The unit where we were staying was soon to be renovated so the caretaker advised us to find another place. It was one hell of a year at that unit! It was the unit that witnessed the many firsts in my life with Grey and it was the same unit that made me paranoid about safety.

We went to look for a new place at the neighboring streets. The first prospect was a studio-type apartment but it was too old and not worth the price. The second one was also old and without a restroom inside.

“How could I leave you in a place like that? You would need to go outside to use the restroom? No way!” Grey said with a naughty smile on his face. I felt loved.

My college friends asked me if we wanted to see their place and share it with them. I told them that I had company. They seemed to be okay with our set-up so we went to the house that they were renting. It was a big house with enough room for an occupant of almost 8 people. The bedrooms were big and tidy. The restroom was also spacious. I wanted that place even if we needed to bring our own bed and closet. Grey seemed to be not excited about it and I got it because living with my college friends would mean less privacy. In the end, we did not pursue the offer.

Grey’s eyes suddenly lit up.

“Hey! Why don’t we try the unit where your former officemates lived?”

“That would be one ride from work. Extra expense.”

“But I’m the one in-charge of that so you don’t need to worry.”

In all fairness to him, you cannot fault him when it comes to providing for me. He was a good provider be it appliances, food or even travels. This was despite the fact that both of us were just starting in our career at the time when we were together. Money was just a piece of paper for both of us and we were happy. Grey’s manipulative attitude towards me was one of the early signs of an abusive relationship. But being young and naïve, I thought everything that he did was just being loving. Looking back, I wish that I had the courage to turn my back on him the moment the caretaker of our first unit asked us to find another place. That would have been a clean escape . Instead, I listened to my heart and went to live with him for another two years.

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