I live in the suburbs and all of the houses look exactly the same, except for mine. My home was the first one built in this complex. It’s not as modern. It’s pretty old and a bit…abandoned-looking. When we first moved in, the outside was painted a sky blue but now it exhibits a depressed grayish hue as it squats on the overgrown forest that was once our lawn. It really sucks, walking from the driveway to the front door. You can’t even see the concrete anymore, the grass and weeds have sprouted to knee-length. By the time I get to my door I’m frantically scratching at my legs which have been devoured by mosquitoes and violated by roaming crickets. Sometimes the gutter gets unhinged from the roof when it storms, and I swear all you can hear at night is the cheap plastic clawing against the window. God it’s so annoying. I never get any sleep. She sleeps just fine with it though.
I get used to seeing the gutter just hanging there now. So used to it in fact, that I don’t even try to fix it anymore. I just let it sort of…hang there and drip dirty rain water. When I come home from work, that’s the first thing I see. The fucking gutter. Again. Why should I fix it if it just keeps falling off every time it rains? Plus, it’s old and I’m moving out of here again…very soon. I couldn’t care less.
She gets mad at me a lot when I leave. I hate to see her so upset but I just can’t stand living in that damn house. Living with her. The paint is chipping off of the walls, the ceiling leaks salt water, the wooden floors are almost unrecognizable because of termites, and there are so many pests! Rats, mice, roaches, water beetles, bedbugs. The bedbugs are the worst. They keep me awake at night, biting at the flesh on my ankles. Every morning we wake up with fresh blood stains on our sheets. She doesn’t wash them. Trust me, I have tried washing them myself before but she screamed at me and had a bad nervous breakdown. It was scary. She was throwing shit around and smashing plates…she even pulled a razor blade out on me. All of the neighbors came knocking to see if we were okay and they almost called the police, but I begged them to just give us some space. I didn’t want to go through that again. So I just leave the sheets alone now.
She tells me that whenever I leave, the sheets still smell like me and that’s why she won’t wash them. She says, I’m the only one who helps her to dream at night. So the smell is just a temporary replacement while I’m gone. She tells me she likes to wrap herself up in them, blood stains and all, and inhale me until she’s fast asleep. Then she cries and, by habit, I gently kiss away her tears. They taste bitter.
I find it funny. How poetic she can make her paranoia sound. She speaks in sonnets whenever I’m around and scribbles in her journal all damn day. She sends me text messages in haiku’s and always writes some stupid inspirational quote on the bathroom mirror every morning. I adored it at first, because I thought she was really changing. But now I know it’s just a facade, and she just loves giving advice she’ll never take.
It’s annoying. Because I know she writes about me and she thinks her poems will make me stay.
She thinks this is temporary. But I’m not coming back this time.
I don’t feel guilty anymore when she cries about how much she’s attached to me. She’s just manipulating me again, making me think she’ll finally let me fix up the house when we both know damn well it’s gonna stay in the same condition I left it in. Plus, seeing blood on the sheets every morning makes me gag. I will never understand why she tries so desperately to normalize this insane way of living.
Fuck this place, fuck her, I’m leaving.