There were so many things that she simply could not understand about him. Looking at him, he seemed to be the model of what every woman would want in a man. But this was only on the surface. She knew the strange folds of personality that lay beneath. What was there to do about that now? She’d already married him. The one time that she should have listened to her mother.
She stuffed a bit of muffin in her mouth and chewed it without really being aware that it existed. Looking at her, he raised one eye brow. Nothing was said, but she heard him loud and clear just the same. Do you really need to take bites that big? That’s what that eye brow had asked her. She scooped up a blob of oat meal and stuffed in along with the muffin she hadn’t finished chewing.
“Really? Is it too much to ask that you eat like a human?” he asked.
Flipping him off, she worked the food around in her mouth. No point in staring at him. That was enough rebellion to have him in fits all day. This evoked a smile that tugged at the edge of her lips. She looked out the window and stared at the trunk of the large tree that had consumed their once beautiful view of the pond and tree line. The sun sets over the water were stunning, but it was now unavailable to her from the kitchen window.
“I don’t know why I bother,” he said.
She didn’t bother glancing at him. The ugly scowl was bound to be there; predictable as the coming of the seasons. She gave no response even when he kissed on the fore head. He’d leaned over the table to do so and had acted like it was akin to slaying a dragon. He sighed.
“I don’t know where it is that you go, but it is easy to tell that you’re not here with me.”
He slammed the door behind him. The car’s tires screeched and he sped away down the street. She’d given him a pretty shitty start for his day. A small part of her felt guilty. It was petty to goad him. But most of her felt satisfied. It was right that he shared some of the turmoil that has plagued her for so long now. She rose and gave the table only a quick scan. The fucking fished could wait. If he didn’t like seeing them there when he got home, he could wash the damn things himself.
She went into the living room and began to pull out her art supplies. Unfolding the easel, she heard the echos of his insults. Why did it matter that she wasn’t any good at it? She loved it. The paint called to her and she felt compelled to touch the brush to the canvas. It wasn’t like they needed her to work. The money was fine. He had a good job. He’d been the one that insisted that she stay home. So many dreams were set aside. What had he expected her to do with her time?
Smearing the blobs of paint on her pallet, she tried to shove him away. The guilt she had earlier completely erupted into flames of rage. This was what he had given her. This was the taint he had left for her. It was one that lingered despite the days that had passed. Her jabs would hurt only a day and then he would move on. Nothing plagued him as it did her.
The brush moved of its own desire. Her mind wandered in circles on problems that had long been chewed into mash. There was no help for any of it. Even now she could she the good in him. Love was still present between them. Well, at least on her side of the fence. Love wasn’t enough. Life was more complex then that. A lesson that she had to learn on her own. Something her mother had said but she had been unwilling to believe.
She stood and opened the curtains. The window looked out onto a wide green lawn that was dotted with purple violets that were just coming into bloom. Among them was the small tree he had planted at the end of last week. He could not let her have this. In every way, he was blocking the world from her view. Fists clenched tight and jaw like a vise, she moved quickly to the shed. Her hands knew what to do, even though her mind had yet to catch up to the rage that had sparked this.
The ax was leaning against the wall, just inside the door. She gripped her hands around it tightly and hefted the tool. This garden and lawn had once been hers. These tools had entered the marriage with her. They were familiar despite the long time of disuse. Perhaps he thought that the outside of the home was the man’s domain. No longer. This was hers.
She carried the ax to the side yard and looked at the fragile new tree. It was easy to strike down. Something inside her broke with a fragile snap. This was how it ended. Too far now. Back to the shed. The ax tossed along the way. Now it was the chain saw that was retrieved. She looked it over and found that at least he had been maintaining what he had stolen.
The machine easily ate through the tree on the other side of the house. It was satisfying to see it fall to the ground with a final thud. Just like everything else. This was on the ground too. Once so high and graceful, but no more. The chain saw was deposited next to its victim and she went inside. Scanning the house as she moved, she selected her new victims carefully.
Nothing of his was touched. It was hers. The small glass show that he had given her on their first anniversary. He’d claimed to be her prince. Hurling it against the wall, she moved on, not giving it even a bit of regard as it exploded. The thin shards of glass rained onto her canvas. The would dry there and become a part of her art. But she didn’t know that then.
The Mickey Mouse. Done. Crashed onto the floor. The photos she had taken and framed. Memories turned into regret. She swept them off the shelf. Their glass broke, but the rest remained intact. This had not escaped her notice. She picked the frames up and slammed each against the shelf until it splintered. Photos lay in ruin when she left.
Next was the bed room. A refuge once. Such tenderness and hope. Vase forced against the mirror, cracking both. The perfumes, make up, nail polish and jewelry. All gifts that he had given her. Her beauty had not been enough once age had grazed its fingers upon her.
“Fuck you!” she screamed.
Handfuls at a time she threw them, scattering them through the room. Nothing broke, but it still felt so good to see the room he demanded be kept in order now in chaos. Clothing clawed from their hangers and flung. Shoes followed. In the bathroom were the facial and hair products she had used to slave away with. Nothing had kept her young. He had regretted that. She felt it was irrelevant. But his mind was everything.
Nothing. That was what she wanted in this house. Now on a systematic mission, she moved through the house. One room and then the next. In each, she stripped herself from it. erasing her presence was the only power that she had. Nothing of her was left intact. Clothing brought to the kitchen and shredded with knives. Smaller items fed to the garbage disposal until it bound up in protest of the abuse. Too bad. That was how things go.
When the house had been ravaged, she had nothing left. What now? Fog clung to the edges of her mind. Shuffling her feet, she moved through the broken dishes piled on the kitchen floor. They sliced at her feet, but that pain didn’t matter. It was nothing. Her passing now left bloody marks. No big deal. They’d mop up just fine. Assuming he cared enough to do so. Would he bother? Perhaps he would hire someone to do the work for him. Or maybe he’d just pack his shit and move on.
It was time. For what? She really didn’t know. But she could feel the change taking her completely. Once in the bed room, she fished his journal from his bed side table. On the last page she wrote “why can’t you see me?” She wasn’t even sure what it meant. Perhaps he would know better. She put the book back in its place. He would most likely find it when he went to record his thoughts on that last page. How long would she be gone when he found it?
Behind the mirror in the bathroom was a row of little bottles. Only one bottle would end it. Completely stop her heart. Then it wouldn’t need mending. She picked one up and flipped off the cap. Staring down at the little white pills, she considered the option they presented. She dumped them into the sink. The next bottle followed. One after another, the pills making a little pile now unable to fall into the drain. She clutched the final bottle.
“Fuck up!” she screamed and threw it.
The pills rained down like snow. He didn’t deserve to destroy her so completely.
“Fuck you,” she whispered.
Then movement tugged her through the house once again. No effort made to avoid the carnage, her feet cried out. But she did not heed them. Swooping out to the mud room and grabbed her keys without stopping. The car waited in the drive. It was hers. A piece of shit, but hers. She got in and slowly backed out onto the street. With no destination in mind, she drove.
The gas ran out and the car slowly stopped. She climbed out, leaving the hulk where it had died. Walking, she continued her trip to no where. Just like that. She’d fade away. Maybe she would die. It was possible that someone would find her. Would the force her to go back? Or could she just keep going?
A truck slowed down and a young boy looked out at her.
“Excuse me. That your car back there?” he asked.
She nodded. She didn’t turn to face him nor stop. The car crawled along next to her.
“Want a ride?”
Stopping, she finally turned to look at him. He didn’t look old enough to be driving. She got in next to him.
“Where you headed?” he asked.
“No where,” she said, then added “just away from where I’ve been.”