Why do you always meddle, why can’t you leave me be ? ‘, the exasperation and anger evident and obvious in her voice.
‘Why can’t you mind your own. I’ll live my life and you live yours ‘.
‘I’m only looking out for you. I have your best interests at heart’, he lied.
‘I dont mean any harm’, again he lied.
Any method would suffice. Any way to get under person’s skin.
‘Why do you always interfere. I don’t want your advice, suggestions, and views. I find them of little interest or consequence. Just go away and leave me be’, she screamed, exasperated. Her face red, her breathing rapid, her fists held tightly, as the adrenaline zoomed round her body. Her stomach in uproar, as the butterflies struggled to remain calm.
The toxic interloper smiled to himself. He had upset his target, his victim. Satisfied that he had got the reaction, any reaction, but preferably an angry one from the upset person. Another victory in his tiny mind. At last he left the kitchen.
In some peace, Sara breathed a deep sigh of relief. Her shoulders dropped from where she had held them high and tightly around her neck. Her jaw softened and released. Her breathing eased as the chemical concoction of fear, adrenaline and confrontation subsided in her stomach. She knew it would only be a matter of time before the psychological assault would begin again. Perhaps after a day or two, or maybe even a shorter interlude. For now she was grateful for the temporary relief. But begin again it would for sure. She knew from past experience it would be never ending. No matter how strongly she built her mental and psychological barriers and boundaries. No matter how many times she promised herself she would rebuff and reject his friendly advances. He would always charm her with kindness, and friendliness. Playing the sympathy and victim card for all it was worth, such that it would crack open even the coldest heart. The profuse apologies for the way in which he had spoken to her. Promising her an empty promise that such behavior would never happen again.
It was of course all lies. Even if he believed he could change his way of being. It had gone on for so long, it was all automatic now, after so many years. The cycle of abuse would begin again. Sara looked out of the kitchen window to the wild growing garden. The myriad of flowers were a welcome addition to the overgrown and wild garden. Grateful for the temporary peace and the charming birdsong emanating from the garden. She released the strong stranglehold, she had unconsciously gripped her mug of coffee with. Reminding herself to relax. He was gone out
It was an intolerable situation for her. An never ending guerrilla warfare, with a sly, devious, charming opponent. Day after day, or so it seemed. A non stop assault upon her soul and spirit. she tried God and religion, not much help there. She had dipped her toes into many off beat and strange therapies, any method, any route to improve an impossible situation.
Trapped and imprisoned just about described her situation. She had to consciously stop her self from replaying recent memories of his crazy making, as her body again reacted negatively to such events, even though in the past. He was forever in her mind. Every day, every hour of every day it seemed. Peace sought, but rarely found. On her weaker days she had contemplate ending her life quietly by whatever means possible and slipping away, to find some peace at last.
Her mental strength and fortitude would weaken from time to time, only to be re-invigorated and awoken again, ignited again by her angry reactions to his next, or memories of previous psychological assaults. Such thoughts were never strong enough to move her to such actions. depressed and bewildered at times. But somehow, in some way her resilience fortitude and absolute determination not to allow him the victories he sought, which suicide would have being. His crazy making contributing to her increasing stress and general feeling of unwellness, both mental and physical.
It was a non stop war. His continual interference in her life. The continual caustic fault finding and criticism. Too much for even the most placid of people to accept and endue.
To her dismay, she heard his fumbling at the front door, as he returned home unexpectedly early. Her body began moving into defensive mode. The breathing rate once again increased, her stomach tightened, her legs weakened and shook a little. She knew her temporary peace of mind was soon to be broken as he entered the kitchen once again, where she was absent mindedly finding some peace watching the birds in the garden in the late summer sunshine. He entered the room, no words spoken between them, and made himself busy attending to a sandwich. The heightened tension, tangible. She waited for the dis-respectful, and cruel words to start. She knew it would not be long.
‘How are you ? ‘ was his opening deceptive gambit.
‘I don’t mean to be cruel’, he lied. The insincerity evident in his voice and demeanor.
Still brooding, still angry from the earlier interaction, and angered more by his evident insincerity.
‘Your a psychological predator, an emotional vampire, out to destroy and bring down others, that’s all you are’.
He did not answer. He did not respond in the way she expected. No anger, no shock. No wordy defense of his position.
After what seemed like a very long time,
‘It’s all your perception’.
Those words, that refusal to acknowledge his cruelty. That refusal to own his psychological dysfunction, were what sent her blood pressure and anger into the astrosphere.
With that Sara left the kitchen, stopping at the door, holding the door handle very tightly,
‘Do not interact with me anymore. Stop speaking to me’, her voice loud and firm. Her face red, and body shaking with the unexpressed anger and tension. As she left the room, he again smiled to himself. Yet another victory in the crazy little war.
She left the house slamming the front door loudly and walked at speed in the evening summer sunshine trying hard to displace the physical and mental tension she held. Walking for hours in an attempt to calm herself. Walking alone, far from others. She needed a plan, a solution to this madness. Some form of revenge, some victory of her own in this battle, this war. Sleepless nights followed as she avoided him in the house. In her mind she concocted a plan, just a humorous way, a silly way of getting back at him.
It started out innocently enough. Some of her own saved urine added to his food supplies left in the communal fridge. The small pieces of mackerel added to his favored deserts. She watched with pleasure as he ingested the doctored food, silently and maliciously wishing him ‘Bon appeite’. The inner satisfaction….joyful, sublime even. But her joy soon turned to dismay as her ‘additions’ were not having the desired effects. No frustrations, or anger on his part. No visible ill effects. It was then she decided to upgrade and escalate her additions to her food.
First came the hydrogen peroxide, usually used to clean her camera lenses. Just a few drops now and again. Results not forthcoming as she had wished and hoped for. She searched in the garbage for some stronger medication. It was the blue plastic container of vehicle anti freeze that caught her eye. Again just a few drops added to his food intake, from time to time. Now at last results were beginning to show. Slowly but surely. first the complaints of an upset stomach. Then onto body weakness. some slight double vision, fast beating heart. Some difficulty breathing. This was easy and was working better than planned. His healthy color turning to a dark grey unhealthy looking pallor. When his symptoms became too noticeable, she eased off and sometimes stopped the additions to his food intake altogether.
As the damage to his body and mind continued, the nastiness, the blackness and darkness in his heart, mind and spirit subsided somewhat. All his physical and mental resources focused on healing him, of that which he didn’t realize was ailing him. Never had Sara felt so strong, so powerful. When he asked of her if she had noticed a decline in his health.
‘You look fine’, she lied, while smiling. ‘Most probably just a phase your going through’.
It continued in this vain over the forthcoming weeks. She adding or withholding these additions to his food intake depending on his condition. Other family members were bewildered by his see saw like health, as was his doctor. But Sara was clever enough to moderate the poison when necessary.
Alone in the family home, just the two of them. It was the Tuesday evening when he called her into the bedroom, his voice weak and barely audible. His skin dark grey, his lips purple. Perspiring heavily. The low light in the bedroom not hiding his evident decline.
‘I am very unwell, call an ambulance’, he whispered.
‘Pardon, I cannot hear you. Can you speak up’. She smiled, enjoying this.
‘An ambulance you say, Sure of course, I’ll ring from downstairs’, she smiled.
She sauntered down the stairs to the kitchen, and made herself a cup of tea, with some biscuits. Went to the TV lounge switched on the film channel and settled back. Chastising herself good for forgetting to disconnect the phone. Having disabled the phone she settled back, anticipating an enjoyable evening.
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2 thoughts on “Interference – Short Story by Lola Hornof”
this was nice..i did not understand though ,how he could get easily on her nerves,or how he had any control on her..i was intrigued how the whole story was beautifully written though,but it needed some more details..great work
Thank you for the comment. I am a new writer and really appreciate any advice offered. Thanks