In Her Words(11)

By: J.S Ellis


We ate and drank our wine quietly. We touched hands to show some kind of intimacy. When the waiter cleared away our plates, Richard took out a box from his breast pocket and placed it in front of me.

‘What is this?’ I asked.

‘Open it, and you’ll see,’ he said.

Another piece of jewelry, a bracelet judging from the size of the red velvet box. It was a pearl bracelet. Great. More things, I don’t care for. I want Richard, the man I married, not the man who buys me gifts. He is my investment, my asset, not things. I kissed him on the lips and told him the bracelet was beautiful.

After dinner, we went home to bed and made love. I do it as a form of obligation, a sense of duty as a wife, to keep my husband satisfied sexually. It’s quick and easy. We’re good at it because we’ve been doing for years. I guided and pushed his penis into me, and I lay under him, groaning softly until he came. I watched him empty himself out, and then roll off me, without allowing me to orgasm. I’ve forgotten what it feels like to have an orgasm. Sometimes, I fantasize about having the kind of sex where my head is banging against the headboard. Volcanic sex, as I like to call it. It’s not going to happen with Richard, or he’ll have a heart attack.

I passed him tissues to wipe himself and the sheets, and I cleaned myself up as he washed at the bathroom sink. Richard joined me back in bed, pleased with himself. We both read in silence, apart from the flup, flup of pages from time to time. I wasn’t reading, I was questioning myself. What have we become? Who are we? What have we done to each other? I closed the book, placed it on the bedside table, and switched off the lamp on my side.

‘Good night,’ I said.

‘Good night,’ he said.

‘Switch off the light when you’re done.’

‘Will do.’

‘Did you take your medication?’

‘Damn, I forgot...’





3rd February

Evening,

Diary,

Back from the gynecologist to discuss the results. The tests came back normal. No signs of tears or infections. But, although that’s great and exactly what I hoped for, I can’t help feeling uneasy, I can’t rest. Something happened that night, or I did something. One of the two. The bruises came from more than a fall in the club. Maybe I was assaulted. Nothing adds up. The smell. The blurry faces. The ripped and soiled dress. The note. Something happened, I know it!





5th February

Evening

Diary,

I don’t know what came over me today. I felt like a woman possessed. I went to a meeting with a client in Camden.

‘It’s better you prepare me the bank statements every month so I can keep track of everything.’ I said to the client in frustration.

I hope she didn’t notice, but I’m tired of chasing after clients.

At noon, I went to a nearby café, sat by the window, and ordered a half bottle of white wine and tuna salad. As I was about to pay the bill, I heard a squeak and then a bang. An Audi and Ford Fiesta had crashed outside the restaurant. The Audi driver stomped over to the young man and pushed him. Someone crossed the street to break them up. I paid the bill and left a generous tip. As I peered out through the window at the arguing drivers, I saw Michael watching them too from the roadside. He was dressed in a red teddy jacket, a black ruffled shirt, and jeans, which were so tight, I wondered how he got in them. I took the last gulp of wine and rushed out of the café.

By the time I got outside, he was walking up the street, so I followed him. I know it seems crazy, but I wanted to create an opportunity to speak with him and get any clues to what happened.

I kept my distance so he wouldn’t spot me. He stepped into a music store. I fiddled with my phone outside as I watched him talk to the salesman behind the counter. When he left the store, I spun around to face a display of leather jackets in the next door shop window. I could see his reflection as he strolled past with his hands in his jacket pockets. I realized it was almost 1:30pm. I should have been back in the office, not following Michael. I called Wendy and told her I would be a little late back from lunch, not taking my eyes off him. I followed him to a record store - does he still buy CDs? He came out a few moments later, empty-handed. He went into a jewelry store, again left empty-handed. My heels were killing my feet. What if he had noticed me and was browsing the stores on purpose? He met with a few friends, and at one point, his head turned to my direction. My heart dropped into my stomach.