Without him, I would be free to think, to feel, to breathe. I could weather the storms that loomed over my life. I could prepare my food the way I liked it. I could strip naked without fear of provoking him in the daylight.
I made that mistake once. About a year ago, I freed myself of the sand-laden scratchy clothes I wore. He took this as an invitation to tackle me in the surf.
When I saw what had become of him, I fought with every ounce of energy I possessed. I didn’t want that thing in me. It was a lumpy stick that bent at an odd angle at the end. He must have been hiding it from me since the wreck. We hadn’t messed around for months. He always explained that he was still hurting from the injuries he suffered during the crash. I guess he had been. It looked like it would be painful. It was.
My reaction angered him so he bruised my face. It felt like an apple that had been bounced around and left to sit for a week. He avoided me for a couple weeks after that, but then the real trouble began. He wanted to convince me that nothing had changed, that even though it looked deformed, it still performed the same.
I tried. I tried to let him have me like he used to back home. But the sand, the heat, the deformity and my healing face all screamed that life was unfair – that he was to blame. At first, I pretended, but I knew he knew. Then I just didn’t care.