A Million Bucks
After an hour’s drive, the cab came to a stop in front of the villa, and Elijah paid the driver before getting out of the car.
The way Melina had spoken angrily on the call made Elijah feel a sense of worry as the guard opened the front gate for him, and he sped his pace, hurrying toward the front door.
The years they have been married have never been happy ones. He had hoped she would have grown up with better manners by now since she has always been rude to him and has never respected his decisions.
But he loved her enough to try and understand why she was acting this way.
The last time she had done such a thing, it was because he asked her out at one of the events her company was hosting, and she got mad, wanting to go alone and saying that the party was not something of his class.
That night, she claimed Elijah needed to spend more time doing things at his level rather than trying to impress people like her family or some other business acquaintances.
A situation like this was common in their marriage, Melina being ashamed of him and plain rude when Elijah tried to do something different to prove his love to her and make her see how wonderful he could be.
When Elijah entered the house, he walked calmly down the hallway, calling her name out, “Melina!”
It took a while to find her, and when he did, she was seated in the living room, on a fluffy white couch, and the scent of alcohol hit his nostrils.
“Honey,” Elijah called out again, his voice firm but soft, so as not to startle her. “I’m home.”
No answer came from Melina as she picked up the glass of wine next to her, sipping the drink slowly as if she were taking pleasure out of the taste.
From how strong the scent of the wine was in the living room, Elijah guessed that she must have had a lot of it already, and he felt his stomach churn, wishing he knew just what was going on in her head.
“How much glass have you had?” Elijah asked cautiously, trying to keep his voice calm and soothing, as though he were scolding a small child.
“What? Are you going to punish me, dear husband of mine?” Melina questioned with sarcasm in her voice, her head tilted slightly to look at Elijah. “What? Do you think you are man enough to discipline me?”
Conversations like this were so common between them since they had met, that even when she acted like a childish brat, he was used to her abuse and behavior.
“No, I don’t want to discipline you,” Elijah explained calmly, stepping closer to the couch until he was standing right in front of his wife. “I just want to talk.”
A sneer crept across Melina’s lips as she looked up at her husband from underneath her lashes, mumbling, “Like you have the power to put me in my place.”
Those words cut deep, causing Elijah’s heart to ache, but he took no offense to her word.
It was clear that Melina was drunk beyond her senses, and that only made him worry more about her welfare.
“Please let me take you to bed,” he said gently, placing his hand on her cheek.
Frowning, Melina brushed his hand away harshly, muttering, “Don’t you dare talk to me like someone who’s in charge, especially when you are feeding off me!”
“Have I ever asked you for money?!” Elijah exclaimed defensively, feeling hurt by her words, yet also angry that his wife was thinking like others who knew nothing about him.
“Why would you need more when I provide every damn thing for you, housing, clothes, food, what else?!”
With a look of hurt on his face, Elijah held back his tongue, realizing he should not lash out at his wife and say something he might regret later.
Darting her gaze away from Elijah, Melina rolled her eyes, reaching for the wine bottle, but he suddenly grabbed her wrist, letting out, “I don’t want you drinking that anymore. You are already drunk.”
“Well, too fucking bad, darling!” Melina spat, trying to pull her hand out of Elijah’s firm grip. “Now, let go!!”
His eyes on hers, Elijah let out another sigh, holding onto her wrist weakly before letting Melina go. Then he grabbed the bottle of wine, and when she tried to fight him for it, he turned around and threw it against the wall, glass shattering all over the floor.
As a result, Melina froze, staring at him with wide eyes, unable to believe the scene unfolding before her.
Elijah was not a violent man by nature, nor had he ever raised his voice at her before, so the sight of him throwing bottles was shocking to her, and when Elijah looked back at Melina, he let out softly, “That’s enough wine for tonight, okay?”
Not holding back, Melina raised her hand and slapped him across the face, screaming, “You son of a bitch!”
It took a moment for Elijah to register what happened, and when he did, he cupped his stinging cheek, his eyebrows knitted together angrily as he glared at her.
This was supposed to be his limit for Melina’s nonsense, but Elijah felt a sense of guilt like he must have pushed her too far and crossed a line that he didn’t want to.
It was not like he was ever going to hit her, but maybe throwing the bottle might have been too harsh…
Reaching for her shoulders, Elijah lowered his forehead onto hers, murmuring, “I am sorry for making you angry, honey. It won’t happen again.”
But she pushed herself out of his grasp, looking at him coldly, and let out, “You are a pathetic excuse for a man, and I have been so stupid for even-”
“Melina, please… don’t say these things…” Elijah pleaded, putting both his hands on her cheeks and forcing her gaze to meet his.
“It’s my birthday-”
“I know. It’s our birthday, and I made you dinner… Also-”
Pushing Elijah’s hands off her face, Melina scoffed, “Oh yes, because that should make everything okay. feed me with the food which ingredients I bought with my own money for my birthday. When your mates are getting their wives expensive things like diamonds, silk dresses, a new car-”
“Melina what I am trying to say is that-” Elijah began, but his wife interrupted him, waving her arms wildly.
“Do you know what I did today for my birthday… Haha, I had the perfect birthday party at a luxurious bar with a man in my standard, someone who was willing to spend three hundred thousand dollars for me and spoiled my friends and me!”
“What are you talking about?”
A sense of disbelief spread through Elijah as he looked at his wife. He had not expected Melina to spend her birthday with another man, leaving him home, when it was his birthday too.
This news devastated Elijah, and his mind began to race with thoughts, and his feelings were overwhelming and confusing him.
He loved Melina so much, and the thought of her being with anyone other than him was unthinkable and hurtful. But the worst part of it all was that he was aware of his wife’s feelings for another man.
“Do you know what he did that you will never in your pitiful life do, he bought me a car. Not just any vehicle. He got me a Porsche 356 GTi.” Melina giggled hysterically, obviously enjoying the sound of her own voice and her drunkenness.
In desperation to save what was left of his marriage, Elijah reached into his pocket and pulled out a box, uttering calmly, “I got you a gift too.”
Furrowing her brows, Melina stared at him blankly before breaking out laughing, her hand covering her mouth as she continued to giggle uncontrollably.
“Stop it, honey, you’re embarrassing yourself,” Melina cried, wiping the tears that rolled from the corner of her eyes because of how hard she laughed.
Angrily, Elijah grabbed her hand and rested the box on her palm, saying, “Can you please just take a look?”
A look of rage appeared in Melina’s eyes as she shook her head furiously, shouting, “NO!”
Then she tossed the box onto the ground, glared at Elijah, and lashed out, “Your cheap gift will never amount to the twenty thousand dollars bag he got for me! Get that into your tiny little brain, you loser!!”
Shocked at his wife’s outburst, Elijah stood there frozen, as Melina started walking away, leaving the living room.
Just like that, another man was better than him in his wife and that broke Elijah completely down. The fact that he couldn’t satisfy her with just his love, respect, and devotion was killing him slowly.
It killed him slowly because of the way she treated him, and it hurt him more knowing that he was unable to fix it.
All of his life Elijah was taught to treat women with respect, with honor, and to care very highly about them as much as they cared for him and the fact that his wife had done something so awful to him was hurting him deeply.
It took a moment for Elijah to find the strength to move, his feet stumbling and nearly tripping over themselves, yet he managed to catch him, balancing on his feet, and then picked up the box off the floor.
Opening it, he frowned at the heart-shaped necklace and mumbled under his breath. “Why did I waste a million bucks on something this stupid!”