The dance was going relatively well as Zachery kept his hands off my ass for most of the night. He seemed pacified with one dance and I was looking forward my life two weeks from that moment, when I would happily proclaim my single status.
As I stood there, talking to friends and trying to look nonchalant, Zachery held his grip on my arm. My fear of him rekindled after my friends words, was now my primary concern. Friends asked if I wanted to dance, but I turned them down. There would be no fun so long as I had by ball and chain.
Zachery was mad. All the normal signs, from the way she shook to the tightness of his grip, had me on high alert. Sure, I was ready to end the relationship, but I had to survive the night first.
The dance was over. My friend and Zachery’s brother climbing in the back seat while I took my position in the passenger seat and Zachery got behind the wheel.
High on fatigue and hormones, my friend and Zachery’s brother were happily cuddling in the back. Every one in a while, they would get a little too close and Zachery would veer off the road.
I’m not kidding. Maybe They started to kiss or something, I don’t even remember. All I remember is sitting there, staring out the window while Zachery kept one and on the wheel and another in a death grip on my hand. I prayed to God that I would make it home alive. The way Zachery spun the wheel, throwing us into the ditch and then back on the road, had be more scared than I ever thought he could be.
Usually, these are the kinds of stories that accompany alcohol or drugs, but there was none of that here. Zachery was impaired by pure anger and I seriously questioned whether I’d make it home unscathed.
My prayers were answered as Zachery pulled into is driveway with all passengers in tact. We stopped there to change out of our dresses for After Prom. My friend and I changed in the living room while Zachery and his brother went into their bedrooms to change.
I vented to my friend in hurried whispers about my fears, telling her I wasn’t sure I could carry on for another two weeks. She seemed afraid, too. Perhaps the car ride had be as terrifying for her as it was for me. Great friend she was, she hadn’t said a word to his brother about my intentions to break up with him, but now insisted she had to.
I don’t remember the logic behind telling Zachery’s brother; I just know that we did. He noticed his brothers anger as well, sternly suggesting I not break up with him that night.
“I’m not sure I can hold him back the way he is,” he said.
We then heard a crashing from Zachery’s room. It sounded like he was shoving everything he owned off his shelves. I heard things crash to the floor and other sounds that I was sure indicating something being broken. Dressed in casual clothes, he came out of his room with blood gushing from the top of his hand.
“I killed a spider,” he said in his usual monotone.
What was he doing, chasing the fastest spider in the world with Thor’s hammer? No one was buying that.
Still, I said nothing. The drive to after prom was thankfully safe and normal. Either Zachery was that fatigued or he had finally felling remorse. Even through my fear, I didn’t move my poker face. I wasn’t breaking up with him that night, but I sure as hell wasn’t going to pretend everything was okay. Not one thing about the night had been okay.
I spent most of after prom trying to find activities I could do on my own, anything that would force Zachery away from me for a few moments. If he could sit next to me, he sat with an arm tightly around me. Once upon a time, that may have been cute, but I was disgusted with him at this point. All I wanted was to end things. As after prom neared an end, he started resting his head on my shoulder, which I did not appreciate. Nothing I did to get away or shake him off seemed to work. He followed me like a lost puppy on the shortest leash ever. I felt more weighed down than ever before.
This behavior continued at my friends house, but, luckily, he was tired enough to fall asleep on the couch while I played games on a Wii. I quickly moved away, hoping he’d sleep for a long while. When he was awake, he still tried to wrap me in an embrace or rest his head on my shoulder.
All I wanted was some space, but it wasn’t quite time to end the catastrophe.
What do you think would have happened if I broke up with Zachery that night? Do you think he was capable of violence? How lucky was I that the worst injury of the night was Zachery’s hand? How long do you think it would take for Zachery’s mental abuse to turn to physical abuse if I let the relationship continue?