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Chapter 22 - Quicksand

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∞ 22 ∞


As soon as the couple left Valentina sat back on a chair. Her chest was hurting very badly. She just needed to sit still for a little bit to catch her breath and focus. She got up and trying not to breathe too deeply or make any movements that weren't absolutely necessary, took some pills and looked for a bucket she used for the animals. She was sure she left it near the door. She couldn't find it. Why was everything so difficult? She used a nice mixing bowl from the kitchen instead, making the special food as best as she could and took it to poor Lysander, who had been by himself since the day before, but thank goodness! still had some food and water. He looked a little brighter, so she was hopeful. She gave him his injection, put out more water and some food for the others as quickly as she could and staggered inside.

«Merde!» She forgot she didn't have anything to eat! There were Jerremee's crisp breads, his bran cereal with raisins, dried spaghetti, a nearly empty bag of whole coffee beans, chutney, Dijon mustard and many bottles of all Valentina's jams and cordials – a veritable feast for Jerremee. She'd have to go for real food tomorrow. Now, she needed to sleep. She chose the half full box of bran cereal and filled an empty, plastic water bottle from the tap, taking the improvised dinner with her. It hurt carrying them. She looped her handbag around her neck, which hurt too and went into the stairless hallway off the kitchen that led up to her bedroom. How was she going to get up there with slipped ribs and two ripped shoulders? She actually chuckled a little at how ridiculously pathetic her situation was. It even hurt to chuckle! She had messed herself up properly! She tried for an hour and couldn't get up. She was in tears and it felt like her ribs would just rip open by the time she finished.

She had to get up there. She couldn't risk him coming back and getting in the house while she was down there. She didn't feel strong enough to cope with him driving her crazy with his "Alice in Wonderland" contraryspeak: trying to convince her what was, 'was not' and what was not, 'was'; that she was imagining he was trying to mentally destabilise her and that he hadn't successfully financially entrapped her, but had in fact enriched her life... or any of the other weirdness or crap he would come out with, which would probably be worse than usual seeing that she was weakened and had no choice but to listen. Not tonight!

Without realising, her mind instantly jerked back to the loop of all the accusations and broken promises, the mental, sexual and financial abuse, the constant lies and arguments and wild personality changes and his obsessive clinginess and passive control. She sneered bitterly in the knowledge that while she was a broken wreck, for all his hysteric declarations that he was burning in torment from unbearable heartache she was putting him through, he had gone off to start again and would soon be absolutely fine, if he was not already... But she thought about all this FAR TOO MUCH. And once she started, it was like a continuous, unstoppable, stream of putrid VOMIT coming out of her mind. She didn't know why, perhaps it was because she had nothing left, but her own sense of self and her own decency and he had hijacked them both. Infected them. Tainted them (or was trying to). She was fighting for her dignity! She knew going over everything that had happened again and again in her mind wasn't helping her (and really he definitely, definitely was not worth it) but for some inexplicable reason, it was impossibly difficult to stop.


She had to stop going over this useless nonsense! But it was easier said than done. It was as if there was some poison that she needed to get come out. She knew logically that trying to make sense of the madness this person was and had brought into her life, wasn't doing her any good. There was, no sense to be made of it... Some people are just born bad. That is all.

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