No matter how much she cherished me and spoiled me, my heart never relaxed. The life I’d lived before wasn’t some fairytale. Men were trash. After I caught my boyfriend Jimmy screwing the next-door neighbor’s teen daughter, I’d kicked him out and left all his belongings on the side of the road. The apartment had been in my name and all he’d contributed was a few hundred dollars in cash his mother sent each month, but that mama’s boy wanted to waste it on trash. He’d never paid bills. Jimmy didn’t relish receiving the boot. After being displaced, that useless Neanderthal smashed into my room and battered the hell out of me.
I’d met Samantha that night. She’d required a few stitches in triage – though she remembers better than I do. Her car had hit a patch of ice and swung into a telephone pole. I used to think she did it on purpose, her view on life looked bleak most days, but she swore it was an accident. It left a nasty scar across the top of her forehead, a pale and jagged blemish on her sand-colored skin. It was laughable, because my nose had been bent and my eye had been swollen purple and the blood vessels had appeared, but Samantha had still found me beautiful. She told me every day like a mantra; she fell in love that night.
To be honest with myself, if I ever loved her at all, I couldn’t describe it. Even now, I am far more desperate than emboldened with passion. As a small kid, when my baby brother snagged the last cookie from the counter I got mad. I wanted what I didn’t have. That type of want and need is so nestled into my core I can’t help but cry out, but to call it love – I couldn’t do that. Samantha had noticed, but every day, she’d given everything she’d had. She smiled at me, cried with me, she supported the bitter and uneasy me.
I deplored relying on her, though I ate when she cooked, and I wore the clothes she bought. I relaxed into the hands that rubbed my neck and used everything she’d handed me with little fight, but I also treated her with sour looks and frustrated complaints. Small mistakes she made, I blew out of proportion. The times I caught her cowering, shoulders drooped and hands fiddling at her stomach, her eyes downcast, I shrieked at her with my every fiber. But, each time Samantha had wiped away her tears and retreated to her room, returning a few hours later with a smile. We’d lived a year like this.
Our first night together, I got drunk. It was a cool, late night on Valentine’s Day last year. I let my face heal and spent the morning with my mother, listening to her nag.
-14 Days by Xaneria Ann