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.
Continued from… Joy (4)
Annie lowered the letter that she had just read. It was a new reaction to the advert of the club, which was still running in the paper.
“No Fred, I don’t think she can become a member.”
“Why not?” Fred wanted to know defensively.
“For one thing, she says right-out that she’s a lesbian, not bisexual. She writes that the only thing she’s after, is a girlfriend. She is lonely and she will be happy if only she could correspond with the other women. That’s fine, but misleading, because this is a club for bisexual women.”
“If she says she’s a lesbian, I can quickly help her get over that,” Fred said as he reached for the telephone.
Annie realized Fred’s endocrine glands were yet again secreting some or other substance that made him use his peter instead of his brains to think with. Had he forgotten what happened with Heidi?
He wasn’t yet dialing the number of Sylvia, the name of the woman whose letter Annie had in her hand.
“Shall I call her? You decide.”
“No, Fred. The decision is entirely yours. I already gave you my opinion.”
Annie was determined not to give Fred room to blame her for any eventual disappointment.
She listened as he spoke to Sylvia on the phone, and it made Annie feel nauseous again. From what she could hear from Fred’s side of the conversation, it was clear that Sylvia was protesting, but eventually she yielded to Fred’s whims. Fred used his friendliest persuasive voice to convince Sylvia to join them at the smallholding that same evening. To every objection she raised, he had a million solutions. Eventually Sylvia agreed to spend the next two evenings on the smallholding.
“Okay Sylvia. Annie will come and pick you up in about an hour.”
Annie listened angrily as Fred, yet again without consulting her, offered her services as taxi.
No one was present at the address where Annie had to pick up Sylvia, a smallholding with several permanent houses, and a community restaurant. Everything looked exactly as the woman described it — the restaurant and the small house behind it. The door of the was wide open, but no one responded to Annie’s knocking.
A woman approached from the direction of the restaurant. Annie walked towards her.
“Hello,” the woman said as she reached out to shake Annie’s hand, “I am Sylvia.”
Annie desperately hoped her face didn’t show the turmoil of emotions she felt when she shook Sylvia’s hand. Sylvia had said she was in her fifties, and this was obvious looking at her face and greying hair. But this was not the cause of Annie’s upset feelings. Somehow she couldn’t match this grandmotherly person in front of her with the reason why she would be joining them for the weekend. She tried not to stare at the old-fashioned clothes Sylvia wore, and which did nothing to conceal any of her generous curves. Sylvia reminded her of her own grandmother, or her aunts.
Yet again, Annie heard the screaming voice inside of her — the reason why she was here to pick Sylvia up…?! This can’t be right? This just cannot be right!
They soon left for the smallholding. Annie was in a hurry to get home, because Fred’s perverted mind could quickly conjure up accusations if she stayed away too long. Since the evening of the battering, he didn’t trust her anymore. He was afraid she might secretly try to leave him and therefore kept a close watch on her. Annie was quite sure that he had her followed, or that he was doing it himself. He knew about most of her movements, without her telling him.
In the car on their way back to the smallholding, another shock awaited Annie. Halfway there and while chatting superficially, Sylvia took Annie’s hand and put it on her leg.
“You don’t have to be afraid to touch me,” Sylvia said with a smile.
“Oh, but I have to keep my hands on the steering wheel,” Annie said apologetically as she pulled her hand back.
Annie guided Sylvia to her room so she could put her bag away. For the time being, that’s where it had to be, until the sleeping arrangements for the night become apparent. Sylvia had no idea what was in store for her — that she would have to sleep with Fred that night. He had not inform her about their normal ritual when he spoke to Sylvia on the phone that afternoon. After their conversation, Fred was overly confident he would be able to persuade her to have sex with him. In his opinion, he would have scared Sylvia away if he had put all his cards on the table right away.
Annie saw the surprise in his eyes when he met Sylvia. She wasn’t the type of woman that turned him on. Nevertheless, he turned the taps of his charm wide open. Annie and Fran glanced meaningful at each other: did Fred really know what he was doing?
However, this evening would differ so much from others in the past. When Fred wanted to pour them drinks — which was in itself totally different from other evenings — he looked surprised that Sylvia wanted only a soft drink. It was the first time that a woman visiting them refused to accept an alcoholic drink from Fred. Neither Fred, nor Fran could go without their alcohol on an evening like this, and apparently they thought no one else could. Fred and Fran couldn’t let it be. They tried every trick in the book to get Sylvia to join them in their drinking, but she stuck to her guns.
To be continued… Sylvia (2)
© Rebel’s Notes