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Learning To Let Go
I knew it was coming when I saw the fury in his eyes. They glared, like they were on fire. I drew my eyes to his hand, slowly curling into a fist. I knew he didn’t want to do this, but I also knew he would.
I tried to keep my tears locked in, tried to keep them hidden from him. But I knew I didn’t have the strength.
He started walking toward me, and I started backing away, until I hit the bathroom sink. I put my hands on the hard, cold porcelain, and closed my eyes. I felt a single tear escape down my cheek.
The pain rushed through me like a wave. I hit the floor hard, curled in a ball. The tears were no longer able to be hidden; they rushed down my face like a rainstorm. I choked on my own sobs, feeling pulsing, rigid pain in my arm. My stomach hurt so badly that I couldn’t even move. I just laid there, on the cold, hard tiles of the bathroom floor, unable to think, unable to move.
I heard him breathing heavily over me. He didn’t speak, or move.
I opened my eyes, my vision blurred with tears for a second. We starred at each other, wondering what was going to happen next.
“Who was it?” he asked, his voice shaking.
“Nobody” I answered, hardly able to get the word out of my throat. “I wasn’t with anybody”
“Liar!” he screamed, his hand clenched into a fist again.
“Don’t” I said, my voice caught in chokes and sobs, “Mark…” I closed my eyes and squeezed them, feeling every sharp pain in my body.
This time the world went black.
When I opened my eyes again, sirens were blaring outside of my house. I tried pushing myself off the floor with my left arm, but collapsed again when I realized how much it hurt.
“Don’t try to move”
A nurse, in faint blue scrubs, stood in front of me.
“What?” I asked, feeling like I needed to rub my head.
Two other nurses came through the door, carrying a stretcher. They picked me up and placed me on it.
“What’s happening?!” I screamed, my eyes wide open, tears once again pouring out of them, as I was carried into the sharp, cold air.
I saw police cars and ambulances, their red and blue lights highlighting the dark pavement.
And then, there he was, handcuffed and glaring at me. A policeman had his hand on his back, and escorted him into the back of the car.
“Don’t take him!” I screamed, “Don’t!”
I must not have been heard, because the door slammed shut behind him. I was being carried into one of the ambulances, the doors shutting behind me, the siren started screaming, probably waking every neighbor.
I was so hysterical with sobs I couldn’t breathe. I felt one of the nurses touch my hand, her skin was hold and dry. I thought I heard her shush me.
I turned my head, and caught a glimpse of dried, red streaks in my blonde hair. I started hyperventilating.
“Breathe” the nurse who was touching my hand told me, “come on. Count to ten.”
I shut my eyes still quivering in fear. I wasn’t sure what was really going on.
I fell asleep and when I woke, I was in a hospital bed. I blinked, taking in the clear tube taped to my arm, connected to a humming machine. I looked down at my arm, which was bound to a solid, white cast. I reached my other hand up to my face and felt bandages covering my forehead, and the entire left side of my face.
“Mark!” I said, sitting up quickly, everything rushing back to me.
I looked over and there was my mother, still in the clothes she had went out in, her hair messy and her makeup ruined.
“You’re lucky he didn’t kill you.” She stood up from the white chair she was sitting in. “He came that close to killing you, Macy.”
She walked over, and took my hand. She helped me rise from my bed. “Why was he in the house anyway?”
We walked over to the window, and she opened the blinds, letting sunlight pour in.
“He rang the doorbell” I said, closing my eyes to remember. “And…and I answered it. And he asked to come in, so I let him.” I let go of my mother’s hand and grabbed on to the curtain. “And then he asked me who I was with Friday night. I said nobody, because it was true.” I focused my gaze on a silver BMW in the parking lot. “He said that, that his friend from the basketball team told him that I was with him on Friday.” I felt my eyes twitch. “He thought I was cheating on him.”
“So he almost killed you” My mother said, her eyes glaring, her voice angry. “I would never have thought Mark would have handled himself like that.”
I turned away, walking back to the bed. “He’s hurt me before, mom” I said, pushing up my hospital gown halfway up my right arm, where a dark blue and black bruise sat.
My mother took my arm. “He did this? And you didn’t say anything”
“I was protecting him” I said, sinking into the bed.
“He’s in jail” my mother informed me, “he committed a crime. He didn’t need to be protected”
I cried then, not from physical pain, but from emotional distress. Mark was my everything. Mark was my life.
I did everything he had ever said to do. I texted him every minute when I was out with my friends, just so he could be sure I wasn’t cheated. I even took pictures of my friends and sent them to him, just to prove that I wasn’t with a guy.
When he told me to meet him in the parking lot after school, I ran from my last period to get there on time.
He hit me for the first time when I wouldn’t let him touch me. I had gotten up, blinked away the tears, and let him.
That day was when he found out he could get his way by hitting me.
He hit me when I wanted to go out with my friends on a Friday, instead of him. He hit me when I was held up in the hallway by Mr. Calloway, and was five minutes late to the parking lot.
And he hit me when he thought I was cheating on him when really, I was sitting home watching television.
I was so lost in thought I didn’t notice the nurse come in.
“Lucky to be alive” she said, taking my broken arm to examine it. “Take these” she handed me a handful of pills. “You’re lucky the neighbor heard your scream” she continued to say, “you could be dead right now, if he had taken one more swing.” She looked up. “I’m going to get her some more bandages for her face.”
The pain seeping into my stomach was unbearable. I had loved him and I had lost him forever.
My mother came and sat beside me. “I wish I knew” she said, quietly. “I could have taken care of him…”
I looked into her eyes. “How do you cope with losing someone you love?”
“You didn’t love him, Macy”
“Really?” I challenged her, “Because I had no one else to love. You’re always out, working or drinking and…”
“Your father” she started to say, studying her nails,
“Didn’t love either of us” I finished.
We were silent for a moment, looking out the window, looking at how the sun hit the snow, making it shine.
“You’ll find someone who loves you, someone who trusts you” she said after a few moments.
I ran my tongue over my swollen lip, still looking at the shimmering snow. “This too shall pass” I said, in a quiet whisper.