Threw Me off the Edge

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Other  |  House: Booksie Classic
In this story, the roles are reversed. The ex husband is the victim and the ex-wife is the abuser.

Submitted: September 13, 2012

A A A | A A A

Submitted: September 13, 2012

A A A

A A A


Threw Me off the Edge

 

“Hello?” says Terra as her greeting while she answers her mobile phone.

“Hey, Sis. I’ve got a favor to ask of you.” I say in a quiet voice.

“What’s up, Dick?” she asks, sounding concerned.

“It’s just that I can already feel my blood pressure rising. I know it’s going to be another one of those nights.” All I hope is that she realizes that I would not be doing this if I didn’t desperately need her help. “I need some help with Jessica. I’m honestly not in such a good condition.”

There is a pause on the other side of the phone line. Right when I open my mouth to continue my plea, Terra cuts in with a kind tone.

“Of course. I’ll watch Jes for tonight. I’ll come by and get her. What time would be good?”

I freeze. This was the first time I’d actually be taking up my sister’s offer to help me with my daughter if I ever needed a break. The divorce has been rough and my ex-wife had been put in a mental institution due to her harmful and risky tendencies.

“Actually, I’m about to go pick her up from her group therapy session. Is it alright if I just drop her off at your house?” I said, feeling distant, already.

“Yeah, of course. I’ll be here. Also, bring a change of clothes and her stuffed bear, so she’ll be as comfortable as possible.”

“Yes, Ma’am. Thanks so much.” I hang up the phone and pack my daughter’s things. I do my best to ignore the burns on my hands from boiling water having been spilled on me by my ex-wife, the woman I still love, Jane.

Not that I’ve ever actually driven while intoxicated, but I can sure imagine what it feels like: trouble concentrating, not weighing consequences, clouded thinking, tunnel vision. Well, that’s what I felt while driving for 7 minutes over to where Jes had been having her group therapy session.

I remember feeling like a zombie, almost entirely unresponsive to her young-minded curiosity questions as we drove down the unfamiliar path to Aunt Terra’s.

I walk my offspring to the door of the bright red-painted house that has a “Welcome” sign with little wood-carved birds hanging on the front door.

When Terra opens the front door, she and I embrace, I kiss Jessica’s head, hand her bag to my sister, and tensely walk back to my car.

“I can’t shake the feeling that it’s going to be a long night,” I mutter to myself through gritted teeth, as if anyone but the Lord was actually here to listen to my quiet rants.

I drove home easier, not needing to worry about the vibes and energy I was sending off toward my kid.

As soon as I step into my living room, I toss myjacket onto an old arm chari and collapse on my couch. I don’t move. I only remain in the position in which I had landed, and I just clear my mind. The soft “tick, tock” of the enormous Grandfather Clock up against the wall gradually fades into a more intrusive nerve-wrecking, rhythmic repeated sound in the quiet house. My head aches as it anticipates each blow my audial receptors receive, each right on time, so uniformed.

I feel the vibrations in my throat, caused by the groan I allow to escape my insides. I sit up, rest my elbows on my knees, then my head in my hands, my body bent over. I rub my temples and groan more, keeping my eyes closed, in an attempt to take a break from this rampant chaos the rest of this world calls “reality.”

A knock at my door sends my hand flying to the waist section of my pants, to the gun I hide on my person. When I come to my senses, I wipe the sweat beads from my forehead and the back of my neck.

“Calm down,” I whisper to myself, “it’s just a knock. A threat wouldn’t always knock.” Another knock.

I stand and have to touch the armrest of the couch to keep from tipping over. I stumble over to my front door and peek through the peep hole, still remembering what my father always used to tell me: “Don’t open the door; don’t even look through the peep hole.” Of course, I knew very clearly that he was referring only to when I was home alone, when I was younger than 18.

All I see is a package on my porch and a UBS truck driving away. I open my door, look around, yank my package inside, and slam my door shut. I’m not normally this way. Like I told my sister: it’s just one of those nights. I’m just glad Jes isn’t here. I don’t want her to see me being this way. Not that I can control it. I feel just about ready to crawl out of my skin. There are certain things, at certain times, that a person simply can not hide, control, stop, or avoid.

I toss the package on my rocking chair. A cat runs away apparently startled by the suddenly flying box that was hurled its way. Since when do I have a cat?

I pluck a water bottle out of an 18- case of disposable water bottles from the foot of my stairs and climb up my steps. My feet feel like they weigh 50 pounds each.

Before collapsing on my bed, I finish the whole water bottle. Only takes 14 gulps for me. I then toss the empty water bottle and its cap at my dresser and let my body limply fall onto the bed.

I roll over onto my back and stare up at my ceiling, where I have little glow-in-the-dark plastic stars pasted up. This relaxes me.

I close my eyes and take deep breaths. My breathing slows, along with my heartbeat. I don’t sleep; I’m too anxious for that, though, I have my rest stop. It’s a place in between being awake and being asleep; it’s a place that many individuals just cross, without even pausing to stay a while, in this alternate reality. I’ve learned to control my stays here, and, though it’s unbelievably easy to snap me out of it, it’s a pleasurable place to visit. A delicate balance is needed to remain here.

I stay in my special world for an amount of time that I wasn’t aware of. My body jolts up when I hear something break downstairs. There’s rustling downstairs, then something gets smashed. I grab hold of my gun and pull it out this time.

“Dang, for a burglar, I don’t think this guy’s very subtle.” I slap myself for saying that, but at least I still have my sense of humor. Who knows? Maybe it’s what kept me from going crazy all this time.

I stand by my bedroom door and peek out into the hallway and pull my head back in, quickly, cop-style. Once my brain registers that I saw no one there, I bend my knees and scurry out into the hallway. I check the stairs, then slowly tip-toe down them, trying not to make noise. Don’t get me wrong, I’m scared crap-less, but I know someone’s in my house, and I’d honestly rather find them before they find me.

I feel the sweat beads on my upper lip. I wipe the sweat off my lip with my sleeve. I strongly dislike the taste of sweat.

I turn the corner and end up in my living room. Someone is bent over a big chest that’s next to the TV. Nobody has opened up that chest since Jane and I were together. I point my gun at the intruder with shaking hands.

“Hey, You,” I scream in an aggressive tone. I wanted anything but to sound afraid.

The burglar stops what he’s doing. Then he straightens his body to reveal that “he” is not a “he” at all. She’s a “she.” She’s my ex-wife.

I feel my arms start pointing the gun away from Jane’s body, but the look on her face causes me to stiffen my arms tighter and point the fun straight at Jane’s torso.

“Dick. It’s me, Jane.” She turns to face me and takes a step closer.

“I know who you are!” That look on her face makes it very hard to trust that she won’t hurt me. I’ve taken a lot of pain from this woman. There’s no way they let her out of the hospital in this condition. “You escaped, didn’t you? You left, without even being finished with your treatment.”

She seems to not have heard me. She simply flips her hair over her shoulder. “Do you have a mirror somewhere?” She asks in the most casual voice, you’d think she was a high-schooler at a 9th grade sleep-over party with “friends” she’d known for years. Normally I’d think this is strange. But I know Jane too well to not expect something like this from her.

“You know damn well why there are no mirrors in this house.”

She looks at me, seemingly shocked. “You mean you still haven’t gotten over a few facial scars?”

I snarl at her. “You burnt off half of my face and caused me blindness and deafness in the right side of my head!”

She looks at me. She seems offended. No amount of love can override my disgust with her acting this way. As if I hadn’t let her take out all of her anger from all sources on me for 6 years. All I wanted was to make her happy, though it was never enough.

“Get out of my house,” says she, putting her hands on her hips.

I shake my head.

“This isn’t your house, anymore.” I continue to hold the gun with my right hand only, and extend my left arm toward the broken window I assume she entered through. “And I’m sure your chariot awaits you, Princess.” ‘Princess.’ That had been my nickname for her when we’d been dating. I’m not going to lie; I feel like crying. But I won’t let her know that. I love her, but there’s too much turmoil in me.

“I just wanted a picture of her. Little J-Jennifer.” Jane stutters on the name like she’s not even sure what she’s saying.

“Who’s Jennifer?” I ask, though I may already know the answer.

“Uh. Our daughter? You know, that baby you and I made, had, and raised together?”

My shoulders droop and then I begin to weep. She doesn’t even know our child’s name. Through my peripheral vision, I see Jane slowly, cautiously moving toward me.

I’m alert again in a matter of mili-seconds.

“Jessica!” I scream at the top of my lungs, voice volume as high as my worn-out emotional body will allow. “Her name is Jessica!”

I can see it in Jane’s eyes. She’s startled by the outburst, but she doesn’t seem to care that she doesn’t remember the name of the life she carried inside her for 10 months.

“Oh, that’s right. Little Jessica. My meds have me all slightly loopy- like,” she continues to move toward me.

“Stay back!” I point the gun right at her chest, where her heart is.

“I just wanted a picture of her. That’s all.”

“That’s all?” I say, not even skeptically at her. Now it’s all just spite I’m spitting out at her. My vision’s going red. At the same time, I think I’m starting to black out. I begin to just scream “Liar!” over and over again. I just scream it out, for the night to hear. I just scream and scream and scream, letting out all of those times I kept silent. All the times she cheated on me. All the times she burned me, and cut me, and hit me. All the times she lied.

I scream and sob. I cough up blood, but I don’t care. I can’t care. I continue to scream at her. “Liar! Liar! Liar!”

What happens next feels like slow motion. Like being in a dream, or under water.

She lunges at me. I wait. I wait until she's about to collide with me. And then... then there's a "sound of thunder."


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