Love was bound to end in tears.
That’s what everyone said. But no one ever told her not to love. Everything she read, or heard showed such a rosy picture of heroes and prince charmings who would sweep the maiden locked away in the tower, saving her from the Ogres, the dragons, taking her to the Land of the Fantastical Eternal Ecstasy. He HAD taken her there, and then thrown her down to the Dungeons of Satanic Sin and Misery. As he told her father when he begged her to come back to him, and when things were out of his hand, “I sucked the blood out of her and then poured it back in, drop by drop. She was so resilient; I couldn’t understand how she could stand it. It angered me even more. I butchered her further. There was such a feeling of euphoria in torturing her and such immense power that I just couldn’t halt. I kept going on.” Hearing his words on the speaker phone from atop the stairs, she couldn’t help being stunned.
She had always thought he didn’t know any better; he was chronically ill or had had some psychological trauma at a young age which caused him to act out and be ferocious and ghastly. He had always known what he was doing; he knowingly and deliberately calculated her responses, studied her like a subject and built his ammunition from her actions; teaching her a lesson each time. Not to tread in his life and freedom. He didn’t just want to have no semblance of family life, he also wanted things that were just not morally correct and she, who had always led a righteous one just didn’t know how to give him what he desired and craved. She did all in her power to please him. Fed his insatiable appetite in whichever way she could. He was a hedonist of sorts; wanting to decrease pains from his life but taking extreme pleasure in hurting another. He loved toying with her. She was easy bait. Naive she had always been. Her simplicity and innocence stemmed from a sheltered past, her parents had always taken care of her, pampering her since infancy…
She often wondered if she should raise N differently. If she should throw him out to the ferocious savages the universe is built of, and not provide the buffers that parents customarily do. She was a fiercely practical one. She would rather let him get hurt and realize what he did wrong in order to know never to touch a scalding hot iron or slip on a banana peel. She thought she had learnt her lessons in life the hard way, then should he suffer the same fate at the hands of ones that he loved or otherwise. She was the type of mom who did the best she could and was obsessed about raising her son the right way. In the dark of the night she often wondered if the battle between Nature and Nurture would help her triumph over his paternal genes of violence and insatiable cruel intentions. She could see what a sweet person N was, so happy and excited and innocent, yet broken. She knew how he was not like all other kids around him and he saw the world very differently, keenly, perhaps. He had no rose coloured glasses. He would ask her why and how and where. He would also ask her why not. He was but a child. How could he understand what she was incapable of! But it was his undying and irreplaceable adulation for her and her heart that beat in him that made her put one foot ahead of another. He would be devastated if she ever looked sad or disappointed. He would do all he could to cheer her up. He needn’t. He was her world.