Sometimes, when you go through certain experiences, it isn’t until much later that you realized how fucked it all was. You go through your days slowly turning against yourself but you don’t really know why. You don’t know how to stop feeling this way but each waking moment is dedicated to picking apart the mistakes you aren’t even sure you made to begin with.
I feel like I’ve completely gotten ahead of myself but I’m not one to speak at length about things in the past or things out of my control and most things in life are out of our control. Don’t be fooled, though. Some things we have every bit of control over. Our bodies are one of those things that we should have complete control over. No one should ever tell you how you should use your vessel in this life.
My husband doesn’t really believe in that type of logic and would quickly slash his open palm across my face if he heard me say something like that. In an attempt to seem human, he would then pick me up from the floor and grumble how sorry he was, lift me underneath my arms to my feet and guide me to the bedroom or the nearest cushioned surface available. His hands would then hastily remove whatever garments that would be on my body. Who cares if it were the ostentatiously expensive Christopher Kane mini dress or the string of pearls that once belonged to my mother but were passed to me not long after her funeral during my youth.
Sacrilege. Noun. The violation or profanation of anything sacred or held sacred. Each time my husband laid his hands on me, every time his calloused fingers traveled down my body, the world “sacrilege” would flash in my mind. No, no. I am not putting myself on a higher pedestal than others to say that I am a sacred being but I am a firm believer now in believing that when two people are intimate, it should be because they both desire to do so. Not because of an unspoken obligation or, at times, against their will. This is what my marriage is made up of: tense moments laced with the fear of being assaulted so when his body is on top of mine…it is sacrilege.
We were meant to go to the lake earlier today and since it’s a bit of a drive, I rose from bed and immediately tried to wake my husband. It was a Saturday and he likes to sleep in but he told me he’d take me to the lake. My first action was to simply speak the words “Jonathan, it’s time to get up and get ready. We’re off to the lake this morning.” When that didn’t work, I went to the bathroom and hopped into the shower leaving the door open hoping my subtle commotion would jar him from his sleep. When I returned to the bedroom, he was, in fact, up and pacing around the room.
“…damn idiots that I work with,” he mumbled more to himself than to anyone as he stared at an email on his phone. I stayed quiet and began getting dressed. On went my fancy Carine Gilson silk and lace bra and up my legs went a Celine skirt. I felt like today would be a good day so I put on my mother’s pearls. The moment I had sandals on, Jonathan whirled me around and threw me onto the bed. He felt heavier than before and I actually thought I would die if trapped underneath him for much longer.
For the first time in our relationship, I dared to protest and when he put his hand over my mouth to muffle me, I bit as hard as I could. He yelped like a kicked puppy and rolled over onto the bed. I scrambled to my feet and raced out of the room and down the stairs. At the door, I grabbed a wool coat I hung there as a reminder to take to the dry cleaners. Despite the warm weather, I put it on to shield my half naked body and lunged through the door. Shaking with fear, I plopped down on the stairs of our building and felt something pressing against my thigh in my coat’s pocket. I reached inside and extracted a pair of glasses. They were slid onto my face just as I heard the sound of Jonathan’s voice growing nearer.
Ilva Heitmann (Supreme Management) for ELLE US September 2013 shot by Laurie Bartley
Fictitious Fashion is a flash fiction series that finds inspiration from imagery found in fashion magazines and brand campaigns.