RED; A short story of lost love. (the end)

The End.
Alexandra waited for his return, wringing her hands as the clock ticked by. She was alone, as usual. The maid didn’t live with them. The house was large, and, unfortunately clean. Matthias had hired helps from the start of their marriage, insisting he didn’t want her to tire herself with chores.

She wished she had chores to tire her now. Then maybe she would be able to fall asleep, awakened only by his loud footsteps.

Maybe, then, it would all look like a dream.

Alexandra stood to face the mirror in her luxurious room, smoothing her dress. She was tall and elegant, still in her prime. Her face was clear and smooth, framed by high cheekbones. Her lips were full, and she had stopped hearts with her smile. Her eyes, formerly dark and beautiful, were unfamiliar to her. They weren’t beautiful anymore. They were old. And fearful.

Look what you’ve turned me into, Matthias, she thought bitterly, sighing.

What would Simon say if he saw her now? Her childhood friend and first love, he had known her more than she had known herself. When Matthias came into the picture and she fell for his charm and words, Simon had warned her.

“He is dangerous,” Simon said. Alexandra shook her head, not listening. How would she explain that it was the danger that both thrilled and attracted her?

“Alex, listen to me,” Simon held her hands, staring at her intently, “don’t do this. He is not for you.”

“Of course he is!” Alexandra desperately tried to make him see what she saw. “He makes me feel things-”

“-that you would regret.”

Alexandra frowned. “No, I won’t.” Why was he so intent on this?

Simon was an amazing friend, humorous and confident, always there to listen to her woes. Always there to cheer her on in everything. At a point, she had thought she was in love with him. It would be accepted. Celebrated, even. Their parents were close friends, and they would have loved nothing more than seeing their children married to each other. But then, Matthias had come, swept her off her feet, and driven a wedge between her and Simon.

“Follow your heart, Alex,” Simon said. His expression was pained, and he looked tired. He opened his mouth to say more, shook his head and muttered, “it doesn’t matter anymore.”

Alexandra hadn’t asked him what he meant.

But now, looking at herself in the mirror, she wished she had. Maybe whatever he had to say would have stopped her from making the huge mistake she made. The mistake, that, right now, was digging his claws in and seeping away her soul.

The mistake that was her husband.

Alexandra fought tears. How many times had she cried already? How many times had she stared up at the ceiling in the middle of the night, cursing the day Matthias had come into her life?

How many times had she wished the overpowering emotion she felt was love, and not fear?

And how many times had she confused one for the other?

Alexandra sat on her bed, deflated.

“Simon warned me,” she mumbled, staring into the distance. A small sob escaped her throat.

The sound of her husband’s car snapped her back to reality.

He was back.

Alexandra wiped her tears hurriedly and blinked. Then she smoothed her dress for the umpteenth time and went out to meet him.

“Welcome, darling,” she forced a smile as she embraced him. He was in a good mood, and she sighed in relief.

Matthias put an arm around her shoulders as they walked into the house. He talked cheerfully about the event he had attended, and Alexandra listened attentively.

“Rhoda asked after you,” he smiled at her fondly, and Alexandra’s heart soared. She wished he would be like this all the time.

“Maybe I would visit her sometime.”

Matthias’s face hardened. “Maybe.”

Uh-oh. What had she done now? Did she say something wrong? Alexandra felt her smile fade. His mood was too sensitive, and half the time, she was worried she would say something to tick him off.

Matthias’s face relaxed, and relief spread through her. Alexandra took advantage of his good mood to ask what she had been meaning to for ages.

“Simon wants us to see. You know I haven’t seen him since we got married three years ago. It’s been so long and we have a lot to catch up on and-”

Matthias stood still, and she stopped talking. Alexandra wrung her hands, worried.

“What?” She whispered.

“You’re not going anywhere. You belong to me. Only me. You hear that?”

Alexandra swallowed and took a step back. Mentioning Simon had been a mistake.

Matthias shrugged off his coat and placed it on a chair, his eyes not leaving her. Alexandra smoothed her dress needlessly, a nervous habit since childhood.


“Wasn’t it Simon that told you not to marry me?”

“Yes, but-”

“And now you’re going to see him?”

“That’s because he asked-”

Matthias held her arm. “He asked, huh?”

Alexandra gasped in pain as his grip tightened on her arm. “You’re- you’re hurting me.”

Matthias smiled cynically. “Am I?” He jerked her forwards, and tears sprang to her eyes.

“Like you hurt me when you refused to give me what I asked?”

Alexandra’s lips shook, and she tried to blink back tears.

“What did I ask for?”

Alexandra swallowed, saying nothing.

“Answer me!”

Alexandra flinched. “A-a child,” she stammered.

“And did you give me that?”

Tears trailed down her cheeks as his nails dug into her arm. She bit her lip, stopping herself from crying out in pain. That would only infuriate him further.

Matthias held her chin with the other hand, and she winced when she held his gaze. His eyes held anger. And pain. He hadn’t forgiven her for what happened. Not that she had forgiven herself, either.

Matthias had wanted a child, and he had told her that. Alexandra had wanted one at first, but then the realisation that she would be a mother had frightened her. How would she care for a child? What if she did so badly that Matthias got tired of her? She was just 19, a child herself!

Alexandra had begged him to wait for a while longer. She would want one later, when she was older and ready. But Matthias had sweet talked her into thinking it was just her nerves talking, nothing more.

“You would be an amazing mother,” he had assured her.

“If it’s a boy, we will name him Gabriel.”

“And if it’s a girl?”

Matthias smiled. “Gracie. After my mother.”

And so, she had conceived. Two months in, Alexandra was still afraid. A new life was growing within her, and it thrilled and terrified her. But Matthias kept assuring her she would be fine.

And then it happened.

Matthias came home one day to find her on the floor of their bedroom, blood pooling around her. He stood still for a while, and Alexandra cried out in pain. He took her to the hospital, and when she recovered, she had needed him to comfort her. They had lost a child, and she was pained. Maybe she hadn’t wanted it as much as him, but it hurt nonetheless. She wanted him to understand.

Alexandra reached for him, but Matthias was aloof. He gave her a cold, hard look. She saw his accusation before hearing the words;

“You murdered our child.”

His tone was menacing, and Alexandra burst into tears.

“I didn’t! No, I- I didn’t…’

She said the same words now, sobbing profusely as she relived those memories. Everyday, he reminded her of that incident. He didn’t need to speak. His eyes said it all. The contempt there shook her to her core, and she wallowed in guilt for a crime she didn’t commit.

She hadn’t murdered their child. She had miscarried. The doctor had said it wasn’t her fault, but Matthias hadn’t believed. She didn’t believe. If she had only loved the child more. If she hadn’t allowed herself to be afraid. If..

A million and one ifs.

“Liar,” Matthias spat. “Liar!”

Alexandra whimpered as she fell, hitting her head on the tiled floor. It was cold. Like winter. Like her husband’s eyes. Like his heart.

“Get up!” Alexandra scampered to her feet. Her head throbbed painfully, but she dare not disobey. Matthias looked wild. His sleeves were rolled up, and his hair looked tousled. She used to play with his hair back then. Used to mess it up and laugh when he slapped her hand away. But not anymore.

Alexandra laughed bitterly.

So many memories. So many good times. All ruined because of a dead child.

A dead unborn child.

Her laughter increased, and she staggered. Matthias stared at her like she was mad, and she suddenly pitied him. He was the mad man. What kind of man punishes his wife for having a miscarriage? Aunt Helen had miscarried twice, and her husband still cared for her! But not Matthias. No. He punished her like it was her fault.

What kind of man has mood swings like a teenage girl, who could get ticked off by a single word?

What sort of man relishes seeing his wife in pain, even going to the point of making her bleed?

“A mad man,” she said aloud. Alexandra looked at him, anger burning in the pit of her stomach. “Matthias, you are a mad man!”

Matthias frowned in disbelief, then his face contorted in rage as he neared her.

“What did you say?”

Alexandra knew she should be afraid, but she wasn’t. She had lived in fear for two years, and it was enough. She had had enough!

“I have had enough!” She screamed, pulling at her hair like a deranged woman. Maybe she was a deranged woman. She had fallen senselessly for him, anyway. And now, her lack of sense was affecting her.

Alexandra chuckled.

Matthias narrowed his eyes at her. What happened to the Alexandra he knew? What was this crazed expression on her face?

“I loved you, Matthias. Madly. Foolishly, in fact. I went against my friend and family, and I chose you!” She pointed at him, punctuating each word with a jab to his chest. “I. Chose. You!”

A hard slap across her face made her wince, but she didn’t stop.

“I thought you were the perfect man,” she laughed sardonically, “and you made me feel like the perfect girl. But now?” She spread her arms out. “Look at us! We’re a perfect mess.”

“Shut the hell up!” Matthias bellowed, dealing her another blow.

Alexandra spat out blood, but was unfazed. She stared at him with all the hatred she could muster.

“I curse the day I agreed to be your wife. I curse the day I met you, but, most of all,” she stepped closer, “I curse the day you were born.”

Matthias raged, and his face was so contorted it was ugly. Alexandra smiled. She had done more than anger him. She had hurt him. And she decided to wedge the knife in deeper.

“Your mother did the world a lot of good when she died, but she should have taken you along with her.”

The blow hit her hard. She was pushed to the side, and her head hit the wall with a cracking sound. She fell to the floor, eyes wide in horror.

As Matthias loomed over her, Alexandra felt as if she was looking at the devil. The devil that would escort her to the darkest part of hell.

She stared at him, her neck bent at an odd angle, as life seeped from her in the same colour she had loved in her youth.


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