The Last Day. The ringing of the phone at the crack of dawn awoke me; I almost fell out of my bed. I thought to myself “who on earth could be calling at this time of the morning?” I immediately removed the eye-clusters from my eyes and in an almost breathless voice, I answered. “Hello?....Yes. Yes this is her. Oh thank you very much! I sure will. OK bye” As I hung the phone up, I inhaled and exhaled deeply. This is what I had been waiting for—the last day: a day when I would liberate myself from a relationship that enslaved me emotionally and to some extent, physically. It was as if I was in a desert panting for water to satiate my soul. The good news that I finally received was being told that I can now pick up my ticket at the airport for London. Yes! It’s really happening at last. In my country Jamaica, old people use to say “jump outta frying pan jump inna fire”. This meant that one would jump out of one bad situation only to find themselves into one even worst.For me, I can undoubtedly say that the frying pan was the inferno. When I was 20yrs old, I left home to live with the love of my life. I would never have guessed that this man, who wooed me with his sweet words and kind gestures, would evolve into a horrid picture of monstrosity. During our earlier days the love between us was like a flower in the spring, and I would have never imagined wintry seasons where our love would have wilted away. We were almost inseparable, mainly parting when he had to work. I used to wait in utter anticipation for my beloved to come home in the evenings. I welcomed his kiss as he did mine, and we enjoyed the rest of the day entangled in each other’s arms. We had they type of relationship that is often read in fairytales. He was the “prince” that I believed would come to me and we would live “happily ever after.” In the walls of my young and, now as I look back, rather naïve mind, I believed that things would have always remained blissful, and that our love would be eternal. He had made me trust him, and caused me to depend on him mind, body and soul. For me, this man was my world, and within my mind, no other world besides this had existed. I had never imagined that my handsome prince would have become a hideous frog. I didn’t see our fall from the paradise which we had created. However, living in this chimerical world, had soon revealed to me the ugly reality that would emerge—one that would force me to face its ugliness and have the courage to leave.I started to notice a change in my beloved’s attitude in approximately a year. It started out with him not wanting to spend as much time with me as he used to. He would often find excuses to stay out late, and would scold me for being inquisitive. I swept his attitude under a rug, convincing myself that he may have had a bad day at work or something to that effect. However, as time went on, things did not improve. In fact, they grew worse. Never wanting to accept the truth, I fooled myself into thinking that we were ok and that every relationship has its ups and downs. I strongly believed that all would be well. I had convinced myself that I had found true love, and dreaded the thought of ever letting it go.For three years, I witnessed the relationship change drastically from one of warmth and contentment to cold and unsatisfying. The fire in our eyes slowly dwindled. Our kisses transformed from sensuous to a mere peck on the lip or cheek. I no longer felt very wanted by this man, but I kept holding on while I convinced myself as I normally did, that a change will come—that my prince was hidden behind the mask of that creature. I searched relentlessly for the person I fell in love with. I cooked his favorite food, played his favorite music and did all I could to rekindle the flame. His disinterest only became worst, starting out with his verbal mistreatment. I was now scolded for everything that he had rewarded me for in the past. Nothing was good enough anymore. From the food I made to the clothes I wore, to please him became virtually impossible. Driven by the love I still had for him, I searched desperately for his and for the longing to return to the paradise we once had. This desperation carried me into more and more tumult. Verbal mistreatments had been coupled with physical abuse, threats, and other forms of cruelty. After 10yrs of abuse—yes it took me 10 years, I decided that my cup had overflowed. One day, with the strength of God, I decided that the only way out was to actually get out. I had to liberate myself from the captivity of a loveless relationship. The dream of being a wife and living with this man ‘til death do us part was just as it was—a dream. Ironically, although I hadn’t physically died, I felt emotionally dead. I needed a change—a metamorphosis from victim to victor. This came about one day when, oddly, for a whole week, he was actually being nice to me. This had been a blessing in disguise and I used it to my advantage. I made plans to go to London, and carefully maneuvered this without him knowing. I acted so nice to him in those times and the silly man did not notice my plan to leave him. I had washed all the clothes, bed linens and even ironed his underwear, which I never did before. The day before, I had made him his favourite dish, candlelight dinner for two and all. For once I felt contentment in my heart because I finally felt in control. I now had the power to write, produce, direct and star in my own life. At approximately 6:00am in the morning, he had left for work. He even gave me a kiss on the cheek, something I had never felt in a while. At approximately 7:00 am the phone rang. I received the good news that all was well and I could get my ticket to go to London. My heart was overjoyed. The news had helped to take away some of the exhaustion from my tired body. This was actually my last day. I was being emancipated from lies, hurt and false pretenses. I sat up in the bed and cried. Abruptly, a feeling of excitement took over me. I popped in my Gloria Gaynor CD and played “I will Survive” as loudly as I could. I then went to immediately pack my things.
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