This is How it Ends (Part 2)
(If you have not read part 1 of this story, click here)
I am seated on the passenger seat of the Toyota wish, still without undies, my baggy tshirt now just below my tummy. Sherry, the girl at my door, throws me a fleece blanket that bears a familiar smell. The after sex smell. The smell that fills your nostrils when the two of you are done, and you are lying on his chest, heaving, panting even, as he gently strokes your hair. The smell that, now, births a new want to vomit.
“I know you remember it,” she says. Eying me, before focusing back on the road, speeding at 140 km/hr.
I shift uncomfortable in my seat, too afraid to breathe. Too afraid to speak. Too afraid to turn my head to the back seat where grunting noises can be heard.
I do not ask where we are going. I do not ask why she has picked me up; I do not know why I keep obeying every command she makes: It’s time, let’s go. Get in the car. Take the front seat. You cannot take your phone. You cannot speak to anyone else about this. If anyone asks, you do not know, and have never seen me before.
I do not ask why all this is happening, but my heart begins to race, as if it wants out of these things that I have put myself into. So I pull the fleece blanket over my face, and wait for the destination to come and take the little life away from me. To remind me that life ends when you least expect it. That when death comes calling, you hear its voice clearly. You look it in the eyes, and run into its arms. That life comes to an end when your feet tire from all the running from yourself, so you collapse into the arms of strangers, bringing with you the burden of too much want. Too much failed ambitions. Too many broken dreams. A skin that is too bruised. Broken bones that cannot be turned into meaningful ashes.
In the darkness that follows the blanket covering my eyes, I relive the tears that I have lived through, in silence. The pain that has come to me in the middle of the night, when everything is silent and my body has refused to belong to me anymore. The vomit that has dried inside my mouth, choking me, when I couldn’t pull myself out of bed in time. The shame that has kept my head buried in my palms, is weight too heavy for my shoulders.
In the darkness that follows the blanket covering my eyes, my mind wanders back to Sherry’s face two years ago. I see my tiny self making way back into the place I called home, in the middle of the night, because I was too afraid to stay on my own. I am back to easing myself through the front door, into the bedroom, stripping naked, only for her, and the man we both called ours, to walk in after me, their bodies entwined.
The memories of that night hit me like lightening. I am sweating. I cannot breathe. My hands are shaking. My heart is thumping. My mind is recreating the patterns of my then boyfriend’s hands on me, restraining me to the bed with one hand, the other hand trying to keep Sherry away from me.
My mind wanders back to the confusion of the next thirty minutes; hurling of insults. Dressing of nudities. More hurling of insults. Banging of doors. Cracking of phone screens. Before, finally, calm slowly sneaking back into the house, embracing my crying self.
“I did not know he was with you those years ago,” Sherry says, jerking me out of my reverie.
“I should have known. I should have seen in the way his eyes escaped mine. In the way he steered our conversations away from him. In the way he looked at you that night; as if you were nothing, and he was only doing you a favour. I should have known that he would do the same things to me. I didn’t know, but now I know.”
The vehicle slows down and comes to a halt. I only let the fleece off my face when I hear Sherry bang her side of the door, so I hurry and walk towards her, the blanket now covering my nakedness. She takes my hand and leads me to the back of the car.
“He is all yours today; to use as you please,” she says, opening the boot.
Then I see it. I see him. I know it is him without having to look at his face. I see the scars in his bound-with-rope hands and back of the head and know it is him.
“I am sorry…it shouldn’t come this far,” he says.
Sherry unties him, and lets him out.
He has nothing on him apart from an old white vest. He stares in the distance for a minute, and I see in his eyes that he knows exactly where we are, even though everything is dark apart from the car’s lights.
“I know I have hurt you, but please, I know your heart is beautiful. Please…” he begins to say, but Sherry cuts him short.
“You have ten minutes to do whatever you want with him; anything and everything you need to make sure it is painful, is inside the car.”
He slides to the ground on his knees, places his palms together as if praying, looks up to me, and for the first time since I knew him, the word ‘Please’ leaves his mouth; softly, tenderly, surely.
Then, every anger in my body melts away, as if his voice was the heat it had been waiting for all this time. All the pain leaves my bones and vanishes into the cold night. The fleece blanket suddenly becomes too heavy for my body, so I let it fall behind me as I make my way back into the car, next to Sherry, and whisper softly, “Drive.”