This is a story about a girl I know and too many girls I do not know.
He flirted with her and kissed her, then he left with another girl. She stayed.
He drank too much at a party and threw her out of his apartment. She stayed.
He laughed at her when she told him how she felt. She stayed.
She moved away for the summer. She met someone else. They started seeing each other and things were getting serious.
He changed his mind.
She broke up with the other guy.
She moved back.
He pushed her up against the wall by her neck and held her there, it hurt, but she stayed. He held her on the bed and would not let her move; it was humiliating and it hurt, but she stayed. He grabbed her arm and pulled her so that she could not leave the room, but she stayed.
He never left a mark on her. Nobody ever saw. Nobody ever heard the things he said. She stayed.
He hid the empty bottles. He passed out on the recliner. She stayed.
He came home late at night. She did not know where he was, but she stayed.
She asked to go to counseling. He refused. She stayed.
Things got worse. She stayed.
Her parents came to visit and after they went to sleep he cornered her in the hall. She tried to keep him quiet so they would not hear; she covered up for him. She stayed.
He finally said he would talk to someone with her. He promised he would go to AA. He never went. He accused her of cheating. She stayed.
She called his father in tears; she begged for his help through sobs, but he acted like the drinking was not a big deal and did nothing to help her. She stayed.
They went to a counseling appointment; she cried the entire drive home. She knew what she had always known, that she would not be able to change him, that this needed to be over, and that she could no longer stay.
She had failed. It was over. She was relieved. She was devastated. She was happy. She left.
She lost friends. Some did not believe her, some believed his lies.
She met someone new. It was unexpected. He made her happy. He made her feel safe. He was the one.