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Creative Nonfiction

I had my eye on my partner early on, when we were both young. Even then I knew that one day I wanted to possess her, to own her totally, to be there for every part of the rest of her life.

I watched her at school. She was so happy and bright, took to anything she tried like a duck to water. She joined in everything that she had a chance to and represented the school in so many competitions of all sorts.

When she danced, her eyes shone and the blonde wavy bunches in her hair bounced and flapped around, with her green ribbons shaking in time with the steps. Her skirt flew around her thighs and her brown shoes clopped on the wooden floor of the halls where the dances were held. Sometimes I could see her white knickers and that excited me. I wanted to touch her, to know her all over, even then.

I saw her in her Brownie Guide uniform, out in the park enjoying nature activities and outdoor games. She loved being outside, exhilarating in the rush of physical effort in fresh air, then lazing with some fudge or a drink of orange squash for a while before heading home.

Sometimes she picnicked with her family, balancing on a nearby fallen tree trunk or playing hide and seek with her siblings. They were a close family and very wrapped up in each other, and had lots of friends and acquaintances too, so their lives were very full – too full to notice that I was hanging around watching for my chance with Fay.

Moving up to high school, she began to find things a bit tougher. I watched as she developed a figure and began to date boys at weekends. Oh, how I wanted her, but I had to wait and do things differently. I didn't want to be just another boyfriend. I wanted to take hold of everything that she was. I needed her to be weak so that I could hook her like a fisherman does a fish. Once I had done that, she would never be able to wiggle away unless I let her go. But I didn't intend to ever let her go.

If I had just gone and introduced myself to her in an ordinary way, or asked her for a date, I know she would have said no. I am not attractive. I can't pretend to be. I am a horrible character and I don't intend to change. I just want to have my victim and use her and abuse her and just let her live enough so that I can live too. Because I know that I can't live without her.

So back then, I kept myself very much in the background. I doubt she ever thought about me or knew my name.

I even boded my time when she chose to marry. I knew the marriage wouldn't last. Her husband was not subtle like me. He came undone when he eventually got so violent that he was jailed and she divorced him. People admired her for her strength and coping skills. At the same time that she moved away with their children for a new start, I did the same so that I could still hang around. I knew that my chance with her would come.

She was a great mother. Her children flourished under her care, growing healthy and strong then doing well at school. At home they laughed and played, had all the love and attention that they needed. They loved bedtime when they always read stories together. At weekends and school holidays they went to the park, just like she had when she was little. I still wanted her, and I wanted her all to myself.

Then I saw my chance. They'd come back from a fantastic holiday in Cumbria, hill walking and lake swimming. I stayed in the same hotel, watching her making friends with other holidaymakers, and generally having a wonderful time there. Some of them travelled part way back with her when the holiday was over, and they sang together in the train.

Coming back to the ordinariness of the house after the holiday high made her feel a bit flat, but life went on and it was as good as ever. Until she succumbed to a bout of flu. Not a big deal, although it did last for several weeks. Then once she was better, and getting back to normal, I stepped up and asked her would she like to go dancing with me. There was a ballroom dance class beginning in the town and I knew that it was something that she wanted to do, and that she didn't have a partner. So, despite my not being exactly partner material in any other sense, she took the opportunity offered as the chance to fulfil a dream.

She was a fabulous dancer. As she jived, her ponytail bobbed just like her bunches used to do, even if she no longer had the green ribbons. She picked up the steps for the cha cha cha instantly and could do it at full speed, not having to make do with the slowed down music that was used for teaching the dance.

She loved the waltz the most. As she glided around the room with me, she confided that she imagined a huge mirror ball above, and chandeliers all around, and that she wasn't wearing her jeans, but a wonderful ballgown, all full flounces and sequins, and satin slippers, with diamonds in her hair, and that I was in a suit with a buttonhole. I acquiesced to the romance and used it to the full to make her imagine that it was more and more real. She began to allow me to know her better as we danced, and I began to drain the energy from her as I drank in her spirit, like a vampire drinks blood. She was too wrapped up in the dance to notice my gradual invasion, and she got used to me and didn't notice my ugliness any more. And she collapsed on the dance floor. I went home with her and stayed with her, in her bed, in her body. She was too weak to resist, and I had become a part of her.

She never went ballroom dancing again. I stayed with her all the time and she could not do anything at all without me there too. I took her attention more and more away from her children. She tried to resist me but I was too strong. She loved them intensely and she learned to hate me, but she could not make me leave her life. Her daughter needed her, and she was unable to fill the need any more. Her son needed her, and she could not satisfy him either. She cried. She begged me to go. She wanted to kill me, but I knew that eventually it would be the other way round, but slowly, slowly, since I wanted us to live together for as long as we were able to. The more she resisted, the weaker it made her and the more power I had over her.

So she learned to put up with me, mostly. I let her do a few things just to keep her spirits up enough to not let her life go completely, as she was sometimes tempted to do. She helped the children survive and grow up somehow, and they left home to make their own lives. Sometimes she did more for herself than I wanted her to, and I soon forced her attention back to me again. Sometimes she thought that if she ignored me I would disappear, but that was just wishful thinking on her part. I had waited for so long, nothing was going to make me leave her. Sometimes I weakened a little, just enough to let her think that she was in control, but I was just letting her live an illusion, just until I grabbed her body and made her submit to me once again. She was angry and it showed. She lost her temper and smashed things, and then I tied her to our bed for days, only letting her up to struggle shakily to the bathroom and back once in a while.

Her family only see her now when I let her. They don't believe her when she tells them what I do to her. There isn't any help around for her to be able to get rid of me. There isn't likely to be. She is trying to raise awareness about characters like me. I do my best to prevent her succeeding. If she does ever succeed, then I am in danger of being stopped in my tracks. Obviously I don't want that to happen. So I take advantage of the tiredness that the effort causes her, and I limit her activities to almost nothing at times. People say she doesn't try hard enough. I laugh at them because they are so wrong. She and I both know it and she can't do much about it. One day I will have weakened her so much that I will overcome her for the last time and then we will both die. And people will say that she was such a good person and what a shame, and they will miss her.

I will rise up from her body and I will find another victim. It could be you.

I am ME. My name is Myalgic Encephalomyelitis.

February 19, 2020 13:34

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10 comments

Dominique Fohr
08:27 Mar 23, 2020

Congratulations from a french reader. Very good storie. All my best for the writer Dominique

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Pamela Saunders
18:56 Mar 23, 2020

Thank you so much for reading it and for the good wishes :)

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Sarthak Raghav
03:03 Feb 28, 2020

Enjoyed reading this very much. The story was grim and the main character was written really well. It was even better when you realise that it was a personification for Myalgic Encephalomyelitis.

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Pamela Saunders
09:07 Feb 28, 2020

Thank you :)

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Jemima Forrester
23:53 Feb 27, 2020

So well written! Traumatising, but it enthralled me.

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Pamela Saunders
00:58 Feb 28, 2020

Thank you so much :)

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Vaibhav Sharma
07:11 Feb 26, 2020

Bloody well written. It was like watching a time-lapse of a diminishing life.

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Pamela Saunders
08:17 Feb 26, 2020

Wow, thank you for that! That's exactly the effect I aimed for.

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Pamela Saunders
15:41 Feb 25, 2020

Thank you, and I don't like it either. It's right nasty. So the more people don't like it, the better!

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Lzero Ve Story
14:06 Feb 25, 2020

Very 😱 scary, and well written. I don't like it 😃.

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