Humans logo

Jay and I

by Fiona Teddy-Jimoh about a year ago in humanity · updated about a year ago
Report Story

“Your words to me are like music.”

Jay and I
Photo by Elice Moore on Unsplash

Headphones in.

Jay and I are the only two left in the office. The lights are dim, and the atmosphere is cosy as I proofread my last report. It’s my second week as a Sales Manager at Simply Tech Resources and my third week as a Londoner. Everything still feels new, exciting, and I’m content working late in this beautiful minimalistic office filled with plants and post-it notes.

Jay sits on the opposite desk, and I swear he keeps looking at me. The thought of my boss’ brooding blue eyes analysing all of me in a series of secretive glances sends tingles down my spine and thighs. The thought of him thinking of me, even for just a moment makes me lose concentration on my report -- my cheeks are radiating heat. To be sure, I pluck up the courage to, erm, “look in his direction”.

Jay is staring at me.

He’s staring straight at me and doesn’t look away when our eyes meet. His pupils are dilated. His brows, furrowed. He silently closes his laptop. My chest is tight with nervousness and I’m certain that I’ve been found out. Jay stands up and I cannot look away. He starts to pack up his belongings into his rucksack and I breathe a quiet sigh of relief knowing that my deep, undisclosed desire to rip his clothes off and admire his male form is safe with me.

Jay pushes his chair into his desk, walks straight past me and towards the door. His silent exit confuses me, and that confusion justifies my head turn. Now my brows are furrowed as I witness Jay stopping dead in his tracks. He makes a sudden U-turn, walks straight up to my desk, drops his rucksack, drops to his knees, and grabs my red-hot cheeks, hard. I gasp louder than I expect.

My lips automatically open, just a little. My vision becomes dewy, and my heart begins to race with anticipation as Jay, my boss, and the man I’m so groundlessly in love with looks at me and says...something.

Headphones out.

"What was that, Jay?" I ask feverishly.

“Your words to me are like music.”

*

I open the front door and I immediately smell cigarettes. James is in the living room drinking and blasting aggressive music, oblivious of my arrival. In the interest of remaining undetected for a little while longer I creep into the kitchen, place my work bag on the table and walk towards the sink to grab a glass of water. The sink is full of dishes and my heart sinks at the realisation that I’m married to an unemployed slob. Thirsty, I grab a glass, give it a quick rinse, fill it up with water and drink it down furiously. I grab my bag and leave the house.

One of the things I love about London is that there are coffee shops at every turn. Even though it’s late, I can see a green light from a distance. I smile at the welcoming glow of the “open” sign and hurry into my favourite establishment. The coffee shop is full of quiet chatter and soft music.

The best thing about this coffee shop is that it has a window that overlooks a beautiful lake. Whenever I feel frustrated, or upset, or downright scared about life, I like to come here and stare out on to the lake. On nights like tonight when the sky is clear and the moon is full, I can see a glimmer of blue, rippling silently and peacefully. I feel safe when I look at this lake.

I sit down on a stool facing the window and wait for the busy barista who usually takes my order.

Headphones in.

My phone vibrates. It’s an email notification. My heart skips a beat when I see the sender, but why is he online at this hour? There is no subject line, so I have no idea what the contents of the email hold. So mysterious, just like him. I savour the complete thrill of the unknown for just a moment before opening the email:

You better shut up right now.

I feel confusion and panic rising from the depths of my gut. I stand up and a hot cup of coffee spills all over my stomach. I’m still for a second. I don’t remember ordering coffee.

Headphones out.

The pain consumes me and I fall to the floor with a scream. I bang my elbow on the ground and all I can feel is agony -- excruciating agony everywhere. My phone falls to the floor with me. I muster all of my strength and grab my phone. I respond to Jay's email:

Help me.

I groan and begin to cry but no one is paying attention to me. The background chatter is now loud and the music is hostile. I can feel my tears fall across my red-hot cheeks. I think about Jay. I think about the lake. I pass out from the pain.

*

“Ma’am? Ma’am, I’m sorry but you are going to have to tell me what happened.”

I’m awake.

I’ve been awake for a while, but I’ve only just realised I’m awake. A police officer is sitting next to me on my bed and is staring at me. His eyes are full of kindness and concern. I return his stare with pain and sorrow.

“Ma’am? Your husband is currently in the police car outside. So that I know if we should take him away, please can you tell me what happened?”

I breathe. Okay.

“Officer, I need help. I’m not safe around James.” The police officer’s face softens.

“It’s going to be okay.”

He turns away and whispers something into his walkie-talkie. I can’t quite hear what he says over the sound of my own crumbling sanity. There is no Jay. No Simply Tech Resources. I stopped working there months ago and now James and I live off my savings. I don’t even like coffee shops -- public spaces give me anxiety. I make up stories in my head to escape the fact that I’m living a life with a dangerous excuse of a husband. I spend my days staring out of my bedroom window. It overlooks a lake. It’s so beautiful and on nights like tonight when the sky is clear and the moon is full, I can see a glimmer of blue, rippling silently and peacefully. I feel safe when I look at this lake.

In my head I live a lie as a coping-mechanism. I create fantasies by turning real bad stuff into good imaginary stuff. Music helps, so I usually have my headphones in most of the day, even when James turns aggressive. Regardless, deep down I knew this desperate escapism would soon break down and reveal my dark reality, but at least the worst is over now.

“For safety precautions, I’ve called an ambulance to have a look at your injuries. They will be here in a few moments.”

“Thank you, officer.” I give him a small smile.

“Please, call me Jay.”

Wait.

Another daydream? No, it can't be. I'm not listening to any music. I can feel panic rising from my own confusion.

“Do you mind if I put on my headphones in while I wait for the ambulance?”

“Sure,” Jay responds cautiously.

Headphones in.

humanity

About the author

Fiona Teddy-Jimoh

Finding innovative ways to connect creative writing with technology in order to deliver an immersive digital experience.

My name is Fiona Teddy-Jimoh and welcome to my world.

Reader insights

Be the first to share your insights about this piece.

How does it work?

Add your insights

Comments

There are no comments for this story

Be the first to respond and start the conversation.

Sign in to comment

    Find us on social media

    Miscellaneous links

    • Explore
    • Contact
    • Privacy Policy
    • Terms of Use
    • Support

    © 2022 Creatd, Inc. All Rights Reserved.