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.
Watched, controlled, coerced
Continued from… Ruined plans
“Annie, it’s me,” Fred said when she answered the phone in her office.
“Hello,” she answered, and instantly the tension tightening every muscle in her body. What now?
“Do you get monthly computer printouts of all the outbound telephone calls you make?”
“Yes,” Annie said, not sure what he wanted to do with the information.
“I want you to bring all the printouts of the last couple of months home with you this afternoon,” he ordered.
“Which printouts?” Annie asked, totally confused.
“Printouts of all the calls you’ve made in the last months. I want to see all the numbers you have dialed. Especially the private numbers.”
“I can tell you.”
“No Annie,” Fred brusquely said, “you’ll lie. Bring the printouts. Bye.”
Before Annie could utter another word, the connection was terminated. Annie had nothing to hide, since Fred already knew about the call to her stepfather. His request went against all she believed in.
When she walked into the house that afternoon, she had a huge argument with Fred. He was furious that she had done nothing to get her hands on the printouts. Annie at last retreated, promising that she would make an effort to get the printouts the next day.
During their argument, Fred told her that he was watching her every move. It appeared he was making notes of the mileage of her car before she left for work in the morning, and the same when she returned in the evenings. He then calculated the distance she had driven, and if it deviated too much, he would know she had been somewhere else than only her work. Annie knew that he had done this before, with another woman who lived with them. Fred wanted to be sure Annie only went to her work and back every day. He also told her one of his friends worked in the same building as Annie did. This friend was watching Annie’s every move. He reported everything to Fred. Suddenly some puzzle pieces fell into place. In the past months she had noticed that Fred indeed knew a lot about her daily activities. And, there were times when she felt like she was being watched. There was only one piece of information missing for Fred to have the full picture: who she called from her work.
The day before, when Annie had returned from her work with the printouts and had given them to Fred, she and he had yet another disagreement. This time the fight was about the numbers that appeared on the printouts. Fred believed Annie had messed around with the information, since he could find nothing out of the ordinary.
Now Annie sat listlessly at her desk, thinking about the argument they had the previous evening. She knew she had to do something about her life. Her life was not what it should be. Her days were filled with sex, the other women, the club, Fred and Fran. However, Annie had lost interest in all of this. She only existed now — from day to day. One couldn’t call this living anymore. She was allowing things to happen — things that sickened her. Annie was a marionette in the hands of Fred.
Annie’s common sense told her she had to do something about it. She had to take action. She had to get her life back on the rails again. She had a responsibility towards her kids.
She knew that she had to do something.
She could not.
She felt drained.
Her fighting spirit was gone.
Like every other afternoon Fran arrived home after Fred and Annie. They were waiting for her, as she had been to see a gynecologist that afternoon. Ever since the abuse back in April, Fran had been menstruating irregularly. When Annie had heard this, she instantly thought back on how Fred kicked Fran in the stomach when she was down on the floor/
“I will be admitted to the hospital on November 20, and the next day I will have a hysterectomy,” Fran matter-of-factly informed Fred and Annie.
No matter how Fran tried to explain it to him, Fred didn’t want to believe he had caused the irreversible damage to her uterus.
To be continued… An ultimatum
© Rebel’s Notes