This post is my response to this week’s Red Writing Hood prompt: Write a first-person piece from the perspective of someone that drives you nuts, explaining why this person does the things they do! We were told it could be based on a real person, a public figure, or entirely fictitious. I chose a combination of the three.
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“You know I can’t help myself. It’s just in my DNA.” I told her, knowing it was bullshit. There was definitely a hint of laughter in my eyes, but she was just simple and sweet enough to buy it – I hoped.
“But you just can’t keep doing this to me. You married me. I can’t spend my nights wondering where you are anymore. It’s not fair.” She whimpered, so overcome with despair that she choked on her words, struggled to find her voice. She couldn’t bring herself to look me in the eyes.
“I married you because you are the one I love. I want to grow old with you right by my side. But this is the way God made me. He wouldn’t have given me this charisma, this sex drive, this insane capacity to attract so many women, if he didn’t want me to act upon it.” I spoke slowly, watching her face carefully to gauge her reaction to each word. I felt a little guilty, using God against her, but in a way, I felt it was true. At least, that’s what I told myself when those miniscule pangs of guilt sprung up when I lay, sprawled out in each new stranger’s bed. “I always come home to you. I never let feelings get in the way. I am always 100% yours, in my heart.” A fresh tear rolled down her cheek, soaked into the carpet between us. I heard her sharp intake of breath, felt something shift in the room.
“I don’t think I can do this anymore.” She looked up. Her eyes twinkled. They fucking twinkled. Something was different. It was almost as though – no, could it be? Had she somehow scrounged up some inkling of self-esteem? I looked closely at her expression, trying to read her quickly while maintaining my composure. I had to tread lightly. Something was happening. I felt it, this tingling sensation, creeping up through my gut…and then I realized, it was panic.
“I don’t know what you’re talking about. You aren’t doing anything. You stay at home all day. You have lunch with your choir mates, you play with the baby, you watch soap operas.” I spoke calmly, softly, the warmth in my eyes confusing her. This was not my angry voice, and I watched her struggle, trying to comprehend the difference between the contempt in my words and the love in my eyes. “What are you doing, exactly, other than gaining weight and not wearing the expensive lingerie I’ve spent my hard-earned money on?” She began to cry. I kept on, knowing this was my last chance. I had to squash it, conquer it, reel her back in. “Are you cleaning the house every day? Because it doesn’t seem like it. Are you cooking me nice dinners with all of this free time you have? Are you giving me a reason to want to come home to you?” She gasped. I was close, I almost had her. I continued, “I try so hard to make this marriage work. Not just for the kids, but you and me. I love you so much, and I am trying to just find, out there, what you refuse to give me anymore. I am trying to spare you a divorce. You should be thanking me.” I waited. I couldn’t breathe. I felt something akin to terror, rising up. I felt the first beads of a nervous sweat spring forth on my temple, dampen my armpits.
She had stopped crying by this point. I saw my words echo in her eyes, and I felt that prickly, panicy feeling again. This time, it appeared in the back of my throat, and something began burning at my eyes.
She began slowly, deliberately. She looked me straight in the eyes and I knew. “You can’t do this to me anymore. I hate you. I”m leaving you.”
I don’t need her anyway. I can have any woman I want. I never needed her, I was just passing the time. Until…I’m not sure. But I definitely don’t need her.