She held the phone precariously over her face and squinted at the words on the small screen. Her heart began pounding sporadically as a bead of sweat formed on her temple. She read the text again.
You’re still MY wife. You’re MINE. No one else can have you.
Perplexed, she wracked her brain, sifting through the last few months. She couldn’t even recall leaving the house without the kids. Was she seen talking to a man at the grocery store? Did she accidentally smile at someone in public? Her head began to ache when a thought occurred to her.
She jumped out of bed and ran over to the window. Peering out, her eyes roved up and down the street. She didn’t see anyone, but did that really mean anything? Her shaky fingers yanked the curtain across the panes and she cursed at herself for leaving it open earlier. She had to stop letting her guard down when time passed without an incident. Was he out there? Her breath began to quicken and she wondered if her heart would burst out of her chest with the erratic thumping.
As she sunk down against the wall, her phone beeped again. She roughly ran her fingers across her temple before covering her mouth in shock.
Cunt. You spread your legs for everyone but me.
Tears welled up in her eyes as she mustered a reply. Stop. Please stop doing this to me.
His response was immediate. Whore. Who is he?
She typed back angrily. I don’t know what you are talking about. All I do is take care of the kids. We’re divorced. Please don’t text me at all unless it’s about the kids. Getting up off the floor, she stomped through the living room and paced back and forth. Her fingernails scratched furiously at her scalp in agitation until her phone pinged once again. She eyed the blinking device warily and against her better judgment, picked it up and hesitantly entered her passcode to reveal his new message.
Don’t lie to me. I’ll handle him later. And all your boyfriends. You’re MY wife.
She craned her neck up and rubbed her temples again. New texts appeared in spurts.
You broke my heart.
You broke up our family.
You took my kids away from me.
Her fingers gripped the power button on her phone until it turned off. She pressed her head against the wall and squeezed her eyes shut. The image of saliva flying out of his mouth as he screamed at her through the car window pummeled the blackness of her vision. “NO!” she shrieked as the memory of his voice shrouded with hatred sent shudders through her body. The image of his face loomed and she ducked her head into her knees.
It wasn’t fair. She was tired of feeling brutalized and overwhelmed by his continued barrage of jealous accusations. The constant fear of his inferred threats to beat up any and every man that might come across her path was jarring.
She returned to her bed and pulled the comforter up to her chin. She tucked her legs up to her chest and bit her lip to stop it from quivering even if she couldn’t control the tears seeping silently from the corners of her eyes. She wasn’t looking forward to the barrage of messages she would find in the morning. Exhaustion finally won and she drifted into a fitful sleep of darkness.