|Love the Way You Lie
Author: MandyLeigh87 PM
Maybe it's what happens when a tornado meets a volcano. Meeting in the middle wasn't even an option. We were destructive for one another and at the same time I felt like I couldn't breathe without him. E/B/James Mature ThemesRated: Fiction M - English - Words: 4,433 - Reviews: 27 - Favs: 44 - Follows: 55 - Published: 03-30-11 - Status: Complete - id: 6856687
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
A/N: This was my host entry that was used as an example way back in my One Shot Soundtrack contest last fall. I'd always thought that I'd posted it on here and low and behold I hadn't. This was based on the song "Love the Way You Lie" by Eminem and Rihanna and deals with Domestic Violence. You've been warned. I had plans to continue this at one point, but I'm very busy right now so I don't know if that will happen. Don't read it if you won't be able to handle it not being continued. I know there's already at least one story I know of with this title, but when I wrote it months ago this was what I wanted it called so I'm not changing it. *shrugs*
"Edward!" Jasper pounded on my front door. "Get the fuck up, you have to go to work!"
I groaned and nestled back into the couch. It smelled like vomit, cheese and beer. I didn't want to move an inch. I was still hung-over as hell from last night and I had no interest in going to work today, but I can't lose this job. I haven't even technically started yet and I was on track to being asshole employee of the month.
I rolled off the couch and stumbled over the glass bottles on the floor as I made my way to the door. I flung it open and kept walking towards the bathroom so I could take a piss. Jasper stepped inside my apartment and sighed, taking in its appearance.
"Did you have another party?" He asked. I heard him start to pick up the bottles and set them back on the table.
"No. Just me." I closed my eyes and rested my hand over the toilet, almost too fucked up to even function. I finished up and brushed my teeth before I started back out into the living room.
"You have to stop doing this…" He mumbled. He glanced at the line of beer bottles on the table.
"I don't have to do anything." I threw on my hoodie and stepped into my shoes, not even bothering to tie them up.
"Edward. I know his birthday was yesterday but you can't keep doing this to yourself. You have to…move on. He wouldn't want you to be this way. He would want you to feel better."
"I feel nothing." I pulled out the bottle of liquor from my ice filled freezer and shook it. There was only enough left for about one shot and I needed something to keep me numb. I popped the top off and tipped it back. I barely tasted the liquor before Jasper ripped it away from my lips and threw the bottle into the sink. It crashed to the side and broke into pieces.
"Go to work," he snapped. He turned around and walked out of my apartment, slamming the door violently behind him.
I ran my fingers through my hair and grabbed my wallet from the counter. I slipped it into my back pocket and picked up my keys from the floor before heading out.
It was raining outside but I didn't give a shit. I pulled my hood up and stomped through the puddles as I made my way towards the grocery store.
It sat nestled in a building a few blocks away from my apartment. I walked up to the door and peeked inside. It was still fairly dark since they weren't open yet, but I saw a young girl bustling around behind one of the cash registers. I knocked on the glass and she whipped around. Her eyes widened as I waved her over. She glanced around to the other registers, almost like she was scared to be alone with me or something.
She tucked a piece of her long brown hair behind her ear before nervously shuffling towards the door. She bit down on her lip and barely cracked the door.
"We're not open yet," she said. She shook her head and started to close the door again.
"No I know," I started. "I'm supposed to start work today. I'm supposed to meet…" I started racking my brain trying to figure out that guy's name. "Mike?"
"Oh. Okay. He's in the back." She opened the door further for me and stepped aside.
"Thanks." I glanced at her as I walked by and noted her name on the button pinned on her chest. "Bella."
"Sure." She locked the door back up behind us and nodded towards the back of the store before going back to work at the register.
I weaved my way through the aisles and found a door at the back that was propped open a little. I peeked inside and saw a blonde guy standing there holding a clipboard. He glanced up at the clock and back down at it. I cleared my throat and took a step in. He spun around towards me and smiled slightly.
"You must be Edward?" He asked.
"That's me." I shrugged.
"Great. I know you've already filled out the appropriate paperwork so I'll just show you what you'll be doing." He handed me an ugly ass orange vest and a button with my name on it. "You'll be doing mostly stocking and it's fairly straight forward."
"Okay." I slipped on the vest and followed him further towards the back of the store. He showed me through the stockroom as well as where the trucks are unloaded. There was one pulling up so he decided to leave me to it. Another guy named Eric popped in and started helping me.
"New?" He asked.
"Yeah." I bent down and lifted another large box up.
"You know sometimes they'll move you from stocking to registers if you kiss ass." He struggled with his box and followed closely behind me.
"I don't mind the physical work. I'm not really interested in being social with anyone." I didn't care that I was being rude. I didn't take this job to make friends. I took it to make rent.
We unloaded in silence for the next hour aside from that horrendous shit they call music in the background.
"Edward!" Mike called. "Feel free to take your break."
I nodded and stepped outside to smoke a cigarette. I stopped abruptly when I saw the same girl from earlier leaning against the back of the building. She flicked her cigarette and sighed as she talked on her cell phone.
I glanced down at the ground and pulled my own pack out of my back pocket. I grabbed a cigarette and settled it between my lips before flicking out my lighter. I shielded the end from the wind and quickly lit it as I watched her from the corner of my eye.
She seemed so timid, so withdrawn. Her thin and pale appearance didn't help at all either. For the first time in a long time I almost felt like she had it worse than me. Her eyes flickered my way and quickly back away.
I jumped as another girl flitted past me right towards Bella.
"Hey can I bum one?" She asked. Bella took a few more moments on the phone before hanging up and handing the girl a cigarette. "Damn. Did you run into the counter again?" The girl glanced down at Bella's arm. My eyes narrowed on her skin as I took in the dark purple bruises around her forearm.
"Oh," Bella stuttered. "Yeah. I do that a lot." She shook her head and bit down on her lip.
"We should pad your register. You get more bruises than anyone I know." The girl laughed and took a long drag from her cigarette.
I sighed and closed my eyes. Even from here I could make out the shape of a handprint in the dark marks. Damn.
When I opened my eyes again the girl was brushing past me and stepped back inside. Bella struggled to pull her sleeve down far enough to cover the marks. She blushed and looked down in embarrassment when she saw me watching her. I knew I had issues but that was fucked up. Someone had done that to her and even though I didn't know anything more than her name I felt the need to protect her, which seemed strange to me. I didn't even care about protecting myself, why the hell should I care about other people?
Bella threw her cigarette down to the ground and brushed past me with her arm crossed over her chest. She avoided any eye contact and I swear I could almost feel the tension rolling off her as she walked by.
When she was gone I pulled out my cell phone and saw I had a missed call from my mom so I called her back.
"Edward?" She answered.
"Hey Mom," I mumbled.
"How'd your first day go?"
"It's good, I guess. I'm just on a break now." I shrugged and flicked the ashes of my cigarette down on the concrete.
"Good honey. I'm glad you found a nice job." It wasn't really that nice of a job but I knew she really just meant that she was happy I found a job in general. My father had refused to keep paying my rent, said I was getting too lazy. But she'd been slipping me money on the side to keep me afloat.
"Do you have your meeting with your friend tomorrow?" She asked. I sighed and cursed under my breath. She meant therapist. She just knew I hated that fucking word so she called him my friend. Changing his name didn't make me want to go tell him shit about my life any more than it did before.
"Yes." I gritted my teeth and rubbed my cigarette out on the brick behind me.
"How's it going with him?"
"I don't see the point," I admitted.
"He wants to help you make it better Edward."
"I don't want to feel better. I deserve to be miserable." I regretted the words as soon as they slipped out. It wasn't that I didn't believe them but it just opened up a whole new can of worms with my mother. She'd become very protective and inquisitive about my life since everything that happened last year. I guess when something that fucked up happens to you it can mess you up. I'm the epitome of that and everyone felt like they had to walk on eggshells around me except for Jasper. If I really gave a shit about being better he'd be the best one to help me. He doesn't put up with my shit like everyone else does.
"Edward," she scolded.
I sighed and shook my head. "I have to go. My break is over."
"Okay I'll talk to you soon. I love you."
"Love you too." I hung up and slammed my fist back on the building. I needed a drink. And the fact that I was working in a building that had an abundant supply of liquor that I couldn't have right now pissed me off.
I pushed off the brick and started back inside. Eric and I unloaded two more trucks before Mike showed me how to stock in the store. I loaded a few of the boxes onto the dolly and wheeled them out into the store. I set it down and ripped it open so I could unload the boxes of cereal onto the shelves. It was boring as all hell but at least it wasn't hard.
I could see the registers from the aisle and I found myself glancing that way every so often. Bella's register was at the end but the store wasn't very busy so she was leaning against her counter picking at her nails. The girl from earlier was in the register next to her and seemed completely oblivious to Bella's indifference to whatever she was talking about.
The moment I let my eyes linger for more than a few moments Bella's eyes shot up, almost like she knew I was watching her. Her brow scrunched tightly together as she stared back for a long moment. I didn't even realize I'd completely stopped moving until a customer walked through the front doors. He instantly walked straight towards Bella and wrapped his arms around her waist.
I started stocking the shelves again and tried to focus on my work, but every time I turned to grab another box I'd see them. They talked for a few minutes and I couldn't tell if it was a pleasant conversation or not. The guy seemed like a punk to me and I assumed he was the one hurting her. He smiled the entire time while she shrugged and shook her head. He kissed her briefly before disappearing back through the front doors. It made me nauseous to see the obvious fake love between them, but apparently I was the only one who noticed. I know love can be fucked up sometimes, but no love on this damn planet would produce those bruises. None.
I shook my head and finished up my work. When I was done I went back and found Mike and he told me I could head home. I guess when you stock you're usually just there in the mornings. He showed me where I could hang up my vest and showed me how to clock out.
"I'll see you tomorrow Edward," he said. He waved slightly and left.
I didn't see Bella when I left but the other girl waved to me. I snuck a glance at her nametag. Jessica. I smiled slightly and waved back.
I stopped by the liquor store on the way back and picked up a few bottles. I was pretty sure Jasper broke my last one this morning.
When I got home I sat down on my couch and popped open one of the bottles. There was a glass already sitting on the table so I took it, wiped it out with my hoodie and poured myself some liquor.
The photo album from last night laid open on the floor beside the couch, flipped open to a random page. I downed the rest of my glass and picked it up. As soon as I saw his face I felt the knife stabbing right through my chest, sharp and unforgiving. I felt the tightness start to creep into my chest, cutting off my air supply. I threw the album down on the ground, right back where it came from. It slammed shut and shielded me from him.
I took a few more gulps of the liquor and laid back down on my couch. My finger unconsciously drifted up to my chest and traced along the tattoo just above my heart. I could almost feel the burn as my fingers danced along the letter, smoldering deep inside my chest. It was my reminder of everything I'd done. Everything I lost. I fucking hated myself.
"Did you see the new guy?" Jessica said. "He's kind of hot."
I glanced down the first aisle and saw him stocking the shelves. He'd scared the shit out of me earlier when he knocked on the front door. I wasn't expecting anyone and I was just going about my business getting ready for the day. His face was completely hidden inside his dripping wet hoodie and I thought for the slightest moment that he might be trying to break in. Against my better judgment I cracked open the door and was relieved to find he was actually working here.
"He's alright." I shrugged and turned back to the register.
"Oh that's right. You can't think guys are cute. You're taken."
"He's cute," I admitted. I bit down on my lip and turned my eyes back to him and found him staring at me. I felt the heat rush to my cheeks, but I couldn't look away. I'd felt so embarrassed earlier when he saw my bruises. I almost felt like he knew the truth. Like he wouldn't believe all the bullshit I tell all the people around here. To be completely honest I'd forgotten about them. I usually at least try to cover them up with makeup. It's a good thing I'm so clumsy anyway it makes it all believable. Pathetic right? I never thought I'd be this person. I was the one who yelled at all those girls in the Lifetime movies to just get the fuck out and now I'm stuck in my own. That's all it is. You're stuck. Never moving forward. Just completely stranded. Every time he hits me or does some other stupid ass thing I tell myself it's the last time and it never is. My life is a fucking joke and I'm the punchline.
I jumped as a pair of arms wrapped around my waist. I smelled him the moment he leaned down close to me and almost cringed back from the contact.
"Hey baby," James said.
"Hi." My body melted back into his and I smiled slightly. It was strange how I could go from hating him to loving him. Crossing back and forth like it was this invisible line. It was an intensity I've never known before and even though I knew it was unhealthy I couldn't break away. I didn't know how else love should be. This was it for me and I knew it. I was never going to get out. He was either going to leave me or kill me. Or maybe both.
"When do you get off?" He palmed his hand over my breast for the shortest instant.
"Okay good. We're going out with some of my buddies tonight."
"Babe I don't want to. I'm exhausted."
"I'll meet you at home around six okay? We'll have fun." He kissed me quickly and left.
"How'd you find such an amazing guy?" Jessica asked, her eyes lingering after James.
"I don't know," I mumbled. "Just lucky I guess."
I took a short break to grab a snack and a cigarette before returning to the register. When I got back I noticed Edward was gone and Jess said something about him leaving for the day. I finished up the rest of my shift and clocked out before heading home. I wasn't lying when I said I was exhausted. I'd been working early shifts everyday this week and it was starting to wear me down.
When I got home I undressed and ran myself a nice bath so I could relax for a little bit. I pulled out a book and started flipping through to where I'd left off last time. It didn't take long for me to doze off in the warm water. It felt so comforting and so safe…at least until I heard the front door slam.
I submerged myself in the water and closed my eyes, trying to calm myself down before I had to deal with him. When I opened my eyes again I saw him standing above the bathtub, blurry and floating above the water. He crouched down beside me and waited for me to emerge from the water.
"I thought I said we were going out," he snapped.
"I thought I said I didn't want to go." I turned back to my book and flipped the page. The next thing I knew it was ripped from my hands and hit the wall with a soft thud.
"I'll wait for you out in the living room." He turned around and left me alone, shaking and trembling in fear. It was always like that. There were times where I could tell he was more volatile than usual but it always happened like an explosion. And what just happened? That was nothing.
I crawled out of the tub and wrapped a towel around myself before bending down and picking my book up off the floor. I crossed the hallway and went into our bedroom to change. When I was finished I went back into the bathroom and hung my towel up on the shower rod.
"What the fuck are you doing?" James asked.
"Hanging my towel up." I turned around and brushed past him, rubbing my hands on my sweatpants.
"You're not wearing those out?" He nodded to my ensemble in shock.
"I'm not going."
"Damnit Bella I don't have time for this!" He yelled. He grabbed my arm just as I started into the bedroom and spun me back around. I winced as my head slammed back against the wall. "Get ready."
"No." I glared at him, almost challenging him with my gaze. I knew he hated when I talked back to him and that was part of the problem. My snarky mouth didn't make my situation any easier, but I just couldn't stop it. If he pissed me off I was going to tell him. We were like two unstoppable forces. Maybe it's what happens when a tornado meets a volcano. Meeting in the middle wasn't even an option. We were destructive for one another and at the same time I felt like I couldn't breathe without him.
He shifted his weight back and forth with a fire, something dark and twisted, smoldering behind his eyes. He laughed darkly and pulled his fist back. I cowered back into the wall and waited for the hit. It never came.
I jumped as his fist crashed into the wall beside my head, leaving a large hole mirroring several others around the house. He let his fingers fall to my shoulder and drift across my skin until they came up around my neck. The moment I felt him squeeze I shoved him back and ran towards the bathroom. He reached for me as I slammed the door in his face and slid the lock into place.
I slid down the back of the door, putting as much pressure as possible against it as he repeatedly pounded into it. He'd broken a door down before and I didn't know how much it helped, but I never felt like the lock was enough.
I wiped away the tears as my head slammed against the door each time he ran into it trying to knock it down. I ran my fingers through my hair, tugging and pulling in frustration.
I sniffled and reached over behind the cabinet for my pack of cigarettes I kept in here for times like these. I pulled out the lighter and flicked it a couple of times, watching as the flame flew up and flickered. I passed my finger through it a few times and let my mind wander away from here. Sometimes when I felt strong enough to stand up to him I imagined setting the apartment on fire and crawling out the window to escape my life. I never did.
I lit a cigarette and waited for the pounding and screaming to calm down. I was hoping he would just go out anyway and leave me alone for a few hours. It was all we ever needed. Some time for both of us to calm down.
I ran my fingers across the back of my head, wincing when I passed over the tender spot. That'd leave a bump. At least it wasn't one I'd have to cover up.
I finished my cigarette as the apartment fell silent. I didn't hear a door slam so I wasn't sure if he was gone or not.
I sat on my bathroom floor for three hours, never moving, never making a sound. I even fell asleep a few times leaning back against the door or against the cabinet.
I finally got up and carefully undid the lock. I peeked outside and the entire apartment was pitch black. I pulled my hair back over my shoulder and stumbled into our bedroom. I instantly spotted the bottle of liquor sitting on the nightstand and tensed. I wasn't alone.
I felt him come up behind me and snake his arms around my waist, pulling me back into him. His lips brushed across my bare shoulder as his fingers dug into my flesh.
"I'm sorry baby…" He whispered against my skin.
"I know," I mumbled. I let my head fall back against his shoulder as his lips traveled across my skin. He backed us up until he hit the wall and spun me around. He pressed his forehead to mine and pushed me against the wall, completely surrounding me. It was intoxicating and completely sliced right through me. I craved him like a bad drug.
He leaned down and ran his tongue across my lips before capturing them in his. He tugged lightly on my hair as he slammed us harder against the wall. His hands drifted down and pulled my sweats off before discarding his jeans. I winced in pain and pleasure as he thrust himself into me, crashing us so hard into the drywall and the picture beside us shook and fell to the ground. And then I was lost to him. So lost.
An hour later I lay completely naked in our bed with him beside me. I rolled over onto my stomach and ran my finger along the edge of the nightstand, focusing on all the rough edges around the top. It'd been knocked over enough times that I was surprised it wasn't more damaged.
I sat up and settled my legs over the edge of the bed. I ran my hands over my face and sighed. I felt James sit up behind me and scoot closer. His finger drifted softly down my spine.
"Don't ever leave me…" He whispered.
"I won't." I shook my head and bit down on my lip, trying to hold back the tears. I hated him. I loved him. I hated my fucking life.