Title – You Will Pay for Leaving me
Author – Eve Rabi
Genre – Woman’s Fiction
Publisher – Eve Rabi
Cover Artist – Eve Rabi
“A compelling and heartbreaking story about love, lust and revenge.”
To the world it looked like I was the luckiest woman on earth. I had every material possession I could want or desire. Women envied me, while men strove to be like my successful and charismatic husband, Tom.
Little did everyone know that behind closed doors, Tom, the man I had chosen to have and to hold was a brutal tyrant who abused me and controlled everything aspect of my life.
In spite of his controlling ways, I found the strength to take my two children and leave.
I started a new life, met a wonderful man named Bear in record time and fell madly in love with him. Bear was everything Tom wasn’t and my children and I lived a blissful existence.
But Tom was livid at my new-found happiness. As promised when I left him, he took revenge for my leaving in the most horrific way possible, then sent me to prison.
Over time, I learned his game and when I realized he wasn’t going to stop, I knew it was time to fight back and fight dirty.
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The first time Tom hit me, I was eight months pregnant. Slapped me across the face. Unexpected and so hard, I saw tiny white stars even though I was indoors.
I was twenty-two, he was thirty-five.
I was eight months pregnant and waddling like a duck, he was eight-one kilos and took part in triathlons, ran ten kilometers almost every day, had wheat-grass and quinoa for breakfast, a green salad with no dressing for lunch, and usually ate lean chicken breast with three different colour vegetables for dinner.
Fit, disciplined and focused – that was my husband.
Throughout my two years of marriage, I’d seen bursts of his rage – towards me, towards others and his road-rage, now that was the worst – it terrified me. Especially since he liked to take it out on trucks drivers. The bigger the truck, the greater his rage.
Deep down, I guess I did fear being hit by him one day, but I didn’t expect it that day – the day of my second wedding anniversary.
I was so stunned by the slap that I didn’t move away or try to defend myself. I just stood and gaped at him, one hand on my cheek, the other on my swollen belly.
“I take care of everything!” he hissed. “All you had to do was to chill the Kristal and you forget to do that. A small thing like that. Chill …the …Kristal – how hard is that, huh?”
To celebrate our wedding anniversary, Tom had invited eight couples to a four-course, sit-down dinner at our house, located in the upscale suburbs of St Ives, Sydney.
He had hired caterers, wait-staff and a barman. Like all of Tom’s parties, it promised to be interesting, excessive and showy.
It was true, all I had to do was chill the Kristal, as he took care of everything, without consulting me once, or asking what I would like to serve our guests.
I didn’t mind though, as Tom was extremely capable, highly efficient and he had flair. I didn’t, so if I did make a suggestion of just about anything, he’d usually scoff at it and shred it to bits, making me feel like the hillbilly that I was. So over time, I stopped suggesting or contributing and left everything to Tom.
That suited him just fine.
With pregnancy hormones, my brain sometimes became a pile of mush and I tended to forget a lot of things. I would walk into a room and forget why I was there, and often at a mall, I couldn’t remember the level I had parked my car on.
It annoyed the hell out of Tom as he didn’t suffer fools gladly, and just about everything I did was foolish to him. Irritated him.
“See what you do to me!” he snarled, his nostrils flaring, his lips a thin line. “You make me like this.”
After throwing me a look of disgust, he adjusted his tie, straightened his 5’8” frame and walked towards the door of our bedroom.
“Put on a darker shade of lipstick, wear the necklace I bought you for Christmas and be downstairs in five!” he flung over his shoulder as he strode out of our bedroom.
With my hand on my cheek, I sat on the bed, shrouded in disappointment.
How could he hit me, I asked myself? How could he hit a pregnant woman? His pregnant wife – who does that?
There was no way I was going to go his party after he had just hit me. I would leave quietly through the back door before our guests arrived, I decided. I wouldn’t even tell him that I was leaving.
Fuck him and his party.
The doorbell went. Too late, our guests had just arrived.
“The place looks wonderful, Tom.”
“Yes, it’s fabulous, Tom. Marvelous. Where’s Arena?”
“She’ll be down in a sec,” I heard Tom say.
I didn’t know what to do. How could I possibly not turn up when guests had already arrived? After a lot of thought, I decided that I would go to the party, but I would leave immediately after it. I would have it out with him and call the cops if I needed to. I may have been twenty-two years old, but I wasn’t stupid enough to let him hit me and get away with it.
I scrambled up from the bed and walked over to a mirror where I eyed my cheek, red from his slap.
I picked up some concealer and dotted it over the redness. Didn’t work. His imprint on my cheek showed through the concealer.
I tried green concealer. That worked – my redness disappeared. That was the first time I learned that green concealer covers redness, better than yellow or beige concealer.
Over the years I used a lot of green concealer and I became an expert at concealing ‘flaws.’
Luckily, my hair was in a bob, deep mahogany and fell in a sharp point two centimeters below my ears and covered most of my cheek. (Hairstyle as per Tom’s orders. He instructed me to wear my hair exactly that way. He was in awe of Victoria Beckham.)
I decided that if for any reason, someone enquired about the marks on my face, say the concealer faded or something, I would simply say that I had an allergy –a new facial that didn’t quite agree with me. (Over the years, my friends were surprised at how many facials didn’t agree with me.)
Still dazed, I adjusted my clothing, darkened my lipstick, put on the chunky gold necklace and waddled downstairs. As instructed.
When I reached the last stair of the spiral staircase of our $2.6 million dollar home, which had a spa, sauna, tennis court and an Olympic-size pool, I plastered a smile on my disappointed lips and greeted our guests.
Eve Rabi lives in Sydney Australia, but was born in South Africa. She is the author of 22 books and is known for her kick-ass leading ladies, her alpha males and her ability to make you cry and make you laugh as you fall in love.