Black Short Stories : In His Madness (Pt. 3)

Discussion in 'Short Stories - Authors - Writing' started by epiphany, Dec 5, 2008.

  1. epiphany

    epiphany Well-Known Member MEMBER

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    In His Madness​

    Pt. 3



    Charles looked at himself in the full length mirror, he wanted to wear his best suit for the occasion, after all it would be the last time he would see himself G' Q'd down. Shirl had always loved him in the black pin-striped suit and gold tie. He wanted to look his best. He called ahead for reservations at the restaurant for a candlelit table and a vase with her favorite flowers; lavender orchids. Everything was prepared just they way he had planned. He even had his last minute requests written down in an envelope on the dresser. He glanced up at the clock...eight thirty, it was time to go. He looked at himself once more in the mirror, sprayed on his Paul Sebastian and headed for the restaurant.
    Shirl arrived at the restaurant at eight forty-five, as she entered the lobby, the memories flooded back as she visualized their first meeting;

    Charles walked up to her like he owned the place, she was mesmerized by his take-charge personality. She had never had anyone in her life be so in control other than her Father. Her father ruled the house with an iron fist, Momma could never voice an opinion, He was from the old school and he believed the man was the bread winner and the wife stayed home to take care of the kids. Cordelia started to rebel against him when she became a teenager, Shirl was always quiet, shy and silent. She fell in love with Charles instantly. She never believed in love at first sight until she experienced it with him. Looking back, it's hard to believe she ignored the red flags, they showed up almost instantaneously.
    He would always get visibly upset when other men looked at her. She recalls a time when he started a fight with a waitor who was describing entrees on the menu and suggested a bottle of wine to top off their romantic evening. Charles thought he was being too forward and punched the waitor in the face. She was so embarrassed she ran out the restaurant and caught a cab home.

    "Excuse me, Mam...are you ok?"
    Shirl snapped out of the daze to hear the hostess trying to get her attention....
    "Oh, I'm sorry......yes, do you have a reservation for Charles Johnston?"
    "One moment please, she watched as the hostess scanned her fingers down the reservations book.
    "Yes mam, come this way."
    She followed the hostess to a secluded table in the back. She paused as she saw the set up of the table, her favorite orchids, lit candles.
    "Right here, Mam, your waitor will be over in a minute to give you a menu. Mr. Johnston called, he will be arriving shortly. Enjoy your meal."

    Shirl sat down slowly, she wondered if this had been a good idea, she didn't want to give Charles the wrong impression. She decided she wouldn't assume the worst, maybe it is as he said...old times sake. Perhaps he just wanted to be nostalgic. She relaxed....and sips her water.
    Ten minutes had passed, it was eight-fifty, she looked up towards the entrance and Charles came through the door. She watched as the hostess led him over to the table.
    "Hey baby, you look beautiful, I love your hair up like that. I've missed you."
    "Stop Charles, remember...this is just dinner."
    His blood boiled, but he had to remain neutral. He didn't want to alarm her by losing his temper....He chuckled.

    "You're right baby, I apologize for being presumptuous, I was just commenting on your attire no strings, believe me. So how have you been?"
    "I've been fine Charles, and you?"
    "As well as to be expected, I've been through some changes but I'm alright now." He lied convincingly.
    "Have you ordered yet?"
    "No, I was waiting for you." She replied.
    He motioned for the waitor letting him know they were ready to order.
    "Are you ready, Sir?"
    "Yes, I will have the chicken cordon bleu with white wine and the Lady will have the same."
    "No Charles, I'm going to try something different."

    He glared at her trying to mask the rage he felt boiling inside....she is different, he always ordered for the both of them when they went out to eat. Once again she made him feel inadequate. She must be with someone else, his mind raced with distorted images of her in bed with another man. He shook it off and brought his attention back to the present. He had to stay focused for his sinister plan to succeed.
    "Ok, no problem....gives the Lady whatever she wants." He said calmly.
    "I'll have the roast chicken, peas and mashed potatoes with a side order of Caesars salad....no wine, please. Thank you. She said confidently.

    The waitor took the menus and walked away. After a short silence, Charles spoke.
    "Again Shirl, you look great. It is good to see you!"
    "Thank you, Charles, you look good as well. What have you been doing with yourself?"
    "You mean besides missing you."
    She lowered her head; she didn't know how to reply to him.
    "Charles, I told you this isn't going to get you anywhere, I don't love you anymore. That’s just the way it is." She waited for him to blow up like he usually does. When he hears something he doesn't agree with....she prepared herself.....but nothing.

    "Well, baby. Nothing is wrong with a man trying...is there?
    Her words cut him deep......
    "I guess not.... She lowered her head.
    "It's ok baby, I'm gonna be alright, I've got big plans. I'm sorry, you feel that way...but I guess it has to be." He choked on the words.
    Shirl was surprised at his calm demeanor throughout dinner, they made casual conversation and even laughed at the few humorous moments in their marriage.

    "Well Charles it's getting late and I have to go to work tomorrow, I'm very happy you are taking this so well. It makes it so much easier for me."
    He chuckled again; this time....she sensed his awkwardness.
    "Hey Baby, I aim to please." He said halfheartedly.
    "Thank you for dinner, it was very sweet of you. I hope this will be the beginning of a new friendship and I wish you all the best."
    She reached over to touch his hand and he gently pulled her up out the chair.

    "Shirl, I just have one last request..."
    "What is it, Charles?"
    "I want to show you a cabin up in the mountains I'm thinking of buying for summer getaways, its nothing fancy....but I..."
    She reluctantly interrupted.
    "Charles, its late....and I"
    "Please baby its not far, I just want to get your professional opinion on the location to see if its worth the investment. I promise I will bring you right back here to your car when we're done."
    She looked into his eyes to see if she could trust him. Her Mother's voice echoed in her head.
    "He could be dangerous"

    Everything in her told her she shouldn't, but he had been the perfect gentlemen all evening and she wanted to show her good faith in them having a successful relationship as friends. So she agreed.
    "You promised, you will bring me back here? I can't be long, I'm already tired."
    "I swear Shirl, cross my heart or hope to die. He made a criss cross gesture over his chest, then grinned slyly.
    I have to go to work tomorrow as well."

    He paid the bill, left a twenty dollar tip for the waitor and headed to his car.
    As he drove up the winding mountain road, Shirl noticed he seemed to be deliriously happy she had never seen him like this before. He spoke non-stop about how things use to be between them. But his recollections weren’t like hers. He spoke as if they were in a fictitious honeymoon. She began to see how delusional he was. Fear rose up in her, what has she gotten herself in to...? She thought.
    She glanced over and realized he was going eighty five miles on the speedometer.
    "Charles, you should slow down...these roads up here are very dangerous at night." She cautioned.
    He turned towards her with a look that was different then what she had been seeing all night.
    "I can handle it.....*****! He screamed.
    He stomped down on the accelerator as the speedometer went from....ninety..ninety five....to one hundred miles per hour. The car screeched swerving around the mountain curves.
    "Charles, stop what are you doing....you're gonna kill us!

    Shirl screamed at the top of her lungs.
    She looked into her husband’s eyes there was no emotion. His face was twisted with the same grimace that day he struck her.
    He began to scream at her.
    "You're not leaving me! I'll kill you first; you thought you were in control...*****! Now whose in control!"
    "Please Charles stop, I don't want to die! You say you love me, don't do this please!

    She looked in horror as the road became narrower; she could see the cliffs along the road and the lights of the city below. Her family began to flash before her, her mother and sister's warnings rang true now. Why didn't she listen? Her only chance was to reason with him.
    "Charles please, you don't want to do this! Think of your family, my family...if we're both dead, the pain they will be in!" She pleaded hysterically as tears streamed down her face.

    He turned his eyes away from the road and she grabbed the steering wheel trying to control the car as it swerved from side to side.
    "Baby, I don't give a **** about nobody but you! If I can't have you....I'd rather be dead then live without you! You made this choice for both of us!
    Charles pleeeeeeeeeeease!"
    Shirl cried uncontrollalbly as they both fought to gain control of the steering wheel. She could see road barriers that closed the road in the distance.
    "Charles, the road is closed...God Pleeeeeeeeeeeeease stop the car....please, I don't want to die.
    Suddenly, he took his hands off the steering wheel and calmly faces her emotionless.....

    Shirl, I will always love you...for better or for worse, for richer or for poorer, in sickness and in health.....til death do we part!"
    "Charles, noooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo!!!!!!
    He stomped down on the accelerator and the car crashed through the barriers, it careened over the cliff, bursting into a fiery ball of flames as it collided on the rocks below.

    It has been a month since Shirl's death....
    The hardest thing was going through Shirl's belongings. It had been too painful for her Mother, so Cordelia agreed to do it. Sitting on the edge of the bed Cordelia opened the mahogany jewelery box that Shirl gave her when she left Charles. It was a keepsake to celebrate her freedom and the love she had for her older sister.
    She could hear Shirl's voice saying to her in retrospect;

    "I want you to have this as a keepsake for the times we missed while I was married to Charles, I'm so sorry I abandoned you, Cordy...I love you."
    Cordelia would never forgive herself for allowing Shirl to meet Charles that night alone.
    Had she put her foot down her only sister would be alive.

    As she reflected on their relationship and the good times she shared with her baby sister, tears streamed down her face.
    She collected herself and boxed up the last of Shirl's things, just as she opened the front door a policeman stood on the porch about to knock.
    "Oh, you startled me."
    "I'm sorry Mam, the investigation into your sister's accident was closed this morning, the coroner's conclusion is a murder/suicide. I wanted to return this enevelop, it was used as evidence to determine what happened. The DA thought you may want to read it. Its your brother in laws's last request."
    "Thank you, officer."
    She closes the door and sits on the couch, she started to tear the letter up, but she decided to
    open it and read...
    .

    To whom it may concern,​

    This is my last will and testament
    I see no other way out for me
    I can not live without my love
    May God forgive me for what I'm
    about to do.
    My final request is to be buried
    next to my wife so that we will
    always be together in our afterlife.

    Charles

    Cordelia tore the letter up and let the pieces fall to the floor....
    .
    "Not in this life or any other life, Charles, my sister will rest in peace without you.
    May you rest in hell." Her voice cracked as the tears flowed down her face.

    Cordelia closed the door to her sister's condo and locked the door......




    *epilogue*​


    Charles was cremated....his ashes were distributed over the cliff where he died.

    Cordelia, her Mother and brothers started a memorial fund for victims of domestic violence.
    In honor of...

    Shirl Marie Johnston


    The Finale

    Epiphany(c)





    In His Madness
    (The Poem)


    In his madness
    he spirals into deep despair
    creating a realm
    sweet wine and roses
    in love, an imaginary nirvana
    unable to accept

    shes gone...
    ......really gone

    she loves me
    she loves me not
    she loves me

    he doesn't see
    the unmarked scars
    years of neglect
    vicious disrespect
    silent blows to define manhood
    each punch devised to control
    subdue her soul

    now, shes gone...
    .....really gone

    she loves me
    she loves me not
    she loves me

    his mind distorted
    images of she
    living, breathing, free
    a peace he can't fathom
    so he simmers....
    alone in madness
    he contemplates visions
    black valentines & phantom kisses

    summoning~~~

    his psyche to the dark region

    is she gone....?
    ....really gone

    she loves me
    she loves me not
    not....she loves me

    He can't stand enduring
    life in solitary oblivion
    in his madness
    she comes alive
    happily ever after

    without.........him

    in his realism, he dreams
    of fictitious romantic endings
    and wedding bell blues
    then he recollects.....
    the minister's words;

    for better or for worse

    in sickness and in health

    for richer or for poorer

    ......til death do we part

    ......til death

    ....do

    ...we

    ...part

    she loves me
    she loves me not
    she loves.....me
    she loves.....me not


    she
    loves me
    in death........forever

    R I P



    *dedicated to all the women who have lost their lives to domestic violence

    This is a fictitious story I have written

    ~However~

    Statistics show that over a thousand women are killed each year by a current or former intimate partner.


    STOP THE MADNESS!!

    peace!
    &
    one love


    epiphany:heart:
     
  2. sarcasm4eva

    sarcasm4eva Well-Known Member MEMBER

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    again, a very touching story and sad reality. the ending almost made me cry.
     
  3. $$RICH$$

    $$RICH$$ Lyon King Admin. STAFF

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    wow.....sad ending and lost life because of madness and stupidity
    this hurts but so true and surely real as it get....not only do women fall
    to this violence but men as well .......wow speechless how it was her last night of life
     
  4. sarcasm4eva

    sarcasm4eva Well-Known Member MEMBER

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    good point $$Rich$$..men get caught up in this mess too
     
  5. epiphany

    epiphany Well-Known Member MEMBER

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    Sarcasm..

    I usually don't like unhappy endings, however I felt it was necessary to drive home the seriousness of this rising epidemic.

    Domestic violence is a subject near and dear to my heart, because I have had many family members, in laws and friends in this terrible situation.

    Please, know that I appreciate so much you taking the time to read it in it's
    entirety. And thanx for your response.


    Epiphany:heart:
     
  6. epiphany

    epiphany Well-Known Member MEMBER

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    Again, $Rich$, I appreciate you taking the time to read it, I know it
    was rather lengthy. There was a time when I labeled it stupidity,
    but the dynamics of the abuser and the person being abused go
    so much deeper than what is revealed on the surface.

    I learnt that thru my own personal journey of understanding, because
    I never understood why she/he would stay. It is madness, but I don't want
    it to be about negative labels because that's what keeps the person in the
    abuse silent and feeling lost without no where to turn. In order for them to
    seek help, they need to know they won't be judged for the wrong choices
    they have made that put them in the situation in the first place. It is easy
    to place blame on the woman/man for their own abuse if they choose to stay.

    However, it is the daily tactics of isolation, fear and tearing down of the victim's confidence and self worth that gives the abuser his power over
    their victims and we don't want to add salt onto an already infected wound.

    You and Sarcasm are so right and I agree, there are men who are abused
    as well. In fact I knew a man who was battered by his wife and the kids
    would help beat on the poor man.

    It's just with this story because it's so much more common with men
    being the abuser, I chose to write about the woman as the victim.

    Of course, anyone being beaten regardless of gender is entitled to
    be protected and safe from this treatment.

    As always your $Richness, your presence is greatly felt.

    Thank you...

    Epiphany:heart:
     
  7. baller

    baller Well-Known Member MEMBER

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    WOW...

    It's sad to know that people have to endure such horror, in the name of a so-called love…when love has absolutely nothing to do with it. This should be a wake up call for all those thinking about getting married. GET TO KNOW YOUR MATE. Too many of us live our courtships through fantasies…seeing our mate as we want them to be, instead of for who they are. Usually, there are signs…and those signs are quite vivid. But we have to open our eyes to see them. STOP looking pass them…thinking that things will change, once you’re married. STOP excusing behavior that you’re not willing to live with…thinking it’s gonna get better. STOP thinking, if you get them, you can change them after you’re married. People don’t change. People are who they are…until necessity forces them to take a detour. UNDERSTAND THIS. Or, you could end up like Shirl. DON’T LET THIS HAPPEN TO YOU.
     
  8. sarcasm4eva

    sarcasm4eva Well-Known Member MEMBER

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    you r most welcome. the story wasnt lengthy at all, you have to tell the whole story. happy endings arent always good, we have to wake up and live in the real world. i took alot of psych classses in school, an abusee's state of mind is a very complex thing.again great story and make people aware of this issue, it is dear to ur heart.
     
  9. epiphany

    epiphany Well-Known Member MEMBER

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    Thanx Sarcasm, yes the story should be told. I also took a few classes
    in psychology, a very, very interesting subject. I enjoyed the classes immensely.
    It was so enlightening peering below the surface of psychological disorders and why people behave the way they do.

    Appreciate your return, Sis.


    epiphany:heart:
     
  10. epiphany

    epiphany Well-Known Member MEMBER

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    Well, you've said it all in a nutshell Professor Baller~ I need not added a single, solitary word to your assessment except....my sentiments exactly.~smile

    ~until necessity forces them to take a detour...100% accuracy and few do!

    Thanx so very much for reading me and responding


    epiphany:heart:
     
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