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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.


July 05, 2020 13:47

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193 comments

Catherine Stevens
06:21 Jul 07, 2020

Wow, the story is so sad. But you made it so we see the humanity in the abuser too, seeing how he doesn't want to hurt her because he loves her just not enough to stop the abuse. Very good it kept me riveted through the whole story

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Batool Hussain
08:19 Jul 07, 2020

Thank you

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Ajay B
01:09 Jul 07, 2020

What a powerful narration! As much as I hoped the husband would stop being a monster, it was just all a part of the cycle of which Zita no longer wanted to be a part. Seeing it from the husband's POV was an interesting way to move the story along, especially when he seemed to place blame at Zita's feet as well. He recognized he was vicious, but couldn't or refused do anything about it. I felt horrible for Zita; she must've felt that was the only way to end the abuse. At least the husband can no longer be a monster to Zita. I am loo...

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Batool Hussain
05:27 Jul 07, 2020

Thank you so very much for your kind words. I'm glad you were able to put yourself in the narrator's as well as Zita's shoes. Looking forward to reading more of your works too! ;)

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נιмму 🤎
22:19 Jul 06, 2020

woahhh I'm shoook! That was really good but sad, and I didn't expect that ending! You really know how to turn a simple prompt into a fantastic heartfelt story! Job well done :D <3

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Batool Hussain
05:25 Jul 07, 2020

Thank you so very much

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Ken Coomes
21:38 Jul 06, 2020

Why, why, why, why, why did I push like? I don't like what the husband did, I don't like what Zita did . . . I guess I pushed it because I like the way you told the story. It seems to me that you are making fewer mistakes, as well as telling a gripping tale. Nicely done! OK, already, I'll push the *$%() like button! ;>}

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Batool Hussain
05:22 Jul 07, 2020

Aww, thank you so very much for your comment, Ken! I'm glad that you pushed the like;)

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Y N
21:34 Jul 06, 2020

This was a really interesting story! :))

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Batool Hussain
05:21 Jul 07, 2020

Thanks;)

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Lindsey W
17:45 Jul 06, 2020

I like how you took the prompt and laid it into the story with all of Zita's questions about why her husband is like that! It was very creative, and I think it's interesting that you told it from the husband's perspective...Another one from Zita's POV would be really cool to read! Overall, a great story

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Batool Hussain
05:20 Jul 07, 2020

Thank you so very much for reading and enjoying it;)

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16:58 Jul 06, 2020

Wow! This story was really deep and meaningful, I love the emotions you conveyed to the reader! Well done!

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Batool Hussain
17:29 Jul 06, 2020

Thank you so very much.

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Yageen Faiz
16:44 Jul 06, 2020

OMG. that was...i am speechless. i love your writing, but why did she die at the end? i dont understand? and why does he do this to her?

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Batool Hussain
16:52 Jul 06, 2020

Thank you so much, Yageen. So glad that you liked it. She killed herself maybe because of being tired of her relationship. Maybe because of being tired of being scared of her husband. Maybe?! Also, I kind of tried to portray domestic abuse in this story, thus the narrator is kind of a monster. If you don't already know this is a kind of prequel to a story I posted earlier 'You and the train.' I would love it if you check it out and give your views on it. Stay safe;) And, thank you so much for checking my story out!

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Evelyn ⭐️
16:18 Jul 06, 2020

NOOOOOOOO!!!!! I am so sad that she dies!! The beginning and end were both filled with detail, and I could not stop reading!!! Another great story!

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Batool Hussain
16:27 Jul 06, 2020

Thank you so very much, Evelyn. Such a comment from a great author like you means a lot to me:)

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Evelyn ⭐️
16:48 Jul 06, 2020

Aww thank you so much! Your a great author too!!!

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Batool Hussain
16:53 Jul 06, 2020

;)

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Soji Asaye
15:09 Jul 06, 2020

I thinks it's great

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Batool Hussain
15:28 Jul 06, 2020

Thanks

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Felix Thorne
14:50 Jul 06, 2020

Woah... Really well written, thank you for also showing how terrifying domestic abuse can be. The "why's" were really well written and they flowed into it! Keep writing and take care of yourself!

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Batool Hussain
15:04 Jul 06, 2020

Thank you so very much. I love your feedback:) The why's were last minute addition:) Take care!

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Felix Thorne
13:32 Jul 08, 2020

You do?... Thank you ^^" Uhm I didn't want to ask before but I feel like I should now, not just for me but for others too, can you please add a trigger warning in the beginning? Sorry ^^"

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Batool Hussain
13:58 Jul 08, 2020

A trigger warning? ;)

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Felix Thorne
14:32 Jul 09, 2020

Yeah, for the abuse part ^^" Sorry

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Batool Hussain
05:56 Jul 10, 2020

Ohkay. Oh, problem;)

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Thotsuki Bakuhoe
14:07 Jul 06, 2020

This is an amazing story and I love it. It was so sad but a great story. I wasn't really expecting the ending. Overall it is a great story and I love it. Have a great day and stay safe.

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Batool Hussain
14:43 Jul 06, 2020

Thank you so very much for reading and your kind comment🌸 Stay safe

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P. Jean
11:40 Jul 06, 2020

Intense! Very well written. You hand me caring in just so few words. Feeling for them both!

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Batool Hussain
14:44 Jul 06, 2020

Thank you for your kind comment 🌸

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P. Jean
14:54 Jul 06, 2020

Creating feelings is a gift!

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Batool Hussain
15:05 Jul 06, 2020

It indeed is:)

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Anika !
10:54 Jul 06, 2020

really good

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Batool Hussain
14:44 Jul 06, 2020

Thanks

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Deborah Angevin
09:59 Jul 06, 2020

Incredible story, Batool! Very well-written; it attracts me to continue reading!

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Batool Hussain
14:44 Jul 06, 2020

Thank you so much

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Miles Gatling
08:49 Jul 06, 2020

In Gordon Ramsey's voice : it's incredible. Cheers!

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Batool Hussain
14:45 Jul 06, 2020

Thank you so much, Miles ! You made my day🌸

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Vimal Rao
08:33 Jul 06, 2020

Wow, nicely written. The continuity hooks the reader. Brilliant stuff.

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Batool Hussain
14:45 Jul 06, 2020

Thank you so much

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Audrey Winter
08:29 Jul 06, 2020

Great story! Your use of 2nd person POV feels natural and draws the reader in. Well done! I'm not too active here yet and I'd be very happy if you took a look at my other stories as well :)

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Batool Hussain
14:46 Jul 06, 2020

Thank you! And, sure;) I'll do so in a while

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Jen Park
08:08 Jul 06, 2020

Very sorry for being so late... I read your comment but I didn't have time to read your story. It caught my attention from the beginning and kept me reading from line to line. My favorite line was:"Her eyes were very unique shade of honey brown. " Most of the stories are written in the perspective of the victim, so I was very interested in your unique view. :) Also, I feel very bad for Zita!

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Batool Hussain
14:47 Jul 06, 2020

Thank you so much, Janey! There isn't anything happier for an author to see her readers feeling the emotions and getting lost in the story! I'm so glad you enjoyed it;)

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Verda H
05:57 Jul 06, 2020

Suspenseful and intriguing. Loved it

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Batool Hussain
05:58 Jul 06, 2020

Thank you.

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