Episode 9 – Part 4: Aching
(Troy heartbroken over Belle.)
I feel sick to my stomach. Like my whole life is a memory that I have to forget or this pain will swallow me whole. I am bitter and angry today. I look at the simplest things and see the wife that I loved and all of the things I took for granted about her. She would sit with me for hours on end. I’d sit in the recliner and she’d sit on the love seat next to it and we’d hold hands and talk about the world at large and the new paint for the kitchen.
I’d work on the car and she’d earnestly want me to teach her something about the engine and why all of the hoses were necessary. She’d make the bed, because I hate to, and rub my feet telling me she wanted me to rub her shoulders in return. She’d make the most amazing food and smile at me with sweat beading her forehead and flour all over her shirt and I’d revile in the fact that I had someone here with me, barefoot and in the kitchen no less.
She was young and beautiful and had even given up the notion of children if that meant staying with me forever. We had our lives planned out. And she was right. I always planned on leaving her. She didn’t deserve the expectation to be deserted by the man she had pledged her life to. I have eons to live. I could have given her 50 years. She was everything a woman should be as a wife. Always warm, and loving, and forgiving even when I said things that made her feel bad.
I told her I never wanted her and that all of the time I had spent with her was because I didn’t have anything better to do. The light in her eyes went out that day and never returned. When I came back for her I had changed her so much by leaving her that I don’t know why I ever thought she’d go back to being the sweetness incarnate that she was. If she was ever going to have a real chance I should have left her alone.
She had to live by my choices. I chose to leave her and it broke her. I chose to come back for her and turn her. I chose to send her here where she was possessed and is out there somewhere with a demon living in her body. I could have stalked her quietly and saw her happy with someone else one day, smiling my smile. I’ve ruined her.
And all I have is the guilt I feel. She’s out there living like I don’t exist and the only proof that I loved her and was loved by her is the fact that she is out there as Grenhelda.
I made her feel disposable. That’s why she was forever lashing out at me. She felt like no loving act ever meant anything because she wound up being a scrap of trash to me. Like she was something I was always planning on throwing away even as I held her while she slept. Every day, I was waiting to leave her for someone else. Every morning, I felt unfulfilled because I knew I wasn’t going to keep her. Every day, she waited for me to tell her I was leaving and when I didn’t she lived in fearful expectation that I was going to the next day.
I know this now because that is exactly how I have been feeling while I waited for Grenhelda to take Belle from me. Like nothing I would ever do would be enough no matter how much I loved her. Like she was just here tolerating my presence and accepting my love while she could still keep her sanity. And I only had to endure for a little while.
I don’t give her enough credit for how much she loved me and how long she hung in there or how I had probably hurt her or made her feel made her feel unworthy daily. I didn’t know that she kept a journal after I flatlined her. It makes me angry to see her recreation of our lives here. It’s as if she was frantic to document her life and her thoughts while they were still hers.
Only instead of her childhood and her family, it only reinforced the self loathing that locked her away. She wrote about how we met one of my female friends for drinks and that night she felt like I was in bed with her imaging that I was with my friend. She wrote that every time I looked lovingly at her she tried to remember everything about that moment because she loved me so much that she wanted her whole memory to be filled with lovely moments with me. She had every detail memorized about my smile, my eyes, the way my hair curls right after a shower, every memory she could conjure up about why she loved me. She wrote about how I had said this or that and it hurt her but she forgave me and tried to walk in my shoes and understand me.
All I had to do was give her 50 measly years and I would have lived on forever and had been truly loved once by someone who honestly thought she couldn’t live without me. I have been loved by a lot of women. I have chased after a lot of women. But no one had ever loved me as vehemently and purely as Annibelle has. Perhaps Lorena will come close.
But, I will always carry this with me. I left her. And then I ruined her. And I feel like I took for granted that she gave me everything I always moaned and groaned about not having. And now she’s gone and I’m the one standing here in tears. I resent that all I have left is to leave like I said I would. I resent myself more than she could ever hate herself for allowing my love for her to turn her into this.
It may be for this reason and this reason alone that I will strive to do well by Lorena. But, I can’t stand the idea of having to be with her knowing that Belle is gone and won’t be coming back. I feel alone in ways I can’t even explain and I can’t complain because I know that I’m reaping what I’ve sown.
I didn’t do any better than this by Annibelle and then I killed her. If I wasn’t still half heartedly hoping that she could be saved… I’d drink Holy water myself and die with her.
Yet, I’m standing here packing and feeling awfully tempted to burn her things so I don’t have to carry them around. Even as I think these thoughts I’m stuffing her clothes into the drawers of the dresser and hiding her journal underneath her socks.
Grenhelda was right. How can I claim to have lost Belle when I threw her away? She’d be safe with me somewhere if I had stayed by her side.
And that’s all she ever wanted in the first place.