Short Story

Short Story: Interrupted

PLEASE NOTE: This story is not be suitable for younger or sensitive readers as grown up themes, strong language and subjects are dealt with below. Thank you.

This was the fight of her life.

He’d actually leapt at her this time, pinning her with the finesse and precision of a professional wrestler taking down an equally matched opponent.

This wasn’t an even match though. She was only five foot four to his six feet and she weighed a little over nine stone.

He wanted the ring back again. Over and over this went on.

“I hate you, you fucking ugly, fat slag. Give me the ring back. I want it back now! Fucking don’t look at me like that, fucking get it done!” he roared.

Then she’d hide it, convinced him it was in her hand, when she’d really hid it somewhere else in the room. If he knew it wasn’t in her hand, he’d rip the room apart looking for it.

She’d managed to hold on to it each time and each time, he’d given up, hating himself that bit more for not being brave enough to just simply kill her there and then.

This time though, he seemed more angry. More determined.

What horrified her more was the idea that he could be after the ring to give to someone else. She’d heard the rumours for the past two months, but surely…

He straddled her, pushing his snarling, wild face into hers.

“Fucking give it me back you evil bitch”, he spat venomously, his voice up a pitch.

“No!” she wailed in panic and fear.

He grabbed at her closed left hand, smashing it into the wall, over and over again.

She yelled out in terror and pain.

He yelled out in sheer animalistic rage and frustration, a primal noise that lived deep down within him.

“Please!” she cried out, “please no!”

He slapped and punched her arm, pulled her hair and buried his knuckles into her ribs.

“Please help me!” she screamed out, but futilely believing that there was no-one in the halls of residence still there that weekend.

Of course, he always knew when everyone had gone home.

“Fucking – give – it – me – now!” he screamed through his teeth, using all of his strength to try to free her rebelliously closed fingers.

She yelled out in fear as his hands now moved with grim purpose to around her throat…

BANG BANG BANG BANG BANG

“IS EVERYTHING ALRIGHT IN THERE?”

He froze on top of her. She held her breath.

The wide eyed look of horror and panic that swept across his features scared her.

“F-fine. J-just ha-having an argument. Nothing. F-fine” she stammered, virtually incoherently.

“Okay…” came the voice belonging to the man who had hammered on the door in reaction to hearing the terrified screams of a woman being beaten.

Like any decent human being would.

He sat up, still on top her, sobering from his rage, panic leaving his face as once again the shutters started coming down.

She could read the message on his face: look at what you drove me to and now I’m trouble because you would not do as I said. This is your fault.

It is NOT your fault.

He’d never been caught before.

When he’d swept out of the room and passed her rescuer, she triumphantly retrieved the ring from down the side of the bed, like a mother hiding a child from something terrible. It went back onto her finger where it chained her back to him, once more.

A moment or two later, as her wound-up tight body began to collapse into terrible, shuddering sobs, the man who had saved her returned.

“You need to call the police. We have to call the police. He’ll do it again or he’ll do it to someone else, you know”.

Then the usual excuses and lies came forth from her raw throat:

He doesn’t mean it…

He’s having a bad time…

He loves me really…

He’s never usually like this…

He’d never usually harm me…

Yet the stranger was not remotely convinced by her implausible words, now overlapped by tears.

“If he loved you, he wouldn’t ever lay a finger on you. Ever. Over anything. This is not okay. That lads unhinged, love. It’s clearly not the first time he’s done this either, is it?”

“Please don’t tell anyone. I’ll sort it out. It’ll make it worse, I’ll lose him, I love him, I can’t let him get arrested, a criminal record, it’d ruin his life! Please, please, please don’t say anything” she pleaded in a wobbling, whimpering gush of words.

She was so conditioned to defend him no matter what.

The guy left the room, shaking his head with sadness and disbelief.

She hugged her knees to her on her bed and cried harder.

The pain of being with him wasn’t far out-ranking the pain of being without him.

She knew her time with him would end when the balance tipped. But how long before it did? How long before she couldn’t cope anymore with the destructive rages, the tantrums, the violence, the cruel words, the manipulation…? She knew it was months at the very best.

She loved him heart and soul, but if he didn’t change – just stop hurting her, he couldn’t possibly be her forever. Because if she stayed, she was certain he’d completely lose control and…

How did her once bright and wonderful dream end up like this? How come he had gone from the most thoughtful, loving, wonderful man when they’d first met, to a – a -monster? Was he right? Was it her that made him behave that way? Was she so terrible that she made him behave like this?

Her head hurt from these questions now. Her heart rattled with pain.

What thoroughly chilled her blood was the thought of what it was he’d have to do to her in order for her to believe losing him was far less painful than remaining at his side.

To hold on under such circumstances and keep it to herself made her feel weak and simple: too much of a coward to walk away because she was afraid of how much her heart would break. Yet she had no idea that it was because she was so strong. To live with such fear because her heart loved so absolutely was something so laudable, it needed a statue building to commemorate it. If she gave up in 10 seconds time from then, let alone stuck it out longer, she’d  have still gone through more than any person ever should.

Yet she could not see that. Instead, she hugged her knees, crying and rubbing at her painful left hand. She prayed the same tired, tatty prayer: please just be good, please just love me as I you.

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