The Unseen Imperfection

March 25, 2009
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It was Friday after school and I was sitting on my couch watching T.V. anticipating the night ahead. I had a date with the cutest guy in school. His name was Luke and he was as close to perfect as humanly possible, or at least so I thought. Luke was tall and had dark brown hair, and not to mention, the star of the basketball team. We met in English class earlier this semester and immediately hit it off. We had a lot in common, although I did not believe I was even near his league. When he asked me on a date I instantly thought, why would he choose me? I’m not like the other girls he has dated, the tall blonde ones that probably only weigh 105 pounds. I was short with long brown hair, and I believed I was the farthest thing from pretty. I of course said yes to his offer and told him that it was perfect if he would pick me up at 7.

It took me forever it seemed like to find something to wear, but I finally picked out a dressy pink shirt I had bought from Forever 21 a few days before. I didn’t want to look too dressed up so I picked out a nice pair of jeans and my favorite gold flats. Soon enough I heard the doorbell ring and my mom called up the stairs “Aubrey, Luke is here.”
I ran downstairs before my dad could get to him and start asking questions. I did not want to be embarrassed tonight. When I got to the end of the stairs I saw him standing by the doorway wearing a light blue button up polo and jeans. He looked so cute. To my surprise he had bought me yellow roses, which was a coincidence because those were my favorite. I graciously thanked him and allowed my mother to put them in water as we walked out the door. We went to eat at Red Robin and went to see a movie at the movie theatre near by. The night was going better than I could have ever imagined it would. I figured he would text the whole time and not be interested in anything I had to say. He exceeded my expectations. One of his friends text him about 45 minutes in to us hanging out, he didn’t answer it he immediately turned off his phone. When I told him he didn’t have to do that he said “Tonight’s about you, no one else.” I was grateful to have found someone that I believed to be different than all other guys. Around midnight he took me home and before I got out of the car he leaned over and kissed me. I was completely stunned and right after he pulled away he asked me if I wanted to go on another date next Saturday. I agreed and went inside with a big smile on my face.

The next day at school he came up to my locker and walked me to almost every class. I was surprised considering he usually spent all day hanging out with his friends from the basketball team. Everyone was beginning to notice that something was different between us, some were happy for us while others could not believe what they were seeing. I heard many whispers in the hallway such as, “Can you believe Aubrey and Luke are talking? I never saw this coming.”
Was it that hard to believe that he wanted to hang out with me? I started ignoring what everyone said because I was the one with Luke, not them. I was convinced they were just jealous.
The next day Amy Johnson approached me. She was Luke’s ex girlfriend and one of the prettiest girls in school. I had never talked to her before and to be honest, had never planned on it. When she walked up she asked, “Are you and Luke talking?”
I didn’t know how to answer that because it was something we had not really discussed. I timidly replied “I guess that’s what you could call it.”
When she heard my answer her face went serious and she talked in a whisper that I had to strain to hear. She said, “Just be careful, okay?”
I had no idea what she meant by this statement and for the remainder of the day I kept replaying the event over and over in my head. When I saw Luke after school I decided not to mention my conversation with Amy, I didn’t want to start any drama.

When Friday finally arrived I made plans to go to Luke’s basketball game with my best friend Brooke. She was not really the basketball watching type but I forced her to go with me anyways. I was excited to watch him play but I was even more excited to go on my date with him the next day. I usually wasn’t a huge basketball fan but watching Luke play made it much more interesting. The game was close and kept all the fans on their feet. It came down to the last 2 seconds and Luke made the game winning shot. The score was 56-54. I thought about waiting around to see Luke but decided to leave, I didn’t want to seem clingy. I went to Brooke’s house for awhile and then returned home around 12:30. Just as I was walking in the door I felt my phone vibrate in my back pocket. I quickly glanced to see who it was from, to my surprise it was from Luke. The text read, “Aubrey, I have an idea for tomorrow night, call me when you get a chance.”
When I called him he told me that he rented a few movies and we should just go to his house. I hesitated worrying that it might be awkward. I didn’t know him that well and I wasn’t sure how much he expected from me. I thought about asking if his parents would be there, but decided that question was too weird for a senior in high school to be asking. Even though I was worried about the plans for the next night I agreed. At least it was time that I would get to spend with him. When Saturday night rolled around I decided not to dress up too much, we were just going to his house. So instead of putting a lot of thought into something nice to wear, I put even more thought into not dressing up too much. I decided on jeans and a black hoodie that had The University of Cincinnati in red letters printed on the front. When he pulled into my drive way I said bye to my parents and walked outside, to my surprise he had more yellow roses for me. Every time I saw him I couldn’t believe how nice Luke actually was. When we got to his house we watched movies like License to Wed and The Texas Chainsaw Massacre. We had time to watch one more movie so I sweetly asked if we could watch my favorite movie, A Walk to Remember. Surprisingly he did not put up a fight about it, he reluctantly agreed. About halfway through the movie he looked at me and asked me something that sent me into complete shock. He said, “Aubrey, will you go out with me?”
I didn’t even have to think twice about my answer -I happily said yes. When I returned home I text Brooke and told her the good news. I think she was happier than I was which I thought was completely impossible.

The next few weeks went by smoothly and Luke never ceased to amaze me. He wasn’t afraid to kiss me in front of his friends or spend most of his time with me. His friends often said “Luke your so whipped.”
This would usually affect most guys, causing them to not want to hang out as much. Luke was much different. He would always just respond “yeah actually I am.” I considered him the perfect boyfriend. I was beginning to completely fall for him.
One rainy day after school I called my mom to tell her I was going to be a little late because I had to take Brooke home. When I hung up I saw my friend Tyler across the parking lot, I walked over to him, gave him a quick hug, and asked to be filled in on how he had been. We never saw each other in school because we had all different classes. When I was done talking to him, Brooke and I walked to my car and I took her home. About 15 minutes later I get a call from Luke asking if I could come over for just a few minutes, he had something important to talk to me about. When I arrived at his house he was standing in the doorway and he didn’t look too happy. As I walked up the stairs to the front door he said, “We need to talk.”
I had no idea what he could possibly be mad about but I agreed and stepped inside. As I was closing the door I heard him closely behind me and when I turned around the only thing I saw was his fist coming towards me. I didn’t even have time to move out of the way before his punch knocked me flat on the ground. When he hit me I felt a sharp pain spread throughout the whole right side of my face. The room was spinning, and it was by far the worst pain I had ever felt. What could I have done that would ever make him this mad. When I pleaded for answers to why he had just done that all he said was “Tell your friend Tyler “Hi” for me.”
I had no idea what to do. I sat frozen on the hard wood floor of his entryway into his house. He stormed off into the kitchen still leaving me with questions that only he could answer. Against my better judgment I followed him into the kitchen. As I walked in I noticed him over by the sink crying.
I didn’t even have to say anything when he began to talk. He said, “Aubrey, I am so sorry I don’t know what came over me, please forgive me.”
I began to feel the tears well up in my eyes as I replied “I forgive you.” I knew that it was a mistake to forgive him but I liked him so much and I didn’t want to give up on him that easily. What if it was a one time thing? What if it never happened again? The last thing I wanted to do was overreact.

The next day at school I heard people whispering about my slightly swollen black eye. Brooke started freaking out and immediately blamed Luke. I told her the same excuse I told everyone else who asked what happened:
“I fell.” I didn’t want everyone to know that Luke had hit me, I believed that he was sorry and it would never happen again but I knew no one else would. I walked by Amy in the hall and to my surprise she said, “Let me guess, you fell?”
I had no idea what to say to that. My mind was racing with different thoughts like, did she really know why I had a black eye or did she just hear that I fell? The only thing I could force myself to say was, “Yeah.” She nodded with a remorseful look and slowly walked away.
Later that night when Lucas was at my house I told him what Amy had said earlier at school. He got a confused look on his face and said, “You have nothing to worry about, it will never happen again.” Even though part of me was telling me not to believe him, I still did.

It had been weeks since the incident with Luke and I had completely convinced myself that he was telling the truth and that he would never hit me again. Amy continued to talk to me every now and then but I didn’t quite consider us friends. Brooke began dating someone new so I never really got the chance to see her as much as I used to. Luke and I were dating almost six months when tragedy struck again. We got into a fight about the fact that I hadn’t been able to hang out with him much that week because I had a lot of homework and my parents would not allow it. As much as I wanted to see him it was completely impossible. He would call me and say “so who’s the guy you were with tonight?” He would also call me hurtful names like “slut and whore.” He hit me again but this time he hit me in the arm, I guess he figured it would be easier for me to cover up. Most people would say that I should just leave him and that it can’t be that hard, but the problem was, I was falling in love with him. It’s too hard to just break up with someone that quickly even if they had done something to hurt you. The perfect expression to describe the situation is “It’s easier said than done”
Even though he knew he was hurting me he would continue to bring me yellow roses almost every time we went out on a date. I guess he figured that if he brought me flowers would just make everything alright and I would forget about how he was continually hurting me. The beautiful yellow roses I had adored so much in the beginning began to give me a feeling of hate and betrayal. Every time I saw him at my door with the bouquet of roses it gave me a sick feeling in my stomach.
The fights grew more common and the reasons for the fights became more and more pointless. He would get mad at me if I didn’t call him by a certain time or if he called and I didn’t pick up within the first 2 times it rang. He hit me more and more and it was becoming a habit. I became depressed and almost stopped eating all together. I had lost 10 pounds in as little as 2 weeks. People at school often asked “Aubrey what happened? You look so skinny.” No one knew about the bruises because Luke continued to hit me in places that were invisible to everyone. I wore long sleeve shirts most days, because a lot of the bruises were located on my arms. My parents were beginning to ask questions and they made it known that they were concerned. They even started sitting with me while I ate so they would know that I finished everything and wasn’t just throwing it away. One night they sat me down and said “ Aubrey can you please tell us what’s going on with you?”
I replied “It’s nothing really, school is just really stressful right now, I guess I’m just not handling it well.”
My parents glanced nervously at each other and calmly asked “Aubrey, is Luke doing this to you.”
What was I supposed to do, they were starting to figure out the truth. I didn’t want them calling the police or calling the school because then Luke would know that I had said something. There was a chance that he would hurt me even worse. All I said was “No it’s not Luke.” It wasn’t really convincing but it was hard to lie to my parents.
I often wished that I would have ended things with Luke when he first hit me. Now I was in too deep and I was afraid very afraid to break up with Luke. If he hit me because I didn’t call him back, I knew he would do much worse to me if I broke up with him.
One night Luke hit me so hard he knocked me out and I was unconscious for a good 5 minutes. That’s when I knew that something had to be done. I wasn’t going to be putting up with Luke mistreating me any longer.The next day at school I approached Amy, she had a look on her face that showed sympathy and hurt. All I had to say was “Amy can you help me?” She knew exactly what I was talking about and
She quickly replied, “Of course.”
Amy and I became very good friends with raised a lot of questions at school. No one ever suspected that we would ever become friends. She helped me break up with Luke the best way that I thought was possible. I walked up to him after school one day when the halls were not too crowded but still had enough people to witness if he did anything to hurt me. I didn’t exactly know how to put what I was going to say, and the sight of him left me nervous and completely tongue tied. I said “Luke I can’t put up with the abuse anymore, I’m breaking up with you.”

Tears began to well up in his eyes as he said “Aubrey I can change, I will do better, I just don’t want to lose you.”

I didn’t know what came over me, but I started to feel guilty. Before I let him get the best of me I quickly replied “No Luke we’re over.” I walked away without looking back. I didn’t want to fall under his trap again.

Amy was waiting for me outside and when I got in the car she looked at me with a questionable stare. I buckled my seatbelt and said “I’m fine really, I’m just glad it’s over.” She then called her counselor that she went to when Luke used to abuse her. I had an appointment with her every Thursday until I was okay enough to stop the visits. I didn’t exactly know how a counselor would help but I agreed to go. To my surprise the visits helped a lot and I was able to keep the appointments completely hidden from my parents. They were glad to see that I was putting on the weight that I had lost and I was now very happy. Every time I told them I was hanging out with Amy or Brooke they didn’t ask many questions. They just wanted me to have fun.

About a week later Amy and I went shopping and then decided we would go back to my house for awhile. When we walked inside I stopped suddenly and dropped the bags full of clothes that I had bought earlier that day. Amy was completely confused on why the site of the bouquet of yellow roses located in the center of my kitchen table caused such a reaction. I called up the stairs “Mom, who are these flowers from?”

Chills quickly spread throughout my whole body when she replied “They arrived today, they are from Luke.”

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