The stove’s clock changed to 10:52 silently. The flat was dark, except for the dim light that shined in from outside. Sonia sat at the dining room table, spinning her 3rd glass of cognac between her fingers. The last 6 years had been the same: her husband would walk out the door for work and manage to find his way between the legs of a young co-ed. Marcus was beautiful and charming in the beginning. He’d lavished her with gifts and trips, promising that she was the only woman he’d ever loved. They consummated their relationship in the balmy waters of Santorini & they were inseparable from then on. The first year they were married was everything she’d hoped. He spoiled her, prompting to her to quit the measly desk work she’d believed was her career. He helped her mother & sister move to a better home in a better community and doted on his wife, loving her as largely as he could.
Things changed. Sonia snapped from her pondering as she heard the lock turn in the kitchen door and it swing open. Seeing him, even after all these years, still made her heart bound in her chest. “Hey babe,” he said, attempting to kiss her. Sonia moved back as the ripe smell of his sweat repulsed her.
“I’m gonna go take a shower.”
“Where you been? It’s late,” Sonia said in a calm voice.
“To the gym.”
“There’s lipstick on your collar,” Sonia said, flicking the stained place of his collar and moving past him.
“Come on. Don’t start this right now.”
“I’m confused. If you don’t want to be with me, all you have to do is say so. I will pack my shit and go,” Sonia said. She felt her courage pool deep within her, aided by the alcohol.
“You’re drunk,” Marcus scoffed.
“Oh hell yeah. I need to get some things off my chest,” Sonia said, patting her exposed chest. Marcus chuckled and leaned against the counter, before extending his hand.
“The floor is yours.”
“It seems like that’s the only thing that’s mine. Meanwhile, my ‘husband’ is running around, throwing his dick into every bitch who’s willing to catch it. Do you know how that makes me feel?!”
“It’s not about you.”
Sonia launched the glass towards the cabinets near her husband, sending shards careening across the room. Marcus never flinched, due to her piss-poor aim. “We’re married! Of course this is about me!”
“What do you want me to say?”
“You don’t love me? Are you not attracted to me anymore? Am I not enough?” Sonia hiccuped and turned away. Her tears were hot as they fell down her face.
“It isn’t about you. You’re the only woman I’ve ever loved.”
“Love,” Sonia scoffed, wiping her face of her sleeve. She’d wished she never brought it up. She should’ve just packed a bag and been long gone when he arrived. She wondered if he would’ve come looking for her. She felt his hand creep up her back and neck, sending chills down her spine. However, instead of lust, it was repulsion.
“You make me sick.”
“I will never give another woman what I give you. They will never have what we have. I would lay down and die for you.”
“Maybe you should.”
“Is that what you want?” Marcus moved across the kitchen & picked up a large shard of the glass on the counter.
“Then end it. Right here. Everything will be yours & I’ll be gone.”
She couldn’t deny it to herself; the temptation was enormous. She turned and faced him, his arms spread to expose his heart. “It’s the only way I’m leaving.” More of the same, he’d manipulated her right back to where he wanted her. “Dinner’s on the stove,” she said, defeated. Maybe he did love her, maybe he got some sick kicks from her torture. She grabbed the bottle from the table and exited. Marcus dropped his arms and the piece of glass. He wiped his nose and lifted the foil from the plate of meatloaf, mashed potatoes & broccoli.
“More of the same.”