We were seated on our bed late that night. A fight imploded almost instantly. You yelled; I yelled, too.
We were screaming on top of our lungs, desperately trying to prove our points. I tried so hard to convince you that my outfit wasn’t a big deal. In between the screams and curses, you told me people stared at me that night. Finally, I grew tired of such a stupid fight, so I turned my back and walked away. You hate it when I do that, but I couldn’t stand the shouting anymore.
You grabbed me by the arm… hard. I looked straight into your eyes and saw nothing but rage and that was the first time I ever feared you.
“I can never hurt you, because the moment a man lays a hand on a woman is the same moment he stops being a man.”
For some reason, I believed you.
I chose to walk away. But you couldn’t give me a chance to breathe, could you?
You saw the fear consuming my soul. Our screams turned to silence, and you knelt in front of me. “I will never hurt you,” you said in a calm and soothing voice.
After that frightening night, you constantly reminded me that you could never hurt me.
You said I pushed your buttons and provoked the rage I saw in your eyes. You claimed I crossed the line, not you.
So, I apologized, and you forgave me.
I’d sit on that same bed and look into your eyes while you’d remind me “the moment a man lays a hand on a woman is the same moment he stops being a man.”
You reminded me after you called me a slut just because I spoke to another man. And that time you lost your cool when I didn’t answer your calls because I was working. You reminded me that night you drunkenly called me worthless and said I should be thankful that one man accepts me despite my many flaws. And that night you pushed me off the bed because I wouldn’t listen.
You said you loved me and you could never hurt me because “the moment a man lays a hand on a woman is the same moment he stops being a man.”
You reminded me that night after you pinned me on the bed and undressed me quite aggressively, and all I could say was, “Stop… stop… stop.” Yet you only stopped when you finished.
Even then, with tears streaming down my face, I believed you.
You reminded me again when I ran out of our apartment barefoot and trembling. I shouted for help, fully convinced you actually could and would hurt me. Yet you calmly dismissed my fears, telling people we’d had a little spat but you would never hurt me because “the moment a man lays a hand on a woman is the same moment he stops being a man.”
They all looked at me like I was crazy. I, too, believed I was just being crazy as they told me to just talk things out, because you seemed like the kind of guy who would never hurt a woman.
All because “the moment a man lays a hand on a woman is the same moment he stops being a man.”
We went back into our apartment and once again sat on that bed. You started playing with my hair, stroking my face, and rubbing my back. As I looked up at you, I already knew what you were about to say…
“I can never hurt you because the moment a man lays a hand on a woman is the moment he stops being a man.”
And I believed you.
I believed all of you.
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