Sequel: Shut Up. Kiss Me.

Just Jenny!

Chapter 6

After a restless and fitful nap, I woke up and started doing some much-needed housework. Okayso I washed the two dishes in the sink, and put my dirty clothes in the hamper but I felt extremelyaccomplished afterward. The rest of my day was filled with much of the same, at some point I did get a text from Kevin though, telling me he was going to copy my nap idea before his show.

At some point I’m assuming I fell asleep again since my phone blaring “accidentally in love” startled me awake and I almost fell off the couch. Yeah I’m reallythat graceful.

“Mmh, Hello?” I asked still a little groggy, but trying, miserably to cover it up.

“Oh, hey sorry I woke you up, I’ll…”

“No, don’t hang up, I just dozed off watching a movie, I’m glad you called.” I reassured a frantic Kevin.

“You sure?” he asked, still not fully convinced.

“Yeah, but if you really have to g…”

“I wouldn’t have called you if I did.” He laughed.

“Oh, cool, in that case how was your concert?” I asked getting comfortable again.

“It was excellent, Joe only fell once, and I totally rocked! As always! We were Burning Up the stage.” He chuckled at his lame pun.

“Hehe, that’s good to hear. Is Joe okay?” I asked still giggling.

“Oh yeah, he’s pretty sturdy, But don’t think you can avoidthe subject all night, I will not be sidetracked that easily.” He stated with conviction causing me to stifle a laugh.

“And what subject is that Mr. Jonas?”

Mm-hm, act like you don’t know. I heard that you had a situation at Starbucks…again? I leave you for a few days and alreadyyou get into trouble? Come on tell Kevin what happened.” He finished in a ridiculous soothing tone.

“It was no big deal, just some guy wouldn’t leave me alone. Thought he was God’s gift to women or something, then after I thought I made it clear I wasn’t interested, he followed me to work to ask for my number, where I proceeded to turn him down and walk away as he called me and I quote a ‘frigid bitch’.” I finished, trying not to get too caught up in the story. Sure Kevin’s easy to talk to, but we usually talk light and fluffy.

“Oh wow, that sucks. Are you okay? Did he tryanything? Was security involved?” he fired off sounding genuinely concerned, causing me to smile despite myself, sensing his older brother mode kicking in.

“Oh, I’m fine, he didn’t tryanything so there was no major scene, he just rattled me a little bit. It’s okay I’m used to loser guys.” I reassured him trying to laugh it off, as he let out a relieved sigh.

“Good, but ouch‘loser guys’ seems like a story there.” It was a statement. Not reallya question, yet I felt compelled to answer, sensing his curiosity.

“Perhaps, mainly oneguy… but you don’t really want to hear it. It’s not exactly light dinner conversation.” I’m giving you an out Kev, take it, this story sucks and makes me look like a moron! I silently begged.

“”Well, lucky for you I’ve already had dinner, I’m verycomfortable, and I have nothing to do for the next few days, so you can take your time.” He said reassuringly, his voice calming yet light with what I can only assume are years of experience being the oldest of four. “I even promise to share some of my sob stories.” He bargained.

Now, I don’t know if it was the genuine concern lased with curiosity in his voice, the pressure of a trying day, or perhaps that strange sense of security one gets when talking to a stranger. No pressure, no predisposed image, added to slight anonymity of a phone. The bazaar comfort of knowing that if things don’t go well, the conversation will simply end, contact will slowly be lost, and any judgment will leave along with it. In the end I guess it was a combination of all those things heightened by the late hour and the stillness of my living room, that finally caused me to take that deep breathe and slowly plunge into a story I haven’t truly talked about in at least a year.

“Are you sureyou’re comfortable?” I asked signaling I was ready to talk, but giving him one last opportunity to back out.

“Yep, I’m curled up with my coffee and everything.” He stated light heartedly, not quite masking the seriousness behind it.

Okay, well I guess it started bout two years ago, a little longer than that…I had just turned eighteen, when I met him. He worked with my older sister, and was about eight years older than me. At first he seemednice enough. He didn’t treat me like a little kid, yet he seemed to protect me.” Here I let out a bitter laugh realizing that it wasn’t protectionbut control.

“Well, any way, growing up I was always kind of awkward, I guess I’d say. Never popular, kind of smart, but not smart enough…does that make sense?” I asked mostly to myself, but he answered non-the less.

“Yeah.” He said quietly.

“Okay, well any way I’ve always been a loud dresser, but at the time I was still a little insecure, not really having come into my own yet. I was never popular with guys and to be honest I was a bit on the chubbyside, and at my height…yeah. Well any way, he noticed me. A few months after we met we started dating. I lost a lot of the weight, mostly through exercise, and what not, yet he seemed to push me to lose more. I didn’t really notice anything until later, but it started small. His suggesting I cut a certain thing out of my diet. Or ordering for me, which never went well…but I’ll get into thatlater. Slowly I started changing the way I dressed, what I ate…well the dress was never really him, seeing as I tend to change my look a lot, but he definitely tried.

“I guess looking back I can only blame it on my naivety, I thought he lovedme, and in a way I thought I deservedthe way he treated me.” I said quietly. It still humiliates me to say that, especially since I fancy myself Super girl, but what can you do.

“Oh, Jen…” he started.

No, I’m not done” I cut him off, knowing I’d break down if he continued, “that is, unless you want me to be.”

“No, don’t stop.”

“Well, needless to say I was never reallywhat he wanted, but what hurt the most is that at the time I felt like I had no one to turn to. My mom was always working, and stressed out so I never saw her. My sister had just moved out, and my best friend…well I guess I never really wanted her to meet this guy. Thatshould have tipped me off.

“Well, after my sister moved, her boss offered me her old job, it was nothing glamorous, but it allowed me to do my school work, and it was on campus, I think that was the one bright spot in that semester. But despite all this, I’m still me, no matter how emotionally bruised or stifled I may get, I hatebeing told what do. I don’t mind taking direction, but I don’t answer well to being controlled, so with the little leeway I had, I’d always manage to piss him off; Little things, like ordering and paying for my own food, after he ordered something he knew I didn’t like for me. He told me to grow my hair out so I opted for a short pixie cut a few days later. I knewI was being a pain which is perhaps why to some extent at least I felt I deservedwhat I had coming to me.” I heard his sharp intake of breath, and I could picture him flinching at the words as I did.

“Do you want me to stop?” I asked knowing he didn’t like listening to it.

“No… keep going, please.”

“Okay. Well I’m not going to say he hitme, because really, he never did. But he was physically aggressive. It started out simple enough, he grabbed my arm once, and I freakedout telling him not to do it again. And for a while he didn’t that was the first mark he left on me; it should have been the last. But I stayed, because I believedhim, because I provokedhim, because I didn’t see any easy way out. Soon enough, the better I started to look, losing weight and what not, the more I started to find myself, the more he started to physically show his dominance.

“Sometimes, he’d smash me against a wall and kiss me if he felt I doubted his possessionof me, those probably hurt the most since, it bruised my back as well as my arms and it was hard to hide. The most drasticof the physical abuse though involved him picking me up and throwingme against to a wooden fence. That one really hurt I’ll admit, and though he made a lame excuse about trying to show me self-defense…or playing…I don’t remember whathe said. I doremember the bruising, I remember thinking I couldn’t let him know how much it hurt, I remember the small chip in my shin where I still have a slight bump… but most of all I remember realizing that this was getting out of hand.

“Soon after that we broke up, for good that is. I probably should have mentioned that I did try and break up with him, but seeing as we were working together everyone, it seemed, kept pushingus back into a relationship. Some how I always got sucked in, I was just never strong enough to get out on my own.” I choked out despite my best effort before taking a shaky breath to steady my voice and continuing before he interrupted.

“You know, it still amuses me how it ended. We were having dinner at a restaurant, and I was talking about Mudvayne. A friend from class had turned me on to them, and there was one song in particular that I liked. Well this sent him off, he went on about how I never listened to rock, and I had apparently even told him that it sucked…what I really said was that the band he was listening to sucked. I’ve always liked rock, along with almost every musical genre imaginable, but any way. Finally after some arguing he accidentally handed me a ‘get out of jail free’ card.

“ ‘Eventually you’re going to have to chose between this person you are becoming and us.’ That’s what he told me, and that’s allI needed. Without any hesitation I said ‘me.’ Plain and simple, I told him he was right and there was no point in us wasting our time. Well I guess he was a bit shocked because he simply drove me home, but when I refused to kiss him goodnight I knew he realized I was serious.”

“So he just let you go?” he asked in disbelief.

I knew he was smart. With a bitter humorless laugh I continued. “Not even close. That was right before my nineteenth birthday. We didn’t get back together, but he kept actinglike we were, he would call repeatedly, if I didn’t answer he’d leave a message and call again over and over again, all day, or night whatever, getting more frantic and panicked threatening to come over and check on me. He started showing up to the office when he wasn’t working just to make sure I was there, claiming he was just being a friend. The real problem here was that though I didn’t want to be involved with him, I had to obtain a professional relationship. He was my coworker, and as such I didn’t want to make things bad. Plus I was just happy not to be with him, I didn’t really wish him any harm despite the abuse. Sure he wanted to get back together, and even went so far as to make up some poorly thought out story about a suicide attempt. Claiming the knife didn’t cut, so he knew he had to stay alive to be with me.” Here I heard Kevin’s bitter scoff, echoing my initial reaction.

Exactly. One night though, he called, and I finally cavedand answered knowing it wouldn’t end until I did. I needed to get some rest, I had a full day of classes and work the next day, meaning I’d be up by six and I wouldn’t get home until maybe eight pm, when my last class let out and my mom could pick me up seeing as I didn’t have a car.

“He was hysterical, claiming he had cancer and was going to die. And now I know this is a serious issue, and so is suicide, but I just couldn’tbelieve him. Even if I did, I was determined not to get sucked in, so I told him sincerely, that I’d pray for him, but I had to go as it was pretty late. Well he went off on me, calling me all sorts of things, amongst them cruel, he kept firing accusations at me and finally I hung up. I was hurt, I was scared, but most of all I was mad, you don’t joke about death; not like that.

“But he kept calling and calling, so I checked my voice mail and it said he was on his way to my house. I immediately called him back, telling him that if he showed up I’d call the cops. For the first time I was truly terrified of this guy. Sure I was scaredbefore, but nothing like this, he sounded off. So he complied, but demanded my mom’s number. Like I was going to give thatto him. Sure she works in the psychiatric ward of a hospital, but there was no way I was getting even more people involved.

“My mom did hear part of the conversation though, took my phone and turned it off. At this point I’m sure she knew someof what was going on, and when I told her the phone situation she called some friends at the police department and asked if they could have someone just drive by our house every so often for the night. I didn’t sleep though,” I said trying not to choke up again.

“I was still on edge, I did pray for him as I promised I would. I prayed a lot that night actually, I thanked God I was out of that relationship, and I thanked him for the family I was given. I know it may sound off, but I even thanked him for every single bruise I got from that guy; knowing that every thing I went though would eventuallymold me into a better, strongerperson…at least I prayed it would.

“But I am me, and as we both know, I am nothing if not a magnet for disaster. The next day I got ready as usual, applied a little more makeup to hide the bags under my eyes, and made sure to wear long sleeves and dark stalkings with my short skirt. I wanted to look nice; I wanted to feel prettyeven if I was hiding the still fading bruises. I figured if I lookedgood, maybeI’d feel a little bit better, maybeI could prove not only to him, but also to myselfthat I was okay.

“Well, my morning was uneventful, I had work then class, and after that I had a two hour break. So not wanting to be stuck on campus, I decided to leave my books behind my desk at the office, and walk the half a block off campus to a small strip mall, figuring I’d buy a comic book, and grab a bite to eat. Well even the best laid plans… as I was walking out the building, he called out to me. I ignored him, still irritated from the night before. I knewif I talked to him so soon after everything I’d blow up and make things worse, I just didn’t want to be mean to him, I wanted to get on with my life. But he followed me out the door. And stuck his hand in my face, wanting me to shake it. Okay so I may have over reacted, but looked at him, said, “Not now.” And walked around him putting on my ipod.

“I knewit was rude, but I could have been worse. Either way I made a stupid mistake, I treated him like a normalperson, and not the crazy that he turned out to be. You see I assumedsince he was working, and in his uniform, he wouldn’t leave the building… I was wrong. But I kept walking even though he was gaining on me, holding on to the logic that once I crossed the street off campus he’d go back to work.” I closed my eyes remembering how I felt that day.

“I can still feelmy heart racing, his presence right behind me. I can hearthe blood swooshing in my brain drowning out the loud Dean Martin track. I saw the walk signal light up, and I waked as fast as I could in my high-heeled boots, realizing I couldn’t out run him even if I tried. About a second after I made it to the curb so did he. Still ignoring him, I turned to look at the now heavy traffic; I was stuck. So I turned back in my initial direction and walked quickly noting he was less than a foot behind me I could practically feel his breath on my neck. I was panicked I’ll admit, and it took everythingI had not to give into the terrified sobs. After quickly assessing the situation I knew that I couldn’t out run him, even if I hadbeen wearing running shoes, my cell phone was currently in the bottom of my purse and would take too long to find…there was a short cut to the strip mall I usually took because there wasn’t much traffic on that route, but not knowing what he was capable of... No, knowingwhat he was capable of, just not knowing what he’d tryI figured the morepeople around the better, even if it took a little bit longer.

“Once we got there he finally lost his temper and grabbedmy arm and started yelling at me. But I wasn’t datinghim any more, and I was alreadyexpecting the worst so I didn’t think twice about shoving him off, and yelling at him neverto touch me again. I only got about a foot before he grabbed me and shoved me against a stone pillar; adrenaline kicking in I pushed him off and sprinted into the first open establishment, which happened to be a beauty parlor. I sat in the waiting area with my headphones on shakingtrying not to cry, suddenly feeling very exposedeven though I was fully covered. It only took about three minuets for a cop to show up and ask to see me outside. I knew what it was about but I hadn’t called him. Apparently someone saw us and called the cops, I gave my statement, but at the end of it all I couldn’t even get a restraining order as I had no proofthat the bruising was caused by him.”

WHAT!!!” Kevin growled into the phone.

Yeah, so I called my mom to pick me up, and spent the rest of the day crying.” I continued shakily, “The realproblem I guess, is the nightmaresthat started, I was alwayson edge. My mom went to talk to my boss, told her the situation and asked that she keep an eye on me. Normally I’d protest, but I didn’t even care, in fact I was a little relieved. I continued going to work as usual, and I only interacted with him when absolutely necessary. It wasn’t pleasant, but work is work, and I wasn’t bout to bring my personal life into it. Sure my mom told my boss what was going on, but she never mentioned it to me, and we had a silent agreement, as long as things ran smoothly we were fine. But slowly I noticed some people at work avoidme, or ask why I insisted on being so cold hearted. He started acting weird, singling me out…so I made a point neverto be alone. Luckily there were still a fewco-workers that didn’t shun me, and as luck would have it, it was all the guys. I guess it’s some kind of guy code, whatever the case they seemed to sensesomething was a miss and never let me be alone for too long though they never mentioned anything.

“Then it got a little worse…”

WORSE!?!” I was cut off indignantly.

“Just a little, it seems that he was indeed being slanderous, and made the mistake of making a mock death threat to one of the supervisors for hanging out with me. Needless to say thatdidn’t go over well, especiallyconsidering the supervisor Mel, is my sister’s best guy friend. So Mel made a formal complaint, but he mentioned some stuff he heard this guy say about me too. He told me he tried to keep me out of it, but it was getting out of hand and he was worried.” It still chokes me up thinking about him looking after me, he was always my sister’s friend not mine.

“Good.” That I’ll admit made me smile.

“So, began a longand messyprocess, you see even though I could now easily avoid him at work, and took to hanging out in more populatedareas, he know my schedule. A fact he took full advantage of. All of a sudden he was every where, making a point of talking to people I was talking to, but never addressing me, he showed up and stood behind me in line to get coffee even though he hated the stuff. Luckily, I worked with a very good bunch of guys and Mel insisted on having one of them walk me everywhere, but even then. The nightmares got worse, and showing up to my late classes was almost impossible, the campus was practically desertedat that time, and just knowingthat…I was scaredand there was nothingI could do about it. The school claimed it wasn’t their issue, the cops said I had no case, so I cried myself to sleep every night, only to wake up in a cold sweat an hour later. This went on for a few monthswithout much change, and then Virginia Tech happened. The severity of the issue made the school reconsider their position. There was nothing they could do about he and I, but they decided that his death threat, jokeor not shouldn’t be under estimated. He was fired and banned from campus, and until the end of the semester at least, security was heightened, at least a little bit.

“I spent a lot if time trying to heal, trying to suppressthe nightmares, and the chills I would get when I thought someone was watching me. I guess the thing is, it never reallygoes away. It gets better, but I spent months not being able to be touched, flinchingwhen even my motherwould hug me. Then just as I thought I was fine, I would spot him somewhere, and whether he saw me or not I’d break into a cold sweat, start shaking…I felt like I couldn’t breath. ” I closed my eye letting the silent tears come. “I’m sorry Kev. I shouldn’t …”

Don’t. Don’t you dareapologize Jenny. This, what happened to you, it wasn’t your fault.” somehow that was all it took, I started sobbing, as embarrassing as it could have been it didn’t matter. “Hey, it’s okay. You’re okay now, I’m here, and he’s not going to hurt you.” For some reason, his reassurance just broke me down entirely. There I was sitting on my couch alonein the darksobbing uncontrollablyinto my cell phone, while a guy I hardly know told me everything was going to be okay. Even now, I want nothing more than to believe him. “Jenny…” I tried to stifle my sobs a bit. “Are you listening?”

“M…mm-hmm” It sounded more like a hiccup but he continued anyway.

“It’s notyour fault, you deserve betterthan that.” He said sternly.

“But, it…why…I still stayed. I should have known better.” I argued suppressing my sobs enough to talk, shaky as it may be.

“No, heshould have know better, you shouldn’t have had to try and get out of it to beginwith.” He argued adamantly. It’s the same argument I tell myself, but days like today, it’s still a little hard to grasp. There was silence for a second before I finally spoke.

“Kevin…” it was hardly a whisper, but he heard me.


“Thank you.” I said just as quietly.

“I’ll alwaysbe here, rememberthat. Okay?” he asked seriously.

“Okay… but it works both ways.” I said still sniffling.

“I’ll take you up on that. Now put your phone on speaker and get to bed.” He said with a hint of amusement.


“You shouldn’t be alone tonight.” He said seriously, “Now go and you betternot snore!” he added making me laugh.

“Night Kev.”

“Night Jenny.”
♠ ♠ ♠
Now, I don't intend this to be a sad story about an abused girl who happens to get rescued by a Jonas Brother, this chapter is really just a small glimpse into Jenny's life, and setting the mood fro the kind of relationship the two will eventually develop.