Carly was curled at the foot of the bed, shaking and sobbing. I could see the ripples on her back and remember briefly thinking to myself she needed to gain a little weight; but her bruises, having started to turn green, had made it impossible to think of anything else-at length. Her breasts were tucked under her legs, which were tucked inside her arms, and she rocked as she gently hyperventilated from crying.
I watched her with my hands under my head, and breathed deeply as if taking large drags off a cigarette. The air felt damp and the sweat beaded off my naked stomach and onto the sheets. I stared into the only light source in the room, a dim white light flashing from the night stand, possibly from an alarm clock. I heard Carly begin to speak,
"How... could you," she asks, her voice muffled by her knees. I sat up and leaned in to hold her. Startled, she pushed me back and began to cry for help.
"No no, don't do that," I spoke softly as I held her mouth shut with one hand and caressed her shoulder with the other, "You don't have to. I'm not going to let anything happen to you, baby."
She looked at me and squinted her eyes in disbelief. Tears were rolling liberally down her swollen and discolored cheeks and she whispered loudly through my hand, "You raped me."
A pressure came over me at that very moment. Draping my hands over my entire face, I began to cry, "I'm so sorry baby," I said, "I never wanted to hurt you. I've failed you as a husband and a man."
"What are you talking about," she had stopped crying all together and was now speaking accusingly.
By this time, there was a small pool of tears gathered at the top of my stomach and I continued to break down, "I've never been through anything like this before. The economy, baby. It's just so fucked up right now. I just don't know what to do anymore."
I stood out of bed and Carly rolled onto the floor. I gathered the sheets and threw them in the wash with bleach. I turned all the lights on on my way to the kitchen. I cooked Carly some eggs. I drew Carly a hot bath. I know I love and care for Carly. I know the economy has got to get better. I don't want anything like this to happen again.