Disclaimer: If I owned these characters there would be no need of fanfiction.

Yesterday's Phantasy

part i

I sat through it all, every last horrible word. Every detail so carefully described, so intensely thorough. I waited patiently for the end of her tale, praying it would come soon to halt the disturbing images invading my heart.

The only time my Cathy ever loves me is when we pretend to be someone else. When we dance, on stage, dressed as times long ago where all you had to do was slay a dragon for your princess and she'd give you a happily ever after.

In reality... in reality my wife carries no want for me. I use to foolishly wish for her to live more in the realm of our united fantasy so I could bask in the debilitating light of her loving a little longer. Just a little longer. Just a little more. How very selfish I was!

With bitter resignation I accept the fruits of my velleity. My wife's torment so beautifully genuine, so inescapable, I'm forced into motion.

She believed wholeheartedly that by telling her tale I would leave Yolanda and our marriage would be healed. We would become the perfect couple and obtain the happily ever after we portray in mimicry in darkened theaters. I carry no delight in my victory of wounding her with my passing affair with her enemy. I love her too much to have ever entertained the thought of feeling anything but wretchedness over hurting her.

If only she hadn't gone to such extremes. If only she wasn't prone to such extremes. I should have known though; she's given me enough warnings in the past to have been prepared for anything. But her words! Oh, the things she said. I will forever bear the scar of her desperation driving her to speak of such atrocities. Paper flowers swaying in the breeze born of swings hung from rafters.... children voraciously devouring the sun's kiss on nude bodies cushioned by an old mattress... virginity ensnared in a mother's greedy scheme... shadow danseurs forever bounding away in the gloom... little blonde brothers expiring from maternal sufferance... innocence wilting in a dusty old attic, forgotten by the world. What a Rapunzel my lovely turned out to be! Locked away up high, never allowed to touch the grass below, forever longing to be free. Now...

Now my fair Rapunzel awaits her freedom in another tower. In stunned silence she watched as the curtain fell after her swan song. Barely did she blink when the curtain rose on another act... this time featuring a beauty confined in isolation by a horrible beast.

I always was a beast to her. In her perception and sadly in my reality too. But this beast does not await her love to release him from his curse of grotesquery. Instead he has been kissed by the rose of their union, a sweet little cherub of delight. No, instead he awaits her recovery, her admittance back in the world she renounced with her calls of misfortune. Each day he hungrily looks for word from the doctors that she is responding well, that she is responding... to anything.

Alone in a small room painted bright misleadingly keeping spirits high, she sits in a rocker in front of the open window day after day.

Day after day.

A nurse claims my wife requested a calendar early on. It's successor is pinned to the wall nearly full of giant red X's. A tally of the days she's spent in betrayed obliqueness. A tally of the days I've sat on the edge of her meticulously made bed watching her rock to and fro. Towards and away from me. She took my rejection of her truths very hard. She has never said a word to me since I had her placed here.

Except once.

The day our boy was born. When forced to relinquish her embrace of him, she looked at me with eyes full of tears and named him. She named him after me but pleaded for him to be called an amalgam of his father and his uncle that never existed. So beautiful in her state of tragic woe I was taken back to the previous summer when all this started with her tale. I found I could not deny her a second time thus relenting. I call my son Jory, reminding myself with each pronouncement of his name of the little boy that never was. Of the reason my bed is so cold and empty. Of why my wife is not here with us. Of her story told in vain attempt to repair a marriage built on mistrust and deceit.

Of why my heart bleeds with every breathe inhaled without her.

Every day I see her. Every day I talk to her. Every day I tell her every minute detail of the previous day; everything her husband and small son did, said, ate, wore, went, encountered, accomplished... missed. Every day I take her a new picture of our Jory to add to walls covered in previous additions now rippled from the weight of her tears. Every day I fight my internal war of walking out and leaving her there alone with the burden of her troubles. So many times I have wanted to take her home thinking she would snap out of it, that she would magically be okay. But she refuses all help to face her illusion. She will only generate more chapters in her fictitious world. She is exactly where I was for all those years of drinking. She won't get better out in the world if she can't do it in the asylum.

to be continued...