Disclaimer: Cats and all related characters belongs to T.S. Eliot and Andrew Lloyd Webber, the song belongs to Shania Twain (I think), and the story itself is mine. If you do choose to review, I'd like to hear your opinion on who you THOUGHT the story was about....it does tell at the end, but I made things pretty general most of the way through.

Black eyes, I don't need 'em
Blue tears, give me freedom

Positively never goin' back
I won't live where things are so out of whack
No more rollin' with the punches
No more usin' or abusin'

I was never thought to be a particularly strong queen. Oh, no one ever said I was weak, but I wasn't exceptionally independent. Only average, in more ways than one, I suppose. Never beautiful, nor talented, nor smart, nor popular. Only average.

That's why I ended up with him in the first place, I guess. I wasn't attractive enough to catch the eyes of some of the nicer, more popular toms. I was the leftovers, and so it was leftovers that I got in return. The funny thing is, I actually thought I loved him.

Come to think of it, maybe it isn't really that funny. It's hard to laugh with your jaw swollen shut.

That's why I'm going to get away from him.

I'd rather die standing
Than live on my knees
Begging please - no more

Black eyes - I don't need 'em
Blue tears - give me freedom
Black eyes - all behind me
Blue tears'll never find me now

I tried to be a good mate, I really did. I tried so hard to please him. He was always such a quiet, shy tom....everyone thought he was a nice fellow. Even I thought so. Even after he hit me the first time, I thought he was just having a bad day, that he was really good inside. He just needed an outlet for his anger. Everyone does, don't they?

But the hitting didn't stop. It got worse as the weeks wore on. I remember that I would never cry....maybe that does make me strong, in a sense. I was good at enduring. I thought maybe it I just bore the pain, he would get it out of his system and everything would be all right again.

Now, everything WILL be all right. I don't have to put up with this, and I'm not going to.

Definitely found my self-esteem
Finally - I'm forever free to dream
No more cryin' in the corner
No excuses - no more bruises

The first bone he broke, I did cry. I couldn't help it anymore...the physical and emotional pain simply got to be far too much. That night I crouched, cradling the snapped wrist, in the corner of the broken oven we called home, the one hidden away so that it was semi-isolated from most of the other Jellicles. They couldn't hear anything that way.

Strange enough, I discovered that he didn't hit me as hard when I would cry. Oh, he still hit me, of course. I had grown accustomed to that. But if I cried, there wasn't as much malice in the blows. So I would cry, as pitifully as I could, until he finally got tired and left. I'd stand up, clean myself off, and by the time he returned, we'd both act as if everything was nothing but sunshine. It was good practice, made it easier to pretend in public.

I'd rather die standing
Than live on my knees
Begging please

It was hard to pretend, sometimes, especially when the bruises were bad, or their were broken bones involved. I could tend to my own bruises, but when a wrist or a rib was snapped, I had to go to Jennyanydots. I always had an excuse, and it was usually a pretty good one. Sometimes, it was one that he had made up, and he always knew what my excuses were, just so that if anyone asked him, he'd be able to give a legitimate answer.

I don't think that Jenny really believed me all the time. But, despite all her good intentions, Jenny has to see the good in everyone, no matter what. She's all sunshine, and when you're wearing rose-colored glasses, it's hard to see when there's a serious problem around.

I guess that's why I have to get away. Maybe I could deal with things if there were at least someone to understand...but I can't talk to anyone about this, not even the few friends I have. It's going to be hard to leave, but it's just something that has to be done....

The one thing that I feel really guilty about is my kittens. Well, they're not really kittens any longer. They're the only reason I've stayed as long as I have. I only hope they can understand, perhaps they'll learn something from their Mama's mistakes. The poor things....they don't know the half of what their father has done. Oh yes, they've seen and heard a lot of things, a lot of fights, and it breaks my heart to have them live like this. But he usually waits until they're not around, when they're staying with a friend, to get really rough with me.

Black eyes - I don't need 'em
Blue tears - give me freedom
Black eyes - all behind me
Blue tears'll never find me now

A farewell letter with an explanation, and everything's taken care of. No one will be back here for hours at least; it'll be that long before anyone realizes I'm gone. There's a certain feeling of euphoria filling me; I'm finally getting out of here! I'm getting away, and they can't stop me! He can't stop me. He can't find me. I may be only average, but even average queens deserve self-respect. They deserve freedom.

I only hope my girls will know that I'm sorry I had to leave them like this. Jenny will take care of them, once everyone sees the letter and learns what he is really like. She's good for things like that.

The note is where they can find it. Everything's set. Without hesitation, a pawful of pills is tipped into my mouth, swallowed down dry. Is that enough? Another pawful, just to be sure. Nothing left to do now but --

It's all behind me
They'll never find me now

"Jellylorum!" a startled voice cries behind me. Jenny. Jenny, WHY did you have to find me now? I was so close to having everything done.....

The Gumbie cat kneels beside me, and I can see the panic in her eyes. "Jellylorum!" she repeats. "What are you doing?!"

I blink at her; my vision's blurring. I'm unable focus on her properly, but I smile. "I'm getting away from him. He can't hurt me now." I breathe, closing my eyes. A strangled sob comes from somewhere, presumably Jenny, and I feel her paw clutch mine desperately.

"Jelly, why didn't you tell me? I...I could have helped...why didn't you tell me?" She's definitely crying now, I can hear the broken sound in her voice. Struggling to stay awake for another moment, I open my eyes to look at my best friend once more.

"You never asked."

I close my eyes again, and everything is black.

Find your self-esteem
And be forever free to dream

A/N: Well? What do y'all think? Oh, and I've gotten a lot of reviews asking who the tom is......well, I kind of left that up to the reader to decide. But if you want to know whom I had in mind, it was Asparagus....NOT old Gus, but Asparagus, the younger tom.