She loved him so much, closing her eyes to his little vanities and the pinpricks of disrespect. He was, she knew, so ingrained in her heart that she would always forgive him. Even after a night when all she could do was cry, he only had to touch her cheek and the sun started to shine again.
She loved him so much. Feeling superior to her friends whose husbands were not the centre of the universe, she overlooked his meanness and his mistrust.
When he began criticising her every move she accepted that she must be doing something wrong and tried everything she could do to ameliorate his disgust. She knew it was just one more storm to weather and kept her face turned towards the sun.
Only it didn’t seem as if he was going to come around any time soon. And it hurt her heart to see the contempt in his eyes.
One night, when he was ‘away on business’ she sat looking at the television through dull unseeing eyes, when a phrase leapt out of the screen and forced her to wakefulness.
‘Abuse doesn’t always leave bruises.’
She felt herself falling, and curled into a foetal lump on the rough tweed carpet where she fell prey to the cruel claws of the cold place in her chest where her too-trusting heart had been.
She loved him so much that when he returned from his tryst with his latest mistress he found her still curled on the carpet. He pulled at her shoulder with an impatient hand, only to have her lifeless body roll onto its back.
It seemed to him that he would never forget the sadness in her dead eyes.