“The hardest relationships to leave are the ones that aren’t terrible”
She reached out on the other side of the bed for the third time that night. It felt cold and the frame of the bed seemed wider than it had in the past. She knew it would be. She also already knew that it was empty. Her eyes were forced shut, desperately working herself to an induced sleep without the sleeping pills she had been taking for the past 3 months.
She sighed heavily and sat up. Leaning with both hands on the edge of the bed, she stared blankly into the dark room for a moment. It was astonishing to her, the vastness. In the dark, she could not see where the corners of the walls met. It was a windy night and the trap door hitting against the kitchen doorframe could be heard all the way upstairs. Ekow had always wanted that door removed when they first moved in but Petra thought it gave the kitchen a sense of antiquity. She had to smile at her pertinence. She always had her way with him. Instead, he had someone fix a foam buffer to keep the noise down. It clearly didn’t help much.
She remembered their first night in their new home. She remembered the light in his eyes.
“Petra, we are going to make this work, i promise you. This is the start of all the amazing things I want for you.” He had said, holding her hands. “I can see us brunching on Sundays with a little Esi and Fiifi running around the yard here!”
Petra was always amazed at how ready he was for marriage and fatherhood. “Well, we better get started then Mr. Thompson, we’ve got babies to make.” She’d replied , taking him into her arms.
It would be the start of the best years of her life. Ekow was everything and more of a man. He cheered for her and supported on everything she asked for.
She believed him because he was true to his word. Ekow worked hard and loved the same way. His passion was everything and his will to succeed was the stirring Petra needed when she fell in love with him. More than anything she wanted to make him a father. The one thing he silently yearned for.
But it’s not your fault, she whispered to herself repeatedly.
Heaving a sigh as she stood to full length. Her first step sent a small but piercing white shock of pain through her body. She jerked back onto the bed, wincing. It was a tiny piece of glass stuck in her left heel. Petra turned on the lights and found a little puddle of blood forming around the broken glass and a whiskey bottle that lay on the large rug on the floor. She started to shake as the memory of the previous night to hit her.
“Another fucking bottle…” She murmured. Overcome with sudden weariness, she sank into the her own blood and wept silently. It might have been seconds or minutes perhaps. She did not know nor cared. The pain mattered little now. It was a reminder, nothing more. A testament to her new life without Ekow. The pain was nothing more than a discomfort in the heel. It could not match the pain in her heart.
The silence, the alcohol, the empty bed. Three months was enough. This was not who she was. Wiping her eyes, she get up and walked gingerly to her bathroom. Petra washed her feet and and covered it with geuss and plaster. She was exhausted, hungry, and in need of uninterrupted sleep.In two minutes, she found herself opening the kitchen fridge for leftover sandwich and then her phone rang. She looked at the time and paused. It was 2am and he was calling. Why was he calling?
“Isn’t it a little late?”
“I live alone now, i can choose to eat any time I please” Petra shut her burning eyes, wishing the headache away. I shouldn’t have said that, she thought
“Petra…” He said with restrained energy.
“Ok, I’m sorry”
Ekow sighed, “Look, i just wanted to know if you’re ok. I’ll come by the house later today so we can talk”
“I’m not ready for this just yet.” “We have to have a conversation about it at some point, Petra. I have given you enough time.”
“Is this why you called me at 2am Ekow? Not to check how i am doing? How you have succeeded in tearing my heart apart? You want to talk to me about your bastard son?
“Petra, don’t -“
“Leave me alone Ekow!. Leave me alone!” She dropped her phone and screamed! She screamed hoping her spirit would die while she did.
The loudness of the silence could be heard from miles away if anyone was listening.
Petra sat back on the kitchen chair and wipe her face fiercely. She hated him. How she hated him, the lies, the mess of it all. They both could not continue to be married this way. How was she to be a mother to this child? What did Ekow expect from her?
It was unfair. She got up and reached for the phone she had thrown away. She knew Ekow was still on.
“Can i come home tomorrow, so we can talk at least?” He asked softly.
“You can come home. But i won’t be here, Ekow. Goodbye.”
“Petra – “