Standing in line at a local restaurant several years ago, a young girl stood in front of me. At her side was her boyfriend, I assumed because of the snug hold he had on her. “That’s sweet. He must really care about her,” I thought.
They were talking back and forth waiting for their turn to order. Sometimes she would laugh and he would follow. At one point she stopped talking, seemingly distracted by something. Out of curiosity, I studied her for a moment to figure out what it was. She was looking at a man a few people ahead of them in line.
Her boyfriend saw her gaze and immediately became accusatory. “Why are you looking at him?”
“I think he was my gym teacher in high school,” she said.
“Right. You’re checking him out.”
“No. I’m not. I’m telling you that I think he was my teacher.”
“Don’t lie to me. You want him, don’t you?”
“No, Alex. I don’t want him. I was trying to figure out if that was really my old gym teacher or not.”
“I can see it in your eyes! How can you stand here and lie to me, when it’s obvious what you were doing?”
Her voice got very quiet and I could see the veins protruding from her neck. “He was my teacher, Alex.”
No matter how much she tried to explain her actions, he wouldn’t let it go. He was being so mean and ridiculous, that I even started getting mad. “Don’t lie to me. Do you think I’m stupid?”
Anger spread across the girl’s face. “Whatever. Think what you want.”
She went silent. In the meantime, her boyfriend stared her down making sure that she didn’t look at the guy again. They both ordered and took their food to the car. I felt bad for the girl. All she was doing was looking at someone she thought she knew. “What a controlling guy. I hope she gets out of that relationship,” I thought.
As they grabbed their utensils and napkins from the counter to put into their to-go bag, it was my turn in line. I ordered my food and by the time I turned around they were gone. After receiving my order, I headed out the door. The girl and her boyfriend were still heavy on my mind as I took a seat in my car.
When I reached over to set my to-go bag on the passenger seat, the couple caught my attention, sitting in the car next to me. Trying not to be obvious, I watched them out of the corner of my eye.
They were visibly arguing, which I assumed was still over the girl’s innocent look at her teacher in the restaurant. With his fingers pointing at her, he continued to scold her. Finally she stopped arguing with him and set her gaze straight ahead.
Suddenly, she sat up real straight and pounced on him! Both of her hands went directly to his neck as she attempted to strangle him. “You go girl!” I couldn’t help but to laugh. Maybe that was wrong of me, but good for her for standing up for herself.
I think her actions stunned him, because when she finally released her grip from his neck he didn’t say a word. He just stared at her. She seemed a little shocked too, but held her composure and went back to staring straight ahead.
After a moment, he took hold of the steering wheel and slowly backed out of the parking spot. I turned to watch them as they drove off. Although I was a little proud of her for what she did, I was also concerned about her safety. What would happen next? For her sake, I sure hope she left him.
She did, eventually.
I was that girl. It is not in my character to do such a thing, but a person can only endure so much until they finally break. I broke.
If you’re in a controlling and/or abusive relationship, you don’t have to take it. Find a way to get out. You deserve better.
This post is for today’s Writing 101 assignment, hosted by The Daily Post.
Write a post based on the contrast between two things — whether people, objects, emotions, places, or something else.
Today’s twist: write your post in the form of a dialogue. You can create a strong opposition between the two speakers — a lovers’ quarrel or a fierce political debate, for example. Or you could aim to highlight the difference in tone and style between the two different speakers — your call!