192 comments

Submitted on 07/05/2020

Categories: General

You are busy finishing your caramel apple when you see her. Her long, blond hair is being whipped into a frenzy by the wind. Her eyes are a very unique shade of honey brown. Peeking out from her flat denim jacket is the prettiest striped suit you’ve ever seen. She catches you looking at her. A mischievous smile plays across her plump lips. It is, definitely, love at first sight.


After a year of tremendous convincing for your parents, you get married to her. ‘The perfect match' your friends call you. What they don’t know is that neither of you is perfect. Despite being fiercely in love with each other, both of you have your differences. Every night there is a fight, a fight that leads to Zita breaking into tears. A fight that leads to her leaving your house. A fight that leads to her threatening you to tell everyone your secret. Your secret -- a secret nobody knows about, except for Zita. ‘I’ll kill her.’ Every night you make a vow to yourself. ‘I won’t.’ Every morning you break it. 


It has been three years and a few months since the two of you got married but Zita hasn’t gotten any better.


Why? Why? Why? Why? Why? Why is she like this?


The words are always hard for her – not quite a stutter, more like each syllable is a stone she has to bring forth. You are sitting at the table waiting for your breakfast to arrive. ‘Useless' your mum calls you. You don’t even know how to make your own stupid breakfast. You bark, telling Zita to bring your breakfast or else you’ll go to the office without having any. Scared steps approach you. There is a clink of a glass and then…"NOT AGAIN!!!” you shout. She has dropped breakfast all over your clothes. Without giving a second thought, you slap her. You grab her hair and drag her all the way up to the attic. You hit her again and again and again until she passes out. 


You've always been angry-- at the world, at your parents, at life. Zita, being so close to you, begins to bear the brunt of your anger. W-why? W-why? W-why? W-why? W-why? Why do you do this?


You return from the office but Zita is not at her usual place: the kitchen. You knock your room's door and enter without waiting for her to answer. Ah, there she is. Her left eye is swollen. Her lower lip split open and there is a scar from her right eye to her left ear. That’s what you did to her. All for mishandling your breakfast? “I’m sorry,” you begin with your everyday apology. And just like every day, she forgives you with all her heart.


New day. New fight. She wants to go to parties with you. You refuse. She insists, forgetting that you aren’t one of those husbands who let their typical wives take control over them. Your first instinct is to ignore her. But, out of habit you push her, you slap her until she screams. Until she begs you, promises you that she won’t ask for going with you ever again. 


Why? Why? Why? Why? Why? Why can't she go with you?


In the evening, you return home to find the air filled with a tantalizing aroma, warm as newly baked bread hot from the oven, -- to your surprise, it’s the Doughnuts. She has done it again. You throw away your office bag, undo your tie, lie down on the sofa and close your eyes. Suddenly, you feel soft, warm hands taking off your socks. Out of the corner of your slightly opened eyes, you see Zita. She is moving in feverish haste, anxious to get going. You get up and cast her one of ‘your looks.’ She smiles a weak smile in return and quickly leaves the room. You are gobbling your fifth doughnut when something comes rushing into your mind. She didn’t make those just out of love for you. It’s your fourth wedding anniversary. Ugh...you forgot it. Again! 


W-why? W-why? W-why? W-why? W-why? Why did you forget it?


You enter your room just to find it decorated with rosemary and Jasmine. This is definitely a punch in the gut for you. Not only did you forget such an important occasion but you also forgot to bring her a gift. You approach Zita but this time with small, calculated steps. She is crying. The mascara on her eyes is smeared. She is wearing nothing on her face except for the weak smile which she puts up when she sees you approaching. You take her hands in yours. To your surprise, they are cold and trembling. You look straight into her eyes and realize just how scared she is…of you. No, not you. She’s scared of the monster in you.

Ashamed, you get up and leave the room.


Why? Why? Why? Why? Why? Why are you such a monster?


The next day you buy a ring for her. A ring so beautifully embedded with diamonds. Zita would definitely love it, you think. “Eight hundred dollars, please.” Quickly, you handover the handsome amount to the shop owner. The money is nothing as compared to the love you’ve for Zita(apparently).


While driving, your phone is constantly buzzing on your car's dashboard. You ignore the calls thinking it’s just Zita to ask why have you been late. While waiting at the traffic signal you get a chance to have a look at your phone. It’s June, your neighbor. There are not one, not two but four missed calls from her side. You call her back and it is at that moment when the traffic signal turns green. Honk. Honk. The number you’ve dialed is not responding at the moment. Please try again later. Thank you. Honk. Honk. The number you’ve dialed is not responding at the moment. Please try again later. Thank you. Honk. Honk. 


Shit. Shit. Shit. Shit. Shit... You even lose the count of how many times you say that word. 


Your phone is ringing again. It’s thankfully, June.

'Hello?'

'Hey, everything good?'

'No, it’s…its Zita.'

'What about her?'

'She’s…she’s dying. She just won't let me take her to the hospital.'


Dying. Dying. Dying. Dying. Dying. Dying. Dying. Dying.


You know how when you’re driving and skid on ice or just avoid hitting the deer, you find yourself with your heart racing and your hands shaking and your blood went to ice. That’s what June's words have done to you.


Why? Why? Why? Why? Why? is all you can think.


Once you reach home, you get out of your car without even closing the door.

“Zita! Zita?"


You’ve checked your room. The bathroom. The dining hall. The garage. The courtyard. The attic… no, you didn’t check the attic. Once at the attic, you search frantically for her. There she is. You take her hand in yours. “Why? Why did you do this?” A weak smile blossoms across Zita's dying face. “ I – I love yo—you but I must gg -- go” “No, no, please. Don’t do this to me. What have you done? Why did you do this?” But, this time she doesn’t reply. Her eyes roll into their sockets, white and blind. And, all you are left with is a dead Zita.


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192 comments

Rhondalise Mitza
14:24 Jul 05, 2020

Hey, this one made me sad but your writing as always is wonderful. I think most of your other comments have the same feedback I’d give so what I’ll say is (and this is random but oh well) that instead of plump lips I’d say full lips. 👄

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Batool Hussain
14:27 Jul 05, 2020

Thank you Rhondalise for reading and giving feedback. My stories, one way or the other have a happy ending so I thought of venturing something different this time. And, yes I'll change the adjective right away. Thanks.

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Niveeidha P
06:39 Jul 07, 2020

The ending was extremely touching! I felt so bad for Zita! I loved how you conveyed this story in second-person. It was certainly unique! Also, I felt that you put in too many italics in this. One more thing: Probably, you would have made it easier to read if you didn't really repeat words too many times. I hope you don't feel offended, I was just trying to help you. Other than that, this story was amazing and really captivated me to read it!

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Batool Hussain
08:12 Jul 07, 2020

Thank you so very much for your constructive feedback! Much appreciated;)

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Niveeidha P
09:33 Jul 07, 2020

No problem Batool, glad to encourage another writer!

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Zilla Babbitt
22:39 Jul 07, 2020

You asked me to read awhile back, so here I am. Very interesting! I love the perspective. Most stories would go for Zita's perspective but I love the switch. I also like the repetition of words as a literary tool. I know Niveeidha said she didn't like it that much but I thought it was done pretty well. And the way the protagonist keeps tormenting her, even though he knows it's wrong, is just pretty... scary... and scarily well done. A few things: One, I probably wouldn't start with the intro describing Zita. Just say boom, you're married...

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Batool Hussain
04:39 Jul 08, 2020

Thank you so very much, Zilla! Such a comment coming from a great author like you means a lot ;)

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Zilla Babbitt
15:10 Jul 08, 2020

You're welcome!

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Emma Lin
21:26 Jul 07, 2020

Whoa Batool. The story was powerful and touching on many levels! I am kinda of a sucker for happy endings :( I was actually ok with the repeating on certain words. I felt it conveyed the guy's mentality and feelings for the moment.

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Batool Hussain
04:37 Jul 08, 2020

Aww, actually all of my stories have kind of a happy ending. Thus, I tried to venture something different this time. So so so glad that you liked it!

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Emma Lin
12:53 Jul 08, 2020

Nah it’s cool :)

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Deborah Mercer
06:39 Jul 09, 2020

Hi, Batool, feedback as promised. I applaud your courage in picking a narrator for whom, instinctively, nobody will have much sympathy, and for not denying him his humanity whilst never leaving us in any doubt that his actions are horribly wrong. I would also say that I rather like the word repetition as it points to the narrator's obsessive personality.

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Batool Hussain
06:57 Jul 09, 2020

Thank you so very much, Deborah

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Yusra Lateef
12:09 Jul 08, 2020

Best......keepit up 👏👏👏👏

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Batool Hussain
12:16 Jul 08, 2020

Thank you!!

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Madhurima Giri
16:39 Jul 05, 2020

Honestly, the story made me a little sad that she dies, It was beautifully written, though I felt you could have elaborated a little more on both their emotions. That is just my thought though.

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Batool Hussain
16:40 Jul 05, 2020

Thank you for the feedback!

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16:38 Jul 05, 2020

At last Zita has had her revenge! Yes, especially since he is also in love with her, it makes sense to end her character this way and it has a lasting impact on the reader's mind. The story moves fast and the conversations are good. Double like!

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Batool Hussain
16:39 Jul 05, 2020

Aww.. Thank you so much. You won't believe how happy your comment has made me:)

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16:40 Jul 05, 2020

Welcome Batool.

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Batool Hussain
16:41 Jul 05, 2020

Also, if you enjoyed give it a like please;) Don't mind!

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20:20 Jul 05, 2020

I did, just now. This board is still new to me.

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Batool Hussain
04:36 Jul 06, 2020

Thanks.

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Alka Sharma
14:00 Jul 12, 2020

It is a mind-blowing story and it really created hatred for the husband and symapthy for the wife. The choice of words is excellent, vocabulary is fantastic , language is ornamental.... superb

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Batool Hussain
14:02 Jul 12, 2020

Thank you:)

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Shivani Manocha
11:35 Jul 11, 2020

Hey! I am new to Reedsy and reading such great stories really makes me happy (although the story in itself was sad) Your words have the power to represent a topic (which has been discussed in quite a few stories) in an altogether new way.

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Batool Hussain
11:44 Jul 11, 2020

Thank you so very much, Shivani! Your words have brighten up my otherwise gloomy day;) Welcome to Reedsy!

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Shivani Manocha
18:09 Jul 11, 2020

Thank you. Looking forward to writing and reading many more stories.

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Christopher G
00:26 Jul 10, 2020

Very detailed and enthralling. You capture the day-to-day struggles of many married couples well. What a tragic ending, though!

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Batool Hussain
06:03 Jul 10, 2020

Thank you so very much! Your feedback is much appreciated:)

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Lata B
14:46 Jul 09, 2020

Aw I feel so bad for Zita! This was so sad!! You did a amazing job with this story!

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Batool Hussain
15:32 Jul 09, 2020

Thank you so much

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Sam Kirk
14:18 Jul 09, 2020

The tempo was great. You built the suspense very when. The repetition of "why?" was a great addition.

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Batool Hussain
14:23 Jul 09, 2020

Thanks:)

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Deborah Mercer
07:11 Jul 09, 2020

If I have posted this twice, sorry, I'll delete, but it didn't seem to "take"! As requested, commenting on your story and happy to have read it. I think it was a very brave choice to have a narrator who is such an unsympathetic character. You make it plain his actions can't be condoned, yet still don't deny his humanity. Personally I think the repetition works well as it points to his obsessive state of mind.

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Batool Hussain
09:12 Jul 09, 2020

Thank you! Yes, you did post it twice. But, I don't mind;) Who would actually? *_*

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19:51 Jul 07, 2020

I really like the overall premise of the story. The imagery is also well thought out. I would reexamine some of your word-formations within certain sentences. I.E. "he jumped out of the car" as opposed to "he jumped off the car". It felt rushed, try to add more details...I.E. Things around the characters...(this is a generalized example) wind, birds...the pounding of his heart, anxiety, blood rushing...etc...That's not to say that the fast pace of the overall story isn't warranted. I thought that fit in well with what was happening. Overall,...

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Batool Hussain
04:33 Jul 08, 2020

Thank you for the feedback!

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04:51 Jul 08, 2020

No problem at all. I would be glad to help with anything you need. And I will always be as constructive as possible.

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Maha K
18:42 Jul 07, 2020

woahhhh, that was emotional!! Definitely want more of this story.

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Batool Hussain
04:33 Jul 08, 2020

Thanks;)

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Tim Law
11:16 Jul 07, 2020

How sad. Such a powerful story. Domestic Violence is a serious issue that does play out behind so many closed doors. Thanks for bringing this to the forefront for us to see and know and discuss.

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Batool Hussain
11:18 Jul 07, 2020

Thanks, Tim! Your comment is much appreciated;)

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Daryl Gravesande
11:10 Jul 07, 2020

Woah! That ending got me, I think I shed a tear, lol. But GREAT story! I'm definitely adding it to my collection!

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Batool Hussain
11:14 Jul 07, 2020

Hehe, thanks Daryl;)

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Daryl Gravesande
15:58 Jul 08, 2020

No probbb!

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07:10 Jul 07, 2020

Wow. This story is so intense. And second person makes it that much more. Good job 👏🏼 poor Zita

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Batool Hussain
08:06 Jul 07, 2020

Thank you a much, Sarah;)

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Eric Smiley
07:08 Jul 07, 2020

Dead Zita I hold you, Batool, responsible for this. Zita is too submissive for Mr Why why why. Could have had a bit more description of what I guess is the suicide scene. Rope, blade etc. I cared about Deadzita

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Batool Hussain
08:10 Jul 07, 2020

Thanks for the feedback, Eric🌼

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