Morbid Love

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5

I could feel an ugly future closing in. The way I experienced the world changed, and I felt myself becoming depressed. When she lost her temper, she was like a wild animal.

I could see by looking into her eyes that she wasn’t thinking, and really didn’t know what she was doing. I knew that if I started to hit her, all was lost; most of all, myself. So I broke up with her.

I had a dreadful couple of months – we both did – and we tried to get back together in the New Year. Things quickly devolved and one night, she got drunk and turned in her most spectacular performance ever.

I left the house to go to a friend’s place and she followed me down the street, screaming and howling.

I realized I didn’t have clothes for work the next day, so I doubled back and ran home, locking her outside so I could gather my clothes to leave.

I heard people yelling in the car park and when I looked over the balcony I saw a crowd assembled around her, where she was slumped against the building. I went downstairs.

I’m two meters tall and a fit one hundred and five kilograms. I know what I look like in shorts and a singlet, standing over the crumpled body of a hysterical woman in a car park at ten-thirty at night.

The crowd (no exaggeration – it was at least eight people) was silent.

“We’ve called the police,” said a woman in a business suit.

“Thank you,” I replied. “That’s probably best.”

I would never have called the police myself. To begin with, I was too embarrassed. In addition to that, I wouldn’t want to get her in any kind of trouble.

She was a highly intelligent young woman on her way to completing her degree. Not to mention, I have been arrested before and wouldn’t expect the police to come down on my side of the fence.

That said, the police were fantastic when they arrived. They spoke to the two of us; we both told pretty much the same story and given that she was drunk, they escorted her off the property after I had called her father to come and help her.

I remember looking up at the perfectly clear summer night sky, watching the stars spin around me, exhilarated. And I thought, ‘Thank God she had that abortion’.

If we had kids, and a mortgage, we’d be like some kind of two-headed monster, slowly coming to despise each other over a perpetual succession of bitter defeats and pointless surrenders. And the little humans watching; lips white, eyes red, wordlessly learning what love is.

***

Some years ago, I came across the most beautiful woman I had ever seen. It took me six months to find an excuse to talk to her, and we built a friendship over as much as another twelve.

Long story short, she was in an abusive relationship with a man twice her age. Our relationship remained platonic until they separated.

I spent six months trying to meet her and made a grand romantic gesture to break the ice. I was very pleased with myself and one night, asked if she had been impressed at the time.

“Actually, I was disappointed,” she said.

“Really?”

“Yeah. I thought you’d be just like my ex.”

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