The only reason I come back here is for my gran. To help her out with the up keep on the property that she refuses to leave for a reason I haven't been told, and also to see her. Gran is the only family I have left, we literally only have each other. Her husband, my granddad, died from cancer when I was about five so I didn't know him that well. When gran passes I will have no reason to come back here, which is sad because I have come to like this small town, to a certain extent. Everyone knows everyone and everything but I do love the sense of community and family. I’ve been raised by only my gran since I was nine made me yearn for a big family. Sure I had friends growing up but only one best friend. Se wanted to get out of this small town though. She is the type of girl that gets bored easily. Se gets bored with jobs, long term relationships...you name it, anything that doesn't give her a rush she won't like. There is always at least one of those people in small towns, especially this country town. Abby just happens to be five of those people in one neat package.
Country markets, fates, fundraisers, non-designer name clothing stores, horse riding lessons, crazy town meetings, seasonal festivals. These are all the things I love about this town, and all the reason Abby left.
We used to write to each other but it got annoying and expensive because she is attending an acting school in America and as university students neither of us had much money to spare. To be honest we drifted apart and are no longer friends but two people that used to know each other.
Right now it is probably over 30 degrees. When I past the temperature gage just after noon it read 30 and it has gotten hotter since then. I left gran inside reading and under a fan. She joined a reading club years ago and reads like crazy, though I am sure they use it as an excuse to get together to gossip and drink wine. Gran is relatively healthy but she isn't 50 anymore and I know she forgets that sometimes. She still tries to ride the horses even with her bad back. Sometimes when it's not too hot I will see her out in the paddock talking to Arron, granddads horse. Arron is getting really old too and he is unrideable. I think gran knows he will have to be put down because of his bad legs but she keeps telling me, 'Arron is strong just like your grandfather. He will pull through this'. I know she is really saying that Arron can't die because he is all she has left of granddad. I feel really bad for her. Her soul mate has passed and has taken a part of her with him. I'd want to die first. When I get married, and I plan too, I will demand to die first. Not because I am bossy and selfish by nature just because I don't think I am strong enough to go through that burning that death leaves behind, not again.
I am tending to gran's gardens. I have watered and clipped and de-weeded the front garden, the flower garden with the roses and daisies and some other flower; a name I can never remember. The vegetable patch is out the back of the house. It is pretty impressive. There is a chicken wire roof and fence that is held up with the original small wooden fence that is very cute. The veggie patch is the size of a standard bedroom. There are watermelons in one corner, lettuces, tomatoes, corn, pumpkins in another corner, strawberries... You name it, and depending on the season there is a pretty good chance it is growing in the veggie patch. I have almost finished picking the oranges from the trees and I am already completely soaked through with sweat. Gross. It is unbearably hot but I would rather do this than have gran do it and risk getting hurt. She pays two young guys to do throughout the year what I do every Christmas break. Gran even makes them meals along with paying them. They aren’t even that good.
"Arielle." I hear gran call my name. I straighten up and face towards the house. The sun shines into my eyes so I cover my eyes with my hand. My arm instantly hurts so I drop it and head up to the house. There is something I should probably mention, my body isn't made for labour. I have next to no muscle definition and my skin is fair. I have been lifting, pulling, pushing and hurling things on this farm for as long as I can remember and I have yet to gain muscle mass, it makes it hard to get things done but I press on anyway. It takes me twice as long to do everything but other than town activities there isn't much to do around here, so I don’t mind. Hard work may not be in my muscles but it is in my blood.
Gran only just got Internet and a computer in her house but unlike most other places back on campus she doesn't have Foxtel, just late night television. I am up all hours watching it, like I have been doing for years and years.
I run up the stairs and see gran holding a pink ice tea with a pink umbrella in it. She knows I love pink, I always have. It was one of those childhood obsessions that never went away, just dulled down over time. My room isn’t pink anymore, thank god.
I remove her gardening gloves, which are dirty and stiff from never being cleaned and smile in thanks as take the cold glass. I take a sip and sigh at the amazing cool sensation as it runs down my throat.
"Thank you gran, that's just what I needed." I half laugh and take another sip. "I just need to put the tools away and I am done with the gardening."
"Thank you, love. You have always been a hard worker." Gran's voice is soft and a little shaky but she is totally worldly. I used to think that she knew everything. She was a teacher though and just has an open mind; the best teachers do in my opinion. She has taught me so much over the years. "Now come in and take it easy. I hired out 'dude where's my car'?" I choke on my mouthful of ice tea and it burns my nose. I cough and try to take full breaths. Gran is startled but pats my back firmly. I pu my hand up and she stops.
"Gran why did you get that movie?" I ask. It is crude and has multiple drug references, and is very unsuitable for someone like my gran.
"Joseph," one of the guys that gran hired to upkeep the farm during the year. "Told me it was a good movie. I haven't watched it yet but I'm sure we can watch it tonight."
I know Joseph to be a bit of a prank freak. I used to babysit him when I was in high school he was a good and smart kid but he has a sick sense of humour.
"Joe is tricking you again gran, it's not a movie you would like." I explain and usher her inside. It is noticeably cooler inside the house.
We walk into the kitchen. I place my tea on the counter top and jump up next to it. I swing my legs.
"Ralf is looking for a bar tender. He asked for you. I know it isn't glamorous..." I bite at my lip. Everyone knows Ralf likes to hire pretty female bartenders. I never really talked to him, high school rumours always kept me away from him. He has never done anything to hurt anyone, he just flirts with a lot of women in town and any poor passing travellers. I don't love the idea of working at his bar but there is never really any jobs going around here. The school doesn’t need any teachers, I have checked. Ralf's Bar is a great opportunity for me to get a bit if money to survive through this break and to buy my university textbooks for my last year.
"Teaching isn't glamorous either. It's a chance to get money. I'll go see him tomorrow." I tell gran. There is a loud bang, the sound of the front door being swung open too hard and hitting the wall.
"Arielle?" I hear a familiar deep voice. Gran sighs behind me and I hear her pull out the bread. "You here babe?"
It's Kane, my boyfriend. I hear his loud obnoxious footsteps as he walks through the old wooden house.
"One of these days he will break my house." Gran mumbles and I shoot her a look just as Kane walks into the kitchen.
"Hi.” I give him a smile as he leans in and kisses me hard. Gran clears her throat. I pull back and look up at Kane. He has blonde hair, blue eyes and was in the football team in high school. Kane used to be really fit but now he has let go just a little. I’m not all about looks so I don’t mind. It’s his personality that I’m not happy with anymore. He isn’t the nice guy that I fell for anymore. Kane lost his little sister to Leukaemia about two years ago, so he is under stress. Kane will get better; he will get back to his old self.
“You didn’t tell me you were back.” Kane tells me. He is hurt and a little mad I can tell because he has that false smile plastered on his face. He does this when he is upset with me, right about now I start doing everything I can to calm him down. I hold onto his large arms and rub them lightly.
“I have been busy…” I make my voice dainty and my eyes soft. He wouldn’t get mad at me with gran in the room. He doesn’t like others thinking poorly of him.
“For a week?” Kane shoots back. Kane controls his tone, barely. “Baby, you know I wanted to see you.” His voice is level but I know I will cop it when we are alone.
“I needed Arielle’s help around the house.” Gran steps in and we both look over at her. I know Kane will be smiling at her.
“Well, Ari is always one to help those who need it.” Kane’s voice is conversational, you wouldn’t pick out that he has even a hint of rage in him. Gran gives him a dirty look.
“I know.” gran lifts up her nose at Kane. I think she will leave but she doesn’t. I beg her with my eyes, because I know Kane wont like gran being rude to him and will use it as a reason to get mad at me later. Kane looks back at me, expression blank. Gran rolls her eyes at me then leaves the kitchen.
“I have been working on the gardens a lot. The guys aren’t allowed to attend to them after the rose massacre of 2011.” I try to joke with him but it is no use. I feel like I am about to throw up.
“You were too busy to call and tell your boyfriend that you are back in town?” his voice is low and warning. I have to be careful what I say next.
“I know. I know and I am so sorry. You are right. I should have called. I am just really stressed.” I don’t give him big eyes because I know he doesn’t like that but I do look into his and hope he forgives me. He does have some right to be upset. I did have time to call him. I wasn’t busy all the time, but I just wanted time to myself.
Kane’s face relaxes and he nods his head. “Well, next time you will call me.” I nod my head and stay quite. I try not to look scared though. Kane hates it when I look scared of him, he losses it and threatens to hit me.
“Would you like an ice tea?” I ask with a smile on my face. Kane smiles, pleased, and nods once.
“Thanks, babe.” He grumbles and leans in to give me a kiss. I kiss him back but feel nothing. His kisses don’t make me feel anything good any more, only disgust. I stifle a sigh and get to making him an ice tea. I make sure to add an extra teaspoon of sugar, because he likes it a little sweeter. I made a mistake once of telling him he was eating a lot of sugar and he blew up, gran had to tell him to leave.
“So, what’s it like being in town freak show?” My friend Megan from university asks that night. I am lying on my bed with a discarded novel next to me. I swap the phone from one ear to the other. Kane left an hour ago, he stayed for dinner but didn’t help clean up. He leaves right after dinner most of the time. Gran brought out her old remark about him eating seconds, I am surprised it wasn’t faded from constant use. It has gotten repetitive and redundant though. ‘My grandma always told us seconds were for the greedy’ she announced to the table and Kane’s knuckles turned white.
“This town is small, not a freak show.” I laugh and shake my head. Megan is from Brisbane city and hates small towns more than I do.
“Same thing.” She says and I roll my eyes.
“It is actually nice here. A lot greener than where you are.” I tell her and pick at my nails. There is still dirt under them from gardening. I will cut then tomorrow.
“Sure it is. So, Kane…?” Megan prompts and I suck in a breath. She knows that Kane isn’t in the running to win best boyfriend award, or even the passible boyfriend award but I haven’t shared in depth details. Megan is really nice and is studying fashion design so she had great taste in clothing but she isn’t my best friend. I don’t have a best friend, I guess you could say I have trust issues. Well, gran tells me constantly that I need to let people in so I guess I lost that trait somewhere along the line.
“Could be better. So, how is that internship going?” Megan has an internship at Willow, a clothing line with beautiful designs. She has just finished her three years at university and has graduated with high enough grades and knows like, lots about fashion, so she got an internship without having to lift a perfectly manicured finger.
“Amazing. I mean, I am only getting coffee and what not at the moment but I have been asked for a few last minute opinions. I know I am better than most graduates…” I can’t help it but my mind starts to wonder. I don’t have a huge interest in fashion, sure I love shopping but I’m not a clinically insane level fashionist.
My mind wanders to Kane and all the lovely memories we have had. Granted, most of them where in the first year of us dating. He got a little slack and I still expected him to keep treating me how he did in that first year, so I guess that was a bad mix. I used to love Kane, but somewhere along the line I stopped. I just don’t know when. I have always been too afraid to end it. Also, something I haven’t told anyone…I am afraid that I wont find anyone better, another man that will want me. I have next to nothing in the way of savings, I’m not very attractive, I don’t like to party because I’d rather stay at home a read, and my idea of a fun night is watching chick flicks and knitting. I’m not an exciting woman so any man wouldn’t be wrong to think I am boring.
“…Anyway! I should go. Max is here to take me on a date,” Max is her new boyfriend. “I will talk to you later.”
Before I could reply the line went dead. I sigh and lay still for a moment. I think about a few different activities that I could use for when I graduate and get a job as a teacher, hopefully a prep or year one teacher.
There is a knock at my door. Gran. “Come in.” I chime and sit up on my bed. Gran enters wearing her baby blue nightgown that she has had for years now. I bought us both funky slippers last year. Bunny slippers for gran and owl slippers for me. I wear them ever night without fail and I know gran wears hers because every night that I call her from university she answers the phone with, ‘I’m wearing bunnies’.
“Are you doing anything, dear?” Gran asks. I shake my head and she walks over to my windows and straightens out my lavender coloured curtains. I watch her with patients. “I need to talk to you about Kane.” I sigh a little and gran moves to my chest of draws. I sit silently to let her know she can continue to talk. Gran pulls open my undergarment draw, the top one and pulls out a picture of my parents. I don’t like to have the photos of them up because they remind me that I don’t have parents anymore. I bite my lip and swallow back words that I will regret. Gran knows that I don’t like to see photos of my parents; it brings back memories and then nightmares of that night. “You may not know this but I know more about you than you think. You are just like your mother was when she was your age,” Gran has her back to me but I see her stroke mums face lovingly. Her soft hand shakes a little but that is mostly from old age. “You don’t value yourself as much as you should, my dear. You have so many beautiful qualities that you choose to over look…”
“Gran.” I sigh.
“Let me finish,” She tells me softly and turns to face me. “You don’t think you are good enough… not just at university but for men. That’s why you have stayed with Kane,” she says his name with a hint of disgust. “You used to be one of the brightest kids in this town. You used to have boys following you and other girls wanting to be your friend. I remember, I am not as senile as some think.” Gran smiles and looks down at the photo again. she pauses her lips and a frown line touches her forehead. She is trying not to cry. I can tell.
“Gran.” I say softly and move to the end of the bed.
“Your grandfather thought very highly of you. He absolutely adored you.” She looks me right in the eyes and I can see her sadness, but I can also see truth. “I have never told you this but he only wanted the best for you. When your parents were short on money and couldn’t afford to buy you the things you needed your grandfather gave them money, he put away money for you to pay off your college degree every month. Arielle, he would be so disappointed in you if he were here. Your grandfather did everything he could for you.” Gran isn’t mad but her voice turn stern towards the end. I blink a few times and take in what she has just told me. I didn’t know about the money put away or even my parents not being financially stable. I was too young to know about all this. I always knew that my grandad loved me but until now I hadn’t realised how much. I hadn’t realised that he adored me.
Before I can open my mouth to speak gran turns, places the photo on top of my dresser. “They deserve to be seen.” Her voice is a murmur, almost as though she is speaking to herself. Then she heads out of my room her slippers shuffling on the wooden floor. “Goodnight, dear. I love you with all my heart.” The door clicks softly behind her and then I am alone. I am alone and have a lot to mull over.
My grandad would be disappointed in me? I think about this. Gran is right. He wouldn’t want me with Kane, not now that he has become aggressive and mad.
I rack my hands through my hair and pace my room. I want to do my grandad proud but I am so scared of what Kane might do to me if I break up with him. I have so many loving memories of my grandad, and pictures as well. He was a wonderful man and he obviously saw something respectable in me.
All of a sudden hot tears well behind my eyes. I don’t want to fail him. I don’t want to throw my life away after everything he did for me. I shuffle to my dress and grab a hold of it for support.
“Oh my…” I breathe. Suddenly my chest becomes tight and my world spins a little. Not eating today really was a bed idea but with all this new information I find myself suddenly feeling faded. I snatch the photo of my parents and hold it to my chest. Trying to draw comfort from memories of them, happy childhood memories.
I wake the next morning to my alarm clock, aka the rooster. I groan and pull the covers up over my head. I don’t really remember getting into bed last night but I can feel my eyes stinging from crying. I was torn between fear and doing the right and brave thing. If I chose the last then I would be overcome with the first, and if I didn’t I would be letting my grandad down and still be fearful.
I think I will be in fear either why, but in the end I have to choose whichever one will make me happy in the long run. I can’t live my life in fear. Gran is right there are other men out there for me; I just have to really want to see it to believe it.
I peel back the covers and look over at my clock. It is six in the am, meaning I have to get up and have breakfast before doing work in the yard.
I dress in old shorts and a light but long sleave floral top before heading into the bathroom and washing my face and applying moisturiser to my face and sunscreen to every visible inch of fair skin. I look at myself in the mirror, not perfectly happy with how I look, but happy none the less. After I tie my long dark hair in a ponytail I skip down the stairs and into the kitchen. Gran has cooked pancakes but is nowhere to be seen. I quickly eat two delicious pancakes, then cover and put the rest in the fridge. I make a coffee and take it out onto the porch. It is a beautiful day, sunny with a cool breeze. It is noticeably cooler than yesterday, thank god.
I sip at my coffee and let myself relax to the quiet serenity of the property. I don’t love this small town but this house…it is beautiful. It almost makes living in this town bearable. It is located on the edge of town so it is far enough away from the watchful eye of the town gossips but close enough that it doesn’t count as a deserted piece of land.
Around the corner of the wrap around porch I can hear gran in the flower garden. Mostly it consists of lavender and roses but there are a few daises and sunflowers scattered around the place. It really is a sight all thanks to gran’s green thumb. Really, I swear she has sold her soul to the devil just so all her flowers and vegetables grow beautifully. She has won awards for her pumpkins. She claims that it is her secret recipe for her fertiliser. It is so secret that she hasn’t even told me what it is.
Gran starts to sing the same old song she has sung for years now. It is a nice sound but still not Australian Idol material. I gravitate towards the lullaby, just as I have done since I was a small child.
She is kneeing down on a padded gardening stool, weeding the flowerbed. I smile to myself and lean over the railing a little.
“Morning dear.” Gran looks up to give me a warm smile then gives her attention back to the garden. I sip my coffee.
“Morning.” I chime. My legs are sore from doing yard work yesterday and I want to sit down on the swinging chair behind me but my voice is soft and gran wouldn’t have a chance at hearing me. “You know, I can tend to the garden.” I tell her as I place the mug under my face and breathe in the comforting smell of hot coffee. Gran is a self confessed coffee addict and every time I came here as a child the house would always smell of coffee and there would always be cup ring stains on most of the wooden surfaces. I always felt safe and welcomed here, so I guess I link that feeling to coffee. I practically drink coffee 24/7 when I am at university, just to feel safe and welcome again.
“If you had it your way you would be doing everything and I would become a couch potato,” gran tells me as she slides the stool over and starts weeding another patch. “No thank you, dear. I like to keep busy.” I already know this because I hear it every time I ask if I can help with the flower garden.
“Alright then, I guess it’s a good thing for you to keep moving.” I say more to myself and sip more of my coffee. A few moments of silence pass and I move with gran as she finishes weeding each patch. I bite my lip but can’t hold it in any longer. “I just want to thank you for what you said last night.” I start and immediately have her attention. “It really made me think about what is the right thing to do. The right thing for me. I know I can’t stay with Kane. I think I have always known that, but I was just afraid that I wouldn’t find another guy after Kane.” I leave out the part that Kane has told me more than once that he is the best it will get for me. That would just kill her to know about the details of Kane and my relationship.
“So what are you going to do?” gran asks and there is hope in her voice. A gust of cool wind blows and I watch as the branches on the trees in the distance dance around.
I suck in a breath. “Break up with him.” I say but can’t remove my eyes from the dancing branches. It is mesmerising.
“Do you want me there?” Gran asks and something in her voice pulls me out of my daze. Fear. It is clear in her eyes. I force a smile but I know it wont do any good to I sigh and look down. My brown boots are muddy and scuffed from constant use. I don’t remember a time when they were clean. The day I got them, three years ago, I had to help bring the bails of hay into the barn shed because it was about to rain again. There was massive mud puddles everywhere and I was constantly stepping in them. I would swerve to miss one mud patch and step right into another.
I look back up at gran. “No, it’s alright. I think it would be best if I did it somewhere none threatening and with good memories. He might not take it well if you are in the next room.” I tell her and after a few seconds she shrugs and goes back to weeding.
"If you are sure that is a good idea, then I trust you. But, dear. Please be careful and don't let him convince you to stay with him. That boy is a con." I give her a nod and promise her that I will stand by my choice.
I get right to it and feed the horses but don't do the mowing or clean the fallen branches in the paddocks because the boy’s gran hires will be here soon to do all the really heavy work. I do the weekly shop, which is really only a gathering of things that we don't produce in the mini farm we have. Our dairy cow died recently so we are buying all our milk now and bread takes too long to make so we get it from the bakery in town. I purchase a few toiletries then head home to make lunch. Kane usually comes over for lunch so he will no doubt be there when I get home. Probably he has finished off the pancakes and beer.
I park the car out the front of the house and grab the grocery bags from the back of my old Nissin Micra. It hardly holds Kane in the passenger seat, let alone groceries in the hatch back. It gets me places though, and it is really cute.
Gran is sitting on the porch by the door when I head into the house. Meaning Kane is here. I also notice two bikes rested up against the stairs. They are Joe and his friends’ bikes. I don’t really know the friends name, I actually don’t always realise he is here. He is just that quiet.
“Hello.” Gran greets me, looking up from her book just long enough.
“Hi. We didn’t need much. Is Kane inside?” I ask and stop at the front door to talk to her.
“Yes, dear. He seems to think something is wrong. I got stuck having to tell him everything was fine with you.” Gran tells me and I sigh. I haven’t text him today because I have been busy, so he probably sees something coming. Though I doubt he will see the break up coming, I have a feeling that he would have been pacing the porch waiting for me to come home if he knew I was about to break up with him.
I kiss gran on the cheek and take a readying breath before entering the house. Gran’s house is beautiful with all its dark wood and cream walls. I always thought that house was the most amazing place as a child. It isn’t a huge house but it has three bedrooms, a study and two bathrooms. The third bedroom and the study are the only rooms up stairs so it isn’t often that gran or I go up there.
The floor old boards creak as I make my way into the kitchen. the house seems to be quieter this afternoon and my the sounds of my boots hitting the floor echo’s throughout the first floor of the house.
“Your footsteps are too loud for such a small person.” I hear Kane call from the kitchen. When I enter he is sitting at the counter with his back to me. My heart skips a beat. Kane isn’t a bad looking guy. His muscles almost have muscles and his eyes, while sharp, are a deep brown. Sometimes when I look at him I see the boy he used to be but mostly there is only this hard, unpleasant man.
“Sorry. It’s my boots.” I tell him in a soft voice, not wanting to madden him. Never wanting to madden him.
“You should take your boots off at the door. This house is too nice to have dirty shoe marks all over the floor.” Kane’s voice is gruff and final. I place the bags on the counter anyway from Kane, careful not to crowd him or be rude. I hold myself back from rolling my eyes.
“I’m sorry, you’re right. I would take them off but I was hoping you would take a walk with me. It is such a nice day outside.” I smile at him and watch as his face slowly softens. I sigh inwards with relief. My smile always did make him calm down just the little bit, it also helps that I put on a bit of makeup. Kane likes it when I look nice. “We can go to the creek.” I offer and he brightens a little more. That place has good memories for us.
“I don’t really feel like walking, but if you want than I guess I could do that for you.” He says, trying to sound nonchalant. I try very hard not to give him any type of, ‘let’s do it’ vibe. Because he will get mad if that’s not what happens. Probably it has crossed his mind as soon as I brought up the creek.
“Thank you, baby.” I chime and walk around the counter, tying to make my footsteps light. I grab hold of Kane’s hand and lead him out through the back door. I know gran will put the groceries away, and it will hopefully give her something to do to keep her from worrying too much about me. I think that maybe I should ask if she can start cooking dinner but I would feel too bad if I made her do it, plus I am the better cook but only by a little.
I am lying on my back and listening to the water flow gently down the creek. It is a beautiful sound but it isn’t enough to distract me from what I am about to do. I am nervous and scared and filled with dread. I have been with Kane for years, he has been a huge part of my life. Maybe things will get better with him… No! No, I can’t back down. Gran is right. I deserve better than to be yelled at and threatened by my own boyfriend. I have to do this. Yes there is still love in my heart for Kane, but it isn’t enough anymore. The bad is out weighing the good and I cannot prolong this any longer. I turn on my side to face Kane. He turns his head to look at me and smiles.
“This is nice.” His voice is soft and…he sounds like the old him, the one I fell in love with. I bite the inside of my cheek. No, that isn’t him anymore. Kane has changed. The old Kane would never have done and said the things that he has said to you in these past years. I tell myself then smile at him before sitting up and taking in a breath of the damp air.
"Kane,” I start and hear my heart beating in my ears. My chest feels tight and my head feels congested. “I have been thinking a lot about this. For the past couple of days I have been think seriously about my future and, Kane, I think it is best if we... You know, be apart. I need to move on with my life. You want to live here and all I want to do is get away from this town." a moment of silence passes and I think seriously about running for the hills. A part of me can’t believe that I just said those words. There have been times over the years when I had thought about saying those words but I was always too scared to say them.
I had imagined his responses to my breaking up with him and it is starting to worry me the he is taking so long to respond. Since his eyes haven’t started to water and he hasn’t jumped for joy I have a feeling I am about to get the response that I was hoping I would never get.
Kane stands suddenly and on instinct I get up. My heart races and I feel a little dizzy with adrenalin. He balls up his fists hard enough to turn his knuckles white. "Who is he?!" Kane yells and I flinch. "Is it that guy in all those photos? It is isn't it?" Kane is red with anger. Those large fists start to scare me; I look between them and his face. He has threatened to hit me, with those fists in the air, many times before. Kane has never hit me but he has lashed out at other men. I don’t ever remember him getting into fights in high school; he just wasn’t aggressive until his sister died.
“Kane, his girlfriend is my good friend. Matt and I are just friends. I am breaking up with you because I just think that our time together has come to an end.” I tell him in a soft voice. I have to swallow my anger at Kane for jumping to that conclusion. Dose he not think for even a moment that I am ending this because he hasn’t been treating me right for over a year now. My friends at university always tell me to dump him. Because the times they have seen him he has been anti-social and possessive of me, especially around guys.
“You can’t just end this. I am in this relationship too…”
“You wont leave until I tell you too.” Kane roared at me. A squeak escapes my mouth as I jump back. I hold my hands up in front of me as a sign of peace, but they shake. Don’t back down. You are doing the right thing. I tell myself again. You are strong you have survived a car crash and through the depression of loosing both your parents. I try to give myself a pep talk.
“I know. I understand that you are in this relationship too. But Kane, you aren’t treating me nicely. Remember you used to treat me like a princess.” I force a smile. My aim is to make the conversation as light as possible but even so, Kane lashes out and slaps me hard across my cheek. I gasp and hold my left cheek with both of my hands. My cheek stings and hurts like getting a burse at the same time. I try my best to stop the tears that rim my eyes. He hit me. Is all I can think in my state of shock.
“I have done everything for you. I gave you everything. You have your fucking royalty needs and I gave them too you,” I let my hands drop and I turn to look back at him. I hope my face has a red hand mark so he and see it and feel bad for hitting me. He doesn’t. “Now, because you think I’m not good enough for you, you are leaving me. After all these years! No. You will not leave me!” He yells and spit flies from his mouth and hits my face. I am too scared to do anything about it. How am I supposed to break up with him if I feel like he will bash me if I do? I am starting to wish that I had taken grans advice and broken up with him on the porch so she would be able to keep an eye on us. At the time though, I had thought coming to a peaceful place like the creek, with only happy memories for Kane and I, would be the better option. Boy was I wrong.
“K…Kane. I’m sorry, I am, but I can’t keep going like this. I was always worried that you would get too mad or too drunk and hurt me. You did make an effort to do the romantic and girly things I liked but you stopped. You have stopped trying. You have stopped caring about me. Kane, please, please, please let me go. I know you will be so much happier as well. I know you don’t like getting mad but for some reason I am the one that seems to make you mad.” Never mind the fact that I kept my voice friendly, Kane only seemed to get madder. He slaps me again, harder this time and I taste blood in my mouth. I scream and stumble backwards from the force. I think I trip on something because next thing I know I hit the wet ground. “Kane, please. I’m sorry.”
“Shut up.” He yells at me than lashes out and kicks me hard in the thigh. I cry out again but he only kicks me harder in the same place. “I told you to shut up.” Kane growls. I cup my left hand over my mouth as tears rush down my cheeks. “I am sick of you whining. ‘I am so sad’,” I tries to mimic my voice and does an appalling job. “‘I miss my parents’. I am sick of it. You are nothing but a burden. Your parents probably wanted to kill themselves to be free of you.” Kane spits the words out at me then kicks the right side of my hip. I scream into my hand and roll away from him. It feels like he has broken a bone or two in my leg and now my hip is burning white hot with pain. I whimper and look up at him through blurry eyes. Kane laughs at me. “Pathetic. You are pathetic.” He scoffs then drops to the ground by my hip. I wiggle away a little before he grabs a fistful of my hair and another fistful of my shorts and pulls me back to him. I cry out again and grab his thick wrist, the one pulling me by my hair, with both of my hands. Kane lets me go and moves so he is sitting on my hips. On instinct I immediately scream from help. I don’t want to be rapped by my boyfriend.
“Gran.” I scream. “Help…” I think he is about to slap me again or maybe cover my mouth with his big hands but instead he goes for my throat. Kane wraps his rough hands around my throat. He doesn’t squeeze but it is enough to stop me from screaming. I beg him with my eyes. Cold fear runs through me. Kane isn’t going to rape me… he is going to kill me.
"This extract remains the exclusive property of the author who retains all copyright and other intellectual property rights in the work. It may not be stored, displayed, published, reproduced or used by any person or entity for any purpose without the author's express permission and authority."