When I answered the phone, I didn’t recognize his voice. At the time, I was having difficulty putting together cohesive questions. When I asked, “Who…is…is…th..this?” he broke down crying. That sound I recognized.
He cried like that the first time he hit me.
After he raped me
While banging my head on the cement floor.
Because I made him do it.
My first instinct was to hang up on him, but I couldn’t bring myself to do it.
He called out my pet name.
“I saw you in the paper…was that my fault?”
My silence must have scared him because he started speaking erratically. Slurring actually.
He was drunk.
I sighed. “No Love, it wasn’t your fault.”
“Don’t do that!” He yelled. “Don’t call me Love. I don’t deserve your Love. I almost killed you. I…I…looked it up. It said head trauma could have caused what happened to you.”
In between tears, he rambled. “You were so sweet, so precious”
My tears fell as they did every time he called me that, but I wiped them away and played it off, “Well, I didn’t die, so I’m still sweet and…”
I swallowed back the bile and let him talk.
He was purging.
I knew most of his story from before.
His oldest brother getting killed.
The molestation by a family member.
Causing him to drink.
He was in and out of jail.
Then he met me.
And I had this light.
He had to obtain it.
So he asked me where it came from.
And I told him my story.
Then he hit me.
Then I left him.
Until he called me.
I forgave him.
Without him asking.
As I returned his hug, I whispered in his ear that it was going to be okay.
But it wasn’t.
Despite what you think vodka does have a smell.
It becomes pungent when mixed with blood and semen.
Basement floors smell like rain.
And when you are being choked crying sounds like moans of pleasure.
I thought I knew why.
So I never asked.
And I never expected him to tell me.
But he did.
Deep down, he resented me.
Because I survived my hell.
And he was still living his.
As he put the gun in his mouth.
He looked at the newspaper strewn on the floor.
Saw my picture.
Pulled the trigger.
The gun jammed.
He picked up the phone.
©michele mitchell, 2015