The Overarching Narrative of an Otherwise Abusive Relationship

It had already been 6 months, yet for some reason they were at it again. After the incessant vows to “never text or call again,” well, of course they were calling and texting again. Generally that promise only lasted, on average, for about 3 days, although once it lasted for 8 days, which was a truly remarkable occurrence. 

After all the shit that had happened, this now alleged truce was merely born out of a subconscious desire for closure. Therefore the amicable nice dinner. The sweet and pleasant conversation about the things they wanted to do with their lives. Out to a couple bars to play Oakland gutteratti society couple, but also to get ungodly drunk. You know. Just like in the old days. Go back home, do some blow, fuck like crazy for a few hours. Do some more blow, talk endlessly, try to fuck but mostly fail, fall asleep. Wake up. 

It was an evening that was modeled on the usual pitch and sway of their relationship: drink, fuck, coke, bars, fuck, fight, sleep. It was a rather mathematical and predictable relationship, even if that particular formula gave way to rather raucous, emotionally traumatic, abusive scenarios. For one day, she’d accuse him of being an alcoholic fuck up, his room littered with shooters and empty 12 packs and cigarette butts all strewn across a filmy layer of dirty clothing and discarded Taco Bell wrappings. The next day, he’d be screaming at her for being crazy and a liar and demented, mostly due to behaviors such as calling 17 times in a row then hitting on all his friends and maybe fucking some of them, too. Just for revenge. Maybe they were both kinda right about all the things they said, but it was shouted out in a red haze of fury and hurt that made everything seem…well it hurt, but in a way that made it okay and justifiable to forget. To act like the things the other person said were completely invalid, mostly due to the other person’s flaws. They showed each other the darkest parts of themselves, which is exactly why they wanted to forget each other. And also fuck each other, but it was hard to decide which option was the healthier choice. 

But there they were. 6 months later. After about a month of bitter silence and countless shenanigans on each side to ensure a total state of napalm-esque mind fuckery intended to, on some level, completely decimate the other person’s social standing, mental stability and overall ability to be happy on a long term scale in life, they had, of course, come crawling back. Was it out of morbid curiosity? Or an underlying sense of self sabotage and an addiction to train wreckage? Perhaps both. Probably both.

So there they were. Pretending things were okay. Nudging themselves back into making those empty promises that lovers always make to each other. The future. To health. Good decisions. Positivity. Love. 

Of course, at some point, that all derailed. It’s unclear at what point in the evening things started unwinding. It wasn’t even one of those nights wherein they pursued the 5am fuckery of too much to drink and too much cocaine and sitting at the end of some bar, swaying on a bar stool, slurring and stupid with party. It was a relatively tame night for the two of them, but maybe it was the knee jerk chemical reaction of being in each others’ company that galvanized this evening’s cringeworthiness.

After a normal, nice night out, and go back to his house. Let’s keep things pleasant, okay, kids?

He kisses her and says, “I had a nice time today with you.” Goes to the fridge and gets out beers for them. She’s leaning on the counter trying her best to look both radiant and fuckable. They haven’t left each other’s sight since the night before.

“Me, too, baby,” she says as she grabs the beer and looks at him. With those eyes, and it’s obvious that she’s trying to read his mind and make his thoughts veer directly into, “Wanna come into my bedroom and fuck some more?” 

But that’s not what he says, because he’s old. He’s so old. And she’s so young, and maybe his lack of vigor is a point of contention in this relationship. Because instead of that, he says, “Well, I’m gonna wind down. Do you want me to call you a cab?”

“What?” she snaps. No, this isn’t how she’s going to end her fairytale. “No.”

“What? Why not? Baby, I’ve got some stuff to do.”

“What stuff? You don’t do stuff. I mean, we just had such a lovely time together. Wouldn’t you rather spend time with me? Instead of doing stuff? Come on…”

(Note…this is the beginning of what we all – and by we all I mean everybody except for them – know is the end.)

“No, no, I’m serious,” he insists as he throws back as much beer as possible in one fell swig. He grabs his phone.

“No!” she screams, lunging at him to knock his phone out of his hand. You see – just like that. In an instant, devolving back into backwards and fucked up.

“Woah, chill! What was that for?” as he muscles her away from his phone.

“Don’t call a cab! I don’t want you to call a cab! I don’t want to go!” she shrieks.

“What is your problem?!?!” he’s beginning to escalate from rational to irate, too. “Look, I didn’t invite you to stay over again. I’m fucking tired – can’t you just go home?”

“No! I don’t want to go home! I want to be here with you! All – all those nice things you said – don’t you want to be with me?” Her insecurities streaming down her face like tears, “Come, on, please, just let me come in your room, I promise I’ll be quiet. I just want to be with you!”

“Omigod, NO. I just told you – I have stuff to do-“

“What stuff???”

“Jesus Christ, woman. Just leave me alone we’ve been hanging out for 36 hours, I’m fucking exhausted.”

“So, what? You’re tired of me? Really? That’s it?”

“No, that’s not what I said-“

“Oh, yes it is!”

“Holy shit, can you just shut the fuck up? You’re being a goddamn bitch right now.”

“Excuse me? Did you just call me a bitch?”

“Yeah, I just called you a bitch, and you need to get the fuck out of my house right now.”

She’s flailing and crying and throwing her body against him while he’s trying to push her away. “No, don’t make me go! Please, I just want to be here with you! Don’t make me go!”

“Fuck you. If you’re not leaving my house, I’m calling the cops.”

“No! Don’t call the cops!”

He’s angrily drinking his beer while dialing on his phone and she’s screaming and crying still.

“Yes, hello? Can you please come to ### xx Street? There’s a domestic disturbance here.”

“Noooo!” she screams, tears streaming down her face.

“The cops are coming, if you don’t leave, I’m going to have them arrest you.”

“How could you do this to me? After all we’ve been through?”

“GET OUT.”

And some point in this insanity she has to relent, so she grabs most of her things and edges to the door. He’s barely even watching her as he walks to his room and slams the door.

“I love you! You know I love you! How could you treat me like this!” she screams to him from the other side of the door. Screaming and screaming over and over again. Until, finally, as she’s standing by the door, screaming, just waiting for a reaction.

He opens the door. “You’re fucking crazy, get out of my house.” 

“Fuck you!”

“Leave!”

He’s watching her vigilantly as she opens the door. Her eyes dart quickly to the sweater she’s left on the table.

“Take your god damn sweater! Stop leaving shit at my house!” As he grabs it and throws it at her. She dodges the sweater and hops outside, “No! I’m leaving the goddamn sweater!”

He runs to the door and throws it out after her. As it lands on the porch and she scurries away, the last thing she hears him say is, “I’m gonna let the fucking raccoons eat it!”

She scurries down the street, feeling empty and vindictive, wiping away the tears while calling a cab. It dawns on her as she jetting away back to her house on the other side of town, that maybe this is it. Maybe this is actually the end. Maybe, after all those months, and she’s quietly nursing her wounds while eating icecream in bed and watching shitty TV. As though some demon has been exorcised of her, and unlike every other time, she’s not compulsively checking her phone, hoping for apology text messages, or divinely devising the most cutting thing to send him. To hurt him. No – instead of the usual rage and revenge, she’s filled with an uncommon placidity, almost as though she doesn’t even give a fuck. And so she wonders, is this really the end?

Which is exactly what everyone else in her life is wondering, too. Is this the end? Or will next week still be marred with unholy war stories and unhappy endings. Maybe it doesn’t matter, but for now, let’s just call this the end of the end and hope for the best.