thirty three - raging b*tch

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It's been a rough week. One night I secretly stayed in the apartment until 3am. Kylie came out and screamed, threatening to call the police. Once I sat up and told her it was me, she still threatened to call the police. She made me hand her my old key and was very firm about my "no-living-here" policy as she kicked me out.

Fine. No problem.

I slept at a homeless shelter the other nights and worked at the convenience store during the day. In return, not once did I see Ivan. I watched out the windows which lined the convenience store's entrance, hoping to see him wander by. Hoping to see he was okay. Hoping to see some sort of comforting face.

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It's a week from payday. I've made approximately $320 so far before taxes and it really excites me. I can't wait to earn the rest and finally do something with my life.

Today is my day off. I sit on the park bench in front of the river that flows through the suburbs outside the city. The water always sounds extra relaxing — and the ducks peacefully dipping in and out of the water add some entertainment.

"Look! There he is!" I hear someone yell from a considerable distance behind me.

"On that bench!"

I whip my head around. It's Ivan, who has an angry looking woman walking by his side with her arms crossed.

"Little bitch!" She exclaims, beginning to run towards me with her arms flinging in the air.

My eyes grow wide and I begin running along the river bank, quickly leaving the bench behind. I hear her footsteps thud behind me and I can almost feel her breath down my neck. Damn, she's fast.

"You gay punk! Messing around with my baby daddy!"

The woman grabs onto the bottom of my shirt and pulls it so hard it rips, causing me to lose my balance and trip. I hit the ground with hard impact and immediately feel extra body weight crawling on top of me, forcing me onto my back.

"Ridiculous!" The woman yells as she slaps my cheek — hard. My head is forced in the opposite direction of impact. She does it a few more times, alternating cheeks like this is some bad pornography scene.

Meanwhile, other folks trying to enjoy a day at the park are quickly aware of what's happening. I suddenly see a man's shoes come running towards me, hopefully to pull this raging woman off of my body.

He holds her back as she's grunting and trying to desperately break his grip, writhing around like a fish out of water.

I quickly stand up and look around before beginning to run. I see Ivan in the distance where they both originally came from — he's just standing there, both arms at his sides, blank expression, watching.

I keep running towards him. "What the hell?!" I exclaim, slowing down to a jog.

"Just keep running," he bluntly mutters to me through gritted teeth.

"Fuck you, man," I say before shoving his shoulders back. He only stumbles a little bit, his hands now clenched in fists at his sides.

I shove him once more, angry and agitated. My entire back and side have brush burns from falling and the pain is kicking in.

"I don't want to hurt you," Ivan says a bit louder, standing firm against my attempts at pushing him.

Another passerby has noticed my anger towards Ivan and runs up from behind, pulling me back as well. I pick up the sound of police sirens in the background, although I can't tell if it's my ears ringing or the real deal.

"Let go of me!" I shout, squirming around in a stranger's arms as he keeps me restrained, "that's my boyfriend!"

Ivan stands still and looks at the ground, his fingers still clenched in fists. It's like he's suddenly made of stone and undoubtedly emotionless.

"Ivan?!" I scream, the veins on my neck and forehead bulging from beneath my skin.

Ivan quickly looks up and the man holding me back loosens his grip.

"Why did you bring her here to do this?" I ask through gritted teeth.

Ivan glances over in the direction of the woman who was beating me up just minutes ago.

"Appearances" is the only word whispered through Ivan's lips.

"Appearances? That's it? You'd rather watch this woman you don't even love beat me up?!"

Ivan eyes dart towards me and he speaks in complete monotone. "You don't understand. I'm living a lie. It's difficult."

I roll my eyes and writhe out of the man's loose grip. He backs away and runs over to Ivan's female friend, who is still shouting and squirming.

"Really?" I mumble, my shoulders slumping as I watch Ivan stand still.

The sound of screaming and shouting jolts my attention. I turn around and see the cops intervening with Ivan's friend. Next thing I know, Ivan is walking towards his stupid female friend.

My blood is boiling.

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