Short Story Sunday - Chapter 2
Short Story – Chapter 2
By Jeanna Kay Simpson
It hurts to breathe my first thoughts are. I am on the floor of our master bathroom. I am not sure how long I have been here. I smell coffee. Is it morning? I sit up and immediately cry out. Not too loud. I do not want to upset Richard I think. “Good morning darling. Get up and get ready. It is Saturday, don’t you remember we are going to my brother’s house for the game?” Richard says while whistling. He is dressed casually in jeans and a crimson polo of course. He graduated from Alabama. Why is he smiling I think. I try to stand but the pain shoots straight through me. Do I ask for help? No, that would show weakness. He does not like weakness. I watch him as he busies himself around me while getting himself ready. “Rachael dear, did you hear me?” he ask. “Yes, yes Richard. I will be ready in no time”. I say as I drag myself up to my feet and set at my vanity. I look in the mirror searching my own eyes for answers. My face is pristine except for the dried tears and ruined makeup from last night. He never touches my face. Never. I mentally start taking stock of what hurts, what I can move and what I cannot move without crying inside. The ribs, he always goes for the ribs. “We leave in an hour Rachael, please be ready darling,” he says as walking out of the bathroom.
Remember the good in him I say to myself. Or this was what my mother told me all the time. “Richard is a good man Rachael. He just has a temper. Try not to wake a sleeping bear dear.” I tried to confide in her once, after the first time. A good man. Yes in all appearances Richard was an outstanding man. A college graduate who taught history at the local high school. He was the head football coach and also a pillar of our church and community. He ran committees, set up charities, fed the homeless at shelters on Thanksgiving. He was handsome, charming and he was deceitful. No one knew that. No one knew Richard as I did.
I hurried to shower and let the hot water run down my back to ease the pain. Bruising was already forming across my back and down my side. My ankle was swollen and it hurt to walk. I would have to wear pants today. No dresses this weekend. I am taking too long I realize and rush to finish getting ready. My hair is naturally curly so thankful I can just let it air dry while I tend to make up and picking out the perfect outfit. He likes heels. That is going to be hard to accomplish today with my ankle but I will make it happen. I do not want to do anything to upset him. I pick out a pair of skinny jeans, a crimson blouse, and black heeled boots. I apply my makeup as if a professional did it. My hair drys to jet black soft bouncy curls. It hurts to walk, it hurts to take in a deep breath. “Never let anyone know your marriage business, Rachael” my mom would say. I slide on my boots, took my hair behind my left ear with a small diamond clip, spritz myself with perfume and exit my master bathroom. I put on my fake smile as I chew oxycodone. Chew, not swallow.
“Ready,” I ask as I walk into the living room. “You look stunning Rachael,” Richard says. He kisses me as if we were newlyweds and whispers in my ear, “let’s try for that baby later.” I smile and give him a coy look as I choke down a cry. How many times did we try to get pregnant? How many times did I get pregnant to only lose the baby? Too many. “Of course darling, I cannot wait.”
I grab my purse and look into the mirror one last time as we are walking out the door. I am looking at a stranger. I don’t even know who I am anymore.