Most Eligible Baby DaddyBy: Chance Carter
Elle Barclay looked into the face of the man she thought she loved. Tears fell from her eyes.
How could she have been so wrong about him?
His name was Gris. He was seven years older than her, about thirty, but the lines on his face and the gray in his hair made him look at least forty. He had a wooden baseball bat in his hands and he swung it down violently on the kitchen table, smashing it in half.
“Gris,” she cried, “please.”
She hated the pleading tone of her voice. She hated how scared she sounded, how powerless she felt. This was the man she’d told herself she loved. She’d told herself she wanted to spend the rest of her life with him. She’d told herself he was a good man.
“Get down on your knees, bitch,” Gris snarled. “Get down on the ground where you belong.”
He was slapping the bat into his left hand menacingly, as if warming up for a baseball inning, but Elle knew from experience that the only thing Gris wanted to hit with it was her.
“Don’t do this, Gris. Please don’t do this.”
“I thought I told you to get on your knees, bitch. Don’t make me say it again.”
Slowly, reluctantly, she got down on her knees. It was a position she’d become all too familiar with during her years with Gris.
“That’s it, you worthless whore. You know where you belong, don’t you?”
She looked down at the ground.
“I said, you know where you belong, don’t you?”
“What? Speak up. I didn’t catch that.”
“You’re a filthy, disgusting little whore, aren’t you? You’re fat. You’re ugly. You’re worthless.”
Silence. She couldn’t bring herself to answer. Deep within her, she knew those words weren’t true, but there was something about having a man yell them in her face that made her almost believe them.
The bat came down on the steel sink, almost tearing it from the counter. Elle flinched, and she hated herself for showing yet more weakness, yet more fear.
“Your mother knew it, didn’t she?”
Elle nodded, almost imperceptibly, but Gris noticed.
“That’s right. She knew you were a worthless little cunt. She knew no one could ever love you. Hell, even she couldn’t love you, could she? Your own mother couldn’t love you, Elle, and you were her baby.”
Elle stared at the ground. Gris came over and bent down so that his face was level with hers. He grabbed her chin roughly and forced her to look at him.
“She knew you were worthless, didn’t she?”
Elle looked back. She looked into those glassy eyes she’d thought would offer her love. She looked into that face she’d found so handsome once upon a time.
“Your own mother didn’t want you.”
Elle let the words wash over her while blocking as much of their meaning as possible. It was the one truth she regretted letting Gris know. It was the one chink in the armor she’d built for herself. She never should have told him.
“Abandoned at birth,” Gris went on. “I guess that explains why you’re such a fucked up cunt.”
His hand began to clench into a fist, his strong fingers pressing into her cheeks painfully. She wanted to cry out but she was afraid that would only spur him on.
“That’s why you never settle down, never stay in one place, never commit to one man.”
Elle shook her head. That wasn’t entirely true. “I committed to you,” she whispered, her voice straining through the clenched grip Gris had on her mouth.
“I wish that was true, Elle,” he said shaking his head.
Gris was a large man. He could bench press three hundred pounds easily, as he was fond of boasting. When he needed extra money, he’d take on a prize fight, and he usually won. He had muscles like an ox.
He brought his fist down forcefully on the floorboards next to Elle’s leg. She flinched in fright.
“You always had one foot out the door, Elle. You always had your eye on the exit. Don’t think I didn’t feel that. You never let me in, not really. You have a wall built up around you like a fortress.”
Elle would have laughed if she wasn’t so frightened. Why did he think she had her guard up? Why did he think she didn’t trust him? He was a violent son of a bitch with the mean streak of a sadist. If she ever let her guard down, he’d destroy her.
She looked up at Gris and felt something snap inside her. Everyone had their limit, everyone had the point at which they couldn’t take it anymore, and Elle had just reached hers. She rose up on her knees and faced him. He stared back at her, and was surprised at the strength he saw in her determined eyes.