Tom was a darling to many. He was his parent’s favourite child, a favourite nephew, and a grandchild. Close male friends revered him, and the female ones felt like hawks circling, waiting for the perfect time to grab him- at least, that’s how Loise saw it.
She also got used to people telling her, “You got a good one. I hope you know how lucky you are.” Her close friends and family also said, “Tom is perfect, so if it doesn’t work out, we’ll know you are the likely problem.” Loise initially thought they were joking, but she learned they meant it over time.
The first time Loise noticed Tom’s temper was on a night out. Loise and Tom had joined their friends at a popular nightclub for fun. One of the girls in the group decided to hit the dance floor, and the other girls, including Loise, joined her. They were dancing together as a group when a guy joined in the dancing. Initially, it was all fun until he got a little touchy, and they stepped away. The guy refused to take the hint and tried rejoining them, so the girls decided to leave the dance floor.
As soon as Loise sat down, Tom leaned in and whispered they were leaving. It came as a surprise because it was still early in the night. She asked why they needed to go, but Tom’s look suggested he wasn’t in the mood to answer questions. She immediately knew that something was wrong. Tom politely informed the rest of the group that they were leaving.
Once they got inside the car, Tom grabbed her arm firmly and yelled, “How dare you disrespect me infront of our friends like that?”
“What are you talking about Tom?” Loise asked.
“You think I didn’t see you on the dance floor?” Tom asked her.
“You’re hurting my arm, please let go,” Loise begged.
“Don’t be dramatic,” Tom responded.
“Let go and I don’t know what you’re talking about,” said Loise as she pulled away from him.
“Do you think I’m a fool? I saw you dancing with that guy,” Tom responded angrily.
“I didn’t dance with any guy. He joined the group and we left the dance floor once he made us uncomfortable.”
“So you think it’s right for my woman to be dancing with other men?” Tom asked her.
“Babe, I wasn’t dancing with him. We were dancing in a group and it wasn’t inappropriate,” Loise explained.
They drove home in silence. When they got home, Tom continued with his tantrum, and Loise suggested asking the other girls to explain to him, but he argued that she wanted to embarrass him further. Eventually, Loise had to apologise for peace to prevail.
Loise decided not to tell her friends about the incident. They went back to their usual programming. Loise’s family loved Tom more with each passing day. He was polite and thoughtful to them. Loise’s friends even prayed for partners like Tom. He was protective, attentive and often displayed grand gestures of love in public. The next time they had a significant conflict was when Loise’s cousin came into town a few weeks later.
Loise and the cousin had been close since childhood. However, the cousin got a job outside the country, and life got hectic for both of them, so they communicated less. After two years of not seeing each other, Loise was excited that the cousin was visiting. He was a cool guy with cool friends. He asked Loise to join him for late lunch at a popular joint in town where he was meeting two friends. Loise informed Tom of the meeting, and Tom seemed okay with it.
She joined her cousin, and they had a wonderful time. They even took pictures together with his friends. The cousin posted the photos on social media. Loise went to Tom’s place afterwards; little did she know she was walking into a storm.
“Hey babe,” she said happily as she tried pecking Tom’s cheek. He shot her a look, and she didn’t need to be told he was mad.
“I see you have finally remembered that I exist,” said Tom.
“Huh? What are you on about?” Loise asked him.
“I thought you said you were meeting your cousin and now I see he was parading you to his friends,” Tom responded.
“Parading me? Tom what are you talking about?” Loise asked him.
“Do you think I am stupid?” Tom asked as he hit her. He was careful not to hurt her anywhere easily visible to others. The conflict worsened once he realised the cousin had gotten her phone. He even insinuated that she was having an inappropriate relationship with the cousin.
Tom prevented her from leaving that night. By morning he had calmed down and apologised to her, claiming that he was just jealous and didn’t like seeing her around other men. She reminded him that that was her cousin, but he argued that he had come with his friends and Loise didn’t understand how men operate.
Loise decided to tell her friend about it a few weeks later, but the friend looked doubtful because she had no bruises to prove Tom was violent by then. Tom was also love-bombing her, so it was hard to reconcile the idea that a man who seemed so dedicated to her could also mistreat her. The fights had become more frequent by now, and he went off on the slightest things. She started avoiding her friends and skipping hangouts. Loise’s online presence also reduced because Tom argued that she was trying to get the attention of other men. Meanwhile, Tom made it look like they were falling deeper in love in public.
Loise stopped telling people about her situation because they didn’t believe her. She became isolated from those close to her, and initially, they thought it was one of those things people do when in love, but a public outburst of Tom’s anger revealed the truth. They were invited to attend a birthday party. Their friend’s kid was turning one. At this point, Tom got angry at anything, so it didn’t take Loise doing anything major for him to get angry at her.
An old friend of Loise’s was also invited to the party, and he hugged Loise for what Tom described as ‘too long’, so he needed to remind her to be respectful. Tom pulled Loise aside and lost control when she defended herself and hit her. Loise’s friend saw it, and soon there was a crowd. When Tom realised that people were watching, he looked mortified.
Later on, he tried asking for forgiveness, but Loise eventually had the needed strength and support to walk away. The friends felt so guilty for not believing her, but she also excused them because Tom was a master actor.
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