The Love Letter


I wanted to live.

He put his hand around my neck and squeezed. His hand was sweaty and his breathing was calm. Our eyes met, his had lost their twinkle, deviating dark months ago; mine were pleading for their life. His face showed no emotion.

I meant nothing to him.

Something caught my peripheral view; a man, walking by, watching us. He didn’t stop to help, he just stared in silence. It gave me hope – finally a witness to this madness. The man didn’t say anything, he just watched. His presence was enough.

I wanted to live.

It was becoming harder to breathe. The agonizing pain in my neck was nothing compared to what was in my heart. The butcher knife in his other hand was taunting, if he wanted to kill me, he could.

“I won’t call the police but he might,” grasping for a way out, an end to it all.

He relaxed, put his arm around me and shot the guy a sly grin. It was over a lot quicker then it started.

But I still didn’t leave.

Every attempt met with failure but leaving – or another ending – was inevitable. Each toxic in our own right, one of us was bound to kill the other.

One rainy night after our drugs were gone, he went out for more. Hours had passed and he wasn’t home. The high had worn off and eventually my body drifted into a slumber.

When he woke me, his clothes were wet, his hair was dripping; he had walked home in the rain. Our borrowed car was broke down on the side of the road. He had scored though and that’s all that mattered. Hour after hour, hit after hit, it was a glorious night.

We were startled by a family member pounding on our door early the next morning.

“He left my car in the middle of the highway, police impounded it for abandonment. Someone could have died.”

There was a family intervention. My parents forbid me from going home until he was gone.

But I still didn’t leave.

Back and forth, over and over, treating the other like shit was our form of foreplay.

After one breakup, I cut his favorite coat into a gazillion pieces and left it on his mom’s front lawn.

Returning home days later, my apartment was gloomy and cold, it felt eerie. The silence was broke when the blinds on the back door started shifting. Walking towards them my soft footsteps became crunchy. Something rigid and shiny was scattered over the carpet.

The sliding glass door was shattered, broken glass was everywhere. It glittered as the street lights hit it every time the blinds rustled in the wind.

An empty fifth of E&J in the middle of the ruins. The label was startling and heartbreaking. It was our drink. Undoubtedly this was his work, there was even a note.

“Paybacks a bitch.” A love note like no other.

But I still didn’t leave.

I was no longer using but he had moved on to harder drugs. He was coming off a 3 day binge and started drinking. Knowing my time was limited before becoming the target of his rage, I started packing.

He grabbed a fistful of my hair, yanking my head back. Clothes flew out of my hands and landed everywhere. My scalp felt like it was on fire.

Ignoring his banter and abuse was hard, he reeked of booze. Half of his longneck spilled as he tried to pull me back. The other half – along with the bottle – was thrown at my face.

“One day I’m going to be something and you will always be a crackhead.” Saying it felt so damn good.

But I still didn’t leave.

A violation of his probation landed him in county serving back time. Sending him love letters and driving his mom out to visit him, helped pass the time that healed my wounds. His promises of change gave hope of a better tomorrow.

My life was spent waiting. Waiting for him to change, waiting for an apology, waiting for him to make decisions, waiting for him to acknowledge my feelings, waiting for him to treat me like a human. Waiting for him to love me.

And then, waiting for him in a musty hotel room. It was all his idea and I waited days for him to never show up.  The linen smelt like mothballs and the curtains were covered in dust. The air conditioner clanked as it sputtered out warm air and the carpet told a horrific story in stains.

Looking in the hotel mirror, my reflection was disgusting. My hair was frizzy from the heat. My mascara was running from the tears. Failure was seeping out of my pores.

The drugs had started our downward spiral, the drugs could end it too. There was enough for two people to be blitzed for two days. It was enough to end everything.

I decided to live.

Forty-eight hours detoxing alone in a hotel room finally showed me: he never came because he never cared.

I meant nothing to him.

The most honest love note he ever wrote came in an empty fifth of E&J.

His last act of cruelty was the best thing he could have done for me. Each of us toxic, one of us was bound to kill the other.

And I wanted to live.




“Life With the Bearded J’s,” is Jenny’s unapologetic take on being mom to three kids and wife to Brandon, “The Beard.” Jenny writes from her heart and she always calls ‘em like she sees ‘em.

Jenny recently became a wine drinker because of the sophisticated glass swirl. However, she still believes wine drinking is too classy for her taste and prefers top shelf hard liquors.

When Jenny is not busy being SuperMom, she’s hiding in her bathroom sneaking in writing time or playing on Facebook while she pretends to poop. Jenny co-founded the Original Bunker Punks from her bathroom which now serves as her office.

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