“You need to leave him!” Sarah whispered in a worried tone to me one day soon after the semi formal. She was another off-campus friend who was in a Women’s Studies class with me. She might have been a year or two ahead of me even. We sat beside each other in the theatre classroom twice a week. Sarah had spiky orangey red hair. She also had glasses and was taller than me. I confided in her what happened. We would do it via writing little notes on the paper where I was taking notes for the class that day. When I wrote that Devon choked me Sara’s eyes went wide, and she hissed at me in a forced whisper. Our professor looked up at us, as we were also right in the front of the room, to one side of the isle.
I lowered my head and shook it, my hands started to shake. ‘No, I can’t. I’m afraid too.”
“You need to come and stay with me for a night off campus. You need a break from him!” Sarah put her hand on my wrist lightly and looked at me with a worried look.
We focused back on our professor.
“Aime, hang on a second.” My professor called to me when class was over, and we were packing up to leave. I looked over at her and paused. I put my binder into my backpack threw it over my shoulder and walked down the few carpeted steps to see her at the bottom of the room.
“Is everything okay? I heard Sarah whisper at you to leave him?” Professor W looked at me worried with care and concern.
“Yes, she did say that to me. And I am okay. I have a boyfriend who is worrying me. I am okay though.” Doing my best to keep my voice strong and not waver. I didn’t want to show weakness in front of my professor.
I was also getting really good at keeping a mask on my face like everything was okay. I didn’t want to show vulnerability to my friends, or in public. Walking back to the dorms after class I was feeling exhausted, hiding what was really going on was starting to drain me. I bucked up though and told myself to get through this last month. I also thought maybe he’ll still change, maybe I can still help him? Although I was worried I wouldn’t be able too.
And just like that spring exams were upon us. Devon was spending a lot of time with me. He was in my room as the sun shone brightly through the window. Devon was sitting at my desk with my computer playing a game as I sat on my bed studying. I wish he actually wasn’t there so I could concentrate more on my books and studying. Yet I had not found my voice to say no, or to set my own boundaries to tell him to leave.
As I was sitting on my bed taking notes and highlighting my textbook at times. Devon looked up at me “Sweetie, I’m going to miss you when I leave in a couple of weeks.”
“I’ll miss you to ‘George’.” ‘George’ was my nic-name for him. It was from a cartoon or something I had seen years before that. One would say to the other things like ‘okay George.’ After the other characters said anything to him. Even though, I was not sure if I would miss him. The days after the semi formal and Devon choking me was still fresh in my mind, and I was worried.
Bill and Charlie stopped by the door. They knocked and smiled at us. “Hey guys, want to come to the pub and study for a change of scenery?”
Smiling at Bill I replied, “No thanks.”
“No, I don’t like to go there.” Devon said.
“Are you sure? We’re going to take some quarters to use the juke box an have some coffee.” Charlie tempted us again. Coming more into the room.
“Oh, I’m good thanks for asking though. To many distractions for me.” Grinning at Bill and Charlie.
“Where’s the juke box?” Devon asked.
I responded first “Where the First Responders sit when they are on duty.”
“Where’s that?” Devon asked back.
“In the pub.” I answered.
“I know where the pub is, where are the Responders?” Devon was starting to get frustrated.
Charlie started to help answering the questions Devon was asking.
“Near the neon sign, where the Responders sit. In the pub.”
“I know where the God damn pub is, but where is the juke box?” Devon snapped his eyes glowing with anger.
Charlie and I kept in the cycle of answering with the same answers on where the juke box is. Thinking in my head with a worried though I should have stopped sooner though; I could see Devon shifting in my chair at the desk.
Devon was raising his voice, almost at a yell, he was getting red in his face. He was becoming more and more angry till he finally out right yelled “I know where the fucking God damn pub is!!” Devon took his keys off from around his neck and whipped them at Charlie’s head. Darts of anger shooting from his eyes.
Luckily Charlie moved out of the way and they hit Carry’s bed.
Charlie shocked and angered himself, said to Devon with worried anger in his voice “Don’t ever throw things at me.” He looked at me and then back to Devon, “Don’t throw things at all.” He marched off with Bill who was also looking at me with shock.
Devon was still sitting in my chair, he started to cry. Moving over to him I put my arms around Devon.
“I’m sorry sweetie, I’m sorry I lost my temper.” Devon said to me in a low quiet voice almost a whisper through tears. He took a big breath. I held him for a bit. Devon then stood up and cornered me in between the shelves, fridge, my desk and him. I took a quick breath, feeling my face drain in colour. I was also feeling trapped and boxed in I squeezed by and sat on my bed. I couldn’t show my self to him as worried or scared. That would just anger him. Devon came over and sat down beside me, he was still upset. He was crying still a little, as the odd tear fell from his eyes to his hands. I was doing my best to comfort him, stroking his back. It seemed to go on for ever. I got tired though and stopped doing that.
Standing up Devon went over to my fridge and stared at the wall and the CD’s on top of the fridge.
“Nice wall?” Doing my best to get Devon to smile.
“I wish my girlfriend could help me better when I’m upset.” In a low voice, Devon said.
Moving over to Devon I put my arms around him giving him a sort of hug. Devon stared at the CD’s on top of the fridge for a long time. These were classical music CD’s that I used to study with, to have background noise to help me focus on my studying. Devon took the CD on the top of the pile and put it at the bottom of the pile. Gasping, as I knew what CD he just moved I was worried, confused, and sad.
“Why did you do that?” I asked Devon. He had moved my high school CD that I made with the Sr. Concert Band to the bottom of the pile. I had so many happy memories from band and being a part of the CD was a highlight of my high school music career.
“I hate that CD.” With bitter and anger in his voice. I started crying. Devon continued with anger. “It was a happy time in your life that I was never a part of to be with you.”
Not knowing what to say all I could muster was “You need to leave now.” I was angry.
Devon looked at me still red in the face from the tears that had fallen down his face he stormed out of the room. I took a big breath and started to shake.
Carly, an R.A. walked by my room. “Hey Carly can we talk?” I called out to her.
“Hi Aime, I’m on duty right now so come back to the porter’s desk in the other residence and we can talk there.” Carly said to me when she paused at my door.
Grabbing my keys and putting on my shoes I locked my door and went back with Carly to the desk and we talked there. I shared what had just happened between Devon and myself.
“Aime, this is worrying me. Have you talked with your R.A.?”
“A few times yes. I just got to hold on, there is not much time left of school this year. I will be happy to get back home.”
A few times Devon walked by and I stopped talking, tried to look small, and wanted to hide. Devon glared at me.
When I did get back to the dorm, I went in my room and shut the door. I did not want to talk to anyone, I was tired, and still exhausted. I had an exam the next day. Worried and stressed I attempted to sleep.