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SUNDAY, JUNE 5, 2011

I gaze up at the bedroom ceiling. Sleep eludes me. I’m tormented by Ana’s fragrance, which still clings to my bedsheets. I pull her pillow over my face to breathe in her scent. It’s torture, it’s heaven, and for a moment I contemplate death by suffocation. Get a grip, Grey. I rerun the morning’s events in my head. Could they have unfolded any differently? As a rule I never do this, because it’s a waste of energy, but today I’m looking for clues as to where I went wrong. And no matter how I play it out, I know in my bones we would have reached this impasse, whether it was this morning, or in a week, or a month, or a year. Better that it happened now, before I inflicted any further pain on Anastasia. I think of her huddled in her little white bed. I can’t picture her in the new apartment—I’ve not been there—but I imagine her in that room in Vancouver where I once slept with her. I shake my head; that was the best night’s sleep I’d had in years. The radio alarm reads 2:00 in the morning. I have lain here for two hours, my mind churning. I take a deep breath, inhaling her scent once more, and I close my eyes. Mommy can’t see me. I stand in front of her. She can’t see me. She’s asleep with her eyes open. Or sick. I hear a rattle. His keys. He’s back. I run and hide and make myself small under the table in the kitchen. My cars are here with me. Bang. The door slams shut, making me jump. Through my fingers I see Mommy. She turns her head to see him. Then she’s asleep on the couch. He’s wearing his big boots with the shiny buckles and standing over Mommy shouting. He hits Mommy with a belt. Get Up! Get Up! You are one fucked-up bitch. You are one fucked-up bitch. Mommy makes a noise. A wailing noise. Stop. Stop hitting Mommy. Stop hitting Mommy. I run at him and hit him and I hit him and I hit him. But he laughs and smacks me across the face. No! Mommy shouts. You are one fucked-up bitch. Mommy makes herself small. Small like me. And then she’s quiet. You are one fucked-up bitch. You are one fucked-up bitch. You are one fucked-up bitch. I am under the table. I have my fingers in my ears and I close my eyes. The sound stops. He turns and I can see his boots as he stomps into the kitchen. He carries the belt, slapping

E l james grey  
E l james grey  

Fifty Shades of Grey

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