This Love

SHE loved him you see and so she thought it was honesty that would matter in the end.
So when she said, “You can’t handle the truth,” she was unprepared for what happened next.
He dragged her by the hair, dragged her like a rag doll through the dark corridor lined with paintings and mould into the room at the end of the hall. It was dark and dank inside compared to the light in the verandah and the sound of singing voices. The smell of the jacaranda trees and the sight of the blooming white frangipani allowed her to think of all that was possible.
It is possible that he will accept this, she thought. All is possible. All I need is to speak the truth.
He said that he loved her more than she would ever know and that was his weapon, she was defenceless with such an admission, she was vulnerable, she believed him.
With his brute strength, he dragged her into the room and he flung her into the corner. The corner, so dark and lonely it welcomed her. And so it was. And so it was. Her in the corner like that, while he stood above her, towering above her, his height filling up the room, the darkness, the walls, the colours.
It was all dark, his darkness blocking out the light in the room.
Then he threw her against the wall, slamming cheekbone and lip against the white mould, against the harsh concrete, against her might.
He slammed her again and again, and she let him, thinking “This is it, this is the end of our love, this is what is has come to, this nature of love, this love of ours.”
She knew that she had screamed from the pain, she allowed herself to groan from the pain, but she did not scream any more, she allowed the tears to stream closely, she felt the warmth of the salt against her skin. It comforted her.
He grabbed her by her hair, the hair that he had once loved, the hair that he had once caressed and cut and kept in an antique Chinese box with his own.
He grabbed her and said that he would rape her, that he would rape her. And then he held the knife against her throat, the throat that he had once kissed, caressed and held close against his own.
He held that knife, in its bluntness, its blackness, its coldness against her throat, her neck, the neck that he so loved that he said was so beautiful it reminded him of a Renaissance painting. That that neck should be immortalized, that that neck should be in a painting, that it should be painted. That it should.
And she cowered beneath him in her fear, in her love, in her. And she feared for the first time in her life, she feared that he would harm her, that he who had said he loved her again and again that he would.
And so she waited for the next blow, the next greeting from the wall that tried to cushion her hurt, her grief. She now uttered no sound, it was inaudible, it was all within her, her might was silenced. Silenced into submission. She could not fight him, she could not fight this man, this anger, this largeness.
And so he continued, the rage continued. He continued in his anger while she in her silence. And she in her silence prayed that it would stop, that he would stop that he would realize that it was enough, that it was enough. That the rage would end that his anger would somehow find the light.
So she hoped, so she feared that it would not.
She felt the liquid in her right eye and she felt it slither down her cheek, she wondered what it was, she wondered if it would show, if it would demand attention. She wanted no attention you see she had to go to work the next day. She did not want anyone to see.
And so it was.
He had stopped still and had lit a cigarette. He had stopped,
he had stopped to breathe in the smoke that he so needed, that she was so accustomed to, that he knew that she would. She heard his breath as he laboured to breathe in the nicotine that she knew sustained him, that she knew held him together as man and animal that she knew gave him impetus to continue.
That she knew it all made her weep, that she knew him made her weep, that she did not know that he could do this made her all the more knowing, all the more knowing of the fact that she had come to the end, the end of this love, that he had done this to her, that it was over.
And so he held her by the neck and stared into her bloody eye and said that he would kill her now, that he would have her like this, that she deserved this, that she had driven him to this, that she was at fault, that it was her, it was all her fault.
And so he lowered the knife and held her with his one hand, the other on the knife that she had felt on her still neck, her now still neck, white with fear, her neck still like a dead swan’s like how he said it once resembled. That he would cut her open and leave her exposed to the world, expose her for the fraud that she was, the liar that she was, the terrible, worthless person that
she was.
And there she was, kneeling against the hard concrete floor, head bowed as if in prayer, om mani om mani om mani, nam myoho renge kyo, nam ryoho renge kyo, hail mary full of grace, la illaha’ illallah, la illaha’ illallah...sat nam sat nam sat nam je vahe guru vahe guru vahe guru om om om om.
And so it was, and so it was, until she awoke and found herself underneath the jacaranda tree. It was still light, and she looked up and saw the pristine white flowers that she so loved and she heard voices, she heard the voices coming from the porch, that she knew was full of people, that she knew had heard what she knew they heard.
She walked up to them in her bloodied skirt, her eye now black and blue and red, her silence, her matted hair, her bent hand, her bruised body and she walked up to them and said hi, and they said nothing, they looked at her and turned away and they continued, they continued singing.