She rose silently. She didn’t wake, because she hadn’t been asleep; sleep was almost an unknown condition for her these nights. Careful not to make the slightest sound, trying not to disturb even the sheets between which she lay, she slipped out of the bed.
She was naked. It wasn’t by her choice that she was; although she had no personal hang-ups about nudity, this nudity had been imposed on her and she found it degrading and hateful. Briefly, she debated whether she should slip on the nightgown that lay over the back of the chair, then decided not to. The rustle of fabric might disturb him, and, besides, it would make no difference anyway. In the darkness, she smiled bitterly. Her nakedness might even be a statement.
Her bare feet were silent on the carpet as she walked over to the dresser. She used her mobile phone’s little blue glow as a torch, illuminating just enough of the dresser top so she could find what she had hidden there the previous evening, without knocking anything over. It was all the mobile was good for; the talktime had expired long ago and she had no money to renew it.
As her fingers encountered the object, she took a quick look over at the bed. The sheet covered shape there was silent, the silhouette only rising and falling slightly to the rhythm of regular breathing. She sighed with relief. It would not happen that she would be thwarted at the last moment. The chance would probably never come again.
The knife was big and sharp. She had found it the previous afternoon at the bottom of a closet. He had forgotten all about it, if he had ever known; or else he would have removed it long ago.
Her breasts were still sore with his bites, and as she walked back to the bed she felt the sliminess of his spend running down her thighs. She hated her femininity at that moment; the weakness, physical and conditioned, of the woman, which made her utter and absolute chattel of this man whom she must honour as her master.
She hated him. Even as she hated him, she told herself again that she needed him; she could not get away from him, and after all these years with him the thought of loneliness was terrifying.
In any case, she could not get away. She had nothing; he had taken everything from her, her papers, her money, every last piece of her jewellery. If ever she went out, he claimed that he was having her followed – and she couldn’t know if he wasn’t.
The knife was heavy in her hands as she stood at the bedside and held it up to her throat. She had planned how she should do it, amateur as she was – the knife held at right angles to the throat and slashed back and up, so she would sever her windpipe and the arteries to the brain in one go. She wanted to do it by his bedside so he would know, without her having to tell him, that he was responsible for what had happened to her. It might give him a bad moment at night once in a while, when he imagined her blood all over him again.
He stirred just as the knife touched her skin, put out an arm, and reached for the lamp.
She reacted instinctively. She had psyched herself up for this moment, prepared for it so thoroughly that it would be intolerable to be baulked of it now. She had to stop his arm reaching the lamp, just long enough to let her cut her throat.
Reversing the grip on the knife, she stabbed down through the sheet.He squealed then, a high appalling sound like a stuck pig, and she stabbed again, to stop stop stop that sound than anything, slash stab again and again, in a frenzy now, the knife rising and falling through the darkness, stabbing until he no longer squealed or convulsed, until at last he lay still, and still she went on stabbing.
Copyright B Purkayastha 2008