She walked in. She’d walk out. Marriage. It was going that way. He carried on with the ghost of an empty whiskey bottle in his every waking breath. “Why are you looking at me like that?” he’d ask. Anger cut his tongue. She bristled. Cold front. It was all she could muster. A relationship was theirs. Use and misuse. She’d look at the wall as he’d climb onto her and pump… A human toilet. She’d think of Olive Garden breadsticks and she didn’t know why. He’d grunt and moan. Bathroom. Crying room. Her Kleenex and quiet refuge. She’d push the little brass button on the doorknob. It kept him out. Weeping quietly. Tormented and empty. The cinder blocks were cemented. Mortar and grout. Reinforced. She’d end up a shell of who she thought she’d be… no matter. Her decision. Cool water rinsed her hot skin and tears away. She saw her face and avoided her own eyes. That stranger had no answers. It never did. She’d asked and there was nothing forthcoming. It was a timeless tale that so many others had told… Unfulfilled. They were raised with the word. Colossians Chapter 3 stated- “… And whatever you do, in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through Him. Wives, submit to your husbands, as is fitting in the Lord. Husbands, love your wives and do not be harsh with them.” He must not have read that last part. Her wrists hurt from his loving touch.
She blew her nose and thought of the kids. They were watching TV downstairs. They had no idea nor would they ever. She kept them blissfully unaware. Her boys were almost out of school. They grew weed and skateboarded with their friends in the empty pool outside. Good kids. Faces smiling and innocent. Eyes glued to cell phones.
There is a comfort that comes with denial. She knew it in the marrow of her bones. He was outside the door now. “What are you doing? It’s time for dinner.” She could feel his anger. He fiddled with the doorknob. Locked out. He’d been that way and that’s where he’d stay. She reached for the door. Cold front.
Thank you to MRZ for the images. Skate - Ozzie