“Last week you were bored with us. I don’t think that’s ever happened to me before.”
She laughed out loud. It was cute. It was true that the general populace hung on his every word. And when she’d gone to watch him speak publicly even she’d gotten a stage crush on him. He actually was brilliant. But for whatever reason, she kept on coming home to herself. His brain absolutely fascinated her, but perhaps only insofar as it upstaged hers.
Yesterday, before he left town, he blindfolded her and tied her wrists together, strung them up to the side of the bed.
Her breathing quickened, especially when she heard his footsteps receding down the hall.
“Are you coming back?” she wanted to know.
“Don’t ask questions,” he muttered.
But come back he did, and preyed on her for hours.
When she was with him, he prodded, bit and bruised her.
When she wasn’t, she noticed herself waiting for it to happen again.
Sometimes it didn’t. Sometimes he made her waffles or cozied her up on his obscenely large couch and kissed the top of her head repeatedly, affectionately.
“I love you so much,”he’d say.
And she knew this to be true. But sometimes she wondered if it was all becoming a bit too much. Twice driving home from his house, worn and exhausted, she’d heard voices. Which hadn’t happened in quite some time. Somehow, he had her telling stories from her life she didn’t even want to tell.
Sometimes it felt unsafe. Sometimes her brain hurt. Many times she beat her fists on his huge chest and told him how stupid he was, mimicked his questioning voice, tried to get him to hate her. More times than that, she’d ignored him altogether, once left his house without notice, just got in her car and drove away and thought, “There. I really did it now.”
But he’d just give her a few days and seek her out again, all patience, confidence, understanding.
“Are you done?” he’d ask, depositing an irresistible bouquet of roses to her door.
“Am I done?” she’d wonder.
It was hard to imagine what would come next.