This house that I live in is not a home.
It is a cage built by my lover to keep me in check and to keep me all to herself.
She has never confirmed it to me per se, but I see it in all the big, little things she does.
Like when she convinced me to quit my job and work from home and now when she leaves for work, she locks the door and I can’t get out until she is back.
Or, when she told me my best friends were jealous of me and they were just waiting for an opportunity to destroy me and destroy us.
I didn’t believe her at first, but then I thought about it.
Stella has always had this weird look in her eye when I tell her about something good that has happened to me, and Henry is always telling me how lucky I am and how he wishes he lived my life.
After a while, my lover’s words started making sense – Stella and Henry were jealous of me.
They were looking for ways to destroy me.
They were evil.
So I slowly cut them off.
First, I started making excuses as to why I could not meet up with them for a drink or a quick chat.
Then, I started to bluetick them on WhatsApp and only like their DMs on Instagram without offering a solid response.
And then the calls started coming, and I ignored those too.
When they finally gave up using modern technology and came over to my house to personally check up on me a couple of times, I refused to open the door, claiming that I was sick with the flu and I didn’t want to infect them.
Eventually, they all stopped coming – the invites, the texts, the calls, the visits; them.
My lover thinks I don’t know what she is doing.
She thinks I don’t see the cage she is slowly building around me.
But I see.
And most importantly, I know why she is doing this.
You see, sometime back, a few weeks after my lover and I “first” met, she broke down and told me all about her abandonment issues.
She told me about how she was an only child and how her daddy had left her mother when she was six years old and how her mother had left her by killing herself three years later.
The relatives she lived with after that – they were brutal. Almost all relatives are.
They mistreated her, overworked her, and most of all, they denied her the most crucial thing needed for any human being’s survival – Attention.
She met her first boyfriend after Form Four, but like all her relatives, he wasn’t good at giving her attention either.
And neither was her first girlfriend, who taught her how diverse sexuality can be but neglected to give her what she craved the most.
She had five more boyfriends and two more girlfriends after that; all of whom disappointed her in the end.
When she met me, she said her heart was running on fumes.
I doubted it when she told me at that time, and I still doubt it now.
I don’t think it is her heart that is broken. I think it is something fundamental, hidden deep inside her brain she thinks she doesn’t have access to it, but she has.
All that does not matter anyway.
What matters is that I love her, despite and because of all these.
I love this little cage she has designed for me so perfectly she thinks I don’t suspect a thing.
I love that she loves me so much she is willing to risk her sanity proving it.
And most of all, I love the little evil schemes that she cunningly plans to make sure that I stay by her side forever.
Like that time she called me when she was at her uncle’s place and claimed he had beaten her to a pulp and could she move in with me?
I, of course, offered her my sympathies, my love, and my house.
But when she came over the next day with only a few bruises and with all her belongings in a pickup truck, I noticed that little victory smile she had on her face.
She thinks I didn’t notice, but I did.
And I loved her even more for it.
So yeah, this house I now live in with her, it is not a home.
Or at least to most people, it doesn’t seem so.
But you know what, I love it more than I have ever loved any other house I have lived in before.
I love her more than I have ever loved anyone before.
In fact, if we were being completely honest, I have always loved her for as long as I can remember - way before she first met me or even knew who I was.
Aah, those precious days – when I used to follow her around everywhere, observing her every move, snapping pictures, knowing deep down she was already mine.
Who knew that in the end, she would be the one caging me?