Aftermath

JESSA

It’s late afternoon when I wake up. The sun is almost down again and I can hear Stewie whimpering in front of the door. He is a good boy for holding it in until now, I must give him that. Without wanting to I get up and open the door for him. If he could make any other noise apart from barking and whining I know I would hear him sigh with relief right about now. I wait for him to finish and let him back inside before I make my way over to the bathroom. One look in the mirror and I almost throw up at the sight of myself. I look filthy, my eyes have purple bags under them, my hair is a mess. There are bruises on the side of my neck, when I let my blanket fall to the floor I spot more on my neck and arms. I don’t like reminders of what I have done. I feel like the one reminder that made me come here will stick with me forever, and that is more than enough. I make a mental note to myself to avoid any more visible bruises like this in the future so I don’t have to feel like this ever again. I yank a brush through my tangled hair, flinching at the pain this causes me. Dominik really didn’t go easy on me, I can feel the roots of my hair hurting from where he pulled hard, repeatedly. There it is, his name. I have no idea, why it stuck with me, since usually I forget their names right the second they introduce themselves. „Fuck“ my voice sounds hollow, and Stewie glances up from his bowl of dog treats at the sound of it. I don’t want to remember the night or the guy, I needed the adrenaline but now, that it is over all I want is to go back to being numb. It is Sunday and I know I will have to do some work tomorrow which I will need to at least sleep a couple of hours for but in a state like this I am not sure how much I will sleep at all. I usually can to all my work from home so I whatever happens tonight at least I won’t have to be up at a certain time and look presentable. This gives me at least a couple of hours that I can ditch calls from the company pretending I was busy at work while I try to get some sleep later. For a minute I just sit and stare, I stare at my white walls that have no pictures on them but are clearly intended to have them. I couldn’t think of anything that I would have liked to see every day so I never bought anything. My old room had an entire wall covered in pictures and post cards, the frames were mostly spray painted in gold, something I had seen on the internet. They were of friends and family, my parents, places I had been to, bible verses that meant something to me. I can still see them in my mind, I canhear my mom recite them every so often. Just now I have a vivid image of her standing in my door frame, a proud smile on her face reading them silently, her lips moving but no sound coming out. She never needed to read them, she knew them by heart, still I knew it comforted her that they were there, such a prominent part of her daughters life. Until I screwed up at least. „Fuck,“ I repeat, this time with more vigor, I can feel my eyes filling with hot tears. It has been a long time since I cried. Usually when I feel these episodes coming I go out and find something to do that reminds me that I can never come back anyways and there is nothing to be sad about but I just did that and still it didn’t help. I take a fruit bowl from the table and throw it across the room, not caring that Stewie is right there. He is smart enough and moves before he gets hit, whimpering at the smash. I don’t care. I am so angry I can’t breathe. My hands are curled into fists to tight that I can feel my nails digging into my palms, almost to a point where I will draw blood. My jaw is clenched and I don’t know where to release my anger. There is no one to yell at, there is nothing else to throw, all I can do is suck it back in, swallow it so hard that I will choke on it, make it my own again. This, like so many other things is just what I have to live with now, it is my punishment, my destiny and I will either learn to live with it eventually or it will kill me. I am fine either way, I just don’t know how much longer I can do this.

For a while I just sit there trying to breathe. I finally get up and take that shower that I had wanted to have last night. I scrub harder than usually, I cry in the shower, or maybe I don’t. Sometimes I don’t feel like things happen to me, it feels like it is someone else going through the motions, going about their day and I am just some passive bystander that has no role in their lives. I will sit on my sofa and watch movies until I can’t bear that either anymore, until I feel stupid enough to finally fall asleep.

***

DOMINIK

When I wake up it is the middle of the night the couch underneath me is wet. For a second I think that I pissed myself but I can’t imagine that happening. I realize it’s only the alcohol leaking out of every pore. I get up and shower, lighting a cigarette on the way to the tiny white room. While I stand under the hot stream I make a list of all the women which I can call or message without too much of a hassle. It is Saturday night after all and I cannot stand being alone. I don’t feel like going out either though so one of my usuals will have to do. I often have to update my little black book, which of course in this day and age is simply my contact list in my phone. Some women don’t want to talk to me anymore, sometimes out if the blue, sometimes with a warning, I never know why and I never ask. Some politely let me know that they are in a relationship now and no longer interested in me. I couldn’t care less about them and I usually don’t respond to that either. I simply delete their numbers without thinking about it twice. I go through the names, scrolling back and forth but I can’t see one that I feel like fucking tonight. I want to call Jessa. As soon as I finish the thought I reprimand myself for it. I don’t even know why and I don’t even have her number, but maybe that is what makes her so interesting. Her complete lack of interest in me. The fact that she not once talked about getting together again, that instead she avoided me getting to know her at all. I saw her keeping an eye on her bag and phone all night, but not as if she was afraid I would steal it but more as if she didn’t want me to know anything about her. „Fuck her“, I think to myself. I scroll through my contacts again, my thumb lands on a random number. I only look at the name when I hear it dialing.

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