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The Storm

the storm


Estimated reading time — 4 minutes

Everything was perfect. Everything but her. She stood there at the window in her picture perfect dress, looking out at the picture perfect view from the comfort of their picture perfect home, and she wondered when she had lost the ability to be happy. Just a while ago she didn’t have a care in the world, and now she couldn’t even remember what happiness felt like. Her smile was as dull as the dark clouds building up across the lake. She got up in the morning and pasted the pathetic thing onto her face, feeling like it was too big, then too small, too wide, then too narrow. Every day was a struggle to make herself believe her lies about how happy she was with him, so content with everything he had done for her. Sometimes, it seemed like he could do everything but love her. She was sick of it, sick of the beatings, the abuse, and the expensive gifts that were supposed to make up for his mistakes. But most of all, she was sick of herself, disgusted, in fact, for not being sick of him. She still loved him, that rotten excuse for a man. She still loved him, and she knew that if she was ever going to be happy again, that would have to change.

How was she going to stop loving him? His behaviour – and her reactions – had already proven that no matter how despicable of a man he could be, her feelings would stay the same. As long as he existed, she would love him, serve him, suffer silently and miserably for him. As long as he existed.

As long as he… existed.

There was going to be a storm later that day. A big one. He had left the window open that morning when he had gone to work, and she could feel the humidity making the entire house hot and sticky. The electricity in the air was almost tangible, and she could feel the hair on the back of her neck standing almost painfully at attention.

But that wasn’t from the electricity or the humidity that was from the idea she just got, wasn’t it, and she couldn’t brush it aside now, and the more she thought about it the more it made sense, but she COULDN’T, she loved him, but that was precisely why she had to, because she couldn’t live her life loving him more than she loved herself, and so it was decided.

No, the storm wasn’t going to be big. It was going to be huge.

The obvious question, the only question that was present in her mind, was how. He had a hunting rifle, and that would blow him straight to hell for sure, but that was locked up in a bulletproof case. There was his baseball bat, hung carefully on the hooks in his study. If he loved anything in this world besides himself, it was that stupid piece of wood. No, that wouldn’t do either; the thought of bashing his head in seemed crude, and she wanted this to be a classy affair. Her eyes fell on her kitchen knife. How many times had she held that same knife against her own throat, ready to end her suffering with one sharp movement? How many times had she pressed it into her skin deep enough to draw blood? How beautiful would it be if she freed herself with the same knife that had nearly ended her own life so many times before?

She would cook his favorite meal today; after all, it would be his last one. Her face was flushed with energy now as she reveled in the knowledge that she had the power. She started cooking, her eyes glistening with a steely resolve that hadn’t been there in years.

Today was the day she took her life back.

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A few hours passed; she heard the sound of his car pulling into the driveway just as she was putting the finishing touches on dinner. The cold, distant demeanor that she had gotten so used to melted away the second he saw the food laid out for him, and she almost convinced herself not to go through with it. But her eyes fell on the knife, and when she thought about everything he had put her through, she felt the determination enter her body again. It would have to be soon.

In the last few years, apart from the abuse, there were very few times at which he was at all aware of her existence. Now was no different; he was far too occupied with dinner to see her walk over to the counter and grab the knife, clutching it in a trembling fist. He also didn’t notice as she slowly walked over, stopping only when she was right behind him. Even as the words fell steadily from her lips,

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“I’m sorry, I love you”

All he heard was a little murmur. As he turned around to tell her to repeat herself

“Speak up, you miserable idiot, I couldn’t hear what just came out of your mouth and you’re standing right next to me”

He felt a sharp pain across his throat. And then he felt the warm liquid gush onto his shirt. And he knew what had happened.

She had done it. She stood there, the knife dripping blood onto her dress, and watched her husband die. She rubbed her hands across her face, forgetting about the blood, making sure it had really happened. At some point, while he bled out, she started smiling. Soon, she couldn’t control herself, and the laughter began.

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He heard that, all right. He heard it loud and clear.

The moonlight streamed through the window, reflecting the blood on her face and distorting her features until she was no longer human, until she was something less. And as she laughed and laughed, the first clap of thunder rolled through the night, and the sky came crashing down.

The storm had arrived.

Credit : Arav Dagli

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