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Imi was born and raised in Europe, Hungary. After finishing his school years, he moved to Canada to search for a better life. He lived in Toronto for 13 years and currently resides in Vancouver. He is a romantic at heart with a strong desire to always do the right thing. He would like to give hope to the Chinese and Asian ladies with his story and send a message that love eventually finds everybody.
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While The Orchids Sleep, The Butterfly Emerges From Its Chrysalis (Part 4)

By Imi
851 Views | 1 Comments | 6/7/2017 1:21:40 PM

When the woman regained consciousness, the things she noticed first were the hardness of the kitchen floor and its coolness against her bare skin. Her pajama top was open, and one of her breasts had a bright red bite mark on it, but in all likelihood greenish purple by the morning. She covered her breasts and pulled her pajama bottom back up from her knees. If it weren't for the smell of smoke, she wouldn't have moved yet. Out of the utter confusion and despair, she wasn't ready to see the state she was in. The smoke, however, was getting thick, and she forced herself to get up and look around.

 

She was alone; that was obvious to her at once as she propped up against the stove. One of the chairs at the kitchen table had tumbled over at some point, and the smoke floated around it like dense morning mist over a pond. Her slippers were under the table, ten feet away. How they got there, she had no idea. Very slowly, she struggled to her feet and turned off the burner under the pot. The dinner was irretrievably ruined, the food burned into a black mass of char. After filling the pot with cold water at the sink, she went to the window and let in some fresh air. Vaguely, she heard the wail of a siren somewhere, growing loud, then fading away. The street below was quiet, the sky dark and moonless. She stuck her head out the window and drew the cool night air deep into her lungs. As she did so, a stabbing pain in her ribcage hit her lungs, making her instantly wince and grab her left side. For a while, she stared out into the night, tears of pain obscuring her vision, taking shallow, quick breaths until the pain lessened, then turned and walked slowly to the bathroom to examine her injuries in the mirror.

 

Her upper lip was slightly swollen and sore, and all of a sudden, she was overwhelmed by the taste of blood in her mouth. She spat it out into the sink and stared at the red spots staining the white, ceramic washbasin for a few seconds. Her mind was a complete blank. Her thoughts idled somewhere out of reach, still wrenched in the grip of an intense shock. Mechanically, she rinsed out her mouth, washed her face, and dried it with a towel. She then took off her pajama top and looked in the mirror again. Her ribs on the left side ached, but she didn't see visible trauma to them—no bruise or redness of the skin was apparent. Her husband was always careful about how much damage he did to her. He never touched her face, so outsiders wouldn't notice what went on behind closed doors. To every one of their neighbors, their marriage was picture perfect. If she told someone what kind of a man her husband really was, no one would've believed her. Being hit on her face this time, though, caught the woman off guard. True, she'd never physically rejected her husband before.

 

The woman put her pajama top on again and quietly went to the living room. Her husband wasn't there. He must have been sleeping in the bedroom. While she wavered between going into the bedroom and sleeping on the sofa, her cat had come out of one of the shadows of the living room and rubbed its head against her leg a couple of times. The cat's soft fur brought a little comfort back to her, and her head began to clear. She decided to sleep on the sofa that night.

 

Quietly, so as not to wake her husband, the woman opened the bedroom door and sneaked inside. The stagnant air in there hit her stomach with force again, but this time she put her queasiness aside until later and stealthily went to her side of the bed and grabbed a pillow. After getting a blanket from the closet as well, she instantly headed for the door. She almost reached it when she heard her husband stir behind her. Her heart skipped a beat and started to beat in her throat for the time being. Wishing to become one with the gloominess in the room, and with her hand already reaching for the door, she stopped and pricked her ears. Other than some faint street noises seeping through the window, she heard nothing else. Her husband stopped moving around in the bed after a short second, and she let out a barely audible, long sigh of relief. Her hand went on grabbing for the doorknob, but then, from one moment to the other, it became frozen in midair again.

 

Hugging the pillow and the blanket, the woman turned around and went to her husband's side of the bed this time. Fully clothed and sprawled out, he was sleeping on the top of the bed covers. Watching him vulnerable like that made her have some unnerving thoughts. Her husband was twenty-one years of her senior, in his mid-forties. He was a man of successes and an equal amount of disappointments, both in his personal and professional life. After two unsatisfying marriages, she was his third wife. It would have seemed appropriate for one to have thought he had enough experience in family affairs, but in reality, he was far from being an accomplished family man and lover. Being his wife for a little over two months and knowing him for less than six, the woman came to her own conclusion of her husband's unpredictable, violent behavior. To her, it seemed that the only thing her husband gleaned from his previous marriages was nothing short of a deep-rooted misogyny. His aggression didn't seem to directly be aimed at her per say but rather at women in general. What happened in his two previous marriages, the woman didn't know. Her husband never talked about it, and she didn't ask. She, however, had had a question for herself since the first beating had occurred, just three weeks after they had moved in together as husband and wife. The question was, was she ready to sacrifice herself for her entire family before her husband comes to his senses?

 

The woman shook her head. “I'm too young for that,” she whispered and squeezed the pillow tight against her body as if holding someone in her arms. “I need to be loved and have a normal family life with babies running around. For this, I'm entitled as a woman, a wife, and a human being. Anyone else who dares to say otherwise lives in warped reality.”

 

Just as silently as she entered, she sneaked out of the room, turned off all the lights in the living room, and made herself comfortable on the sofa. The cat snuggled up at her feet, and with its fine fur supplying a steady warmth to calm her nerves, the woman soon fell asleep. Ten minutes barely went by, though, when her eyes popped open again.

 

The living room was in total darkness. The woman couldn't even make out the outline of the furniture. Seemingly, everything had dissolved in the darkness. Closing or opening her eyes made no difference. It was the same absolute dark in the living room as behind her eyelids. First, she thought she was dreaming again, but somehow, she was certain this wasn't a dream. She felt her cat's soft fur and cadenced breathing at her feet. That was all that made sense to her, though. Otherwise, reality seemed to break up into pieces and melt like ice cubes in a glass. The darkness around her was dense with energy and pressure as if she were underwater and only anchored to reality by the feel of the cat's fur on her feet.

 

Slowly, out of all that strange blackness, she began to sense the presence of someone. Not to lose her grip on reality, she started to breathe in sync with her cat. As the cat pressed its slender body tightly against the soles of her feet, she inhaled. When the pressure lessened, she exhaled. She focused on her breathing, but still, she felt herself slipping deeper and deeper into something that she couldn't explain. Before long, an intense feeling came over her that someone hiding in that surreal darkness was craving for her body.

 

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#2017-06-07 13:21:29 by JohnAbbot @JohnAbbot

I admit that I was hoping she would do her husband some serious damage while standing over him asleep in the bed, but was relieved when she did not. As much as you hope he will pay a price for his crimes, you don't want her to suffer jail or worse for inflicting a well earned revenge upon him.

You've woven several threads into this story, and so far I am intruiged by all of them and cannot tell where you are going with any of them. Which leaves me anxious to read more. Keep it coming, Imi. I, for one, am hooked. I want to know what becomes of this nameless woman. 

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