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My Fatal Flaw
“You need to do this for me so I can feel like I have something left to hold on to”. Those words hurt to hear. I didn’t want to let him think that I was stupid enough to fall for this manipulation. I’m scared. I have nowhere to go and his grip on my arm shows no remorse. He doesn’t care about how I feel. I know all of his head games in and out. Does he really think I’m that naive? I can’t let it happen. Not here, not under these circumstances.
“I have to go, I can’t stay any longer otherwise I’ll be in big trouble,” I say.
“We’re done. If you can’t do this, then there’s no saving us”. He replies.
“Is… Is everything alright over here?” a staff member walks by and asks.
“No, yeah, everything is fine,” He says while I manage to get out of his grip.
“Alright, just checking” The teacher replies.
What has my life come to? We’re not even supposed to be seeing each other yet here I am after school against my will being manipulated by someone I hate to see. But somehow, I just can’t escape him. I can hear the biggest sigh come from him as I’m fast-walking down the hallway. ‘Don’t even think about looking back. You know what he’s trying to do, it’s one of his “feel sorry for me” tactics’ I remind myself. There are so many things I’d love to say to him. Things that I’ve been holding in for a very long time. He’s put me through hell and back and all I get for dealing with him is a sigh. Apparently, it’s all my fault that things went south between us. We have been together for two whole years and he thinks I haven’t caught on to his lies and everything in between. It’s truly pathetic. The minute I step outside I feel a wave of relief. My mom is waiting for me to come out of school in our family truck.
“What took you so long to get out of there? I thought you just had to retake a test?” She says.
“It was a really hard test, I’m sorry I won’t take as long next time” I reply feeling as guilty as ever.
The truth is, I really did take a test. I was just dealing with an idiot who doesn’t know how to keep it in his pants afterward. When I get home, I know I’m safe. I don’t have to see him or talk to him or anything like that. That’s until he starts blowing up my email telling me that it’s all my fault how we have so many problems. But the thing is, I learned a lot from him. I learned how to tell people what they wanted to hear. This is something I became really good at. Of course, he would stalk me and harass me both inside and outside of school, but I was numb to it. I was so used to it that I just gave up trying to do anything about it. My mind became a weird place. I felt sick to my stomach at the sight of his face. As soon as I’m done calming him down, I tell him I’m going to bed. By this time, it’s around 7 pm. Who knew that he’d fall for something so stupid? I’d never go to bed at 7. Instead of sleeping, I finally find some time to relax from everyone and everything. I turn on the tv and lay down with my cat. He’s the only one who actually shows me affection. I do the same thing every night. It’s an ongoing cycle that repeats itself over again. I can’t take it anymore. I have nobody. After being lost in my thoughts for a couple of hours, I actually decide to go to bed. Going to bed is the worst part of my day. It’s where my thoughts all come together and eat at my emotions. Sometimes I cry, and then I start to wonder what I have left to live for. I’m going behind my family's back and seeing someone who I’m not allowed to. It’s really hard keeping up with all of it. I have to try and keep my relationship halfway stable while hiding it from my parents all while I’m being abused by the same person who I’m trying not to lose. He tells me that nobody will ever love me. He tells me lots of things. He once said that he'll dump me and kill himself if I got any piercings. So I got 5 of them. I knew he was just trying to control me. So I proved him wrong. He didn’t leave me nor did he off himself. I had to show him that I was in charge of my own body and that he had no control or any say in what I did. He had a whole list of things he didn’t want me doing. No piercings, no drinking energy drinks, no talking to other guys (even my close friends), no talking to my best friends, no hanging out with anyone, just to name a few. He has some of the oddest of “rules”. These are all things that I think about as I’m trying to sleep. I do this every night just to repeat the same exact day over and over again. I’m exhausted, both mentally and physically. There’s so much expected from me and it’s draining. I let everything go. My social life, my grades suffered the most, my relationships with everyone around me, everything. I hate school. The only good part is talking to the few people that will listen. They weren’t very supportive but I had to take what I could get. If that meant talking to people that are a tiny bit judgemental, then I’m all for it. Lunchtime is my favorite. I get to let out all of my frustrations to my friends that I still had left.
“Just leave him, you’ll be so much happier and you won’t have to worry about hiding it anymore,” My friend says.
“But you don’t understand, I’m stuck and I don’t want to give up yet,” I say.
“Have you talked to the school about him following you around and skipping class to watch you?” She asks.
“Yeah, all they did was come up with a useless safety plan” I reply.
We have similar conversations every day. She’s really the only person I can talk to nowadays. But in the back of my mind, I always have to try and think of ways to make us work out.
“Look at all he’s done to you. He lies about everything, he cheats, he’s forced you to do awful things, and lord knows what else. You have to leave”
She’s right. I have to leave. But now is not the time. I needed things to change but I had to find my own way out. Not the way that everyone was telling me. I hate listening to them nag at me. Nobody understands. The school day drags on at an awfully slow pace. I’m walking to my last class of the day and I sit down in my spot in the back of the classroom. Another girl in my grade is sitting next to me.
“Hey did you hear that there’s a new kid coming next week? The principal asked me to show her around and pretty much be her guide since we have all the same classes” She says to me.
“Really? Where’s she from” I ask.
“I have no idea but I hope she’s nice” she replies.
I don’t really think much of it. We get new kids all the time and it’s not exactly a huge deal. The next week rolls around and I see her. We have almost all of our classes together. She doesn’t seem too friendly. I could have sworn she gave me a dirty look in class. I’ve noticed that she’s getting to be pretty good friends with the people I’m associated with. Of course, I’m not supposed to be talking to other people but I do it anyway. I don’t care what he says, I’m done being isolated. I have to be careful though. As long as he doesn’t see me talking to these few specific people, I’m in the clear. Before I know it, me and the new girl are really close friends. Not even a few days after I make this new friend,
“You need to stay away from her or we are done. I’m not going to deal with you being friends with her” The devil speaks up.
“Well it’s a good thing she’s my friend and not yours huh?” I say.
That was a pretty risky thing to say but it feels pretty good getting it out. He’s very angry with me. I don’t care though. I never cared too much when he was upset because I’m used to it. I always have my ways of making him shut up. Me and my new friend became inseparable. We were attached at the hip whenever we were together. It feels pretty nice finally having someone other than my cats. It’s so weird how that works. How someone can come into your life like that and ease all the pain just enough for you not to be so miserable. She comes to my house every weekend. Word got out that we were hanging out every weekend and soon enough, one day, me and my best friend are waiting at the bus stop to go to my house for the weekend. I feel a tap on my shoulder and then a hand around my arm. I knew who it was. It’s hard to forget the hands that weren’t so kind to me.
“Don’t tell me she’s going over to your house. Is she? Tell me right now” he angrily exclaims while two inches from my face.
“I don’t know, what are you going to do if she is?” I say hesitantly.
I grin as I say this because something about him being this angry is actually quite funny. He just looks so ridiculous I can’t help but laugh at his stupid face. It’s pathetic. Why on earth would he go this far to make me feel like the bad guy? He’s such a spaz. I swear I saw him foaming at the mouth. I break out of his grip and get on the bus with my friend.
“What was that all about?” she asks.
“This time he’s mad because I have a friend” I reply.
We finally made it to my house.
“Why are you with that scumbag anyways?” she asks again
I tell her that it’s hard to explain. It’s really not that hard to explain, I just don’t want to talk about it. She already knows everything that has happened so seeing him do what he did was no surprise. As the weekend ends, I grow lonely. When me and my best friend aren’t together, I have absolutely nobody. At school, I go to my counselor quite a bit, 50 times a week it seems like. Here I am again, finding myself skipping algebra to go see her.
“What brings you in today?” she asks.
“The usual” I reply.
I don’t feel safe being in the same building as my “significant other” as if he even deserves that title. He’s not significant anymore nor is he my “other half”. He’s more of a monster. Not the ones in movies though. Like the ones who have an awful stare and a limp that are just scary to look at. The ones that just watch you in your sleep. Me and the counselor just talk about what I can do to get out of my situation. Most of it is just me angrily letting out my frustrations about the whole thing. I never feel any emotions unless I’m thinking about all of the messed up things he’s done. He ruined everything in my life. Months and months go by and things only get worse. I start to get even more careless which is something I never thought I’d do considering I never thought I could care any less. I have no will to live. I don’t care about school. I feel like I’m drowning. Every day drags on ever so slowly and my nights go even slower. The pressure in my body is so immense that I feel like I no longer have a body. I just feel like this life I’ve been given is a cycle of pain anymore. I guess you could compare me to a zombie. I couldn’t tell you the last time I had hope in anything. I can’t take it anymore. He’s so draining and I don’t feel like I’m alive anymore.
“If you do this I’ll kill myself”
“I’m leaving you if I see you talking to this person”
“Please do this one thing for me, I’m tired of waiting”
“The reason we’re so messed up is because you won’t do it for me”
That’s all I hear. It’s sickening. I want so badly to leave, but I’m scared. Not only am I scared but I don’t want to give up on something that I have put so much of myself into for the last 2 years. I’m scared of what will happen. How would I even leave him? If I get caught talking to him I’m in major trouble. I got my phone taken away months ago and I had to block him on my computer. But I have an idea, I can do it the way we used to. But do I really want to? Maybe we can make it work if he just turns into a whole new person. Maybe if I just do what he tells me to then everything will be okay again. Except it won’t be the same because we can’t see or talk to each other. But maybe we can stick it out until I turn 18 and I can move out and we can be together. But the thing is, I’m 14, a freshman in high school. That’s 4 more years of abuse that I just can’t take. Is it really worth it?
I need time. Lots of time to think. What will happen if I do? I think to myself. It’ll go one of two ways. One, he agrees we need to split up and I can live happily ever after without ever having to worry about him bothering me again, or two, he flips his lid and acts out like a psycho.
Tuesday, May 7th, 2019: I’m sitting in science class with the biggest watermelon in my stomach made of nerves and quite possibly vomit. I’ve thought long and hard lately and I might regret doing this, but I have to.
Hey, I’m sorry, but this is for the best. I’ve been thinking and I believe it’s best that I end this. You’ve treated me like nothing but dirt. You don’t love me, you don’t care about me, and you don’t care about the fact that you hurt me. You haven’t even tried to make up for it. You know all that you did yet you still think I haven’t learned the little head games you like to play. We’re done. Don’t try to change my mind.
Wow, that was hard. But it felt weird writing that. I look around the room to find someone that could give him the note. The girl that sits behind me has her next class with him. She and I are those casual friends that only hang out at school.
“Hey, do you by chance want to give this to him? It’s really important, I’m leaving him.” I say.
“Wait really? Actually? Sure I will!” she replies.
She seems awfully excited. I don’t blame her though. If someone wanted to include me in something like that, I’d feel pretty special too. There it is again, that gut-wrenching feeling where my stomach feels inflated like a hot air balloon but it’s completely empty. But this wasn't any small balloon. I could feel it in my chest, creeping up through my throat and into my brain. There’s no going back now. Now all I can do is sit here and anxiously wait for the bell to ring so she can give him the note. I distract myself by blasting a song on repeat through my earbuds. It actually works better than I thought. Finally, I hear the ring of the bell telling us to go to our next class. I’m feeling so many different emotions it’s really crazy. I can feel little shivers go through my spine while I make my way to my next class. It was like being on a rollercoaster, the adrenaline rush is like nothing I’ve ever felt before. As I open the door to the classroom and make my way to my seat, every ounce of my body feels a thousand times lighter. I can’t even describe the feeling. For the first time in months, I was happy and I was excited and I felt like I could breathe for once. I finally caught a break. I’m not sad, or upset, or angry, or anything at all. It’s actually over.
Wednesday, May 8th: I feel great. But the greatest thing of all is seeing him cry. I watch him bawl like a little baby, face all red and everything when I walk by. I smile and laugh at him. This is the greatest part of my day. Some people are a joy to see miserable when they deserve it. I’ve never been so proud to make someone cry. I’m on my way to class when one of our mutual friends hands me a notebook. They tell me not to open it until I get to class so that’s what I do. I can’t believe my eyes when I read what is scribbled on those pages.
“You’re mine forever…..... You’re not leaving me……... We’re stuck together……... You’ll always be mine and nothing will ever change that…….”
Actually, I can believe that he’d do this. I actually am a little scared by what has been given to me. Me and my best friend share this class so I call her over to my desk.
“Look what he wrote, what should I do?” I ask.
“That’s not only stalker behavior, but that also psychotic and you need to report it or I will” She replies.
She’s always blunt, that’s one of the things I like about her. I hand her the notebook.
“I don’t care what you do with it. Keep it, burn it, throw it away, I don’t care just keep it away from me.” I tell her as I give it to her.
My mood goes from pretty amazing to scared for my life. He had written not a note, but a whole entire notebook about how he wasn’t letting me leave him. But lucky for me, I’ve never been dumb enough to fall for that. I don’t care what he says, we’re done and it’s final. After two whole years of being treated like and an object, I learned not to give my all to people who don’t deserve it. This is my fatal flaw.