Tuesday, 13 August 2019

Text


David touched the phone’s screen, his breathing stilted with expectant nerves, opening the view to see that the message had arrived. Finally, after such a long time, he could smile. He pressed the text icon and watched as the screen changed to a familiar view. He scrolled up, for a few seconds, with many messages and memories sliding in front of his eyes. Finally, he stopped scrolling, as he reached the first message.


He started to read. Speed reading. Glancing through, missing out the usual formalities of conversation, until he reached a certain point in time. The first kiss. His eyes softened, the smile increasing, as his emotions tried to grasp the situation with a pure heart, an understanding heart. That first kiss where you show that you’re interested, that you want more, feel more and need that something extra from a person. The wondrous adventure of all the moments to follow.

He recalled their first kiss, stolen, a quick glancing affair taken whilst he was feeling that extra bit brave. He had all the confidence in the world, with any woman, until he met someone that he actually really, really liked. Maybe he’d watched far too many black and white movies, as a child, or maybe it was the dignity and nobility trying to enforce that he respected her in all the ways that he should. The long-lost values that meant little, in the fast and free moments of their present world.

Either way, no matter his thoughts, he’d distracted her and upon her eyes meeting his again, he took that moment to grab his kiss. A quick, single, simple gesture to ensure their nerves stayed calm and the conversation relaxed. It had worked. The success of a brave foot forward or, should he say, placing his lips upon hers. He returned to viewing the messages as his emotions rose. Special. Something to remember.

He scrolled a little more, the quick messages between them flowing with such ease. He reached the obvious place where the relationship turned from friendly gestures, to the intimacy shared between the two. She turned him on, with nearly every single word from her lips. She wasn’t one to hold back and, finally, neither did he. He’d waited the longest time to find someone that he could feel comfortable with, to be able to express himself the way he’d wanted, with happiness finally being embraced. He felt free, unconstrained, as she listened to whatever his imagination wanted to think. He’d whisper to her, whenever he could, words of devotion, love, debauchery and more. She seemed to adore his naughty mind, the nature of being able to say the words needed, to drive the both of them insane with physical need. It was the electric to his fire.

Then, he recalled the moment they’d said the three words that meant so much. He feared the words, held them close to his heart, despite wanting the world to know. The vulnerability they signified, warning him, embracing him, opening his arms to allow another person into his life and emotion. She said the words first, as he read them on the screen, with him quickly rushing to her side, to say them in person. He just wanted to see her eyes glow, her smile escape, with her arms holding him close as he felt even more freedom. The trust, often given, seldom actually earned, being created between them.

He was so happy. They were both happy whilst walking hand in hand. The world faded; the moments bonding the both of them, to a new place. He continued to scroll, realising that it really was working for her, the love that she had.

Content with the messages, he reached the bottom of the texts and started to type his reply. He simply needed to know, wished to have an answer and, despite the moments being as they were, he didn’t want to push or hamper where she currently resided. He pressed send, next to his typed message, as he re-read the content, ‘Thanks Brian. I just needed to know, and I hope that it works out for the both of them. It hurts but sometimes, knowing that your ex is happy with someone else, is all that matters’.

He pressed the lock button on the side of his phone, standing and turning towards the door, as he slowly walked from the room. He knew that history repeated itself, that people said the same things, to each other, over and over again, yet he preferred closure, an ending, a realisation that everyone was a free spirit. He was now free, eager to move forward, after reading a few simple, little, private texts.


Monday, 22 July 2019

Picture


You see, to me, I don’t care who knows whatever I feel about you. You’re that picture that I’ve always dreamed of, wanted, needed, desired within all of this messed up world. I listen to music, while I imagine the words upon your lips. I read a book and just want to have you say all of the words.


It’s okay. I know that I’m looking at you, in that way, the way, that a man should. Forget the romance, as we’ve done that, been there and will continue to explore and love. This is real life, raw, realistic, the very moment we’re holding right now. I know that this could be all in my imagination, but I’m not ready to let go, not yet, not for a while. You’re still here, in front of me, keeping me warm.

That first day, when you shouted at me for knocking over your drink, will reside within infamous glory. I didn’t care that your tempter raised the roof, as I soon realised that the weight of the world was upon your very shoulders. I cared because, from that very first second, I knew that I had to have you. Be around you, kiss you against a wall, ensuring that we fell into each other, the more we explored.

Yeah, you fitted me. Perfectly fine. I just wanted every single inch of you, upon me, over me, doing all of the things we enjoyed. I ensured that my body made you say my name, over and over again. Each time you smiled, expressed yourself with such words that would make a religious person run for cover, I met those words with thoughts of my own. Actions befell, to either of us that held the rope. We held on, as tightly as possible, knowing that this ride of life could end at any moment.

We drank wine, eat those naughty items of life, then realised that we’d always be each other’s deserts. We’d often laugh, late at night, realising that we’d done nothing all day, as well as the night, apart from talk. The stupor lasting until we really had to do, what we had to do.

We clicked. We rocked. We rolled across many, many floors, never wishing for any of this to end. I’m just looking at you, remembering that your eyes said so many words. I’d give you that smile, say a few words, which fell away to clothes being thrown around, if we’d even manage to remove them. The urgency, the slow moments, the immoral tendency to enjoy each other, knew no bounds.

I’d say this, then you’d say that. I’d kiss you, then you’d kiss me. The ease, the life we all wanted, right there being lived. We were truthful from the very start, sick of the daily grind and bull from most areas.

You see, to me, you were the perfect picture of the way I wished life to be. That legendary one moment and chance to be taken. I took that chance. I truly did but, as with many things, the fairy tale ends. You’re then left with the realisation that the picture within your mind, that ideal scenario and play of plays, becomes just that, a picture. That’s what I’m holding right now, imagining, wishing, for it all to become true. Again.



Sunday, 21 July 2019

Dark


Daniel cast his gaze over the assembled people as he walked around the room. Each of them, possibly, as far as he knew, the best of the best as well as the brightest. Lawyers, a sociologist, a mathematician, a scholar of history and more. Each of them, each mind, attuned to the current world status. No matter the discipline, they also had other objectives that they were there to discuss.


He'd vetted each and every single one of them, ten years previous, ensuring that each person had what it would take. They needed to understand what was required, and to essentially answer any questions that were presented to them. Fast, with precision, honesty and faith in their conviction. He sat at the end of the table, the eight of them with four sitting on either side, with chairs angled so they all marginally faced his direction. Each of them, silent, receptive, waiting for whatever would happen next.

Daniel cleared his throat, an indication that each of them, in case their minds weren’t as focused as he believed them to be, would snap away from whatever vexed their thoughts. With a calm voice, direct, he glanced at each of them as he spoke, “As you’re aware, we’ve gathered here today to discuss a critical decision. We value your input and realise that each of you might not have considered the scenario we’re about to propose,” Daniel paused for a few seconds, understanding exactly what he was about to put them through, “In front of you is a black cup, filled with a liquid that will cleanse and remove certain chemicals from within your system. Please drink now. There’s a bin to the side of each of you.”

He watched as they immediately drank, with some taking a second to sniff, or swirl the contents. He’d done the exact same thing a few months earlier, in preparation for this very moment. He’d immediately thrown up, experienced the brief but violent headache, with clarity quickly forming within his conscious mind. The liberating feeling had been something to behold, a glorious soul awakening, which eventually led to the questions and thorough understanding of how the world could be. What it could become. It was, however, not his decision to make.

For a few seconds they sat in silence, wondering what to do next, as Daniel remained perfectly calm. The smallest man quickly reached behind him, his metabolism more than likely working faster than the others, for the bin. The contents of his stomach, as well as an odd coloured substance, flew forward into the bin at speed. The noise, discomforting, as his disorientation spread through the group. One by one, they all succumbed to the same situation. Each of them emptying their stomachs. From complete calm, to near anarchy within moments.

Eventually, they all stopped, leaning back into their chairs, their breathing heavy and random. Daniel nodded and a door opened to the rear of the room. Three people walked in, removing the bins, with three more bringing each of the attendees a small slice of food.

“In front of you sits a heavily combined source of amino-acids, nutrients and vitamins. No additional preservatives, colours or additives. I suggest that each of you eat the bar right now!”  He recalled this moment, the hunger, the mild aching as his body caught up to the stomach’s freedom. The bar tasted completely bland, no flavour, as he stifled a small smile. He knew what was about to happen, the glorious feeling, the moment of transition that would free them from a lifetime of imposed bonds.

Each of them chewed the bar, with most showing their disdain for such a tasteless food. The moments moved, as Daniel kept an eye on the clock to the rear of the room. He waited, watched each of them, as the effects started. The euphoria would hit them, first. A pure energy released into each of their bodies. Their minds would clear, the fog that embraced each of their waking thoughts, removed to increase their thinking clarity.

Then, as he knew, there would be a spiritual awakening. Whatever word he used, whatever was assigned to the moment, he knew that nothing would prepare them for what was happening. The lady, sat to his left, raised her hand in front of her eyes.

“What you’re experiencing is your previously repressed cognitive facilities. From the day you were born, you’ve been fed food that specifically filters certain beneficial improvements. We’re naturally attuned to each other, the people around us but, instead, our full potential is denied!”

Daniel watched each of them carefully. In some cases, the experience was far, far too much. He recalled reading about the similar trials started, years previous, with specific military candidates. The benefits included vastly improved response time, speed, reasoning, split second decision making, the very nature of a person refined and defined. Then, shortly after, the solution was offered to the richest people on the planet. For a price, of course.

“I can see my actual aura?” one of them said, the smile spread across her face. He knew that, in the next few moments, they’d start thinking in unison, mentally connected to each other without even realising. The question, however, still needed to be asked.

“Over the next few weeks you will specifically ignore all other food sources. The world is in a state of impending anarchy. The food chain is destroying the planet and, as you’re now probably realising, that we simply need to decrease food production. The bar in front of you can sustain each of you for up to one week. The side-effects, as you’re also aware, are complete freedom of your mind’s mental abilities. The obvious question is if we’re ready for a global change. Are we?”

Each of them turned, to look at Daniel, at the same time. Connected, aligned, together with their thinking. He could feel their thoughts, nearly hold them within his mind, as each of them formed their initial conclusion. He held their thoughts within his mind’s frontal lobe, focused, concentrating, with the only word appearing being the word, ‘darkness’.

He nodded, knowing, the rationale being more than obvious. The world, the current administration, the lives lived, would not be changed with ease. Boredom equalled anarchy, destruction, the revolt of making changes, would have to be carefully orchestrated.

The dark, for now, would have to stay. He knew, despite allowing them time to process the changes, that the world simply wouldn’t allow change after the decades of greed, destruction, power and profit. The dark within us all.

Tuesday, 16 July 2019

Reverse


His knee bounced up and down, ever so slightly, as he waited. The reception area looked pleasing, sparse, yet evenly colour matched. He had no idea why he was thinking such thoughts but, thankfully, it seemed to evade the very reason he was there. He’d moved on, survived, discovered, with a niggling ache at the back of his mind that needed to be removed.


“Mr. Williams?”

His knee stopped, looking up and to his side, to see the attractive receptionist smile at him. Standing, the time finally arriving, he walked the short distance into the room. This was it. No turning back. He really wasn’t sure and that alone, made the decision for him. He was a decider, no matter how long he thought about a subject, he would eventually act and move forward. This situation, the issue that remained, simply did not want to leave him.

He felt tense, but optimistic, that feeling of wonder and fear all wrapped together. The room reminded him of a Dentist’s office. Amazingly clean, sterile, with the lighting clear as day. The lady, sat on a high stool, smiled as he entered, “Hello Mr. Williams. Please take a seat!” He wanted to make a joke, about taking the seat away with him, but that probably wouldn’t raise a laugh. His jokes, being as awful as they were, did at least keep him amused.

As the seconds moved forward, they discussed the various options until they reached the most important section. The lady sat in front of him, with a serious look upon her face, asked the most important question, “The relationship did not last that long, so why would you prefer to remove the memories?”

Dan froze, for a few seconds, as the images flooded his mind. The anger, rejection, shame and further emotions, all appeared within a mere second. “It’s just the best thing for me to do. I made mistakes and, if I’m honest with myself, I was in no state to really take what happened.”

The lady smiled, understanding as much as she could, “You know that we learn from our experiences, be they good, or devastatingly bad! You seem like someone that would learn from your experiences as well as mistakes?”

“I am. I do, but this has stuck with me. I find solutions to my problems and this… is my solution!” He knew that his reply was the most honest and genuine reply that he could find. He wasn’t willing, or able, to simply let the situation take as long as it had done to fade. The entire mess was still fresh, each day, whenever he tried to feel emotions or even move forward. The time, wasted, never to return.

“Okay. If you’re happy to proceed then I’m also happy.”

He nodded. It was the right moment, the correct path forward, with his mind and heart welcoming the freedom. The lady moved from the stool, opening a drawer, to produce a circular metal band. She walked over to him whilst speaking, ”If you’d like to relax, as much as you can,” placing the band onto his head, “we can then start the process!”

She returned to the stool, as she tapped the screen of her tablet. His curiosity loved anything new, experiences, places, with all of this seeming so interesting. He relaxed into the chair, breathing in through his nose, then out of his mouth. He started to laugh, the wonder and excitement appearing from within. He admonished himself, as he didn’t really wish to come across as a teenager with a new toy.

“We’re ready to proceed,” said the lady, smiling as she continued to tap away, “I’d like you to imagine her face, anything that you can recall about her. Really, deeply, focus as much as you can. Remember Rebecca Summers!”

Dan closed his eyes, knowing that all the events featuring the woman that he needed to be removed, were linked together like strands of cord. Connected, forming changes within his thinking, mood, as well as the person he was. Too many moments of regret, the words he should have said, instead of the words that he did, haunting his waking moments.

He felt his heart relax, his mind allowing the moments to focus. Her face appeared, so beautiful, her hair flowing as it did in the way that he loved. She smiled, the chill moving through his spine as his emotions spiked. He’d not met many people, within his life, that had the effect that she’d had upon him. He’d hated this, the man that said as well as did what was required, only to fail on all levels. He’d allowed that smile of hers to remove his confidence, his faith in the man that he wanted to be. Worthless, not good enough, failing at what he excelled at.

The lady monitored the threads, the connected mental information concerning the person that Dan needed to be removed. The information within his mind, albeit a small amount, started to fade as she ensured that the information removed stayed within defined parameters. She recalled the name of the person Dan had the relationship with, wondering why she’d heard it before.

Dan recalled walking, hand in hand, stopping to gently kiss her neck as she laughed at his silly comments. He’d felt alive, floating upon a cloud of delicate foundations, only to see them all fall from under him. He held her face within his mind, as his thoughts struggled, grasping, searching, as she faded, along with any trace of her from his memory. Gone. Done. No longer.

“…and that’s it. All done!”  Said the lady. Dan opened his eyes, shocked at the speed of such a process.

The lady, once again, tapped the screen a few times, as she scrolled through the names of the previous participants for ‘object’ removal. She’d remembered the name of Dan’s removal subject and, right there on the small screen, she read the name and tapped. A picture appeared and, as she suspected, Dan’s name was her removal subject. The both of them had visited the same clinic for the same process.

The lady stood, still keeping the same smile that she had throughout the process. She removed the metal ring, placing it into a plastic container on her desk, “If you need any further assistance, please call the clinic and we can discuss further treatment. How do you feel?”

“I feel amazing,” he replied, his thoughts once again his own. He knew why he’d visited, with the sensation of not actually ‘knowing’ why he’d visited, baffling him. The vacant, empty thoughts that were once within his mind, no longer existing to form the thread of information. He smiled, regardless, realising that the next few days would re-arrange his thought processes.

--

Dan sat at the bar, the smile still upon his lips, as he sipped the vodka and Pepsi. The last few days were amazing. Skipping out of bed, driving to work singing his favourite songs, with none of them reminding him of previous events. His mental freedom finally restored. To Dan’s right side, sat a woman, who also ordered a vodka and Pepsi. Dan, glancing sideways, immediately appreciated the way she looked, as well as sounded. Her hair, looking simply amazing, being the obvious and instant attractive aspect. He gestured to the barman, “I’ll get this for the lady!”

She smiled, “Thank you, but I can get my own drink!”

“Yeah, I know, but it’s got us talking and that was my only intention.”

“In that case maybe we should introduce ourselves?”

“That would be nice, I’m Dan! Nice to meet you.”

“Hello Dan, my name is Rebecca, Rebecca Summers!”

They both smiled, as Dan knew that he’d never regret visiting the ‘Reverse’ clinic.


--

No matter how much something hurts, or whatever loss you experience, it WILL make you endure and learn. That is, of course, if you see it that way. Believe in your capacity to withstand anything life throws at you! 

Sunday, 14 July 2019

Skin


At a surprisingly early age, he’d realised, suddenly, that he enjoyed the softest of things within the world. Call it heightened senses, that majestic and mellow moment of touch, where his mind simply fluttered at the smallest of touches. He’d close his eyes, allowing the moment to pause, as he touched whatever was in front of him. Silk, leather, the laced garments surrounding his every single day, it did not matter as long as he explored.

He endured, learned, realising that the senses of the soul needed transparency. Needed restraint. Control. The people around him, of course, were oblivious to whatever realm his nerve endings resided within. Some enjoyed the various fragrances, the beautiful smell of the many, many, potions and lotions available to all. He found them to be satisfactory, an oral smile spoken by the many, as he bathed his body until it smelt of the most grandiose of moments. He learned. He explored. Yet, as always, it still fell to the desire of touch. That electricity of nature, the grounding of a person once connected to another.

He’d grown, explored all that needed to be desired, yet still found that one place where he wished to reside. To stay. To obey his wanton wishes and wants. He needed little, within his world, the accomplished place he called his own. Then, from nowhere, it all changed. The thoughts exploded, the craving increased, the desire within reaching a level that he’d never, ever, experienced.

She arrived. She understood. She understood all of him. Every, single, inch… of his inner thoughts. He’d never explored the way he’d explored with her. She brought his fear from within and denied its control over his basic meanderings. He’d smile, often, always, whenever she was near him. She knew. She damn well knew which buttons he needed to press.

Secrets, illusions, the masks within our basic tasks, all thrown aside in one glorious night of heightened, fire filled heat. It still sent shivers down his very spine, when he recalled the freedom upon that first night. The connection. That connection. Explored and up roared with such gusto that he could swear that he only barely survived. That touch of his, every fibre glowing with intensity, that he wished for it to never end.

She just enjoyed him, wanted him, allowed him to be whatever he wanted to be. No exclusions, reservations or scolding furrowed eyebrows of dislike. He’d simply, easily, just touch her skin. Again and again. Over and over, with his senses dancing to her very delight. Eyes closed, ears wide shut, he’d created that mental map of every single inch of her body. That joy, the expression of his very lips quivering with shocked splendour. He couldn’t stop. Wouldn’t stop, as long as she wanted him to do what he needed to do.

Years. The very years of silence of shame, gone. Vanished. Exposed to a person who didn’t judge, modify, classify or reject. She held him so very close, wanting him to be exactly what he wished to be. Each touch, reaching into her heart, embracing her desire to simply be wanted. He endured the bliss, as his fingertips gently glided upon her skin. Breathing, shallow, expressing his heart’s skipped beats.

Kissing her, as softly as he could, barely even a touch between them, made his legs feel weak and his emotions rise. Since that moment, his mind becoming used to the way they were together, his fingers remained as sensitive as they were on that first day. He smiled, as his curse and reality filled sensuality remained. She’d often call him, text him, asking how she’d felt upon that morning, or previous night. His body, responding, calling for her, he’d often raise his hand and imagine her cheek against his fingers. That imaginary moment where she was still in front of him, right there, allowing him to touch her in that sensitive way.

He’d smile, with each message, with each text, knowing, realising, that no matter the fabric or moment, nothing within his world would ever, could never ever, be as soft as the skin of the person you love.

Friday, 12 July 2019

Life


Tiptoeing from the house, along the side of the back garden, she quickly opened the gate and exhaled some of her excitement. She felt alive. Almost frantic with the feelings that she’d not known for such a long time.  Looking left, then right along the path that ran along the rear of her house, she waited as the seconds escaped her. The chances to see him were slim, which meant that she’d gladly jump at any moment.


She heard footsteps and, from around the corner, he appeared. They’d met while she attended some function that she’d long forgotten about, despite not managing to forget anything about him. The first thing she noticed were his eyes. Those sparkling eyes of his, mixed with a smile and strangely soothing voice. She’d checked all of him, as he ventured off for drinks and, at no point, was she ashamed at her blatant flirting.

He reached her, as her entire body, mind and more, responded with fluttering delight. He just did something for her, to her, on many occasions. He was that guilty pleasure that she kept a secret. For now. For the moment. Until it all felt right.

“How are you?” he asked, without moving his eyes away from her. That voice, his voice, seemed to reach a place within that just wanted him to continue talking and talking. Thankfully, he didn’t do that, despite the wish being thrown around within her mind. She was connected to him, in more than that physical way, which sometimes made the small moments hard to let go off.

His arms moved around her, drawing her closer as her head rested against his chest. “I’m okay,” she replied, “he’s inside talking with my Mother!” She wanted things to be different and, soon, they would be. She had to be sure, before making the move that could possibly disrupt more than her life. She had to make the right choice, the best choice, for everyone.

She’d heard the promises, all of them, again and again, which meant that despite her emotions screaming for more, she had to finally stop being frivolous with her emotions. She’d cried, more than most, with her tears eventually becoming something of a joke to her common sense. He did seem different. He did allude to being more than the words that promised so much. Either way, no matter how warm he felt, no matter how strong his arms held her, or the way he did that thing with his lips, she’d do this the way she should have, all the years previous.

She felt his arms ease, as she moved her head, looking up into those eyes again. She smiled, which invited a tender kiss to appear upon her lips. He did kiss with thought, passionate, tasting her upon him. He’d often said that she had the softest lips he’d ever kissed which, to her, was the usual rubbish that men threw her way. As he kissed her again, she honestly believed him.

He’d waited for her, never pushed, despite her secret need for him to take charge and have what he obviously wanted. She’d teased, played with him a little, but that was the secret to being alive. The intensity could come later, eventually, with all the playful laughter and teasing keeping things fresh. They seemed to really understand each other, respect each other’s honest desire to cut the bull from the daily grind. Working hard, playing harder, laughing until the world meant nothing, was what they both enjoyed.

“Soon!” she said, as his silent words escaped from whichever part of him was in control. His heart, or his mind, she truly didn’t know and wouldn’t guess. He nodded, accepting, understanding as far as he could. He, after all, did not have children, but would always understand that a relationship with a Mother would always arrive with additional thought. He respected the situation, realising that she simply wasn’t just another one, another conquest or body to set aside once finished with her.
From the very first moment they’d met, he knew, or at least he wanted to believe, that she was the one, and that meant waiting for as long as it would take.

After all, the both of them deserved love, needed love, when the time was right to add another person into the great big mix called ‘life’.



Monday, 8 July 2019

Teddy


Lucy, sat at the top of the long winding stairs, listened and watched with her mind empty of thought. She’d heard them, again, once more this week, raising their voices in the way that they tended to do. She didn't quite understand why it happened, only that it happened again and again, with Mummy eventually left crying.


At times, despite her age, she wanted to ask Mummy if she’d been naughty. Maybe she’d done something to upset Daddy, but she remained quiet accepting that this simply happened. There was no reason. It was, like many things, the normality that she was growing into. Her teddy, held tightly to her side, obscured her face a little. Just in case. Just in case the shouting became too loud as that, to her young ears, was when she started to feel very afraid.

Both of their loud voices crossed each other, the words filled with venom, filled with the vile looks that each of them threw across the room. She wasn't sure what had started it, this time, with Daddy returning home from wherever he’d been. She did wish that they’d stop, to hold hands like they used to do, the days that had since vanished. Her heart was so young, truly innocent, not meant to witness such events despite the Mummy and Daddy often hiding their solemn looks and viper like glances.

Mummy loved Daddy and Daddy loved Mummy. That’s the image she held onto. Wished for. Longed for, as that was when everything was happy. Would be happy. She stayed perfectly still, that teddy being held that bit tighter, as Mummy crossed the room to point a finger towards Daddy’s face. It happened. Again. Daddy slapped Mummy. It happened so fast, with the silence filling the room with stagnant energy. Mummy fell to the floor, holding her face, as she started to cry. Lucy gasped, hiding behind the teddy, with one eye still watching. Daddy knelt beside Mummy, saying that he was sorry, that he’d change, with Mummy eventually hugging him.

She’d seen this a few times, over the last few months, with the frequency increasing as the days moved forward. She knew that something was wrong with Daddy, that things had changed, but to her small heart she knew that Mummy had done nothing wrong, to deserve being slapped. She feared Daddy, for hitting Mummy, her behaviour becoming one of a good girl, whenever Daddy was around. Mummy held her hand, often, especially as the hours moved through the day and Daddy returned from wherever he’d been.

Lucy stood, slowly, turning to silently walk to her room. She didn't want them to see her, for them to know that she’d been naughty. Creeping out of bed to ask for Milk, or water, was one thing, but listening to Mummy and Daddy simply wouldn't do. She didn't want to be slapped, like Mummy had been slapped.

Climbing into bed with the duvet covering her, as she hid beneath the covers, she held the teddy against her. She wouldn't let go. Never. Teddy would protect her and, of course, she would protect teddy. “Don’t worry teddy, we’ll both be good and never, ever, want to be slapped!”

Her eyes closed, her mind drifting away into the world of sleep, not quite understanding or realising what all of this meant.

-


Lucy placed her bag onto the side chair, closing the front door with her foot, shouting to Derek to say that she was home. She’d known him for a few months, the relationship accelerating quite fast as he was, in all honesty, quite sweet. She knew that he had issues, unresolved events from his past, but so did she and that made the both of them unique. Both survivors of the daily grind and hardships of life. Her career was at a high, the accomplishments actually being rewarded for a change. She smiled to herself as, finally, she was known as ‘one of the boys’. The same old world, the same old clich├ęs, the lines between men and women becoming blurred as the days moved in front of her eyes.

She undid the top button of her shirt, whilst placing her shoes onto the floor rack. This was one of the best moments of the day. The success of making things happen, then finally being able to switch off, relax, unwind and let her guard down. Working with men was ruthless, fun, crazy, but often so darn annoying. A few of them really needed to wash, or at least try to comb their hair. She shook her head, letting a small laugh escape from her lips, as Derek appeared from around the corner.

She took one look at his face, instantly realising that he wasn't in the best place. His clothes, his suit, ruffled and tatty. “What’s wrong?” she asked with concern. He shook his head, standing there, not able to look at her. His upper body moved, side to side ever so slowly. She stepped forward, reaching out her hand. He stepped back, as she smelt the alcohol from his breath. The smell, strong, as she realised what the stains upon his shirt were. She lowered her hand, giving him space, “What’s wrong?” she asked, again, the concern written across her face and from the way she said the words.

“I got let go today!” he replied, finally managing to look at her. Her mouth opened with genuine shock as his face grimaced at her. He looked genuinely evil, a different man and most certainly not the man she’d known for the last few months. She didn't quite know what to say, as he stepped forward, “Apparently I’m not perfect for the job. Unlike you. You never seem to do anything wrong!”

She started to reply as his hand appeared from nowhere, striking her face. She took the slap, hardly moving, as the thoughts exploded in her mind. She couldn't believe that this was happening. ‘You didn't deserve that,’ said her conscious mind. She wouldn't allow the shock to control her, to shadow the current events.  She’d seen this before, all those years previous, which she now understood. She’d never forgotten what had happened to her Mother and, thankfully, she’d never wished to know despite the pain it brought her thoughts. She understood the events, researched them, and realised the rationale behind how the moments seemed to unfold.

She clenched her fist, wanting to hit him, but quickly remembered that it would probably justify his reason for hitting her. She could break his nose, shatter his teeth, but he simply didn't deserve the attention. Any attention, from this point forward. She backed away from him, her eyes locked onto his, in case he made any move towards her. She felt the door against her back and, slowly, she opened it and stepped to the side.

“Leave. Now!” she said, her voice clear, defined and authoritative. He stood there, her eyes still holding his gaze, with both her fists clenched, with her teeth gritted in defiance to the events. He stepped forward, slowly, his face showing his disdain for her. She never thought this would happen, especially to her, but that was the case with so many men and women.

He stopped in front of the doorway, “You’ll regret this!” She held her emotions in check, not allowing anything to escape from inside of her, despite the adrenaline pushing her to act.

As he moved out of the house, Lucy stood in the doorway, watching him leave. She knew that he had issues, she’d known about certain aspects of his past, but she wasn't ever going to allow this to happen to her. On no level, in any place or situation within the entire world, would she ever deserve the anger of a partner to be pushed against her. She’d spent such a long time being as good as she could be. She’d matching all of the people around her, cultivating the fire within, despite the events of her childhood.

Closing the door, she locked the dead bolt. Quickly, with calm holding her together, she walked to the back door to check if it was locked. She just needed a moment, before calling her older Sister, then the authorities. She walked up the stairs. Still holding her inner panic at bay. Despite her control, despite being able to physically protect herself, there was no denying the turmoil within. This was personal, the physical events becoming nothing but emotion within her.

She walked into her bedroom, falling to her knees, as she opened the bottom drawer. Within, sat a box and, after removing the lid, she picked up the teddy and held it against her. The tears appeared from her eyes, as she held the small teddy against her. As tightly as she could. She’d made a promise, many years previous, that she’d never forgotten. She’d been as good as she could be and no-one, no man or woman, would ever, ever, be allowed to slap her without consequences being returned in full.

She pressed the teddy against her chest, wiping the tears from her face. A few moments escaped her, as she held her thoughts together. She removed the phone from her pocket, pressed the contacts and dialled her Sister’s number. She would never let this remain a secret. Ever.