Her Bosses Baby

By: Kimmy Love

Out on the street, the traffic doesn’t stop the confusion in my head and I walk rather than take the bus. I’m hoping it will help me calm down before I get home. I walk for several blocks before fatigue gets to me. I never sleep so well these days. I need to get myself home; walking is doing nothing to clear my head. I see a bus and run for it after walking for five or six blocks. My head is a thick fog of confusion and I almost forget to pay. All I’ve done is make myself late home and Drew is bound to complain.

At my door I hear music coming loudly from within. It sounds to me like Drew is having a party. The last thing I need is an apartment full of Drew’s loser friends. The place is small enough with just the two of us. He has three drinking buddies. Please don’t let them be here tonight of all nights. I hate all of them, but one in particular brings me down.

Tiger. He’s the worst. He’s the one who discourages Drew from even looking for work. Tells him that’s what I’m here for. But as soon as I smell the weed, I know Tiger is there.

“You’re late,” Drew slurs as I poke my head around the living room door.

“Work,” I tell him and look at Tiger’s big, dirty sneakers up on my coffee table. Drew is fanning smoke clouds away like I don’t know what’s going on.

“Work, huh?” says Drew. “What about dinner?”

“You remember where the kitchen is, right?” I make my way to the bedroom.

“Woo!” Tiger shakes his head. “Looks like she finally got you whipped.”

Drew shoots a foul look my way but I don’t back down. There’s no way I’m cooking for him and that waste of space Tiger now.

In my room I hear the music turn up even louder. The neighbors are bound to complain and just as I think it, I hear banging from Mrs. Spirewski’s apartment downstairs. Drew and Tiger yell and start laughing and I curl up in a little ball on my own in the bedroom. I start to think about Adam.

I must have fallen asleep because a very rough and a very drunk, Drew is stabbing his finger into my back.

“What is it?” I roll over. Drew is leaning onto his knuckles on the bed. His eyes are bloodshot and glaring at me in the dimness of the bedroom.

“Don’t you ever, ever talk to me like that again in front of my friends.” He spits the words and I’m surrounded by a haze of alcohol and sweat.

“I’m sorry, Drew, I didn’t mean to−” I go to pull myself off the bed but Drew pulls me onto my back by my hair and leans in close.

“Didn’t mean to? Is it so hard for you to be nice once in a while?” he shouts loudly and I realize the music is off. Tiger must have gone. I have no idea what time it is.

“Drew, you’re hurting me. Let me get up and I’ll cook us some food.” I’m holding his hand trying to pry it off my hair, but he leaps on top of me, straddling me, pinning me down.

“Oh, so now you want to be nice, huh?”

“I can’t breathe, you’re too heavy.”

Now his whole body is on top of me. Drew grabs my throat and starts pressing in hard. I start to choke and can’t speak. I struggle to shift him but Drew is a big guy. Heavy and angry.

“You listen to me,” he says through gritted teeth. “The next time you disrespect me in front of my friends again, I’ll...”

I close my eyes just as I see his fist hovering inches from my face. I get the message loud and clear and Drew hitting me is what I’ve been expecting. But he doesn’t strike. I know his violence will escalate one day. With every angry word he’s given me, every filthy look and disgusting remark he can think of to belittle me, I know that a day will come when he will hit me. Is today that day?

His breathing is deep and fast. All of a sudden he rolls away from me and staggers out of the door. I’m frozen to the spot. I wish I knew what he’s planning. Will he leave the apartment? Storming out is one thing he usually does and I listen for the door opening. Nothing. Maybe he’ll spend the rest of the evening tormenting me and making me feel like I’m losing my mind.

I get up slowly. Drew is in the living room. I have to pass him to get to the kitchen. Under my breath I say the words, “What would you like to eat?” and Drew leaps from the old armchair in the corner.

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