Our Thing

He has been distant lately. When he is like this I am always confused about how I feel. He walks in. I greet him and he quietly responds. He dumps his briefcase, jacket and shoes, which I dutifully take to the bedroom. He switches onto his favourite sports channel then I serve him his supper. I sit at a distance watching him obligatorily chew the food with an indifferent face. Then the occasional short lived smile pops on his face. It can only be elicited by that boxed, emotionless machine. I study the contours of his face, his perfect lips and nose. He is still a catch. I have a flashback of the first day we talked, quite a smooth talker in his sharp business suit. I liked playing hard to get and was well known as a resolute career woman according to my friends. However as I spoke to him I felt we were meant to be together. It felt like we were a perfect match. Our lives and careers complimented each other.

Before you know it we were the hottest couple in town. We both had six digit cheques, leaders in our areas of expertise. We were a power couple on the rise and our marriage was inevitable. We worked full time and had busy schedules. We looked forward to those brief moments when we would be together before being whisked our by business meetings or trips.  When our children started school I decided to start working part time to at least be there for them as much as I could. My bed suddenly started feeling empty with him always away. I never used to realise it because we were both always busy. I took up new hobbies and spent most of my time reading and writing. I always looked forward to picking up the kids and always smiled to their nuisance and found amusement in their pranks. I wished he would be there to witness it all but he was adamant to secure our children’s future.

When the children started boarding school, he stepped down as his company’s CEO. I was so excited and happy that we would be spending more time together. We took a vacation, and I wish I had seen it all coming. We were growing apart and seemed not be to having anything in common. We would sit in the hotel room. I will be reading and he would be having skype calls or checking his mail. I found the silence blissful but did not realise the emptiness that now existed us. The children diluted everything and when they were around they did most of the talking. We would retire to bed exhausted and will just fall asleep. It did not occur to me that we last had sex some months ago. I wasn’t worried and always deemed it as healthy.

The tension between us seemed to grow with each day. Spending more time together made us realise our differences. It was either we were arguing or we were having painful formal conversations. One day he came back home late. Lately he was drinking regularly. I kept pretending to be sleeping and did not bother to go serve him his food. He tried deliberately dragging furniture, slapping doors to get my attention and I wasn’t aroused at all. Now agitated he removed the blankets and noticed I was wide awake. That day we got into a bloody, physical fight which left me with a black eye. Afterwards he brutally raped me unleashing the monster he always kept hiding. I hated him and started deliberately spiting him. It turned out the fights were followed by sex. We didn’t kiss. He would fuck me as if to hurt me. I would lie there unresponsive glaring at him. That became the routine. Arguments became our usual form of conversation. It’s either we were arguing or ignoring each other. Our body only contacted when we fought and when we fucked. It was now emotionless with no warmth and meaning to it. It was distressing but my body seemed to crave for it. I once thought of ending it or reporting him but I had a reputation to maintain. Besides I did not want to expose my children to a traumatic divorce. When they were around we always tried acting civil around each.

Today the kids are upstairs probably asleep. I do my normal routine of the faithful wife and do not mind ignoring him. Tears flow on my cheeks as I thought what my life could be. Any way I was now stuck in this and had to survive until that day when he gives up. I will not be the coward. I was brought up to be a strong woman. I wonder if staying in this relationship is stupidity but then the pain we inflict on each other seems to sexually arouse us. Maybe that is our thing…..

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