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The phone, the goddamn phone, she used to love having hours long conversations with her friends and family.
He would come home from work and pick up the phone and hit redial, at first she wasn’t sure what he was doing. A few days later her aunt casually mentioned that he kept repeatedly calling her home number and then make up some ridiculous story about meaning to call someone else but hadn’t realized she had used the phone. He was back to checking up on her, but she wasn’t going to argue with him, she began the habit of dialing her own number after she was done using the phone, this way when he picked it up and hit redial he wouldn’t embarrass her by calling her family “accidently”.
He was also incessant about the conversations that would happen within earshot, he would ask her questions about those conversations, and then he would question why she had made a certain remark. She had to replay both sides of the conversation to his satisfaction. Soon she asked all her friends to not call her if he was home, it was ridiculous to have to give out his schedule, but it became tiring to have to replay every conversation.
One day the phone rang and she picked it up, she asked the caller to hold, she went over to him and handed him the phone and walked away to continue her chores. He returned minutes later, a look of confusion on his stupid face. He asked her why she handed him the phone when the call clearly was for her, it was her aunt. She let him know she no longer was going to replay all her conversations, she was tired of that nonsense, and every phone call she ended began an inquisition. From now on he could take all her calls and let her know if there was anything of importance for her.
Sadly many of her friends stopped calling, stopped coming around, he had a way of making everyone that was close to her feel very uncomfortable.
Disclaimer**Given the nature of the books I have been reading lately I am inspired to write a few short stories revisiting parts of my life that included episodes of domestic violence….I will be calling this series “The Ex Files” very clever right….lol….I thought so….it will be an amalgamation of my personal experiences steeped with those of others that I was very close to. The parallels are uncanny in some instances….but the patterns of abusers and abusees are almost always the same…it’s like the same behaviors are either taught to the next generation or there are some secret classes being held somewhere in some secret location.**