Is it custom to start off on a positive note? I won’t sway from the norm here. He is adorable. You will meet him at a party, and you will see his bright smile just before you see the pain in his eyes. But no way will a little pain stop you. Pain is fixable, and you are the ultimate healer. You know how to love someone to their core, and when you set your mind to it, you will do so until every bit of your energy is drained. It helps that he is charming, and slightly mysterious. You want to be the one he opens up to, the one that gets to see the real him. And you will.
He is a master of disguise. He has a face for his family, arguably his most genuine face. They already know who he is, so he doesn’t need to hide much at all. They’ve seen his accomplishments and his failures, and they know his behavioral patterns all too well. You’ll see him love his family wholeheartedly, and you will write off any aggressive behavior as a result of his environment growing up. He has a face for his friends.
This face is much tougher, much more intimidating. He has a history with violence, his peers and him alike. You will write this off as another façade. Who wouldn’t need to put up a tough front in an environment like the one he grew up in? And finally, he has a face for you. You’ll get the best face he owns. He will shower you with affection and attention, which you will absolutely love. How fun is it to be so certain that you’re somebody’s number one priority?
The summer days will go by quickly, and before you know it you’ll be spending nearly every moment of free time together. You’ll have a job which keeps you fairly busy, but he doesn’t. So when you’re free, you’re his. And you will love it. You’ve always loved to completely immerse yourself so deeply into your significant other. You’ll love how he texts you all the time, and how he always cares to know where you are and what you’re doing. He really cares about you, you’ll just feel it.
You’ll be at a party the first time you ever get the feeling that you’re wrong about how perfect he is. He is the host, him and his sister. You’ve never met this crowd of friends before and instead of fitting in, you feel like an outsider. This crowd is much rougher around the edges than you’re used to, and nobody seems interested in acknowledging that you exist.
Including him. At first you chalk it up to your imagination. You’ve always been a bit needy and with his usual smothering persona, how could you not be? But as the night progresses you’re more and more certain. He’s avoiding you. You wait to confront him; it can be discussed tomorrow. But suddenly, you’re approached with news that his ex-girlfriend has joined the crowd. You approach him immediately, as you sure do have a temper about you when need be. He denies, but is no longer interested in offering up the words of reassurance that you are accustomed to, and so desperately need to hear. The argument escalates, and you end up leaving the party. This will be the first of so many red flags that you will choose to ignore.
You see, eventually, he will show you the real him. It will come in layers, as though you’re peeling an onion. The first layer was so beautiful, so surreal. The second, a little imperfect, but you were in it for the long haul. And the third, unimaginable.
“There’s no way he would ever do it. No way. He loves me. But if I push him far enough, would he do it? What if I push him only a little?”
I can only imagine those will be your thoughts as his aggression continues, although I cannot say whether they are conscious or subconscious. I truly believe your hand in these aggressive incidents will be a desperate, futile attempt to prove to yourself that he is incapable of harming you. You’re the one he loves, he’s said it millions of times.
But you will be wrong.
He won’t stop until he’s reduced you to nothing. The stress from the constant bickering will pale in comparison to the stress of being entirely, overwhelmingly controlled. He will want to know where you are, who you’re with, and what you’re wearing at every given second. Many times he’ll even ask you for pictures, just to help reassure him that you’re doing/wearing what you say. He will remove every significant person in your life, until you have no one.
Sure, your family remains. But you can’t tell them about your relationship with him, as you know they wouldn’t approve. It will kill you to live a double-life.
So much so that I’ll say that may end up being what convinces you to leave. But you won’t. Not for a while. Because every time you see that third layer, the unimaginable, it is quickly followed by the first face he ever showed you. The charming, endearing smile, and the pained eyes just begging to be attended to. He is broken, and you will take your sweet time figuring out that some people are not worth being saved.
I want you to know that no matter what he does to you, no matter how long you stay trapped in his disgusting spell, you WILL get through it. He will make countless attempts to contact you and reinstate his good name, to no avail. You will be stronger than ever. You will come out of this patch in your life with a new appreciation for the good in humanity, and a keen eye for the bad. You will crave revenge, and you will get it.
By the time you do, though, you’ll be grown. And your taste for revenge will be much more tactical than it is right now. Your revenge will be making something brilliant out of this tragedy, although it would be no fun to say how. You’ll figure it out though. And hey, maybe someday you’ll even get to publicly thank him for it.
Love you more and more every day,