May 2, 2010
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“Hit me. I f***ing dare you.” I snapped.

His hand was raised beside my face. He intended pain and I expected to receive it. Whether he meant it or not didn't matter because his hand went up. He meant it. It was the matter of whether he regretted it or not. His hardened expression softened.

We were fighting. Yelling, screaming, cursing at one another. We did it a lot these days, with one of us walking out. But not once did he raise a finger against me. Not once. Not until now. I expected it for so long. So here we were. Standing face to face. My hands down- not even blocking him. His hands over me. One on my arm, the other held up over my face.

I stared at him- not glaring. “Go ahead, Derick. Hit me.” I whispered.

His hand moved closer. Gently, softly almost. Then he rested it against my cheek and his thumb wiped away tears that I didn't realize had fallen. I turned away at his touch. It wasn't fair. He was mad. Me crying didn't change anything. I grasped his wrist and raised it back up to where it was before.

“Hit me, Derick. It's what you meant to do. So do it.”

He didn't move. I didn't either. We stood like that for a long moment. Then he took his wrist out of my hand and let go of my arm. He faced me for a second. For once he stood there, so close to me, just not touching me. Then he turned around and walked out the door. I didn't move.

Derick and I loved each other since high school. We both went to Polytechnic High and graduated there. Then we both went off to college at UCLA. Here we are. We share an apartment together. We have so much in common, but were such different people. We loved each other. I still loved him. We're still here together and so close, but were slowly tearing apart.

My boyfriend almost hit me today.

It ran through my head repeatedly. The thought, the feeling. Then I collapsed onto the ground. The tears were falling, but I made no sound. I missed who we used to be. I missed how we used to be. I missed being carefree and in love. I missed him. I missed Derick Pierson. The guy I fell in love with.

I sat on the ground in the middle of the living room, curled up with my knees to my chin. Soon enough, I had my forehead to my knees, my eyes closed, holding myself together tightly. The couch was to my left, but I did not want to get up. The kitchen was to my right, but I was not hungry. The door was in front of me, but I did not want to leave. I didn't want to leave like he did.

Suddenly, the front door opened. I looked up to see Derick walk in. Without taking his eyes off of me, he closed the door. He looked down at me sadly. He didn't come closer though. He just stood there, watching me.

“Thought you left already.” I whispered.

“Never did,” he replied.

Slowly, I got up and went to the kitchen. Derick followed me in and sat on a stool in the middle of the room beside the island counter. I took out a bottle of red wine and placed it on the counter in front of him. Then I turned back and grabbed two wine glasses from the cupboards. I put one in front of him and one in front of me.

“We shouldn't drink. It doesn't change anything.”

I shook my head.

Quickly understanding, Derick took the wine bottle and opened it. He filled my glass first then his. We toasted to nothing and we drank. He sat there and watched me gulp the whole thing down. When I put my glass down I stood still for a minute.

I didn't feel any better. I stared at Derick waiting for a refill.

“No.” I reached for the bottle myself, but he pulled it away. “I said no.”

“Why not?” I complained.

“You won't feel any better tomorrow.”

“Oh, now you care?” I shot back. He glared at me and kept his silence. I reached for the bottle, but he held it away again. Out of nowhere, he dropped it on the tiled floor.

“What the hell is wrong with you?” I yelled, “Do you even know how much wine costs these days?”

He didn't say anything and watched me retrieve the shattered glass on the floor.

“Ouch! S***.” I yelped when I cut my thumb with a piece of glass. I got up and headed for the paper towels beside the sink. Before I could grab one, Derick was behind me. He took my hand and turned on the sink. He held my thumb under the cold water and I winced.

“If you use those the tissue will get into the cut,” he explained. Then, he took a paper towel and carefully dabbed the water from around the cut. Derick was holding me real close. His arms were around me. His hands, tending to my cut. His face, right beside mine. I could feel his lips at my ear. I peeked at his face and he noticed because he froze and looked back at me. In the next second, he had taken a step back and allowed me the space I didn't want. I wanted to be near him. I wanted to be in his arms. I looked at him because I wanted to let him know that I was okay with this. That I was okay with him having me again. But instead, he let me go.

I turned away from him. It felt like I had pushed him away again. I never wanted that. I glanced at him again and then headed to my room.

We had separate rooms, but we rarely slept separately. We usually slept together in his room. But on days like today -when we were either mad at each other or needed some space- we slept in our own rooms. I laid down on my bed without a blanket and buried my face in the pillows. I hated sleeping alone. It made me feel lonely.

There was a knock at my door.

“What?” I called, my voice muffled in the pillows.

“Can I come in?”

“Go ahead.” I said, sitting up.

He came in. “I'm sorry.” I didn't say anything, “I'm sorry about earlier. I just wished we could stop fighting.”

“You wished to stop fighting by hitting me?” I asked.

“No,” he replied reluctantly.”I was mad. I didn't want you hurt. I didn't want you angry with me. So, I almost hit you. But then you wanted me to do it. How could you want me to hit you?” Derick asked, but then he went on without an answer. ?hen you started crying. I couldn't bear to look at you anymore.”

“So you left.” I concluded.

He shook his head. “No; I stood outside and thought about you.” Derick took my hands in his and bowed his head and stared at our intertwined hands.“I thought about leaving,” then he stopped talking. Slowly, he raised his head to look at me. “I don't want to do that. I can't leave you.”

The tears brimmed over again and Derick took me into his arms.

“Don't cry, Eva. I can't bear to see you cry again.”

“I need you here, Derick. Don't leave me.”

“I won't,” he assured me. “I can't. I love you.”

The sobs grew louder. I could scarcely hear myself speak. “I'm sorry I yelled at you. I'm so sorry.”

“It's okay,” he chanted over and over as I apologized.

Derick laid me down on the bed and came down beside me. One of his hands was holding mine and the other was wiping the tears from my face. I couldn't stop crying. I felt bad for every cruel word. Because until the moment when he lifted up his hand I never doubted his love for me. But now, I knew there was never reason to doubt.

I helped wipe my tears away then raised myself to kiss him.

“I love you so much.” I whispered.

He smiled and said, “I know.”

His lips met mine again and he held my face close. I pulled my hands into his hair and held him tightly. I never wanted to let him go. I never wanted to leave his side. I never wanted either of us to go away.

Suddenly he pulled away, but he didn't let go. Derick looked me in the eyes and whispered, “Don't you ever ask me to hurt you, okay?”

I smiled and nodded.

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This article has 176 comments. Post your own now!

Tracey L. said...
Dec. 5, 2011 at 7:10 am
Well out of all the stories ive read on TeenInk so far, this had to be the best. The first line did got my attention, and i thought it was gonna be a violent romantic story. But it was actually very emotionally involved and i loved how you wrote the story. Good work and the guy was sweet too (except when he tried to hit the protagonist :o)
Traivole said...
Nov. 13, 2011 at 10:32 pm
Really, really, awesome. 
HaleyEvon said...
Nov. 13, 2011 at 11:16 am
This story was AMAZING ! I loved it! The cussing is what got my attention, and it makes the story much more realistic. People are not going to not cuss when they are this mad. People who get angry when you cuss need to get used to it. This is the 21st century and people do cuss. Everyone hears it. Heck, I even know of teachers that cuss during school.
MoraleAsh said...
Nov. 13, 2011 at 1:53 am
I was reading some of the other comments and i have to say i beg to differ. I believe the use of swearing in your first line was attention getting. For the other people who say this is a waste of talent because of the swears are wrong too. Freedom of speech girl! If anything could be worked on in this piece it could be the details and use of figurative language, not the curses. Hold your head up high and keep writing!! :)
sarah4president said...
Oct. 31, 2011 at 11:18 pm
this amazing... I love it!
Angie_101 said...
Oct. 22, 2011 at 9:11 pm
don't listen to anybody who is hating on your story because i love your it, it's good and i would love to read more of this.
mikkigirl2012 said...
Oct. 21, 2011 at 12:38 pm
I love the realisticness of this story... And I know people may have issues with the cussing but those two instances of cussing helps to make a point and to make this story more life-like. When we fight with each other our anger takes over and we can't always control the things we say... hurtful things are said... cuss words... threats... and other things we normally might not say any other time. So the cuss words help the story in their own way. I love the story. Thank you for writing this beau... (more »)
Imperfectlife replied...
Oct. 22, 2011 at 12:06 pm
I agree with you! Well said.
mercebeinyata said...
Sept. 8, 2011 at 10:40 pm
I used to like your work, but not anymore after this one. You really don't need the cussing to tell the story. There are millions of other words that you could have used. My motto is: if a priest wouldn't read it, don't write it.
leneypanini replied...
Sept. 11, 2011 at 5:05 pm
Excuse me, if I'm not a perfect writer who enjoys sugar coating life.
mercebeinyata replied...
Sept. 12, 2011 at 9:08 pm
I am soo sorry. I really didn't mean to insult you or hurt your feelings in any way. I just really, really don't like curse words, and sometimes I can be a bit blunt when dishing out comments about this topic as well, but not using curse words doesn't mean that you are sugar coating life. Millions of people don't use curse words. True anger (and any other emotion) can be expressed without the use of profanity, and all of those people experiecne true anger (there I go sounding mean... (more »)
Imperfectlife replied...
Oct. 22, 2011 at 12:00 pm
Well, the author here is NOT wasting her talents, she was a right to use curses words. I think the story is great because it was reality. Well, the reality is that people uses curses in life everyday. I should know it myself since I always see in my school.
Imperfectlife replied...
Oct. 22, 2011 at 12:04 pm
Plus telling her that you used to like her work is a worst thing to say that to writer. How would you feel if someone said that to you? Please do think what others may feel. I'm happy that you said sorry to her, but please, please just think how people feels. If I sound rude, I'm sorry but I just can't help think how the author felt when someone says like that.
Imperfectlife replied...
Oct. 22, 2011 at 12:50 pm
I'm here to say sorry for overreacting, I just want to let you know my true feelings. Sorry.
mercebeinyata said...
Sept. 8, 2011 at 10:38 pm
It is so sad that people with talent let it go to waste by using curse words. I wish that I could read past the first paragraph, but I know not of the possibility of latent profanities ahead. I cannot read any of your other work either because I know not of any other reoccuring curse words that may have a feasible presence in your works.
writergirl13 replied...
Sept. 30, 2011 at 9:11 am
As much as I agree with you about the use of curse (which is sadly becoming more and more common in the modern day), TeenInk does require them to be censored out, and there are only two curse words in this entire piece. we can't really get away from them in real life, nor in most literature, so I think we might as well get used to them, but look beyond them. 
mmb77 replied...
Oct. 13, 2011 at 9:27 pm
As much as I agree, this story is realistic. People don't censor themselves when they're angry. I think it added an emotion that couldn't have been created if it was censored.
Imperfectlife replied...
Oct. 22, 2011 at 11:57 am

... Really, you read this piece and think only about the curse words? The curse words does not matter when the true point of the story is that relationships are hard. It's beautiful piece and tell a realistic story. I don't care about curse words, only when the people thinks that story does not need curse word. Well, the stories needs them. That what it makes them like life.


Alantis said...
Sept. 8, 2011 at 7:11 pm
Absolutely beautiful! :) it was amazing.
Vixen said...
Sept. 8, 2011 at 1:52 pm
Wow. Love it.. So intense and beautiful... =)
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