The Long Journey Back - Chapter 2Mar 13, 2008 Write an essay on this topic.
Popular Products in BooksThe Bottom Line © Copyright 2001. No part may be reproduced in any form without explicit written permission. This work mainly fiction …. bit and pieces though were culled from real life.
The dream was always the same.
His hands are tied in front of him with rough rope. Theyve been tied that way a while as he can feel the raw chafed skin there. There is the taste of blood in his mouth and his head is pounding in time to the steps hes being forced to make. Hes been beaten.
The night is cold and damp. He can see his breath in small white clouds rising up to the heavens. He hurts. His body is sore. He catches the scent of wood smoke and his heart fills with fear. No it fills with something greater than fear, stark terror and utter despair .
He hears a bird twittering in the distance. Tu Tu Eeet Tu Tu Eeet
Paul awoke to the sound of the phone ringing.
Yeah? he whispered so as not to wake up the woman beside him.
Hey man Charlie said I need you to come in today. Jim is a no-show and youre all I got.
Oh come on. Its Saturday and I already put in 50 hours this week.
I dont want to be a hard-***. You can man the shift or not. If you dont you can start looking for a new job.
Alright, give me an hour and Ill be there.
Sitting up he was suddenly aware of the pounding in his head. He gazed down at the sleeping form beside him and wondered how he had been lucky enough to win the heart of this lovely creature. Short and with curves in all the right places (and most of the wrong ones he heard her say in his head) her hair poured over the pillow like a stream. A true strawberry blonde, complete with blue eyes and freckles she looked truly Irish much to the dismay of her Italian parents.
He bent and brushed her forehead with a kiss. Love you My Love he whispered.
Much as he would like to curl up beside her and wake her with kisses, duty called. He stumbled to the bathroom, took 3 Advil and stepped into a cool shower. Quickly soaping and shampooing he was done in 5 minutes. After drying off and throwing on a pair of Dockers and a Dress shirt he went into the kitchen for some coffee. The sink was still full of dishes; it wasnt like Joanna to leave the kitchen a mess before bed.
Suddenly he was struck by a vague memory of the previous night. He remembered being on top of Jo, her eyes closed, and he chuckled as obviously her tidying had been interrupted by passion. As he filled the dishwasher he realized that he really didnt remember much else of the previous evening. He remembered coming home exhausted after a long week. He had stopped at the liquor store on the way home and remembered that Jo had seemed a bit put off by his drinking. Or maybe it was his not eating much of dinner. She always hated it when he didnt appreciate her cooking. Maybe he should take her out for dinner to make it up to her.
After loading the dishwasher, he noticed a number of beer bottles about. As he gathered them up for recycling he realized that he held the remnants of a full 12-pack.
Did I really drink that much? he mused. Funny, I dont remember. But unless the cat has developed a taste for hops, it mustve been me. But somehow the joke tasted sour even to himself. He didnt really like the fact that he couldnt remember hours of his life and he couldnt shake the feeling that there was something important that he had lost in that alcohol induced blur. A glance at the microwave told him he was going to be late if he didnt hurry, so he jotted off a quick note and hurried out the door into an all too bright morning in his somewhat hungover state.
The drive was an easy and fast one. He was at the office 15 minutes after walking out his front door. The ibuprofen had finally kicked in and he was feeling a bit more human. The morning progressed smoothly, but still Paul was grateful when Jim finally showed up, albeit 3 hours late, allowing him to go home.
He walked in the door surprised not to see Jo on the couch reading. Lazy Saturdays often found her curled up with a fantasy or sci-fi novel. He checked the bedroom and bathroom and finally the basement. What he saw surprised him. She was asleep on the floor in front of the altar. He was more surprised by how she looked. Her eyes were obviously red and puffy despite being closed. Shed obviously been crying. His heart ached to see her like that and he bent down to stroke her face. In her sleep she flinched as if expecting pain to follow. Then his eyes caught sight of something.
Her wrist was bruised. Badly. He could see the outline of fingers. He called out her name in a tight whisper.
She stirred but didnt wake up.
Jo? he said a bit louder.
Her eyes fluttered open. For a minute she was unsure where she was. How long was I asleep? she muttered. Then looking up into Pauls face she said more clearly, Oh Hi Honey, youre home. What time is it? Do you need lunch?
What happened to your wrist? he asked. He watched the emotions play on her face. Confusion. Embarrassment.
Joanna wasnt sure what to do. She had never let him see the marks he left. She never told him about what he did. Part of her was trying to protect him. She knew how he felt about men who abused their spouses, and despite their lack of a marriage certificate she was no less his wife. But, also, she was trying to protect herself. Because she knew that she couldnt face it if in fact he did know what hed been doing and simply didnt care.
Oh that? Oh dont worry about it, Im fine. Come on, how about a ham sandwich?
Jo. Come on. I can see from here that someone hurt you. I can see finger marks.
She blinked a few times. She had always believed that he didnt remember what happened when he drank too much. She had believed it, she had had to, but she had never known for sure. But here he was standing before her with love and concern in his deep blue eyes, asking her what was wrong. How was she supposed to answer him? What words were there to soften what she believed, no now she knew, would be a blow. That he was the one who had hurt her.
Jo! he said a bit more forcefully, are you having an affair?
Oh Gods No! she said.
Then what happened? Who did this to you?
She lowered her head and replied in a breath of a whisper, so low he couldnt make out what she said.
A cold hand of fear wrapped itself around his heart. A suspicion was growing in the back of his mind. But, it wasnt possible. Again that picture rose in his mind. He saw himself on top of her, her eyes closed. But, what if they werent closed in passion? A lump formed in his throat.
He swallowed and raised her head with his fingertips beneath her chin, he asked Hun, please, what happened?
Well, she said finally, I guess it happened last night.
What do you mean?
When we were . You know and she trailed off. She didnt want to call it having sex, but couldnt bring herself to call it making love.
You mean . his voice breaking as much with shock as with shame., I . Did this?
Yes she replied in a voice just above a whisper.
His legs gave out from under him and he sat suddenly and forcefully on the floor.
He gazed up at her. Was it the first time?
No . it only happens when you drink though.
Is that supposed to make me feel better? Oh Gods Ive been abusing you. I swear to you I dont remember. What did I do to you? Did I . Beat you?
Then how did this he reached out as if to touch her wrist and then drew back happen.
Joanna gazed at him, at the well sculpted face that she knew and loved. She swallowed and met his gaze. Green eyes and blue locked together and with that a gate in his mind opened and he remembered Jo beneath him, her eyes closed not in passion but in resignation. He remembered her gasping beneath him not in pleasure but in the pain which accompanied a rushed and forceful entry into her womanhood. He remembered that he just wanted, needed to be within her so desperately. That he had felt as if he were drowning and that she was somehow his life preserver. He had wanted to feel that connection, that sacredness, that accompanied their lovemaking. But, he had destroyed it. How could she ever forgive him for this. This was unspeakable. He had forced her. He had brought violence into their bed
No oh Gods No
Paul, its okay. Really Paul?
How is it okay? I hurt you.
But, you didnt mean it. It was she grasped for words an accident. Well get help. Well work on this together.
How can you even stand to be in the same room with me? You should leave and never look back. And with that said he broke down into sobs.
She gazed at him and drew him to her, trying to wrap him her love around him as she did her arms. Holding him as he cried out his fear and his shame, mingling her tears with his own. Hoping that somehow this was the beginning of healing.
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