I started noticing something was odd the first time I met your parents. They were pleasant enough, if a little quiet, but there was something.....clinical about them. Everything they did from opening the door for us to waving us goodbye had an air of rehearsed precision.
After seeing the practically robotic way your father sliced the Sunday roast and placed each perfectly sheared slabs of perfectly cooked beef onto the perfectly warmed plates I started seeing everything you did in a new, eerie light. Things I'd passed off as coincidence or just habit became red flags. For instance, every time you woke up, your hair was already perfect. No need to wash, brush or straighten your already tamed locks. No girlfriend before you, and there'd been a few, ever left the house without at least a cursory comb through. but there you were, bounding out of bed at 6.47 (always 6.47, something else I'd noticed) and tossing your hair back over your left shoulder before blowing me a kiss and leaving for work. You always left the room naked, but came back from work in your jeans & blouse, hair perfect as ever.
Where did you get dressed?
For weeks (I think) I tried to convince myself that I was being stupid, but it wasn't just your perfection that made me uneasy. Seeing the broken plate in the kitchen, the one resting on the sideboard by itself, was making me feel ill. Fine, I'll throw it away. The same thought every day. Why didn't I get rid of it? Come to think of it, besides seeing you and the plate what else did I do with my days?
I tried to make a list, naming all the things I did the previous day. I could remember nothing. Not even going to the toilet. I woke, kissed you goodbye, you came home, we made love, we slept. What was I doing without you around?
Things changed after I wrote the list. My days were more varied but not enough for me to stop being suspicious. I would get letters but no bills.. Letters from friends long forgotten but now keen to get back in touch, written with bold promises of amazing days out once they had the time to visit. No-one visited. In fact, aside from you and your Stepfordian parents I hadn't seen anyone else.
Yesterday (I think), I tried to leave the house on my own.
A searing pain to my temples.
A sense of loss.
We had argued, again. My excuses and borrowed time had run out and the kitchen became a battleground. I ducked as the plate was thrown at my head but it struck sharp and true.
I can hear my parents now, and the Doctor. It is 6.47.
Time to wake up.