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.
Annie’s decision (1)
Continued from… Advantages and disadvantages (2)
In a flash, Annie was wide-awake. Her decision was crystal clear. Annie had no doubts anymore. She knew exactly what she had to do.
This morning Annie didn’t stay in bed next to Fred, as she would have done on any other morning. She wasn’t in the mood to be ready for him to soften his morning stiffness inside her. Annie was tired of being treated as a thing that could use as and when he saw fit. She went to the bathroom and opened the taps to run the bath.
“Why are you out of bed so early?” Fred asked lazily from bed.
Annie was scared. She was still in the bathroom, just out of Fred’s line of sight. Taking a deep breath and feigning pain, she walked back into the bedroom.
“What did you say?” Annie asked to win some time.
“I want to know why you’re out of bed so early,” he repeated his question.
“I don’t feel so well,” Annie lied, “my stomach hurts. Maybe a warm bath will help. Do you want coffee?” she changed the subject.
Relief washed over Annie once she sat down at her desk in her office. At home, the rest of the morning before she had left for work was just like every other morning. Annie felt good that she didn’t give in to Fred’s request for her to go back to bed for sex. She had noticed the movements under the covers suddenly stopping when she walked into the bedroom unexpectedly. Fred had pretended to be asleep, but she instantly realized he had been masturbating. It filled her with a feeling of inexpressible malicious joy that he had to soothe his morning horniness with his own hand.
Annie recovered her list with advantages and disadvantages from her drawer and read it. Yes, she thought with the same firm resolve she had when she woke up, this madhouse she was living in had to end. Soon.
Annie busied herself with her normal administrative duties. She was afraid Fred would unexpectedly appear in her office, as he had done on previous occasions. She didn’t want to be caught in the act, otherwise she might never have the courage or opportunity again to carry out her plans.
She picked up the phone for a quick internal call.
“Terry, it’s me. Listen, if all of a sudden I change the subject or say goodbye, Fred has walked into my office,” Annie warned. Terry understood.
“I’m leaving,” Annie said.
“Leaving? Where?” Terry was clearly confused.
“I’ll tell you later, but I need your help. Will you help me to send a fax abroad this afternoon? I’ll pay for it.”
“Yes. Yes, of course. Come when you can. Then you can tell me what this is all about.”
Annie heaved a sigh of relief. This call was step one to put her plan into action, but she couldn’t do this without Terry’s help. Terry was the only person who had been a friend to her in the past months. Annie always had her support, even though Terry didn’t agree with Annie’s way of living.
Half an hour before the visiting hour in the hospital was about to start, Annie could at last implement the next step of her plan.
“Fred, it’s me,” she said when Fred answered the telephone in his office.
“Yes?” he said, sounding cold.
“Are you going to visit Fran this afternoon?”
“You know I am.”
Annie knew she had to choose her words carefully. Fred had an uncanny way of knowing exactly when she was up to something.
“I haven’t been to see Fran since Tuesday afternoon. Would you please tell her I will visit her when I get off from work today?”
“Oh,” Fred said and he sounded a bit friendlier, “she would like that. Yesterday she asked where you were. I’m leaving in about ten minutes,” he unknowingly provided her with the information she needed.
At last, Annie thought, at last the time has come.
She grabbed a pen and quickly wrote a note to her mother:
Mommy, The kids and I are coming over. Please don’t ask why so suddenly. Call me at work, this afternoon still if you can, because there is a lot we will have to discuss. Please don’t call me at home. All the conversations are being recorded. It’s NOT SAFE for me there! Call quickly, please?? Love, Annie
Just to be sure, Annie waited a couple of minutes more. Fifteen minutes after she had spoken to Fred, she dialed the number in his office again. One of his colleagues answered the phone. He told her that Fred had gone to visit his wife in the hospital.
“No, I don’t want to leave a message,” she said and without identifying herself, she hung up.
Yet again, Annie waited a couple of minutes. Her heart raced and she shivered with fear. She straightened her back, grabbed her handwritten note and quickly walked through the different corridors to Terry’s office. It was a restricted area, which meant only personnel who worked there or those who had special permission to be there, were allowed inside. Terry’s department was the only department in the building from where international calls could be made. Terry granted Annie permission to enter her section.
First Annie faxed the letter to her mother. After that, she explained her plans to Terry.
“Annie, I am so happy to hear this. You should have done it months ago. I will help you where I can, but please, promise me that you won’t back out. Just go through with your plans!” Terry urged.
“Terry, only having made the decision makes me feel so relieved and free. I will definitely not back out this time,” Annie promised.
The thought of moving abroad had never really left her mind, Annie realized now. She had only buried it deep in her subconscious, hoping that Fred’s attitude towards her would be more loving again.
To be continued… Annie’s decision (2)
© Rebel’s Notes