Head swimming so fast, too fast. I’m dizzy, disoriented.
Thick, heated blood rushes to my pounding temples.
Tears threaten to break the threshold of my lower lashes.
Desperately I look up into the blinding white light.
No tears, not tonight, not now.
They cannot know.
I must force that smile, for him, for them.
Those bruises must not be seen.
It can wait until tonight.
He will not come to bed right away anyway.
While he comes up I can lay down and have a reprieve.
It will not last, but I will take it just the same.
There will be enough to time to let the tears flow before he comes in.
Dinner is over.
They never guessed.
Tonight was a success.
Relief is a wonderful feeling.
The kids are tucked in.
His friends are over and they are taking care of him.
I close the bedroom door, get into my pajamas and curl up in bed.
Silently I let the tears flow and flow until my red eyes are dry.
Then I drift off.
Oh no, the door opened.
I look at the clock, it is four in the morning.
I close my eyes again and feign sleep.
I ignore the whispered questions.
It does not matter.
Those are not my husband‘s hands.
I start to struggle, the door comes open again.
He asks if there is a problem.
I know that tone.
I simply say please. He knows what I am asking.
I do not get a reprieve.
I am glad the darkness hides my shame.
This man on top of me pays me no never mind and finishes with a forceful grunt.
He gets up, has the nerve to whisper ‘thank you’ in my ear and heads to bathroom.
As he leaves he tells my husband I was worth it and he’d do it again.
The rest of the guys laugh and the door shuts.
I hear no more.
I can’t hear past my own sobbing now anyway.
I get cleaned up and go back to bed.
My head is spinning fast, too fast.
Thick, hot blood pounding. Rage building.
How did it come to this?