tattered

This piece was written ages ago but has recently been edited, as in today.

* Not sure why this saved with no paragraph separation. *

——————————————————————————————————————————— With a sharp blow as it hit the floor, Catherine’s hairdryer crashed as it fell from the counter top to the hard tile in her very small bathroom.  She had been primping herself as it was her first night out with the girls since she and Lou had broken up.

Catherine’s wardrobe that evening consisted of a fitted red v-neck t-shirt, brand new, and her favourite pair of black skinny jeans. She was a little worried about how the night would go as she hadn’t even attempted to enjoy an evening with her friends in a very long time.  She was to meet them at a local club called Dalian’s at around eleven o’clock and was running pretty late.

All she had left to do was brush her teeth, she had always got ready that way.  While she allowed her her toothpaste to fill her mouth with the fizzy feeling of baking soda, she tried to think of the last time she had been to Dalian’s but could not remember.

Thoughts of Lou popped into her mind. Her relationship with Lou had lasted almost seven years; she loved the first four, before things changed.  At first it started with name calling and similar verbal abuse but it quickly progressed to Lou striking Catherine when she did not do what was asked of her.  She found herself constantly giving in to his sexual needs, even when she had no interest, to avoid further conflict.  The problem was that she lived with him, he had access to her at all hours of the day.  He did as he wished because he disregarded her feelings and his sheer physical strength was far greater than hers.  She could not stand up for herself.  She could not leave.

One day, about three weeks earlier, it had all come to an end.  After a heated argument, Lou decided in his infinite wisdom to leave.  It seemed strange because all of their disputes ended with Catherine’s compromising.

Catherine was relieved that Lou found another place to live.  Apparently he had found another woman to support him.  Her name was Veronica and it had turned out she had been his bit on the side for basically the entire time he was with Catherine.  This whole situation made it easier for Catherine to believe Lou was gone for good.

After a considerable amount of time spent worrying about the past, Catherine snapped back into reality as she looked at herself in the mirror.  Her toothbrush had fallen into the sink and she had to wipe her mouth clean and apply her lipstick.  She was surprised she had been so spaced out, this was not a feeling with which she was familiar.

The walk to Dalian’s was cold as it was the middle of February.  Her coat didn’t hug her with warmth the way it once had.  It was old and had started to tatter at the cuffs and collar.  She and the coat had a long life of love and Catherine was not about to part with it any time soon.  In a moment of anxiety she began to think of how she’d like the evening to lead.

Once she arrived at her destination she immediately took notice of the jovial atmosphere, complete with bright lights and smiling faces.  The entire place was jumpin’ to a song by Destiny’s Child of the same name. Catherine quickly found her friends as they were the central focus on the dance floor.  They soon spotted her and pointed to a booth on the other side of the bar from where the action was taking place.

All of the ladies sat down and indulged in some great conversation.  They discussed every facet of their lives to fill each other in on every detail missed since their last gathering.  Catherine enjoyed every minute of it.  Her friends all commented that this side of her was not one she had seen in years.  They agreed she was much better off without Lou, they were sure she would find someone better suited to her in time.

She smiled and that in that smile she could feel every muscle in her face.  It felt so different after all of the tears she had cried over the years, she thought there weren’t any smiles left to show.  She had even got to the point where she didn’t like the girl in the mirror any longer. The evening at Dalian’s became a blur of dancing, talking and meeting interesting new people.

After it was all over around three o’clock in the morning, Catherine headed home. She grabbed a cab and in her short ride home to her apartment, she reminisced over the good conversations she had and that fact that she got out of the house to have some real fun.  Though she was quite tired, she was aware that her night out satisfied her need for friendship, something she had been missing for longer than she could remember.

The taxi pulled into the parking lot of her building and things seemed to be in slow motion as she gave the driver the required fee and proceeded up the stairs.  At this point all she wanted was sleep.

When she opened the door, the first thing she saw was Lou sitting on what used to be their sofa.  A beer in one hand and a cigarette in the other.  He stared at her.  She hated it when he smoked in the house.

An avalanche of raw emotion slid down her from the sudden heat in her head to her seemingly frozen toes. After have come back from such a good night, the last thing she wanted was to see his face.  She became increasingly suspicious when she recalled the fact that Lou had given her back his key to the flat.  It occurred to her that he must have made a copy before giving back the original.

She asked him what he was doing there and at that time of night.

He said that he just wanted to talk and didn’t realise how late she must be coming in every evening; that she was out gallivanting all night with God knows who.

She explained to him that it was none of his business and again requested a reason for his presence.

He told her he was there to work things out and that he just had to come over to see her.

She dumped herself down on the couch, unimpressed, and began to take her coat off.  She tried to think relaxing thoughts, though it wasn’t probable that being at ease was in the cards she dealt that night.

He started to tell her how much he loved her and asked if she would like a beer before they began what he felt would be a long conversation.  Of course she wasn’t going to refuse alcohol when all she wanted to do was drift away.

Lou disappeared into the kitchen and spent what seemed to be far too long for simply opening a beer bottle.  Little did she know, this night was going to be even more than she bargained for when she saw Lou’s frighteningly familiar face.

He emerged, smile and all, holding the drink out for Catherine to take.  She was quick to drink it as she rather be drunk if she had to listen to him rattle on until morning about how he needed her etcetera.

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