In Her Words(9)

By: J.S Ellis

25th January



This morning, Wendy barged in on me while taking a sip of Gin & Tonic in the ladies toilet. I almost died. I don’t know how long this can go on before I get caught and get sacked!

Every day, I fill a small, empty bottle of water, and take it in my bag with me to work. Canned tonic tastes better than bottled, and, yes, I’m well aware of how stupid this is. I must try to be good.

The bruises are slowly healing. Richard is growing suspicious, and I can’t avoid sex any longer. He’ll be home soon. I’ve brushed my teeth, gargled with mouthwash, and scrubbed my nails to remove the nicotine smell.


I can hear the sax playing again. I’ve circled the living room several times, smoking a cigarette and drinking a bottle of Chablis, which has worked its magic - I can feel the room spinning. Shit. I have to cook dinner before he comes and finds me like this! I MUST be good this year. I don’t want Richard to drag me to rehab.

Where’s the chewing gum?

26th January



Last night, dinner with Richard went okay. He took off his coat and left his briefcase by the door, as he always does.

‘Smells good,’ he said. ‘What’s for dinner?’

‘Shepherd’s pie.’

‘Mmm, a nice hearty meal,’ he said, and kissed me on the cheek.

‘Why don’t you go freshen up, I’ll call you when it’s ready.’

He left the room. I shut my eyes, in bliss, listening to the sound of the sax.

During dinner, Richard talked about a boy who crashed his car, and how the firm has to pay.

‘People die, we pay. People crash cars, we pay. People burn down their houses, we pay,’ he said.

I laughed, ‘You should add that into your brochure,’

Richard glared at me. ‘It’s not funny, Sophie. You should know better.’ He took a sip of water.

‘Yes, darling, you’re right, I’m sorry.’

I continued to laugh.

‘Oh for goodness' sake! I can’t have a discussion with my wife.’

‘Sometimes it’s better to laugh about it. Take me, for example,’ I said, pausing to eat a forkful of Shepherd’s pie. I washed it down with a mouthful of white wine, and continued, ‘my clients ask me how their business is going. You know what it’s like?’


‘I make their balance sheets, profit and loss, consult with them, and give them advice.’

‘I know your job pretty well, sweetheart.’

‘Do they appreciate what I do? No, they don’t, and they don’t pay on time either.’

He took my hand and kissed it. ‘They’re making you work too hard.’

‘I’m not complaining. Actually, I enjoy it.’

He poured me more wine. ‘You need to take days off too.’

‘I have to say the same for you,’ I said.

‘I am an important man with an important job.’

‘Isn’t my job important?’

‘Of course, it is, how about we take that vacation? Where do you want to go? Not a city please, I need somewhere quiet, not surrounded by noise.’

‘Oh Richard, we live in the most multicultural inspiring cities in the world.’

‘I need some peace... how about Tuscany or South of France?’

‘I don’t mind, we can go wherever you want.’

I rubbed Richard’s chest with essential oils to help him relax. I kissed the scar across his chest, then laid my head on him and listened to his heart beating. I almost lost him once. I HAVE to be good for his sake.

28th January



I’ve just got back from the gynecologist. I had a few drinks before I went to see her, to build up my courage to face her. Dr. Williams is about my age. Her office was dull, with a desk and chairs, and an examination chair at the end of the room. No photographs. She had an iPad on her desk with a blue pen and a notepad. It was difficult to sit across from her and explain what happened. She must have thought here is a woman pushing forty behaving like a twenty-year-old. I had to tell her the truth. I asked her if she could run some tests.

‘What kind of tests?’ she asked.

I stared at the wall behind her, while I told her what I remembered. I didn’t tell her about the part where I woke up with aching thighs, and bruises all over my body. I couldn’t put it into the words.