*Please skip this installment if scenes of verbally abusive language and intimidating behaviours may trigger you.*
“I WON’T ASK YOU AGAIN! WHO THE FUCK IS MICHAEL?!!!”
My heart raced and I couldn’t find my words. There I was, cowered against the shower wall, naked and being towered over by Dex’s 6’5 muscular frame.
“What are you talking about?! I don’t know anyone called Michael!”
Dex backed away, grabbed my robe from behind the door and threw it at me. He was behaving like a freaking lunatic.
“Fucking LIAR! Get out of the shower NOW!”
He stormed out, leaving the door wide open, leaving me to wonder if I should lock myself in the bathroom and call someone for help. But Dex still had my cell and even if I did have it, who would I have called?
I hustled to put on the robe and scurried out of the bathroom to find Dex sitting at the kitchen table with an apple and a large knife laying in front of him. My fear kicked into high gear.
Okay, so right about now, I need to tell you three things right now…
One – Dex never ate fruit. No matter how full the fruit basket on my kitchen counter was, Dex refused to eat any kind of fruit. So an apple in front of him was totally out of place. Two – even if Dex wanted to peel that apple before eating it, the knife was way too large for such a small task. Three – in the minute it had taken me to get from the bathroom to the kitchen, Dex had calmed down.
He was too calm.
He motioned for me to sit down and I did.
“I’m going to ask you again Cara? Who the fuck is Michael?” His voice was quiet and even unlike mine that sounded like a shrill to my own ears.
“I told you. I don’t know any guy called Michael!!!”
I was telling the God honest truth but my heart was racing as if I were lying. He slide my cell across the table to me.
“Your cell rang, I answered it and …”
“You took my cell out of my purse and answered it?” I couldn’t hide the surprise in my voice. I was dumbfounded at his lack of boundaries. But instead of looking embarrassed, Dex stared straight at me as if I was the one with the problem.
“Yeah, I did. If you have nothing to hide, why would you have a problem with that Cara?”
“Be quiet for once and let me talk, will you? Like I was saying, your cell rang, I answered it but the person hung up after I answered. So I called back and he said his name was Michael.”
I couldn’t believe that he had called the number back. “Maybe it was a wrong number! I told you that I don’t know anyone called Michael!”
Dex picked up the knife and carefully started peeling the skin from the apple. He seemed totally mesmerized by the slow and deliberate movements of the knife in is hand stripping the skin from the apple as thinly as possible. I found myself holding my breath as I watched the precision in his peeling.
“Before you lie to me again, think before you speak. Think hard before you say another word…because Michael knows you,” he warned me as if I were a child.
I looked at the call log on the phone and stared at the number that had called. I realized that it did look familiar. But when I scrolled through my contacts, I found nothing. Then I glanced through my memo app where I sometimes jotted numbers down. That’s when I realized that “Michael” was really “Mikaël” (with a hard “k”), a new guy on my work team with whom I had exchanged numbers but hadn’t put in my contacts yet. The numbers were a match.
“Oh, that’s Mikaël! Not Michael. He’s the new guy in my division at work.”
Dex continued peeling the apple slow and deliberately until it was clean. Then, he placed the apple on the table and twirled the knife in his hand. I swallowed hard, not knowing what else to say. All I knew was that I had to stay calm.
“In other words, you lied.”
“No, the way you said his name wasn’t the right pronounciation…”
Dex raised his palm to signal that I should stop talking. And I did.
“Michael, Mikaël, I don’t give a fuck how this dick’s name is pronounced. You think you’re so much smarter than me, don’t you? What I want to know is how long you’ve been fucking him.”
I had no clue what to say. I wasn’t sleeping with anyone besides Dex.
“I’m not! Are you crazy? Why would you think that?”
“Oh, I’m not crazy. What’s crazy is you thinking that I haven’t noticed changes in you, like how you come in late from work and head straight for the shower.” The redness of Dex’s neck crept up to his face as he continued to stare at me. “I’m thinking that this prick is the reason you’re always late. You’re fucking him and need to get the smell of him off of you…”
“No, that’s not true…”
Dex threw the perfectly peeled apple into the trash and gently laid the knife down on the table in front of him. Then he leaned in to give me his full attention.
Remember when I said that I’d seen Dex’s Frankenstein in the car the day of the barbecue? Well, this calm version of Frankenstein was much, much scarier.
“I barely know the guy…”
Dex leaned in closer until his face was just inches away from mine. For the umpteenth time within those few minutes, I was truly afraid that he would physically hurt me.
“I always knew that you were too good to be true Cara. And now I know that you aren’t. You’re no different than any of those other lying sluts I’ve been with.”
I took a deep breath, stood up and feigned courage. “You need to get a grip and leave Dex! You’re not being rational! You need to leave!”
Dex reached over for the knife and slammed it down hard into the middle of the table. The tip of the knife sank deep enough into the wood that it was left standing on its own. In that moment, my world stopped and he just stared at me. Then, he raised himself from his chair and grabbed my arm hard. I was scared and all I could think was how long could I go without breathing.
“If you’ve been whoring around on me, there will be hell to pay for you and for that prick,” he said and glanced over at the knife.
I wrenched my arm from him with such force and backed away. But with the force of my pull, I stumbled and fell backwards. My head slammed against the fridge before I slide down its length and ended up as a crying crumpled mess on the floor. The back of my head burned with the impact and the last thing I remembered was Dex standing over me with a sneer on his face looking pleased with himself.
Continuation: L is for “Lines Crossed”
All Rights Reserved ©2018 Marquessa Matthews. Graphic above created with Canva.