Chapter 1: The move
Have you ever wondered what makes the world go round or why the sky is blue or the grass is green? Have you ever wondered why certain people do certain things? Have you ever wondered why you have been put on this path? Have you ever wondered why fate hated you so much or if fate had anything to do with why you suddenly went down the wrong path? No, I’m not some crazy sociopath who is trying to get some justice or peace of mind for the people I have killed, I just want to know if you have ever wondered.
Now that I have said it, you are probably asking yourself; why is the sky blue? But that’s not the question I want to be answered. What I really want to know is, can any one person truly be free? I mean, yes as people we a free, we were given free will but we are still imprisoned by daily life. Childhood, school, work, demanding social lives, the uprising of the online social world and our everyday demons. If that isn’t scary enough, some of us go further, either intentionally or accidentally we imprison ourselves into false lives, relationship, and friends. Then we have the other half who purposely find themselves in toxic lives, relationships, and friends, just to avoid their own toxic demons. But eventually, they learn, that we can’t run away from everything.
As humans, we have basic needs, the need to be loved every day, the need to have a belly full of food and a roof over our heads. Some wake up every day in their normal lives and wish for simple things. They wish for the day to stay dry, they wish work will be better than yesterday, they wish for that promotion or winning the lottery ticket or even for their housemate to finally do the dishes. They wish for simple things.
But not all humans have those basic needs or are in the best position to have them. The others, myself included, we wish for somethings that seem impossible to ever be granted. We wake up and groan, not because we have to go to work today. Not because the curtain was left open an inch last night, and now the sun is in our faces. We wake and groan because the cuts and the bruises ache more than they did yesterday.
We wake up and wish our violent other half is in a good mood today. We get up and wish our other half has already left the house. When I get up, I wish when I roll over, I don’t have to see his smug looking face. I get up and wish I had the courage and strength to leave everything behind. But I know my wishes will never come true because I am too weak to leave. But that doesn’t mean I lose my hope and my faith that someday I will or that someone will give me that final push.
I had hoped for a lot of things for a very long time. I had hoped that someone would notice how quiet I always am when for years I used to be loud. I had hoped someone will notice the bruises underneath my make up. I had hoped someone will notice my cry for help, every time they looked into my eyes. I still hope every day I wake up. Hope is what seems to be holding me together lately, but there is only so much that hope can do for me. I also hope he goes away for business. I hope he has a boys weekend far, far away from me. I also hope, that someday he will finally stop. All I can do is hope.
I don’t have any friends of my own anymore, only him and his buddies. They used to torment me whenever my husband was not here or not looking. I know he knows what they do to me but all he does is continue to smile and act like nothing ever happens when they are invited over. I don’t understand why it had to be this way. Did I do something wrong to make god hate me? Did I anger fate? Has no one been listening to my prayers? Can anyone save me from the hell I created?
Hearing my name being called, made me mind stir. Who was calling me? Who dared to call me? When it didn’t come again, I wondered if my conscious was now imagining things. Maybe she wants to believe that someone would dare save us from my deep pit of despair. Nobody would dare talk to me because they knew what talking to me entailed. Living in a small town used to be a dream of mine. The community had been great when we moved here but it all changed in a matter of moments. Their happiness turned into whispered looks.
Blinking, I wondered if I had died and gone to heaven. Was God calling upon me to come to him? Or had he finally sent down my guardian angel? It was a bit late but it was better late than never. I felt the soft embrace of a gloved hand on my shoulder and I quickly snapped out of my trance. I blinked my frosted eyes and looked up from my coffee cup. I had gone out alone this morning, something I was aware I should not have done. But my husband had left for a conference week yesterday and I wanted to relish in his absence.
“Lisa, I’ve been trying to call for you for the last minute. Are you alright?”
I mumbled out quietly. They shouldn’t be talking to me, while he was gone. Everyone knew the rules. I turned to face the voice and my body tensed up. His ginger hair poked wildly out of his black beanie and I simply wanted to drown in his soft green eyes. His face seemed so familiar, so comforting, so homely. Snapping out of it, I realized I didn’t know this person. There was an unknown male standing in front of me. I would hear about this when my husband gets home. There were rules I had to follow and I was never permitted to talk to males that he didn’t know.
“Sorry, I must leave”
I fumbled out of my seat, leaving my now cold coffee behind. My cold hands reached out for my glove and I pushed my handbag over my shoulder. I wanted to apologize to the man, but that would do me no good. I wanted to turn back around and smile, but again the consequences were already piling up. So I just scuffled towards home. Suddenly some grabbed my shoulder and I was soon around to face the strange again. What did this stranger want? Did he owe my husband some money? Or was it the other way around. Maybe, that’s how he knew my name.
“What has he done to you?”
“N-nothing, please l-let go of me. I-I’m not s-supposed to t-talk to strangers”
“Strangers? We have never been strangers Lisa. What has he done to make you forget an old friend?”
Friend? This snapped open my tightly shut eyes. I had no friends.
“You need to wake up Lisa. Wake up from whatever spell that man has put you under. Your friends and family miss you, and we want you to come home”
The stranger huffed before letting me go. I stood frozen on the spot as I watched him stomp angrily away from me. Home. Family. Friends. Home. Where was home? With the stranger’s words running through my mind, I zombie walked home. Wake up, he said, wake up from the spell. Maybe I’m a princess and my husband has kidnapped me. He’s some evil sorcerer using his magic spells to make me forget who I truly am. The answering machine flashed angrily at me as I walked through the door. It felt like time had stood still. I hoped that he hadn’t found out and was calling to tell me he was on his way home. Gripping tightly onto my fear, I pressed play and let the message play.
Lisa honey, it’s your mother calling. I was just wondering if you were coming home this year. I know I call every year but I think it’s time to finally come home. I know it was tough but I think your father would like to see you again.
I fumbled for a moment, as my world spun out of proportion. Gripping onto the side of the end table, I pressed play again. Then again. And again. And again. And again. Home, that’s what she said. Come home? Memories of a farm cottage flashed before my eyes. Home. I suddenly felt like someone had finally slapped me hard in the face. My head started to spin and my cheeks started to burn up. I blinked away the tears and fumbled upstairs. When I stopped at my bedroom door, my now swollen eyes caught the picture by my side of the bed.
There I was happy as can be, standing in the rose garden in my white dress, my smile as wide as my face. The more I stared at it, the more I noticed how he wasn’t smiling nearly as bright as me. How his eyes seemed to drift off camera. He never loved me. He was never going to love me. Picking up the picture frame, I threw it across the room, letting it crash to the floor. I pulled a small bag out of the closet and quickly shoved my clothes inside. With rage still seething through my body, I grabbed my keys and drove until my apartment came into view.
“Good afternoon Mrs. Portsmith”
I flinched when he said my surname. It was a curse. It was my curse. He gave me a smile, taking my bag off me. Lisa, you need to speak, you can do this, you know this man.
“Jim, my husband, he will stop by here, but under no circumstances will you let him in. I don’t care what happens but if he enters that elevator, you need to call the police”
“Are you in grave danger Lisa?”
“I have no idea, I’ve left while he was gone. This is my only sanctuary from my husband. Please you know, you must understand”
“I understand. I will park your car and have someone bring your bag up”
This sound of my alarm blared through my nightmare. The same nightmare I’ve had for the past week. Jim reassures me that he has made no attempt to make it through the apartments lobby’s doors but it doesn’t assure me at all. Rubbing my eyes, I sat up. It said ten thirty on the alarm clock but I feel like I hadn’t gotten a wink of sleep. I zombie walked into the bathroom and grimaced at my appearance. My bloodshot eyes look like they’ve gotten worse. The bags underneath my eyes growing darker as I continue not eat. I washed my face with warm water and reassessed my face. I look like I’m thirty-five when in truth I’m only twenty-four. I can see the greys in my hairline and the wrinkles around my eyes. He aged me, well, in fact, the drugs aged me. I dropped to the bathroom floor and pulled my knees to my chest.
You’re safe now Lisa, you safe now. I wiped the few stay tears from my face and washed it again. I smiled at the pale face in the mirror. Not bothering to change, I made my way into the kitchen, knowing full well, there was no food in here. My train of thought was broken when the landline rang. I had gotten rid of my cellphone, I didn’t want to risk picking up his calls or reading his text messages. Calming picking up the receiver, I calm down when I heard Jim’s voice.
“Miss, there is a lawyer here to see you”
Fear froze my body. He’s here, he’s finally here.
“It’s not your husband Miss, she says she has documents for you to sign”
“Okay then, you can send her up”
I fidgeted while I watched the front door. Any moment now, someone will knock and someone will ambush me as I opened it. He was sure to take me home. I heard the click of high heels head towards my door before three light taps were heard. Peering through the door, I almost breathed a sigh of relief when it was someone I knew. I opened it slightly and she gave me a tight smile. She came in, no words needed. I made her a cup of coffee as she spread several pages of a document on my coffee table.
“Divorce papers. Mr. Portsmith has already signed them and has already agreed to the prenup that you had Bothe signed on your wedding day”
She handed me an old photocopy of a prenup that I had apparently signed when we got married. Maybe I did but I was so happy to be marrying the love of life that I would have signed over my soul and I would have never noticed. By the looks of it, my mother and his father also signed it. In the event of a divorce, I was granted to leave with my car, apartment and a total of ten thousand dollars. I motioned for a pen and quickly signed the divorce papers. Piper gathered the paperwork and got up to leave but I stopped her.
“Why is he giving in?”
“You’ve been locked up in this apartment for nearly three months Lisa, he thought it would make you happy”
“Three months, but it’s only been a week”
“Take a shower, Lisa, you stink and get your life in order. You’re finally free”
For the first time, for apparently three months, I slept peacefully and nightmare free. I finally did it. I was finally free. But there was a little annoying voice I couldn’t shake. Was I truly free? Had he truly let go of me?