In Her Words(10)

By: J.S Ellis


‘Are you alright?’ she asked concerned.

‘If you run tests...’ I paused to clear my throat, ‘would you be able to tell if a person had been... sexually assaulted or not?’

She leaned forward. ‘Have you been sexually assaulted?’

‘I’m not sure, I can’t remember,’ I said, feeling my cheeks flush.

‘No need to be embarrassed, I can run some tests, to see if there are any tears or infections. Is that what you want?’ she asked.

I nodded.

‘Did you report any of this to the police?’ she asked.

‘No.’

‘Since it happened some weeks ago, any evidence, such as sperm or DNA will now be destroyed. You should have gone to the police as soon as possible.’

‘I know, but I couldn’t remember anything at the time. I was in such shock, and I don’t want my husband to know.’

She ran some tests and told me to come back to see her in a week. It was such an uncomfortable and humiliating experience.





30th January

Afternoon,

Diary.

Back from the grocery store. I’m so ashamed, diary. I’m such a stupid, ridiculous woman. Everyone was looking at me. I knew what they were thinking - ‘Look at her, pretending to be posh. She’s just a drunk, so much for prim and proper.’ Their eyes burned a hole in me, whispering to one another. I think I heard laughter. Even the clerk was looking at me funnily. I left the store without picking up the change. Even in the street, eyes were on me. I was shaking and sweating. In the apartment, my heart hammered. I placed my hand on my chest. I had left my rubber gloves on, no wonder people were staring at me.





31st January

Afternoon,

Diary,

When I got back home, Richard glanced up from his newspaper.

‘I’ve made reservations at Marcus,’ he said.

‘For when?’

‘Tonight- I booked it two weeks ago, thought I’d surprise you, and spend an intimate evening with my queen.’

‘Oh, you did, did you?’ I said.

I don’t know why he thinks of it as a surprise when going out for meals is such a regular event.

‘Why? Do you have plans?’

‘No.’

If a man told his wife, he’s taking her to one of the most expensive restaurants in the city, she would be thrilled, but I can’t help but find this a drag. Posh restaurants are not my thing. Having to doll myself up is exhausting. I didn’t want to wear high heels that make my feet hate me, or do my hair and makeup. I wanted to stay home with my husband, order a pizza, watch a movie, or talk instead. Embrace the simple joys of the world that don’t come with a price tag.

‘How nice,’ I said, bending over, and kissed him on the lips, ‘What time is the reservation?’

‘Eight.’

I didn’t need much time to get ready, only forty-five minutes, so I finished off some work on my laptop first. I then carefully picked an outfit that symbolizes a date with my husband. If he said he was taking me to McDonald’s, and I could throw on some jeans and a top, it would be more exciting than this fancy fluffy stuff. Going to posh restaurants that serve lobster tail on a large plate is just a means to show off, to impress.

I leave hungry every time Richard takes me to those places. The host showed us to our table and handed us the menus. Richard ordered a bottle of 1989 Chateau Palmer. We ordered our food and some ketchup for me. I don’t care if it’s a posh restaurant, I love ketchup. I have it on everything, Richard raised his eyebrow at me.

‘Ah Sophie,’ he said taking my hand. ‘What I am going to do with you?’

Ever since Richard had his bypass, things changed even in the bedroom. He can’t get too excited because of his heart. I ate slowly and sipped my wine, being careful how much I drank. I admired the people in the restaurant, comparing the couples that are at the beginning of a relationship, to the ones who looked like they’d been together for years. The new couples barely touched their food. They focused on each other, both knowing the evening will end in bed. The other couples ate their food quietly. One or two seemed like they were having heated debates, and I wondered if their evenings would end up in bed, minus the sex, or not.

Richard and I met twelve years ago, at a dinner party, a friend of a friend was hosting. We sat next to each other. I thought he was handsome, intelligent, and well dressed. We talked about finance, history, and politics. He thought I was the most beautiful thing he’d ever seen. He loved my high cheekbones, my defined jawline, and my eyes. He fussed about the way I looked and told me I looked like a porcelain doll. We exchanged phone numbers and met again for dinner. We dated for about a year, and then he proposed while we were on holiday in Rome.