Are We Demented Or Am I Disturbed


Jaelyn looked around her bathroom, at the mess she'd made. She quickly rinsed off the razor and wiped up the blood, then, running her arm under warm water, stared at her reflection. Dark brown hair peeked out from under her black beanie; grey eyes blinked at their twins.

She looked away when the water turned cold and pressed a towel against her wounds, new and old.

She pulled down her sleeves, covering the many cuts and bruises. She applied her makeup, her eyeliner dark, as usual.

Her mom was out... probably drinking. Ever since Jaelyn's father had left, it was a rare moment if Lyz was sober. She wouldn't notice if Jaelyn was gone for weeks.

The doorbell rang, pulling Jaelyn out of her thoughts. She walked down the stairs, tripping on the last one, as usual. She opened the door, revealing her boyfriend, Tom.

"Hey," Jaelyn said, "What are you doing-" he gently kissed her, pushing yellow roses into her hands. He pressed her against the wall, kicking the door shut.

"Let me put these somewhere," Jaelyn murmured. He scooped her up, causing her to shriek and drop the flowers. He smiled and kissed her, carrying her up the stairs.

"My, aren't we cuddly," Jaelyn said as he lay her on the bed. He laughed and collapsed on her, holding her close. Her cell phone rang.

"I should get that," Jaelyn whispered and tried to get up, but Tom grabbed her waist.

"No..." he whined. She laughed.

"Tom, I have to get that."

"No..." he buried his head in her shoulder. She kissed his head, reached over, and put her phone on speaker.

"Jaelyn Way."

"Hey Jaci," Joey said.

"Hey Joe."

"What's up?"

"Not much. Just hanging with my boy."

"Your boy?"


"Who... Oh. Tom."


"Hey, Jaci, are you sure he doesn't hurt you?"

"Why do you say that?"

"Well... That one day..."

"What one day, Joseph."

"Theron was tickling you, and... What are those bruises from? And why wouldn't you take your jacket off? And why the fuck won't you tell me why you came to my house crying?"

"I fell down the stairs; I didn't feel like it; and I can't tell you." She fearfully glanced at Tom.

"Jaelyn. Please tell me. I know you're lying." She laughed nervously.

"No, I'm not. Tom would never hurt me."

"Are you sure?" She looked at Tom and was relieved when she didn't see anger in his eyes.

"Yes, Joey." Joey sighed.

"Okay... Hey, Jaci, do you want to catch a movie with the guys?"

"Um... When?"


"No, sorry... I'm kinda busy."

"Oh yeah, hanging with your boy."


"Alright... Bye, Jaci."

"Bye, Joe. Much Love." She shut her phone and looked at Tom. She remembered the first time he'd hit her... The first time he'd really hit her... hard...

Tom burst into the house, slamming the door.

"Tom, what's-" Jaelyn started, but he cut her off.

"What the FUCK did you do, you stupid whore?"

"What? I-"

"You fucking whore. I know about it. Don't deny it," He stormed up to her and slapped her. Jaelyn stood there in shock. She could feel the red mark forming.

"No," she shook her head, "No. I will NOT tolerate this, Tom!"

"Shut the fuck up," he punched her. She collapsed, and he dragged her up the stairs, ripping her clothes off.

"No, Tom, please, no," Jaelyn whimpered. He threw her on the bed and held her down as he rolled on the condom.

"Tom, please. No," She was silenced as he punched her again and began to rape her...

He smiled and snuggled closer to her. She sighed in relief.

"You went to Joey's house crying?"



"Um... We had a fight..."

"Did I hit you?" Jaelyn froze. "It's okay baby. You can tell me... I did, didn't I?"

He sat up and stared at his hands.

"I hit my last girlfriend too... I promised myself I would never do that again." He put his head in his hands.

"Baby, I-" She crawled over to him.

"No. You don't deserve this..." Tom stood up and walked out of her room. Jaelyn rushed after him.

"Tommy..." no response.

"Tom..." he kept walking.

"Thomas..." he continued toward the front door. She grabbed his shoulder, and he shoved her off, making her hit her head on the wall. She slid down it and flinched as he turned around.

"See, Jaelyn? You don't deserve this shit! Nobody does. That's why I have to leave. I'm sorry, Jae."

"But we could work this out-"

"No... We could try, but... Baby, I can't change. I love you."

"Please, Tom," A tear spilled onto her cheek. Tom walked over, knelt down, and wiped it away.

"I promise you it's better this way."


"Shh, babe," He held her close.

"I love you."

"I know... I love you too, but this can't continue."

"Please don't leave me," She cried into his shoulder.

"I don't want to, but you have to understand. It kills me to see you like this!"

"Please, Tom," He played with her hair.

"But what if I hit you again?"


"I love you..." he kissed her forehead.

"Love you too." She smiled weakly at him.

"Hey, I have a proposition for you."



"And just what is this proposition?"

"That you come live with me."


"Yeah," She smiled.

"I'd love to," He grinned and kissed her.

"We should get your stuff."

"Tonight?" She raised her eyebrows.

"Why not?" She laughed and kissed him.


"Hey, this is Joey Armstrong. I can't get to the phone right now, so leave me a message."

"Hey Joe. Your message is really boring. So, anyway, Tom asked me to live with him, so if you need to contact me, that's where I'll be.
"Oh hey, Joey? Do you think I could come hang at your house tomorrow? Let me know. Jaelyn out." Jaelyn hung up her cell phone and finished unpacking her stuff in Tom's room.

A pair of arms snaked around her as her cell phone rang. She answered it.

"Jaelyn Way."

"Hey, kid."

"Oh, hey, Kiri. What's up?"

"I just called your house, and your mom said you were off fucking Tom," Jaelyn rolled her eyes.

"Not exactly. I moved in with him."

"WHAT! You moved in with the asshole?"

"Kiri, he's not an asshole. Don't say that."

"Don't even pretend he doesn't hurt you. I've seen the bruises!"

"Kiri, you're being ridiculous."

"No I'm not, Jaelyn! He abuses you and you know it!"

"He does not abuse me! God. You and Joey."

"Theron and Jim think so too. Jae, we're worried about you."

"Don't be. I'm fine."

"You are living with a guy who abuses you. How the fuck is that fine?!?"

"He does not abuse me!"

"Then what are those fucking bruises from! And don't say you fell. You don't get hand marks on your fucking face from falling!"

"Kiri, just-"

"No. Damnit, Jaelyn, you have to make this stop!"


"No. Don't 'Kiri' me! Everyone knows what he does to you. Why wont you admit it!"


"Fine. If you need me, you know where I am," Kiri hung up. Jaelyn sat on the bed and rested her head on her knees.

"I can't fucking believe you," Tom said.


"You told her."

"No, baby, I didn't. I-" He cut her off by punching her in the face. He continued beating her until she stopped crying. Then he tore her clothes off.

"Tom, please-" he slapped her.

"Shut the fuck up!" he rolled on a condom and raped her.

After he fell asleep, she lay there. This hurt. Emotionally and physically. She felt the new bruises forming. She felt violated and betrayed. He had just promised to never hurt her, and there he was... Doing everything he promised he wouldn't...

She dragged herself to the bathroom and stared at the mirror. Dark purple burises were everywhere on her body. There was a huge cut on her back... She didn't even remember where that came from...

She should have let him leave a week ago. Jaelyn went bak into Tom's room, got dressed, and packed some of her stuff. She left a note for him:
I'm sorry. I can't live like this.
I love you.


She put her stuff in her car and drove to the first place she could think of: Joey's house.

She pulled herself up his steps, trying desperately to stay conscious. She rang the doorbell, and Billie answered.

"Hey, Jaelyn. Joey's-" He stopped as she collapsed into his arms.

She woke up to voices.

"Is she okay?" She struggled to identify it... It belonged to a male... Joey...

"Yeah... She'll be fine, Joe," That must be Billie.

"Why isn't she awake?" Joey asked.

"Because, Joey. She went through hell."

There was a crash, and Jaelyn opened her eyes. Joey had thrown the phone.

"Joey, calm down," Billie said.

"Her asshole boyfriend did this to her! And she doesn't do anything about it!"

"Wait... What?"

"Tom did this to her! he has been for a long time, and what does she do? She fucking moves in with him!"

"Joey..." Jaelyn murmured. He ran over to her.

"Hey Jaci."

"I left him."

"You what?"

"I left Tom. After he did this. I left him, Joe."

"Good, babe."

"But now I don't have anywhere-"

"You can stay with us," Billie offered.

"No... I couldn't..." Jaelyn said.

"I insist."

"But Adrienne..."

"Adie won't care." Jaelyn smiled.

"Thanks, Billie."

"No problem." He left them alone.

"Joey?" Jaelyn asked.


"I love him." Joey paused.

"I know. But it was a bad relationship."


"He did this to you, right?" Jaelyn looked down and nodded. "Are you going to do anything about it?"

"Like what, Joey."

"Like press charges." Jaelyn goggled at him.

"I... can't."

"Why not?"

"If he does this to me for nothing, think about what he'd do if I pressed charges!"

"But you could put him in jail!"

"Can we please not talk about this?" Jaelyn whispered. Joey sighed and pushed the hair out of her eyes.

"Okay. We won't." She patted the bed next to her, and Joey climbed over and sat, still running his fingers through her hair. She rested her head on his chest.

"What time is it? Hell, what day is it?" Jaelyn asked.

"It's Thursday. 12:45 PM."

She nodded slowly, listening to his heart.

"Where's Adie?" Jaelyn asked.

"Um... I don't really know. She wouldn't tell me or Jake, but I know she told Dad."

"Maybe it's a surprise... For your birthday or something..."

"Maybe." There was a pause, "You know we're going to have to talk about this eventually." Jaelyn nodded.

"I know. Just... please not now."


Adrienne rushed in the room, absently looking around.

"Hey mom," Joey said. Adie jumped.

"Oh hi Joey. Where's your father?"

"Probably the studio."

"Oh. Right," She looked at Jaelyn as if seeing her for the first time.

"Joey, who... What the fuck happened?" Adie walked over to the bed.

"Hi, Mrs. Armstrong."



"Oh my god! What the fuck happened?"

"Mom, is it okay if she stays with us?" Joey asked.

"Yes, of course... And call me Adie, please, Jaelyn."

"Thank you, Adie," Jaelyn said.

"No problem... That blue Mustang is yours, right?" Jaelyn nodded.

"Where were you, Mom?" Joey asked.

"Oh nowhere... Just out."


"Yes. Out."

"Out where?"

"Jesus, Joey!" She left the room, and Joey sighed.

"Wait... If it's one and Thursday, shouldn't we be in school?"

"Yes, mother. Actually, no. We're taking the rest of the semester off."

"What? Why?"

"You aren't able to go, and I would feel better if I stayed with you."

"What about exams?"

"We'll take care of that. Don't worry."

"Is your dad going back on tour?"

"Yeah. I think so."

"Are you going with him?"

"I doubt it..." She played with a hole in the leg of his jeans.

"Do you think he'll come after me?" There was no question as to who 'he' was.

"I won't let him," Jaelyn nodded and closed her eyes. Joey hummed a song, and soon Jaelyn fell asleep.