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“Only one more turn,” I said to myself, pulling into the turning lane. “Then a straight stretch. A straight stretch home.” I wiped a stray tear, one I had missed I guess, off my cheek and hit the gas pedal.
Driving a little ways, I heard my phone singing Bruno Mars to me, “You can count on meee like one-two-threeee, and I’ll be there.” I rolled my eyes and kept driving, tightening my grip on the wheel.
Pulling into my driveway, I saw a blue Ford truck, ‘93, blocking my parking spot and my boyfriend leaning up against it. I parked beside it, far enough back so that I wouldn’t have to come all that close to him.
“Babe,” he said, taking giant strides to try and catch me before I could make it to the front door.
Keys in hand, I was determined to get inside and away from him.
He lunges, and grabs my arm, spinning me to face him. “Baby,” he said softly, his eyes brimming with tears. “I’m so sorry.” He closed his eyes and drops of sincerity fall onto his face. “Please don’t go. Don’t leave me. I don’t know what happened, honestly.” He opened his eyes, and they turned cold. “But I do know that it won’t happen again. I promise you that.”
Using my free hand, I rubbed the C-shaped scar made of smaller C-shaped scars I had on my forearm. Scars made my his insistent nails. “Listen to me,” they shouted. They jerked me around, knocked me down, and were there every morning to say “hello“, every night to say “sleep tight”.
My mind’s eye flashed back to all the arguments we’d had. “Shut up!” he’d yell. He’d throw things, like pillows, candles, and vases while I stood there, tears flowing, scared to move.
The next day, he’d be like this. I’d wake up to roses, and candy, and a heartfelt card. “Look at how much he cares for you,” the devil on my shoulder whispers, the devil who finds beauty in the destructive. “Look at the things he does for you.” Temptation would be just enough - “Maybe he’s changed. Maybe he means it” - and I’d call him back. Things would be great.
Until he gets angry.
“Please,” he says, looking at me and sobbing. His face is glistening.
I look into his watery eyes and step back.