‘I don’t mean to sound trite,’ Melanie says.
I know her well. Even though she’s trying to appear calm and helpful, she’s seething. She has clear tells. Her left eye is twitching and the ring finger on her left hand shakes, ever so slightly.
There’s been a lot water under the bridge over the years. Though, most of it dammed against the wall of obstinance. We’re both too stubborn to give in, you see. And now the wall threatens to crumble. We’ll be drowned from the force of our stuffed-down emotions, allowed finally to flow.
She continues to speak, but her words sound like a drone hovering above my head. Vowels and consonants merge and mesh to form one distorted sound.
Unbidden, my thoughts turn dark, visceral. I am standing above her body. The knife I am holding is bloody; hers, after I tore open her gut from chest to pelvis. I sink my hands into the cavity and feel her organs. I pull on her colon like it’s a rope. It keeps coming until the squidgy mess of it is all around my feet, covering the floorboards.
‘Jim! Jim!’ Her voice is shrill; it snaps me from my disturbing day dream. Daymare. Yes, daymare might be a more appropriate term.
‘You haven’t listened to a word I say.’ She’s sulking now. That bottom lip and the dull, sullen stare make me want to wring her neck. Watching her face turn purple, imagining the redness from the pressure of my hands on her neck, brings a stirring in my groin.
Fear rises within me. I’m suddenly aghast and scared by where my mind has gone. ‘I gotta get outta here,’ I say, standing up. I brush down my trousers, as if they’re covered in her entrails, to detract her from noticing my growing hardness.
Too late. Her gaze rests right on it; her brow creases in confusion. For a second, just before I turn away, I think she might reach for me, unzip my pants, and our fight will end the way it always does. But then I move and she screeches, ‘Jim, you bastard. Come back!’
The door slams as I rush away. I’m terrified of what these thoughts mean. Our stoushes are passionate and volatile, but never violent. My mind has never wandered into such depravity. My brain is crowded with questions that have no answers. Is this normal? Do others have these dark thoughts about their partner?
I wander the streets for what seems like minutes, but when I return home, dusk has settled over the neighbourhood; its pink glow makes the house look as though it’s made of fairy floss. Reaching out to touch it, I pray those last moments inside this home were not a sign of horrors to come.
My best option is to bury my darkness, deep within. Lock it down in the filthy basement where it can never be disturbed and brought again to the surface.
Yes, that will work. Everything will be just fine.