Status: In Progress

Breakable Me


“Callie Mae?” My thoughts were broken at the sound of my name. I was lost again, as I always was during these sessions. “Are you ready to share?” Joan spoke softly with the same sweet smile that was always present.

“Uh..” I felt my voice caught in my throat. Yesterday, Joan had pulled me aside and suggested that I share the same story I had told her the first day I came into the support group center. The day when I was broken and had all the bruises and scratches to prove it. Her comforting hazel eyes and her hand on my shoulder made me feel safe yesterday, but today I scanned the room only to find anxious faces. All of their eyes were staring into me. I felt as they were just waiting to analyze my story, to judge me for my wrongs and stupidity. I was the youngest one there afterall.

“It doesn’t have to be today if you aren’t comfortable.” Joan barely smiled with the wrinkles by her eyes beginning to show behind her glasses. I knew she wanted me to share today; it was my turn to open up to the group. I had been coming and sitting in the background for over a month now, afraid to share when everyone had been so open. No one is judging you, I told myself.

“No, I think it is my turn.” I was telling myself more than the group. I was hoping that once I spit out everything that the memories would leave me, that I could be free from the grip he had put on me, that he would no longer creep into my dreams, nor would he come up in conversation. “I want to start out by saying something first.” A few people shifted in their seats, but I waited for complete silence to continue and a slight nod from Joan.

“I was naive.” I let out a deep breath. I was really going to finally let it all out. “I realize that now as I look back on all my mistakes. I believed that I was in a real life love story. It wasn’t a love story though. It may have sound like it. I believed it, that’s for sure.” I paused and let it sink in how much I truly thought I was in love with the boy when it was all really an illusion. I hadn’t even known what love was. I still don't. “These are the warning signs that I never knew to paid attention to or maybe I was too quick to dismiss them. I want to share my story to let others know what to look for, so it will never happen to them."

I took a breath before I continued, "I was just an eighteen year old girl from a small mountain town in the Appalachians called Norwood Hollow. I didn't really understand what the real world held until I went to Vanderbilt. Not that college is necessarily the real world, as I felt we were trapped in a little bubble at times, but it was a lot different than what I was expecting. I couldn’t escape him once he had his grip around me. I learned the hardest way possible....” The flashbacks flooded back every slap, bruise and scream was almost impossible to bear once again. Even worse was how I still remember how good his kisses felt, or the feeling in my stomach when he would wrap his arms around me. I didn’t want it to feel good. I could feel my lips trembling at the thoughts. I scanned the room and found eyes full of worry. I couldn’t stand to let anyone else feel sorry for me. Not anymore, that wasn't my purpose for coming. I pushed my chair away from the table and ran out of the room.

“Thank you, Callie. We will continue tomorrow, same time.” Joan diverged my breakdown as she ended the group session. I stood outside the door and heard a rustling of papers and gathering of coats as I buried my face into my hands. My reddish brown hair covered the sides of my face as I felt a couple of pats on my back as people scuffled out. “It might be too soon, Callie. I didn’t mean to pressure you.” Joan’s voice flowed into my ear as she placed her hand on my shoulder. I raised my head and found that there were a few tears on my face without even realizing it.

“I’m going to start telling everything tomorrow.” I declared confidently now. “It is time for me to fully heal. The bruises may be gone, but the thoughts won’t be gone until it’s told. I’m sure of it.” Joan nodded her head. I am sure she had gone through this before with some other abused girl.

“You’ve already grown more than you know, Callie.” Her voice echoed in my mind as she retreated back into her office. I wrapped my scarf around my neck and left the support center. I only had to wait a moment before I saw Anthony’s black Honda pull around the bend. He was always on time, so reliable and kind. I wish I was able to see that when I first met him; everything could have been avoided if I just listened to him.

Anthony stretched over and unlocked the door, his car not new enough for automatic locks or windows. I hopped in to get out of the cold. I was happy to see he had the heat on full blast. “How did it go?” His eyes were bright, and his cheeks rosy from the warmth. I wanted to tell him, but the words couldn’t come out. I didn’t know if I could ever talk to him about all that happened. I felt more comfortable talking to the strangers at the center. I gave a slight smile before turning my cheek to him as I looked out the window as we made our way back to Vanderbilt. He placed his hand on my knee, trying to provide comfort. His touch made me jump as he instantly put it back on the wheel. “Sorry,” he mumbled as he stopped at the red light.

I was ashamed that I couldn’t even be touched anymore without becoming anxious something bad was going to happen to me. “It’s not your fault,” I whispered. He was trying, and I couldn’t ask for anything more. I didn’t know how to repay him for all that he had done for me, always driving me to my support groups meetings, listening to me cry when I would say nothing, or always trying to brighten my day. I closed my eyes and hoped that I would be normal again. It just needed to be said, all of it.
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Hello! So this is the prologue on a new story I am working on. I would love some feedback! Thanks so much!