Paint over your Pain Part 2
Here is the 2nd part of my story written in continuation of the 1st part.
She knew what happened next. She remembered it as vividly as if it was yesterday. She had made up her mind to follow Owen when he went out the following day. She made her excuses when he came home that evening and went to bed early. The following day she kissed him goodbye and two minutes after he left the house she followed right after him, shadowing his every step from a distance. She patiently and with great care stalked her partner as he walked along the high streets of town, studying his every movement in much the same way as she studied people and objects before she drew them in everyday life. Eventually Owen and her suspicions were confirmed. It was another woman. She couldn’t make out who it was at first, but as Emily started to move closer she realized that it was a woman.
As Emily painted her mind anxiously anticipated the next moment with sickness at the pit of her stomach.
Emily moved closer towards Owen and the other lady. They hadn’t seen her, and they both started to walk off down the street and Emily followed them from a distance, observing the couple carefully. She noticed them laughing and joking, enjoying one anothers company. Emily’s stomach turned. A million conflicting thoughts went through her head of what they were about to do together. Eventually they reached a block of flats, which they went into. Tears welled up in Emily’s face as she noticed Owen and the other woman hold hands, enter the room and shut the door. The Grocery bags weighed heavily on Emily’s arms as her heart took the greater burden and snapped. Emily walked off, slumped and downbeaten, a sobbing wreck.
The tears streamed in thicker droplets in Emily’s eyes now as she realized this memory, but continued frantically with her painting.
People pointed and stared as she walked past them in the streets, sobbing uncontrollably. This quickened her pace as she rushed on home to escape the looks she got as walked past people.
When she got home she let out her crying in an uncontrollable cacophony of wailing. She eventually stopped when she was too exhausted to cry anymore. She was thoroughly dehydrated, but she didn’t want any water. She just wanted to die where she was sitting. She sat there in silence, playing every aspect of what she had seen today in her head, and brooding on the grim realization of the truth of the matter.
After three hours Owen came home, a big smile planted on his face. ‘Hi there hun.’
Emily looked up in disgust.
Owen’s voice sounded agitated. ‘Alright what have I done now?’
‘I saw you with that woman this afternoon Owen.’
‘Oh for Christ sakes!’ yelled Owen. ‘And this is what you’ve worked yourself up in a state about.’
There was a protracted row that was loud enough to echo through the walls, and cause the neighbours to bang on the walls to ask them to be quiet. During this time Emily demanded explanations of everything Owen had been doing recently, and Owen got annoyed and defensive with her. Eventually there was a knock on the door, which they answered to find a Policeman there. The neighbours had called him around. Owen apologized to the Policeman and promised to keep the noise down. He shut the door and went back to speak Emily.
He knelt down and reached out to put his arm reassuringly on Emily’s shoulder. ‘It’s okay Em…’ She slapped his arm away.
‘Go to hell!’
‘I didn’t cheat on you Emily and I never would do.’ Owen smiled at her. She stared back at him with dead eyes.
He smiled. ‘I think that we both need to get out of this house. It’s too stuffy.’ He laughed nervously. She narrowed her eyes in disgust. ‘Let’s go to the countryside. We can take your dogs for a walk. That usually cheers you up.’
Owen got the dogs ready and took them out to the car and carried out Emily from her slumped state on the floor. She was too tired and weak to fight with him anymore.
Owen’s Range Rover drove up to a field that they always went too in the countryside. It was a breezy Autumn evening that was ready to turn into night.
The dogs were barking in the back of the Range Rover. Owen smiled ‘You remember how we always enjoyed this together Emily.’ He then rushed to get the dogs out of the Range Rover.
Emily just sat there, despondent and exhausted, until Owen walked around to take open her door and pull her out of the car. She tried to shoo him away but he was much stronger than her. She remembered feeling the chilly evening breeze prickling her arms as she came out of the car.
She shivered and Owen put his arm around her. She tried to shoo him away, but he refused to be budged.
‘Shall we go for a walk along the usual path then Emily.’
‘What is it that you are trying to achieve!’ She yelled. The few people that remained in the countryside field stared at them both.
Owen smiled at them as if to indicate that all was okay.
‘Calm down love.’ He said. ‘I can explain everything.’
They began to walk through the countryside down their normal path with the dogs. Owen pointed out the familiar sites as they continued down their route, as if to jog some fond memories within Emily. Emily grimaced in annoyance.
‘I know Em love. You’re waiting for an explanation of everything and here’s what happened. She’s a girl from work and in her spare time she organizes parties for people. We were talking over planning a party for your birthday.’
Emily’s eyes narrowed ‘But my birthdays not for another 3 months.’
Owen smiled. ‘I like to plan ahead.’
‘So why did you hold her hand as you were going into her flat.’
‘Well Em you really had to be there, but here’s what happened ………….’
Emily piercing studied every aspect of his face as he gave his explanation. She lost track of what he was saying, some vague excuses about this and that, but as her eyes studied his face and took in his every reaction, every inflection of a smile, his shuffling body language and the look in his eyes. She was convinced that her fiancée was guilty. She hated him and wished he would go and stop tormenting her with his lies. It was at the moment that she remembered thinking of this that her eyes caught sight of the dogs playing in the corner, and she looked behind her and all around the countryside. She realized it had gotten dark and everyone that they had seen must have gone home.
‘Are you alright Emily?’
Emily then flashed him a smile of encouragement. ‘Yes my love. Can I have some Coffee.’
Owen smiled back ‘Yeah I wouldn’t forget that.’ He pulled out the Thermos of Coffee that they usually take on the countryside trips. ‘I know how dehydrated you must be.’
‘Yeah you’re a peach’ Emily muttered tersely, and she took a quick swig of the drink. She felt instantly refreshed, and moved towards both her dogs. The two Doberman pinchers ran towards her and she stroked both of them and hugged them both, repeating the words ‘My boys, my boys.’
‘Erm Em are you okay to head back now. It’s getting dark and chilly.’
Emily held out her arm. ‘Can I have your hankerchief Owen?’
Owen handed it to her. She snatched away the hankerchief and moved away from Owen with the dogs. Owen looked puzzled. Emily took another swig of the coffee, the strong caffeine had reinvigorated her. She held out Owen’s hankerchief to the noses of both dogs.
‘Take a sniff of it boys. I need you ready.’ She tossed the hankerchief back towards Owen.
‘Emily what are you doing.’ Owen looked scared as the dogs began to growl at him. Emily held them back on their leashes. Both dogs were baying up to go out on a run.
Emily finished sipping the Coffee, savoring every moment as the strong caffeine reinvigorating. She shut out Owen’s pleas for another chance as she closed her eyes to compose herself. When she felt ready and fully revitalized, she issued the command and let go of the dogs leashes.
The painting of Owen had become blackened as Emily lost control and the painful memory played its way out towards its bitter conclusion.
Emily and her Doberman's were chasing Owen through the woods at night. They could hear Owen cry for help. Emily grinned to herself. No one could save him now.
The slightly older Emily slashed colors of black and red across the painting of Owen producing an image akin to the black blood that oozes from the liver.
She remembered chasing Owen through the street. Her Doberman's were getting hungry, the smell of fear on Owen was so close they could taste it. His anxious sobbing and shortness of breath became louder as Emily and her dogs closed distance on him. It would all be over in a minute. She knew that the street that Owen was running down would lead to a dead end.
Emily's continued to mix colors of black and red around Owens face, her lips formed into a grim smile as she recalled the thrilling climax of the chase.
Owen was on his knees sobbing as he had come to a dead end in the woods. Emily had stopped with her Doberman's. She just had to wait. Owen looked her in the eyes.
'Emily I’m begging you please don’t.' He whimpered.
She clapped her hands, issued the command and the dogs pounced.
Owen started to scream.
The memory of that final blood-curdling scream ran through her head. She could not shake it. It was too much. She stabbed down with her brush at the painting of Owen, piercing through her drawing of his face and breaking her own brush in the process.
She started to sob, and looked up at her painting of Owen. All ruined. The painting looked a bloody mess like the relationship had become. The act of painting had released all the pent up frustration from underneath the surface, although it could not provide an answer to questions that preyed upon her mind. Why had he betrayed her? What was wrong with her?
Her somber brooding was interrupted by a hungry growl. She immediately snapped out of her daze. Her Dobermans were hungry. She opened the outside door to let them in. The two dogs flocked into the room as Emily moved over to the sideboard to prepare their food. She turned on the radio as she was opening the can of dog food.
There was an advert for double-glazing followed by the anchor reading out the hourly news bulletin.
Emily turned off the radio as she had finished opening the dog food.
She emptied the contents into the Doberman's bowls, and they hungrily set about wolfing down their meal.
Emily then moved to pick up her finished canvas of Owen and took it towards a cupboard. She opened the cupboard where she placed the canvas on top of a stack of other canvas paintings. She glanced through the stack, it was every painting that she had done since she was ten. Anytime something important had happened to her, she sketched a painting. The whole story of her life was on these canvases. Interest over how her life had developed since those early days prompted her to look through some of the highlights. The first painting that she ever painted was of a stormy day with gray clouds on the horizon as she and her mum looked on as her dad left never to return into her life. She flipped through the paintings. several similar gray days were the theme of most of the subsequent paintings all the way through to the point when she got a new stepfather. Finally her mind settled on the painting that held the most relevance to her. A thirteen-year-old girl was cowed in the corner of a room, bloodied and battered, as a man rained down blows on her body. She flipped through the next few paintings to find a picture of the same girl sitting in the bathroom, blood pouring from her wrists, and a piece of glass in her hand. The figure of girls mother was desperately scrambling towards her as the blood poured. She winced at the painful memory. The next picture that she flicked too always had a cathartic effect on her, the savaged body of her stepfather lying on the ground with angry Doberman's stood over him. She smiled as the wave of catharsis cleansed her. She looked at the last picture in the sequence, her leaving home the very next day. This picture brought bittersweet feelings to her, happy that that part of her life was now over, but she was left numb from the memory.
The uncomfortable images resurfaced in her mind. It was too much. She could not take anymore. She hurriedly shut the cupboard that contained the story of her life up until this point.
She looked down at her dogs, still tucking into their meal. 'You’re both good dogs you know that don’t you’ She smiled
She heard the key in the door turn and Joseph walked in.
‘How’s it going Em? Have you finished that painting yet?’
‘Yeah. It was tough but I think I can put it to bed now.’
‘Who knows maybe you could sell it?’
‘Who knows?’ She smiled back. She had no intention of selling it. ‘Have you had a good day.’
‘Yeah we had a right laugh at work. There’s this new girl joined us called Cheryl. She really is the funniest lady.’
Joseph moved closer towards her. ‘You’ve nothing to worry about Em. It’s just she’s a really funny lass. She told us this story about how she was out one night …………’
Emily suddenly noticed what looked a red mark on his collar. She stared intently and carefully studied how Joseph would react, hoping that he might give something away. She caught glimpse of the dogs in the corner wolfing away, they growled acknowledgment and Emily turned her attention back to Joseph.