Day 2 – Mindless

“How could you do that?” Jenny looked at Rob, disgusted.

“How about you don’t scrutinize every tiny fucking thing about me, Jen. Huh? Let me eat in peace.” Rob cut another piece of raw steak and shoved it into his mouth, chewing audibly enough that Jen could feel each monstrous chew embed into her skin.

Rob’s behavior had turned strange, lately. Everything about him seemed duller. In the mornings, the first thing he’d do is sit up off the side of the bed and just sit for a while. Jenny thought he was maybe meditating at first but one morning she spoke to him.

“Rob?... Baby… Hello?” Jenny leaned over to his side of the bed and nudged him gently. No response. When she got closer to look at his face she saw his eyes, wide open, staring off, empty. Jenny was startled but decided maybe he was sleepwalking. Yeah, sleepwalking, that seemed normal. Best not to disturb him. He’s fine. He’s not doing any harm to himself, or me. I’ll just leave him be.

He slowly became clumsier and colder and distant. Jenny decided the only reasonable explanation was that Rob was cheating. That had to be it. Why else would he treat her this way? But he still came home every night, ate dinner with her, watched their favorite shows, and fell asleep next to her. She looked at his phone one night while he was sleeping. There has to be an answer in his texts, she thought. When she went to the texts she panicked when she saw random numbers filling up the screen. Her skin flushed and her heart beat faster. 

But then… Jenny noticed something curious about the content of these messages. She clicked one to see more. They all seemed to be gibberish or some other language. Nothing that immediately seemed meaningful; there would even be random punctuation between letters. She looked through every single one and found nothing that made sense. Well, at least he wasn’t cheating, but this didn’t make her feel any less uneasy. Something was wrong and she just didn’t know what.

Jenny went to bed that night more uneasy than ever. He was asleep but it seemed like he wasn’t even there. She couldn’t feel his presence anymore. She got into the covers and tried to fall asleep. Rob turned over and wrapped his arms around her. She felt slightly relieved, but a terror washed over her. She remembered how mean he had become, how strange his behavior and eating habits grew and she didn’t really want his arms around her, or even his empty presence. She went to move away but he wouldn’t release her. He squeezed tighter. 

“Rob, let me go.” Jenny wiggled. Rob remained silent, holding her tight. 

“Rob, I mean it. Let me go.” For a moment, she thought that maybe he desired comfort. Maybe he was upset or felt guilty about what he had become. She softened in his arms. “Rob, I’m sorry… I don’t know what’s been happening to you over the last few weeks, but the raw meat tonight was just too much. I mean, what’s going on with you?” His breathing became heavier, but still no response. A slight grunt encouraged Jenny to keep talking, “I feel like we should talk, seriously, or see someone… I don’t know, I love you, but something strange is going on.”

Jenny tried to turn in his arms to look at Rob, but he was slowly squeezing her too tight to move at all. She caught a glimpse of his face, empty and distorted. This wasn’t the Rob she knew. This wasn’t the Rob she married.

“Rob, I can’t breathe. Let me go!” Panic finally settled in but it was too late. As Jenny tried to escape, she was stuck in Rob’s substantial arms until she wasn’t, bones crunched and breath depleted. Rob looked in her direction, but his eyes weren’t focused on Jenny. He saw one thing only. Meat.