Bobby, You’re Projecting Again!

[Here is part two, behind Fear From Within; Or Is It? This deals with what could drive someone to do something … crazy. Like a self absorbed spouse. There is a lot more going on in the intentions of a psychopath, however.]

“DAMMIT, Bobby! Do you always have to make so much FREAKING noise when you get up?” Sharon practically squealed at me.

“Sorry, honey…I’m sorry.” I whispered. “I’ll try to be quieter.”

“Just shut up, Bobby. Just shut the hell up, so I can go back to sleep, would you? GOD!” Sharon huffed and pulled the covers over her head.

“Why don’t you shut up?” Oh, wow. Why did I just do that?

Sharon’s eyes shot open and she sat bolt upright in the bed. Blonde hair a mess, she was seething.

“What did you just say to me? What the hell is your problem? Don’t even start projecting your bull-shit onto me, Bobby!”

“I said fine, I’ll shut up. I’ll … as in ‘I will’. You had the covers over your head, Hon. You misheard me. Go back to sleep. I love you.” I told her.

“Oh. Well you need to learn how to talk right. Why do you have to get up at four A.M. anyway? You never used to get up this early. You know what? Whatever. I don’t care.” She laid back down and closed her eyes. After about ten seconds she thrashed under the covers and sat up again. “Great, now I’m wide awake. Thanks a lot!” She threw the covers off, dragged herself out of bed, and stomped into the bathroom, slamming the door.

I picked up my steel toe work boots and started to leave, cringing when I heard the bathroom door open up behind me. I ran my fingers through my thick dark hair and turned to face her.

“Oh, one more thing. Make sure you spray yourself before you come in after work. Better yet, just strip down and hose off outside. I’m sick of the whole house smelling like shit every time you walk in the door!” She returned to the bathroom and slammed the door a second time.

My Sharon sure has a way of sending me off in the morning, God love her. He’d be the only one. Well except for her blind parents who only see a perfect angel every time we visit. She used to be so beautiful. I used to worship the ground she walked on; right alongside her parents. Now, I just try to survive her spit fire outbursts and her disparaging comments in front of any and all who will listen. Sometimes I imagine that if I had any friends, they would support me. Tell me to leave her. Help me kill her; something. However, I have no friends. She took care of that the moment we moved in to our new house fresh from our nuptials.

Well the house is no longer new and our nuptials are no longer fresh. I finished putting on my boots by the door and grabbed my work shirt from the chair closest to the foyer, near the dining room table. I started to put it on when I saw her coming down the stairs. She was still so beautiful with her long blonde hair, blue eyes, and a body that a teenager would kill to just to be able to caress with one sweaty hand for thirty seconds.

Sharon spent at least one third of my weekly salary from Sanders Sewage Systems maintaining that beauty. Hair salons, tanning salons, nail salons, and day spas is how all our disposable income gets spent. Once upon a time I used to go hunting with my Dad and a few friends, but all that  ended when my Dad called up the house and asked Sharon if the “ol ball and chain” was going to release me for the weekend. It was the opening of deer season, a few months after we moved into our house.

To put it lightly, she didn’t find my father’s joke very funny. Oh, she giggled like a school girl on the line, but the moment she hung up the phone…

“Bob!…Bobbeeee! Get in here right now!” Sharon screamed out the front door for all the neighbors to hear.

I came rushing up the driveway from the garage where I was working on the only other hobby I engaged in.

“What? What happened? I asked urgently.

“Oh, nothing, dearest. I just thought you’d like to know what your father thinks of the woman who slaves over you night and day!” She said indignantly.

“What?! What are you talking about?” I had no idea what she was on about. My father loved her to bits. Thought she was God’s gift to his only son.

“That’s my boy! Look at that beauty he landed.” He would say to his friends.

“She’s not a fish, Dad!” I would reply. We would laugh and everything was great.

So why did she think otherwise?

“He hates me!” She said. She began to cry. Sob, really. Weird, but I didn’t know people could bawl so dramatically without shedding a single tear, but my Sharon always found ways to amaze me.

“He called me an ‘old ball and chain’!” She told me.

“Wha…why would he…?” I started.

“What?! You don’t believe me?!” She turned on her heels and ran to our bedroom, slamming the door.

I didn’t see or hear anything from her until later that evening. I tried to talk to her through the door but she just ignored me. Eventually, I just left her alone, hoping she would settle down and we could talk about it. I went back to work on my Charger out in the garage.

Around 6:30 that evening, Sharon called me in to supper. She sounded happy and I was hopeful that perhaps she realized she was being foolish and was preparing to apologize. I came in through the back door and washed my hands at the sink in the laundry. Walking through the kitchen into the dining room, I saw that she had created a beautiful display for my pleasure. A three course gourmet meal, complete with the plastic flower bouquet and candlelight. She was standing in front of the table wearing her red evening gown. She knew I loved the way she looked in that dress. Her hair and makeup was done and she was wearing her wedding pearls.

I was right. I was about to get my apology. I walked up to her chair and pulled it out for her, grinning like an idiot.

“My dear.” I said, beckoning her to sit.

“My love.” She replied.

We could be so romantic back then. However, she was about to lay something on me that would stop my breath and cause my heart to sink.

“Bobby” She said, as I took my own seat. “You know I love you, right?”

“Yes, of course. You know I love you, too, right?” I said back to her.

She leaned forward and poured me some red wine from the decanter before pouring some for herself. Wine was her thing, but I wasn’t about to ruin the moment by asking for a beer.

“And you know I would do anything for you, right?” She asked.

I raised my glass and she mimicked the gesture and we both sniffed and sipped from our glasses. The good crystal, no less. We set down our glasses and began to tuck in.

“Absolutely, darling. And you know I would do anything for you. What’s this about?”

“Good, nothing…well not nothing…but…nevermind, enjoy your dinner.”

Today, I would have known she was up to something, but back then I fell right into her trap.

“Honey, what is it? Tell me.” I pleaded.

“Well it’s just that … I don’t know … I … how do I put this?” She licked her lips, never taking her eyes from mine. “I don’t want you to see him anymore.” I didn’t understand.

“See who?” I asked.

Her face instantly changed from that of the sweet and innocent angel I knew and loved, to the accusatory demon I have grown accustomed to since. Her expression begged, ‘Are you serious?’

“You’re going to make me say it, aren’t you? You know who. Him. Your father; all of them. They all hate me. You don’t want to see it but if you stop to think about it, you’ll see I’m right.”

I couldn’t believe what I was hearing.

“Are you out of your mind?” I asked. “Why are you doing thi….?”

She stood up and doused me with her wine.

“How dare you?” She screamed. Then quieter, “How dare you say that to me? You have no idea what he said to me. How he said it. It was practically a verbal assault over the phone. YES. Your dear old dad verbally assaulted your wife and you have the nerve to call me crazy?!”

She stood there fuming at me. Her breasts heaving rapidly with each breath she took. Thinking back to on it now makes me chuckle. She reminded me of the bull with the ring in his nose in the old Loony Tunes episode where Bugs Bunny is a matador.

“Sharon…what…why…” I sounded like a blubbering idiot at this point.

“You know what…no…forget it. Its clear to me now that you don’t love me. It’s over, Bobby. I just can’t live like this.”

I panicked. I jumped up from the chair and ran to her. Getting down on my knees in front of her, I took her hands in mine.

“I’m sorry, baby. I didn’t mean it. I was shocked, that’s all. I don’t think you’re crazy…but…my family…are you sure? Maybe you misheard him?” I asked her. My eyes were begging her not to do this.

“I know what I heard.” She said coldly. “You said you would do anything for me. Did you forget? It was only thirty seconds ago.”

“No, of course I didn’t, but…”

Her face lightened a bit, “Bobby, I’m sorry, but if you can’t do this for me, I’m afraid I will have to file for…” If only I had a dollar for every time I heard these words. My reaction was always the same. Different lines, same theme:

“No! Fine! Whatever you want … I will … stop seeing … them. Can I at least go and say good bye?” I asked, hanging my head.

“Oh, honey. I know this must hurt. Of course you can, but make it short. No one likes long goodbyes.” She replied. I could hear the triumph in her voice, but at the time I mistook it for love.

You would think she would have went after my friends first. Start off light and work her way up. No. That has never been my Sharon’s style. She did everything big. Fireworks. With the Grand Finale first. After my family, she systematically worked her way through my friends. So and so’s wife was a bitch. Someone kept undressing her with his eyes. She and he think they are better than everyone else. One by one and sometimes two, all my friendships ended. Not hers, though. No. Her friends could do no wrong. In fact, the opposite was encouraged.

She even told me I should sleep with her best friend to shut her up, once. Really! True story. Carmen, one of Sharon’s oldest school friends, cornered me in the backyard where I was grilling steaks on the BBQ. She molested me and told me she’d like to see what I kind of equipment I was cooking with, if you know what I mean. I shoved her away and tried my best to keep a positive attitude until she left. Later that night, I told Sharon what had happened and her reply was classic Sharon all the way.

“You should have just went ahead and banged her right there.” She said nonchalantly.

“Are you kidding me right now?!” I asked.

“Not at all! One spin and she would never bother you again. She’d walk away disappointed and tell all our friends what a shit lay you are and we would’t have to worry about it anymore.” She explained with a straight face and then sipped her wine.

“What the hell is that supposed to mean? I did nothing wrong here, Sharon. Why would you say that to me?”

“Say what? It’s true! I know you did the right thing, and I commend you for it. It’s just you should have given her the best you got and then she would know what I’m working with. Oh Sweetie, I’m sorry if that hurts your feelings. Maybe you should take a class or something. Now, you go brood in the garage. I’m going to have a shower. See you in bed?” She didn’t wait for an answer. Just turned and walked away.

Now, you might think she was hiding her frustration at hearing her friend could do such a thing, but no, Sharon didn’t hide a damned thing and you know what they say, “Birds of a feather”. Her friends were every bit as corrupt inside as she was.

How many times had Sharon received calls at any hour after dark with invitations to party.

“I’m going out, Bobby. Don’t wait up, it’s going to be a late one!” She would announce and grab her jacket, running out the door before I could even respond. Then arrive back home around four or five in the morning, drunk and disheveled. Stumbling into the bedroom, she’d fall into bed next to me and be dead to the world the entire next day.

I even suspect she has been having affairs. More like one night stands, really. I don’t imagine very many people outside her circle could stand to be in her presence for longer than a few hours at a time. I never truly entertained the notion. Not even when she came home smelling of men’s cologne and missing certain items of clothing that would cause any husband to begin the drill.

I didn’t want to confront her. Hated it even. I could never convince her of my position and any ground I might’ve gained was immediately lost with the threat of divorce. I love her. Just the sound of the word divorce gives me chills. Or at least it used to. The word has lost most of its magic now. Sharon has never had a problem finding new ones, though. Lately, its been the word “Lawyer” followed up with “take everything you own” and finally finished off with “I bet that Charger you love so dearly would fetch a pretty penny.” She uses this last if I am being particularly stubborn. Drives the point home, no pun intended.

I still adore her, though; still love her with all my heart; I can’t help but loathe her anymore. My heart stops in my chest, time slows down and I am caught in the moment that is her splendor as she makes her way down the stairs, breaking me away from my thoughts. The way her hair is bouncing around her evenly tanned shoulders. Her left hand moves to brush away a bit of hair from eyes that sparkle in the light of the street lamps coming through the dining room bay window. She is wearing a see-through lingerie nightie with nothing underneath that causes a low groan in my lower abdomen.

Even this small moment is shattered when she opens her mouth to speak.

“My card was denied at Terry’s Hair yesterday. Not that I need to tell you–again–that this is unacceptable. I work so hard to keep myself beautiful for you and you can’t even pay the damn bills. I mean … look at this …” She held up her hair in both hands and turned left to right to look at it. I didn’t see anything wrong. “I can’t go out in public with my hair looking like this. Terry let me go, but told me I can’t come back until we’re settled. Do you know … do you even have an inkling … how embarrassing … how humiliating that is?!”

“I’m sorry, Babe. I will look into it today.” I told her. I wanted to say…

“DON’T GO OUT THEN! STAY HOME! YOU’LL JUST MESS IT UP AGAIN WHEN YOU’RE ROLLING AROUND THE BACK OF SOME SHALLOW DOUCHE BAG’S MINIVAN!”

Instead I said…

“It will be sorted by the end of today. I love you. I have to go to work. I’ll see you when I get home.”

“Make sure that it is or don’t bother coming home!” She tromped down the rest of the stairs and turned into the dining room heading towards the kitchen to make her daily morning smoothie. Under her breath I heard her say something that caused the blood to rush right to my face and lit my ears afire. “Why did I have to marry a piece of shit janitor?”

I turned and walked out the door while visions of pummeling her with her hair dryer danced in my head. She has one of those giant things that you need to hold with two hands, has twenty settings, and sixty attachments. I always felt it would make a better weapon than a beauty accessory anyways.

“Don’t project she says. I’ll show her projecting.” I said quietly as I made my way to my car.

Over the past few weeks I realized that I had to do something to even myself or I wouldn’t be able to take another night in that house with her. I needed to have something for myself. Something that she can’t take away from me. More than that, I needed to vent. I needed to project. It took a while to come up with an idea and even longer to gather the courage to commit to it. What I came up with was perfect.

And I found the perfect way to execute it. I had the place. I had the means. I had the person. I watched her for weeks. I planned every detail. Nothing could go wrong and I would finally have an outlet for my frustration. Today was the day. Everything is going to be better from now on. Admittedly, it wasn’t ideal. After all, I would be involving an innocent bystander, but who is ever truly innocent, anyway? She looked just like Sharon. No doubt, had the same habits. Would it have been better to just let out all my anger on the real culprit? Sure, but not feasible. Sharon’s father is a highly respected sergeant detective in homicide. If his perfect little angel ever went missing, I would be the first person he went after. So no, less than ideal would have to do.

Holly would have to do.

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