The Secret Sad Life of Mrs. Autumn Halls - Part 5

Part 5

Grace might had apologized over and over about her inappropriate comment the other night she was drunk, but that did not help Autumn to escape Wade's rage when they were in bed. Autumn might had been smiling and saying, "It is okay, dear. Don't worry about it." whenever Grace tried to express her sorry, but in fact she was concealing. On some nights, Autumn dressed her best to bed. Hoping that she would not only allure her husband, but also to soften whatever he had inside his heart. But it was always his hands pressing against her neck, almost leaving her suffocated.

Autumn knew that what Wade had been doing ever since Grace's drunk talk, or the night after he went back from New York much earlier, was not right. Autumn knew that she had the right to fight back. And in case she lost and he won, she knew, without doubt, that she could make it on her own.

But she wished she could disagree more when her husband whispered close to her ear. When those hands were pressing against her skin,

"Keep on resisting, repelling, disobeying me. I will surely leave you."

How she loved him to death.

She knew the coral blue of his eye would never looked the same again. His touch had grown colder and violent just like the way his hand forcefully caressed her breasts and intimate part. But in the end of the night, he chose to sleep apart.

Yet, Autumn did not know why Wade had changed so much. She kept wondering many sort of things that would make him changed. She thoughts about his new friends at work or some client who gave him such a bad influence. Surely, she could not think of anyone who had caused her gashes, bruised and marked on her body but Wade only. 

Then after the night passed, she always faked a smile and prepared him a breakfast the way he liked to have it a couple of eggs benedict and a cup full of black coffee. She pretended that everything happened in the bedroom, stayed in the bedroom. She managed to finish the last knot of  his tie and tidied his suit before he left the house.

"I am going off earlier today," she said this time.
"I thought you are going to stay at home."
"I had been taking so many leaves. I need to go to work." she smiled, not to mention that the reason she took leaves was to recover from the rough intimacy that had been passed on some nights. Autumn covered her body well by wearing long spring sweater and jeans, and when she was about to go, Wade halted her.
"Are you planning to travel out alone?" he cringed.
"I could take public transport, I always do that."
"No," he said. "he gestured to her to come inside again. "You are going with me. I'll better drive you. Let me finish my breakfast." 

He sat down behind the kitchen bar when she walked in again, devouring on the runny egg yolk that covered hot muffins. It was so mouth watering for her to look at the dish and to watch how her husband enjoying his breakfast meal. Again, it was so easy for Autumn to let the pain go away. But she did not have any idea what might come ahead. What would be added on the top of her lashing mark against her bare back the next night. What shackled against her limbs and body, the way he demanded it.

She guessed it was not a perfect timing when Ryan approached with starry eyes, the moment she stepped out of the car with Wade watching from the driver's seat.

"Look who's back!" he shouted enthusiastically as he rushed into her and gave her a big hug.
Caught of guard, but unable to think of better response, Autumn welcomed him in the arms briefly.
"Hey, where have you been?"
"Oh, Ryan. It is not like I have been away for a month."
"Yes, it is like 3 days and we are so behind the research." Ryan's attention diverted as he waved his hand to the driver's seat. "Oh, hi Wade, didn't see you there!"
Autumn's heart nearly leapt. But as Wade was being warm enough to engage his greeting by lifting his one hand and waving towards Ryan, she felt safe. Even safer, when she saw the car started its engine and drove away from them. She did not even get a chance to blow a kiss because she could not even feel her legs. She just hoped that everything would turn out to be okay.

Ryan guided her to the campus building and placed his arm over her shoulder friendly. Another thing that she did not wish Wade to see.

"Tell me about your masters topic for Utrecht then, have you find any idea?"
"Truthfully Ryan, I have not found any."
"I don't believe you," he shook his head.
"Why won't you believe me?"
"Because you are Autumn Harpers," he let go of his arm and paused for a second. She could read the expression on Ryan's face, a huge concern that he covered with a hint of adorable humor to make things cool. But he kept on failing to do so. "Well, you are Autumn Halls now, but Autumn that I knew is having everything prepared. How come you don't have a topic yet, when you are supposed to meet with the board like two days from now? I mean, what were you doing while being absent?"
"I was sick, Ryan." she begun to glare as her friend who loved being analytical started to irritate her. "And it does not mean that I have nothing under my control."
"I am sorry Autumn," he apologized after Autumn delivered her words that made him understand. "I am over-reacting because I am concerned about you. I know how bad you want this, and how great it is for the university to send a delegate like you."
"It's okay, Ryan. Sorry, I am over reacting. You are a good friend." she replied even softer. "I think I am going to see Professor Applegate for a consultation. If you need me to help on the office just text me, okay."
"Don't worry Autumn. You can take as much time as you want for consultation." he smiled.
"Thanks Ryan,"
"Please, don't."
Autumn knew that it was her cue to to leave but it seemed like something held her in place, and before she realized it was Ryan's dilated brown eyes that looked at her shy. She waved him goodbye and never looked back.


It was almost six hours of constant staring at her monitor, not until, Ryan peeked on her cubicle and offered her a lunch.

"I am busy, Ryan." she sounded less polite as she thought she could be to him
"But it passed lunchtime and the tea time will be over soon. Hurry before the cafetaria sold all the food."
"I am good."
"Autumn," he walked into her cubicle and stood behind her, watching what she had been typing over those hours. There was no sound unless the tip of her finger that kept hitting on the keyboard over and over.
"Are you going to stand over there and watching me type?" she grunted.
"So come out and have a lunch."
"Don't worry. I will." she promised. Expecting that he would stand for more than half an hour behind her desk, Ryan beamed when he heard a click and  plugging-out sound from Autumn's PC. Autumn saved her work and ready to leave her desk.
"Come on. I am starving." she said to him. Docking her head to the side as a cue to go, while he is staring blankly at her sharp dark eyes.
"Ho-okay," he replied.

It was almost five in the afternoon and what was left for Autumn's lunch were only a granny smith Apple, the least favorite fruit of her liking, a bag of trail mix and a soggy sandwich in a wrap. Accompanying her was only Ryan with his cup of coffee. He was trying to get her to drink mineral water instead of her second cup of joe after the first cup that she finished within seconds. She grabbed the bottle from his hand without a choice. She could read his face that he was serious about this.

"So, what were you discussing with Professor Applegate?" he said, not leaving her off of his eyes before he saw she was actually taking a gulp from the bottle.
Chugging from the bottle, she answered him with drowsy voice. "My thesis theme, of course."
"What is it about?"
She raised her brows, showing defense. "Excuse me?"
"Only if you feel comfortable to share it to me." he withdrew.
Autumn laughed. Freely. Slowly but it ended loud and strong. She never thought that the feeling was liberating after the night she had been through. How she missed the expression of happy to the fulfillment of humiliating someone subtly. Ryan started to wonder where the woman was going to go with this. He looked to the right and left, anxiously, hoping that no one would watch them. He felt that she was making a little bit of a scene, before he, himself chimed in as well.
"I was messing with you. You are my friend, and I will let you know." she placed her hand in front of her chest. "Before I say anything, don't you feel like nervous about it? Because it is something big to be reveal..."
"Okay, okay," he said as he felt amazed watching her positive engine roared again. "Oh My God, what is it tell me?!" he mimicked.
"Domestic Trauma and Violence."
"That is not the full title but I am working on it."
"What?" he looked startled. "Out of many themes that you could think of and you came up with that?"
"Why not? Don't you think it is great?"
"It is sensitive." he criticized. "Besides, are you supposed to pick titles that Professor Applegate propose to you. Is that how the scholarship thesis test work?"
"Not if you can challenge the proposals."
"So are you saying that you challenge Applegate's proposal with a domestic abuse theme of yours?"
"Why are you looking so surprised? It actually hurts myself a bit."
"I mean nothing, Autumn, it is just that, you know Applegate has strong academic ideas in mind and there were no candidates who had ever refused her titles."
"But mine is stronger." she said. "I am not playing safe."
"I admire your positivity but as your friend, your intellectual equivalent, I say that it sounds unreal to my ears."
"That because it is hard to imagine things until it's done. Why can't you be supportive of me?"
"Hey, where are you going?" he halted the moment she picked up a tray of her leftover lunch and started to walk away. She did not seem to care of being polite like a person she always was. She knew if she was to continue the conversation, I would be only ending up hurting herself and confused Ryan even more. Moreover, she did not want him to raise a question.
"I think I better finish my aim for today. At least I need to write 20 pages."
"20 pages? Are you crazy?"
"No, I am not." she glared at him and left. She knew she owed him a huge apology.


It was similar to movie scene, when the actress seemed so shocked that she dropped whatever she was carrying. Autumn's hand were shaking when she found Wade was standing behind the desk. It was five in the afternoon, but she planned to leave the campus at least five hours longer. She knew that it would be a force if she would refuse. So, she obeyed his wish and followed him to the car.

She never loved a person so much. She used to be so cynical of love. She used to believe that love was only a mind-cultivation and manifesto that people like to brought up to cover their enormous sexual tension so that they wouldn't appear as animalistic, and to boost up their self-esteem whenever they claimed that had found the one and ready to start a mature independent life ahead. She never thought to be dependent on a person before. She thought love is only love, an expression of affection. It did not ask for sacrifice. But, it was hard when you have fallen to deep and you went blind. That was what she thought when she contemplate on the blue-eyed driver next to her seat.

She waited until they reached home. The next second after he made sure that the door was locked, he started to jump over her body. Autumn laid and pressed over the sofa cushion and against every inches of Wade's muscles that tensed. His touch was far from tender when he was trying to unfasten the button of her jeans and the hook of her bras.

"Can we do this nicely?" she begged but he did not listen. "Please."

Autumn was crying for help but instead for about 20 minutes she endured the pain.

That was until there was a knock on the door.

She could see Wade was steady and seemed like prowling.

"Who is it?!" he could not hide the annoyance of his voice. He begun to zip his trousers and shirt, while Autumn moved fast enough to cover her body fully clothed and she peeked on the peephole, disappointed.

"Oh My God, what is he doing?" she murmured, loud enough to make Wade shout. "What?!"
She placed her finger in front of her lips, and whispered between her teeth. He stopped but he did not seem please, especially the moment Autumn opened the door and reveal the guest.

"Hi," Ryan greeted the couple who seemingly stare at him disinterested.
"Hi," Autumn was the only one to answer out of modesty.
Ryan was not leaving his stare out of Wade, who glared back at him. He kept the conversation short as he handed her a pen drive and a card.
"I believe you need your saved work just in case you want to continue your research tonight and, this is the invitation for the scholarship delegates dinner. Professor Applegate forgot to mention it to you and he asked me to hand over this. It is one week from now, and you will be asked to prepare a good introductory of your topic since there will be a 'casual' panel that will question you on your theme and purpose of your thesis and Masters study."
"Thanks, Ryan. I really appreciate this." Autumn said before Wade was interrupting, "Can it wait until tomorrow? I don't think there is a sense of urgency here."
"Well, what done is done now, mate."
"You could have called our home before you wanted to come, you know for checking."
"Honey," she grasped Wade's arm to console his imminent anger.
"I am sorry to interrupt your privacy." he humbly said, not looking intimidated a bit. "I am leaving now."

Autumn sighed a relief when the man walked away from their porch, but 5 meters after his first step he turned around, looking not backing down and held his chin.

"You know, they allow you to bring a plus one if you are thinking to."

His eyes pierced against Wade's glare. She hurried and shut the door. Ryan had crossed the lines, and she knew that she got to face her husband's wrath to pay.


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