Natalie Brooks

"I'm so sorry. You know how much I love you Tilly, I just...I didn't to hurt you."

I stared at the stranger before me, his pleading brown eyes sparkling as I created a distance between us, recoiling from his touch. Every part of my body stung from his touch and not in the way it did when we first started going out. Tonight was just another one of our nights, with him apologising for what he'd done.

Adam came clsoer to me, reaching out his hand to cup my face. I winced at the sharp pain that shot through my cheek, trying to move out of his grip. It was the wrong thing to have done. The next moment I was back on the floor, clutching my palm to the right side of my face as the tears welled over.

"Why don't you understand my feelings for you?!" He yelled, and I crawled back towards the wall, trying to avoid his feet that had once kicked the most delicate parts of my body.

"I'm in love with you! Don't you get it?"

I closed my eyes when he stormed forward, bracing myself for the next blow.

*

A vacation from Adam had never been an option for me, but running away had always been possible. I just never considered it, thinking it to be wrong. I loved Adam. I thought he did too but it took me a long time to see what he was doing. With every bruise, every infliction he laid upon me, my suffering grew and I couldn't hold it in anymore. I told my parents and friends, the people I'd pushed away so far. And they helped me out with Adam, making sure he'd never come back in my life again.

But somehow, he always managed to find me. We'd meet at university. Or in the supermarket, library or cinema theater. It was always a coincidence accompanied by a warning. I feared these sudden meetings...these surprises that passed me by. It scared me too much and that's how I ended up 'running away' the day after university finished. I had enough money from the several part-time jobs I'd done during my high school and university years to catch a summer trip to Madrid.

And that's exactly where I'm going now.

Sighing, I looked out the window, staring at the moonlight that pierced the soft clouds; shards of it reflecting down on the Earth below. My hand reached down, taking hold of the small pendant that hung below my collarbone. Revolving it in my hand, I closed my eyes and laid my head back.

I want to start over again, be someone I'm not; no longer the Natalie Brooks I've become. Would it be possible?

The End

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