He had pushed me against a wall. The marks where his fingernails had dug into my arm are still there and are still sensitive to the touch. Its August, I wear long sleeves to cover the marks.

I love him, I’d never want him to get in trouble.

I told him I wanted to go to college. We were alone in his house. My mother couldn’t stand him. I wasn’t allowed to go out with him after he had dumped me twice and cheated on me once. They didn’t get it. They didn’t understand. He is the love of my life.

My best friend.

“I want to go away to school, for acting.” I had said. We had just made love, I was getting dressed.

“Don’t be stupid.” He scoffed. “You’re not good enough.”

I slipped my bra on and clipped it around myself.

“I’d still like to try.” I replied. He watched me as I slipped on my shorts.

“Well can’t you try here?”

He hated theater. He never went to any of my shows. I love him anyhow.

“I won’t get the training here.” I picked my shirt up off the floor. He grabbed it out of my hand.

“I like you better like this.” He said wrapping his arms around my waist. I smiled. He made me feel better about myself.

He kissed me on my forehead and whispered in my ear.

“You are the most beautiful girl in the world. Stay with me.”

“And do what?” I whispered back.

That’s when my phone rang. I looked at the screen and felt my heart sink. It read “Mom”.

“Hello?” I said. He was still attached to me. Kissing me up my neck, as if he wanted me to squeal and get caught. Then we would both be in trouble.

My mom went off on a tangent about how some guy killed his girlfriend. She read it in the paper. She swore it was him. I know him better than that though. He’d never hurt me.

I rolled my eyes hanging up the phone.

“She doesn’t know?”

“She doesn’t know.”

He reached for the buttons on my shorts. I stopped him with my hand.

“I’d like to talk about the future.” I said.

“Not now.” He answered.

He went for them again. I stopped him with my hand.

“Not now.” I said.

“Come on baby.” He pleaded.

He continued to try, I continued to stop him.

“What’s your problem?” He grunted.

“We need to talk about it.” I said. “I want to go away to school.”

“I told you it was a stupid idea.” He restated. “I told you, you are not good enough.”

“And I told you I wanted to try.”

“I’m trying to protect you from getting your feelings hurt.” He assured me. “I’m telling you no to protect you.”

“I know babe,” I stroked his face. “But I want to take this risk.”

“You’re not going.” He said. His face went stone cold. I felt mine get red hot.

“You can’t tell me what to do.” I claimed, quietly.

“You’re not going and that’s it.” He decided for me.

I picked my shirt up off the ground. Angrily this time. I wanted to leave.

He pulled it out of my hands and pushed me back onto the bed.

“I’m going home.” I stated, picking myself back up.

He pushed me back down.

“You’re not going anywhere.” He dictated. He went for my shorts again.

I swatted him away.

That’s when it happened.

He pushed me against the wall. His nails dug into my upper arms. My head bashed again the wall. I saw every muscle in his body bulging out. He looked at me with those brown eyes, the ones I could usually stare at for hours. But right now they were dull, almost like they couldn’t feel.

“You’re not going anywhere.” He whispered slowly. “And if you try, the only place you’ll be going is through this wall.”

Then he let me go. I fell onto the bed.

And that’s when I realized,

I was meant to stay home with him. I wasn’t good enough. I deserve the marks on my arms. I deserve the pain.

I told my mother I wasn’t going to school. I told her I was going to marry him. She threw a plate at my head and told me I was not longer her daughter.

I ran away from home, we live together now.

I love him.