Little Wife in the Night by Natalie Frame
Little Wife crawled into the super-sized, California King-sized bed. Because the bed was pushed up snugly next to the wall, and the ceiling came down at an extremely sharp angle, she had to crawl into the bed from the bottom. Big Man was already dead asleep in the large bed, sprawled out on his back, snoring. His arms and legs blocked any other entrance for her to climb into the bed.
She reached for her soft downy pillow. She fluffed the pillow and carefully, awkwardly set it down on the foot-end of the large bed so as not to wake him. Little Wife sometimes slept backwards in the very large bed next to the paint-peeled wall.
The room was stifling hot, even with the window air conditioning and the fans blowing. The close atmosphere was awful after midnight — the dark walls and ceiling closing into the tiny little corner of the bedroom, the deadly pressure pushing all of the air out of her. With her head under the open skylight window, she could breathe a little better. She could rest.
Little Wife thought sleep to be highly overrated. She couldn’t remember her last full night of sleep and seemed to function adequately with just a little twilight rest, ready to wake at any moment if need be. She used to waken easily to comfort the babies when they woke at night, but now her very survival depended on being able to open her eyes and prepare for anything in just a few moments.
Big Man was so fond of having “serious discussions” in the middle of the night. These one-way discussions generally revolved around the ways that Little Wife had failed him over the years and in these present days. If Little Wife was vulnerable to his verbal abuse during the day, she was positively helpless when he woke her up in the dark for a time of berating and accusations. Little Wife needed to be ready at any time, so sleep was truly out of the question. So she rested, and rationalized that sleep wasn’t that important after all.
She remembered (how could she even forget) how two nights ago as she lay resting in her twilight zone, Big Man in all of his 250 pound glory rolled over on top of her. She squeaked and all of the air rushed out of her little lungs. Pinned to the bed, struggling but unable to escape, unable to call for help (who would come to help anyway), Little Wife prayed that her end would come quickly. She was surprised that this was how she was to die, but trusted that the Lord loved her and would welcome her into His loving arms.
A minute passed, then two minutes. Little Wife still wiggled and struggled a little bit to push Big Man and his 250 pound glory off of her smallish frame. As she began to lose her senses and her consciousness, he finally rolled off and over to his own side of the bed.
“You almost crushed me,” cried Little Wife with real tears of fear running down her cheeks. “Why did you do that?”
Big Man looked at her. His scowling face looked menacing as the full moon shone through the open window. “Do what? I was just trying to snuggle with you. Why do you always think the worst of me? You’re just imagining it all as usual. You know I love you and would never want to hurt you. You’re so sensitive. You’ve always been way too sensitive. What’s wrong with a husband wanting to be close to his wife in the night? I am the best thing that ever happened to you. You’re just not worth it. You never were.”
Big Man flopped over and Little Wife soon heard his heavy breathing turn into heavy snoring. She looked up and out of the skylight window, praying and wishing she could fly away across the ocean, across the universe and be safe, anywhere would be better than this.
(Stay tuned for more Little Wife stories….)