At first, it was nice. He was the kind of guy who said nice things to me. I would wake up with my hair messed up and my breath stinking. But this guy will reach for my head, kiss me and say, “You’re beautiful.” I’ll argue with him. “This is not me. You can’t call me beautiful when I look like this.” He would shoot back at me, “Beauty is just this…raw, unadulterated, simple and true. That’s what you look now.” I will believe him so when he’s not watching, I will take a look at myself in the mirror and confirm what he told me. The voice in my head will say something like, “You better not believe a guy in love. He would call you beautiful when you actually look like a neglected potato.” Another voice in my head, the positive one, the one that claims to be the voice of God said, “I created you in my own image. You are beautiful. He’s only confirming what I’d already placed in you..”
I will stare at myself for so long and smile girlishly, “This guy will be the death of me. Had it not been him, I wouldn’t have known that love could be this intense and yet mild.” All these compliments would come after a night of heavy chilling and drinking. I didn’t know how to drink but I figured if I knew how to drink then I would fit the kind of girl he wanted. He made mention of that often. He said, “How can you not know how to drink? This is red wine. It’s good for your heart. This is white wine, it works on your mind and makes you happy.” There’s always something good about what he wanted me to drink. So I took a sip one night and never stopped. I took a lot of bottles home so I could drink them when I was alone. I was changing to fit the kind of woman he wanted because he was everything I wanted in a man.
One night, he hit me. When I was crying and asking why he hit me, he kicked me with his boot and left me on the floor crying. He was drunk, I knew it but I didn’t think he could go that far when he was drunk. I slept at his end that night. Early in the morning, he tapped me to wake up. He asked me, “Why did you choose to sleep on the couch when there’s a bed here?” I said, “Did you expect me to come to lie next to you after what you did to me?” He asked, “What did I do to you?” I blasted out everything that happened the night to him. He struggled to remember some of the details but other details were lost. He knelt next to the couch, held my hand and said, ‘I’m sorry. If all that happened then I’m a monster. Forgive me, I will never treat you that way again. Because of that, I will stop drinking so I don’t go that far again.”
I forgave him.
That night he took me out. He opened doors for me to enter and pulled seats for me to sit down. He didn’t sit until I sat down. Anytime our eyes met, he told me, “I’m sorry.” I said, “Come off it Hubert. It’s not that deep and I’ve forgiven you. I played a part in all that so don’t take all the blame.” his apology was so sincere I felt guilty for making him guilty. A week later he beat me again. This time he broke a bottle. He asked me, “Where do you want your mark?” I was shivering, my eyes popping out of fear. He was an inch closer to my face with the bottle, screaming, “Say where you want it before I go so deep into you.”.
I kept shaking, crying and pleading until he let the broken bottle fall off his hand and placed his head on my lap and started crying with me. I was still shivering. He kept repeating amidst tears, “I’m so sorry, it wasn’t intentional. Please forgive me but don’t do things that will trigger me. I love you so much and don’t want to lose you.”
What did I do to deserve that?
It was just a call that came through while I was with him. I didn’t pick up the call because the place was so noisy. While in the car going home, the call came again. I didn’t pick up because we were engrossed in a happy conversation and I didn’t want the call to distract us. We got home and the person called again. He screamed, “Pick the fucking call.” I didn’t even know who was calling. I picked up and said, “Hello, who’s speaking?” The voice on the other side, a male, said, “Oh so you’ve deleted my number right? No wonder…” I was getting angry so I said, “Stop playing this old trick on me and say your name…” Before I realized, Hubert has snatched the phone from me and was screaming, “Who’s that? Why are you calling my girlfriend at this time?”
The line went dead. He looked at my face, “Who was that?” I answered, “You heard me asking the same question. I would have the need to ask him that question if I knew who he was” He said, “Call again. You can’t deceive me this time. I say call again!” I did and the caller didn’t pick. I called again and again until he took the bottle, broke it and pointed it at my face.
When he left me and he was crying and apologizing, all I wanted to do was run but I was too scared to run. It was around 10pm. He said, “We can’t sleep like that. Let’s go out and cool off before we come back. I was still scared but I didn’t want to do anything to get him triggered. I followed him until we got to the beach. We sat quietly the whole time, watching the waves roar and until I started getting cold. I told him, “I’m cold, I want to go home. I mean my home. I need to be alone for a while.” He told me, “Promise me you won’t leave me. If you leave, that will be the end of me. I’ll end it and I mean it. In this insane world that I’m in, you’re the only one who makes things sane.” He apologized for what happened. He said, “Sometimes I’m not in control but I’m trying. With you by my side, I’ll get better and better.”
He brought me home and left but I couldn’t get out of the horror I was faced with that night. “What if he went ahead with the bottle before coming to his senses? What if he killed me?” I started piecing his words together; “Don’t do things that will trigger me…” And then, “Sometimes I’m not in control…” And his last attempt at motivating me to stay, “In this insane world that I’m in…”
I told myself, “There’s something that I’m missing. A piece of the jigsaw is missing. I need to find out.”
I called him later that night and asked if he was home. He said, “Yes I am. Thank you for caring this much.” Early the next morning, I called Jay. He calls Jay his childhood friend. Jay was there from the very first day that I met Hubert. Along the line, he faded away but I called him in and asked questions. “Is your friend alright? I mean things are happening and I want to know the history of it.” He asked me, “His anger issues?” I answered, “This is beyond anger issues. What am I missing?” He sighed, “Hmmmm, all is not well but for over a year now he had been good. No episode or whatsoever so we thought he could try again.” I asked, “So you mean…” He responded, “Yeah, I mean he has this medical issue with the mind. He’s not well balanced. A sort of deficiency that makes him behave that way.”
There’s a medical term he mentioned but it didn’t interest me. I was so fixated on my exit plan to think about a word I couldn’t even spell. “You have to be careful, especially when he’s experiencing an episode.”
I didn’t need that advice because I knew what I would do. I was going to walk away and not look back. That day I blocked his line but thinking of the whole thing made me unblock him again. “He lives alone. What if my withdrawal causes him to hit an episode?” I went back to him with the aim to help him. I was planning to meet any of his family people and ask why they’d left him alone knowing he has that problem. I tried all I could to get him to take me home but he didn’t. He said no one likes him in the family so it’s better he lives his life without them.
For close to three months I did all I could but he didn’t agree to introduce me to any of his family members. But I got him to open up about his situation. He said, “That’s why you’re all I have. Yes, I need help that’s why I want you to stay and help out.”
I was touched so I stayed until one morning, he poured a bucket of water on me just to wake me up. I got up drenched in water and shivered out of the cold. He stood there with the bucket in his hand laughing at me. I knew not to trigger him with my own anger so I got up calmly, entered the bath, took my bath and left his house. I called Jay and told him, “I’ve left your friend so get closer to him just in case.” That was it.
I never looked back. He came to my place twice crying and creating a scene. I left my house and went to my parent’s place for over two months before coming back. When Jay tried to get me to talk to him, I blocked him too. I needed to cut the cord and save my life so I did just that.
To date, he’s still the most loving guy I’ve ever had in my life, that’s when his mood was right. He’ll drown me in his personality and show me the kind of love I only saw in a movie but that wasn’t enough for me to stick around. The danger was too glaring to ignore. He no longer comes around but he comes to mind often and I miss him. I’ll remember the good days and swirl in them. All the times he called me beautiful will come back to me and I will smile. Just when my heart is overwhelmed, my mind will throw in the horrors I went through with him and I’ll snap out of the reverie.