by Alistair Hewitt
Setting: Bare stage
Character: FAYE, 17 years old
Faye is sitting on a chair with her arm in a sling.
We were in his bedroom. I’d been there before, but not while his mum and dad had been out. It was the first time with just me and him. We were talking about Carly Riley, his old girlfriend. He brought her up, not me. I hardly know the girl. I wasn’t bothered.
He just started talking about how they first got together and stuff and then he said she started to get on his nerves, so he finished with her. And I said “You finished with her?” And he said, “Yeh.” So I said, “But I thought she finished it with you?” And he said, “Who told you that?” So I said, “Danny did.” Danny’s his best mate. He said, “When were you talking to Danny?” I said, “I dunno, ages ago…” And he said, “Well don’t.” And I said “Why not?” “Just don’t, all right?” I said, “I’ll talk to who I want.” And then he punched me in the face.
That was the first time.
I got up to leave and he asked me where I was going. “Home,” I said. And I did. I saw him the next day at college. I had a bit of bruising, but I’d covered it up with make-up. He stood in the corridor staring at me. I said nothing. Then he said, “What?” I said, “I’m sorry about yesterday.” He said, “That’s all right. Forget it.” And we just sort of carried on.
The next time it happened, well… he didn’t really hit me. He picked me up and threw me against the wall. This time it was about sex. We’d been kissing and stuff and he wanted to take it further. I knew he did. He’d been pushing in that direction for a while. But this time he said it. We were in my bedroom. “Let’s do it. Let’s have sex.” I told him I wasn’t ready. I didn’t want to yet. We argued for while. And then he picked me up and threw me against the wall. I was winded for a bit. I was lying on the floor trying to heave the breath back into my body. He just stood there, watching me. When I could speak again, I said, “I think you should leave now.” And he did.
In the morning I looked a right mess. You see, I’d been crying all night. I thought I’d lost him. I thought about taking the next day off, but I went in because I had to. I just had to see him. And I did. He ignored me for a bit, but then he started talking to me like everything was all right. I was so relieved.
He broke my nose on Pancake Day. I can’t remember how it started. Not sure what it was about. But what I do remember is it was the first time I knew he was going to do something before he did it. I didn’t goad him or anything, but I knew, while we were arguing that he would hit me somehow, and yet I didn’t stop. We’d just got off the bus. We were in an alleyway near my house. We were shouting, then he went quiet for a bit. Then he head butted me. I felt the blood before the pain. My eyes were full of water. I doubled up and cried and when I looked up I saw him walking off.
When I got home I told my mum I’d run into a lamppost and she took me to casualty. I was at home for a while. I looked a right mess. I heard nothing from him for two days. So I sent him a text. It said, “I love you.”
He came to see me the next day. I didn’t think he would. I told him. He said he wanted to, but until he got my text, he didn’t know if he should. I said, “Are you going to hurt me today?” “No,” he said. “But you will hurt me again won’t you?” “Probably.” He said.
It was my mate, Jenny, who guessed what was going on. He’d had me on the floor the night before, kicking me in the ribs. Jenny saw the bruising. “It’s him, isn’t it?” “What?” “He’s hurting you.” I knew she knew. “Yeh.” I said. She went silent, so I said, “I suppose you’re going to tell me I’m stupid.” She looked at me, for a bit, and then she said, “The pain of loving him is stronger than the pain he causes you, isn’t it?” “How did you know that?” I said. “I just do,” she said. “Will it… do you think it’ll go on forever?” “Yes,” she said, “until he kills you… or you kill him.”
I thought she was being over dramatic. But I thought about afterwards and I realised. It’s true.
I live with the fear of him hurting me every time I see him. But the thrill of being in love with him… The thrill of being his… it’s unbelievable…
I’m back home now. The doctor said my collar bone will take a few weeks to mend fully and that, perhaps, I should be a little more careful when I go out. But I’m in love. Careful doesn’t come into it.
copyright © 2010 Alistair Hewitt. All rights reserved. ___________________________________________
Alistair Hewitt holds an M.A. in Writing for Film and Television. Previously produced plays include Spending Frank (Scarborough and Scotland), Tales from the Melling Road and The Dangers of Tobacco (Southport).