The Bride Wore Blood – A lady dangerous.
Collecting – A lady lost.
Looking For Squirrels – A lady freed.
OK – A lady controlled.
Neglected – A lady in control.
The Bride Wore Blood
A Lady Dangerous
“You’re crazy.” Her words still echoed in my mind and every time I heard them they sawed deeper into my heart. Every new hearing brought more blood, leaking from the woman he loved, until I collapsed. A wreck. A wonderful wedding wreck.
Heartbreak was exhausting. I’d run marathons, and I wasn’t shy of the gym, so you’d think endurance was my strong point, but I’d been shattered, from my only source of vulnerability. She had caved in my chest, and carved my beating heart to ribbons, decorating herself in the remains of my dignity, and staining my perfectly picked dress beyond recognition.
I looked up, helpless at my husband, as the night slipped away and the fantasy we had built was unmasked as nothing more than a a pitied game of pretend. He said nothing, as if I wasn’t owed an explanation, and her body simply belonged with his.
I was disgusted, dropped from the cloud I’d been perched on for as long as I’d known him. My very own prince charming, introduced by the woman who would eventually steal him back, and where did this leave me? Floor bound and forgotten.
It was the lie that did it. The lie picked up the knife and plunged it into the happy bubble I had made my home. The knife dripped with my tears, drowned in my desolate destruction, and all they could do is insist I’d got it wrong.
Even in the last moments of my happiness, they could not give me the decency of the truth.
Of course, they didn’t mean to hurt me. Of course, they didn’t even know what I was saying. Of course, they denied it. Of course, he promised I was the only one he loved. Of course, despite saying that, he still fought for her life, as if she were me. Blood, leaking from the woman he loved, and the woman I could never be. Of course, I was crazy.
Crazy. Crazy. Crazy.
She said that I was crazy. She pushed me away, running in her cheap heels and torn dress as I followed. Crazy, she said. Sure, I’m crazy. That’s convenient. She threw her phone at me, pleading with me to look, but I didn’t need to lose myself in more of her lies.
Crazy. She had the audacity to call me crazy.
That’s what they’ll say, you know. Crazy. Crazy. Crazy, but I know the truth.
Guilty minds leak details, and guilty hands feel cold as ice.
So do dead ones.
A Lady Lost
Chrissy let out a heavy sigh as her latest lover collapsed on top of her with great force, he groaned a little before rolling over and closing his eyes. She pulled the duvet around her and put an arm over his warm body, exhaustion was a powerful thing and allowed her to have this strange man under her control.
“Your thoughts?” She asked taking his hand in her own and squeezing it gently, she often had random bursts of affection for her men after the deed was done, even if she didn’t find him all that attractive. She simply couldn’t help herself, a wild and uncontrollable rush of happiness filled her and all she wanted to do was lay in his arms and pretend they loved each other. It was called making love for a reason, every time she participated she created at least a few minutes of genuine love for her companion.
“Good.” He replied as he pushed her hand away, she grabbed his again and pushed her body closer to his. Her lips found their way onto his ear and she kissed it with intense passion, she thought he’d at least be grateful but he simply pushed her away again.
“What’s wrong?” She asked sounding and feeling a little hurt, she rest a hand on his waist and leaned closer again. He turned to her and opened his eyes a fraction, she stared intently into them and smiled.
“Look Carrie.” He began, her smile remained intact but seemed a little forced.
“It’s Chrissy.” She reminded him before shoving him affectionately. He didn’t return the affection when he replied.
“I’m tired so just give it a rest.” Her face fell and she felt the tears approaching, she tried her best to fight them as she knew crying was the worst sign of weakness. A few simple tears would show him who she really was and that couldn’t happen.
“Sure.” She said as he turned onto his side and she lay on her back staring at the ceiling, she hadn’t intended for things to end like this. She never did. He was supposed to hold her and tell her she was beautiful, he was supposed to kiss her endlessly until she fell asleep, he was supposed to remind her of all the reasons why he was attracted to her. Of course he did none of these things and simply fell into a deep sleep beside her.
She rolled onto her side and took a good look at him. He was presentable at best, not exactly her future husband but he was decent at least. His hair fell past his strong shoulders and fanned against the pillow, it was cute but perhaps she’d like him to get it trimmed. One thing she definitely liked was his slight tan, a healthy tan was always her favourite part of a man, also tattoos. She spotted one on his lower back and slid under the covers to take a closer look.
“Stephanie.” She read aloud in a hushed voice as she traced along the elaborate lettering with her fingertip. Wonderful. She thought to herself feeling the tears return, she had picked up yet another married man. This had to stop.
Looking For Squirrels
A Lady Freed
I lay in bed staring up at the ceiling as the noise of the house began to simmer down. My mother was sleeping and my little brother at a friend’s for the night. There was only the light purr of the cat across the room and my father’s padding feet travelling up the stairs left to be heard. I closed my eyes and thought about what my day had been like, pretty normal with just a hint of excitement. My best friend Jamie and I had gone to the woods after school to look for squirrels. We gave up looking after about ten minutes as little children often did. At the age of seven you don’t have much patience, not even for something as wonderful as squirrels.
Jamie and I had been friends since first grade and told each other everything. Almost everything. We had sat deep in discussion for about half an hour about nothing of great importance, just the usual subjects. Music, television and how icky boys were. Secrets were shared on her part and I fed her lies to replace the secrets she hungered for.
I had a secret, but I knew she wouldn’t understand. She wouldn’t believe me. She’d think I was a slut. Sometimes, I thought I was a slut.
I thought about my wedding. I often did that when I should have been sleeping but couldn’t. I wanted a dress, like all the ones in the magazines. White and full of the promise of a future I’d never have to dream my way out of. It would be a chance to start again. Trade my name for something new, and be truly loved, just like in the movies.
I heard the door of my bedroom slowly creak open and was dragged from my dreaming. I tried to hold on by closing my eyes and running back to the church. I held my breath and hoped I would die. I felt his hand on the body he was too big for, and I knew the dream was dead.
I pulled the blankets up over my head as the lights flickered on. This couldn’t happen tonight. I had gone a whole day without thinking about it and felt nothing but air on my skin, and the innocent blades of grass. I curled my body up until I thought it would break, and I ran from the church, and the future I wanted, to the forest, for the squirrels I’d seek sanctuary with.
“Come on, wake up.” The forest began to burn around me, and I heard the desperate screams of the angry, attacked animals. Mine were silenced by a huge hand across my lips. We burned together, huddled in our helplessness and thrashing against the cruel, scorching flames. I closed my eyes, but was tortured by the bright, endless stream of light, determined to leak past my eyelids and blind me.
I prayed. I wept. I ran and I ran, until all I could do was grab the nearest object and swing. Swing for my life. The flames engulfed me, and the world was so still, in it’s destruction, as if every part of the cosmos had taken a half day to watch me finally defeated, but I was strong, for someone so small, and I was wide awake, fighting for my life. They’d have to understand. They’d have to believe me. They’d have to think I just did what anyone would do. I just did what anyone would do.
I opened my eyes, and my lamp had been broken, and the fire, finally put out, and put down, fell to the ground, leaving me free, in the forest, to search for squirrels, once more.
A Lady Controlled
I tried to hate him, I tried harder than I’ve ever tried at anything to hate that man. As I lay alone with nothing but a bathrobe and a small blanket for comfort I tried again. I closed my eyes and visualised his soft, gentle hands on her body and bit my lip to stop myself from wailing in agony. It hurt to think about them together, not psychical pain but emotional. When I thought about them I just wanted to cry.
I’m sure she has some kind of disease, which explains why he did it. It was probably just out of pity, it might have been her last time. Again I’m making excuses for him and I know I shouldn’t. They aren’t even good excuses. They don’t even make sense. He wouldn’t make excuses for me if I had done that to him, I like to pretend he would but I know he wouldn’t.
I didn’t see them, I didn’t have to because he told me. He said he was awfully sorry and that it wouldn’t happen again so I just nodded and carried on preparing breakfast. It was her job to do breakfast, she’s the maid so should have been busy but I’d imagine she was upstairs in bed. Our bed. I heard them the night before as I came in from drinks with a friend and decided to sleep on the sofa downstairs. I didn’t want to walk in and see them because that would make it real so I stayed downstairs and pretended.
After breakfast I played outside with the children for a few minutes before leaving them with the nanny so she could take them to school while I went to work. “Are you okay Madam?” She asked after sending the children to go and get their coats. I nodded and she nodded back at me. “I’m sorry.” She said quietly, I smiled in thanks and walked towards the car with my handbag on my shoulder, wondering who else knew about my husband’s blatant indiscretions. Rachel, our nanny, was the closest thing I had to a friend, and I was certain she was only my friend because we paid her.
I kept it together for the entire day, I stayed quiet at the office and kept to myself as usual. David would have been pleased. For a man who socialised with any woman who took his fancy, he had a lot of ideas of who I should be talking to. Namely, nobody but those in our isolated existence. My work wasn’t even mine. I had always been aware that he had set up my job with a friend, and that I was constantly being watched. Sometimes, I wasn’t even sure what my workplace purpose was. He probably just wanted me out of the house, so he could have more time with whoever he liked this week.
We all ate together that night, David sat at one end of the table and I at the other, the children sat together on one side and Rachel sat on the other. Mary had dinner in her bedroom because she was ill. I spat in her soup.
It was when the children went to bed that things got worse, David went up to check on Mary and Rachel went to read the children a story. I just sat in the kitchen looking into space not knowing what to do with myself. It had occurred to me during my dull work day of doing nothing but staying out of my husband’s way that beyond staying out of my husband’s way, I didn’t actually do anything. I had no friends. I had no hobbies. I only played with the children to give David some space.
After a few minutes of soaking in existential despair, I walked, almost robotic to my bedroom, fully aware of my husband’s voice behind Mary’s door, but also fully aware that I’d be doing absolutely nothing about it.
David’s tie was lying on the foot of the bed, I pushed it to the floor and began removing my clothes. I stood in front of the mirror in nothing but my underwear and took a moment to evaluate myself. I was acceptable. I always had been. More than that, I was beautiful. In my pain, and his rejection, I was beautiful. I took a moment to fantasise about a future without David. Taking the children to school myself, getting to know the mother’s at the gate, getting to know myself, maybe finding someone new, or not, it didn’t matter, just as long as he wasn’t there.
I took my bathrobe from the top of the door and wrapped it around myself, squashing the flames of my rebellion. The bed, as treacherous as it had been for keeping secrets, welcomed me and I wrapped myself up in the duvet.
I heard footsteps approaching and closed my eyes, desperate to escape, or even to find the bravery to consider the idea. “Kate.” David called as he pushed open the door, I didn’t open my eyes and simply lay still, unable to face him. “Kate are you sleeping?” I stirred slightly but kept my eyes firmly shut, I couldn’t bare to look at him.
“No.” I felt the bed dip a little as he laid upon the bed next to me, his breath was warm against my skin and his hand crept up my leg and under my bathrobe. I didn’t push it away because it was all I wanted. I wanted him to hold me so desperately, despite my earlier desperation for anything but.
“I’ll always love you Kate.”
I opened my eyes and laid in silence for a few moments. “Ok.”
I suppose it hurt his feelings when I ignored him, I just couldn’t handle telling him I loved him back. I did and we both knew that but he didn’t deserve to hear it from my lips. I rolled over and fell asleep hoping I would wake up from the nightmare the next day and it would simply have been a dream.
I awoke the next day with his arms around me, Mary was gone and everything seemed back to normal. He had made his choice and I suppose his decision was final, for a whole day all I wanted was for Mary to be gone so I had David all to myself but now I wished she had kept him. I didn’t want to be trapped any longer. If it wasn’t her, it would be someone else, and I’d be sat in that God forsaken house, screaming at the walls and my own lack of a spine.
I sat up in bed and heard his voice, it was hushed but just about audible. “I love you Kate.”
“Ok.” I said quietly as I took a step off the bed towards my old life.
A Lady In Control
“What have you gotten into this time?” He smirked at the voice as he opened his eyes and delicate fingers ran through his hair. “Or what have you gotten me into, princess.” He sank back into the pillows, thankful for the mercy of a comfortable bed, and noticed the restraints on his wrists. “You have been thorough, my love.” He whispered, trying to mask the pride and arousal in his voice as he looked up at his lover, a sweet smile spreading across her delicious, painted lips.
“I wanted to play.” Her sing song voice sent chills down his spine, and straight into his groin, as she fiddled with the bow that adorned the front of her dress. “You were being difficult.” He had been initially apprehensive of his girlfriend’s desire to take the lead in the bedroom, but he had to admit, he was enjoying what she had to offer so far. “But here you are.” Here he was, and he admired the effort she had gone to.
“My sweetheart always gets what she wants.” He muttered, aching for what lay under her clothes.
“You’ve been very bad.” She knelt on the bed beside him, her fingers still lost in his hair, pulling it slightly. “Bad, bad boy.” She released her grip on his hair and reached for the zip of his trousers, his whole body desperate for more.
“Anything you say.” He said, with the hint of a moan as she began sliding them down his legs, tortuously slowly.
“You promised me…” She whispered, playfully snaking a fingertip across the fabric of his underwear. He nodded, closing his eyes, with a smirk. She began rubbing his erection through his underwear, and he groaned in pleasure, wanting even more to touch her. “You said I could have whatever I want.” She said suddenly, removing her hand. He groaned in protest and opened his eyes.
“How am I meant to do that when I’m all tied up?” It seemed a reasonable question, but she pouted nonetheless, hitching up her dress to reveal what he desired most, covered in black lace. “Please, stop teasing me.” His voice was low and throaty, as his tongue ran over his bottom lip, and he pulled, in vain at his restraints.
“No.” She replied bluntly, removing the dress completely, to reveal even more lace covering even more things he desired. He groaned, fighting once more against the rope that bound his wrists, and crying out slightly as the ropes burned at his skin. “Bad boy.” She whispered, ripping open his shirt, with a surprising amount of ease. “You never get what you want.” She sunk down into his now naked chest, her soft hair tickling against his neck, as she ran her fingers up and down his erection. “Do you?” Her touching teases were driving him insane, but the intimacy of it all soothed him.
“Please?” She shook her head with a smile, releasing him suddenly and sauntering off the bed and out of the room. He sighed, watching her leave. “That girl of mine…”
© Jennifer Juan 2017