You’d take her to dinner at your parents’ house. Audrey would smoke unfiltered cigarettes while she ate, if she ate.
“Your folks are perfect”, she’d say, wryly, holding her plate up, like a vampire looking for the reflection that won’t be there.
Your mother would smile awkwardly, desperate enough to take this as a compliment. Audrey wouldn’t even offer to help clear. She would read your mind like a witch.
“Help your mother,” she’d order. “It will give you both a chance to talk about me in the kitchen.”
“You know you really could do better,” your mother would admonish, while you scraped dishes at the sink.
“She’s really very sweet,” you’d lie.
In the dining room, your father would be treading water with polite conversation while Audrey stared back unblinkingly, her pupils dilated. Suddenly, she would laugh at an inappropriate point in his Korean War monologue. Then she would lean forward and show him the ringworm scars between her breasts. “I’ve always had cysts myself,” your father would offer weakly.
Finally, months after that dinner, after your parents had broken all contact with you and you’d lost your job, you’d recognize your misery. When you considered leaving her, she wouldn’t threaten to kill herself, she would threaten to kill you. Nobody leaves Audrey. Got it? When you came back from the bathroom, she’d be gone, but there would be a knife stuck up to its handle in your side of the mattress. The next day, everything you owned would be in the dumpster.