The Monster

Every day the monster came. There was neither rhyme nor reason as to when it would appear. First thing in the morning, in the evening, and oftentimes throughout the night. I didn’t even know if it had a concept of time. Weekdays and weekends—it didn’t matter. Summer, winter, spring, autumn—again, no matter. I was always vigilant and aware, looking for even the smallest sign to warn me of its impending arrival.

It was tall, about six-feet-two-inches. And big, maybe 275 pounds. A bulbous bare head with deep-set brown eyes that radiated constant angry rage. Its mouth was always fashioned into a gnarled grimace that barely hid its crooked yellow teeth. I knew it understood and spoke English because I had heard it a few times, but, to me, it only barked and growled.

I knew was that my five-foot-six-inch, 150-pound self was no match physically. I was well aware that I couldn’t simply overpower it. Every time I tried to run away, I was captured by large, rough hands that always left me bruised and unable to escape.

But a weapon? Yes, that might work. If only. If only I wasn’t afraid that it would wrest any potential weapon out of my hands rather easily and use it against me.

I had a gun, several actually. I could shoot it. Despite being quite adept, I always harbored trepidations if I couldn’t dispose of it with a single, well-placed, fatal shot then I would be in more trouble than I already was. To be honest, I was constantly and unrelentingly frightened—to the point where I stopped thinking about destroying it.

I tried to poison it once but only succeeded in making it sick and that was a mess I never wanted to see—or clean up—again.

I wanted a life, that’s for sure. After having dealt with the monster for years, I realized I wasn’t living. I was simply existing and in constant fear. Sometimes, when I would hear its stomping feet approaching I unconsciously shuddered before cringing and frantically looking for a hiding place. But it always found me. Under the bed, in the closet, wherever. I was positive it could smell my fear and that it reveled in that odor.

I felt trapped in the bottom of a deep pit, and every time I was able to climb to the top, something—the monster—would step on my hands with heavy work boots and I would slide back down—each time a bit deeper—into the abyss.

I was utterly exhausted, broken, and defeated.

Finally fed up, I seriously began planning how to dispose of the monster. After all, I was very intelligent—far smarter than the monster. I was educated—again, considerably more than the monster. I was resourceful. I was determined. I was done.

After months of plotting, planning, and preparation I was ready to take my chance. My one and only because I knew if I failed there would be no more opportunities. I would be forever ensnared.

One morning after the monster left—and after I tended to my latest wounds—I loaded my car with all of my irreplaceable possessions—the rest were unimportant at the time—and drove away, never looking in the rearview mirror as my foot pressed upon the accelerator.

As I had already filed, I left the divorce papers on the dining room table. Welcome home, monster.

“Heroes need monsters to establish their heroic credentials. You need something scary to overcome.” ~ Margaret Atwood

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