For the Love Between Us
a tale of red wine and a love that runs too deep to leave
Red wine poured on the hardwood floor.
I look down at the mess, tears running down my face. Fear kept me from even flinching.
“Pick that up, you stupid bitch.”
The white towel that was sitting on the kitchen sink is now stained a deep maroon, same for the mop sitting in the linen closet. The floor, although now clean, still looks darker in that one spot and now has a small dent on the surface from the glass bottle that once crashed down on it.
He wasn’t always this way. I met him in a club, dancing the night away with a friend I hadn’t seen for a while. It wasn’t difficult to spot him across the room. With his chiseled facial features and sleek clothes, anyone could have been drawn to him. I was that night.
He called me a week later, asking if I wanted to go on a date with him. I said yes, who wouldn’t?
There was a new restaurant that opened down the street from me, just ten minutes away. We agreed on that spot.
He ordered the filet mignon and I ordered sirloin.
“Would you like any wine with your meal?”
Cocking his eyebrow, he looked at me while telling the waiter what wine he would like. I couldn’t hear him.
The waiter came back with a beautiful deep red wine. How did he know my favorite was Merlot?
“Happy with the choice?”
“Yes, how did you know this was my favorite?” I lifted the wine glass to my lips to take the first sip. Delicious.
“I could just tell,” he said with a wink.
From that point on, that was our spot. Our wine. We’d enjoy a glass or two every Friday night while we binged on our show of the week. I’d never felt so loved and happy.
“Babe, you know I love you right?”
The phrase he used to say every once in a while was now tainted by bruised eyes and broken dishes. For weeks, the man that made me feel loved and happy now incited a fear in me that caused tears and involuntary flinches.
My friends would always wonder what happened to my eye or my legs. It was a fall one week. The next week it was when I bumped my shin against the desk leg.
He took me to buy makeup for my face. He made sure it matches my complexion and was full coverage. He even paid for it because he loves me. He did it as his apology. I accepted it because I love him.
We still have our weekly wine. Not only because I enjoy it, but because he wants us to spend quality time together. I love just sitting with him and talking about our days. That is, until he gets aggressive.
He’s not always aggressive though. Sometimes he just has his bad days. We all do. I feel like sometimes I even provoke the aggressiveness in him. I nag him about chores around the house he needs to do or how he’s always on his phone.
I understand why he gets upset with me. When I tried explaining it to my mom, she didn’t.
“Honey, you don’t deserve that. Maybe you should consider couple’s therapy. Or you could leave him.” She let out a nervous giggle.
He told me that she just doesn’t understand us. He loves me. He just has to get over his anger management and he promised he would. We even started couples therapy like she suggested.
I still have to use the foundation sometimes. The tube is getting lighter but not as quickly now. That’s a good thing.
He’s trying his hardest and that’s all I can ask for. I’m proud of him for his progress. Sadly I have no one I can talk to about it. My friends and family just didn’t understand us. Our relationship. Our love for each other. They would never get it.
We still enjoy wine every Friday night together. We reminiscence on the good times, back when we were kids. When everything was easier. We look back on those times fondly.
Sometimes I wonder what life would be like without him around. I have to remind myself that, although we have our bad moments, we still love each other. And on Friday nights, I’ll continue to drink my wine that once was my favorite to spoil myself with and is now shared with the person I love. I drink it not only because of tradition, but because it makes me forget how much I love him, and how far I’m willing to go for it. But that is what you do for love, because where else will I find it?