The General’s Wife

The General's Wife

It’s 5 O’Clock in the evening. He said he’d be here soon and so there I was waiting, waiting patiently with my heart in my hands for the man I call my husband. A husband I barely see and barely even know. Maybe it serves me right for wanting a marriage of convenience; for valuing personal space and financial security and choosing to be a legionnaire’s companion. When every other eligible demoiselle refused to be a young widow, I didn’t. Because a soldier needs a reason to go to war, because a hero needs someone to come home to.

“But doesn’t that someone need to feel warm in the cold nights or simply feel safe in the dark?”

I have my comforter and I have my God, besides I love the dark, so I guess I’ll be fine.

Such words become my mantra when times like this come by.

I reach for my dumb smartphone to check the time; the 30 minutes I’d been waiting for my husband feels like 30 hours. And as I continue to float in my thoughts, the loud click of the bedroom door brings me back to earth and I turn around to see him dressed in dark blue — his favourite colour by habit. Three strides lead me into his arms as I welcome him like a loving wife should. He holds me and kisses me and I return his kiss the way he taught me to; the way he likes me to.

He kisses me again, fiercely this time. I think of what to do

“Stop thinking”, he says to me, in his usual commanding but loving tone. It was his favourite thing to say whenever he noticed my gaze shift from him. I always oblige, letting him take control of my body. Somehow, he knows best.

This time, I let my instincts lead my hands

He makes the funny sounds

My feet are no longer where they were

I feel my back against the wall

His arms tremble below my back

I open my eyes to his

Something is wrong but he doesn’t stop

His thrusts are harder now

I stay still…, numb, sore

I feel his breath on my face

He whispers questions I cannot say no to

I asphyxiate

He keeps on going, harder, deeper

The surface of the wall no longer feels comfortable on my back

My walls no longer feel pleasure from his thrusts

But I take comfort from the fact that a hero has found refuge in my body

I feel my body fold in the smooth face of my cotton sheets

I am now staring at the face of my husband, a hero

My hand on his face, I can feel his battle scars

He looks into my eyes

We stare at each other for God knows how long

“I killed a lieutenant and made it seem like suicide”, he says with a smile

I hug him in fright, and with joy in this hero’s eyes, he says “I’ve missed you too”.

My body goes numb, this is my afterlife

I miss him when he goes, I resent him when he stays

I am a mess, inside out, I have battle scars too

The only thing I know is I am going to make myself a young widow.

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