Stories about abuse in relationships are often presented around heterosexual couples, with the man being the abuser. Read on for a short story by panellist Jessica, who has written a piece about a toxic relationship between two girls.
⚠️TW: abuse in relationships
I wrote this story as awareness to abuse in relationships. When we usually see awareness being presented about this topic through media, it’s more often that they present a man and a woman in the couple; the man being the abuser. I wanted this story to provide a new perspective, I want people to know that these kinds of circumstances could happen to anyone, in any relationship, and it could be surprising to know the truth behind it.
Although this story is based on an unnamed girl that is in a relationship with another girl, it has a strong focus on the boy that watches her throughout. I thought this would be a nice way to present the story as it has a focus on how an outsider can see this happen, the boy watches her so much yet doesn’t realise what was going on. This is awareness for abuse and to speak up if in need of help, but moreover, it is about us being good family, friends and even just good people to the people we see every day in work or school. We should be kinder and more conscious about what people may be going through, we need to provide better support for those unable to speak up.Jessica Breddy
She was the smile within the town where people’s lives were busy and complicated and didn’t have enough time to appreciate the world. She did. Standing there, next to the fountain of icy blue water, looking like she owns the world, looking as if she is perfect. And she was. Perfect. Every part of her would stand out, although it wasn’t hard to stand out in a crowd of all the same type of people, all dressed the same with that similar dull look on their face. Her bright, sun-kissed hair blew around in the breeze but still stayed just as soft.
Who is this? This girl who comes over to you with all these questions? Who is this? Anyone else would surely feel awkward if someone as confident and loud as her came over and started inquiring this many things. But you aren’t awkward at all, are you? Youre gentle, friendly smile that speaks reassurance and kindness wishes too much of people, wishing they were more like you. You begin to think she is, as your soft laugh leaves your lips and into the air she breathes.
Maybe that’s when it started, when you thought this girl was different.
I remember seeing you that day in the quiet café on the corner. You walked in and brought a light into the room, your energy bounced off the walls into everyone’s hearts and if you were to look around, you could see a slight smile emerging on their faces. That was because of you. You ordered a hot chocolate with cream and marshmallows – your favourite, and you sat in the centre of the room. Above you, hung the old chandelier that the café owners insisted on still having up even though it was becoming dim. But who needs a chandelier when you are in the room? Suddenly, a gust of wind blows her into the café, her hair is messy, and she refused to hold the door open for the elderly couple that were leaving. She stormed over to you, pulled out a chair and flumped onto it. You welcomed her with a kiss. She was ungrateful. That didn’t matter to you though, it had been five months since yourself and her started dating and you seemed happy.
And so, I realise those opalescent azure pearl eyes of yours never stop dancing, do they?
Or so I thought.
On your 17th birthday your friends met the person you called true love. The sun was out and so were your freckles, running along your beaming cheeks and tiny nose. Your eyes were swelled that day, you blamed it on hay fever, and no one questioned it. Why would they? You wouldn’t lie… A week later your best friend wanted to talk to you about some family issues going on, and being the affectionate person you are, you helped her, took her into your family home. It only lasted a week before she had to leave, but you were there. That’s what you do. you provide safety from villains, bad weather and the dark. However, a few months later, your friends came to you with some thoughts they could no longer keep to themselves. You couldn’t stop crying. You were heartbroken that your friends couldn’t see the goodness in your girlfriend that you could see. I’d never seen you that sad before… not until I realised.
For someone who doesn’t seem to care about people’s opinions, you sure seemed to care about theirs. And, just like that, the only person in your life apart from family was your girlfriend. You weren’t even socialising like you used to, I never see you anymore. Where have you gone?
…where are you?
I’m sat in that café, and it’s been a full year since I last saw you. I wish I knew what happened. The world is not the same without you, no one is here to make each day different. I look around and everyone looks the same, the world is so dull without your presence. I was about to leave the intense atmosphere of businesspeople and the elderly but then I saw that familiar face. The face I had missed seeing. But it wasn’t familiar at all. Your hair is tangled, frizzy, sparse and the remains of last week’s air is trying to escape from the mess. Walking up to the counter, your lips tremble as you ask for a hot chocolate. I hear your voice in my head… “with marshmallow and cream please”, yet I don’t hear you say it aloud. You shuffle along the floor in your worn-out converse and sit in the corner as if not wanting to be visible. You are acting like everyone else in this town. As you passed me, that’s when I saw your eyes, they were cloudy, tired, dazed, and red, have you been crying? I’m dying to ask you if you’re okay but its best if I keep my distance, I hope you understand. Where is your girlfriend? Isn’t this where you usually meet her? I wish I could ask you these questions. Suddenly you get up and leave with tsunamis in your eyes, it hasn’t even been twenty minutes and for some reason you can’t stand being here any longer. I hope I see you soon.
…why did I hope when I could have just gone after her?
It’s been 4 days since I saw you in the café and I woke up with wonders about if I’d see you today. I got up and made some breakfast and turned on the tv… that’s when I found out. The headline flashed intimidatingly in my face- ‘19-year-old girl commits suicide after being abused by her girlfriend for 2 years’. I’m sorry.
So many thoughts flood my brain. Your friends were right, and you knew it, that’s why you were crying, it wasn’t because you felt betrayed, it was because you knew they were right. You didn’t even have hay fever, did you? Your eyes were swelled from crying constantly. Why didn’t I see this? I’m sorry. I’m so sorry.
It’s been two weeks and I’m not doing good. Today I stood behind tree watching your funeral, everyone you loved was there. you’d be so happy your friends came, they still love you, they always did. It’s now the evening and I’ve come back to give you a speech I would’ve said If I were with everyone else…
You’re the girl who shone light in the darkness and surrounded evil with goodness. You are the girl who created the smiles of others, including my own. You are the girl I sat across the room to in the café, we never spoke, I don’t even think you acknowledged me, but I acknowledged you. I’d have liked to meet you properly one day, we missed so much. I’m sorry I didn’t see what was going on and protected you, but you wouldn’t have wanted that anyway. So instead, I’m sorry you felt like you couldn’t win against evil this time. Just know that I believe that your eyes will find a way to dance again. and that I will always love you, goodbye from your big brother.
If you experience any abuse in relationships and need to seek help, the NHS website has some links to resources. Visit here.
Be sure to let Jess know what you thought of the story by leaving a comment below! If you’d like to submit your own piece of writing, check out more info here.