Finally Unbroken

By: Maria Macdonald

Finally Unbroken Series Book One

Sometimes the stories suffocate us.

By writing the words for others to read,

We let the stories fly free...

Allowing us to breathe again.

“Anabel, where the fuck is my beer?” I hear bellowing through the house. I use the term house loosely, it’s more like a ramshackle hut. It had belonged to Keith’s parents before they died. Now, I guess, it’s ours—well, his.

Wrapping my arms around me, I feel cold all over as I hang my head, staring at the bubbles in the sink, watching them slowly pop in the dirty water. Shivering, I wonder now how my life became this, and if, one day, I might be like one of these bubbles and just pop, ceasing to exist.

“Do I have to get it myself!” he shouts again.

I jump into action, not even drying my hands before opening the fridge and grabbing his beer, almost jogging to get it to him as quickly as possible. The house is only tiny, so it’s not far to go, it’s more about the abuse I’ll get if I don’t act quickly.

“Here you go,” I murmur, handing him the beer. He doesn’t even glance away from the television.

“About fucking time,” he grinds out, followed by, “Have you done the dishes yet? I told you earlier to clean my car as well, don’t forget.”

I sigh silently. “Nearly done, I’ll get on your car real soon, I promise.” At my reply, he mumbles something that can’t be deciphered. Twisting around, I rush back to finish washing the dishes so I can start on his car.

It wasn’t always like this. We were actually once in love. If you can believe that. Keith used to be the quarterback while I was the quiet, nerdy girl. Our school life should have dictated that we could never be, but in the end, the popular girls didn’t get him and I was the one that ‘won’. The one that beat the cheerleader to get the guy. The one you always read about and assume there’s a happily ever after. Looking at Keith now, the only parts of him that remain the same are his eyes and height. He’s still tall at six foot two, his dark blond locks have grown into a gray, blond, greasy mix over the years. His build although large is less defined, stodgier. His teeth have yellowed from the tobacco he smokes, and he rarely smells of anything other than beer these days.

The thing is, none of that bothers me. I would have loved him anyway, just for his bright bluish-gray eyes and his reciprocation of love. But even his eyes are hard and cold now, and that teamed with his personality over the last ten years, I know I’ll never love him again.

Keith’s never hit me, never raised a finger to physically hurt me. I should be thankful of that. However, I’ve learnt over the years, there are many ways to break someone. So many other ways to pull someone down, to make them bleed, just not on the outside.

Emptying the water and bubbles from the sink then walking over to open the back door, I grab the bucket and sponge. Spinning around, I catch myself in the mirror. My long thick blond hair hangs lank and lifeless. I really need a good cut and style, it could use a color too as I’m getting the odd wispy stray gray hair dotted along my hairline. I kind of think it’s pretty, I’m probably the only woman that does. Still, it’s a sign of aging and there’s nothing wrong with that. My green eyes look sad surrounded by pale skin with the odd wrinkle. I’m lucky my appearance isn’t as bad as it could be.

I got the guy at high school and he married me. I don’t feel lucky, though, not really, not with what he’s turned into. It could have been worse, at least, most of the cheerleaders that still live in this town look a lot more haggard than me.

That really shouldn’t make me feel better, someone else’s hardship isn’t for me to comment on. It’s not like the way he treats me isn’t common knowledge, they probably have a good laugh at my expense.

Little Anabel didn’t actually win in the end, huh?

When we were younger, Keith would drive around town with me in his truck, proud that I was on his arm. He used to tell me how beautiful I was, he used to stroke my face and kiss my temple softly when he was dropping me home. We would lie in the truck bed and watch the stars in between making out.

Before I realize it the tears are softly falling, slipping down my cheeks and dropping on the floor looking like raindrops splashing from above. Bending down, I wipe them away with the sponge. I’m not crying because I still love him, I’m crying for everything I once had but lost. He used to hang the stars for me. I can’t believe I could’ve been so wrong about someone I willingly gave my heart to. It shows how well I judge people. I’ve wanted to leave him for years. There’s just no way of achieving that goal now.