The Devil I Know

Image of Set Stories Free - 2018
Image of Short Story
Love. Love is always a special feeling. One of great power at that. I’ve always felt as though love was a joke. Especially after my ex Luke. When I first met Luke, I didn’t feel like myself. And he knew that. He took advantage of my insecurities and made me feel like we were in our own utopia. Happy and carefree. Until he showed me his true colors.
When him and I first met, I was in the library helping tutor other classmates with Chemistry. I was top in the class until he came around. I was on my computer, making sure I had everything planned out for my next session. I looked up and saw a breathtaking human sitting across from me. When we finally made eye contact, he released this heart-stopping smile. “Hi, I’m Luke. I’m here for chemistry,” he said then shook my hand.
After a couple of tutoring sessions, he and I became closer. It went from seeing each other in the halls to texting to video calling to hanging out every week until he asked me out. At the time, I believed he was such a sweet guy. That he would do nearly anything for me. I believed he was one of the only people I could trust. So, I accepted. Our “honeymoon” phase went on for about three months. By then, I knew I could trust him with anything. And as expected, I told him everything. Ranging from things that happened in school to things that happened in my mind. God, I was so naïve.
When I told him how I felt about me and my insecurities, he put on a colossal façade. He told me the opposite of all my insecurities. If I told him I hated my body, he would rant about how much he loved it and how I shouldn’t change. If I told him that I thought I wasn’t pretty or good enough, he would excessively take pictures to ‘prove’ I was pretty. He acted like he cared. He led me to believe I was different. That I was worth something.
This went on for a while. It wasn’t until our tenth month of being together that he began to change into the devil I know today. He kept pulling the ‘I love you card’. For example, if we were alone together he would constantly say “I love you” to try and get me to do things his way. In the end, it worked. I was forced to do things I knew I wasn’t ready for. But I compelled myself into thinking I was doing something, not only for his benefit but for mine.
It progressively got worse as time went on. He would grope me in public and laugh with his friends while I was tomato-faced and nervous. Nevertheless, I ignored it. I thought it was normal. Normal for him to act this way in front of his friends. That theory went down the drain. Not only did it happen in public, but he carried it on in private.
On our one year anniversary, he expected so much. Not only was he expecting gifts and me professing my love, he wanted me...all of me. Again. Repeatedly. I didn’t feel comfortable with this. I still wasn't quite comfortable with me. So, I respectfully told him no. He then again pulled the ‘I love you’ card. Which I anticipated. He was getting too predictable lately. But what I wasn’t expecting was the ‘I’m going to kill myself if you don’t’. I couldn’t tell if he was being serious or not because I know him. I know about his history of cutting but then again, that could be another web of woven lies.
This time, I held my ground. Well, to the best of my ability. If the lies and pleas didn’t work he would hit me. Over and over again until I complied. I would be battered and bruised. Sometimes, my eyes would be a blue and purple hue, only to contrast with my tan skin tone. My thighs would have yellow bruises and small red cuts that could only be hid if I wore longer pants, even if it was mid-summer. He only apologize after he got what he wanted. After every beating, I couldn’t move. And he took advantage of that. He would rip my clothes, throw them god knows where, and have his way with me. I would kick and scream and pray that someone could hear me, but it only made it worse. He would constantly pull my hair, sometimes ripping out pieces, throw me across the room and if he got angrier he would break glass right above my head. Shards of glass tore through my skin causing blood to run down my arms and legs. Leaving physical and mental scars. He was so full of bullshit and I’m pissed because of how long I allowed this to happen. If I took action sooner, I wouldn’t have been this damaged.
I had to get out. I had to escape...but I didn’t know how. If I went to the police, Luke would somehow turn whatever I say around. If I told my parents, he would make them believe I was crazy. I honestly thought about ending it all. And not just the relationship. I WANTED OUT. An escape to be free from my own devil.
I eventually went with my gut to go to the police. SInce I’ve made up my mind, I took pictures of my body after every beating for a week. I looked and felt awful, but it was worth it. While we were at school, I skipped class and took the evidence to the police and they went to the school and arrested him in the parking lot. Profanities left his mouth as if he were singing a tune he knew so well. Denying every accusation the police were telling him. He was in the parking lot because he found out that I had left and went to find me. Probably to hurt me again.
A crowd gathered around to stare at him and I. As I glanced around, I saw multiple different faces. Some were looking in confusion while others looked directly at me with sadness. I remember looking down at my feet and in the corner of my eyes, I saw his fists clenched. Knowing he couldn’t do anything to me because of his situation. Luke and I made eye contact as he was being handcuffed. I expected pain and guilt for what he did to me. All I got was a cold and evil stare with a sinister grin.
My opinion on love? There isn’t any. After that ordeal, I don’t think I believe in love. To me, love is a fascination that will fade eventually. It’s a drug that can and will make you addicted. Something that will put you in euphoria, high in the clouds of happiness, until you fall flat on your face. I know all about it. I’ve seen it firsthand.