“I-I didn’t hear you come in...” I whispered into my palm. He let his tears fall freely down his cheeks. He stood there for minutes not saying anything just staring, not at my arms but into my eyes. I looked back to see the sadness swimming in his eyes. His cheeks were stained with tears that didn’t stop.
“Liam.. Please talk...” My voice filled with pain and fear and he walked over to me slowly. I watched him quietly waiting for him to speak. Waiting for him to tell me I was disgusting and that he had to leave and never speak to me again. His shaking hand reached out toward me. I pulled my lips into my mouth as his hand pushed up my sleeve.
His fingers ran slowly over each dark scar that was visible. He didn’t stop his tears and some landed on my bare skin. He wiped his eyes on his arm and lifted my chin so I was looking at him. My lip quivered and tears streamed down my face. He wiped my tears away gently and rubbed my cheek.
“You’re gorgeous.” He whispered. Tears fell from his eyes again as he touched my cheek. My own tears caught on his thumb and my chin quivered.
“I’m sorry. I’m so sorry you had to see this.. I’m sorry I ruined everything because I’m so gross looking. I’m sorry Liam.” I choked out between shaky breaths. He shook his head and held my face.
“You didn’t ruin anything. You are not gross. You are absolutely beautiful. More beautiful than any girl I have ever seen in my entire life.” He spoke softly. A smile tugged at the corners of my mouth and he stroked my cheek softly. He wiped my cheeks clean and pulled me into a warm hug. I relaxed in his strong arms and he rubbed my back.
“Liam..” I started. He squeezed me softly and rested his cheek on my head.
I didn’t say anything for a while. We stood there for what seemed like hours not saying anything, just enjoying each others company. He rubbed my back softly, patiently waiting for my reply. I didn’t want to break the comfortable silence between us, but I needed to say it.
“Liam,” I started once more, “I’m ready.” His hand kept moving along my back. I looked up at him and I saw his red rimmed eyes looking down at me, they were full of joy and happiness, and once again that one look I couldn’t place. I could still see the sadness was there in the back of his head. He still knew, but he hadn’t left.
“Are you sure?” A tone of seriousness enveloped his voice and his face hardened a little. I nodded in response, completely sure that I was ready. His hands moved from my lower back up to my face. He looked into my eyes and smiled softly.
“Amanda Conner, will you be my girlfriend?” His eyes never left mine as he said the sentence. His voice was hushed like if he said it any louder something might jump out and catch us.
“Liam Marshall, I would love to be your girlfriend.” I responded with happy tears in my eyes. A huge smile broke out on both of our faces. Liam rubbed my cheeks with his thumbs and placed a loving kiss on my lips. Our lips moved in sync with each other and his left hand snaked down to my waist. He pulled me closer to him and I wrapped my arms around his neck. He broke away from me, out of breath and rested his forehead on mine. Our eyes still closed, I focused on trying to slow my breathing. He placed a soft kiss on my nose and took a deep breath.
“Amanda?” His voice laced with concern and worry.
“Can I see them?” He lowered his voice to almost a whisper. My body tensed at his question and I pulled away from him.
“Liam... I...” I trailed off and his face fell. “I don’t want you to see how disgusting I am.”
“Oh, Amanda, no. Don’t think like that. Never in a million years would I think that.” I bit down on my lip as he said that. He had already seen my arm. It wasn’t even my bad arm and he hadn’t left.
“No one except for me has seen all of them..” I mumbled.
“Maybe it’s too soon... I’m sorry.” He shifted on his feet. I felt unsafe when I wasn’t near him. I felt cold and alone.
“Not all at once..”
“You don’t have to Amanda. I understand, well I don’t, but I’m trying to understand how you feel.”
“Just my arms.. That’s it. I have to let somebody in.” I pulled my sleeves farther down into my hands.
“If you’re completely sure you’re ready to. I don’t want to force you.” He watched every move I made as if he was going to write a book about it someday. I bit down on my lip and looked down at my arms. My scars burned and itched on my skin, like they would make holes in my shirt. If that were the case I would be practically naked. They covered my whole body. Every inch of me practically. My right arm was worse than my left, my thighs were worse than my arms combined, and my stomach worst of all.
I nodded my head softly and pushed up the sleeve on my left arm. My skin crawled as I felt his eyes scanning my arm carefully. His fingers reached out to my arm and touched the dark scars one by one. Every place where his skin met mine felt like it had caught fire. I wanted to do nothing more than to shove him away and run to my blade.
“Why....” He mumbled almost silently. “Why did you do this?” He choked on his words, barely able to get them out. His question caught me off guard and I pulled away quickly.
“You have no business asking me that question.” I snapped, furious that he would ask me something like that.
“Amanda....” He started but I didn’t let him finish.
“That is none of your business! It was my choice!” I let my voice raise in anger. His jaw clenched and he balled his hands into fists.
“Why are you getting so defensive!? It was just a question!” He spat back his voice laced with anger.
“Because you barely even know me!”
“I am just trying to understand, Amanda!” He took a step towards me and I backed away.
“It’s none of your business! You don’t need to understand!” I screamed at him. His chest heaved in uneven patterns and all of his muscles were tensed.
“I have a right to know!”
“No you don’t!!”
“I’m your boyfriend!”
“For what?! Like ten minutes!?” As soon as I said that his face turned red and his veins bulged from his neck. His breathing was hard and heavy.
“Do I mean NOTHING to you Amanda!?” He screamed. He turned around and punched a hole in my wall.
“Liam....” I whimpered.
“NO!” His voice boomed in my ear drums. I covered my ears and he stormed out of my room.
“Liam come back....” I whispered, knowing he couldn’t hear me. I heard my front door slam shut. Tears brimmed my eyes and I sat back on my bed in disbelief. I heard loud bangs from outside my apartment. I winced and looked down at my hands. My scars itched like crazy and I heard that voice in the back of my head telling me how bad I messed up, and how stupid I was. I needed Liam to come back. So I could be okay, so I could be safe again. I let tears fall from my eyes as I curled into a ball on my bed.
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