Survivor Story #2

When I was fifteen I met a sweet boy who helped me across monkey bars. He gave me the hope I wasn’t as dirty and broken as I felt.

One month later, I waited anxiously by the home phone for a call.

I should have seen the signs. The way his eyes tightened along with his fists on our first date at a run down pizza place when I said something he didn’t like.

I should have known when he grabbed my arm while dancing because I talked to his friend for too long.

I should have known when he told me, “no one could love you as much as me.”

I should have known when I spilled a cup of water all over his car and his fists grew white on the steering wheel as his voice screamed above the roar of his truck.

I started to put the pieces together when he hit the wall instead of me when I didn’t do what he told me to.

I denied it when he sent me flowers the next day with a cursive note and the three words I ached for.

I pushed it aside when my best friend pointed out that I wasn’t hanging out with her anymore because I spent all my time with him. I thought it was strange because he said the same thing.

I hid it with concealer when his hand went around my neck one night when I spoke out of turn.

I blamed it on a curling iron when I had two handprint sized bruises on my wrists.

I knew it on my eighteenth birthday as I walked into a mutely colored linoleum tile floor and my name was called. That day I walked out of the therapists’ office knowing it wasn’t all in my head and I took the first steps towards freedom.

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