It was after two when I got home. Well past the time I’d told him. As I tiptoed into our bedroom, with my high-heels in my hands, I tried to subdue my heavy breathing. Admittedly, this was hard work given the amount of alcohol I’d consumed and the stairs I’d just climbed. Turns out, I needn’t have bothered.
“You’re late”, said Nathan turning on the lights and blinding me.
“Shit! You scared the crap out of me!”
“I heard you.”
I started to undress whilst simultaneously looking for my pyjamas amongst the pile of clothes I’d thrown aside earlier that evening. I guess I hoped he’d get the message. But it didn’t faze Nathan. “You said you’d be home by midnight. Since when did you become such a party animal?” he asked.
“I wish you would stop treating me like a child, Nathan. I have a girl’s night probably just twice a year.”
I walked to the bathroom hoping that would be the end. But what was I thinking. This was Nathan.
“So are you saying it was just you and Jen and Nat? What did their partners have to say to them coming home late?” He followed me.
“Yes, it was just us. And I don’t know what their partners said but I do know they are not control-freaks.” I stopped mid-toothpaste squeeze. “You know, you should seriously consider making new friends. It might help us.”
“There it is. Never good enough, am I?”
“I’m just saying if you had more friends you probably wouldn’t be so fussed about the time I came back home. Instead now, all you do is sit and watch the damn clock waiting for your one and only companion to come home. And you know what? I’m sick of it.”
“I knew it! There’s someone else, isn’t there? Fucking slut! Girl’s night indeed…”
“Excuse me? Are you out of your fucking mind? Where did you get that idea from? No don’t bother answering that. Get the hell out the bathroom and leave me in peace.”
I slammed the door in his face and saw my mascara stained face staring back at me. He’d managed to do it again. Managed to start a fight and get me all riled up. I hated this. Hell, I hated him.
“Arsehole,” I muttered under my breath.
I wished I could leave but I always worried how he would cope. With no real friends to speak of and soured relationships with his family, I was all he had. That was suffocating. I was unsure whether it was the alcohol that made me bolder than usual but I stepped out of the bathroom with new resolve. I was going to do it.
“How come you have a password on your phone?” Nathan asked as I entered the room.
“What the fuck? What’re you doing with my phone?” I never thought he could stoop to that level of control.
“Just wanted to see if you really were having a girl’s night…”
“You know what Nathan…I’m sick of this. I’m sick of having to justify every little thing I do when I’m not around you. I have put up with this for five long years and I’m done. I’m so tired.”
“Yeah but —“
“Let me finish. I’ve never ever cheated on you and yet, just because your ex screwed you over so badly, you take it out on me. I can’t do this anymore. I can’t stand the checking and the wanting to know where I’ve been, who I’ve been with, who I’m talking to — none of it.”
“I’m sorry but…”
“Sorry isn’t going to cut it this time. I’ve had it. I’m going over to Jen’s and will pick up my stuff over the week. I think this is it. For good. I can’t do this anymore.”
Nathan looked like I’d slapped him. I guess he never thought I’d actually end it. I couldn’t blame him. After all, I’d threatened to leave the first time he accused me of cheating. But I never, ever carried out my threats. I packed a few things, grabbed my phone off the bed, and still in my pyjamas, left him staring at me wistfully. I really hoped he wouldn’t do anything stupid.
Once in my car and down the street, I felt a huge weight off my chest. Freedom. This is what it felt like. I picked up my phone and hit 1 on the speed dial.
“Hey babe,” answered Craig on the third ring. “Everything ok?”
(c) Sanch – Living my Imperfect Life
***This was written as one of my narrative pieces for uni on dialogue***
Until next time,