The Nightmare Begins

Photo courtesy of Michelle Weber.

Photo courtesy of Michelle Weber

I could see them from where I stood, working together, laughing, teasing, and so obviously in love. I hated my job more than ever today. Thankfully, the evening is drawing to a close. This has been the worse day of my life.

The memory of the morning seared in my mind as if with acid, painful and burning.

I awoke to the sound of the doorbell, then loud knocking. I grabbed my robe and peaked out the window. There were two police cars out front. I shook my husband awake. He froze when I told him. I went to unlock the door.

The rest of the morning passed in a blur. My husband arrested?

“I cannot think of that now”. I scolded myself. “Pull yourself together”.

I pasted a smile on my face and delivered the plates of food to the couple holding hands in the corner. Why was everyone living their happy little lives? Didn’t anyone care that my world had fallen into a hideous hell? Another couple ordered an after dinner drink. I looked around the restaurant. Couples laughing, couples whispering, everyone in pairs. Loneliness enveloped me like a shroud. My heart turned to stone. I vowed that I would not allow this to make me cry. No one could see my pain. No one could know the horror of the morning.

I pushed through the door into the kitchen. Frank and Libby had their hands all over each other. The sigh that escaped my mouth alerted them to my presence. My legs buckled beneath me. I sank to the floor in slow motion. I couldn’t hold on any longer.

Libby rushed to my side. “What’s wrong sweetie?” she crouched beside me.

Why, at a time like this, did I bark the words “don’t call me sweetie”? She is a nice kid, she means well, but is half my age. I gathered strength from deep within and stood up. “Just a little tired, I guess” I laughed. “It’s been a long day”.  If she only knew the truth.

I wish I knew the truth. I spent the morning at the police station. No one would tell me anything. I sat alone, waiting for endless hours. In my mind floated images of young girls. Who were these children? I felt their pain. I knew their pain. I could not accept this truth. He confessed? I could not understand this truth. How could he do such a thing? Why would a man find children, little girls, nine year olds attractive, sexual?

Finally, the last customers left and the doors were locked. I went about cleaning up mechanically, like I did so many times before. Everything was the same yet different. I knew nothing would be the same again.  I slipped out the back door into the alley. The darkness was comforting. Rain fell softly.  Trudging the few blocks toward my home, I allowed the rain to try and wash the filth from my mind. It couldn’t. I allowed the tears to fall.  I cried for the girls, the victims. I cried for my husband. I cried loudest for me. I selfishly thought mostly about myself. What now? How can I face my friends? What will they think of me? I cried for the years gone by, the years I wasted loving a criminal.  This must be the ultimate betrayal and I was alone.

I unlocked the front door and flipped on the light. His shoes greeted me, mocked me. I grabbed them and flung them out into the rain. I yanked open the hall closet and his jacket, his belongings followed his shoes into the rain.  Slamming the door shut, I collapsed to the floor and sobbed. My heart knew this nightmare was just beginning.

____________________________________________________________________  Below are links to other stories written as part of the “Weekly Writing Challenge: 1000 Words” in response to the photo prompt.

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17 thoughts on “The Nightmare Begins

  1. I know how painful these stories are to write, how the horror and disgust color our words. But, there is healing to be had by writing these stories and I hope finishing this one has helped you on your way.

    I always hate to use the words “wonderful” or “good job” when commenting on a piece that I know took great strength and personal pain to write. It is a well written, strong and powerful piece.
    Thank you for sharing it.

  2. Lily our paths cross for other reasons we never knew. Betrayal of trust is something I know all too well. Glad you were able to share this. Just keep writing…. it’s all I know to do. It has helped me more than anything else I have done or could do to just keep writing. Thank you for sharing this fine story of your world. Love, light and healing to you. Also, thank you for finding my pages ❤

  3. Thanks for your honesty and bravery. Not all wives have your courage. Many go into denial, unable to face what their spouse has done, unable to cope with the shame. I imagine the victims and how they must feel about the wife supporting the perpetrator of the crimes done to them. Remember: it is not your shame. It is his. You have a right to feel betrayed. You are not being selfish. He has hurt you, too.

      • By the way, I forgot to mention that from a writing perspective, I love the structure of this piece — how you intersperse the restaurant scenes with the happenings of the day. It gives it impact. Well written and keep going! There aren’t too many with a story like this to tell. Might as well use some of the shit life gives us as fertiliser.

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