Happily Married [ROMANCE]

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[04]

September 22nd 2017

“Thanks for getting me this dress.” She glanced at him from the corner of her eyes, hoping that he would acknowledge her presence in some way. “It’s beautiful.” Her voice was quitter now as she diverted her faze down to her lap, smoothing down the soft material of the dress against her legs.

He scoffed, not paying any attention to her as she drove, 5 miles over the speed limit. “Unlike you.” He shot at her, his lips pulled up into a smirk, and not a pleasant one. He was laughing at his own joke, happy with the way that she remained speechless for a few minutes.

But the silence didn’t last.

“Then why did you get it for me?” She asked without an ounce of the pain and sadness that she was feeling inside seeping into her voice. She wouldn’t give him the satisfaction of knowing that he had indeed hurt her with that little comment of his.

She may be undeniably in love with him, but she wasn’t blind to the terrible way that he treated her, and she was completely aware of how much a total ass that he was.

It didn’t take him long to come back with a response, once again, not even paying any attention to her. “I can’t have you dressing poorly in front of my parents. They’ll think that I’m not treating you right or something.” He scoffed at the irony of it but knowing his parents, they would probably side with her.

“How was work today?” She asked hoping to lighten the mood, that they would be able to converse together like a normal married couple instead of just arguing and throwing insults around. But to be fair, she was the one who did most of the talking while he only ever spoke to either reprimand her for something trivial or insult; or even on the occasion when he was happy, both.

“Oh, just stop talking!” He finally snapped at her, briefly tearing his eyes away from the road ahead to send her a hateful glare before grabbing at his earphones from the glove compartment, slowing the car slightly down as he plugged them into his ears and then connected it to his phone.

This was how it usually was between them whenever they were both confined into a small space such as a care; even if it was for a brief period of time.

She didn’t bother commenting anymore that it was dangerous to be listening to music so loud while driving as it would distract because one, the first and last time that she had done so he had pulled over and forced her to leave the car and find her own way home. And two, she didn’t want to distract nor aggravate him further than she had already done so.

While he listened to a random playlist from his phone as he drove to the suburbs, the destination being his parents house for the monthly dinner that the whole family got together to have, she simply sat in the passenger seat, silently wringing her hands together, not uttering a word.

This was how it was for her.

She loved her husband with her whole heart, adored everything that she did and genuinely laughed at all his jokes because she believed them to be funny -well, when he used to tell her jokes- but he couldn’t even stand to be under the same roof as her.

They had been so happy together not even 2 years ago. They had the perfect marriage and an even better friendship. When she got married to Calvin, Audrey knew that this was the only man that she would ever love, the man that she would spend the rest of her life with. She believed that they would last forever, that nothing would ever come between them and that they would be able to overcome any obstacle that dared come in their path.

But not once did she ever think that her husband would fall out of love with her, especially so soon within the marriage.

She was just grateful that he hadn’t left her yet; that he wasn’t ready to deal with the mess that was divorce.

Audrey didn’t dare think of what would come of her if -when, he decided to leave her once and for all.

He was the man of her dreams, the love of her life, yet he couldn’t even stand the sight of her.

Glancing out the window as her husband drove over the speed limit towards his parents’ house without a care in the world, Audrey sighed, not bothering to be quiet because she knew that he wouldn’t be able to hear her.

She sighed, releasing all the pain and sorrow before they got to their destination, not wanting to let anyone know of their sticky predicament.

The next couple of hours that she would spend at her in-laws would be a lie. They would pretend to be the perfect, happily married that they once were. He would glance lovingly at her and hold hands as they walked in together. He would tell his father of how happy he was with his life and she would spend the evening as if nothing was wrong at all. And then they would leave and everything would be back to normal.

He would go back to openly displaying his hatefulness towards her and she would simply just look the other way.

She hated herself for loving him. She used to believe that he was the best thing that could have ever happened to her, but now, everything had changed.

-

“Audrey, sweetheart!” The short, blonde lady announced as she rushed over to the final two to enter that house this evening, opting to hug her beloved daughter-in-law before addressing her own son. “I’ve missed you.” She gushed. Audrey giggled softly as she hugged her mother-in-law back, grateful at the affection that the lady was openly displaying towards her.

It’s nice knowing that someone loved her.

“You need to come visit more often.” Sarah, her mother-in-law, playfully chastised her as she pulled away, still holding both hands.

“I will.” Audrey promised and allowed herself to be pulled away into the dining room where most of the family was situated.

His mother hadn’t noticed the way that her second eldest had scowled, and how jaw had clenched tightly as he watched his mother greet his so-called ‘wife’ with such affection. It should have been Jane that he brought along to these family gatherings. It should have been Jane that his mother was so happy to see, not Audrey for she didn’t deserve an ounce of his mother’s love nor attention.

“Mum?” He called out as he trailed after both women, leaning against the door frame at his own leisure as his eyes trailed across everyone in the room; his family. Well, his family and the one addition of the witch that he had been so foolish as to marry in belief that he would forever remain happy with her by his side.

Oh, how wrong he had been.

“You haven’t forgotten about me, have you?”

“Of course not, dear.” His mother gushed as she walked over to him, pulling him down for a hug. “How could I forget about you, Cal?”

He closed his eyes and sighed, enjoying the feel of his mothers arms around him and the sweet scent of the perfume that he had grown up loving. He wrapped his own arms around her, bending over slightly so that his mother could reach. A chuckle escaped his lips as his mother wouldn’t let go straight away, as a few tears rolled down her cheeks. “You never come visit me anymore.” She whispered softly to him, her voice quiet, for his own ears only.

It had been a while since had last seen his mother.

He replied back with the same soft and quiet that she had used on him, his excuse being that work had been taking up a lot of his time as of late. It was only when he promised that he would visit much more often with Audrey that his mother placed a tender kiss on his forehead and let him go, telling him to join the rest of the family at the dinner table as she finished cooking dinner.

Sighing, he plopped down on the chair next between Audrey and his only and eldest brother, Kade, with a subtle roll of his eyes.

He had lied to his mother about being busy, but it was the only excuse that he could possibly offer at this moment of time. He couldn’t bring himself to tell his parents the truth knowing that they wouldn’t approve, that they would not take his side. He didn’t dare come forth with the truth to have his parents abandon him because most likely, they wouldn’t agree with his decision.

There was a part of Calvin that knew that what he was doing was wrong, that he had blown the situation completely out of proportion. His conscious bugged him about how he was treating Audrey everyday, but whenever he would look at her, whenever she would try to make conversation with him, or even when he came home to find her waiting for him, he couldn’t help but lash out.

Not physically though, he wouldn’t ever dare stoop so low.

Every time that she flashed across his mind with her fiery red locks, stormy grey eyes and sultry, full lips, he couldn’t help but hate her more. He hated her for everything that she lacked, for everything that she hadn’t told him before he had committed to a lifetime with her.

-

Audrey didn’t speak much throughout the dinner, only conversing with her husband’s family whenever she was spoken to.

No one questioned her for her quiet behaviour and lack of conversation because that had come to know and love her -all but one of course; her dear husband.

Dinner had passed and the whole family was currently scattered all over the living room.

Calvin had two younger sisters -Jade and Lara, both of which were married, were currently sitting beside Audrey. They were talking about some new TV shows that they had been watching recently and Audrey joined in occasionally, offering her input here and there when she felt that it was necessary, otherwise, she just sat back and observed the people around her.

Jade and Lara’s husbands were in the corner playing a game of chess against their father in law. Scott -Jade’s husband- and Liam -Lara’s husband- were both on the same team as they gave Henry -their father in law- a run for his old college chess champion title.

Sarah held her youngest grandchild, Jade’s little girl as she was slowly falling asleep. In total, Sarah and Henry had 4 grandchildren, 3 from their eldest, Kade and 1 from their second youngest, Jade. Audrey could tell from the serene look of contentment on Sarah’s face that she was overjoyed that she had some grandchildren to play with, but she also knew that they her husband’s parents were rooting form some more. They were hoping that Calvin and Audrey would have a baby next as their youngest, Lara had just recently gotten back from her honeymoon.

Calvin sat on the floor with his brother Kade as he played with all of his nephews, talking animatedly with his older brother as he did so.

He was never this peaceful or content when he was at home with her. Audrey knew that her husband absolutely adored kids, but she also knew that he wouldn’t be getting any from her, and that saddened her. Not only because she couldn’t have children, but because she couldn’t give her husband what he wanted the most; a family.

Audrey wasn’t quite herself that evening, she didn’t speak much -not that she was ever a great talker- because she had just too much on her mind. She socialised and spoke even less after the tornado that wrecked her marriage.

She knew she was depressed. Period.

She merely acknowledged it, and that was it. Because she couldn’t care enough to fix the problem. She just wanted her husband to love her like he used to her, but that possibility was becoming slimmer every day.

So it was no surprise to herself when a sense of relief passed through her as the evening came to and end and Calvin announced that it was about time that they headed back to their house in the city. She hugged everyone and promised Sarah and Henry that she would be back to visit them again soon.

The relief that she felt soon sparked into hope as Calvin grabbed her hand and held it in hers as they walked down the pathway and to their car. He turned around and waved to his parents who were stood at the front door watching as he opened the door for his wife and ushered her into the car.

“Get in.” He demanded of her, his voice rough and low, dangerous. Before, her insides would melt at a mere glance from him and even now, nothing much had changed except now, she wouldn’t dare show him how he still affected her in fear that he would only make fun of her and the love that she held so high for him.

He didn’t speak a word as they drove him, choosing to listen to his music through his ear phones instead. He didn’t even bother to wait for her to get into the house before he sped out of the drive way and drove his lovers.

He didn’t know that she knew.

But she did.

-

Layla Knight

08.05.17

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