Living With The Evil Within
He, when I say "he" I am referring to my husband Kurt, was sat at his laptop in his study sending CV's. He was unemployed and far from his happiest days. The vacant heavy stare in his eyes sent desperation and shame onto his daily tasks. He expected a lot from his life, he was a writer therefore most writers feel that way. However he was experiencing a bad patch because he was dropped by his publisher, or they turned the other cheek on him, either wasn't explained yet. It was meant to be the book deal of his life, the break to set him up for forever.
Kurt walked into the kitchen and went straight to the fridge. He took out a pint of milk and drunk it straight from the carton. This was another bad habit he created and I hated it. We were both educated people and he was turning into trash from the street. This morning I was making an all English breakfast, the pans were well occupied and cooking was something I was really good at.
"Do you want everything with your breakfast love?" I said.
Kurt didn't even have the decency to reply. I felt like throwing the pans at him and watching the once man turn into a bitch crying in pain as the pans scolded his face. I don't know what I did to deserve this treatment. He had begun making his own toast and started reading the newspaper. I watched him and I wanted to try and talk to him, but I didn't because I was weak, that was the truth and deep down was the root to all this mess.
Our daughter Delilah danced into the kitchen brimming with youth you only found in young people. She was the sunshine to our family, no matter how distant Kurt and I were becoming, Delilah always tried to make us a family again. She said "good morning" to us and hugged us, I was first and that wasn't down to favoritism. I gave her her breakfast. Then I dished up Kurt's and put it next to him.
"There is your breakfast if you want it love" I said.
Kurt grunted. I got that much from him out of respect for Delilah being present. If she wasn't there then I am certain I wouldn't gotten anything.
Kurt walked Delilah to school. Delilah was skipping, she was a person that was blessed with natural in the moment happiness. Kurt wasn't making an effort with his appearance, he wore clothes which came from the bottom of his wardrobe: old jeans, old leather jacket and an old tee shirt. Being unemployed had hit him hard.
"Why are you and mum upset dad?" Delilah said.
"Do we seem upset?" Kurt replied.
"We are OK. I just need a job"
"Will you get a new job?"
"Of course sweetheart"
They arrived at the school gate and Kurt took a knee to kiss Delilah.
"Have a good day at school Delilah" Kurt said.
Delilah kissed Kurt and then ran to her friends who were playing conkers. The way Kurt looked at his daughter explained she was his world. He didn't love me anymore, come to think of it he never really did and it was my fault. The reason why: because I never had a job. I always lived off Kurt's success because he told me too, but deep down he despised me that and taking the bait so easily. I didn't have a back bone and now when he needed financial support the most, there was no-one there to support him. It was lucky we could survive off his savings, because if that wasn't there... he might have hurt me. If it wasn't physically, he was going to take Delilah away from me, that is what he plotted as he watched Delilah win the game of conkers against her friends.
The bed was empty. I only noticed that when I sneaked a peak at Kurt's side to see he wasn't there. If I didn't look it wouldn't have felt any different, the bed was so cold lately I didn't even feel myself in it. Kurt was in the bathroom, the downstairs bathroom! Why there I didn't know. But he was acting like a crazy person the past few weeks. It had been one year and ten months of unemployment and it was almost certain the publishers had fucked him over.
Kurt looked in the mirror with a face that didn't match his soul. His eyes were turning black, any glimpse of character was suffocated by blankness. He put his hands together and prayed to the Devil to help him. He prayed for success and in exchange was ready for any deal presented to him. It turned out that deal was me! I knew Kurt had darkness within him, we all do. But this was different, I didn't know he had evil.
The next morning Kurt woke up and got straight out of bed. He woke me up. The way he did this wasn't normal; either he was a robot or something else. He stretched and his hands almost touched the ceiling, I didn't know if I was half asleep because he never stretched like that. And then he left the room and went downstairs. I looked at my clock and it said "7.10am." It was a Saturday.
I was brushing my teeth and I thought someone walked past the room. I turned around and no-one was there. I continued brushing my teeth but had this eerie feeling someone was with me. So I went to Delilah's room, opened her door and saw Kurt was already there, sitting next to Delilah, stroking her hair as she slept. Then he looked at me and said nothing. I didn't expect him to be in the room, he was never in Delilah's room that early on a Saturday. His eyes had no emotion as he stared at me. I didn't know what to say. Everything just seemed off.
I was walking through the hallway to take the trash out when a figure appeared out of the corner of my eye. I peered into the living room and it was Kurt, sitting on the sofa reading the paper. I saw Kurt reading the paper all the time around the house, but today for some reason it seemed different. It was as if he just kept appearing in every room I was in, unexpectedly, creeping up on oneself.
I was in the kitchen washing the dishes when I was absolutely convinced something breathed over my shoulder. It made me jump and I looked around to see Kurt taking an out of date milk carton from the fridge and began drinking it.
"Kurt that is out of date. Do you want me to go to the shop and get some more milk?" I said.
Kurt looked at me. He didn't wipe the milk stain from his top lip (the educated man was so far away now, somewhere in Alaska, what shame) and his eyes looked straight through me like I was glass.
"No" he said.
He carried on drinking the out of date milk and then walked to the living room. I was trembling. There was something wrong with my husband. Something told me I needed a priest which was strange because I hated religion. I was scared, scared of my own house and for the briefest of moments I thought I was going to die soon.
Delilah was playing the front yard, I was in the living room knitting with the TV on as background noise (the way we American's do things). Delilah was nine years old and I felt she was old enough to be left alone in the front yard. Kurt was in town somewhere and by this time I found it hard to care what he did. Delilah saw her friends from school across the street and they calling her name and waving her over. She knew she wasn't allowed to leave the front garden, but her friends kept calling her and Delilah thought it wouldn't hurt to go over to see what they wanted.
The friends repeated exactly the same actions and callings over and over - it seemed they were puppets. Delilah wasn't the type to be desperate for friends, but at that age, fitting in is as important as a lady wanting her first baby before she reaches forty. Delilah got to the edge of the road and the friends were still on the other side, waving and calling. Only a dash questioned Delilah's mind if they were actually real. She looked left and right and saw no cars were coming, then she crossed the road and three seconds later a red Audi A4 appeared out of nowhere and hit her. Delilah traveled twenty meters and landed on the pavement, dead. The friends weren't present, they weren't real.
We watched Delilah being buried. It was the saddest day of my life. I didn't know why this was all happening. Kurt wanted nothing to do with me and now my Delilah was dead, so what did I have? Kurt and I didn't have much family and the ones who bothered to show up paid their respects and placed their flowers in the grave. It was funny because as I hugged onto Kurt's arm I needed him of all people to save me, but still he was cold. I looked into his face, what I saw was frightening and I asked myself something I never thought could be possible: could he be the cause of Delilah's death?!
One month later, Kurt had arrived home from his meeting with his publishers. He went to the bathroom, washed his face and looked in the mirror. He should have been happy with the news: the publishers gave his book a deal worth ten million dollars. He had finally made it, his dream had come true and he was rich. But still he was unhappy. He looked at his face and saw the truth. He knew the Devil kept his side of the bargain and gave him the riches he asked, but it was at the cost of Delilah and that wasn't part of Kurt's plan. There was nothing he could do now because the Devil is a trickster and cunning.
I waited for Kurt to come into the living room where I was standing with all of my suitcases. I was ready to divorce and leave him. I was going back to live with my parents which I swore I would never do. But my family was over now and with all of my heart, every last piece of it had grown to hate this thing I was living with.
Kurt looked at me and surprisingly he wasn't surprised to see me with my suitcases. He in fact had been waiting for it. Evil was rooted deep within him after all.
"I am leaving" I said.
"Fine" He replied.
And the way he answered me, I knew, what he wanted was the person to have died instead of Delilah was me.