This is the rework of a self-published auto-biographical story (2008), rewritten for this blog. Names of characters have been changed.
Content warning: mental and physical abuse, misogyny.
Our greatest glory is not in never falling, but in getting up every time we do.
Busted (part 2)
Continued from… Busted (part 1)
He didn’t ask who she was talking to, but just rewound the tape and listened to the conversation. Annie retreated to her bedroom, but soon he called her.
“Do you want coffee?” she asked friendly when she walked into the lounge.
Fred ignored her question.
“Who is the she Terry referred to in your conversation? The one you didn’t want to talk about? It seems you’re hiding something.”
“I have no idea what you are talking about,” was all Annie could think of to say, and the moment she heard her own words, she knew how stupid it was.
Fred didn’t believe her. He threatened to call Terry and ask her what they were discussing. Annie was scared to death that Terry would give the wrong answers. So scared, that she admitted she knew what the conversation was about.
“Tell me!” Fred ordered.
“One moment. I will be right back.”
Annie disappeared into her bedroom. She returned with a scrapbook and handed it to Fred. Annie sat quietly. She waited for Fred’s reaction after seeing Yvonne’s scrapbook.
Calmly Fred paged through the scrapbook while Annie painstakingly watched him. He didn’t read anything, but he immediately recognized copies of the letters to Yvonne. When he reached the end of the book, Annie recognized a twinkle in his eye and the corners of his mouth seemed to curl up in a smile. For a split second, she thought he might see the humor of what she had done. Alas for Annie, his heart hurt just a bit too much for him to see the joke.
He handed her the book. For almost an hour, he just sat there, staring out in front of him, saying nothing. Annie brought him the one cup of coffee after the other. Then suddenly, he started to talk. It almost sounded like a prepared speech.
“In one fell swoop you wiped away the little trust that I might have had in you. The feelings I had for you are gone too. Everything feels like a lie. I cannot believe that the beautiful woman I had let into my life, had deceived me like this. I don’t even know if it’s worth to call you my fiancée anymore.”
In his charming, velvet-soft voice and in his deadly manner, Fred made Annie feel she would never be good enough for anything or anyone ever again. She just sat there, tears in her eyes. Her biggest fear came true: Fred didn’t love her anymore! Fred noticed the desolate expression on her face. He continued his monologue. His feelings had been trampled on. He now wanted to trample on Annie’s.
“I suggest you start all over again to build up what you have torn down in a couple of minutes. If something similar ever happens again… if ever you violate my trust again, I will immediately kick you and your children out on the street. I will see to it that some people in specific positions know what kind of life you have. I will tell them that you tried to come between my wife and me — and you know what that means in the army community!”
Annie could no longer stay in the same room as Fred. Crying and hating herself, she ran to her room. She knew he would kick her and her children out. She knew he would tell everyone that she tried to break up his marriage with Fran. And yes, she knew what that meant in the conservative army community. It would ruin her career. She also knew there was no way that she could now pay for a house for her and her kids. Just recently, on Fred’s incentive, she contracted a loan to buy a car. What could she do? Oh God, what could she do?
“I want you,” Fred all of a sudden spoke from the door, “to destroy the scrapbook. I never want to hear the name of Yvonne in my house again. When all evidence of this mistake has been destroyed, there will be no hard feelings,” Fred promised. Somehow, he felt sorry that he had made such crass remarks to her, because in his own twisted way, he really loved her. However, he did not want her to know that. He was a tough man, right?
“Dry your tears. Then we can start to build a new and better relationship.”
Fred’s last words gave Annie hope again. Deep down she knew she was clutching at straws, but she had to, for her children’s sakes. She would be a model ‘wife’ to Fred. She would make him proud of her. She would make him fall in love with her all over again. She would make him forget that she created Yvonne.
But… would Fred forget?
To be continued… Mandy (part 1)
© Rebel’s Notes