I realised a little too late that he had always been this way even when we just met. Mean, abusive and demanding, but oh so subtly. Loving with one hand and killing with the other. Bode, my lover, my enemy.
I hated him. I hated that I loved him so. I hated what he did to me.
His charm had swept me off my feet; I was enamoured, held captive by his sweet words and boyish charms. Those eyes that made me drown in their depths and his sense of humour. For a very long time I lived in a bubble, a fantasy, Bode could do no wrong in my eyes. Apparently, other people saw what I couldn’t see and told me to be careful. I looked at some of them like they were crazy and the others like they had pure undiluted envy flowing through their veins. I’d found happiness and they weren’t happy for me. Bode! Bode?
How could I have known? I was young and naïve. He was a bit older, I didn’t mind. It just made him more attractive to me. Elegant and suave, I was proud to tell anyone who would have cared to listen just how perfect he was.
At first it was the temper tantrums and unnecessary demands. It seemed odd to me, Bode didn’t get angry or did he? I lied to myself. I’d lied to myself for a long time; I couldn’t separate truth from lie anymore. I told myself it was the pressure at work making him act that way, then came the verbal abuses, I was called all kinds of names, mean nasty names, I’d break down in tears and he’d come cooing sweet nothings about how sorry he was. It was a bitter-sweet love-hate relationship. And then he changed.
He became the Bode I knew once again, charming and loving. This went on just for a short while until the something I must have done obviously flipped the switch again. Or so he said. The first slap came not quite too long after, and things just spiraled out of control. I was still in denial, praying and hoping that the Bode I knew would surface. I didn’t recognize this monster. No, this wasn’t my Bode.
It wasn’t until I was it the hospital, treating multiple bruises and a fractured collar bone , having undergone minor surgery to right a tooth that had twisted unnaturally did the scales fall from my eyes. I woke up to see my friend looking down at me with tears in her eyes, thanking God that I didn’t die, begging me to never go back to him, it was a good thing we weren’t married.
She didn’t need to. My mind was made up, I’d lost my faith somewhere along the line, forgotten what it was like to pray. I was broken on the inside as much as on the outside. Pain had become my friend; I welcomed it with both arms wide open. I was lucky to be alive. I shut my eyes and for the first time in a long while I muttered a word of prayer, I wondered if God heard me. I pray he did; at this point all I needed was a miracle.