He grabbed her leaving a bruise on her petit arms. “Did I ever say anything to make you think that?” His voice sounded strong, without fear. It felt weird to her that even though she was about to leave he still acted as if he owned the world.
She forced her arms away. Her arms hurt.
“It´s not necessarily what you say, but how you say it”. And how you act, she meant to say as well, but angering him more would not be effective towards her goal.
“You can´t really think that I mean that, though?” His voice tried to sound sweet. But she was too used to his faking sweetness to believe it.
“Yes, you do. You always try to apologize, but in the end, you still think I´m just a little girl who knows nothing about what she is talking about. And I hate that. It makes me want to scream at you, but I don’t, because screaming has never accomplished anything between us. And now I just want to leave”. She left a lot unsaid. Yes, he had never physically hurt her. Except her arm – it hurt. But she expected him to do something worse than just tell her ‘the food was almost ok today’ sometime soon. One day the food was really going to be ‘almost ok’, someday she‘d be late from work, someday even she might just forget something. Was her arm an example of what could come?
“But you must know I love you”. He replied, with that same tone he always used to say it, like a doll she used to have when she was little ‘I love you’, ‘I like you’, ‘I need you’.
“Loving me and treating me like a child are not multiply exclusive but it’s not something I can live with. Not anymore”. She had to go away. She had to leave. Sooner rather than later.
“And if I really was so condescending, do you think leaving is going to make me think you have grown up?” She didn’t know if she was sad or happy that he had finally practically admitted. He did think she was just a little girl in need of teaching, training, inferior to him in every way. Except she is not. He is wrong. Falling in love with him had been a mistake she had finally realized. Hopefully it was not too late. She knew how hard it was to leave men like him behind. She hoped she could be strong. She was glad she had asked for help. None of her friends had seen him for what he was. She hadn’t either. How could she. He was everything she had ever dreamed about - until he wasn’t.
“No, but the point is that it isn’t about what you think, it’s about what I do. I want out. I can’t live knowing you’ll keep treating me like that. Because I know what you really think, behind all those nice words. Words are empty, your actions matter, and they talk much louder than the pretty little lines you keep repeating to me”.
“So you’re really going. I’ve got no say on that?”
He left no time for her to reply and tried to grab her arm once again. She was hoping it wouldn´t come to this. She had been prepared. They had told her he might turn on her. She had her mobile phone on her, but he grabbed for her purse quicker than she could.
That was all she could do.