I was on the ground within seconds. I had lost count of the number of times he laid a finger on me in that way. I could tell by the rage in his eyes that he wasn’t himself. So I got up and took a few steps back, till my back was against the wall. He just stood there, looking at me. He didn’t know what to say and neither did I.
Silence. Graveyard silence. I felt no regret inside his heart. He wasn’t sorry. He walked towards me and I moved from the wall then moved backwards. He had already hurt me enough for the night I didn’t want him to touch me.
I blamed myself. Maybe the food tonight wasn’t good enough, or I didn’t do his laundry on time. It could be the fact that I’m pregnant. No I haven’t told him yet. I don’t even know if I will. I walked to the bathroom, sat on the toilet, and threw my face into my hands. I was crying. Not because he hit me, but because I knew I wasn’t gonna do anything about it. How did I get here? When did I start settling for less?
I got up and stepped into the tab. There I lay for hours and not once did he come to check on me. I was staring at the ceiling, reminiscing about everything. How can I have the strength to walk away when he’s all I have and ever known? He saved me from my toxic foster dad who countlessly raped me since I was 14. He gave me a home, he was my safe place.
I was drowning in my thoughts and had no desire to sleep. The tab was of of course too uncomfortable but I was in there already right? So that shouldn’t bother me. I guess its true what they say about your first love. It’s hard to move away from someone who makes you feel like you belong, well at least did. How was I gonna explain to my child why I have scars on my back? Or why I flinch at any unexpected touch on my body? Why I’m jumpy the moment his/her father comes near me. I was scared. Did I really wanna leave this abusive man I’m so in love with and become homeless? For the sake of my child, I must stay. I thought to myself.
I got out of the tab after 6 hours. I had been in there since 20:30 pm. I quietly walked to our bedroom. He was in bed, sleeping like a baby. I took my pillow and one of the blankets and went to the living room. I prepared my “bed” and went to sleep .
It was 7 am and I was awake. I was in my bed. My real bed. He must’ve carried me when I was out. His hands were wrapped around me. That felt good. He was a talented man you know. How do you make someone feel so loved yet so hated at the same time? I needed to make breakfast so I tried to get up but his grip was so tight. I am a tiny black girl, I weigh 110 pounds , I am 5 feet tall and he is a huge black man who weighs 194 pounds and is 6 foot 5. How do I compete with that physically? I whispered in his ear to let me go and he smiled. He took the blanket and covered us up. He started kissing my neck. Do you see how twisted he is? I knew I had to make breakfast before he left for work or it would be a bad day already. I never knew where he worked. He told me I would lose my life if ai did so I never brought it up. I asked him to let me go in sharp tone and he did. I got up and walked to the door then he told me in sleepy but straight voice not to screw up. He likes his eggs ” perfect”, not too salty and not overdone, with three slices of toast and a cup of coffee (black no sugar). You would think these things were easy to make and ofcourse all we ever ate in this house but sometimes we had no salt or eggs or anything in the kitchen. He only gave me money when it suited him. Sometimes people he owed would come looking for him when he was at work, which left me to deal with them. I would end up giving them the little he left for the house. He never believed me when I told him where the money had gone so he strangled me. He believed I was stealing from him and never replaced the money. I usually drank water to keep my tummy full. Only at night did I have a full meal because my friend who worked at the restaurant down the block always brought us left overs. She never knew anything that was happening in that hellish house. She believed we were the same couple she met four years ago when he was 27 and I was 19.