“I can’t deal with this anymore.” Tevin held his head in defeat.
I knew the day would come that he would be fed up. It was only a matter of time and that time was up. Being selfish was nothing new to me. It would be selfish to ask him to fight harder, try harder, when I probably wouldn’t do the same for him. Lately I’d been spiraling, me, as Courtney. Bags became permanent fixtures under my eyes from the paranoia. I hadn’t had proper sleep in months, awaiting my demise. The precious giggles from the girls caused me to shutter. I watched their every movement; I’d even created a list of rules for the house. No sharp objects were to be kept in the rooms, no touching the stove, no cooking unless supervised, no knives in the house period. The list went on and got more absurd as new situations unfolded.
“I know that it’s hard baby, but if you just hold on a bit longer, I swear-“
“Do you hear yourself? I’ve been holding on. Every year you get worst and worst. Lauryn told me she saw you watching her last night. She’s afraid of you. They both are!”
If I told him I heard a thud coming from their room and snuck out of the bed to see what was happening, he wouldn’t have believed me. I’d be lying if I didn’t admit my first thought was that she was trying to get into the drawer where I locked the safety scissors. I imagined her opening our door and stabbing me repeatedly. By the time I got the courage to peek into their room, I saw her sleeping in the bed. I wanted to be sure she would stay there. She stirred at one point in the night, but I didn’t think she saw me. From my prospective, it made sense to stay in the corner until just before the morning alarm. Clearly it was irrational, however, I couldn’t decipher that in the moment.
“So what do you suggest?” I asked.
“Why can’t you just talk to me. Tell me what’s going on. I’ve never seen you this bad in all the years we’ve been together. I can’t tell you how I know, but I know there is something you are keeping from me.”
“Even if that were true, perhaps I can’t tell you for a reason. Perhaps I’m scared and I don’t know a way to fix what isn’t. Nothing has happened and yet I fear something will. Call it intuition.” I explained. “So again, I ask, what do you suggest?”
“I can’t help you. I don’t know who I’m even talking to. Are you my wife or are you one of those other people who terrorizes our home? I worry if you will be kind or spaz out. Are you going to treat the kids with love or are you going to make them wish they were anywhere else but here?”
“I don’t know what you want me to say.”
I walked around the bed to where Tevin sat. His shoulders were slumped over. My nerves had been so bad that when he dodged my loving hand on his back, I flinched. I could tell he didn’t expect my reaction and neither did I.
“I think you should go back to Hillbrooke. We are in over our heads and the girls aren’t safe with you here. I can handle you, but they are too young.”
“So that’s it? You don’t even care enough to fight me on this?” He huffed.
“Even if I did, it wouldn’t change your mind.”
He took a deep breath and let out a long sigh. My words may have hurt him but that doesn’t make them any less true. To be frank, I really was a danger to them as much they were to me. Hillbrooke was the best place to keep everyone safe, not to mention that I could gain some control over the personalities again.
“Only my wife would answer in such a way.”
Tev reached for my hand, pulling me into him. His head rested on my belly as I stroked the nape of his neck. We both realized the moment to be our last night together for an unforeseeable amount of time. ~
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