- For Teachers
This is the third part of my short story Autumn Story. Please would you proofread it.
I asked her to tell me about her life. Her eyes livened up and she told me her story. When she was a little girl they parents divorced. She lived with her mother, but she loved her father more than she loved the mother. But the father seemed not to care particularly for his little girl and came to see her only occasionally.
Later, her father married another woman and had with her two children. Sometimes she stayed with his family and felt intense jealousy. She understood that her father loved her half-sisters more than he loved her. Her child eyes noticed the way he was talking with them, playing and stroking their hair. She felt like a stranger in his company and asked herself what she was doing there, talking with someone who reminded her of a block of ice. Gradually she and her father became complete strangers, and she did not want to hear anything from him.
When she was nineteen years old, she met a handsome man called Nicholas and fell in love with him. She loved him more than anyone else before. They married, moved into a little flat, and soon she became pregnant. Unfortunately, the baby girl who should have given her so much happiness was born dead. She was first at the top of the world and then she was falling towards the abyss. As if the death of her child was not enough, soon she discovered that her husband had a love affair with one of her friends.
She could not believe that life could have been so cruel towards her. She, who was always so kind, who never talked behind anyone’s back and helped those who asked her for help, was now crushed by her cruel fate. The man whom she loved more than anything else in this world behaved like a swine. Her great love became a painful divorce.
It was at that time that she went to a psychologist for the first time in her life to find some solace and receive some useful advice. She talked and the man opposite her was nodding and taking notes. And that went on and on for months, but her pain had not subsided. From the moment when she opened her eyes in the morning until she went to sleep the image of Nicholas and the happy days she had spent with him would invade her mind.
The psychologist told her that she had to learn to control her thoughts, but that was easier said than done. On his advice, she found a job in a kitchen of a restaurant. Work was going to turn her attention away from the past, the psychologist had told her. So, she started to peel potatoes, cucumbers and tomatoes, and chop garlic, onions, spinach and do all kind of other work, from dishwashing to floor cleaning. Soon she fell in love with a gangly cook Marcus, a man who was ten year older then she was. They began a love affair. Her heart pounded with emotions. Her love was blooming again. She had almost forgotten Nicholas.
Her new love was eclipsing the old one. She became pregnant again. Unfortunately, she also discovered the dark side of her lover. Marcus used to drink at weekends and when he was drunk he would lose control over himself. In the beginning, his outburst were something like a child’s tantrums, but one evening Marcus had slapped her in the face so hard that she collapsed on the floor of his living room. Never before had anyone hit her, and she felt her skin burning like acid on the spot where his heavy hand had struck her. She forgave him. She deluded herself by believing that her love would make him teetotaller. But he beat her again and again. When he hit her in the stomach on one occasion she bent double with pain.
How sick one must be to hit the woman who would give birth to his child? she thought. There was no doubt that he was a psychopath. Sooner or later he could kill her during one of his outbursts. She ran from him and threatened him to call the police if he ever tried to have anything to do with her. She never returned to her job and aborted her pregnancy. She could not have imagined giving birth to a child, who would remind her of someone who made her life hell. They never talked with each other again, and if she saw him on the street she gave him a wide berth.
TO BE CONTINUED