He is just about to leave the house when my alarm goes off. His temper has cooled from the night before and he is softer. He thanks me for being calm the night before and kisses me goodbye. It does nothing to coax me; I am still unsettled. I get ready for work: brush my teeth, wash my face, put on my uniform. He should be far from the house by now, I think. I sat down with his workman’s comp packet and flip through until I find the letter from his psychologist.
He had told the psychologist he needed to end therapy in order to “untangle himself from the insurance company.” His symptoms had been classified by his doctor as moderately severe in the beginning and of no matter by the end, even despite the abrupt end of the sessions.
It seemed very unlikely that a seasoned professional of his doctor’s caliber would miss the suffering he had claimed the night before, or that his doctor would misdiagnose. It did seem likely that a person with a history of drug abuse would malinger to get a settlement, that a person who had cheated on me multiple times would lie. My stomach groaned.
I went to work. I tried to keep calm. My fear intensified as the work day drew closer to an end.
When I realized we were home alone that night, I felt pressed to match his mood and keep an appearance of normalcy, whatever the fuck that was. When he wanted to smoke a joint and “have sex,” I smoked and didn’t say “no.” He fucked me so hard that I had bruises of his fingers on my hips for three weeks or more. While he did not choke me, he kept one hand pressed under my throat, my chest sore in the morning, along with my hips, labia and cervix.
I cleaned myself after wards and slept next to him quietly, as though none of this was happening.