The Lost Woman

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Other  |  House: Booksie Classic

Pete the husband of the narrator has lived in a loveless marriage for a period of 30 years. The wife realizes that on their anniversary and decides to leave, find out what is her purpose in life.

The Lost Woman

By

Simon Mburu

Today is the 30th anniversary of our wedding. I slip out of bed and leave Pete crouched like a fetus; he does not hear me leave. He is still fast asleep. I throw on a thick sweater over my shoulders and head for the door. I catch sight of my face on the dressing table mirror, as I pass the antiquated piece. A great urge to look at myself overwhelms me, and I look. I quickly stare away from the person staring back on the mirror and grasp my hands over my mouth. Oh God! How I have changed. The soft lined face has been replaced by an unpleasant darkened skin, and wrinkles. Not long ago, it was blemish less not anymore. How years truly thaws us into unpleasantness. Pete turns over in bed, stretches his hand over where I had lain; I cannot believe he still finds me attractive. He has never told me anything to prove otherwise, I toy with the idea of him not liking me anymore but quickly brush it aside. I look at the mirror again; my eyes are filled with tears. I do not prevent them from coming they swell slowly on the lower eyelids like two small sized clear crystal balls. Eventually they fall over my darkened cheeks like twin waterfalls, meeting either tip of my mouth. I taste the drops, they are salty and warm.

Revulsion at the man still stretching his hand over where I had lain strongly overwhelms me, he calls softly and I want to shout. Tell him to shut his mouth forever; how I hate him, I lost my life for his. I cannot bear to look at him; a sob escapes me, oh! How I wish I could cry and shed all that ails me with the tears. Mend my broken life and patch up my torn heart, but I cannot for Pete holds sway over me, am enchanted. He still calls, and the torrent rages without signs of abating, my heart twinges so much to the point of death. He rises from the bed and I can see his twisted figure as he approaches from behind at the top edge of the mirror. He holds my shoulders and tries to turn me round toward him, I resist. He tightly hugs me, his large arms enveloping me from behind. He softly whispers to my ear, how much he loves me; I just stare at his eyes on the mirror and the arch forming in his mouth as he talks. He feels like a stranger, one who has just stepped into the room from God knows where. Have I ever known this man in my life? His hug is oddly unfamiliar, unlike the man I have lived almost my entire adult life with. I cannot stop hating him now, more than ever. This hate makes me see things---- things I have always been afraid to look at. The mirror merges with my mind the tears faintly blurring my vision, Pete’s tight hug disappears, and all I see is my life spread across the mirror.

On that Wednesday morning as I run out of the house, mama calling out my name and loudly wishing me luck with my new found love. The walk at the park in the afternoon, kissing and love making behind the trees after dusk, it had been that fast. He would not even get a room then, what a man I entangled myself with, now I see clearly. Few months later, ooh how pregnant can one get, I got. Went calling at his house and finding him with Sasha my neighbor and girlfriend, embroiled in a baby making venture as I had had with him a few months passed. I did not call him names I was a good girl; it pained me though, I felt as if I had swallowed a boiled egg whole. Staying in my throat for as long as I can remember, but I cried not.

How mama took hold of my hand that Sunday morning and we headed to Pete’s’ place. He sat outside his house basking, I guess, to add more vigor to his philandering ways as the sun would make him hotter to all neighborhood girls. Mama meant business. She just told him to get into his miserable house. But before he did, he would as well take the bag she held in her hands as it contained the clothes for his new wife. And on that fateful Sunday morning we were married. I, just looking at him, moving from one corner to the other of his small house, staring at me at intervals too shocked to say anything. How I wished I could reverse the actions of that afternoon, just tell him I was not ready for that or better still I was menstruating. But that now, as I sat in his house was impossible a fate accompli, somehow we had to survive and move on with life as it were. After a long hiatus he got his voice and just said impossible. What was impossible? I did not know, and longed to ask him for all those years but I did not just have the nerve.

And quickly that phase of life elapsed and we had some affluence.

I can see the mansion that has always made me feel empty, a queen in an empty castle. The high walls decked with antique pieces of art by renowned reneicence artists, expensive dull furniture that has known me better than I know myself. Seemingly reminiscing with me over the past, remonstrating me over my gloominess, looking at me in a funny way when the guests leave, after the numerous parties hosted in the mansion. The chairs almost double the loneliness, exacerbating the deathly silence in the drawing room.

Pete is never home. I hate this trying times, rushing upstairs to his drawers where he keeps pills of all colors. I believe that most of it is not legal, but it soothes my depressed mind all the same. I wonder why he does not turn into a rainbow after taking them as I swallow blue, red, green and black pills accompanied by a white feathery powder. I think of turning into a rare large gemstone or a multicolored Chinese pearl in bed that night. What would Pete do in the morning after finding out the metamorphosis? Would he run to the gemstone dealers or call pearl traders about his find? Entertaining these thoughts, I step into bed, dazed almost floating, heavy with the effects of the pills and the powder. I do not turn into any pearl or gemstone at night, but a splitting headache squarely brings me out of an overnight reverie. The days unusually long, take a rather mechanical dimension; shopping at fancy stores, meeting friends, gossiping with the girls and waiting on Pete in the evenings when there is no party. I see how curtailed my life has been, surrounded by so much lifeless stuff. That’s the reason that makes me hate Pete now……. the more. He has just toyed with me, used me for a conduit, passing his filthy life through mine, I acting as a cover over his scandalous life.

Events just stream into my mind now more freely, I let them.

Ooh, and the day I met him cuffed on the bed with leather belt strap makings on his body, with three girls aged almost like stacy all over him. I remember the wide grin on the face of one of the girls, as she held the other pair of cuffs and a police cap worn awkwardly on her small head. I walking down the drive way lined by double row of giant peach trees, to a place where I would lose myself. I remember the look in his eyes that night, after I came back from the park. I did not cry nor ask questions, stoically bearing whatever fate threw in my way. He even had the audacity to slip into bed and make love to me that night. His smell so repulsing, and the thrusts hateful and hard, reeking of contempt for me, veiled into mournful ohs and aahs I felt like strangling him. Is he truly a beast incapable of feeling?

I recall the nights, so cold and empty. Alone in bed as Pete entertained his company of young girls and weird looking men downstairs. Their drunken laughs and dirty talk late into the night, I awake, lost in an incomprehensible emptiness. The dirty smell of the sexual escapades’ still hanging on him as he joins me in bed. He would at least wash. How I missed my kids at times like this, Paul and Stacy. They were long gone to make themselves a life. I hoped they did not become as miserable as their mother was.

And the little girl that never was. Coming home that Saturday morning with the doctor’s note still crumpled into my sweaty palms, handing it to Pete as he sat on his favorite chair. Pete’s’ wide smile slowly giving way to a gloomy, sorrowful appearance as if the note carried news of an execution of a loved one. I standing there dumbfounded, thinking I gave him the wrong doctors’ note. He said something about never raising kids again at his age and left.

Then the continuous nagging about seeing Doctor William, for the minor surgical procedure to terminate the tiny bulge in my belly. I would never acquiescence to such a selfish demand, terminating a lovely life for the sake of his happiness. I remember sitting in Doctor Williams office, as he enthusiastically narrated the simplicity of it all. The diagrams strewn over his desk as he moved methodically pointing with a stylus over the various stages of termination. They would have to gag me. She was to be the center of my life, rejuvenate me into a thundering river; of life, hope, love and happiness. I storming out the office and quickly rushing down the flight of stairs as if possessed, the noise of my shoes filling the hall. How in the world would they even try talking me into doing such a thing? I contemplating my options but deciding to go home. Pete arrived soon after, foaming at the mouth with anger. Ascending the stairs to the bedroom with heavy steps, finding me on the bed and hitting me with the back of his hand as I turned to look at him. Then the kicks raining on me so heavily that I stop screaming, crouch on the bed waiting for death.

When I come to, am lying at a hospital bed, I feel for the bulge at my tummy it’s no longer there. My joy, happiness and hope all bundled out into oblivion by Pete’s blows and kicks. The devastation, sheer hopelessness and disillusionment I feel after this is unbearable. I pull through its now two years after I lost that baby.

As I start felling Pete’s hug, not knowing how long we have stood there, I slowly disentangle from his arms. Like an extremely lucky waterbuck, escaping from the deathly coils of a Boa constrictor, I head for the door. I am leaving this life; all the fancy shopping trips, the mansion, holidays and money and going to find out who am I?


Submitted: April 13, 2012

© Copyright 2022 Simon Mburu. All rights reserved.

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