My invisible monster lived between me and my husband. It kept growing and I didn’t know how to kill it. So I pretended it wasn’t there.
Robbie never came home anymore on Friday nights. He just told me it was easier for him to stay in the city after hosting his clients than drive home drunk. When he was home, he would spend hours on the net or watch TV with Sara. He slept with his back to me and would walk straight to the bathroom when he woke up.
Don’t get me wrong. Robbie was a decent man. He played the dutiful husband well, paying half the bills, changing the light bulbs, mowing the lawn, grilling sausages at family barbecues — all the basic things to maintain a happy home. But we hardly talked anymore, let alone have sex.
I could sometimes smell perfume on his suit. He claimed that one could catch it anywhere between bars and bus rides. I wished he had caught a cold instead.
Robbie might be a lousy husband, but he was the perfect dad. He never missed Sara’s concerts, her birthdays, her bedtime stories. They had similar interests, talked about video games as if they were real-life issues, and he always helped with homework. I knew she loved him to pieces. I wasn’t sure anymore, but we had been married for ten years, so I might as well.
I thought about leaving him. Often. This happy family façade left me cold and empty; I was certain it was killing him as well. Robbie and I were both great actors, keeping a happy face before others, our existence glued by Sara alone, her cheerleaders in separate teams.
Since Sara went to school, I returned to the workforce: a nurse at the Central Vet hospital. When I didn’t work, I kept myself busy with charity events. My friend Dina Swayne and I had the Kissing stall erected every summer at the Fair. It was all in the name of fun and good cause. I loved the Fair, watching kids run about with fairy floss in their hands, teenagers showcasing huge Teddy Bears by the gaming tents, happy couples smiling on the Ferris Wheel, people screaming in time with the roller coaster.
Their delight reminded me of living.
Sometimes Robbie would take Sara to the Fair. I could see the love in his eyes as he helped her pick plastic ducks with fishing sticks. It was the most beautiful thing. I didn’t want to be the one to break it.
So I pretended the monster wasn’t there and stayed.
Author’s note: A novella I’ve been working on in between editing ‘Stealing A Dream’. It’s an urban fantasy about a forgotten wife who finds unexpected love in an otherworldly runaway elemental. Follow me in their journey through Sydney, Theraland, and a thousand nuances of human virtues.