Sorry I’ve been slacking on the story continuation. I’ve been stressed and sick and have had neither the physical nor the emotional energy necessary to go back to this.
Trigger warnings for relationship abuse and self-harm.
After that, something broke, not that it had worked well to begin with. But I stopped pretending, even to him, that he wouldn’t do it again. He stopped pretending to be sorry.
I suppose I could have handled it better, in that world where people aren’t people but are perfect instead. Technically, I could have done a lot of things other than what I did, which was to watch our conversations for the moment where I could provoke him. I had resigned myself to the fact that it was going to happen, that I was going to feel humiliated because I kept letting it happen, because I stayed. The least I could do was take control of when and why it happened.
“Your bra strap is showing. It makes you look trashy.”
“Don’t call me trashy. It makes you sound like an asshole.”
He’d pinch at the ribs under my arms, right where the bra band would be. To remind me.
“Are you coming out in those shorts?”
“You afraid the bruises will show?”
And there would be more bruises, this time on the insides of my thighs.
The hitting hurt, yes, and the pinching and the shoving. But it hurt my pride more than anything else, that someone used my body this way, that I let him use me this way.
But I stayed because I refused to be the one to back down.