, were certainly attributes to be welcomed. His loyalty was unquestioned. As for his love making skills, although not stellar, were certainly not at the beginner stage, and like many, there was always room for improvement, as she smiled at her private intimate thoughts. But mainly she felt loved, desired and secure with him.
He was not a saint, a perfect human being, which she allowed. There was at times that his cutting sarcastic humour, regarding the misfortunes of others that she so disliked, and had scolded him many times for. The little too much reliance on alcohol, and that little bit too much time, spending some of her funds in the casinos. His at times, flippant and childlike refusal to take life seriously. At attribute she found engaging and repellent all at once. These were the only negatives she could see at present. While serious enough to some, to her, they were not a deal breaker.
It was the ringing of her cell phone, that she had carefully layed on the darkened coffee table, that shock her from her imaginings. Its flashing screen , and shrill ringing tone, taking her back to real life. She knew it was him, checking up to see what she was up to, and was she okay with that. So lost in her thoughts, time had passed very rapidly, and he was becoming very slightly concerned for her, which she mostly welcomed.
‘Hi, yeah I know. I’m sorry. I should have called’. There was silence at the other end, holding the phone on the palm of her hand.
‘Do you think your actually going to get it. To get the damn house. To live the happy ever after life. Do you really think that’s how it’s going work out for you’.
The voice was still recognizable, even after all these years. She could sense the mental sickness, the illness through the handset, which she had left fall from her hand in shock. Nothing seemed to have changed. She was at once back in the family home, with her deranged older sister. She was at once the cowering, scared young girl, that she was many years since, as her sister worked out through one of her many psychotic episodes in the family home. The wicked screams. The seething empty accusations. The physical violence and struggles. The intense paranoia, that terrified her. The visionary uncontrolled hallucinations, and the voices. The never ending voices that told her to trust no one. Those voices that give her the detailed instructions of whom to harm. Her refusal to take her prescribed medication. The rapid slide into illegal narcotics, decadence and the most extremes darkened corners of the fetish sex scene.
Encouraged by the new friends and acquaintances from that sordid side of life, that were attracted like vampires to her vulnerability and and obvious psychosis. They swooped in quickly, using well honed abilities to suss out another victim to be used, abused and discarded, when the time was right. Their toxic, manipulative ways, hidden under the guise of instant friendship and camaraderie. There blackmail, emotional and otherwise, trivialized. Words such as loyalty, honesty and trust, and their meanings ment nothing to them. Idea’s such as that, they only laughed at. She was way too far gone. Too mentally unwell. Just too lost, in some form of Orwellian, dystopian world to see them for what they were. she was just being used by them, for their own gain. A world of extreme fetish sex. Myriad uncontrolled drug use. Criminally, blackmail, dishonesty. Mental illness, and insanity all rolled into one.
‘That’s right bitch. I’ve never gone away, and I’m coming to claim what’s rightfully mine. Do you think you can take my inheritance. My family home. It’s my home, not yours. Never was, never will be. Your not entitled to it’.
She was at a loss for words. The coffee shops lights seemed so dim. Her head was swirling and light. She gripped the wooden table for strength. She physically reeled at the onslaught. The shock. The sister she thought, had thankfully being removed from her life, was now back like an unwanted and destructive force of nature.
‘I’ve being following you. I’ve being watching your life these past few months. Do you think I don’t know whats going on’.
She did have that nagging feeling she was being watched those past few months, but had put tit down to an over active imagination, and dismissed it.
She pictured her sisters face as she spoke, and correctly imagined the twisted and ravaged features, spewing such anger and venom. The eyes, narrowed with hate. The bad skin, and unhealthy scarred, pale complexion. Her energy toxic in the extreme. Her body releasing itself from it’s physically tight hold as the mental and emotional chains were undone. She began to unleash her palatable madness. Her tangible mental sickness.
‘Do you think he will want to stay with you when he knows what you did, and are capable of, do you ?’
‘No man would ever want you, no man would ever trust you, ever’.
‘Your damaged goods, sweetheart’.
‘Do you hear me’, the voice so loud, so poisonous.
She put the phone back on the coffee shop table, and switched it off completely. Her hand shaking. Her breathing shallow and rapid. The perspiration formed above her lip and on her forehead. She was litterly shaking, and tearful. She sat at that table for many hours. Her body weak. Her engery drained. she sat their until the the coffee shop closed and they asked her to leave. She walked the darkened, quiet, rain soaked streets, for what seemd like hours. Trying to clear her mind. Could she tell him. Should she tell him. Would he ever trust her, for withholding such a hidden part of her life. Had they not promised each other toal honesty and disclousure in their relationship, from the start. Would he be able to understand that some aspects of one’s life, are just to hard, difficult and painfull to share. Would she mean nothing to him, were he to know.
Would her own deception, and non self disclousure, be her downfall, and the end of the relationship she had come to cherish, and wanted to last forever. After many hours, she arrived back at the apartment. She knew he would be waiting, most probably angry, and expectaing an explaination for her long abstnce. She was ready for the confrontation.
Tentatively she entered the lounge where he was sprawled out dozing in front of the tv. The flickering light from the tv illuminating the otherwise darkened room. She tripped over the resting dog, and the sound woke him.
‘Oh sweetheart, your back at last’. He got up from the couch and smiled and embracced her.
‘I tried calling you a few times, but your phone was off.’
‘Yeah, I know. I needed time to think’.
She was grateful for his calmness and peacefulness, enjoyed the comfort and security his phyisical touch offered her.
She reached down and took his hand, and looked into his gentle eye’s.
‘We need to talk’.