“Solitary confinement is too terrible a punishment to inflict on any human being, no matter what his crime. Hardened criminals in the men’s prisons, it is said, often beg for the lash instead.” – Emmeline Pankhurst
“All pain is a punishment, and every punishment is inflicted for love as much as for justice.” – Joseph de Maistre
Opening her eyes not so early in the morning, Serena has immediately realised that yesterday she became a love prisoner. A prisoner locked in the place that once meant to be her lovely home. Imprisoned by the man who once supposed to be the love of her life.
Yesterday, after the ultimatum that Mauro has stated and all throwing-both-bunches-of-keys-out-of-the-apartment-window-scene with two of them remaining locked inside… Serena has stated hers.
First, she would sleep in the guest room since she can’t even bear the idea of sleeping beside him. Second, during the day she would stay on the upper floor of their penthouse, while his area would be downstairs. Third, Mauro would not try to violate her privacy to no extent. That means he would not try to engage her in whatever conversation, nor trying to kiss her or anything.
“…if I have to be a love prisoner locked in this house for indefinite time, at least I insist on solitary confinement“. With this words Serena grabbed her trolley still half-opened, a bottle of water and went right to the guest room. Once inside, she locked the door. On one hand, she didn’t trust Mauro anymore and was somewhat frightened of him. On the other, she was desperately willing to communicate him how much she despised all his being.
Serena was carefully observing the ceiling of the guest room trying to concentrate. “Well, I kind of, always knew that the guest room in this apartment may reveal itself extremely useful. Never thought that it would be me staying in it, though. A guest in my own house”. Serena giggled to the pillow. “Oh, right! Love prisoner. Now what do I do to get out of this situation?”
Unexpectedly, given the circumstances, Serena waked up in a very good mood. She was positive. Since the idea that Mauro became a “love prisoner” of his own, condemned (by her) to solitary confinement, entertained her a great deal. Once, she’d read that for men solitary confinement is harsher than any physical punishment. Of course, since for those who committed a crime, there is nothing worse than facing their own demons, without a possibility to escape. Or even talk to anyone about it.
Crime and Punishment
“That’s the most appropriate punishment for his crime. I couldn’t imagine any better, I wasn’t imagining any at all. But he wants to play: he wants to keep me here as his love prisoner for the crime he has committed. No, it’s his crime and hence it will be his punishment. Ok, sweet heart, let’s play!” Serena was venomously smiling, when she heard Mauro’s voice coming from downstairs. He was talking intensely with somebody on the phone. “Oh, I had to deprive him of his mobile phone too.” Serena had another diabolic smile, this time though asking herself where does that come from. “Appears like the diabolic power he emanates is somewhat contagious…”
For the rest of day she was ignoring Mauro. Which wasn’t difficult since Serena was occupying the upper floor, which apart from the second bed room had its spare bathroom, a library, a gym and immense terrace. Thus, the only place the two could meet was hence the kitchen. Yet, Serena would rather starve than eat together with Mauro. So, using the moment when Mauro was taking a shower, she sneaked right into the kitchen and took some food upstairs. A basket of fruits, two packets of chocolate biscuits of 250 g and several bottles of water supposed to be enough for a day, or even two.
Then, satisfied with herself, Serena lay down on the bed which fresh sheets were emanating a pleasant smell of lavender, and opened the book. The volume she decided to reread was “Crime and Punishment” written by Fyodor Dostoyevsky.
As the day before, Serena was still enjoying her time. In the morning, she was making some physical exercises in order to feel herself in a good shape. After taking a shower, in the afternoon, Serena was taking early spring sun baths on the immense terrace of the penthouse and reading “Crime and Punishment”. In the evening she was eating her dinner based on biscuits and fruits and watching movies. When the film was over, she was coming to the terrace and making herself comfortable in the deckchair. Then, for time indefinite Serena was watching the stars, enjoying the silence and rethinking of everything. These moments could last for hours without her even noticing.
“He didn’t tell me he had a wife. He gave her absolutely no warning that he is going to break up with her. Yet, it’s not even that he broke up with his ex-wife. It is how he did it.” Serena lightened up a cigarette. She wasn’t an addicted smoker, though in times of excessive stress or otherwise deep relaxation, Serena loved to smoke one or two. And now with every lingering, Serena’s memory was playing back the events of their love story from the very beginning up to this moment.
“The thing about Mauro is that he doesn’t take “no” for an answer. This is what he did to me, right from the moment we met. First, he convinced me I have to move to Italy and move in with him at any cost. Otherwise, according to him, I would become a sort of deserter. Who is deserter after all?” Serena was furious.
“Second, he has imprisoned me here. Since otherwise he would have lost me. He knew that. So, it was his immediate and desperate decision. Does he always react like this when feels as losing control over the situation? Or better, when he senses that something is going against his plans?” Inch by inch, Serena was getting closer to ever better understanding of this man. “He makes up his mind and states his decision. Like it’s a business. Like he’s the boss of me. Horrible, horrible person. And what’s worse is that I still care. That’s my crime and punishment.”
Serena suddenly felt the urge to have a glass of wine. So, she sneaked downstairs and tiptoed right to the kitchen, silently took a bottle of white wine (at least it seemed to be white given the dark) out of the fridge, reached for the corkscrew and a glass. Willing not to produce any noise, she decided to uncork the bottle once back to her accommodation. She was ready to turn back upstairs when she saw Mauro’s shadow spreading upon her feet in the moon light and him in the doorway blocking the exit. Serena barely managed to constrain a cry.
“Oh no, here we go again…”
What do you think will happen next?