“Candice, what happened?” He was nearly shouting now. He wasn’t trying to be cross, but he couldn’t help it. He had to know.
“The miscarriage - it wasn’t...” She began.
“We weren’t ready for a kid, what with you being between jobs and all. And you know our parents wouldn’t help us. Heck, they couldn’t even if they wanted to.”
He waited for her to finish, fighting the urge to scream at her for taking so damn long to spit out whatever it was she was trying to say.
“Well I knew you’d never allow it, so I went to the clinic one day after work. I used the money I got from my holiday bonus. I didn’t tell you I got a bonus this year so you wouldn’t question what I did with the money.”
“Candice...did you...” She turned around to face him.
“I got an abortion. I swore to myself I’d never tell you because I knew it would break your heart. I knew a miscarriage would be easier for you to deal with, but the guilt’s been eating me alive Wesley.”
By this point he had tuned her out. In fact, he’d tuned out every word she’d said since “I went to the clinic.” His hands clamped down tightly on the back of his neck. It felt like there was lava in the back of his throat. He didn’t even have enough time to make it to the sink before his mouth was filled with that night’s supper. He watched it splatter onto the floor. Small speckles of the brown, chunky substance covered his shoes. He wiped his mouth with the back of his forearm and looked up at her, trying to swallow back the burning sensation that gripped his throat.
“Wesley, I’m so sorry. Truly I am. But you know we aren’t ready, and we’re still so young. There’s so much time for that later. You may not believe me right now, but it was for the best.”
“That wasn’t your decision to make.” His voice was so low she could barely make out what he was saying. Before she could reply, he lunged forward and gripped a fist full of her hair. She screamed, trying to get him to release her and her limbs flailed as he spun her around to face the sink. She got a quick look at her reflection on the surface of the dingy water before her face was shoved down into the murky remains of the dishwater. Her face struck against the bottom of the sink. Her nose broke the instant it made contact. Blood blurred the water and clouded her vision. She couldn’t hold her breath any longer so she involuntarily sucked in a mouthful of water. It tasted like rancid meat and salt water. Bits of soggy lettuce and bread floated into her mouth.
At last he jerked her head up out of the water. She gasped, struggling to fill her lungs. The blood gushed from her nostrils and streamed down her face and neck. The brilliant red even began to seep into her yellow blouse, turning it a sickly shade of orange. She pressed a hand to her nose then, as if to access the damage. She looked up at him and stumbled back against the counter.
“Wesley, please. Think about what you’re doing,” she begged, her hands held up to shield her face from a possible blow. Just then his face twisted into a grimace. It was a disturbing thing to witness. It kind of made you wish you’d cease to exist, or never been born in the first place.
That’s when she began to cry because that is the moment she realized the repercussions she would face for her actions. This only added to his fury. He’d forgotten how awful she looked when she cried. She looked so ugly you couldn’t even feel sorry for her. It sucked every ounce of sympathy right out of you. And that mouth - her teeth alone were enough to drive him mad. They were so damn big and crooked. Then there were her gums. When she smiled it seemed as if there were too much gum to compensate for her giant ass teeth. She had the ugliest mouth her ever saw. The only reason he’d been able to put up with it so long was because the rest of her face was beautiful enough to make up for it. Not now though - all covered in blood and chunks of food from the dirty dishwater.
He wrapped her hair more tightly around his fist and pulled her along. She tried to resist, but it only hurt her more so she wobbled along behind him as best as she could, hunched over a bit to keep him from pulling too hard on her hair. They headed up the stairs this way, and when they reached the top he seemed to pause and think for a moment. She lurched forward when he began to walk again.
He walked right into the bathroom. She wasn’t entirely sure why, but this frightened her deeply. He let go of her hair and shoved her onto the floor beside the toilet. She dared not move. It would only make things worse for her. She tried to reason with him again.
“I want you Wesley...I need you...” she choked on the words as she fought the urge to cry. He looked at her. She looked so pathetic, sprawled there on the floor next to the toilet. Her face was a wreck, and the rest of her wasn’t looking too hot either. He laughed.
“You can have me,” she continued.
“Just stop Candice. You’re making a fool out of yourself. Who could want you? Just look at yourself. You’re downright awful,” his voice was chiding, as if he were speaking to an easily spooked horse.
He searched through the cabinets for something frantically. A knot in her stomach began to form as she realized what he was hoping to find. She knew he would find it too. She hadn’t hidden it all that well this time. She saw it glint in the light. He spun around and held it up, grinning like a lunatic.
“Didn’t think I knew you still cut yourself did you? Your mother was right. I should’ve let them take you and pumped you so full of drugs you wouldn’t even know your own name. Get into the tub,” he said setting the rusty blade down by the sink.
She obliged, fearing what he would do if she didn’t. He pushed her down flat onto her back and lifted her shirt up so her tummy was exposed. His fingers traced from her belly button, up to her bust. She had smooth skin, the color of heavily creamed coffee. Oddly enough it made him want a cup at that moment. He laughed silently to himself at the thought.
She was about to give him a good blow to the head, but he was quicker than her and he saw it coming. He sent his fist across her jaw. First was the sound of her face colliding with his hand, then was the sound of her head bouncing against the empty tumby. It echoed in his ears for a moment. She screamed kind of gurgling at the same time as the blood from her nose began to seep into her mouth. He watched her in amusement as he sat down on the edge of the tub and pulled of his work boots. Then he climbed into the tub, sitting himself down on her legs - rendering her immobile.
He pulled off her skirt and her underwear (this proved to be quite an ordeal in a bathtub).Then he reached over to where the blade lay waiting beside the sink, nicking his finger in the process. He squeezed the finger and watched the small pool of blood swell.
“Do you think it would've been a boy or a girl?” he asked. But he didn’t wait for her response.
“I would’ve liked to think it would’ve been a girl. How did it feel? When they broke her spine I mean? Did you hear the crunch?”
She opened her mouth to say something, but his hand came down over it before she could get a word out. She wanted to convince him why what he was doing was wrong, but he was going to show her why what she’d done was wrong. He thought this was the only way to make it right.
On his finger now rested a dime sized pool of blood. Using the blood from his nicked finger he drew a line an inch or two above her pubic bone. She looked on in fascinated horror. His other hand was still clamped down over her repulsive mouth. She bit him, but he hardly felt it. He was somewhere else, far, far away.
“I need you to breathe deep for me. C’mon, nice deep breaths,” he said in his calmest voice as he hovered over her with the blade between his fingers. They were sticky with blood. She writhed and kicked underneath him, but he didn’t flinch. He pushed his hair back from out of his eyes as he caressed her stomach. Then, without a moments notice he brought the blade down across the blood drawn line.
She shrieked, but all he could hear was a steady thump drumming in his ears. The rusty blade staggered across her flesh, leaving a jagged line in its wake. He retraced the line a second, third, fourth, and fifth time. Each time the blood seemed redder. It rolled off of her body and into the white tub.
She was barely conscious by this point. Her head lolled back and forth as if she were shaking her head, still trying to convince him to stop. He sawed through layers of tissue and muscle until he’d reached it - the uterus. He set down the blade on the side of the tub and pried the slit open with his fingers. There was an awful ripping sound. Like someone ripping a yard of fabric in half. His fingers wiggled around a bit, stretching the taut skin. All the while blood was oozing out in sickly amounts.
His hand was halfway in when he felt something that made his breath catch.
“No,” he said aloud. He pulled his hand out and counted back on his fingers. He couldn’t remember the last time Candice had had her period. But there was no way. The last time they’d had sex (if you could really even call it that) was over a month ago...
His thoughts derail. How could she have not known? Surely there was some mistake. What had he missed? Before he could finish this thought process he reached back inside. Candice wasn’t moving anymore.
This time when his fingers brush against the strange film he knew what it was. He pulled it through the slit as gently as he could manage, but when it’s nearly out the sack bursts. He finishes pulling it out and sifts through its contents. His pants are stained with the blood that has filled the tub a considerable amount.
After a moment of swishing around in the blood he finds what appears to be a small, pink blob. cautiously he picks it up and places it in his palm. It’s not much, but it’s a baby - or would’ve been rather.