What happened to you? A story of an abusee Ch1

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[[A.N.: This is the first story I've ever posted online. It was originally founded from my urge to raise awareness on the issue of domestic abuse in between schoolwork, as my first ever writing endeavour, and I was honestly surprised that people actually commented and approved of how I got the message across with my characters. I wasn't just trying to talk about it, I was trying to give hope, and I thank every one of you for your comments. I have edited small bits and pieces since I uploaded for the first time (so long ago, wow!) but one day I would love to rewrite this. Enough of my rambling - I hope you appreciate this story, and that it makes you think :)

Trigger warnings: physical abuse, implied sexual abuse, offensive language. Please, do not read if you think those may cause you problems! This is a dark story, and there is no small amount of dark stuff.]]

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Flinching at the reflected image, I gazed into the frame that could have been a window to my soul; in the mirror stood a sixteen-year old girl, her green-brown eyes pained. Her pretty face was half-covered by a thick fringe of brown hair that was so dark it could have been called black. She was slim, pretty, beautiful even... and she was abused. Her name was October Evans-Hydes.  

It felt like a herculean effort to smooth the repulsed expression on my face, and I poked one of my bruises dispassionately, dismissing the pain with concentration as I watched the discoloration fade for a second before returning. Something about that was symbolic to me - the pain always came back.

I shook my head, tossing the black hair off my face, trying to clear my depressing thoughts. It never helped to think so darkly, and it never changed anything. To face the day I'd have to put the night behind me, put on a happy face for school.

Soon I was dressing quickly, in dark clothes. I'd always felt impartial about fashion - fashion choices were for those who could afford to shop designer - but I was aiming to follow the style my best friend followed. Fitting in at high school was a priority. I slipped out of my deserted , run-down house wearing black shorts that covered the bruising on my upper thigh; black tights underneath with laddering that I hoped looked intentional ; a black tank top with a high-collared, thin jacket and black converse. It was my average outfit, pretty much, and one that covered the majority of my bruising. My step-father had left a little earlier - his shift ran from 7am to midday, then 3pm to 6pm, so I could usually avoid seeing him in the mornings, thankfully, and I could change before he got home.  Shorts in front of Jonah? Not if I can help it.

I walked to school on my own; my everyday journey to and from school was always unaccompanied. Who would care enough to take me?

It was hard to keep my mind calm, detached from my memories as I walked -  often, by doing this I could forget my home, my life, and pretend to be a normal school-girl. Usually, mostly, it worked.

"October!" A familiar voice sung my name, and I turned round just in time to glimpse of a red-headed figure in a hoodie and striped jeans running towards me, seconds before she slammed into me and hugged me half to death. I forced a laugh, ignoring the pain and stiffness of my body on impact.

"Hey Ariel!"  In two words I was normal, a mask I'd be able to keep up for the day now. It was a relief to escape, to act, to forget the night and step into the daylight. "Okay, Mrs. Grabby, get off; I can't breathe!" 

I grinned at my best friend as she stepped back, and she returned it brilliantly, 

"Oops. But hey, I missed you last night! I thought you were actually gonna come to our spring barbecue this time!" Ariel mock-whined, pulling a red-painted pout, and I laughed again to smooth away the uncomfortable  feeling in my stomach - there had never been a chance of me attending the party.

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