Things were all going fine until I married him. I use to go to my university, come home to my mother, have tea with her, chatter with her until she resigned to bed. I would pick up a book and go back to my bed, usually fall asleep reading it.
I didn’t have many friends, as I was not a people’s person and preferred the company of books. I worked as a librarian until I finished my degree and was accepted at university as an assistant teacher.
One day I was coming back from university and has issued a book for myself about ‘paranormal activity’ when I saw him first. He had parked his car at the far end of University Parking and was trying to get his engine started. I thought nothing of him until after I had retired to bed that night. He was well dressed and moderately good looking. I put the book aside and touched myself that night after a long time.
The next morning, I had forgotten about him and moved on with my day. That evening on my way home I stopped by the bakery to get bread for the next morning. He was there again getting a fancy cake for himself. What was the occasion, I wondered? That night I touched myself again. It becomes a sort of routine. Every day I will sight him at University, Library, or bakery and every night I touched myself thinking of him, while my book at paranormal activity sat on my bedside, forgotten.
One day I have enough of my sexual frustration balled up and I decided to approach him. Interestingly enough, he approached me instead.
‘excuse me, I think you drop your keys’
I turned to look back, it was him. I smiled.
‘I do not carry any keys with me, I do not have a car as I can walk to my home and mama always opens the door for me, so I need not have keys.’ I spoke in my mixed French-British accent. My accent was part of the reason I shied away from speaking to others and never made any friends.
‘Oh, then these must be mine.’ He pocketed his key with a clever grin. ‘I have noticed you quite a lot in this neighborhood, do you live nearby?
‘Yes, but I haven’t seen you before’ I decided to pretend innocent. ‘Have you moved in recently?’
‘Yes, oh yes quite recently, I am a psychologist, and have recently acquired a job at University campus as student counselor’.
‘Oh, that’s great. Congratulations on your new job.’ I really had no idea how to further the conversation and hoped he would have something more to say. I think about you every night while I touch myself, seemed a highly inappropriate thing to say. I blushed.
‘Thanks’ he nodded and smiled. That followed a short period of awkward silence, at last, I was forced to speak.
‘I should leave now I guess, nice talking to you’ I said as I turned away from him.
‘Hey! don’t walk away! At least let me walk you home. You said you live nearby.’
Rest is history. Unlike most people, I found him really easy to talk to. He didn’t judge me about my mixed accent and seemed genuinely interested in what I had to say. He sometimes disagreed with me, especially my views about the selfishness of the people, system, and the world in general. But he was always polite. He believed the world was a relative place and nature manifested us the kind of people in our lives based upon our own perception and expectations.
Very soon he grew on me. Often I visited him at his office on Campus and sometimes he accompanied me to my home and had tea with my mother. However, despite mama’s insistence he never stayed for dinner. Until one night, he invited me and mama out for dinner and there he proposed to me for marriage. It was wild. We have had not established any physical relationship, apart from occasional hugs and pecks on a check when he left our house after tea. Then there was this one lingering kiss, gentle yet compassionate, a few days ago when I was about to leave his office.
Mama nodded encouragingly, and although completely taken off-guard I said yes. We got married a few days later n a quiet private ceremony. I had no friends or siblings, only one aunt who flew in from Dublin just in time. From his side, it was his sister, who lived in Montana, and two of his friends from campus. His sister Julie was a vet doctor, working for a wildlife park. She seemed nice, and lived at our place, in fact, shared mama’s room for the wedding and left two days later. He moved in with us, and left the apartment he was sharing with a colleague.
That’s when things started going wrong.
A month later Ted started receiving calls from a disturbed student every night. He would stay with her on-call for hours. Sometimes he even left home at midnight to see her. Apparently, she was having a hard time’ in her life and needed frequent supervision. It got to the point he was hardly available for me at home or even on campus. It was frustrating and I couldn’t help but think something was fishy. I had nasty thoughts, but he called me paranoid. Anytime we spent together we were fighting, it was only after four months after marrying him. I regretted our hasty decision of marriage and perhaps he did too.
Soon after I noticed a girl lurking around the corners, looking at me with intensity. Every time I tried to approach her, she just disappeared. Every few hours she was glaring at me, from behind the bookshelves, at the other end of a corridor, or from the far side of the hall.
I tried to talk to her about Ted and described her to him. He confirmed that the description matched that of her ‘upset patient’ but I did not need to worry as she will not cause any harm to me. But, I couldn’t just not care.
Her name was Eliana. She was ghosting me in the day and possessing him through the nights. That nineteen-year-old had taken over my life and I just could not do anything about it. Ted has forbidden me to reach her at all by any means. I was not to make a complaint about her, although she quietly was suffocating my life. No, actually she has hijacked my life.
I was angry. Angry at him, angry at Eliana. I was no fool. I knew what was going on between the two. I tried confronting him, he called me ‘crazy and paranoid’ one more time before dismissing the conversation.
Seeing him walking beside her was the last straw. I lost my patience, my composure, and most of all, control over my anger. I felt a boiling rush of anger surfing through my veins. I made a run for it. I don’t even know what I attacked him with. I just hit him hard with whatever I got hold of and hit whatever body parts of his I could reach for.
I was dragged away from him to the dean’s office. While people picked him from the ground, covered in his own blood and some of mine, I guess. But I was glad I took it out finally. From the Dean’s office, I was taken to the police station. It was there I came to know about the clever plot weaved against me.
I was told I was being charged for assaulting a person, and my job was terminated for attacking a fellow university employ. When I requested to call my mother, they said she died five years ago! Liars! I panicked about what Ted has done to my mama. They said I lived alone at my home.
Next, I was told Ted was married to another woman and when I attacked him he was with his daughter, who also studied at university. They further said I was referred to Ted for mental wellbeing by the head of my department, and he was doing a good job with me until the therapy backfired and Ted became part of my delusional world. Or so did my files say.
After balancing the assault charges, the state will give my house to Ted as compensation for damages caused by me.
Well played Ted, well played. But, I am not yet done with you …