I met him at a local pub.
I preferred his friend.
He asked for my number, which I didn’t want to give.
He was tall, dark and handsome, but loud.
He wouldn’t give up, trying to charm me.
So I gave him my number.
We arranged a date.
It was a mild September evening.
He made me laugh, we had chemistry.
A lot of chemistry.
Too soon, I moved in with him.
His Father had just died.
He was sad, and my heart ached for him.
He needed me, and I loved him more.
He started to have outbursts.
He cried, he raged. He was so afraid of failing.
Once he locked himself in the bedroom.
I could hear him muttering to himself.
“I’m all by myself. Nobody loves me”
Over and over again.
I was scared, I called his friends.
They stood outside the door, unsure.
But they were there,
and it was enough.
After a while, I became the source of his anger.
His dinner wasn’t ready, his shirt wasn’t perfectly laundered.
He shouted right in my face,
He burnt my lip with his cigarette.
Afterwards, he was always so contrite.
He cried, he pleaded, I softened.
We became engaged, although even then I knew,
that we would never marry.
The punches began, the locking me in the bedroom.
I threatened to leave, he threatened to kill me.
I lived on constant alert.
Then one day we argued,
he took a knife and stabbed me with it.
In the arm, leg and stomach.
Then he took me to casualty,
begging me not to tell.
I didn’t – I lied to the nurse.
She looked at me, unbelieving.
I knew that she knew.
I forgave him yet again.
This was crazy, I know that now.
But he had made me crazy,
and I had let him.
Life went on, up and down.
I learnt how not to enrage him,
how to appease him.
Then we had a child,
a beautiful and perfect daughter.
He was so proud,
I thought it would change him.
She was eight weeks old when it happened.
He had fallen asleep on the sofa,
and blamed me for not waking him.
I asked him to be quiet, because of the baby.
So he shouted, right up close to her terrified, infant face.
“It’s NOT MY FAULT!!”
He was very fond of saying that.
As soon as he left for work the next day,
We left him.