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Words She Didn't Say
She looked straight into the mirror, watching the curls tumble down her shoulders when she released them from the steaming barrel. Her blue eyes were tinted gray with fatigue, but she didn’t care anymore. Outlined in black over a shimmering white powder, she could shield the tired eyes. She almost looked like her normal, seventeen year old self with a royal blue shirt belted at the waist and jeans.
She checked her phone one last time. Her parents had boarded the plane from Nevada, but wouldn’t be here for at least two hours. She glanced at the clock: 10:05 PM. Steven was already five minutes late. Taking in a deep breath, she checked her auburn curls again and headed downstairs.
By ten thirty, she had sent him twelve texts and called him twice. She tried to concentrate on the That 70’s Show rerun, but she was losing interest fast.
He burst through the door at eleven ten, breathing heavily. His blonde hair was unusually messy and his green eyes glistened with recklessness. His shirt was buttoned wrong and his face had a strange expression. Something was wrong.
She stood, unsure of what to say. Should she just – say it? Tentatively, she walked closer to him. He grabbed her arms as soon as she was within his reach and kissed her hard.
She felt herself relax. They were kissing, nothing was wrong. But then he broke away and slapped her.
She hit the wooden floor hard, looking up at him with scared, puppy eyes.
“Who’s Scott?” He asked, confusing her even more. “Who’s Scott, w****?” He demanded again, holding up his phone, a brand new crack through the screen.
It was one of the texts she’d sent him. “When are you coming? Scottie and I are bored : ( miss u!” Scott – Scottie was her cat. Steven knew that, they’d been dating for four months.
She started to get up, ready to explain, but he threw her down again. He started screaming, calling her names, breaking glass, leaving her bleeding on the floor.
He was drunk and drugged. She started screaming, but he hit her more. It wasn’t long before she could see anything but tears and blood.
“I’M DONE!” He was screaming, “I’M DONE WITH THIS AND I’M DONE WITH YOU!”
Say it, she thought. Tell him he can’t walk out now. Tell him….
Arrested. Steven had been arrested on account of assault, underage drinking and drug abuse. She spent a night in a hospital with a mild concussion and lots of bruises. Now, a week later, she sat in her room, wanting to see him.
“No” her father had said, “He’s insane, baby. You’re too good for him!”
Her mother had just cried, but not nearly as much as she had cried and screamed and choked. You’re only seventeen. You’ll find someone better, someday. Nobody understood.
Now, as she wandered around her bedroom in a white tank top and gray sweatpants, her phone rang. She reached for it, pressed a button and put it to her ear.
“He’s out” It was Kelly, her best friend. “His father bailed him out.”
Instantly her body became alert again. “Is he home?”
Within the hour, she was in jeans and a black pull over, curls spilling out of the hood. She climbed out of the window and slide down the side of the house. The winter air nipped her skin, but she didn’t care. Once she hit the road she ran, the wind blowing the tears out of her eyes.
She stopped, shivering at his house. She could see his bedroom window flickering with light. Panting hard, she grabbed a pebble and threw it.
Perfect aim. He opened the curtains and saw her there. He stared for a minute, unsure of what to do. She beckoned him down.
Within minutes they stood, separated by the screen door.
“I’m not allowed to be near you” he said in a monotone voice unfamiliar to her. His eyes were assessing the damage he did while he kept on talking. “I left you. I needed to. I wish I’d left sooner, then maybe you wouldn’t have gotten me so riled up to drink and smoke and leave me like this, w****.” His hand almost went through the screen, trying to get at her.
This wasn’t the boy she knew at all. This time, though, she stood her ground. “I didn’t come to ask for you back” she said, smoothly. “I came to tell you something. Something I thought could make you stay, but it can’t. I almost told you that night but…” she stopped to gather her courage and tuck a strand of hair back into her hood.
“I’m having your child, Steven.”