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Romance Drama

This story contains themes or mentions of mental health issues.

*This story has strong language and themes of suicide and self-harm*

“Well, that went well,” Shauna said as if she didn’t know what I would say next.

I knew she would’ve given anything to avoid the impending fight. I knew she would have jumped out that window and ran into the night. Heck she would have even pulled out a knife and threw it at her own foot if it meant that this conversation wouldn’t take place. I felt the same. I had tried to keep things civil the whole day. For our child. But if Shauna wasn’t going to keep her promises, I could not ignore her actions anymore. She looked at the counter on her right and slowly walked towards a cloth that she could use to pretend to clean the counter. I finally got the nerve to say something.

“I thought we agreed …”

“Don’t start with this now,”

“No, I have to start with this now, because you broke your promise!”

Shauna walked to the fridge and opened it as she violently bit her fingernails and tried her hardest to ignore me.

“First, you come here looking like you haven’t slept in days,”

“Fuck you, Johnathan!”

“Hey why don’t you say it louder for your daughter to hear,”

She slammed the fridge door.

“Fuck you! Fuck you! Fuck you!”

The house filled with her vulgar exclamations.

“Will you shut up!”

“There it is,”

“There what is?”

“The man of the house,”

She got on her knees and started bowing in a mocking way.

“Get up,”

“Oh, I’m sorry am I embarrassing you Infront of the spoons?!”

I walked towards her.

“How many times do I have to tell you that I’m not embarrassed of you,”

She chuckled to herself in an almost sadistic manner.

“Of course, you are hun, I’m your embarrassing schizophrenic wife!”

“I don’t care…”

A cup flew straight towards my head. I ducked as quick as I could, but it clipped my forehead and shattered on the ground behind me.

“Yes, you are!!!” She screeched like a banshee.

I composed myself. I didn’t want to lose my temper. She would just use it as a weapon. I never hit her. I never could. I loved her too much to hurt her.

“Please don’t throw things at my head,” I said calmly.

“Yes master,” she said sarcastically.

I rubbed the palm of my hand through my face.

“Stop saying that!”

“Why not, aren’t you the one who always tells me how to act, how to talk, how to walk. You fancy yourself as my master, don’t you? You and those doctors that you drag me too. All of you! Remember when I said you were not like her? Remember when I said you weren’t like my mother…”

She walked closer.

“You are just like her, both of you are the worst creatures I’ve ever met. Whenever you don’t drug me, I see the truth. I see how much you eat at my soul. Your looks of pity and disdain. You both claim to love me but its not true is it,”

I looked to the side and sighed.

She poked me in the face.

“Is it?”

I ignored her.

“Is it?!”

I looked at her almost dead eyes that were complimented by her pale skin and unkept hair.

She pushed my head back.

“I asked you a question master!”

It all bubbled up. I had had enough.

“Shut up, you bitch!”

Her mouth opened wide as if she had a heart attack. She then smirked.

“So now its bitch?”

“Shauna…”

“No, you said it. Don’t “Shauna” me, you said BITCH!” she screamed into the hallway where she knew our sleeping daughter would hear.

I put my hand on top of her mouth.

She immediately bit me.

“Don’t fucking touch me you hypocrite!” She shouted

I stood back and grasped at my hand.

“I hate you! I hate you! I hate you! I can’t believe we are arguing over this right now! I didn’t promise you anything. I told you that there was nothing wrong with me! I always tell you that!”

“You are not ok Shauna! You never were. I’m sorry but you called me saying that you missed me and your child. I don’t know if you meant what you said about missing me, but I know you miss that little girl in there. I let you come today because I thought you would do the right thing and be civil for your daughter’s birthday party. But you couldn’t even do that. I don’t care if you take your medication, I would never force you take that medication. I know how it makes you feel, but that’s exactly why we started looking for alternative therapy. You specifically said the groups were helping…”

“I know what I said!”

“Then act like it!”

She sighed and looked at the door.

“I’m done with this,”

She walked away from me.

“Where are you going Shauna?”

“Somewhere where people appreciate me,”

“You mean those bums? Those yes men? The same people who let you walk around with your hallucinations. The same people who let you walk around with those suicidal thoughts. The same people who told you not to go to your own sister’s funeral?”

“Those “bums” understand me. They don’t try to change me. They allow me to express my artistic vision. That medication takes it all away. It suffocates me. It makes me tired,”

She walked closer to me, and I could see the tears come up.

“I’m an artist Jonathan, I’m an artist! Without those drugs I’m a nobody! Nothing but greyness and clouds. A domesticated house pet. A tool in your perfect suburban nightmare. I’m stuck here playing housewife and listening to people talk about the most boring things. I don’t care about their PTAs, I don’t care about their kids, I don’t care about the weather or their husbands and their mind numbingly boring jobs. I just don’t care!”

The tears flowed down her cheeks, and she stared at me with this look of gut-wrenching desperation. She was hurting. She was so desperate to feel whole again. I spent years trying to make it work. I spent years trying to “fix” her. Maybe I was the problem. I tried to put a bird in a pond. I wanted her to be the love of my life so badly. I wanted her to be my wife. I wanted to grow old with her. I just wasn’t her. When I realized what was happening a tear came down my cheek.

“Tell me how to help you,”

“I don’t know if you can ever do that for me. I swear I woke up thinking I was going to take my medication, bath, get an amazing gift for my daughter and then commit to my family. I just couldn’t. I thought coming back to this house we built and seeing her would give me meaning and purpose. It just doesn’t. I do love you. I love both of you so much. It’s just not enough. I often want to die. I think about it daily. When I’m on that medication I’m not myself and I feel hollow, when I’m not on it I feel like myself, but the visions and hallucinations won’t stop. The thoughts pierce through my head and I’m afraid I’ll hurt her or even you. I can’t…. live like this,”

The tears streamed down my cheeks and my throat felt like it was about to close up.

“I can’t help you if your own child doesn’t give you meaning,”

It felt harsh but I didn’t mean it in that way.

“I’m sorry Jonathan,”

She put her hand on my cheek and stared at me. I could finally see the woman I had married.

“I love so much Shauna, but its time for me to let you go. All I want to do is lock that door and take you to some doctor who will manage you, but we all know how that story ends. When I’m looking the other way, you will be gone and I have to spend the whole week searching for you on the streets just so I can drag you back into a life you never really wanted,”

“I just need to figure things out then I’ll be back,”

I knew that we would probably never see her again.

“I’m sorry Shauna,”

I gave her the biggest hug I could ever give her. She walked to the front door and disappeared into the night.

I sat on the ground and sobbed.

Not matter how good your intentions are, it can just all fall apart. Its no one’s fault. You can lie to yourselves for so long, you can force yourself to fit into a world you don’t belong in, but in the end a bird must fly, and a fish must swim. Shauna was a caged bird. She reminded me of a budgie I had as a child. Every time I tried to open its cage it would bite me and fly away. No matter how much I fed it and kept it warm and loved, no matter how many things we added to the cage to make it feel at home, the day we accidently left that cage door open that bird flew away into the night.

July 04, 2022 09:56

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