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She Shouldn't Have Fought

A short story

Warning: This story contains mentions of abuse.

She shouldn’t have fought.

It still hurt to move. The bruises were an ugly shade of blue and purple splotches that covered her skin. It would be another long sleeve and pants day. Not jeans though, the rubbing of the material would irritate her already raw skin.

She studied herself in the mirror. Eyes bloodshot red from tears that had formed through the pain, and fallen only moments after. The light in her eyes had long since faded, and now all that remained was a dull, lifeless brown, almost black color resembling a mixture of tar and mud.

She had tried to fight last night. She was so numb to the pain that at first, she felt, nothing, but then the monster paused, changed, and found new flesh to pick and tear away. It wanted her to hurt, wanted her to scream until her chords were raw, and against it all she refused. That refusal had done nothing, but make her torment worse.

She shouldn’t have fought.

She should have just given in, told it what it wanted to hear. That she was bad, that she was nothing, that she was a waste of space, but she didn’t. The truth was though she believed she was, had believed it for a long time now. Hell, if the cosmos ended tomorrow she would find some way to blame herself for its destruction. That part of the monster had claimed and possessed her soul, killed her, and demanded to turn the rest of her into the same blackness that it was.

Is this what life was supposed to be? She had been told she needed to take her rose colored glasses off, and see what the world truly was. That underneath it all it was nothing but ugliness, failures, and disappointments. But the fact of the matter was she had never been able to experience that innocence—that she was at least sure of.

The alarm went off interrupting her thoughts. She needed to get ready, she didn’t want a repeat of what happened last time.

The school day dragged on, and she forced herself to focus. Swallowed another pill to dull the pain under her skin. Her PE class laughed at her. The only girl who was covered in heavy clothes causing her to sweat profusely.

“You stink,” were the first words her mother said when she stepped into their vehicle.

She said nothing. The car ride was silent, she knew her place. She walked through the front door of a house she hated and began dinner. She didn’t eat that night, couldn’t find it in herself to do so. She set to cleaning the dishes, took another shower, checked her homework, and began to prepare for bed.

Shirt halfway on, she heard the audible gasp from the doorway, “What happened to you? How did you get those bruises?”

She stared at her mother, her eyes full of anger and rage. 

Her mother shrank under her unexpected gaze, “You should know, you gave them to me.”

“No, I didn’t,” her mother said slowly. Each word paused as she took a new breath to overcome her horror.

“Yes, you did,” she responded pointedly.

“No, I didn’t!”

She didn’t answer, the battle was futile.

Gathering herself her mother straightened, portraying a pose of dominance, “I gave you an ass whooping, you deserved it, you just bruise easily is all.” 

The look in her eyes said it all, “I dare you to say another word.”

But she knew better. She said nothing, crawled into bed, and faced the wall signaling defeat. The door closed and she listened to the footsteps of the monster fade away. She was grateful then, grateful for the distance, the small momentary false sense of safety. She finally let the tears come, soundless fat drops that rolled down her face and soaked the pillow and surrounding sheets. It carried on for hours before her body succumbed to exhaustion.

She shouldn’t have fought. 

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She Shouldn't Have Fought
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