by S. E. Mabson
My husband is just a shell, but for what?
|!!!!TRIGGER ALERT!!!!TRIGGER ALERT!!!!TRIGGER ALERT!!!
I slammed my phone down on the bed, grabbed my pillow, laid back and cried. No! Stop it! You took a vow. You're doing the right thing denying the divorce. I sat up, still holding the pillow to my chest. How can I face him when he comes home now? He seemed so upset. No, that's not it. Irate; fuming; hostile! I already felt like I had been dancing around by the edge of a cliff around him. Waiting. Just waiting for him to push me, jump, or both. Every time he came in the room a dark aura follows. The black of his eyes seem to pool deeper as the days slowly drifted by. Drifting, that's exactly how life had felt since he lost his job. Like, drifting through the portal to the most nefarious parts of his mind, clinging to the veil, praying its strength will hold. I was glad he no longer worked there. The toxicity of that abusive environment was boiling over into our home. However, months passed and he was still unemployed, THAT, is what ate at him. It gnawed at him like a starving parasite. Provision by a woman? Nope, he was not going for it. So, it felt like I am living with an empty shell of a man. Only, he doesn't want to be empty. So he filled up with something I can't explain. Something that didn't care much for me.
Every day his mind grew a little darker, yet our finances seemed to be increasing. Things, expensive things, kept coming in. I dread to think what decisions he made to provide. Whatever these decisions may have been, they were blackening his heart and my heart ached for his suffering. After I regained my composure, I made my way to the living room to rehearse my choreography. I turned on the camera and music and allowed my body to fall in tune. My body flowed instinctively with the music losing myself in it. Feeling lighter as my thoughts merged out of the darkness and into the world of beautiful memories. Memories of my husbands breath caressing my ears with the warm words of his heart. The sudden smile the first time our eyes met. I closed my eyes as I spun gracefully. My finger tips tingled and a shiver rolled up my spine as I dreamed of dancing with him at our wedding again. I was blissfully drowning in a lake of memories, oblivious to reality. My feet were suddenly knocked out from underneath me by a steel chair. I found myself back in the realm of the real. And boy is it dark.
My husband stood across the room huffing and grunting with clenched fists. Had our eyes not been locked on each other I would feared an animal. Reality, was much worse. He started throwing everything in sight, mostly missing me, though. He stopped and stared at the ground trying to catch his breath. I took the opening and eased towards the kitchen hoping to slip out the other side and out the front door. He noticed. He raised his head only a little to watch me. Once inside the kitchen I ran to the other door and was face to face with a man I no longer recognized. He seemed lost to the darkness. The depths of the blackened void in his eyes appeared to be endless now. My breathing heightened and my heart was pounding like a symphony drum. Tears began to flow steadily into a full blown raging stream. My hands trembled and I suddenly felt heavy. This is not my husband. The realization merely allowed the fear his darkness produced to wrap me up in a cocoon like a meal it was saving for later.
He stood there staring at me, searching my soul, it seemed. "You win! I will give you the divorce." I pleaded but I received no reply. Just a chilling silence. He took a step closer to me, and I darted back out of the kitchen and up the stairs. Keeping my eyes latched on the door, I ran to my bedside, grabbed my bible and prayed, though the bible shook in my hands. I heard him coming up the stairs and the hair raised on the nave of my neck. I closed my eyes, knelt, and prayed harder. His foot steps grew louder as they grew closer; so, I prayed even harder. As I rocked back and forth I prayed with every ounce of energy my body had stored up. Praying the haunting foot steps would stop. Praying when I opened my eyes the man before me would be my husband again. Praying I would survive the ordeal. Praying the last year had all been a vivid dream I had in my sleep. I would have even taken coma at that point.
The footsteps stopped.
I opened one eye slowly and then the other. He was standing at the window staring out into the green wonders attentively. It was as if he was listening to the harmonic melodies of nature, enchanted by its glory. I watched him for a moment, intrigued at first, then consumed once again by an overwhelming wave of angst, then inched to make an escape. He snapped his head at me, and I froze at first. I shook free of the initial fear and I began praying again. He turned back to the window that was calling to him. I kept praying, but I never took my eyes from him. He turned towards me and slithered to the foot of the bed. He leaned in and smiled. He whispered, "You can stop now. He told me I couldn't hurt you." He caressed my cheek, but I pulled away. His touch was cold and numbing. The life was drained out of him. His skin paled and wrinkled up. His lips turned faintly blue. The zombie wobbled out of the room, down the stairs, and out the front door. That was the last I seen or heard of my husband.