Maggie was beautiful, intelligent, and captivating of youthful innocence. Her early years were full of promise; she excelled academically and found comfort in exploring nature and embracing the solace of her backyard reading her favourite novels into the hours of twilight. She dreaded the weekends as she would have to endure sleepless nights comforting her brother as her alcoholic father fought with her mother. Saturday mornings became a routine of her mother yelling endlessly at her father accusing him of infidelity; a temper fuelled by so much resentment and suffering. Every weekend Maggie had to clear away broken furniture, cans of beer and make breakfast for her hung over father who was completely oblivious to his drunken rages.
At age eleven, Maggie’s parents left her in the care of a male relative as they went out to a night club. Maggie fell asleep on the living room couch and awoke startled as she felt the hands of the man touching her body, then his wet lips on her lips. The last image vivid in her mind was seeing him light a cigarette; she closed her eyes fighting back the tears, trying to imagine that everything was going to be alright. He stole her innocence. She told her mother who accused her of lying.
One Saturday morning, Maggie woke to find that her mother and father were nowhere in sight. No empty beer cans and absolute silence. Maggie’s father did not come home from the previous night and her mother was out searching for him. Hours passed and finally her mother barged through the front door “I just caught your dad naked in the bed of another woman”, she said in a voice full of anguish. She ordered Maggie to start packing so they could leave. Maggie looked at her brother as he sat in silence on the sofa, his eyes full of purity and pain. Her father arrived home amidst the packing, the mother grabbed Maggie’s arm and told her to get into the car. Maggie looked for her brother but her mother kept pushing her towards the car. They left. She looked back as they pulled out of the driveway and her brother was yelling out the window for her mother to stop. Maggie begged her to stop. Her mother kept driving.
At age sixteen Maggie met a guy who made her feel wanted. He professed an undying love for her. Maggie, completely naive believed every word he said. She skipped classes, started smoking weed, lied to her parents, lied to herself and began an unhealthy relationship with a guy she barely knew. As Maggie’s world spiralled out of control her parent’s marriage was on the road to recovery. Her father sought help through the church and he gave up drinking. The family moved into a beautiful home in the suburbs. Maggie’s parents became livid when they found out she was failing school. Maggie’s mother beat her and sent her away to another country for three months.
Maggie returned home and completed her last year of high school, she met a guy in her science class, a Mormon who made her laugh. This guy upheld the Christian values that she believed would give her the escape she craved for. He e-mailed Maggie daily quotes of inspiration, wrote her love letters, sang to her on the phone, surprised her with flowers and Oreos, and even won over the approval of her parents. One evening, Maggie was home alone and invited him over. They listened to Babyface and Maxwell, he kissed her and their teenage hormones clouded their judgement. He lay above her and asked if she wanted to make love, she said no. He stopped, put his clothes back on and apologised for getting carried away. The next day he told Maggie that the only way he could continue a relationship with her was if she converted to his religion, she refused and he became distant. Thereafter, it seemed every moment they spent together was of a physically intimate nature. She broke up with him at the end of the high school year. Her mother blamed her for ruining such a ‘good’ relationship.
At age twenty one, Maggie formed a relationship again with the guy she met at age sixteen. He had moved to Australia. She lied to her family including the brother she loved and who today is the only person who has never hurt her, telling them that she would go to Australia for her 21st birthday to visit family. She went to Australia with the intention of being with this man and to never return home again. Maggie saw this as an escape from the painful past she endured. She flew to Australia and within a month she married this man. From the beginning she could sense that he was an angry man, and each day she had to tread carefully to avoid his fury. The first time they were intimate it was far from the concept of making love. He was rough and enforced his bizarre sexual fantasies upon her. The only time he ever touched her was to satisfy his sexual needs. He made her feel worthless, and she fell into an empty and aching abyss.
She called her mother seeking comfort however her mother full of rage yelled at her, “I forbid you to stay with that man, I’ll never accept your relationship and I swear you will never have children. Your marriage is a joke.” The abuse in her marriage escalated, and she fell pregnant. She flew back home, knowing that she could not raise her child in an unloving environment. The first day back home she had a miscarriage. A month later her husband flew in from Australia to be with her. She stayed with him despite his unfaithfulness, and she endured his physical abuse and his unhealthy obsession with porn. Maggie wanted to prove to her parents that she was happy, that she made the right choice in marrying this man. She lived such an empty facade, being the obedient wife, the breadwinner, the used and abused. He would leave her at home alone while he spent entire weekends away. She knew he was out with other women but she couldn’t muster the strength to fight with him. She never yelled at him as her mother had done with her father. She no longer cared about his infidelity, as she preferred that he go and be unfaithful, rather than stay at home and touch or abuse her. Maggie just let him go as he pleased. She became accustomed to nights of having dinner by herself. Alone. This is the life she chose.
They stayed unhappily married for four years. She had a conversation with two of her dear friends who begged her to leave him. Maggie texted her husband saying she no longer wanted to be with him. He text back, “Ok”. She arrived home later that day to see him with another woman, packing his belongings. Three months later his new girlfriend was pregnant and they were engaged. Maggie, battered and torn wondered what she had done to deserve such misery. Her two best friends also left the country leaving Maggie feeling abandoned and searching for purpose.
Maggie envisioned a man who would love and embrace her for who she was. A man who would wake next to her with a smile on his face, that would make her laugh and fill her life with unconditional love. She craved a sense of belonging, a loving touch, a place she could call home and share with another who would just simply be home for dinner. It happened. Maggie fell in love with a wonderful man. He made her laugh and treated her with so much respect. He made her feel beautiful, and for the first time in her life she felt safe and loved. Every weekend they would go out and enjoy the company of mutual friends. He danced with her and gave her all the loving attention she needed. People would often comment on how they could see and feel that they were in love. Maggie dwelled within his love. He promised to love her and take care of her and said he wanted to spend the rest of his life with her. His love allowed her to embrace life and enabled her to return to her love of nature.
It seemed Maggie’s life encompassed all that she desired. However, this was short lived. He lied to her. He didn’t look at her the way he used to or compliment her grace and beauty. He didn’t take her out in the weekend. He left her at home as he went out until the early hours of the morning. And, he no longer danced with her. Consumed with a sense of failure, loss of self and no longer having the capacity to cry anymore lonely tears, Maggie ended her life. Alone. All she ever wanted was to be loved.
Curly Miri © 2012