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Love IS Respect - Part 1.3
The common loss of our dads sealed our bond, and that was the day (referring to part 1.2: the flashback scene) Ty stole a piece of my heart. He helped me to talk to people again and make friends. I helped him with his school work. We helped each other to grieve and to cope.
Tyler was the only person in the world who I could talk to about anything. We knew each other better than we knew ourselves. His friendship was the one constant in my life.
My mother and I don’t get along very well. Actually, I was being generous. We don’t get along at all. She blames me for my dad’s death. You see, he was talking to me on the phone when another car smashed into the driver’s side of his car. I’d been ten years old at the time and seven years later she continues to hate me for it. The sound of glass shattering and metal scraping still haunt me in my dreams…
It’s Ty who keeps me sane. Sometimes when Tyler ditches me, oftentimes for one of his many dates, I feel the same heaviness in my heart as I did in the sixth grade when he dropped that emotional bomb on me and then walked away…
“Well,” Brandon interrupted my musings, “do you promise not see him anymore?”
“I’m not seeing him,” I started, “It’s---”
“Good,” he interrupted, smiling; “I’ll walk you to class.”
‘…not like that between us.’ I finished my sentence silently. “Okay,” I agreed as he was much more amicable, and I didn’t want to argue.
When he dropped me off at the door to my class he said rather ominously, “Keep your phone on.”
From behind me I heard, “Why are you going out with that guy? He’s a total psycho and the guy is a lurker.”
We were standing by our desks. I sighed as I took out my notebook and pen. Without turning around I replied, “Ty, you just don’t know him. In fact, you go out of your way to be rude.”
“I know enough. People talk Tay. Someone said he got kicked out of his old school for stalking or something. The girl even got a restraining order!”
I paused momentarily. “Rumors,” I scoffed, shaking my head as I dismissed his claims as idle gossip.
“Don’t be so naïve Taylin,” Ty criticized condescendingly.
“I am not naïve,” I protested.
“Yeah, you are. You don’t understand the first thing about guys, especially guys like him. He only wants one thing and then he’ll either dump you like that,” he said snapping his fingers, “or he’ll try to control you and mess with your head.”
“You’d know all about that wouldn’t you Ty,” I lashed out, hurt by his words. “I mean you’ve practically dated every girl in this school. Let’s see; your longest relationship lasted what like two weeks?! I’m not an attention seeking bimbo like all those girls who must have given you ‘the only thing guys want’ pretty damn fast because you’ve perfected the ‘dump you like that’ part haven’t you Ty,” I hissed.
We glared at each other in a clash of wills, neither of us backing down.
He took a step towards me, grabbed my upper arm, bringing us practically nose to nose as he leaned slightly over me and snarled, “You have NO IDEA what you’re talking about!”
“Miss Edwards, Mr. Jones, unless you are arguing about something philosophical that you’d like to debate in front of the class, I suggest you two take your seats,” our teacher reprimanded us. Every single eye in the classroom was trained on us now. My face turned scarlet red from embarrassment.
I jerked out of his grasp and sat stiffly in my chair. Ty set his notebook roughly on his desk. People whispered all throughout the class, stealing what they thought were covert glances in our direction, well; at least they stared at me. I could feel his eyes glaring holes in the back of my head. I refused to squirm or look the least bit uncomfortable under all the scrutiny. I counted the seconds until the bell would ring.
When class was over I hurried to the door still fuming over our argument. My wrist was suddenly grabbed and I was pulled back.
“Taylin, I---” Ty started.
“I don’t want to hear it Ty,” I interrupted. I honestly couldn’t take anymore criticism from him.
“I think---” he started again, paused for a long moment and then shook his head. “You deserve better than him,” he finally continued.
“You know, maybe Brandon was right and you’re trying to break us up. I thought you of all people would be happy for me, but maybe I should listen to him and stay away from you.”
He flinched away as if I’d slapped him. I was about to apologize for accusing him of such nonsense, but then he let go of my wrist and stepped back. “Fine,” he spit through clenched teeth; his eyes were narrowed to slits.
“Fine,” I snapped back.
“I think Tyler and Taylin just broke up,” I heard a girl whisper to her friend as I crossed to the other side of the hallway. “I bet he’ll be looking for some comfort tonight and I’m gonna let him know I’m free.” I watched her prance over to Ty who still stood by the classroom door and then clutch at his arm as she purred, “Hey Ty.” I recognized the girl as one of Ty’s aforementioned bimbos.
Ty put his arm around her shoulder looking at me the whole time. He asked, “You free tonight, Mel?” Then he marched passed me, purposely knocking into my shoulder, as he whispered “sickening somethings” in the bimbo’s ear.
Ty’s behavior shouldn’t affect me like this. I shouldn’t care so much. But all I know is that it hurts. As I stared at his retreating back, I once again felt that heaviness settle into my heart. A solitary tear silently rolled down my cheek splattering onto the cover of my notebook which was a picture of Ty and me from his birthday party last month. The picture was damaged beyond repair.
Had I just done the same to our friendship, to us?
“Taylin,” I heard Brandon calling my name from behind me. I quickly wiped my eyes and blinked several times to get rid of any excess moisture.
“Hey,” I greeted him when he caught up to me.
“Come on, I’ll take you home today.”
“Sure,” I agreed. I slapped what I hoped was a genuine looking smile on my face and silently tried to convince myself that Ty and I taking a “break” was actually a good thing.
*** Please read:
This is a work of fiction. I was inspired by the Lifetime Original Movie, Reviving Ophelia, which is about an abusive teenage relationship. I was also inspired by another story that I read on Teen Ink by HLFelix called Stick ~ check it out, it’s really good~ http://teenink.com/fiction/romance/article/256850/Stick/?page=1
If you or someone you know is in an abusive relationship, please tell a parent, a teacher, a guidance counselor, or an adult you trust. Don’t try to “handle” it yourself; this type of situation is above your expertise. Abuse is about manipulation and is not restricted to physical violence. Verbal and Emotional abuse is just a damaging and hurtful. Even if you’re ashamed or promised not to tell, this is a serious issue that needs to be told immediately. And don’t be the person who knew and didn’t say or do anything. It could be a matter of life and death or serious injury. I repeat, this is a work of fiction, but for some it’s real life. Please visit www.loveisrespect.org for more information.***