Friday, 9 November 2018

Atonement



He sat in his car, a Honda CRV, the windows wound up and the engine dead. It was beyond warm in the vehicle's interior, almost suffocating, but he did not notice. His fists clenched and unclenched as unhappy thoughts pulsed through his mind and his self-loathe bubbled over. 

He had done it again, been his usual detestable self, lashed out when there was no need to, used words that were unwarranted, and given scowls when a reassuring smile was all that was solicited. All because of his temper.

The latest one of his episodes had been directed at his wife, like so many of them usually were. A simple conversation had fast generated into an angry ejaculation of hurtful words, fueled by the fact that he had had a bad day.

After the deed was done, after the words had dropped like rotten eggs to reveal their vile content, he saw the hurt and pain cloud her eyes. And he felt bad about his action; felt the self-loathe swamp him.

He had promised himself he would stop being this person, that he would stop hurting the people he was supposed to make happy. But no matter the number of times he made this resolution, he always found himself falling back into his old ways. That moment of rage always came strong and forceful, almost beyond his control and better judgement, making him do its bidding like an unwilling servant and left to regret it afterwards.

The worst thing was, he could never bring himself to apologize.

It was not that he did not want to. He just always felt like that would only bring the ugly incidence back to life. It always seemed better to just keep quiet about it and hope it got forgotten and forgiven.

The only thing he could do, really, was atone for his atrocity in private. Like he was about to do now.

He pulled down the knee length shorts he had on along with the boxers underneath, exposing his upper thighs and pubic area. It was night time and he was parked at a dark part of his street with his car inner light off. No one could see him.

Both thighs held deep scars on the inner, upper part, somewhat hidden from view when he was naked. They were fresh and old slash scars, each about 3cm in length, all closely packed together and of a hue darker than his skin.

The only person that had ever noticed his scars was his wife. She had first noticed them during their courtship and the questions she asked about them had led to one of his episodes of temper. She never spoke about them after that.

He picked up the razor blade on the passenger seat beside him and examined his upper thighs for a spot to place his latest atonement. There was none.

He would have to place it on one of the fairly old scars. In particular, on one he had put in months ago when he dealt his year-old son two hard smacks on the buttocks, realizing only after the shrieking child had run off that he was too little to be beaten so hard.

With an expertise learnt over the years, he deftly drove the razor into his flesh, slowly, deeply and forcefully, to maximize the anguish of the moment.


The pain he felt as the razor sliced in was intense and blinding, but weirdly, also comforting. He felt refreshed, his sin paid for.


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