She realized that he was an insecure man, jealous, controlling and not all together very bright, but he also had a mean streak to him that terrified her. She had in mind that her vows were meant to last a lifetime, but would she? Every day the reminders of her stupidity were repeated, he could not let her get out of the house without reminding her that she was his.
In another world, the one where she would go to for her job, she had friends, she had laughter and she had freedom. There she could be herself, she could have articulate conversations, she could share a joke, her friends got her sense of humor, they didn’t judge her, and they didn’t want to change her. She was perfect just the way she was. She was the only one that could not see it.
He began to notice the changes in her and determined that he did not like where things were going. He could see that she had begun to rebel against him, he wasn’t going to allow that. He began to call her throughout the work day; it got to where she had to stay close by the phone when the clock indicated his shift at his job had ended. She was embarrassed that he was calling her so much; she didn’t want her coworkers to hear her conversations with him. She would have to reassure him that she was indeed at work that was confirmed by her answering the phone. When she didn’t answer he would berate her for not getting to the phone, she tried to explain to him that at times she would be assisting customers making it impossible for her to get to the phone.
One beautiful spring day was marred by the reflection hitting a vehicle out in the parking lot and shining into the store front window. Her coworkers came to her and warned her to be careful when she left home after her shift ended, they had noted the car and its driver parked around the lot in different places, but always with a vantage point into the store front. She became mortified when she realized it was her husband. Now she realized why the calls had become infrequent, she also realized why their son was always warm to the touch when she got home and picked him. He had kept their son with him in the car exposed to the hot son while he kept an eye on her.
It was a maddening situation and she knew she would be in for a long night, she had not done anything but go to work and return home after her shift. She already was aware that every evening upon her return he would go to her vehicle and check the mileage and question any discrepancy on the odometer. She dared not go anywhere else and risk his rage and accusations, she had no other place to go but to her job. She would even take her lunch with her so that he wouldn’t question the additional miles on the vehicle. When her coworkers invited her out she would make excuses about not having money on her, or not being hungry or explain that she had brought her lunch.
Her coworkers had already figured out who the stalker in the parking lot was, they had overheard her on the phone with him and had seen her being dropped off before. They were respectful of her privacy and did not want to embarrass her; they wanted to reassure her that she had friends who cared. Soon they were able to convince her to join them for lunch, no excuses allowed, they would drive her, they would pay her lunch, and they would just be happy with her company even if all she did was sit there and have a drink.
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.**