I'm not so sure I did a good job of developing my character, but I'm kind of proud of this for being my first attempt at writing something like this! I would love any and all constructive criticism!
By Jessica Rose
Two hours is how long it took for me to decide that I was done. Well…I shouldn’t phrase it like that because that makes it sound like I didn’t put every bit of my heart and soul into that relationship until I had nothing left but the shell of a young woman who never really got to find herself. So I’ll try again. Five years, eleven months, and two hours is how long it took for me to decide that I was done. Well, five years, eleven months minus the six months where I almost convinced myself that I was over him. In those six months, I began to shine like a diamond and he was watching and waiting. Preparing that snare of “I’ve changed so much”, but two years of waiting for follow-through has determined that this was a lie.
Never in a million years did I think that I would find myself in the sort of situation where I was being emotionally abused. This was something that I’d read statistics about. Something I’d witnessed growing up and something that I refused to fall into. “It’s a cycle,” I would tell myself, “and this cycle ends with me.” Those words sound so nice, but what you don’t realize when you’re reading those statistics and making those promises to yourself is that, is how easy it is to fall into that sort of relationship. At first you forgive emotional manipulation, because we’re young, he didn’t mean to do that. He loves me and we’re never going to shout at each other. If we have a problem we’ll talk about it.
Fast forward to less than a year later when he’s screaming at me while I have a panic attack in the driver’s seat of my car. He broke a lot of promises in five years, eleven months, and two hours. I think the one that hurt the most was the evening where those last two hours took place. Though I’m not sure if I can really say that he broke promises during that time…I think that was the time where I realized that he wasn’t even relatively sorry for how things had turned out. I went to his apartment and I asked him what we could do to save the relationship. For two hours I talked, trying to get him to talk to me about solutions for our problems. Trying to get him to suggest solutions for our problems in return. I wanted desperately for this to work out because I love him, for fuck’s sake. Without so many words, I was begging for him to give me any sort of sign that he was just as desperate for us to work out as I was. Underneath the exterior shell of harsh uncaring was the guy that I had fallen so madly in love with in the beginning.
I think I’d realized before I went over there that I was going to break up with him. I wanted to save everything, but nothing was lining up. When I was controlling and manipulative, I put in the work to unlearn those ways. When he was emotionally manipulative or cruel, I was just creating problems where problems didn’t exist. He failed to see how anything was wrong and in the back of my mind I knew that we couldn’t move forward that way. I refused to continue on that way. Or at least that’s what I decided after the thirtieth time I asked him, “What can we do to save this relationship?” and the thirtieth time that he responded to that same question, “I don’t know.” If he didn’t know, I had to make a decision to know for myself. “Okay, so no. There is nothing that we can do to save this, so I think that we should break up.” “Okay, if that’s what you want to do.” And so I did and I refuse to walk back into that devil’s snare.