Passion Marks

The black cordless phone slammed against the right side of my face with such force that it sent my entire body reeling over the white sofa. I rolled over it and onto the coffee table, shattering the glass top. Instantly, my face went numb. I lay on the floor in a daze, trying to ascertain the extent of the damage: the pain was intense. 
​I rubbed my face with my hands while I tried to ignore the warm feel of blood as it oozed out of my back and soaked my shirt. When I found the strength, I looked above me and saw him looming like a volcano suddenly compelled to erupt. His savagely contorted face burned with the fire of his words and the anger that dripped from his thick breath. When I attempted to sit up, I felt his shoe in my chest, kicking me back to the carpet. His words failed to convey any meaning through the depth of my pain, but the anger on his face spoke volumes. I closed my eyes, praying this nightmare would end; instead of ending, his body suddenly pressed down on my chest, and unrelenting fists pounded my face. I tried to shield my face from his blows with my arms, even while his frame weighed heavily upon me. 

​By this time, my lungs were on the verge of collapse and I gasped desperately for air. I was far too weak to force him off me, and when I struck him in the eye with my fist, it only made him pound harder. Through his anger, and between the unbroken chains of profanity, he yelled something about blood on the carpet, as if it was my fault, and then pulled me up from where I lay like a rag doll. He stood me up so I could look directly in his brown eyes, and then he slapped me so hard across the face that I crashed into the wall, narrowly escaping the flames of the fireplace. Just as he raced toward me, I stood up, and with all the force I could muster, I slammed my fist into his face. He stumbled. I threw my body into him with the force of a linebacker. He tried to withstand the force, but he lost his balance, and we both tumbled onto the floor. His head hit the side of the entertainment center, and blood began to run down his face from the open wound. I pounded his face with my fist, and then slammed his head onto the floor repeatedly like a man possessed. He looked worn out. It was over. 

I rolled off him and onto my back, taking a moment to breathe as I looked up at the ceiling. Slowly, I moved away from him. That’s when I felt his fist connect with the back of my head. He plowed into me like a truck from behind, and I flew into the fifty-gallon fish aquarium, shattering the glass and sending the helpless fish to the floor. They flipped and flopped, gasping for air; within moments they’d be dead. He grabbed my left leg and pulled me with ease across the carpet, unmoved by my struggle for freedom. My attempt at liberation from his massive hands proved futile, and he continued dragging me across the white carpet, leaving behind a trail the color red. 

​When we reached the staircase, he gave my body a tremendous yank to assert his control. With sudden prowess, he moved behind me, pushed my body down, and forced my stomach into the stairs. I could feel his gigantic hands on the back of my neck as he pressed my face into the carpet. I was pinned down, unable to move. He ripped off my bloodstained shirt and tossed it aside. As he whispered something in my ear, his hands grabbed my ass. The heat of his breath scalding my neck was far worse than the words he spoke. He grabbed me by the waist and raised my body up just enough for him to undo my belt. As he pulled down my pants and underwear in one swift motion, I braced myself. His accelerated breathing became louder and louder in anticipation. I tried to prepare myself for the violation. I knew that he would do everything in his power to make it hurt-to make me scream for mercy. He had a special affinity for delivering pain. This time I would deny him the perverse pleasure of hearing me scream. 

​Behind me, I heard him unzip his pants; that was the catalyst that brought tears to my eyes. I would not let them fall. My tears would only add to his callous joy, so I withheld them. My legs were then forced apart, and I knew there was no turning back. With his arm still pressed against the back of my neck, and my face forcibly held against the floor, I felt his thick flesh force its way into me, connecting in a vile union. The pain of that first thrust when it broke through my barrier almost caused me to let out a loud scream, but I held it in. His bursts rocked my body, and the pain increased the longer he stayed in me. I reached my hands behind my back and tried to push him off me, but my effort proved pointless. He pushed harder and harder, while his inhuman grunts filled the room, like the howl of a wolf in the darkness of night. The force of his thrusts rolled my body back and forth, back and forth, back and forth, for what seemed like an endless moment in time. My face dug deeper into the stair, and the burn from the carpet on my face was becoming painful. His panting was vicious, much like an animal that suddenly realized the extent of its power and its victory. All the while, his voice shouted despicable words, and with each debilitating push from his body into mine, his voice became louder. This had to end. All of the hurt my body suffered now went to my head, and I could feel myself losing consciousness. He turned my head toward him, forcing me to look into his hollow eyes. Blood stained his face. His muscles inside of me began to contract, and I knew it would be over soon. He pushed harder, faster, harder, and still faster, until I felt the release of his hot fluids. He pulled out of my body while still enjoying his eruption. His juices spilled on my back, and then rolled down my side. It was over. From behind, he wrapped his hands around my waist and pulled me into his powerful chest. He held me there for a few seconds, gently kissed the back of my neck, and released me. “Clean up this mess,” he said as he motioned toward the war-torn room. He climbed over me, and made his way up the staircase. When I looked up, I saw the back of his naked body reach the top of the stairs and disappear into darkness. 

​There were no words with enough power to capture the way I felt. I remained laying face down in the carpet, naked except for one sock dangling off my foot, unwilling-perhaps unable-to move. I felt stinging sensations pulsating on my back from the glass still buried beneath my skin. I tried to check my back to see if it had stopped bleeding, but I really wasn’t concerned about those cuts; my attention was singularly focused on bigger issues. My entire body, wrapped in a throbbing blanket of pain, felt limp. After a few deep breaths, I managed to regain some control of my tattered frame, and forced myself to slide slowly to the bottom of the staircase, where I pulled my knees into my chest, and rested in the corner like a small child hiding from monsters under the bed. The sweet smell of jasmine still clung in the air, much like a damp mist over a lake in the early morning. With my right hand, I caressed my face--the swelling had already begun. I needed to crawl into the kitchen to get some ice, but that distance seemed unconquerable. The dimly lit house, once full of noise, now sat quiet as if the weakened sky had nothing left to give after its storm. The only audible sounds came from the rain lightly pounding against the windows, and the murmur of the rolling thunder. The lightning flashes offered a brief illumination, but I longed for the darkness to bury my shame.

​The entire evening replayed in my head like a big-screen horror movie. I paid close attention to the details to see if I could figure out where it went wrong. Alluring candles, sweet incense, and a basket full of fabulous seafood in front of the fireplace. Sexy love ballads from the stereo, expensive wine, and vases full of freshly cut colorful roses all over the house. It all seemed so perfect. James and I held each other closely while staring seductively in each other’s eyes; this was the man that I adored. The evening conversation was full of love and comforting smiles. His soothing caresses brought me to the ultimate state of relaxation. I thought the dark days were long behind us, forever sealed by the hands of time. For the first time in months, it seemed that we could be the happy couple I envisioned. 

​This wasn’t the first time I had felt his fists and been burned by his quick temper. Throughout the course of our relationship, violence was not uncommon, especially during his times of stress related to his firm, Lancaster Computer Systems. A year ago LCS made an acquisition of a smaller computer firm in Austin; this transaction brought out the worst in James. Some nights when he came home, I feared for my safety, and at times, for my life, not knowing what to expect when he walked through the door. It was like rolling the dice.

Partly, it was my fault. I knew this. Sometimes, maybe out of boredom, I would intentionally antagonize him just to get a reaction. I wanted to see how far I could push him. I wanted to know whether or not I had the power to make him lose control. During stressful times, instead of being supportive and appreciative, I managed to say or do the wrong thing. But this attack was by far one of the most vicious outbursts I’d suffered at his hands.

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