Copyright © 2021 by UKAF
All rights reserved. No part of this story may be reproduced, distributed, or transmitted in any form or by any means, including photocopying, recording, or other electronic or mechanical methods, without the prior written permission of the publisher.
This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places, and incidents either are the product of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, events, or locales is entirely coincidental.
“It’s nothing that serious. I don’t see why you should be nosing around my properties,” Bruin, your one-year husband, hurls at you in anger, throwing the half-finished wedding list you had discovered while picking a dress for him back into his cupboard. You drill holes into his back that’s facing you, knowing you’re not planning on giving up anytime soon, the fact that he’s probably arranging a wedding without your consent; one that might be his.
How had it ended up like this? You soliloquise, sipping on a hot cuppa in the cold weather, hoping that as it burns your tongue, it burns the sad fate of your once-blooming marriage.
Once upon a time, you had walked down the aisle in all smiles, beaming and wide. You had put on a white wedding dress topped with a veil too long, you had thought it was too perfect. You had thrown on cute sandal wedges over some white lacy gloves. He had stood opposite, waiting for your ageing father to bring you to him. Bruin, the first-class computer programmer that had doffed his hat for you, the quiet backbencher in Mathematics class, the shoulder you had cried on your first day of kindergarten. He was there all your life, maybe, that was why you had agreed to marry him when he took the ring you had choked on while having your graduation cake. Or maybe, it was because the entire crowd had been flushed when his eyes grew glassy with one knee on the ground, and you felt flattered, not wanting to ruin the moment. Whatever it was, you were happy as you said the vows you had practised for the somethingth time. He had reciprocated the declaration before pulling you into a hug, warm and gentle. You had expected a bit more, though, because of the late slumber nights you spent with your friends watching Beauty and the Beast. You hadn’t thought it much. You had fed him cake topped with icing over some red wine. While, he shoved you the same but with fruit juice instead, romantically. You had insisted on a slow dance when your favourite song began, pulling him to the centre of the podium. The crowd had clapped and chanted when he crashed his lips on yours, the song coming to a diminuendo. You had butterflies jumping and laying excited eggs in your stomach and had smiled at the long affection he had showered through a kiss. You had known he was the perfect man for you that no one could ever match. You and he had walked down the aisle, again, this time with no intermediary or waiting. Waiting for the comfort of your rears on its soft cushions, your black limousine had been parked outside by a legendary chauffeur. You had sat on his right, holding onto his polished white suit that clung to his biceps with your head on his broad shoulders. You had snuffed his cologne to the point of exhaustion, yet his eyes remained active, watching and examining.
He had patted you awake once you got to the penthouse you would have been spending the next three months in for your honeymoon, only, his work had called during two weeks of the first month. And, since then, things had taken a whole new swing.
You pick up a cassette of your wedding video on the living room shelf, attached to it is a graphic of the both of you grinning, eyes glued to one another, whispering the love vows once again, over and over.
“Why are you keeping me away from your life, Bruin?” your shattered, tired and sad voice croaks out from behind him. You have held in those tears for too long, too long that they’d explode from the bubble that enclosed them in your lachrymatories. He turns around to look at your swollen face, reddish from all the stress of thoughts you’ve been doing lately.
His voice drops to a whisper, “Nigella, you need to trust me. Give me time to—”
“For how long?” you cut him off, not willing to hear his constant give-me-time excuses, “Would your so-called time ever even come?”
That has been the question in your thumping brain; you have been skipping your hospital check-up routines because you’re scared of the results the doctor may show to you. For all you know, you may be deranged.
“Bear patience with me and, I promise to tell you everything,” Bruin notices you’re succumbing to his pleas and smiles at you, holding onto your disturbingly warm and thin hands. Maybe, your aversions were right, that he wasn’t the man for you. He didn’t seem to have cared during those nights you forced yourself to sleep with the many remedies you found online. Yet, you don’t hang on to that fact of maybes, especially when you know so well you’ve fallen deep.
“Fine,” you answer genuinely, ready to bear patience with him for as long, “May I at least know one thing?”
You watch his face distort, silently praying for things you’re unaware of. With a sigh and a facepalm, he asks you the question you’re willing to hear so, you’re thrilled, “No problem, what is it?”
“Whose list was that?” you drop the bombshell, hoping he says the only answer you can think of.
Oh that, it’s my brother’s, you know, the one in France. He’s hoping to bag this girl he met while studying Business Administration.
Your fingers are crossed, your eyes are shut, and your breath is held, until his irate voice demands, “You don’t listen, do you? What part of ‘I’ll explain later’ don’t you understand?”
You feel insulted, flinging your teary eyes open, with hands flying in the air and pointing.
“What would it cost you to say it? Just explain and—”
“I would not!” he barks back, tone louder and harsher this time, even your ever quiet neighbours would hear.
“You know why, it’s because I said so. As the head of this house, that’s my last word on the matter!”
He walks out on you, slamming the bedroom door. You hear his nondescript saloon drive out of the garage after.
You’ve lost him all in all; first, your workaholic darling husband, and now, the severe harsh one. You go all to pieces, pulling your hair and screaming out your lungs.
Nothing was going to change, not now, perhaps, not ever.
GENRE — Tragedy, Short Story, Drama, Fiction
Prompt Held By — Reedsy, accessible at blog.reedsy.com
Submission Date — 16/05/2021 06:00 AM – Universal Time Coordinated
Written by Fallow Amber.