Paris. I find myself in Paris. With you. And though I feel certain of the outcome, I have to prove it to myself. Fourteen hundred days have passed since I’ve last seen you. Living apart from you for so long felt like living in a vacuum. My love for you became an incurable blight. Each day became it’s own hollow eternity. And this became the norm for me. And, what of you? What have you become? A sadist? A monster? A rapist? How? How could this happen? Unless, unless, you were always like this, and I just never noticed.
You rode me so roughly, I felt as though I might split in two. It felt like the perineal version of rug burn. Only a thousand times worse. I closed my eyes and held my breath. My head felt so light, like it wasn’t attached to my body. I whimpered, I cried out. My eyelids flew open and I saw a sinister smoldering in your eyes. The greater my pain, the greater your pleasure. How could that be?
“Owwwww. Please. Owwwwww. It hurts.”
“You like it rough, I know you do.”
You plunged down into me so forcefully, almost impaling me with each impact. Pounding. Plunging. Pounding. Plunging. You fisted me. And I gasped in pain. Pain so severe and so dizzying, I felt like I’d pass out.
“You like that, don’t you?” Your eyes shone with a lustful glower.
“No. Please. You’re hurting me. Please. Stop.”
“Don’t lie to me. Tell me you like it.” You wrapped your fingers in my hair and jerked my head back.
I remained silent. I thought you’d pull my scalp away from my head. You continued impaling me.
“Say it!” You whispered loudly in my ear. “Say it!”
“Ok. Ok. I—I—I like it,” I stammered, failing at trying to sound aroused.
“I’m gonna cum. Oh girl, you’re beautiful.”
When finished with me, you dismounted, flopping off of me and rolling over to your side of the bed, where you lit a cigarette and took a sip of your tallboy. I felt used. And I hurt. But I love him so, I silently told myself. Why? I don’t know. I threw on my nightshirt, grabbed my knickers from the floor and scuttled out of the room and into the bathroom. I felt something warm trickle down my leg. That’s what I hate most about sex, the messiness of it, the slow ooze and trickle of semen out of myself. When I looked down I saw tiny droplets of blood on the floor. I made it to the bathroom just in time to fall apart. I just wanted to die. My whole body convulsed with silent sobs. I cleaned myself up as the tears continued spilling from my eyes. I love Him so, I kept telling myself. And I wondered, what’s wrong with me?
I felt as though I’d received a thrashing between my legs. Maybe that’s because I have. No. No. That’s not right. It felt good. He felt good. He’s always so tender and gentle. He loves me. Keep telling yourself that, honey. I do so love Him, will do anything to stay with Him, I insisted to myself. I hurried back, knowing that you’d begin to wonder what was taking me so long. My heart splintered into tiny pieces and I tried to gather them all as best as I could, through the film of my tears as I ambled carefully back to the room. I can make this work. I can put this back together. I blinked, squeezing the tears away. Reaching the door to our room, I took a deep breath and then another, knowing that, from the second my hand touched the door handle, I had to behave perfectly. For you.
The light went on as I slowly walked into the room and closed the door behind me. You were sitting at the desk, the familiar demon blazing within you. I can see the rage painted on your face. I didn’t need to ask. I knew. Knew, that among other things, you’d run out of tobacco. And while I fell apart and pieced myself together, in the bathroom, you’d consumed an entire tallboy. As if you needed any more. And then you started in on the familiar rant, the reality of which I could not fathom. You insisted that I had prostituted myself in my crackhead days. You insisted that you’d seen me, on film, in the alleys of the downtown eastside performing gangbang sex. You’d insisted that I’d given blowjobs to hundreds of men in exchange for crack. You insisted. How can be? I’ve never done any of those things. Despite this fact, I allowed your version of reality to obscure mine, I confessed to these things that I did not do. Why? Because I think that this will show that I love you better. And that this would make me loveable in your eyes, once again.
“When are you gonna to answer my question?”
“Don’t play smart ass with me.”
“I’m not. You’ve asked me so many—”
“You lying whore,” you yelled, reaching out your hand.
The impact of your hand on my face made a sharp thwacking noise. My knees felt noodle-ish and the sensation of my cold hand on my cheek did little to quell the stinging. You reached for your tobacco pouch. Empty. You took a swig from your tallboy.
“Putain de merde. I’ve run out of tobacco.”
I stood, fused to the floor, hoping my legs would hold me up until you left to buy cigarettes and tobacco and maybe some more beer, if you could find any. My eyes prickled with tears. I try to shove the tears down.
“Look,” you said sternly, as you dressed, “I’ve seen the footage of you, so don’t lie to me. Just tell me and then we can put all that past us.”
All what past us? Footage? What footage? This guy’s psycho. What am I doing here? I love Him so. What does that even mean? And if I had to confess to doing things I didn’t ever do, in order to keep you, then it’d be worth it. But why should I have to debase myself to please Him? Someone who loves me wouldn’t want that. Would they?
“Just tell me what you want me to say, and I’ll say it. I don’t know what you’re talking about, I honestly don’t.” My voice reached a fever pitch.
“No! I’m not gonna make this easy for you. I want you to tell me what you did, how many there were. And don’t lie. Because I’ll know if you’re lying.”
“But I didn’t—”
“Liar!” you lunges forward and grabbed me by the collar of my shirt, getting in my face and jerking me toward you. “I’ve had it. I’ve just had it. I’m going for a walk!”
When you released me, I stumbled backwards. You checked you front right pocket for a lighter, then grabbed the cloth bag from the floor under the pedestal sink, and walked out of the room, slamming the door behind you. I gained my footing, and stood, fused to the floor, holding my breath, until your descending footfalls faded to nothing. And then I collapsed onto the bed and sobbed those huge gasping and heaving sobs that make me hyperventilate.
I opened my eyes, not ever realizing that I’d closed them. That’s the thing about sleep ~ you don’t know you’ve fallen into it until you awaken. I wanted to smile when I saw you, sitting in a chair perched between the window and my bedside. But the pain between my legs reminded me why I should do otherwise. I had that headache, that headache I usually get when I’ve cried myself to sleep. I touched my face to where you slapped me last night. It felt warm, stung a little. I felt like a wet rag. A gentle breeze glided through the open window and a square of sunshine warmed my face. Still, I felt cold and shattered.
“Good morning,” you said quietly, as I gingerly raised myself into a sitting position.
I said nothing, and gave you a half-hearted smile as I scanned the contents laid out upon the little bedside table sitting between us: croissants, Bonne Maman raspberry jam, an assortment of cheeses, pate de foie gras and orange juice. “Wow. Breakfast. It looks lovely.”
I tried to make my movements effortless, tried to hide the fact that, with each movement, tender spots between my legs burned with excruciating pain. But you noticed, noticed when I drew air between my teeth in a stifled gasp. It hurt to sit, so I grabbed a pillow from behind me to sit on.
“Hey girl, are you okay,” you asked me in saccharine voice.
Still silence. I’m not gonna cry. I’m not gonna cry.
“This is about last night, isn’t it?”
Just the mention of last night, and my eyes burned with tears. I lost my voice, could not speak, and so just nodded my head in agreement. I stood up, dropping my underwear to the floor and lifting my nightshirt to reveal red and purple bruises at the tip of my pelvis and between my legs. Tears spilled from my eyes. I could not longer stem their flow. You stepped closer to me and I flinched, then stiffened with fear. I adored you, hated you, feared you, all at once.
“I’m sorry. I’m really so sorry,” you cooed, as you wrapped your arms around me. I thought to told myself that I could hear the remorse in your voice. Yes, I heard genuine remorse. Really? Yes, really. “I got a little carried away. It’s just, you excite me.”
And that’s as close as I got to a promise that it wouldn’t happen again. I took it. I decided I’d rather take what tiny morsels you gave me than live without you. I could not, simply could not, live without you.
As I washed up for the day, I looked in the mirror. I didn’t really recognize the girl staring back at me. One side of her face had taken on a pink hue in the shape of some fingers. She’d have to use some concealer on her face today. She had puffy, bloodshot eyes and thin, dark rings around those eyes. She looked sad. Or frightened. I couldn’t decide which one; maybe both. I didn’t see any sparkle or glitter in her eyes. It was as if joy has been extinguished. She looked drawn, world-weary. Her mouth, a thin, straight line, sagged under the weight of her thoughts and feelings. That girl couldn’t be me. Simply could not. I opened the taps and, when the water turned warm, I soaked a face cloth in it and gently rubbed my face with it. As if, in that one action, I could erase the girl looking back at me in the mirror.