This is a piece of autobiographical fiction. Space and time have been rearranged to suit the convenience of the book, and with the exception of public figures, any resemblance to persons living or dead is coincidental. The opinions expressed are those of the characters and should not be confused with the author’s.
This story is written as an example to anyone who wants to believe that we are more than the patriarchy deems us to be, more than our limitations, and more than our fears.
10th August, 2021
Scene flashes forward to the future
I’ve received a bill from SP utilities. It’s a July bill.
Strange. My tenants moved out in June, why is there still a bill for July? Maybe his brother is living in the house. I check with Kelvin and he says that no one is living in the house.
“Should I email him the bill?” I ask my boyfriend, Marco. “Yeah, why not? You shouldn’t have to pay for it if he’s letting others stay in the house”
“But he has already been very on edge lately. He keeps threatening to ‘do the necessary’ if I contact him unnecessarily again”
“This is for the house stuff. How else are you going to contact him about it? If he didn’t want you contacting him, he would have asked a lawyer to be the middle man for all of this. He’s clearly just keeping you as a contact point because he enjoys triggering you. Just keep your email as formal as possible, don’t say things like ‘hey hope you’re well’ none of that bullshit”
I laugh at my Italian boyfriend’s way of talking. I love it. I embrace it wholeheartedly.
Coming from Singapore, where passive aggression and toxic-politeness are both deeply ingrained in our society, it’s been refreshing getting to learn what the ‘italian way‘ is. They call it as it is and they emote their feelings very strongly. Many times, I’ve mistaken his calls with friends or family to be fights. “What happened?? Why did you guys argue?” I would ask. “What do you mean? My mama and I were telling each other how much we miss each other,” he would say, looking at me with bewildered eyes.
I craft my message to be as ‘dead’ as possible.
Enclosed is the July utilities bill. I haven’t closed the utilities because I forgot. So sending you the bill here. I’m offering to help pay for this bill since I know you’re dealing with alot of other debt and bills already. Just let me know if that’s agreeable to you. Cheers.
I read it again and remove the ‘Cheers’. Keep it official. Keep it without emotions.
Less than a few hours later….he replies. Oh no, SHE replies.
Hi this is Marianne.
Gideon told me that you’ve been emailing him often and he doesn’t like it. He does not want to have anything to do with you. It’s clear from the bill that Gideon shouldn’t be paying for it because it’s for your tenant’s consumption. So i’m not sure what the point of the email is apart from a feeble attempt to communicate with my husband even though he has repeatedly told you not to. Leave my husband alone, or is this only applicable when it fits the self righteous Jane?
Don’t embarrass yourself and have some pride and dignity. It’s really quite pathetic that we hear from the grapevine that you constantly write shit about him and us, and yet behind the scenes you’re reaching out like the sad ex. Enough is enough little spoilt brat. Don’t act out just because you can’t get what you want. Have some grace and dignity and leave.
I read it out loud to Marco and he looks at me and says “Well then, I guess he’s married a psychopath, good for him”
We get along with our day and put her message behind us. It was clear that this message didn’t come from a happy place.
What do you do with unhappy people? You let them find their own happiness while you go on to find yours.