Take My Breath Away

My breathing was audible in the stillness, and not just because of my heightened state of awareness. I inhaled slowly and deliberately, nostrils flaring, in an attempt to take in more air – willing the oxygen to push past the lump in my throat, half-trying to conjure up the relaxation techniques I learned long ago, at that acting school in Manhattan. Ah, the good ol’ days, when it was merely stage-fright that required the use of such methods…Am I still too young to reminisce over those romantic times-gone-by? Surely at the age of thirty-five, I have earned the right to lament about such things.

I could barely make out the trees, covered in darkness. The moon is just a sliver allowing me to glimpse the outline of the branches swaying in the autumn winds just outside my kitchen window. The darkness is somehow comforting. Now what? I ponder my options, remembering to breath deeply, in a feeble attempt to contain the swell of emotions rising up in mutiny, against me and my breathing exercises.

An undeniable surge of energy flows through me. I am acutely aware of my own desires. I must bury my emotions in the pleasures of a physical release. In my erratic state, I decide that yes, this is what I need right now, to rid myself of the anxiety that is plaguing my every cell. I am overcome by the intensity of this urge. I rise from my seat at the ornate, wrought iron and glass table that Jack and I purchased years ago in Mexico, and make my way towards the master bedroom. I move with feline accuracy up the eight wooden steps leading to the bedrooms, careful to avoid the creaky spots.

I pass the pictures hanging cheerily on the wall in our stairwell, of our two, healthy, blond-haired, cherubic-faced babies. Will is 4 and Lana just turned 2 years old. They are our greatest gifts in this life, looking like they belong in a surfing magazine on the west coast somewhere. I smile at them and know for just a moment that all will be well.

I open the door to our modest master bedroom, the king-sized bed and plush down comforter beckoning me closer. The red 12:22 glowing from the cable box reminds me that it is after midnight. I wonder how Jack will react to this late night waking. I walk around to his side of the bed, reaching for the edge, to help me maintain my bearings in the darkness. As my eyes adjust to the blackness of our bedroom, I can make out his mouth, slightly ajar as he snores out a little tune. This is not hot. But, no matter. He is the man I love, the man I married.

I carefully climb in on his side, sliding one of my legs up and over his torso, straddling him in one swift motion as I have done so many times before in our ten years together. He stirs just a bit, causing the snoring to stop for a moment. Without pause, I slide my hands up his shirtless chest and lock my knees tightly over his torso and arms, which are trapped under the blanket. Wrapping my hands around his throat – I squeeze. I squeeze and I squeeze, until his eyes pop open, wide with the surprise that his ever-loyal wife, and loving mother of his children, has suddenly turned to physical violence against him. In his sleep, no less.

I mean, we have had our ups and downs, but we have never been violent. Until now. I bring my mouth closer to his reddened and contorted face and I hiss out my inquiry, “How the fuck can you do this to me?!?! To our family?!” His gasping for air is a satisfactory answer to me, for now. Since I adore our children, and heaven knows that I would not look cute in an orange jumpsuit, I return to my senses. Choking him to death is not a viable option, appealing as it might be. I release my grip. I am glad we have had this talk.

Photo credit: http://www.myreservoir.net/tag/scorned-woman/

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29 thoughts on “Take My Breath Away

  1. Crystal says:

    This is both engaging and clever… I could not stop reading 🙂

    Liked by 3 people

  2. vickiewhat says:

    Thank you so much Crystal. I am thrilled that you enjoyed it.

    Like

  3. mamalisa4 says:

    I agree! I could not stop reading!!!! This was not only beautifully written but has also peaked my curiosity and left me wanting more!! This is something every woman, scorned or not, has dreamed of doing at some point!! 😉 GREAT read!! Love this!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. You have something here. The use of the present tense creates surprise, but your overuse of unnecessary ajdectives slows it down. Comfortable, plush and fluffy is overkill. How about one word describing comfort paired with another that depicts safety? I think the piece will have a lot more tension if you scrape off some of what I call Dan Brown Frosting.
    Badic rules: If an adjective doesn’t directly serve the story it needs to go. If it does, see if there’s still a way to show the same thing without using an adjective. For example, instead of glowing alarm clock, show the red letters themselves. And you’re not allowed to say suddenly, not ever.
    Let the picture paint itself and I think you will have a much stronger piece!

    Just my opinion. I’m a tough audience, but I wouldn’t bother commenting if I didn’t see something worthwhile here. Writing well takes a fierce determination to always do better. You (surely) have talent 🙂
    Keep on keeping on!

    Liked by 2 people

    • vickiewhat says:

      I could jump through the screen and hug you. Thanks for this (extremely 😉 useful feedback. I am thrilled for anyone who takes the time to read what I put on paper. You’ve given me much more!

      A big, fluffy, mushy, adjective-laden thank you, for the constructive criticism. I will rework it and keep at it. You’ve made my day. Happy Sunday!

      Liked by 2 people

  5. jillpinner says:

    You are an amazing writer Vic, glad to see you now have an outlet and a following !!! Thank u for letting me into ur thoughts each time!!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. vickiewhat says:

    Thank YOU for taking the time to read my work and for being so supportive. xo

    Like

  7. 18mitzvot says:

    So awesome. I did not see that coming.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Bravo! Bravo!
    I love this! This is a “reading on the edge of my bathtub because the water turned cold and I’m a prune” book! You know, that ONE you can’t put down? More please!!
    Xoxo

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Tony says:

    Love reading your work. The turn at the end was one I didn’t see coming. Keep up the great work.

    Like

  10. vickiewhat says:

    Thank you so much Tony for taking the time to read and give me feedback. I am so glad that you didn’t see it coming. I was hoping that it would not be obvious to the reader.

    Have a beautiful day 🙂

    Like

  11. momsranting says:

    what happens next!!!

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Last line: PRICELESS.
    🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Without a doubt, Victoria, this piece took me on a literary roller-coaster of benign highs to malign lows. Your use of very precise, well penned details and smart writing had me fixed to my screen from the beginning; a rarity for me to get hooked so early in a story.

    Just when I thought queue up the saucy romance music was about to play, WHAM!; in your face twist!

    This was ever so clever with a sharp humored closing, and albeit something tells me that there was a lot of You in this tale, this is a Must Read!

    Absolutely loved this.

    –Michael Frost

    Liked by 2 people

  14. This intrigued me. I would love to know what Jack did to provoke his wife to violence.

    Liked by 1 person

  15. Yes, definitely – it’s an excellent opening for a story.

    Liked by 1 person

  16. That was brilliant! I was hooked from the start and love the serene illusion ebbing the psychosis!

    Liked by 1 person

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