Bruises

By
So this is what it takes, huh? Me, lying in a hospital bed. This is what it takes for me to realize that maybe this relationship wasn’t a good one? HA! Right. I was a sophomore in high school, just 15 years old.

“Brandon is a nice guy, mom. Really.”

Yeah… Brandon, a senior, at another school, started off as a “nice guy.” He held the door open for me and called me sweet names. It was nice. I completely bought it. I brought him home to meet my parents after we had been dating after only a few weeks. How could I feel so strongly about him after such a short time. We were together all the time, and when we weren’t together we were texting and on the phone for hours on end. My grades started to slip a little because I would rather be with him than do my homework. Could I love him? Is this what this really was? No way. That’s not possible, or was it?

Our “study” sessions would have given my parents a heart attack.

“Yeah, mom. He’s really smart! Since he’s a senior he’s already taken these classes!”

My parents bought the lies just like I did. I convinced myself that I really did love him. And sadly, I believed him when he told me he loved me too. This was after a month and a half. A fifteen year old and an eighteen year old, in love? No way.

My parents worried. They were concerned that we were spending too much time together. My mom called us “obsessed.” I hated her for it. How could she call us that? We were in love. Not obsessed. Looking back on it, I wish I would have believed her. She would only let me see him once a week and I had a phone curfew. They even checked my phone bill to see if I was getting off the phone when I was supposed to. Believe me, there are ways around any rule. I said I was hanging out with friends when I would go see him. I started using our house phone after curfew. Just because my mother said I should start spending more time with my friends and less time with Brandon made me want him more.

My friends got sick of me never calling them back, so eventually they stopped calling. Brandon was all I would talk about. I texted him all day at school, waiting for the final bell when I could call him. I got to the point where I didn’t care about my friends. I didn’t care that we had drifted. All that mattered was Brandon, no one else. I loved him, right?

I should have seen the signs. He got kind of protective. Okay…really protective. We would be walking around somewhere and someone from school would say hello to me. If it was a girl he would politely excuse himself from the area. If it was a guy, he would clench his jaw and pull me close to him. He would take my phone and go through my calls and texts to see who I had been talking to. I thought he was just looking out for me.

It was a Saturday night. We had been dating about 2 months at this point and he had to work until about 11:00 pm. I had a pretty close friend come to town that I hadn’t spoken to in a really long time, so I jumped at the chance to hang out with him. Stephen is one of the sweetest kids you’ll ever meet. He also has the best music taste of anyone I know. He is always going to the coolest venues to see the coolest bands. He told me about this local show and how some of the bands were people I might know.

We got to the venue around 7:00. We still had plenty of time before Brandon got off work. To be honest, I was pretty excited to be out from under his ever so watchful eye. Freedom was nice. Yes, I loved him, but he could definitely be a little overbearing sometimes. I had thought out lots of possibilities. My parents weren’t home so I knew Brandon couldn’t call my house and talk to them. He couldn’t use his phone at work unless it was an emergency, so he wouldn’t call me. He wouldn’t get a break because he didn’t work enough hours to get one. What I didn’t think about was the fact that his friends might be at the show. And of course, they were.

There were about 3 of his friends there that night. They were guys I had met only once or twice, but they knew me. I guess I never thought that they would see me with Stephen and get the wrong idea. Well, they saw me with Stephen and got the wrong idea. Not thinking about Brandon at all, I lost myself in the music. All of a sudden, over the thumping bass of the music, I could hear all the people around me getting quiet. No one was dancing anymore, but I just thought it was some lame kids trying to start a fight. I jumped a little when I felt a burning hot hand on my shoulder. I turned around to be chest-level with a guy. As I tilted my head up, I saw the very angry face of my boyfriend. I could smell the alcohol on his breath and immediately I started backing up. He held me by both shoulders and started yelling. No one around me said anything. Most of the people just turned around and pretended whatever was about to happen, wasn’t about to happen. I wasn’t their girlfriend, right? So why should I matter to them?

I ended up in the hospital that night. Stephen tried to stop him, but Brandon was too drunk, too mad, and quite frankly, too big for Stephen. Stephen was simply thrown to the side. There was nothing he could do. His friend held him down and told him he would break his neck if he called 9-1-1. I don’t blame Stephen for listening to them. These are guys you just don’t mess with. Meanwhile, Brandon was busy fracturing 3 of my ribs, giving me 2 black eyes, a bloody nose and a bleeding jaw, not to mention the fact that my skin was black and blue for a week. There was barely a square inch of “normal colored” skin on the upper half of my body. I was pretty scared. No one did anything. When they were done with me and left, Stephen took me to the ER. I had been knocked unconscious by that point so I was very lucky. He called my parents and told them I had been in a 4-wheeler accident.

I was out of the hospital in 2 weeks. To this day, my parents still believe I had gone 4-wheeling that night. Brandon calls me every now and then. I don’t answer.





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Lizzy12 said...
Jun. 12, 2009 at 12:55 pm
What an empowering article. I appreciate it however i do think you should get help with this problem......
 
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