(Warning: content contains violence and swearing)
"Dahlia, hit the showers!" My best friend savannah yelled at me from across the dojo, in front of the girls dressing room door.
"One more match!" I yelled back to her. "Comeon Ryan what do ya say?" I smiled at my bestest friend, inviting him back on the matts with me for one more round.
"Are you sure? You seemed in a lot of pain today." He looked up from his duffel bag that he was ruffling around with at the side benches.
"Pfft no I'm not! What are you? Pussy?!" I challenged him with
He rolled his eyes as he came back to the matts. We spared once more, and ended up rolling on the floor laughing In a tickle fight, as usual.
"Hey you two! Out of the dojo now! Or you get double warm up tomorrow!" Coach yelled at us. I would love to see his fat ass do one of the warm ups he lays out for us. We got up and began to head for the dressing rooms.
"Hey Dahlia," Ryan called out to me as I was opening the door. I turned around and looked at him questionably, "Come here for a minute?" I jogged back over to him.
"Can I see your hand?"
"Why?" He didn't respond just grabbed my wrist firmly and yanked up my Gi sleeve. Revealing a bruise on my upper forearm. I immediately pushed him off and pulled my sleeve back down.
"Can you fuck off." I rolled my eyes at him and began to turn away.
"Dahlia this has got to stop. Please."
"I don't know what your taking about, see you at the party tonight." I said as I continued to walk away briskly without looking back at him, entering the girls room before he could say anything else. I really wish he would stay out of my business. All of my team actually. I hardly keep anything from them. Am I not aloud one private aspect of my life?
Me and the other girls on my Karate team pulled up to the house party in the BMW Beamer, while the guys pulled up in the Audi. We parked on the street and then walked in to the house. Of course we show up at 11pm. The party started 2hours ago, we never show up early to a party.
We entered the party and began to say hi to everyone. Boy is it getting rowdy in here. There must be what's seems like 150 people, a lot for a house party. Me, savannah, Patrick, and Ryan, started off the party by taking a few shots, as we always do. Cheyenne, shay, and Maddy, always head off dancing immediately, then complain when the alcohol is gone later. As for Mike, Eddie, and Ray, they go and hit up the 'ladies'.
Savannah is filling the cups 1/4th of the way with red bull as I am filling the shot glasses with jäger. We are all laughing around the table when I spot Ryan and Patrick, diagonally across from us, glancing at me while whispering to each other. Immediately making me feel conscious and defensive.
"What's up with you guys? Rude much?!" I asked them, semi sarcastically, when finishing filling the last shot glass.
"Can I talk to you?" Ryan mouthed to me. He's been seeming really weird all day. What is up with him...
"Yea, but can we do this bomb first?" I hollered across the seated people. He nodded. Me and savannah dropped the shots of jäger in the cups 1/4th full of red bull and passed 2 of them to Patrick and Ryan across the table. We did the jäger bomb and of course Ryan finished first. We resumed talking, Then, Before I knew it Ryan was behind me.
"We need to talk." He whispered in my ear and placed a hand on my hip instructively.
"No, privately, come with me upstairs?"
"What is this about Ryan?" I turned around to face him. Becoming pretty frustrated.
"Dahl. go." Savannah instructed me reassuringly. As if she's in on what he needs to say to me. This all seems weird.
"Fine." I handed my cell to savannah. Ryan took my hand and began guiding me up the stairs, I couldn't help but roll my eyes as I noticed all the girls checking him out as we made our way up.
"Ryan I have to be down stairs soon though, Matt will be here any second." I can't make my boyfriend have to walk around the party to find me. That will anger him.
"I don't care about your stupid boyfriend." Ryan said, almost yelling at me.
"What is your problem?" I snatched my hand out of his.
"He is my problem, let's find a room and talk okay?" He asked grabbing my hand again without waiting for my response. He began to open the rooms but they were either 'occupied' or locked. So we waited in the hallway amidst the partygoers.
"Can you not just talk to me here? Nobody is listening. What is this all about?"
"Dahl we should really wait till we get a room."
"No tell me, what are you hiding?" I asked beginning to get worried and angry, that my bestfriend is keeping something from me.
"I can't handle this anymore! No, The entire team cant handle this!" He sighed with frustration.
"handle what?" He then grabbed on to my dress at my right shoulder and pulled it down revealing a section of my body.
"What are you doing?!" I placed my hands on his chest trying to push him away, but his feet planted on the ground, his grip on my dress was too firm. Everyone is now turning to observe the situation.
"Look at your self! God dammit, look!" He yelled in my face continuing to pull my dress down.
"Get the fuck off! What the fuck is wrong with you?!" I yelled at him feeling very surprised by his actions but even more so, betrayed. I thought he was my best friend.
"Dahlia what is he doing to you?!" He held the dress in position as he examined me. His eyebrows narrowed, and mouth ajar, not liking what he sees. Who would? I'm covered in cuts, burns, and bruises. I grabbed on to his forearms pushing him back.
"Ryan please stop,"
"Then fucking show me! You said you didn't want to wait till we got a room!" He said placing his hands on my waist pushing my back flat against the wall lightly.
"It's none of your god damn business." I said while straightening out my black dress.
"I'm your best friend! Of course it's my fucking business!" He yelled in my face with his index finger pointed against his chest at the word 'my'.
"I told you to just leave it alone. You won't understand. I'm not in the mood for this. "
"Your not in the mood for this? too fucking bad princess. We are doing this now, we can't take it anymore." He said using the same index finger pointing behind him. And I noticed Patrick and Eddie were standing behind him, standing there with their drinks in hand, and straight faces, agreeing with Ryan.
"I said you don't understand! Just piss off, I don't want to talk to you for the rest of the night."
"Oh? I don't understand? Matt is abusing you! We all know! What the hell are you doing Dahlia? Why do you let this happen?" I didn't respond just looked at the floor knowing he's not finished his rant, I'll get my explanation in when he shuts up,"This has to stop. Your no longer allowed to be with him. It's done."
"And what makes you think that's your fucking decision?" I tried to let him finish his rant but that statement was too far. He doesn't get to make decisions like that for me. Especially when it comes to Matt.
"Well guess what, It's either him, or you get kicked off the team."
"You can't do that!"
"I'm lead fighter, yes I can." He said while looking me dead in the eye.
I felt my eyes sting with upcoming tears, I let them fall, not hiding from his gaze, trying to show him his betrayal. how could he do this to me? Here I was thinking I could be In love with him, Hating myself for having feelings for anyone else other than Matt, and he has to go and betray me like this. My best friend? Yea right! Matt is the only one that I can trust. Even when I keep screwing up his life, he gives me what I deserve, and always stays true to me. He never betrays me like this. "Fuck you,"I said after a moment of silence and turned to walk back down the stairs. He grabs my waist, picks me up, and pulls me back.
"Your not going anywhere until you show me what he did to you."
"He hasn't done anything to me for fuck sakes!"
"Then how do you explain this?!" he said shifting the dress off my shoulder again. I said nothing just kept my back flat against the wall. I really don't want to tell him. explain to him why Matt punishes me. It's embarrassing, and shameful. I deserve what he's done by being a bad girlfriend to him. Every scar he has ever given me was for a purpose. I don't want to tell him my fuck ups. I don't want to share this one aspect of my life.
Ryan continued to pull at my dress. Should I restrain him? I deserve to be humiliated. I deserve this. I continued to let the tears fall, why bother holding them back, everyone at this party already thinks I'm pathetic. Because I am. I closed my eyes at that thought needing to squeeze something hard other than just my fists. I opened my eyes to Ryan looking down on me, analyzing for a moment, then went in for a hug and I pushed his chest, trying to get him off, "what the fuck do you think your doing?! Get off!"
"Don't push me away. We're doing this for you." He wouldn't budge or move any farther away from me, but he released the hug a little.
"Your doing what for me? Kicking me off the team is supposed to be a favour for me?!" my voice has become raspy as if I have a huge frog in my throat.
"We aren't kicking you off the team, we are giving you a choice.."
"Well obviously I'm going to choose Matt." He rolled his eyes and I could see his face become furious.
"Dahlia he hits you! he fucking beats you up! Why do you stay with him?!"
"I told you! You won't understand! Now leave me alone!"
"No, not until you show me, we need to know how serious this is! Jesus Christ! Remember how just 3 months ago we pretty much lived together, And then when you two started getting serious, you left me for him. Remember how I never treated you like shit?! How you could trust me? Instead you now trust a guy that fucking beats you. Your not going anywhere until you agree to show me!"
"Your my best friend Ryan! Not my boyfriend, it's different, you know that. You better then anybody know what I have been threw when it comes to guys. I have finally found a SOLID relationship and you are trying to take that away from me. Why are you doing this?!"
"Yea as solid as the things he beats you with?! We aren't letting you leave until you show me what he did, now come with me to a room."
"Why bother?! It's not like anyone here should miss any detail on my life, cause it's 100% their business!" I yelled at him very sarcastically, then removed my long sleeved black dress, and threw it at him. Now I'm in nothing but my bra, short-shorts, and shoes. The looks on peoples faces brought more tears streaming down my face. I was crying so hard that I had to squeeze my eyes shut again. "Are you happy now? Can I leave?" I lifted my arms up surrendering in a shrug.
"Oh my god dahlia!" He came in for a hug and I let him hug me this time, I don't know why, guess I was too upset to care. Then I heard the erupt sound of the front door opening in the dead silence of the party. Fuck please no. I heard someone coming up the stairs. Ryan let go of me, and I lunged forward to Matt once I saw it was him. the look on his face read absolute, complete, and utter betrayal. After he took one glimpse of me, he looked away. As if he were to disgusted to look at me any longer.
"Matt!" I tried to hug him but He pushed me away, refusing to look at me he brought his death glare to Ryan, "fucking whore!"
"Matt, it's not what you think, please, I'm so sorry! I-" before I could finish he backhanded me across the face, so hard that I fell backward and hit my head against the edge of a wall.
"Babygirl, please wake up" I heard savannahs voice as I opened my eyes. "Oh thank god!" My head in her lap I looked up at her, she is crying. I tried to get up so I could hug her but then I was gently pushed back down. I found Ryan over me his hands caressing my belly.
"Where's Matt?" I asked.
"Gone." What does he mean gone?!
"No! Let me up!" I tried to free myself from their grasp when a throbbing pain took over my head. "Ow," I lifted my hand to cradle my head but savannah was holding my bunched up dress to it.
"You hit your head pretty bad, we are about to call an Ambulance... as soon as... something has been... taken care of." Savannah said.
"Sav can you go do the thing you need to do, you should get going... I got this."
"Are you sure?" She asked and then he nodded in response. They switched places, my head now in Ryan's lap.
"Why do you want him to do this to you?" One of his hands holding my dress to my head and the other still caressing my belly. I could feel his fingertips trace the scars of the cigarette burns and razor cuts.
" I deserve every last scar he has given me. If I tell you why, you'll hate me. You won't understand."
" No babe. Please don't say that." He leaned down and kissed the corner of my mouth.
"Oh god..." This is all too much drama for me to handle. I began breathing heavily to try and not cry again. I closed my eyes shut to not allow tears to fall.
"Is a room available? She really needs privacy right now." He called out to someone.
"Yea right here" a random person, in the partygoers that have stopped partying to observe and gossip about the situation, replied. He then placed my hand over the my dress to hold it against my head. It's wet... He then picked me up and brought me in to the room, I heard the door close behind him and he lay me down on the bed, and laid down next to me.
"Babe I'm so sorry, we do love you, I love you, that's why we did what we did." Immediately getting mad at him again I stood up.
"Bullshit!" I said feeling a bit light headed. He got up a millisecond later and pushed me over to face a full length mirror that is on the wall behind me. He stood behind me his hands on my hips keeping me from turning away.
"How long has it been since you've looked in the mirror dahlia?
He fucking burns you with cigs and cuts you like this. These
bruises are fucking huge! What does he do?..." Thinking his
answer is rhetorical I didn't answer. "Huh?" He asked after a
moment of me not replying, although I still didn't answer. "Does
he punch you to the ground then kick your guts in?!" He continued
to yell, "he has even fucking bruised his finger prints into your
shoulders and arms. This is not okay Dahl! you don't deserve this
in anyway! Why do you stay with him?" He really isn't going to
leave me alone until I tell him. Too upset to acknowledge that
telling him means losing my bestfriend, I desperately need and
out of this situation. So I decide to spill my guts.
"I got really drunk one night at a party Matt didn't come with me to. A guy kissed me, he wouldn't stop trying, I told matt and that's why he did the first set of burns." I pointed to the 6 circular scars below my right breast.
"These were because he found out I was still hanging out with you one on one, after I said I wouldn't," I then pointed to the other 7 burns that were done 2 days ago, below my left breast.
"The cuts are because he likes... He likes my blood, he asked me to, and I let him. But he has done them with other punishments." I said pointing to the cuts on my lower belly around my pelvic area. I pulled my shorts down a little, to give him an idea of how low they go. I Kept my eyes on my body, not allowing myself to look at him.
"This bruise was because I disagreed with him when we were talking about something I don't really remember. Like you said he pushed me on the ground and started kicking me." I then pointed to the bruise taking up the left side of my belly. I turned around facing him now, to explain the ones on my back.
"That was because I came back to his place after curfew and I was tipsy, after he told me to not drink." I pointed to the cuts in the Center of my back that spelled out 'bitch' while looking over my shoulder in to the mirror.
"These were beca-"
"Ssshhhh" Ryan cut me off when I was about to explain the whip marks, he put his fingers over my lips. I Turned my head away from the mirror and looked at Ryan's chest. Not wanting to see his facial expression. "None of those excuses are reason for him to lay a hand on you." he then placed his hands on my neck, turning my head up to look at him.
"I was a really bad girlfriend to him though. He put up with my shit and taught me a lesson instead of giving up on me. I know we are told that this is domestic violence, blah blah blah, but people really just don't understand."
"God he has you wrapped around his finger so tight! Dahlia he's sick! He's fucking sick in the head! Everyone makes mistakes! Every relationship has their problems but this is not the way it should be handled. Just because every guy you've been with before him cheated on you or didn't take you seriously, does not make it okay for you to accept this, Or think it's ok, or that you deserve it, cause babe you don't deserve it no one deserves this. You have guys lined up down the block and around the corner, but you never choose the right guys, you never notice that they are right beneath your nose." He brought his hands from holding my neck, to cupping my face.
I listened to him then, never thinking I would be on the receiving end of this lecture. After all the assemblies we have in school, and in health class when doing the sex unit, we learn how girls are supposed to be treated by guys. But they never tell you how complicated it really is. How there's two sides to every story. I'm so unresponsive to Ryan's words right now because they almost seem invalid. He hasn't been in my situation. He's a slut and has hardly had any girlfriends, none of which last longer than 2weeks. Who knows... If a girlfriend of his treated him as badly as I've treated Matt, he might understand. Matt always tells me why he does what he does, he justifies it. And then I realize I'm lucky to have him. A guy that deals with all my crap, helps me not make the same mistakes by punishing me, and he still says he loves me.
"So what if he's hot or a really good football player-"
"You fucking think that's why I'm with him?" How low does he think I am?!
"Not anymore it's not. But obviously that's why you gave him a chance to begin with! You deserve a guy that will be able to talk through your problems." I rolled my eyes away from his, this intense eye contact making me feel very uncomfortable. "Hey look at me!" And then my eyes are forced back to their uncomfortable state. "You can't be with someone that beats you up and makes you see your self so poorly. That makes you think you deserve what has been done to you... Like fuck Dahlia.. This is why you are moving in with me and never seeing him again."
"What the hell are you talking about?!" I removed his hands from my face and took a step away from him.
"I called your mum and told her what happened when you passed out. She has agreed that you should permanently move in to my place until the situation has blown over and Your going to start therapy. Laura wants you to press charges but I told her to not expect that from you. So you don't have to but we all want you to. Savannah and Patrick are at your house right now packing and they are going to meet us at home tomorrow."
"....are you fucking kidding me right now?!" My mouth dropped, gapping at him, I couldn't believe what he was telling me. He told my mother?!
"You practically lived with me for like half a year before Matt why is it a big deal?! This is the only way we can make sure Matt can't find you, and your not seeing him."
"I can't believe your doing this..."
"Can we talk about this in the car? You've stopped bleeding but We still need to get you to the hospital."
"I'm not going anywhere with you! And certainly not the hospital!"
He shook his head at me and took off his shirt. throwing it at me, I caught it. "Put it on, you can't wear your dress, it has blood on it, and your not staining my car."
I put it on but I'm not going with him anywhere, "I'm not going with you." I couldn't help myself from quickly checking him out. It's not like I haven't seen him pretty much naked before, not that he is now, just topless. But he's very attractive.
"Fine then I'll carry you out!" I shook my head slightly as I pulled my gaze from his torso. I crossed my arms and was determined to hold my ground. He looked down on me for a second before throwing me over his shoulder.
"Put me down! Ryan! Put me down!" I tried to push oh his shoulders to free myself... But who am I kidding. As we left the room I saw everyone looking to a topless man walking with a girl over his shoulder in his shirt and blood all over the side of her face. I then felt a hand on my crotch. And I remembered I'm only wearing my lululemon short black shorts. They must be riding up and it looks like I'm bent over in just underwear, great.
"Ryan please! I'm sorry I lied to you, and didn't tell you what was happening," I continued my plea as he carried me down the stairs, the realization of perhaps never seeing Matt again started to overwhelm me. Knowing that it is best for me and Matt to break up, the thought that I cause someone so much pain that they needed to cause me pain, isn't a healthy relationship at all, but I need to say sorry. Right now I need to say anything to convince Ryan to let me see him,"Ryan you don't have to do this. I need to see him again. Just once. Please! I promise I will listen to what ever you want after that."
"No your never seeing him again. Dahlia just stop." He replied as we walked out the door. I closed my eyes not wanting to see anyone around us. As he kept walking down the path to the side walk, I noticed splatter of blood over the cement...
"Ryan where the fuck is Matt?! Is that his blood?" No answer...
"Ryan answer me!" Still no answer as we approached the Audi car.
"Shit are you guys okay?" I heard Ryan ask and he lowered me down with his hand on my butt until I could properly straighten out the shirt. I turned around and gasped as I saw Ray, Eddie, and mike. They had blood on them and Eddie looked like he was developing a black eye..
"What the fuck happened?!"
"Don't worry your precious x boyfriend is fine, just got a beating, along with his friends." Mike said rolling his eyes.
"You didn't seriously hurt them, did you?" I asked.
"Broken face and ribs, what ever. Who else knows," Ray replied.
"Who else cares," Eddie chuckled.
"It's not funny Eddie!" I yelled at him.
"Fuck off Dahlia, I got a black eye for you so stop being so fucking dumb." Eddie said, sounding genuinely offended and fed up.
"How about you shut the fuck up Eddie," Ryan said next to me, "you honestly think this is a good time for that?" I couldn't help myself from crying yet again. Now my team is turning against each other. And for what? My stupid petty relationship problems?
"Please don't fight guys." I tried to ask as confidently as possible. "I'm really really sorry."
"Let's go then, in the car Dhal." Ryan instructed me and I did as he said.