Nick Lionel's Girlfriend

Each time he threw his fist, a part of me died, but now as my hand snapped forward and struck flesh, I felt something exhilarating. It was such a strong empowering feeling that I couldn’t stop no matter how wrong it was. I was hitting my boyfriend rather than him hitting me. I was hitting my boyfriend—practically beating him to a pulp. I was hitting my boyfriend; on the inside, my soul basked in this new-found freedom, but on the outside, I couldn’t stop myself from crying like a baby. What was wrong with me?
I was dating the hottest boy at my school. Nick Lionel had the reputation of being handsome and popular, but most of all, he was the most desirable prize won—like his fourteen carat gold class ring that I wore around my neck at all times. These days, I was only known by “Nick Lionel’s girlfriend” rather than my real name, Talia. I used to like it when we’d walk together hand-in-hand down the hallway because people would finally acknowledge me as someone, “Nick Lionel’s girlfriend.” I had a lot of “friends” these days, but they weren’t the kind of friends that would help you out of any situation. They hung around me for the connection to “Nick Lionel’s girlfriend”; I called them “fake friends.” I had the boy that everyone wanted, but now, I wanted no part of him.
He loved whip cream on every dessert and he loved the TV show “Lost” until the plot became too difficult to understand. He’s told me a couple of times that he loved me too, but now, I don’t believe him anymore.
Nick was mad all the time—most of the time, he said it was my fault. I never saw it as a valid reason to be mad, but I’d let him say what he wanted. He had said his share of mean things to me that made me cry as soon as I jumped into the safety of my car. He pretty much controlled me; if he wanted something, I’d give it to him. If he was mad at me, I just let him be mad and didn't argue back. He basically controlled my emotions. If he was being a jerk one day, I’d be sad the whole day. If he was happy, I was happy. He was in charge so to speak. I would let him do whatever, and even if I didn't like it, I wouldn't say anything because I knew it would only weaken the relationship. In hindsight, I’ve learned that you can’t stop the inevitable.
I used to think that he was teasing when he’d hit me on the arm or throw me around as though I was a stack of laundry. I’d play along and shove him back, and somehow we’d end up fighting. He’d yell and he’d hit me until large red blotches appeared on my cheeks from where he had slapped me. I shied away from his swinging fists until eventually one would clip me on the jaw. I’d suffer with my punishment until he’d pull me to his chest and tell me that he forgave me, even thought I hadn’t apologized. I dealt with the punches because the more I’d resist the more bruises I had to hide the next day. Week after week, I had lived with it, and eventually, I just stopped fighting back.
I imagined that one day I’d fight back, but I never pictured it like this.
I was badly bruised, hurt, and emotionally battered to the point where I couldn’t submit any longer. I was tired of being so weak, and now as I caught Nick’s fist in mid-air, I vowed that I’d never want to feel that vulnerable again. My fists pounded into his chest, one after the other—then, one collided hard with his mouth. A trickle of blood oozed from the corner of his mouth. Everything seemed to stop. His mouth gaped open, aghast at what I had dared to do. He reached up with his hand and gently rubbed the tender pulsing skin as I searched his face—searched for a small glimpse of the old person I had fallen for. I raised my hand again, this time as if to slap him, but my hand froze mid-air quivering and shaking uncontrollably. I gasped for air as if I was in an airtight chamber and the tears flowed down my face freely and openly like an open floodgate.
Softly, Nick crooned my name with such tenderness that I felt I’d collapse where I stood. “Talia…” He reached up as if to caress my cheek. I threw up my hand between us, as if to say “I’ve had enough.” I mustered up the words “It’s over,” before I turned on my heels, threw myself into my car, and drove straight home with the windshield wipers on, despite the fact that it was a perfectly sunny day outside. Emotionally battered with mascara streaming down my face, I turned off my phone, logged off the computer (so I wouldn’t hear “You got mail” every other minute), put Nick’s picture down on the dresser, and curled up under the covers on my bed. Who’s the weak one now? I thought before peacefully falling asleep for the first time in many months.





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AnonymousOne said...
Jun. 5, 2011 at 11:01 pm

I LOVED THIS ARTICLE. The whole idea of being recognized as someone's girlfriend rather than your own name.

My favorite part of the whole article was when she drove away with the windshield wipers on despite it being a beautiful day.

Amazing job.

 

Check mine out if u get the chance, they are pending at the moment, though. Thanks!

 
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