Appropriate Behaviour? – 1
This is a short story I have written a couple of years ago.
Maybe the English is not the best, but it was the best I could do at that time.
“How could you dare to come over here? After all that you have done?”, Brian asked her.
She stood paralyzed, watching him with wide-open eyes. “Brian, please!”
“No, no way, you don’t deserve to be here! It is over!”
“Brian, please!” She didn’t know what to do. Just standing there in the living room, watching Brian, watching her son. “But … Brian … what … have …I … done?”
“YOU dare to ask? You really dare to ask?” Brian shouted. “I have read everything, everything. Listen! Really everything!”
Her brain started to figure out what he was talking about. He read? What had he read? His words made no real sense to her. Even less sense than his phone call in the afternoon. It was her lunch break from school. Brian called her before the break was over. He started to yell at her immediately, accusing her of cheating. Him! Cheating? She didn’t understand what he was talking about.
He asked again and again: “Is there anything you need to tell me?” No, there was nothing! Nothing at all. “Heather, is there anything you need to tell me?”
“No Brian, I don’t know what you are talking about.”
“Heather, be honest. Think it over again! Is there anything you need to tell me?”
“Brian, please, you are confusing me. Give me a hint”, she begged.
“Heather it is all up to you. Check your mind … I heard you gasp, yep this is what I mean … is there anything you need to tell me?”
She started crying. “No Brian, nothing, I have done nothing, I need to tell you nothing.”
“Heather stop crying at once. Behave yourself. There are people around you. Just tell me: is there anything you need to tell me?”
But she couldn’t stop crying. She didn’t understand why he accused her. Why couldn’t he tell her what he really meant? “Brian,” she sobbed, “please, Brian, why do you keep asking? Tell me what you mean?”
“Heather, you know it!” Brian demanded, “I know you know it. Tell me is there anything you need to tell me? And for heaven’s sake stop sobbing, it is ridiculous, a woman at your age standing in the streets crying and sobbing. What do you think people will think of you? A ridiculous old woman sobbing in the street!” Brian laughed, “Oh Heather even for your standard this is bad!” He hung up on her, leaving her sobbing, staring at her mob, still not knowing what he wanted her to confess.
She hasted home after school, not sure what she could expect. In what mood Brian would be. As usual. She always kept asking herself if she did something Brian didn’t like, something Brian would judge as being not appropriate! Appropriate! His favorite word. Appropriate reaction, appropriate behavior. She struggled hard to be appropriate, to reply appropriately, to be dressed appropriately. Nobody ever understood how hard she struggled. Her friends usually saw the charming Brian, the courteous Brian, the understanding Brian. Brian who was listening to them, Brian who was able to advise them carefully.
They didn’t know that her Brian was different from the Brian they knew. Sure, when he was in a good mood he was as charming and tender as a man could be. But usually he was different. Her happiness was depending on his mood. Even if she got the idea the marriage was working well he could destroy this feeling in a minute. Just by asking questions she couldn’t answer.
A very popular question: “What’s up? I can feel that there is something!” He never accepted her reply that everything was OK. Brian kept asking and asking and asking. Most times she had to invent something, just to satisfy him. But usually he was never ever really satisfied. Never!
He would normally use everything she told him, especially the invented stuff, against her, to torture her. To make sure that she knew she was unworthy, not appropriate. Nothing was appropriate on her. Not her body, not her clothing, not her hairstyle, not her behavior, not her way of talking. Only the way she treated her son, seemed to be OK, or at last most times!
… Read more tomorrow