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Jenny's Story

Jenny tells the story of her husband`s mental cruelty.

I feel sick waiting for him to return. The house is spotless, the dinner in the oven, he is bound to find some fault with me. I try so hard to please him.

He once said to me, "Perhaps you try too hard!" He knows I try hard, so why does he delight in being cruel to me? 

I hear the front door slam. He`s here. My stomach is churning. I turn from the kitchen sink.

"Did you enjoy yourself?" I ask, knowing the answer to my question.

He smiles, "I did, superb day." He fails to give me the details of his day . He has been out walking with members of the walking club. "Is dinner ready?" He asks.

"A few more moments," I reply.

I pick up the kettle and begin to fill it with water, preparing to make him a cup of tea.

"How many times have I told you, not to put more than the required amount of water in the kettle?" He spits.

"I am sorry, I forgot." I reply and I start to shake.

I measure the two mugs of water into the kettle while he stands by watching and smiling.

I make the tea like a dutiful wife, placing the mug carefully on the table. He sits in silence. There is no such thing as "small talk" in this house. I dish dinner out. I tell him it is ready.

He replies, "Okay." He doesn't thank me.

I sit chewing my food, with each mouthful I feel sick. Why am I living like this? I ask myself. I think about our sorry relationship and why he hates me so much. He is a bully, yet to others outside the home he strives hard to please them, especially women.

Oh yes! That's another story. I go to bed at 10:00 pm. Alone. I am always alone. He might come to bed about 1:30 am. Might! I came through to fetch a glass of water last month, I think. He was chatting to someone - a woman. I confronted him about her and he hit me and told me to leave. I looked into his smoldering eyes, filled with hate ; narrowing in their anger. I packed a few things, I picked up my laptop. He pushed me to one side and taking the laptop from my arms he put it on the floor and stamped on it! I shook, familiar with the feeling of terror. How can a "normal" person behave like this? He carried on stamping on my laptop until it cracked.

"There, that should do it! " He said; a cruel smirk written across his features.

I grabbed my car keys and left the house sobbing. I don't know how I drove. I drove through a mist of tears, I felt violently sick. This is what he thrives on, I thought.

Here I am eating, at the dinner table, chewing like a robot. We finish the meal. I rise from the table picking up the empty plates. It can't have been too bad, I thought. He`s eaten all of it. Ungrateful pig! I take the kettle to the sink, I remember to pick up the jug, and measure the water. He's watching me from the dining room. I wait for the kettle to boil, I stand by the sink. The "robot" washing up.

He leaves the table, picks up a book and begins to read. There's silence all around me , smothering me like a pillow. I am finding comfort in the warm soapy suds. Oh! How I wish there was someone out there, to hold me and love me. I finish my task. I re-fill the kettle being careful to measure the two mugs of water.

"Would you like a coffee?" I call.

"Okay!" He replies.

I make the coffee and place it on the table beside him. I am barely acknowledged - he is reading. My thoughts wander as I tidy the kitchen. I hear him go to the bathroom. He stays there a while. He returns but comes slowly into the kitchen and stands behind me. I am afraid to face him. What have I done now? My thoughts are racing. Earlier that morning I had taken a splinter out of his finger, I had left the safety-pin unclosed, upon the sink! He thrusts the pin in my face.

"What's this?" He spits with venom.

I look at him stupidly. "A safety pin?" I reply. I have a tremor in my voice. I hear it ; I berate myself for being weak.

He yells at me, "Close it!"

I take the pin and I close it. He takes it from me and returns to the bathroom. It's quiet , I am shaking wondering what he is going to find next... To be continued.

This story is protected by International Copyright Law, by the author, all rights reserved. If found posted anywhere other than with this note attached, it has been posted without my permission.

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