This is just something I’m playing with. Dunno if I’ll finish it or not.
There are four hours a week, outside of my apartment, that are mine. Any other time I leave, I know he will try to have me watched. I can go to Seth’s, but he and Marla like their time alone. I can’t always hide over there. And I don’t trust anybody else.
And these hours…these are mine. Hours where I’m a little less afraid. Sooner or later, I suspect he will try to take these from me, too. He’s been more careful since the incidence with Seth, but I know that caution won’t last forever. I’m going to enjoy these precious bits of freedom as much as I can.
If only I could reach out and just grab life, let myself take my life back. I wish I could find the strength to change things, but every time I try to even think about it, the fear comes back and swallows me.
I’ll get there.
That’s what I tell myself.
For now, I make myself almost happy by doing things that I know would enrage him.
Like going out for pizza with Seth and Marla once a week. Hanging out at their place for a movie night, with the sound too loud and the windows open so the neighbor across the way can hear us laughing and talking.
Like my clothes and my haircut. My hair was black and thick and shiny and he’d loved it. Even when he wouldn’t touch me, he’d liked my hair, how it would hang straight as a razor nearly to my butt. Now it didn’t even reach my shoulders. Some days, I thought of getting it buzzed, but my hair had once been my vanity. I hated to cut it all over to spite him. The clothes had been the next rebellion and a step I wouldn’t have been able to take without Marla’s help.
Like the sketchbook…another rebellion. He’d hated the art that I’d found myself drawn to. This was my personal art, nothing I’d ever show to anybody. I’d shared it with him before we’d married and he’d told me how much he loved it, how he was proud of me and what a beautiful gift I had. But after the wedding…
My fingers shook as I clutched the pencil and I made myself stop thinking about it.
That wasn’t this life now.
It was the old life. The part that was no longer me. I was no longer that girl.
He couldn’t stop me from expressing myself in any way I chose. Maybe he could watch me. Maybe he could try to scare me and control me from afar.
But he could only stop me if I let him.
I wasn’t going to let him.
I was going to sit out here in the sunshine and study people and draw.
From under my lashes, I studied the man I’d first noticed about a month ago. He wasn’t always here. I didn’t like it when he wasn’t. Then again, I didn’t always like when he was. He was too intense. Too big. Too there. And he had a way about him that made me think he could be cruel.
But he caught my eye and no matter how hard I tried, I couldn’t look away. He reminded me of the men I’d been attracted to before. Back in that other life. Before my marriage. Back when I’d been young and stupid and dreaming of a guy who’d just…possess me. Take me over and draw me in.