Swylce

Musings and Writing of GG Alexander

Savage Writing: Poison Apple

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I was off-topic this week.

___

We’re not talking again, and he says that’s a good thing, when he’s on the phone to his friends in the other room. “Bitch and moan”, that’s the phrase he always uses. That’s what I do whenever I open my mouth. Even if I ask him how his day went, who’s making dinner, I bitch and I moan. Last time I asked him why he hadn’t cleaned the bathroom in so long, because that was his job, and he threw his hands up in the air like it was some impossible demand. Said I needed to get off his case. Said there wasn’t any point talking to me if all I did was complain. I thought I was being reasonable. I’ve always thought I say things like an adult: cool voice, neutral intonation, eyes down on my plate. It never works. I don’t know why I don’t just scream instead, if that’s all he hears.

It got to four in the morning and I couldn’t sleep, and I ended up on my hands and knees, wiping the grime away from the corners where the wall tiles meet the floor tiles. Place was sparkling, and then I finally went back to bed. He woke up when I got under the covers, and he said I stank of bleach and cleaning stuff, and I told him I couldn’t have a shower at such a ridiculous time of night. He asked why I was cleaning at that time anyway. He called me a freak. With his eyes shut, turned away from me, so casually like how he used to ask me to put the bedside lamp out: “You’re a freak.”

I burst into tears and he sat up. He was really annoyed – what was I crying about?! – and I told him I was just tired because I hadn’t been able to sleep. So he told me to calm down, and gave me a hug that was two seconds long and all angles.

I pretended I’d calmed down, and I still couldn’t sleep.

I stumbled around work the next day, disguising my yawns as thoughtful pauses whenever I was on the phone. My shift leader told me to take a half day, since I was obviously unwell and needed to be at home. I’m glad I refused, because when he came home ten minutes after me, he was in a pan-rattling mood – even the fridge magnets were laughing at him, even the eggs on the counter must have been stressing him out, because he smashed one on the floor and swore at it, said there was no fucking point in cooking if everything always went wrong, if everything always fucked up. If I’d been home on a half day, he would have been worse at the sight of me, I’m sure.

Ten minutes later, slouched on the sofa with his shoes discarded under the freeview box, he asked me – eyes still on the telly – if I could clean it up. I said I already had. He muttered thanks.

I slept that night. He seemed in a good mood after a while. I wondered if he was going to ask me for sex, but he hasn’t done for weeks. I wondered if he would notice if I went upstairs and did it to myself while he’s on the couch, because I never have time when he’s not in. I wondered if he would notice if I had an affair. I wondered if he would kill me if I did and he found out. I thought I was going to laugh at the thought – a voice in me said ‘How absurd! You should laugh at the idea, go on, laugh!’ But no laughter came.

Still, he was in a good mood, and I managed to sleep until half five, so that was something, right?

We’re not talking again because I asked him when we were going to shop for his sister’s birthday present, and he said he couldn’t deal with that kind of thing just after work. I said it needed to be done soon, and he said I never did anything but complain, and I should trust that he would get around to it, though I know if he doesn’t, then I’ll be getting the blame.

But then, he might. He might turn around one weekend and say ‘Let’s go out and do that shopping,’ and he’ll buy her present, and then he’ll say I should have a present too, and he’ll get me chocolates or clothes or a gold chain like the one I’m wearing right now. And he’ll tell me he loves me, and that I’m so good to him, and he’ll kiss my cheek and we’ll walk to the car hand-in-hand. It’s not a fairytale, because he’s done it before, and I know, I just know, he has it in him to do it again.

But right now, we’re not talking, and when he’s in the living room and I’m in the kitchen I hear him say that that’s a good thing, because he’s sick of hearing me talk, sick of all my bitching and moaning. He says it loud enough for me to hear, and I sip my cup of tea, and I finger the necklace lying just under my throat, and I tell myself that one day, my prince will return.

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Written by G.J.

09/01/2014 at 3:53 pm

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  1. […] Savage Writing: Poison Apple […]

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