Outside: Part Thirty-four

This is the thirty-fourth part of a fiction serial, in 833 words.

Over the next couple of weeks, nobody came to the door with the exception of the supermarket delivery drivers. The weather stayed hot and humid but inside the house the atmosphere was relaxed. Gillian had noticed that the man didn’t carry the knife around any longer, and if she promised to stay in bed, he didn’t attach the restraints. He had also bought her some lightweight clothing, nice full slips to wear that covered her but were not too hot in the summer weather.

It hadn’t occurred to her that he had ordered them on her Amazon account.

Thomas did all the cooking, as well as showing Gillian how to clean the house properly, and help her by taking on either the upstairs or downstairs as they did it together. They had three meals a day, all well-balanced, and she had tried vegetables that she had never even heard of before. Although not so keen on aubergines, she had really liked courgettes, asparagus, and Chinese leaves. And braised celery had become such a favourite, she actually requested it a few times.

He made sure to keep her well-supplied with buns and cakes though. It wouldn’t do for her to lose too much weight.

The hardest thing for Thomas was trying to put out of his mind that he should be long gone. In many respects, they had become a couple not unlike many others. Gillian was completely compliant now. He had put the commode out in the garden, as she could be trusted in the bathroom. The ball-gag was a memory, and after evenings watching television and cuddling on the sofa, the nights in bed were affectionate and sometimes exciting too.

As far as Gillian was concerned, Thomas was her boyfriend. Though she didn’t know his name was Thomas of course, as he had told her to call him Paul. When he told her that, she had sat on the toilet repeating the names. “Gillian and Paul. Paul and Gillian. Pleased to meet you”, as if she was introducing them to other people as a genuine couple. Then again, as far as she was concerned, they were a genuine couple. As much as she was able to understand the concept, he was her lover.

And she loved him dearly.

If it could have been described as such, this was their honeymoon period. She never once thought about that day when he had forced his way in, almost breaking her nose. And she had dealt with the incident when he had been rough with her by refusing to consider it, and blotting it out of her memory. In her limited experience, she believed that she had found the perfect man. He fed her delicious food, clothed her, cared for her, and cleaned her house.

Then in bed, he made her feel special, whispered such tender things to her, and gave her compliments that made her blush. When she woke in the mornings now, he was sleeping quietly next to her. She would watch him for a good hour, almost unable to believe her luck at finding such a romantic man, a good lover for all she knew, and so affectionate.

In the background, Thomas had deleted all the CCTV, and removed the tape completely. Then he had destroyed it in the oven, adding the sticky plastic mess to the rubbish that went into the Biffa Bin. He had also wiped the hard drive on her computer, by downloading some disc cleaner software. All that was left on it now were the online transactions for shopping, all in Gillian’s name. She had been happy to give him the username, password, and bank card details.

His DNA was everywhere, as were his fingerprints. But that was of no consequence, as he had never once been arrested.

When they started to fall in love with him, and become overly affectionate and lovey-dovey, his interest always waned. There was no longer the thrill of control that his father had told him about so long ago. Yes, the sex was nice, but that wasn’t everything. With no fear, no trepidation, the frisson was diminished. And how could this lump of a woman ever think they were a genuine couple? The poor thing was deluded. But her delusion at least made life easier.

The time would soon come when he would have to tell her he was leaving. His clothes and toiletries could just be stuffed into the holdall, to join the knife, ball-gag, restraints, and the keys to the hire car. The departure would be quick, with no protracted farewells or goodbyes.

He would promise to return soon, and that would calm her down. He would say it was because of work commitments.
She would be sad, but she would understand.
She would believe he would come back, and wait forever if necessary.
She would never complain, or report him to the police.
She would never tell on him to anyone she knew.

Just like all the others.

37 thoughts on “Outside: Part Thirty-four

  1. This is so sad…Sad that Thomas knows no other way to behave and sad that he has Gillian actually liking him and she will probably mope and yearn for him forever unless we get the normal Pete twist…Off to find out 🙂 x

    Liked by 1 person

  2. (1) Amazon women live where the weather is hot and humid. They’re known to wear lightweight clothing, or slip out of them occasionally if one is inclined to believe certain accounts.
    (2) I like bruised celery. Beats aubergines.
    (3) Cinderella’s fairy godmother had joked about turning the carriage into a pumpkin, and her fine dress into rags. But the ball-gag was now just a memory.
    (4) “She believed that she had found the perfect man. He fed her delicious food, clothed her, cared for her, and cleaned her house.” Of course, Thomas didn’t tell Littlesparrow that Staceydarling had believed the same thing.
    (5) The time would soon come when Thomas would have to reveal that he was leaving. He would tell Gillian in a song:
    ♫ So kiss me and smile for me
    ♫ Tell me that you’ll wait for me
    ♫ Hold me like you’ll never let me go
    ♫ ‘Cause I’m leavin’ on a jet plane
    ♫ Don’t know when I’ll be back again
    ♫ Oh babe, I hate to go
    But this was a big lie! He was actually leaving in an exceedingly dull small car.
    (6) What do you call a diminished frisson—a micro-frisson, a petit frisson, a frissonette..?
    (7) Fair assumptions:
    She would be sad, but she wouldn’t cry a river.
    She would believe he would come back, and even have Thomas Halloran engraved on her tombstone along with her own name, just in case.
    She would never complain, but would write bestsellers about unrequited love.
    She would not report Thomas to the police, but would instead follow Adèle Hugo’s example by following him around obsessively.
    She would never tell on him to anyone she knew because she didn’t know a soul.
    (8) Gillian was just like all the others. Fat, lonely, and gullible.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. What is the worst part? She thinks he loves her. She thinks he actually admires her overweight body and that he wants to take care of her. She might even be planning the names of their children…It is worse than killing, he ruins them for life and leaves them hopeful of a return that never happens…

    BTW, when is that Council guy returning for inspection? Or may be Jim?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. He does actually admire her overweight body, as it reminds him of his mother, who he used to have sex with. Yes, he leaves them expecting him to return, and that kills their spirit, if not their bodies.
      The council guy might come back. Or he might not. 🙂
      Best wishes, Pete.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. I think it is called Stockholm Syndrome when a prisoner/hostage becomes attached to their captor. Gillian doesn’t see herself as a captive, but this does not lessen the fact that this is exactly what she is, unless of course one goes for the logic of 1984 where “freedom is slavery”. Best. Kevin

    Liked by 2 people

      1. I guess she is also to some extent a captive of her own making, in that she has chosen to remain in her home rather than to explore the world outside. Which is not, of course in any way to excuse the behaviour of Thomas.

        Liked by 1 person

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