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It's been two days since I've left Nicky and I swear it's been the most painful two days ever. I thought I've felt pain when she called me out of my name, or when she put her hands on me; but I hadn't felt pain like this. My ears yearned to hear her voice, my skin to feel her fingertips against it, my body to feel hers against mine, my heart yearned for her love. I wondered what she was doing right now. Was she at work? No, she usually doesn't work on Mondays. It's about seven in the morning, so she's probably asleep. Just maybe she's dreaming about me, if I was asleep I'd probably be dreaming about her. Nicky and I have been together since sophomore year of high school. We were high school sweethearts. We'd walk down the halls hand in hand, with the hugest smiles on our face. What people thought about us was the last thing on each of our minds. We went to every dance, and every prom with each other. Nicky was always good to me. I don't care what my parents, or my brother thought about her. So what if Nicky hit me a couple of times? I deserved it. So what if she said mean things to me when she was drunk? She didn't mean them. So what if she didn't allow me to have friends, and kept me sheltered in the house when she was at work? That just meant that she loved me, and didn't want anyone to take me away from her.

I'm a 23 year old woman, and I think I know when I'm being taking advantage of or abused. The only reason I ended up leaving Nicky was because my brother begged, and that night that he begged me to come stay at his place, Nicky had went too far. She kept punching me, and smacking me around while she was drunk. She beat me until she was content, then she stumbled out of the house. I hadn't seen her since. Alfie nearly forced me to pack my things, and leave; and now here I was. Here I was missing her, and wanting to be with her. She's been calling and texting, but I couldn't find myself to answer. Not yet anyways. "Are you ready," Alfie asked me as he stepped out of his bedroom. I shifted on the uncomfortable couch to look up at my older brother. He had his black messenger's bag strapped on to his shoulder, and his hipster glasses adjusted on his nose. My brother wore his hair slicked back as usual, and wore his tight little skinny jeans, and tank top.

"I'm ready, I guess," I replied slowly. Alfie was taking me a tattoo shop that he worked at. 47th Street Ink to be exact. It was one of the biggest tattoo shops in the city. Everyone rushed to get tattoos at 47th Street Ink because they had such wonderful artists. My brother was a great artist. Ever since we were little he'd always draw these intricate, complex doddles. I'd always try to mimic his drawings, but I failed horribly. Unfortunately, I didn't get the artistic trait. Alfie was an amazing older brother. He always looked out for me, and made it his business to be in my business. I'd always try to hide things away from him, but he'd always find a way to find out my deepest and darkest secrets. Whether I liked it or not, I was an open book to Alfie. I reached down to grab the few bags I had, but Alfie picked them up for me. "Thanks," I mumbled, and he just gave me a soft smile.

I was a bit nervous. Alfie was making me stay with someone I didn't know. Supposedly, it was the chick who owned the tattoo parlor that he worked at. He said she'd help me get through some things, and open me back up to different stuff. Whatever that means. I wasn't too fond of Alfie just shipping me off to a stranger. Making friends wasn't exactly the best thing I was good at. "Come on. Don't be scared, Fin. You'll love Jersey. Trust me you'll love sleeping over at her place better than on my couch." God, Alfie's couch was a death trap. Springs were popping out of it, and the thing was as hard as a rock. It was like sleeping on stone. If this chick had a comfortable bed for me to sleep on then I'd be forever grateful. Walking out of Alfie's apartment, and into the dry, and hot heat, I shielded my face from the scorching sun. California was unnecessarily hot sometimes.

"So, I'll be working for her," I asked Alfie once we were on the road. I was staring out the window at the cute little shops that we were passing by. This was the cute part of the city, but soon Alfie and I would be downtown where all the crazy stuff went down. Nicky loved downtown. She loved to go out clubbing with me on her arm. She'd buy me designer dresses that would cost nearly her whole paycheck, just to have me looking good by her side. I smiled a bit as memories floated back to me of Nicky and I taking over the downtown clubs.

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