Maneater: Recovery & Redemption (Prologue & Ch 1)

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Sasha had a great life, or so she thought. An entrepreneurial husband with a fortune sounded more promising as a young bride than it appeared to be once the honeymoon was over. Desperate for attention, affection, and true love, Sasha finds herself looking for love in all the wrong places.

 

 

I stood in line, waiting to be served. My right wrist nagged at me with a listless, sharp pain. I rubbed it while I waited, desperate to sooth the ache. I looked down at the bandage around it, spots of red seeping into the fabric from my moment of crisis. Losing my freedom was more than I ever thought it would be, even when I thought I'd lost it already.

My tray was filled with subpar food of institutional variety--a hot dog with beans, a bruised apple, a slice of stale bread. It was my healthy meal that the state had paid for. Lucky women that we are. Dazed and disgusted, I carried it over to the bench where I sat day in, day out. I picked over it like I always did, day in and day out. I gulped it down with the hopes of keeping it down, never with much luck.

"I'll throw it all up by noon," I thought to myself. I'd become my own best friend and worst enemy in here, engaging myself in conversations about things that would never happen, or about things that had happened already that I desperately wished I could relive. I stared at the clock continuously, hoping that if I stared hard enough, I would be able to make time move faster. But why bother? There was no future for me. Nothing awaited me but another psychiatrist session. They were mandatory to inmates who were on suicide watch.

After another repulsive meal, I eyed my cell block guard as she grabbed my arm, escorting me to a small room with a tiny window--incidentally, not my cell. My eyes fell on Dr. Black, my psychiatrist. She sat there, waiting for me with her pen and notebook, ready to dig into the recesses of my mind for another loathsome hour of my twenty-five year sentence. There weren't enough hours in the day for her, but for me, I had nothing but time.

Her perfectly coiffed hair fell to her shoulders, blonde and freshly cut. It annoyed me. She was a beautiful woman, with high cheekbones and bright green almond eyes. She was the kind of beautiful that made other women hate themselves, kind of like how I did right now. I was jealous, and wouldn't deny it. Why would they give me such a therapist, as if I hadn't suffered enough? I was in jail for prostitution and murder; my ego was already permanently damaged.

It was damaged before I came in here.

My guard sat me on the couch, her mannish hands scratching me from the deep calluses on her palms. She looked how I felt; beaten, unattractive, and empty. Guards and inmates really were one in the same. We locked eyes for a brief moment before she left me to stand by at the door for once my session was over.

"How do you feel today, Sasha?" Dr. Black asked, crossing her legs over in her well-tailored navy pantsuit. "How have you felt since you were first discharged from the hospital?"

"LIke shit," I answered. "I wish they'd just let me bleed out."

"Is that really what you want? I just bleed out and pretend there's no life left for you to live?"

I rolled my eyes, looking nowhere in particular. "I will be over fifty when I get out. I'll never be able to have children. I will have to try and find a job with no skills. I won't be able to find somewhere to live. I was living just fine until I got arrested."

She jotted a quick note, nodding her head. For her, I was just a job. Another crazy with the inability to cope with a life that they'd sought out. For me, she was a harsh reminder that I'd ruined my life, and that I could've been anything if I tried. My eyes welled up, tears sitting in the corners of my eyes.

She leaned in, squinting at me quizzically. "Tell me why you're getting emotional right now."

"Because this is bullshit. There are women all over the world who make a living through their vaginas, leaving them either empowered or humiliated at their own expense. For me, it was payback, and I'm the one suffering for all the others who do the same thing."

Taken aback, she looked at me. "Is that really what you think? You are the victim for other women who do the same thing that you do? Do you think women who prostitute themselves should be given a free pass?"

"Those men had a good time. They made their choice. All I did was fulfill a fantasy and make some money."

"And commit a murder," she reminded me in her snarky voice. "You killed your husband."

I sat back, smiling to myself as a tear rolled down my face. Yeah, I guess I did that, too.

"It wasn't on purpose," I retorted sarcastically. "It was all a misunderstanding."

"How is a knife to the groin a misunderstanding?" she asked sarcastically, but clearly wanting to know my logic.

"I misunderstood his intentions with his pants around his ankles. What can I say?" I responded with equal snark, not interested in sitting in the office another moment. I hated therapists. They were so smug, looking down on you for your problems like they didn't have any of their own. I sat across from her, hornery with annoyance.

"Sasha," she said, her voice demanding and attentive. "Tell me what happened again? Let's see if revisiting things will get us to where it all went wrong."

"It went wrong when I was born," I recanted. "I must've been born under a bad sign."

"Still," she said modestly, trying to not let on that she thought I was a complete train wreck, "It might be helpful for me to see if I can uncover something we might've missed."

I complied. I figured being difficult wouldn't help the session go any faster, and I sure as hell didn't want to spend an hour staring at someone I hated out of jealousy. Yes, I'm jealous. I am woman enough to admit it.

"Ok," sighed. "How far back do you want to go?"

"Let's start with Shawn and Will, your ex husband and lover."

I smiled a sinister smile to myself, reflecting on those two and everything they did that drove me to madness. All men were the same, and definitely the reason why women lost their senses. We spent our entire lives trying to live for them, and often got nothing in return.

I lay on the couch, my eyes closed as I breathed deeply, trying to not let my emotions run me any more. I was notorious for that, and it had come back to bite me in the ass. Now, I just breathed, thinking about Will, his touch, his scent, his fucking wife. Then, I thought about Shawn and his overly demanding, high-supreme attitude. Fuck them both.

"Ok, I will start there...."

*

I rolled over to look at the clock. It didn't matter much what time it was, I was in no particular rush. I didn't want to go home; I knew my loathsome disappointment of a husband would be home, in front of the TV, doing absolutely nothing like he always does. He's such a waste of a perfectly good human life.

I nestled under the covers of the hotel room I inhabited. My boyfriend and I always rented hotel rooms when we needed to get away from it all. He was the only good thing I had in my life. Him, and the fact that I had an amazing figure. It was the only thing my husband had ever done for me. He made me stay fit because he swore he couldn't get aroused by a woman with flab. A part of me wanted to intentionally gain weight so I could keep that rat bastard off me, but I knew then I wouldn't hear the end of how much I'd let myself go. Fucking hypocrite.

"Babe," Will said to me as I rolled over. "We gotta get going. It will be check out time soon." He brushed my tousled hair from my face.

Ugh. Check out time. What a way to ruin a perfectly good night out. I sulked my way to the bathroom, annoyed that I had to go back to my bullshit reality. Nothing worse than being stuck in a situation that has no way out.

"You know you can always leave him," Will reminded me as I peed. "No one is making you stay."

"You say that every time, and every time I tell you that if I leave, I will be homeless. Where will I go? To your house with you and your wife and kids? Not the ideal roommate situation, now is it?"

"Is that why you're so pissed all the time? Because you feel there's no way out?" he asked as I reemerged and began to change. "We've had this talk several times and I told you, I'll leave if you leave."

I stripped myself of the sexy black negligee I'd worn for him the night before and threw on the sweats and tank top I packed to create the illusion of an early morning at the gym. "Well, you first, jackass."

He grabbed me by my waist, his bare chest in my face. It was a sight for my sore eyes as I mentally prepared myself for another night of man-teets until I got to be back with my adonis with alabaster skin and a perfectly blond crew cut. His brown eyes twinkled in the sheaths of sunlight that began to cascade through the shade.

His hold felt so right--strong and firm, yet not aggressively so. I felt comfort and security opposed to animosity.

"You're always talking slick, you know that?" he asked rhetorically.

"Yeah, I know, and you love it," I teased. He kissed my neck, a move that always made me feel a little more vulnerable. I giggled like a schoolgirl, indicating that he'd gotten to me. He was the only one that ever could get to me.

After a few minutes, we broke our embrace and I packed my belongings. I brushed my black hair into a ponytail after deciding not to wash it. I hated the feeling of unwashed hair, but I needed to ensure my alibi was always air-tight. Gym clothes, greasy, sweaty hair, and a musky smell was the perfect cover for an affair. There was no way for my husband to know that I'd been with someone else looking like this.

"I hate to see you go," Will said as we made our way to the door. As always, he'd drive me to the gym and I'd walk home from there.

"Yeah, I know. We have to get together again soon," I said, only partially serious. I thought about Will often, but there was nothing about him that made me want to stick around. He was a great lay, but was that really enough? I mean, he was a mechanic who worked for someone else. He didn't have his own shop. Not a doctor, not a lawyer, not even a Navy Seal. My lame-ass husband at least owned a dry-cleaner's.

We climbed into his 2010 Ford Focus. The sun had fully risen now, and now I had to figure out how to bide my time throughout the day. I was getting ill with aggravation of having nothing to do with my days since I was a homemaker. It was part of the deal I'd made with the devil when I married my husband. Back when I still thought I felt something for him, we agreed that I'd stay home and he'd take care of me as long as he got to be with me. I agreed because, let's be serious, who wants to work for a living?

Now, here I was, five years later, paying out the ass for signing my youth away to a man who was dead to me.

I bet I could start over if I really had to. Maybe get a job in an office or something. I have a degree. Maybe I should actually use it.

Will parked the car in front of my gym.

"Call me later?" I asked him, knowing that he wouldn't because it wasn't a good idea for us to talk.

"Only if you call me first," he responded sarcastically. He kissed me goodbye and drove back home, to his wife and small children.

She probably thinks they got a good thing going on. How stupid is she?

I often went above and beyond to cover all of my bases. I didn't trust my husband or his tendencies, so I had to make sure that if he decided to check up on me, which I wouldn't put past him, that I was in the clear. I walked into the gym and scanned my membership card. I looked at the time. 8:25. Now time for the deceiving walk home. 

 Chapter 1

I hate my husband. I hate everything about him. Cannot stand to look at that fat fuck.

“Baby, come eat, your dinner is ready,” I said. “I’ll get you a beer if you’d like.”

“Thanks, love. That would be great,” he said as he kissed me on the cheek as he made his way to the dinner table. His 5’9”, 350 pound body looked like a beach whale as he sat at the table, a slab of ribs and a Corona in front of him. I cringed at the sight of him, and gagged at the thought of his spittle on my cheek. He was always such a sloppy kisser.

“Would you like anything else?” I asked, forcing my sincerity. I forced myself to be mindful of authenticity when addressing him. He couldn’t know how miserable I was, or I would be forced to hook on the street to make a living. Ugh, the pain of being an entrepreneur's wife. “If you’re ok, I think I’m going to go take a shower.”

“Oh, yeah?” he asked, pork portions stuck between his teeth and sauce on his face. “Are you gonna get sexy for me?” he asked as a he chewed.

 

Ugh! No! No, I won’t be getting sexy for you ever again!

 

A forced grin on my face, I assured him I’d go all out for him to lay on top of me, grunt profusely, and roll over leaving me covered in sweat and slobbery kisses. Yes, I will shave my legs, my vag, my pits, my upper lip hair, and my sideburns for that. I will douse myself in fragrant oil, throw on the skimpiest see-through thing I own, and cover my cheeks in rouge for another sexual disappointment. That’s what I’m here for!

I made my way to the shower. Our bathroom was my place of peace, if for no other reason, it was my place of solitude. I knew he wasn’t going to bother me in there, because I had strict rules about shower sex. I refused to do it. I’d end up doing all the work, and I wasn’t attracted to my husband at all to put in that kind of work. I often enjoyed shower sex when I had the pleasure of having a svelte man in front of me who could actually hold me up without having an asthma attack or some sort of coronary malfunction in the process. I was 5’3”, 120 pounds, yet Humpty Dumpty couldn’t hold me up for shower sex.

I turned the knobs as the hot water washed over me. It felt delicious. I stood under the shower head and indulged in my organic shampoo and conditioner. It was one of the few perks for being in a loveless marriage. I thought back to the beginning--the early days when I loved my husband. That was something I did frequently now, reminiscing on our love as if I was trying to subconsciously pinpoint when the love died.

I thought back to when I was 20, and met Shawn in college. Then, the attraction was at an all time high. He was gorgeous, I was gorgeous, we were both just gorgeous. He’d been a football player in his day--muscular and vascular. He had almond shaped eyes, smooth olive skin, adorable dimples, and thick, curly black hair. I loved it. He was a few years older than me, and played minor league when he wasn’t building his dry-cleaner’s business. He wooed me and made me feel like the most beautiful woman in the world. He showered me with gifts and fancy nights out. He danced with me in his apartment even when no music was playing. We were inseparable and he was on my mind constantly. When we weren’t together, all I thought of is what we were doing and where we’d go next. Every moment together felt like an adventure, as none of my high school relationships were anything like that. We dated for two years, and immediately after my college graduation, we got married. Maybe that’s why it all felt like a dream afterwards--maybe we moved too quickly. I mean, I spent my senior year of college planning a wedding opposed to focusing on my next move for myself. And now, here I am, five years later, resentful and broke. The only money I have is his. I feel like a mail-order bride, only here to cook, clean, and let him get a nut off.

I scrubbed my skin until it was red--as red as it was going to get. My bronzed complexion never felt clean whenever I was around Shawn. It was like a bacterial infection that I couldn’t rid myself of, and I hated every moment of it.

Maybe if my shower is long enough, he will fall asleep. All that food and beer should do him in.

I finally emerged, dried myself off and made my way to the bedroom. There he lay, completely exposed, with one of my oils in hand. Ugh.

“No need to dress. You took long enough,” he said. “I could’ve finished the job and been asleep by now.”

“I’m sorry dear, I just wanted to be completely smooth for you. I know how much you like it when I’m hair-free,” I said, smiling forcibly.

“Well, come on then. Drop the towel so we can get into it,” he ordered.

 

Oh, you sweet talker, you.

 

I threw my towel on the floor and stood there, my bare body still damp. I felt my nipples harden from the chill that shivered down my spine. The window was slightly cracked--largely in part to the fact that Shawn was always hot--allowing a soft spring breeze into the bedroom that made me feel that much colder.

 

God, let’s just get this over with. I hate him so much.

 

I lay there afterwards, cold, yet covered in sweat. The room was dark despite the sunlight shining against the closed shutters. Rays seeped in between the cracks, trickling into the room as the only source of light. I listened to Shawn snore, as he always did after sex. No matter if it was the middle of the night or the middle of the day, he’d cum, roll over, and fall asleep until he felt like eating something.

I got up and felt the need to shower again as his sweaty body left me feeling nastier than I did from my overnight in a cheap hotel room.

I am a woman on the edge. If I don’t get some relief--I don’t care what kind of relief, just something to amend this situation--I am going to snap. I might snap now. His hairy, useless ass makes me so sick to my stomach, I just want to scream! Why am I doing this to myself, night after night? Something has to change. I’m too pretty to die here, with him, living a miserable ass life where I have to sneak around with someone just as lame as he is to get a decent lay. Ugh.

 

I began to think about other women in my situation. You’d always seem them on the news and on TV shows. Black Widow is what they were often called. They went through men like they went through their underwear, changing them constantly to suit their every need and comfort level. They felt no emotional attachment, so often saw no need to feel guilty when the relationship mysteriously “ended”. A part of me saw the logic in their plans, as these men were only using them for personal gain, also. Once they got their nut off, the kid they wanted, and the image they vied for, there was nothing left of the women but empty, hollow shells of where pride, independence and confidence used to be. Who had time to be that broken and empty? Who had time to feel so useless and hopeless every day that all they thought about was the animosity they felt in their heart? God knows I didn’t. I knew then that something had to be done so I could become a new woman. I needed reprise more than I needed my next breath of air, and the only person who could give it to me was me. Not Will, not Shawn, not any man. Men were only good for one thing, and even that was becoming a more daunting task than it should’ve been. I wasn’t finding joy in it anymore, because I knew it was nothing more than my obligation as a wife.

The morning passed as it always did, and I watched Shawn go to work and delegate orders of all he wanted by the time he got home from the dry cleaner’s. I rolled my eyes as I listened to him bark the same orders he did every day. Clean house, hot food. Absolutely nothing new. I longed for so much more than I was getting. My restlessness had led to my relationship with Will, but even that was no longer smoldering my internal flame. I didn’t know what I needed, but this just wasn’t it.

Around noon, I began writing in my journal about a possible plan to change my circumstances. As lost as I was, I was a woman on the edge. I decided to maybe look into the job market and see if I could land myself a job.

“Craigslist,” I thought to myself. “I should definitely be able to land an easy job on there.”

I hesitated as I turned on Shawn’s computé. He didn’t like me on there, for fear that I would rifle through his personal business. I suspected he cheated, or at least flirted, whenever he was out of the house. He has no reason not to--his wife was just a homemaker. A figure to fill the space. So, why wouldn’t he interact outside of the house?

Turning on his computer, I couldn't help but be annoyed that it was password protected. Cussing his aloud, I sighed deeply as I pondered the password. Maybe my name?

 

Incorrect password. Please try again.

 

His name?

 

Incorrect password. Please try again.

 

Ugh. One more attempt before a lock out. Both of our names? Fingers crossed.

 

Please wait…

 

And just like that, I was logged in and online. I bit my lower lip in juvenile enthusiasm, a feeling I often felt when being deceitful. It was fun to be bad, and it was going to become a lot more interesting.

 

Scrolling through the website, I opted to look for something undé ‘gigs’. I didn’t need much, just something to get my feet wet when I left this douche and had to pay my own bills again. As agonizing as it was to think about, I knew it had to be done. I just wasn’t in love anymore.

 

The search was a fruitless and depressing one. There weren’t any gigs that paid enough for me to live off of. At least not with my work expéience. I needed more, but had nothing to offer that deserved more. Fuck me.

 

After what felt like hours of a hopeless search, I got a call from one of the cashiers.  Shawn was in pain. His heart was hurting and his chest was tight. Sounded like angina, maybe a heart attack. Either way, it was disgustingly promising that I would be free of my shackles in the near future. I listened to the gruesome details, trying to hide my smile even though she couldn’t see me. My eyes twinkled, excited of the possibility of collecting life insurance. I was very familiar with his policy, reviewing it at every chance I got. He didn’t know I knew where it was, but I’d learned all of his passwords for his online bank accounts, stocks, IRA, 401K and even his federal credit union. Ironically, the only thing I hadn’t learned was his computer password. Fortunately, he’s predictable.

“I’m on my way to the hospital now,” I assured her in my desperate attempt to sound like a sympathetic wife.

I grinned, throwing on a sundress to look the part. Shawn would be expecting me to look distressed, yet beautiful, like someone from a Lifetime movie. I quickly tousled my hair and spritzed on some perfume. Staring at my reflection in the mirror, I had to practice not smiling. I was too eager for it to be over, and it was showing. He’d wonder about my suspicious excitement, so I had to have my grief face down. I thought of the things I longed for most in this world that continually eluded me--love, romance, a profession where I felt useful, a family. I’d been chasing these things for what felt years, and still, nothing ever materialized. I was beginning to wonder that happiness wasn’t for me, and the idea of spending the rest of my life miserable definitely brought an on an heir of discourage.

“Oh, God,” I thought to myself. “What if he is paralyzed or something now? What if I am stuck taking care of him until he dies?”

There they were. There were the tears of an upset, heartbroken, destroyed woman. The shimmering of my eyes turned in labored sobs as I became breathless, thinking of the worse case scenario. I had nothing left to give, and refused to be a housewife and nurse.

I fumbled for my keys as I made my way to the door. Here goes nothing. I smirked yet again, the sick idea of him being so ill that I could take him out without him even realizing it dancing around in my head. Smother him with a pillow, poison his soup, who knows? Yes, I  know I’m an awful person. Ask me if I care.

 

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