Beaten but NOT defeated

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Chapter 2

In the distance I heard something that sounded like a jack hammer, something pounding into the ground, jamming into my head louder and louder. ‘Am I dead? And if I am why is it so damn noisy’? I thought to myself. My eyelids felt so heavy I could barely open my eyes even with effort. With much effort I finally forced them open only to find that I was still lying in the exact spot I was last night when I was trying to die. So much for giving up! It would seem that I either didn’t drink enough tablets or they suck! My eyes were so blurry that I could hardly make anything out as I searched for my phone with arms that felt heavy trying to see what time it was. Finally locating it I squint to see the time. It was 14:30pm. I slept the whole day away. ‘Those tablets definitely suck!’ I thought to myself feeling disgusted.

I saw a flashing light on my phone indicating that I had a message. ‘Must be Chloe wanting something again’ I thought to myself. After rigorous eye rubbing I could finally see enough to read her message. I slid open the phone and saw that I had twenty three missed calls and eighteen messages. ‘Wow she must really want something’ I thought. Most of the messages were from Chloe begging me to answer her as she was worried sick and hasn’t heard from me since Christmas. ‘Yeah so, that was last night. Why is she so upset’? I thought to myself but as I went through the messages and calls I realized that it was two days later. ‘Wait I slept for two days?! How is that possible? I closed my eyes and slept the night, not two days’ I said out loud. My throat felt dry and constricted and I still had a pounding headache. My body felt stiff and so sore and bruised from Josh’s attack that I could hardly move let alone get up. I looked at the date and saw that it was indeed the 28th. I missed two days and a few hours to be exact. That meant that Josh walked past me every day and saw me laying there and did nothing. ‘Did he even bother to check if I was still alive at all? Was he even in the house? Who’s the useless one now’? I wondered to myself.

Slowly and painfully I dragged myself up off the couch and headed to the bathroom. It felt like a train had hit and dragged me a few times and I was sure my breath smelt like the dead. I was desperate to get myself cleaned up and at least look better even if I couldn’t feel any better. I stood in front of the mirror and saw how swollen my face and eyes were from sleeping so long and I tried to wash it away angrily. I still had dark bags around my eyes from the makeup too and struggled to get it off. As I came up from scrubbing the makeup off for the third time I saw that my eyes were still black all around and realized that it must be bruised from the impact to my head. That explained the splitting headache and dizziness I had since I woke up. I stood and stared at myself for a while just wondering why.’ Why does Josh hate me so much? He used to be a kind, loving and caring person. What motivated him to change so drastically’? Before I could finish my thought my phone rang in the lounge but it felt as though it was right next to me as the sound cut through my head. ‘Ah no, now I have to walk all the way back there to get it’ I mumbled to myself. I turned to leave the bathroom when I heard a loud banging at the door. ‘It’s Chloe, where are you? I heard your phone ringing so why aren’t you answering’? Chloe yelled through the door. ‘Oh no, I have to hide! She can’t see me like this’ I said softly to myself as if she could hear me. The banging and pleading continued until she said: ‘I spoke to Josh, he said you were rambling on about how much you hate him and your life and he doesn’t understand what he did wrong. He said you locked him out of the house and he had to sleep over at Mindy’s place. Please open the door’. I was halfway out of the bathroom on my way to the front door when I realized that I cannot open the door looking like this. Chloe will have questions that will only prompt me to lie to her in order to keep Josh safe.

My thoughts were running wild wondering why Josh picked Mindy of all people to cheat on me with. ‘Was he with Mindy now’? I thought to myself. She was supposed to be my friend, and a close one at that. I stood in the hallway between the bathroom and the living room, frozen by the obligation of having to lie for Josh and knew it was just another woman that I had to accept in Josh’s life. I decided it best to stay silent until Chloe left even though my heart was screaming out for her to know the truth. Josh was a compulsive liar and I couldn’t help but wonder what type of rumors Josh was spreading about me this time as he had a bad habit of spreading nasty lies about me to everyone who had ears and was willing to listen and unfortunately for me, people loved listening to gossip and they blindly believed everything they heard, especially if it came from him. Josh didn’t stay over at a woman’s place without sleeping with them. He loved seeing how many women he could sleep with while still acting as though he was a saint. He used the fact that I was out cold for two days as an excuse to whore around openly with the façade of me being the guilty culprit, bad wife who kicked him out. The bastard never cared for anyone but himself and his own selfish desires. He always put himself first, even before everything went sour between us. He would always work on satisfying only himself and then he would toss me aside like a used rag. He never cared if his actions hurt me physically or emotionally, as long as he was satisfied he was happy. I should have seen the signs early on but I was blinded by a misguided love I had for him.

I let Chloe know later that day that I was fine and will be seeing her at the new year’s party a few days from then. I needed some time to recover and hopefully some bruises would be healed by then. With a lame excuse and some begging, she let me get away with the past few days silence, on condition I don’t do that to her again, ever! I agreed to her terms and felt so thankful to have a friend like her. Someone who unlike, Mindy would never stab me in the back. I felt so helpless when I thought of Josh cheating on me yet again. I have tried everything to keep him from running around on me but he just couldn’t help himself. He found the mystery of any other woman more alluring than the woman he married. Josh and I were married for three months when he cheated on me for what I thought was the first time. Little did I know that he was never faithful to me, not even once. With every opportunity that presented itself to him, he grabbed it on with both hands. I kept ignoring what people said as I knew how much people loved gossip and in the beginning of our relationship and marriage Josh assured me that everyone was lying and that he was faithful only to me. He had a way about him that made me believe everything that came out of his mouth. I was infatuated with him and everything he did and my whole life revolved around Josh and keeping him happy in every way possible.

The next few days were grueling as I was trying to recover from the attack while I was trying to get my story straight on what to tell Chloe when I see her face to face, while all the time wondering when Josh would be returning home. I was dreading each moment of the day, waiting for him to untangle himself from Mindy and come home to me. The fact that he punished me when he was unhappy didn’t faze me as I believed that I could change him. I could make him see that he loved me and that my love was worthy of him. I felt jealous of Mindy and every other woman he had been with as I knew how he treated them. I also wanted to be treated as if I meant something to him; I wanted to prove myself to him in some way. I tried daily, no matter how bad our day was, I never stopped trying to show him I loved him and that I was worth more than just some play thing he could toss aside when he was bored. The times we had sex with both parties willing, never left me feeling wanted as he would be forceful in his movements and after he finished he would throw me off of him telling me he has other stuff to do. So many times I was unable to walk and had to crawl to the bathroom, but it never bothered him even once. As long as Josh got what Josh wanted the world was peachy.

Finally the 31st of December came around with no word from Josh. I was unsure if I felt hurt or relieved. Chloe was on her way over so we could do our makeup and get ready to go out. My body was still sore from the beating I took, but I was mobile enough that Chloe wouldn’t notice anything. When she arrived I opened the door to see her with wine in the one hand and chocolate in the other. She flew into my arms, hugging me so tightly that I felt every bruise smashing into my insides. Without flinching I hugged her back and let her in. She poured us some wine and we went to the bedroom as was our routine. She sat with her back against the mirror with a huge grin on her face. ‘Why are you smiling like that’? I asked her feeling puzzled. ‘I’m just so glad to see you, I was worried sick, and now that I see you are fine I am feeling better’ she said. I couldn’t help but smile at my best friend, the only person who truly knew me. We started catching up on what she has been up to the past few days while drinking wine and applying makeup. She was rambling on about some guy she met and how in love she was and how she hoped he will treat her just like Josh treated me. ‘Oh dear, I hope her new beau treats her better than that, otherwise I will have to kill him’! I thought to myself. My thoughts were hardly cold when Josh walked through the door like he had won the lottery. I guess that for him being with Mindy instead of me made him feel like he won something. My whole body went rigid and I felt a sickening pang in my stomach. The wine wasn’t nearly strong enough for me to deal with him right now unless I could hit him in the head with the bottle. He went over to Chloe and gave her a brief hug and came over to me looking like he adored me, giving me a tight hug that lasted way too long for my liking. I acted as though I missed him dearly and welcomed the sight of him.

‘Are you feeling better darling’? He asked in a loving tone. ‘You had me worried sick when you locked me out. I didn’t want to bother you seems how you obviously needed some alone time. I am so glad to see you are doing so well’ he continued. With an ice cold smile he walked past me and sat on the bed behind me. The look in his eyes was anything but love for me and I felt the hairs on the back of my neck standing on end. ‘So where are you girls off to tonight’ Josh asked. Chloe wanted to answer him but he cut her off with, ‘Why doesn’t my lovely wife answer that for me’ while he stroked my hair. Chloe looked at him adoringly as she thought he was such a nice guy for not even getting upset with me for locking him out, when in actual fact he went out and had his keys with him the whole time. I was too afraid to answer him and just kept quiet. ‘Look at me darling, I am talking to you’, Josh said. Slowly turning around to face him I cocked a polite smile and said we are just going to the New Year’s party at the pub. He leaned forward cupping my chin in his hand bringing his face so close to mine that our noses touched and he said ‘behave yourself’ in such a low tone of voice that Chloe hardly heard him growl out the words. I nodded and smiled when I turned back to Chloe who was almost done with her makeup. Josh stood up and walked out of the room but I didn’t feel relaxed at all. All I could see were the images of him hurting me flashing through my mind. I swung back the glass of wine in my hand and tried to pour another without Chloe seeing my hands shake. After we were finally done and ready to leave, Josh asked Chloe to wait outside for us as he would like a word with his dearest wife. My heart sank into my shoes and the sickening feeling in my stomach was back. After she closed the door, he grabbed me by the arm and slammed me up against the wall so hard that he knocked my breath out. My head hit the wall on the place where I fell and it gave me an instant headache. He put his leg between mine and his hand on my inner thigh, gripping tightly. ‘Behave yourself or you will force me punish you again’ he growled into my ear. My heart was racing so fast it felt like I would pass out. ‘Now put a smile on your face for your friend, I don’t want her thinking you are useless’ he said and with that he let me go and held open the door for me to leave. Chloe went in for a goodbye hug and we got in the car. ‘Everything ok’ she asked. I smiled my usual fake smile and said ‘yes thanks, everything is great’.

My heart felt like it was throbbing in my head and I could feel my headache in full force. The pub was just a few minutes from the house so it didn’t take us long to get there. Chloe being her radiant self-leapt out the car once we arrived, all excited for the party. I on the other hand was not in the mood for the festivities and moved at a much slower pace. Once inside she immediately ordered shots and a drink. I numbly swung back the shot and half of my drink when I looked up for the first time. Standing on the other side of the bar counter near the pool table was that mysterious stranger from Christmas evening, staring at me the same way he did the time before. He was sitting on a stool half in the corner with one leg up and the other extended to the floor, his arms folded over his chest. I nearly spat Chloe with my drink but ended up choking on it instead. With Chloe laughing and patting me on the back I couldn’t help but stare back at him, who yet again had a mischievous smirk on his face. Before I could ask her if she knows the handsome stranger, the bar owners came over with shots. They talked loudly and embraced us, excitedly telling us about the festivities planned for the night. I gladly took the shots they offered and swung them back without thinking twice. ‘It will definitely help for the headache, I hope’ it thought to myself. I turned with my back facing toward the pool table but could still feel his eyes on me the entire time. He had some friends of his own around him but it hardly seemed like he noticed them.

As always Chloe wanted to play pool so I joined her and walked over close to where they were sitting. Chloe ran up to one of his friends and embraced him. She called me over and introduced me to her new beau Steve. I shook his hand while all the while being conscious of standing so close to mister bad boy. ‘If he can’t introduce himself to me that’s what I’ll be calling him, mister bad boy’ I thought to myself feeling quite amused. Making a point out of ignoring him, we went on to playing pool and drinking shots. He kept staring and saying nothing which was starting to work on my nerves so I decided to talk to the bar owners rather than stand next to a mute! I walked over to Ian and Stacy, plopped down next to them and without thinking twice I asked them who their new, mysterious barman was. Stacey immediately warned me to stay away from him while Ian said he is not the new barman, he is their friend, Caleb. All their friends went in behind the bar to help out from time to time. Stacy said he liked to get what he can’t have and that he is a bad boy and a player and I must stay far away from him.

‘Yes, now that doesn’t intrigue me at all! I have a bad husband already and I definitely don’t need a bad boy player either. At least I pegged him correctly. Mister bad boy’ I thought to myself. Chloe came over and said that it was my turn at the table so I walked back over and put my drink down right next to Caleb, looking him straight in his face, and walked right past him. ‘Booya, how’s that for payback’ I thought to myself while smiling nervously. My nerves were so shot by the look he gave me I missed my shot…again, because of Caleb! ‘Why does he make me so nervous even though he doesn’t even talk to me’? I thought. We finished our game but Chloe was so into her new beau that she hardly noticed that I was there so I decided to finish my drink and get some fresh air. Caleb was no longer sitting where I saw him last so maybe I could get some air and alone time as my head was not feeling any better at all. I walked out like a stealth lion and found a quiet corner away from all the noise. I stood with my back against the wall, leaning my head back and closed my eyes for a brief moment. The throbbing in my head was getting louder with each second so the silence and fresh air was more than welcome. I stood there for hardly a minute when I heard someone walking up to me. I got a fright as I thought it was Josh and screamed. A hand clamped over my mouth and I felt breath in my ear ‘shhh’. I felt so panicked I could feel my heart pounding in my chest. ‘I’m going to let you go, please don’t scream’ the deep, familiar voice said. I nodded and looked up at the face behind the hand and it was Caleb. He took his hand away from my mouth but made no attempt at moving away from me. The look in his eyes was one of concern, maybe because he gave me a fright. ‘Are you ok’ he asked. I didn’t know what to say right away so he put his hand on the side of my face. I slapped his hand away barking at him to leave me alone. My breath came out husky and my head was spinning. ‘I’m not going to hurt you’ he said, still not moving away. Finally I found my voice and asked him what the hell he was thinking. ‘I saw you coming outside and wanted to make sure you are ok’ he said. ‘By scaring the life out of me’ I said and turned to walk away. He put his arm up against the wall next to my head blocking my way. I turned to the other side and he blocked that side too. He was now standing with his face so close to mine boxing me in with his body that I could feel his breath on my skin. He dropped his head slightly so he was looking straight into my eyes and grinned. Exasperated I asked ‘what do you want’? ‘To introduce myself’ he said. ‘Really. Now’? I thought. ‘Yes I know who you are, Stacey already told me, mister bad boy’ I said. ‘Mister bad boy’? he asked with that ridiculous grin and a deep voice. ‘Caleb, my name is Caleb’ he continued. ‘Good for you’ I said. ‘Now piss off and leave me alone’. ‘Why, you have some place better to be’? He asked while holding my eyes with his. With my nerves shot and my heart pounding in my painful head I hesitated and said ‘ye, yes I do, my friend is waiting for me inside’. ‘Your friend is occupied with my friend and doesn’t even know you are not there’ he said while standing still like a statue in my way. ‘Can you please just move’ I said this time not feeling so sure of myself as I was the first time. He caught on to my insecurity and moved in closer. I tried to make myself one with the wall but that didn’t help my case at all. ‘You smell nice’ he said sending all my senses in overdrive. ‘You are a bad boy and I really can’t afford any distractions in my life. I am married and my husband won’t be very happy with you trying to get close to his wife’ I said. That earned me a full blown smile and he said ‘I know you are married Liz, it’s never stopped me before’. ‘Really, do I look that cheap’? I snapped feeling affronted. What was it with bad boys thinking that they could get away with anything they did?

His comment pissed me off so badly I tried to shove him away from me and slapped him in the face, but all I achieved was a soft laugh from him. He didn’t move when I shoved him either, not even an inch. Boy this guy was strong! ‘Do you find me attractive’? He asked in his deep voice. ‘What’? I asked caught off guard. ‘Do you find me attractive’? He repeated. ‘Uh, no’ I said too quickly for my own good. He leaned in so his lips were touching my ear and whispered ‘you’re lying’. A brief moan escaped my lips before I could stop it and I could feel his smile against my skin. He dropped his hands and wrapped his arms around my waist where I got hurt and I said ‘ouch’ so softly I hardly heard the words escape my lips, but he heard them clearly. He unlocked his arms and took a step back from me. ‘Did I hurt you’ he asked with true concern in his eyes. ‘No, no you didn’t’, I said shaking my head a little too hard for my own liking, as the throbbing in my head reminded me it was still there. ‘I need to go’ I said very abruptly and tried to make a run for it. He caught me by the arm and the panic in my eyes caught him completely off guard. I ripped my arm out of his hand, looked at him briefly and stormed off into the pub.

Chloe caught sight of me and hurried over to me. I was on my way to get my car keys and jacket so I could go home. ‘What’s wrong? Did something happen’? She asked. ‘No I’m fine’, I said, ‘I just feel unwell’. She looked past me to the door and saw Caleb walking in, looking concerned. ‘Did he do something to you’ she asked. ‘What? No’, I said, ‘I don’t even know the guy’. ‘Then why are you upset’ she asked. I tried to shake her and dashed for the door. She caught up to me and said ‘I’m going to call Josh, you are scaring me’. I froze mid step and panic filled me. If Josh knew I was talking to another guy he would punish me again. I looked past Chloe and saw Caleb lurking, looking at me with a questioning expression on his face. I looked at Chloe and felt sick, knowing that I misbehaved and that I was in for some serious trouble when I got home. I gave Caleb and Chloe a panicked look, turned and ran for the car. I had to get home before Chloe decided to call Josh.

I got home no less than 3 minutes later and Josh was standing outside waiting for me. Panicked flooded me so badly that I saw black spots in front of my eyes. I parked the car as calmly as I could and walked up to the front door where he was standing, not knowing what to expect. I greeted him calmly even though my heart was beating so loudly that he could possibly hear it. ‘Evening’ he said letting me walk past him into the house. I expected him to hit me when I walked in but he was oddly calm. ‘Sit’ he said. ‘How was the party’? ‘It, it was fine thank you’, I said in a soft voice looking at the floor with my hands in my lap. ‘Look at me’ he said. I lifted my head slowly and he looked so calm I could almost relax. Almost! ‘Did anything happen tonight you need to tell me about’ he asked. ‘Uh no’, I said way to uncertain of myself. I would not dare question him and ask him why he wants to know. That would just seal my fate. ‘So nothing you want to share’? He asked. My silence was deafening and that earned me a smirk. ‘I asked you a question Liz’, is there something you want to share?’ he said a little more menacing than the first time. ‘W, What do you want to know’? ‘You tell me’ he said, ‘you are the one going out making a whore of yourself’. Right then I knew that Chloe gave Josh a call when I left and I had to fess up to what I did. I knew what the outcome would be either way. If I didn’t tell him, he would have to drag it out of me and punish me even harder than if I just fessed up now, he might punish me and get it over with so I could get on with my night.

‘I, we played pool and had a few drinks’, I said in an unsure tone. He cocked his head to the side and waited for me to elaborate. I started fiddling with my hands in my lap and kept quiet. When I said nothing more he said ‘are you going to make me drag it out of you? Or would you like me to beg you?’ I shook my head and continued. ‘There was this guy. I uh went outside for some air and he said hi to me’. ‘Oh I see, so you lied to Chloe that you didn’t know the guy when in actual fact you talked to him and made a whore of yourself’ he said. ‘No, I don’t know him and he just said hi’, I said so softly I hardly heard myself speak. I could see the veins in his arms popping out from the fists he made out of anger towards me. ‘What?’ he asked, ‘what did you say’?! I realized then that I may have made things worse by saying that, but at least I didn’t say what I wanted to say. ‘You’re the bloody whore, you sleep with anything that wears a skirt and you want to give me shit because some guy greeted me?’ I wanted to say to him but kept it to myself. He saw the frown on my face which I didn’t realize was there and that made him fly off the handle. He flew over to me and slapped me through the face so hard my teeth slammed together. He lifted his fist in the air and threw a punch, stopping mere millimeters from my face. He opened his hand next to my head like he wanted to slap me but looked unsure of what he wanted to do next. I put my arm up in self-defense and he flexed his hand screaming ‘I will kill you, you are so fucking frustrating’! He grabbed me by the arm and yanked me off my feet. He dragged me to the other bench which opened up into a couch and threw me on it. He stalked off to the kitchen and I decided to make a run for it, but before I could get the door unlocked he smacked my head against the door and pulled me back by my hair throwing me back on the couch. He jumped on top of me and I decided to fight him. I was hysterical and started kicking and hitting him to get him off of me but he was too strong. He grabbed my wrists and tied them to the post behind me. He pulled the rope so tight that my hands felt like they were going numb. Then he spread my legs and tied my feet to the bottom posts. I started begging him to let me go as I was worthless and meant nothing, but he kept silent and started ripping off his clothes. He got on top of me and took a knife and cut my clothes off of me, nicking me with the knife in various places. The blood seeping out of my skin did not faze him at all and he just kept cutting. My begging had turned into sobbing as I knew nothing I could say would deter him. He leaned over me and stopped for just a second. ‘You acted like a whore tonight, I’ll show you what a whore deserves’, he said. He then forced himself inside me so hard it felt like I was tearing from the inside. He kept jamming himself into me like I was nothing more than a dead piece of meat. He wrapped his hands around my throat and strangled me while finishing very loudly and forcefully. I wished right there he would just strangle me to death and get it over with but he stopped and got off of me and went to the bathroom. He left me, tied up, lying there feeling torn open like I was nothing. My sobbing quieted down into silent crying. I felt so exposed and cheap, aching everywhere. Josh returned from the bathroom dressed. He stood at my feet and asked me if I was happy now. ‘You see what acting like a whore gets you’? He said looking proud of himself. I begged him to untie me and he looked at me as if I disgust him. He turned around and walked out of the house and I heard him getting in the car and leaving. I struggled against the ropes as hard as I could but that only made the ropes pull even tighter. I knew I was stuck like that until he decided to release me from my punishment. I lay there burning, bleeding and paining, staring up at the ceiling waiting for him to return or for death to give me a merciful end but tiredness eventually won out in the early hours of the morning and I fell asleep against my will.

I woke up when I felt movement on the bed. I opened my swollen eyes only to see Josh sitting at the foot end of the couch. ‘Sleep well’? He asked sounding chipper but I just stared at him not saying a word. He had to cut the ropes off of me as he tied them so tightly he couldn’t get them loose. Unable to feel my arms or legs I just lay there unable to move. He told me to get up and clean myself up as he was having guests over later in the day and I had to clean the house and make food for them. I finally managed to sit up, and I looked at my hands. They were swollen and purple from being tied the whole night. I had purple rings around my wrists and ankles and blood rings from where I struggled against the rope. It looked as though my arms and ankles were sewn on to my limbs. My stomach was so sore I could barely stand up straight and then I saw the amount of blood on the bed. He was so rough that he made me bleed, which explains the extreme burning sensation I felt the whole night. Looking like I gave birth during the night, I dragged myself to the bathroom to clean myself up. To my utter horror Josh climbed in the shower with me and pressed me up against the wall. Having absolutely no resistance to offer him he entered me and said ‘I hear women say it’s always tender the morning after a night like that, you experience sex more intensely’. Barely able to stand he supported my weight against the wall, jamming himself inside me over and over until he finally came. He let out a loud moan and let me drop to the floor. He cleaned himself and threw me with the loofa saying ‘get cleaned up, you’re wasting time’.

I just sat there with the shower water pouring over my head, and I burst out in tears. Blood was pouring out of me from the wounds he created. I honestly didn’t know what to feel at that moment except sore. Everything hurt. I sat there until the water in the geyser ran cold but I knew I had to get out and clean the house as requested before he had to come in there and ask me again. I knew that he was able to make things much worse for me than they already were so I managed to drag myself up and got out of the shower. I walked into the room at a snails speed to find a note and clothes on the bed. The note was instructions on what he wanted from the shop for the food I needed to make and the clothes were meticulously picked out to cover up all the wounds. ‘He wants me to go to the bloody shop? I can barely walk thanks to him and it looks like I have a very heavy period and I must still go to the shop and act like I am peachy? Can this day get any worse’?! I said out loud to myself. With much effort I managed to go to the shop and make the food he wanted for his guests. I didn’t know who he was bringing over and knew better than to ask. The note stipulated a time that he and his guests would arrive so I made sure everything was in order. I swallowed way too many pain pills before they came and took one last look in the mirror to make sure all the bruises are covered up so that no one could see them. He didn’t like when people saw the marks and started asking questions. He always said ‘you know how uncomfortable it makes me having to explain to people why you hurt yourself. It is embarrassing to say the least’.

I felt in a daze from all the tablets when he and his company arrived. Little did I know that he was bringing his new lover home to have dinner with us. Mindy wafted in on an air of perfume and a look that I’ve seen all too often. She knew that I knew that she was screwing my husband and she took pride in that. She had a high and mighty look to her and glared at me like the cat dragged me in. I was way too high to care and decided that she needed a drink. I poured me some wine in the biggest glass I could lay my hands on and gave them bottled drinks. I didn’t bother to sit with them or serve them as I no longer cared what happened to me. Their food was done so they could help themselves. I wasn’t planning on sitting there, watching him flaunt his new toy in my face so, I took my leave. I went outside with the bottle of wine and sat on the pavement lighting a cigarette. The quiet of the night was calming, almost relaxing. Or maybe it was the tablets, but something was working wonders at that moment. I didn’t spare a thought for the new love birds in the house and tried to clear my mind. I looked up at the stars and suddenly my mind was flooded with Caleb’s face. I shook my head to shake him from my mind but that achieved nothing. I saw his smile and felt his breath in my ear. His deep husky voice gave me chills down my spine. How could any man be so darn attractive? The mystery around him and who he was sucked me in and left me wanting more. I knew I stood no chance of having anything real with him but it was worth dreaming. Sitting there thinking about him calmed my thoughts so much, I was caught off guard by the sound of Josh and Mindy having sex very audibly. Ugh, I rolled my eyes and decided to take a walk down the street. ‘No one wants to hear that! Just me and mine bottle’ I thought to myself. Crossing the road with my thoughts in the clouds I failed to hear the car speeding my way. I was standing in the middle of the road like a dear in head lights when I heard the brakes screeching and saw the car swerving. I felt an immense pressure in my head and that was the last thing I saw before everything went black and I lost consciousness.

I heard the sound of voices whispering around me as I opened my blurry eyes. ’Where am I? I asked. ‘Finally’ I heard Josh say. ‘We were so worried about you’. ‘We’? I thought. ‘Why would Mindy give a crap that I was hit by a car? Wait was I hit by a car? Is that Chloe’s voice I hear? What would she be doing here’? My thoughts ran in every direction. Finally my blurred vision cleared up and I saw Josh, Chloe and her boyfriend standing over me. I kept forgetting his name, maybe because he was so ugly? ‘Hahaha that was funny’! I thought. ‘Ouch my head hurts’ I said trying to sit up. ‘I would think so, you drank a whole bottle of wine by yourself’ I heard Chloe say. ‘What were you thinking, walking out in front of our car in the middle of the night’ Chloe demanded to know. ‘I wander’ I answered half annoyed.

The last thing I was in the mood for at that moment was being chastised by my best friend about something she knew nothing about. ‘I’m so glad you stopped in time Steve, otherwise the whole night may have turned out very badly!’ ‘Ah yes, Steve, the name fits the face’ I thought, laughing to myself. ‘He stopped’? I asked, ‘so he didn’t hit me with his car’? ‘No silly, we saw you in the road and Steve slammed on brakes. The car started to slide but he controlled it enough to miss you and stop safely’, she said. ‘Oh, ok’, I said. Josh cleared his throat and it sounded like he was choking. I looked over to him and saw him crying. ‘He can cry? Hahaha he is such an ugly crier’!! I thought to myself. ‘Geez, just look at that face, only a mother can love that’! ‘What’s with the tears’? I asked him. ‘I was so afraid I had lost you. When you stormed out after our fight I thought I’d never see you again’, he said. ‘What fight’? I asked and I realized then that Mindy wasn’t there. How did she disappear so fast? ‘Whore makes a quick exit’ I thought to myself. ‘Where’s Mindy?’ I asked Josh. ‘Mindy?’ Why would Mindy be here Liz’? Josh asked. ‘You had dinner with her’, I said and he looked shocked and surprised by my accusation and looked at Chloe and Sean with huge eyes. ‘Liz, Mindy wasn’t here tonight. Don’t you remember what happened’? He asked. Oh I remembered alright, the loud sex and dirty looks I got, how could I forget that? When I said nothing, he continued. ‘You were drunk when I came home and started picking a fight. You told me how much you hated me and that you met some guy at the pub. Then you tried to run for the door and I begged you not to go. You took the wine and ran out. I thought you were just sitting outside and needed some air so I didn’t follow you, but then I heard Chloe scream and ran out as fast as I could. I was so afraid you got hurt when I saw you lying in the middle of the road. I was so thankful when she said that you just passed out and they didn’t hit you’. My head started spinning. WHAT?! Why the hell was he lying to my face? Oh wait, his reputation, I almost forgot he has something like that. ‘How’d I get in the house’? I asked. ‘Josh carried you in’, Chloe said. ‘Wow that must have bruised his ego’ I thought to myself. Then I thought of Mindy. They must still have been having sex when it all went down. Either she ran down the road away from the house like a naked flash or she was hiding somewhere, waiting for Chloe and what’s his face to leave. She came with Josh in his car so she couldn’t have left and I wondered where she’s hiding. ‘I bet all this is just giving her more ammo to use against me with the rumors she likes to spread about how unstable I am and what a bad wife I am’ I thought to myself.

Chloe asked if she could have some alone time with me and came to sit next to me on the bed. She took my hand between hers and had a worried look in her eyes. ‘What’s going on honey? Why are you being so destructive? Did something happen? It’s not like you to get drunk and wander’. She said while making quote signs with her fingers. ‘You pass out in the middle of the road and that guy you were talking to at the bar. What’s up with that?’ So here I am, having to explain myself to my best friend while Mindy and her oversized ears were listening to every word I said. ‘Josh loves you so much and you look like you couldn’t care less. He was so scared for you tonight and you gave him crap the moment you opened your eyes. He cried like a baby when you didn’t wake up’. That thought made me chuckle and she gave me a disgusted look. ‘Honey I think you may need some help. Josh told us that you like hurting yourself. Why would you do that? Are you having an affair or did something go wrong in your childhood? Honey please talk to me’, she begged. ‘WHAT’?! I asked more loudly than I was planning. ‘Why the hell would I hurt myself?!’ ‘Honey please calm down, I’m only trying to help you’, Chloe said. At that moment Josh burst through the door and landed at my side with what looked like super speed. He kneeled next to me and said ‘my darling we are all just concerned about you. You don’t have to tell Chloe all the things you told me about why you like hurting yourself. It’s all going to be ok’. I felt like I could slap the skin off his face right there. What did I supposedly tell him about hurting myself? And liking it too?! ‘What is happening right now?’ I asked but before Chloe could answer, Josh took her by the elbow and told her that he thinks it was time for them to leave. It was best if I got some rest and he promised that he would call her in the morning.

She gave me a kiss on the forehead and looked at me with sympathy in her eyes. Great, now I was getting pity from my best friend! Josh walked out with Chloe and Swen and locked the door behind him. ‘Steve says goodbye’ Josh said. ‘Oh yes Steve, my bad’! I thought feeling amused at myself. I heard a scuffing sound and Mindy emerged from under the bed, naked. ‘Ew, cover yourself up’ I said. ‘You’re just jealous, anyone would kill to have a body like mine, right Josh?’ She purred at him. I felt sick down to my stomach at the thought of them together in the bed… the bed I was now laying in! Oh no, gross, I had to get up! Josh went over to Mindy and wrapped MY robe around her and pulled her close to him. He kissed her passionately in what felt like an eternity. He then turned his head to me and smirked. I rolled my eyes and asked her to leave. Josh immediately snapped and threw me in the face with a cup that was standing on the table next to the door. ‘You don’t talk to her like that!’ he snapped. ‘Well so much for the ugly crier’ I thought to myself. Gone was the pretend care he forced himself to show in front of my friends.

‘Get out of our bed’ Mindy snapped at me. ‘With pleasure’ I said and got up. My head was spinning so badly that I lost balance and fell over. They both started laughing and she said ‘I can see why you pity her. She is such a poor excuse for a human being. She doesn’t deserve your kindness at all my love’. I felt a strong grip on my arm as Josh yanked me to my feet. He walked over to the door and threw me out. ‘Go sleep off your rust you useless whore’ he said and slammed the door shut behind me. I landed face down on the cold tile floor but I would much rather lay there than in that filthy, sex ridden bed. I struggled to my feet and heard the door behind me open. ‘Don’t bother trying to leave again. The door is locked and I have the key. Can’t have you making a spectacle of yourself again’ Josh said and slammed the door shut again. I heard Josh and Mindy giggle in the room as I dragged myself to the couch.

I lay on the couch with my thoughts running wild. I was trying to block out the sound of Josh and Mindy resuming their sex session in the bedroom and decided to turn the TV on. I put on a music channel and lost myself in my own thoughts, the only place I had where I could escape the torture of being alive and the only place Josh had no hold over me. My phone chimed to life next to me with a text message. It was Chloe saying that they were home and she asked me if I was ok. She said she is very worried about me and my behavior. ‘My behavior’, I thought. Well isn’t that just one sided of her to think. Josh had everyone so in his pocket that no one saw the real him. They only saw the fakeness that he showed them. How I wish they could see what I did. I wish I had someone I could talk to and tell them what I was going through. I needed a cowboy on a white horse to save me. The thought of that made me chuckle to myself. If only something like that existed. But then again, why would anyone want to save me? I was worth nothing to anyone. My own best friend thought I was a wreck, busy self-destructing while my other supposed friend was in the bedroom having sex with my husband. ‘Maybe I should just die and get it over with. Then everyone would have a happier life. Josh can’t hurt me if I’m dead. He can only ugly cry and pretend he was a loving husband. I am just wasting space and air. I just need a better way to off myself than pills. That backfired the last time I tried it. Maybe I should cut my wrists and bleed out. Ouch, no that sounds too painful. Getting hit by a car obviously also isn’t the best idea either. I pass out before the car even hits me. Hahaha! I’ll have to think of a better plan than that’! I thought to myself.

Another message came through and I almost forgot that I needed to answer Chloe. ‘I am fine, stop worrying about me, please’. I replied to her text and set the phone down next to me. I wondered what she would think if I told her the truth of what was really going on. Would she even believe me? The music on the TV changed to something heavy metal and I decided to put the TV as loud as possible. Those two in the room sure made a racket! Oh how I wished I could just kill them! I closed my eyes and just listened to the words of the song. I’ve never heard the song before but the words were angry but make sense to me. I had such anger inside and I had no way of letting it out. I was helpless in a situation where even death did not want me. I failed to hear the bedroom door opening or see Josh storming out. He ripped me off the couch by my hair and threw me on the ground. He kicked me in the chest and screamed something inaudible at me as the music was too loud for me to hear. He couldn’t find the remote so he ripped the plug out of the wall. The house fell silent and he turned around and stomped off back to the bedroom. I didn’t bother to lift my head to see where he was because I knew that he was stomping back to his whore. He slammed the door and all was silent. I lay there holding my head that was throbbing, just taking in the silence. I saw a handful of my hair on the ground next to me that Josh had ripped out. No wonder my head was so sore. I didn’t even bother to get back on the couch. My legs were curled up to my chest like a baby in the womb and I just couldn’t care less anymore. I rolled up my sleeve and looked at the marks on my writs from Josh’s attack. They look so angry and hurt so badly. The swelling made my wrists look fat and I softly rubbed my hand over the bruise and silently wished I could somehow escape it all. I wished I could have a life where someone could love the uselessness that is me, someone who would take care of me, instead of beating me within an inch of my life every time they have a period. Oh well, a girl could sure dream. I rolled down my sleeve and just embraced myself, holding on to my legs as if they meant something other than just keeping me up straight. The tiles beneath me were cold but they created numbness from the pain. I curled my head to my knees and closed my eyes. ‘One day I will have a sweet release from all this and I will be free’.

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