*** WARNING: This chapter contains adult material. This is a domestic violence disclaimer. If you are sensitive to adult content please do not read any further. ***
I woke up the next morning and Matthew was still out cold in his wedding clothes. I threw on some sweats and went for a jog. It was 96 degrees out but there was an overcast. The sky was grey and smoggy. For some reason, the dreariness of the day soured my mood.
I jogged to an overlook where I gazed out into the city. I glanced up and saw the overview where Matthew had proposed to me just days earlier.
I could also see the cove Matthew and I had spent a perfect afternoon together earlier that week. It seemed like ages ago. So much had changed since then. The skies opened up and a light rain began to fall. I decided to head back home.
The jog back took about an hour. When I got home, I saw Matthew at the bar. It was only 10 am and he had already started drinking. I felt myself get angry. His drinking had ruined our wedding night and I wasn't going to let it ruin the day after our wedding too. Matthew wasn't able to take time off work because he was in the middle of a project. We were lucky enough to get two days and I wasn't going to spend them both taking care of my drunk husband.
I decided to confront him. I told him how he made me feel last night and I didn't want the same thing to happen today. Matthew set down his drink and stared at me. I felt the mood of the room change instantly. "After everything I've done for you...after everything I've given you...this is how you repay me?" he yelled. "You are the most selfish, ungrateful person I have ever met. You would be nothing without me! A silly little farm girl living on the streets. You'd do well to remember that!" he continued, his voice getting louder and his body becoming more animated.
I decided to push back a little bit. Everything happened so fast. I don't even remember what I said. I knew it had to do with his drinking and last night. He snapped when I told him I would leave if it happened again. I saw the fire in his eyes as he approached me. He still smelled of old liquor. I wasn't prepared for what happened next. He put his hands up to my shoulders and shoved...
My body flew back into the bar and my back arched. I instantly felt the pain radiate up my back and down my legs.
I flew to the other side of the bar and threw my hands up in self defense. That only seemed to make him angrier. He walked around the bar to meet me. With one hand he held down my wrists and with the other, delivered an open handed blow to the side of my face. The slap made my ears ring and my eyes water. I saw Matthew's eyes soften and he released my arms. Without another word, he grabbed his keys and ran out the front door.
My cheek was stinging. I walked into the entry way to inspect the damage in the mirror there. My cheek was bright red and you could make out the indent of Matthew's palm. Did that really just happen? I asked myself.
I was numb. I sauntered up the stairs like a zombie. I took a scalding hot shower and got dressed. The side of my face was throbbing and it felt like it was on fire. I did my hair to cover the red mark as best as I could. I heard the front door open and fear knotted in my stomach. Matthew can in the bedroom, looking pitiful. "I'm so sorry," he said. The tears fell from my face and I could do nothing to stop them. "Please, come downstairs. I have something to show you," Matthew said as he turned away from me and left the room. I followed him silently.
We walked into the garage. I could hardly believe my eyes. It was a bright red VFN Compensator. It was one of the newer models and much nicer then Matthew's. "It's all yours," he said with a shy smile. I didn't know what to say, so I said nothing.
Matthew inched closer to me and I instinctively backed away. He reached out slowly and stroked my cheek. His hands felt cool on my burning face. "I am so sorry," he said with tears in his eyes.
I couldn't stand it any longer. I just needed to be held. I fell into his arms sobbing. "This will never happen again Everly. I am so, so sorry. Please forgive me," Matthew said as he held me. I finally stopped crying. "Let me make it up to you. Last night I was such a fool," he said as he kissed me. He led me by the hand upstairs.
We got into our pajamas and climbed into bed. It was only mid afternoon but all I wanted to do was spend the day in bed. The last few days had been exhausting and it was finally catching up to me. I allowed myself to forgive Matthew and we celebrated our wedding night that afternoon. In the bright red mood lighting, you could hardly see the red mark.