‘Night Anston - yet again - seen with a mystery woman walking out of her apartment.’ The brunette woman, who’s perfectly curled hair bounced as she laughed with her co-worker, spoke with a questionable look on her face. I switched off my phone, no longer interested in Youtube videos when the majority of the video recommendations were all about my loving husband and his need to cause unnecessary drama. I clenched onto my porcelain cup thinking about his shameless acts of carelessness. All I ask for is one day of peace, one day of no social media and fancy news outlets talking about me and Night, my husband, that’s all I ask for.
I sipped the tea slowly, allowing the scorching liquid to tickle down my throat. There was no point in dwelling. This is something I should be used to; this alleged cheating scandal is one of many. And each time I confront him, he tells me the same story: ‘you know how the media is, they love to twist things. Take photos and scenes out of context.’ And each time, I swallow my pride, believing his empty words and promises. Afterall, it’s not like I can divorce him. Not with the marriage contract I was coerced into signing by no other than my father-in-law.
I fixated my attention on the condensed window, which had raindrops delicately flowing down. The bedroom was made specifically for me and Night, down to the dark blue accent wall and the soft, fluffy white decorative pillows and white walls which housed the black and white paintings that cost roughly £500 to even £1,000. Everything was cold. Much like our marriage. I looked down at the time, it was already late in the afternoon and I knew I had to get ready soon. But instead, I sunk myself deeper into the window sill couch, looking tiredly at the window.
The sounds of the rain, mixed with the sound of tires rolling on the rainy asphalt was a recipe for a good evening nap. I could feel my eyes becoming weary, as I positioned myself more comfortably on the window sill couch. Every sound around me became slow, as my breathing paced itself to a steady flow. I was finally at peace. The sounds of the cars slowly being consumed by the rain percussions and my soft breathing. This heavenly fragment could only last a few moments; I had to be ready for the charity night hosted by no other than my adoring in-laws. Oh, has the devil blessed their wretched hearts. These parties were cultivated for the rich to flaunt their wealth whilst bitching about nonsense. But of course, to someone like me who’s completely out of touch with the sub-society of the rich, this nonsense was something only things they would understand.
I always wondered why I was invited but it became clear. I wasn’t invited because they loved to see me there, oh no, that would be way too far nice of them. I was simply a pretty display case. Another pawn in their carefully cultivated chess board that showcased the family as perfect, as loving rich folks. Although I hardly think anyone would want to be in their position whilst their son is out there causing headlines with each scandal. Then again, he is a young man. A man who’s captured the hearts of many, young and elder, with his mysterious look and his smile that will make you melt like a block of honey left out on the warm sun. I hardly blame anyone for being smitten by his bad boy demeanor. Heck, sometimes I forget he is even my husband with the amount of people swarming around him like rotten flies. I looked down at my phone once more. I couldn’t let myself daydream any longer, unless I wished to miss the party - which I do - however, I can’t bear another argument.
‘I hate this so much,’ I softly spoke to myself, walking up to my white vanity. My red manicured fingers caressed the table top that was filled with different perfumes and jewelry stands. My eyes made their way up to the mirror. I sighed again, looking at my dull brown hair, completely unsure of what I could do. I sat down playing with my hair, as I swayed myself slowly around the chair. I really do hate these types of galas. It was nothing but a waste of my time, then again I had nothing to do tonight, no friends to go to, no one to talk to. Might as well go in and see what scandal will arise this time.
I continued getting ready, settling for a soft glam look to go with my classic, deep crimson red dress. It was simple yet beautiful, especially with the off the shoulder sweetheart neckline and the ruched waist that extended into a split down my legs (which accentuated them beautifully whilst hugging me just right) and a satin finish. It was breathtaking, if I do say so myself.
I finished up my look with a sparkling diamond-encrusted choker and deep red satin laced heels to match the dress. I quickly curled my hair into soft waves, which gracefully framed my face. I styled it so a part of the hairs would be tucked behind my ear and the other side to descend in front of me. Once I deemed myself decent enough for the paparazzi cameras, I began my journey.
Just as I walked out the door, I turned on my phone. A wave of aggressive notifications came one after another. Multiple miss calls from my monster-in-law, and a miserly text message from Night stating how he’ll meet me at the gala - the husband of the year. I already had my suspicions since he wasn’t home since his 10 am meeting. Being the smart girl I am, I already booked my ride. He wasn’t going to ruin my evening again.
The whole drive to the party was silenced, only my thoughts accompanying me. All I could think of was the contract I signed. I had known this man since we were babies in diapers. He was there for me throughout secondary school and throughout the sudden death of my parents. I signed the contract for the selfish reason of financial security, the reason to keep my parent’s company alive. His father wouldn’t invest unless I married his son. Of course I said yes, being in that honeymoon phase, it was a great deal for the 25 year old me; investment and marrying my long term boyfriend? That was an immediate yes. Then… things changed. The Night I once knew was dispersed, molded into a new man who took his form. A man I could only describe as immature and repulsive at times.
Any mention of breaking the contract was impossible. His family would dangle the consequences of breaking it before the 5 year mark over mine and Night’s head. I guess this is why he hates me. I damned us in a 5 year hell on earth. What was I to know? Coaxed into believing that this was the right choice for me and now I can’t back out. I don’t even have the money his family has to hire a lawyer and Night won’t pay for one with reasons unbestowed to me. I guess he’s either a sadist or a masochist. Maybe both since he loves to not only see me suffer, but himself too.
The memories of our love that once burned were the only thing that kept me warm during the cold, lonely nights without him in my arms. Sometimes I wonder why would I want him in my arms with the way he treats me? Treating me as if I was nothing but dirt under his shoe that he can’t seem to discard. And then the memories of the sweet Night I knew always emerges. It’s the sweet Night that I know who appears once in a full moon. The Night who lays his droopy head on my lap. During those evenings, we don’t utter a single word, just hold each other close. He doesn’t need to tell me anything since I already know exactly what has happened. The harsh words of his father are probably still ringing in his ear. The man’s got it tough with the dysfunctional family he has.
I looked out the window, shaking all the thoughts away. I hadn’t even noticed how we were stuck in the same damn place. With the way things were going, I would be lucky to even make it in an hour. I looked down at my phone, seeing the screen flooded with messages from my in-laws questioning where the hell I am. My stomach started to churn, the feeling of cold sweats washing over me. I hated the anxiety they induced without even being present.
‘Could you please go any faster?’ I pleaded with the cab driver. He looked at me from the rearview mirror. Instant regret washed over me; What was I expecting him to do in the middle of traffic?
‘With all the respect ma’am, I don’t know what you expect me to do.’ He huffed, shaking his head with a disappointed look. ‘I can’t fly us out of this traffic, trust me, I definitely would if I could,’ He laughed once again shaking his head. We sat in silence; my mind forming into a fountain of predictable situations that will happen the moment I enter the Gala, raising my anxiety levels with each thought.
It was me against the Evil Mother In Law and with the luck I had, the Witch of Beverly Hills. The woman who is so desperately trying to steal my man. I could already picture what could be happening at the gala: her manicured fingers stitched onto my husband’s arm, parading the dinner party as if they were a couple. Repulsive. Although the moment I step foot in there, I will make sure she is off him. At the end of the day, he is still my husband… who I unfortunately still love.