Valentines Day, 2009.
"I’m gonna kill you!” She yelled as she ran towards me, the knife in her hand. Her eyes used to be a mesmerizing shade of hazel. Now they seemed almost possessed, infuriated, and dangerously out of control.
As she made one swift movement with her left hand I thought I had been punched. I fell to the floor cradling my stomach struggling for Oxygen. Winded. Something warm and wet trickled over my fingertips and onto the carpet.
Then the pain hit me. I whined as it ripped through my stomach. “Shut the fuck up!” She pulled me onto my feet by the back of my t-shirt and screamed into my face. “I’m gonna fucking kill you!” What had I done to make her so mad? Did I forget to get the Milk on the way back from work? What had I done this time?
She walked over to the window, her body trembling. “Why am I surrounded by bloody idiots?” My eyes struggled to focus on her back as she turned to face me. “Look at me when I’m talking to you, retard!”
I couldn’t focus.
She came at me again. Eyes wide open. Teeth clenched together. The vein rose in her temple as she stared into my eyes. I grabbed the nearest thing to me. A baseball bat. As she moved to hurt me again, I swung the bat. It connected with the inside of her wrist, sending the knife flying out of her hand and crashing onto the table.
She let out a low whine, cradled her wrist and stared at me with her war face. Her body straightened up slowly as she turned to face me dead on. A smile crept through her face. Her eyes smiled with it. She rubbed her wrist again and began to walk towards me. Slow and full of confidence. I backed up until I tripped onto the bed. A twinge of pain was met by my hands hastily attempting to subdue it. My retreat was followed by her slow fluid movement towards me, her face softening as the ‘puppy dog eyes’ made it to her face again.
“Aww, what’s up baby K Bear? There’s nothing to be afraid of. It’s just me. You know what’s so great about fighting?” she smiled again, that beautiful smile. “We get to make up”.
“It’s just a scratch babe” she sat down beside me, and ran her fingers over my hips. “Normally this works really well” she winked at me this time.
“I c-can’t. I think I need to go to a hospital”
She ran her fingers over the inside of both of my wrists and gripped them tightly, forcing them over my head. I let out a low moan, the skin around my wound stretched. Inducing more pain.
“You like it rough, do you?” she mocked, a malicious expression infected her familiar eyes, ridding them of any ounce of compassion that she had left.
“Please don’t” but my plea was no use. That just fuelled her motive. Her face hardened, her eyes seemed to hone in on something I had said, like a guided missile. Another smile found its way to her lips.
“Why not? You’ve never said no before. Besides, whatever you don’t give me, I will take from you.” I opened my mouth to speak. She used one hand to trap both of mine and pressed a finger to my mouth. She smiled, leaned into my ear, whispering “Just like your lovely stepdad did when you were seven”
I froze. I had never told anyone else that. I just wanted to forget it. I knew it could be used against me. But I trusted her. She let out a schoolgirl giggle. “Hit a nerve? Come on, take your clothes off” she started undoing the buttons of my work shirt. Flashbacks met my mind with unparalleled power. That Saturday, in summer. I couldn’t go through all of this again. I’d come so far.
“Stop!” I yelled half at her and half at the memory. Her eyes widened with surprise. I’d never raised my voice to her before. She sat on my lap, still holding my wrists above my head. She leaned into me her eyes fixed on mine. She came so close to me that I could almost taste her breath. Her lips brushed mine softly then she pulled away slightly. She leaned in again and kissed me with such force that I felt the skin on the inside of my mouth snag against my teeth. Her eyes stayed fixed on mine the whole time. When she had finished, she pulled away, so I could taste blood mixed with saliva. She tasted it too and spat it out onto the carpet.
I rolled over into the fetal position holding my stomach, as tears began to roll their way down my hot cheeks. I’d let this happen to me again. I didn’t even try to fight her off me. I knew there was no point. I didn’t have the strength in me. I felt her get up from the bed.
She ran her fingers through my hair softly. “You were great. As usual” I stared at the wall, trying to repress from my memory what had just happened forever. She got up and turned to me “Hey, I was talking to you!” She grabbed my hair and pulled me up from the bed. “Get dressed. You disgust me”
She looked around the room, searching for something as I tried to stay upright. My dizziness had reached new heights.
“Ah!” she chirped.
I remember thinking Oh my God, what has she found?
“This’ll do” she said, slowly putting on my motorbike gloves, the ones with the carbon fibre knuckles. She delivered a sucker punch to my stomach. Point blank range onto the seeping wound.
I fell to the floor now covered in blood. An excruciating pain made its way through my stomach, and my chest, as I kneeled to cradle the pain in a futile hope that it would stop. A pain in my left breast. A tingling. I was finding it hard to breathe.
I couldn’t see. I couldn’t hear.
Was I dead?
Another pain tore its way through the back of my head and down my neck. I opened my eyes. Pressed my fingertips against my scalp.
She had hit me round the back of the head with a chair. I leaned back against the cool wall. I could just make out the outline of her body. She was standing over me. Forcing me to swallow something.
A scarily familiar taste hit my tongue. It tasted chalky. Wrong.
The world started spinning. I was no longer in fear of what may happen today. I didn’t feel happy. Didn’t feel sad. For once, I felt at peace. Is this how it feels to die?
This was not how I pictured my life ending.
I thought back to all of the rows that I had with my family before she convinced me to move out. Why didn’t I listen to them?
They always knew best.
My eyes close for what I come to believe will be the last time…
“Hello? Hello, can you hear me?” a voice comes out of nowhere.
“Do you know where you are?”
There is a strong smell. Cleaning fluids. Sanitisation.
A rhythmic high-pitched beeping followed by the mechanical sound of breathing apparatus.
I wake up.
The outline of a woman dressed in blue meets my eyes. Fuzzy. Blurred. She leans over me. Mum is holding my hand, crying and caressing my cold fingers with her thumb.
“Mum…” I whisper, fighting back tears.
“Shh” She doesn’t look at me. “Why did you do it? Why didn’t you come to us? How could you do this to me?”
“But Mum –” How could she think I did this to myself?
She lets go of my hand and turns away. “There are people here to see you”
My eyes meet the wall at the end of the bed. Two police officers. They introduce themselves as Hayley and Michaela. Hayley replaces my mum on my left hand side as they take a seat on either side of my bed. Michaela clears her throat as she takes out her notebook.
After asking ‘routine’ questions, they ask my mum to wait outside. I protest but mum insists on getting a Coffee, and leaves the room. She doesn’t even like coffee. Not from hospital vending machines anyway.
Michaela is the first to break the silence. “Firstly I need to tell you that you are being placed under arrest on suspicion of Actual Bodily Harm. You do not have to say anything but it may harm your defense if you do not mention when questioned, something which you would later rely on in court. Anything you do say may be given in evidence. Do you understand?”
I nod. What are they arresting me for? I know I hit her with a baseball bat but that was self defense!
“I want to begin by asking you what you remember of 15th February of this year”. My eyes are still fixed on the door my mum left open.
I’m confused. “What’s the date today?” I ask no one in particular.
“It’s Maundy Thursday” Michaela says, looking at the crucifix on the table by my hospital bed.
“Maundy Thursday?” I run through the Christian calendar in my head. “That’d mean… April…?” I frown, trying to remember.
“Ninth” Hayley finishes my sentence for me.
“We have arranged for you to see to see an independent psychologist to assess you; she’ll be here in an hour or so” Hayley fails at reassuring me.
“What do I need a psychologist for?” I snap under what she is insinuating.
They both look at each other then back at me. They think I tried to kill myself. “The doctors found a large amount of Paracetamol in your system, and officers found an empty bottle in your hand, could you explain how it got there?” Hayley was trying to be open minded, as if she could somehow believe me, but I could see through her act.
I can not remember the whole thing; huge blurs in memory fill my account.
I tell them my story…
Maybe this time I will be believed.