Till Death

The rain lashed at the earth with an unrelenting viciousness that she’d never seen before. She couldn’t see any stars as she looked mournfully outside her window. The sky was as black as her soul and as harsh as the world she’d lived in for the last decade. She rose slowly from the bed and stood at the window of her bedroom, staring outside. It was pitch black. The storm had disrupted electricity as usual. When she was younger, she thought it was ridiculous that the lights always went off when it rained. The darkness used to irritate her. With time, she realized it was not so bad. She actually enjoyed lying in bed, listening to the rain, curled up beneath her duvet, just thinking. But tonight she had asked the house boy not to turn the generator on. Tonight was not a night for thinking or cozying up in bed. She just couldn’t think, and there was nothing gentle about this rain. Was this part of God’s continuous punishment?

 The door opened but she didn’t turn. It was her husband. Half an hour earlier, she’d heard his car come up the driveway. He had taken his time coming upstairs. He always did that, as if he dreaded what awaited him in his own bedroom. After a few minutes of silence, she turned and searched for his face in the darkness. She made out his frame near the bathroom door. He was slowly taking off clothes that appeared soaked. Why hadn’t he taken them off downstairs, in the laundry room? Why walk up their carpeted stairs and into their carpeted bedroom with his soaking wet clothes? But she said nothing. For the last year, she barely complained, so afraid of pushing him further away. And he knew that. Why else would he come upstairs soaking wet when he knew it would irritate and annoy her, the clean freak she was. She watched as his silhouette stepped fully into the bathroom and strip down completely. She was sure he knew she was watching, which was why he left the door wide open. He knew she could see him despite the darkness. He was taunting her, taunting her with the body she still loved and needed. He grabbed a towel and slowly wiped his body down. At that point, she turned back towards the window and closed her eyes. She forced back tears, how had she gotten to this point? She had everything! She had the man she had wanted and desired for years; a man who she loved him with every bone and fiber in her being. She placed her head on the window and stifled a sob. This was the life she had dreamed of. She had the man, who had a solid job, made millions like money grew on trees. She had her own great business and her dream cars.  That’s what it was, wasn’t it? All a dream.
Ten minutes passed and he still hadn’t said a word to her. And she knew he wasn’t going to. He would get into bed, turn his back to her and fall asleep, as he did every night. She turned around, and then was startled. He was getting dressed again. She felt around her dresser, pulled out candles and lit them. The glow of the candles illuminated his face. He looked tired and drained, so where was he going to?
“Sean? It’s almost midnight,” she said softly.
He sighed and glanced at her. His mouth opened but no words came out. Then he zipped his pants and walked towards the door.

“Sean? Sean?”
He stepped out the door and closed it behind him before she could reach it. She yanked it open.
“Sean! Damn it! Are you leaving me? What is this? Sean!” she screamed.
She couldn’t see much, the hallway was darker but she knew her home like the back of her hand. She ran after him, barely hearing his footsteps on the carpeted floor.
“Sean!” she screamed again.
“For God’s sakes, Hana, go back to bed, now!”
“No, no, Sean, I can’t let you leave. God please, no, please, let’s talk, please.”
She paused at the top of the stairs sobbing uncontrollably.
“It’s too late for talk, Hana. I’ll be back in the morning. I just don’t want to be here tonight.”
She lunged forward in the dark and her hands grazed his shoulder but she couldn’t grip. Her eyes finally adjusted to the darkness and she saw him at the bottom of the stairs. It was now or never.
“This has never been your fault. I lied to you, I’ve been lying to you. I’ve had five abortions, that’s why we can’t have children. This is my fault! Damn it, listen to me, please. Don’t walk away!”