Tell Me You Love Me

By: Julie Prestsater

Fire Me Up, Volume 1



CHAPTER ONE


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Lizzy

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“Hurry up. We don’t have all day.” He stands about thirty steps ahead of me with his fists digging into his hips.

My nostrils flare, my heart beats faster, and it takes everything I have not to tell him to just fuck off. Instead, I think of that one comedy about turning forty when the husband and wife are lying in bed talking about the ways they’ve contemplated murdering each other. Well, I’m far from forty and the thought has crossed my mind. More than once.

“I’m coming,” I tell him, completely out of breath. Walking the Hill of Death wasn’t really what I had in mind when I woke up this morning. But this man, my husband, had other ideas. He coaxed me awake with a lingering kiss to my lips whispering sweet nothings about getting in a good workout this morning. I had no idea he was talking about hiking. I thought I was going to get a round of hot love making out of him. Or, at the very least, a morning quickie. I guess I wouldn’t classify our sex life as hot or even making love anymore. That couldn’t be further from the truth. Hell, I can’t remember the last time I had sex, hot or otherwise, from this man—it’s been that long.

When I finally reach him, I get pissed off all over again. He sprinted up this damn mountain, but doesn’t even appear affected. No hitch in his breath. No red in his face. He’s barely broken a sweat, while I’m dripping like I’ve just played four periods in the NBA playoffs.

“Elizabeth.”

I hate it when he calls me by my full name. I feel like I’m being scolded.

“Are we going to do this or what? If you want to lose the weight, you’re going to have to do more than just crawl up this fucking hill. God, I’m out here sweating my ass off trying to support you and you’re not even trying.”

Sweating his ass off, my ass. If he wants to know what it’s like to sweat his ass off, he should come and stick his hand down my crack.

Even while he pisses me off, my throat still tightens at his accusations. Taking a deep breath, I try my hardest to fight back the tears surging to my eyelids. I refuse to let him see me cry. I can’t let him know he’s getting to me. It will only make it worse and he’ll think I’m weaker than he already does.

“Look, I’m trying. I really am. I’m just not in shape like you are, but I will be soon.” I wipe the sweat from my brow and step around him, continuing up the hill to our home.

The rest of the way, we push up the hill in silence. I dig my feet in, feeling the burn in my thighs and my calves. They are so tight I know I’m going to be sore for days. But it’s worth the pain. He knows I’m really trying and he doesn’t make a peep to tear me down like he did earlier. Thank God.

Both sides of my conscience battle it out inside of me. One part of me wants to run up to my bedroom and pack my bags as soon as I cross the threshold of our front door. It’s common sense and self-preservation to flee when you’re under constant attack. I know I shouldn’t stick around. This isn’t what I signed up for. The constant sneers and jabs at my weight. But I also know this isn’t what he signed up for either. I’m not who he married. He didn’t wed a size sixteen woman with a flabby ass and a double chin. He married a size six who rocked a bikini with luscious curves in all the right places.

What I wouldn’t do to see her in the mirror again.

But then again, I didn’t pledge my love to an idiot advertising executive who cares more about his clients than his own spouse. I didn’t marry a jackass who only wanted me when he needed to parade me around like a damn trophy at business meetings where people looked down on me for being a stay at home wife. Shit, I could be doing the same thing he and his partners are doing. I earned my degree, too, but instead of using it to become a librarian, we decided I should stay home and take care of the kids. The kids that continue to be non-existent. I can’t bring myself to stop taking my pills even though he thinks I have. I can’t imagine bringing innocent children into my world right now. It just wouldn’t be right.

Another part of me wants to do whatever I can to make it work. I keep telling myself that once I lose the weight, everything will get back to normal. He’ll love me again. Cherish me. Make my heart skip a beat like he did in college when I met him our freshman year.

A chuckle rises from my belly. I should know better. The problems started long before I gained my first pound. Well, shit. Maybe it’s because of the problems that the first pounds came in the first place.

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