‘Mum, I asked you not to accept anymore packages,’ Marisa sighed.
‘Why shouldn’t I?’ Sophia demanded petulantly, ‘He loves you. He is a good man and you broke his heart.’
‘He’s a rich man,’ Marisa spat out, ‘that’s what counted, right?’
‘You insult me now?’ Sophia waved an admonishing finger at her daughter, ‘The way you insulted him by walking out one week before the wedding! You should be glad of a man that overlooks such selfishness and still lavishes her with so many surprises everyday…’
The room spun. Sophia’s continued rant faded to white noise. For a moment there was nothing but that memory of the last day Marisa had seen her fiancé. Things had been tense between them for awhile but Marisa had put it down to pre-wedding jitters on both of them. He’d been so thoughtful, so loving and generous during their courtship that his temper had seemed out of character.
That last night, Marisa saw the true face behind the mask he’d been wearing.
They had been arguing over something so trivial that Marisa had forgotten what it was about.
Flying into a sudden rage, he had punched Marisa in the stomach. Ribs aching and the wind blown from her lungs, Marisa hadn’t a hope as he had picked her up and hurled her against the wall.
Stunned and in excruciating pain, Marisa had just lain there as he leaned in over her. His eyes had looked suddenly gentle.
“Looks like I broke my pretty doll,” he’d smiled, “Hope I won’t have to get a new one.”
‘Can’t you see how much he wants you back?’
Sophia’s shrill tone pulled Marisa back from the memory with a jolt.
‘Do you want to see what he’s been sending me, Mum? Do you want to know what he really wants?’
Tears rolled down her cheeks as she pulled open the stack of boxes and upended them on her bedroom floor. She heard Sophia gasp, felt – more than saw – her mother’s shock. Collapsing on the bed, Marisa stared disconsolately at the mound of broken dolls on the carpet.