We had finished eating ages ago and had moved into a booth in the bar. Wyatt’s hand was on my thigh and I shuffled closer to him. “Thanks for putting up with me,” he smiled shyly at me. I rolled my eyes.
“Shut up. Shut your mouth.” I poked his arm.
“Sorry.” He threw his arms up. “I’m a lot to take on though, even you said I’m not what you expected.” I sat back, staring at the side of his face.
“You’re not. At all. I thought you would be rough and demanding and strong.” I put my leg over his.
“That’s how you like your men?” He picked up his drink.
“If you’ve learnt anything about me it must be you know I don’t have a type,” I laughed, rolling my eyes.
“Very true.” He smiled at me and I melted, it was so beautiful.
“I’ve made a decision.” My voice was firm.
“Oh?” His eyebrow raised.
“I’m going to compliment you every time I see you, at least five times.” I smiled and he laughed, rubbing my thigh over him.
“You don’t have to do that.” He looked down, still smiling.
“I want to. I can’t remember how many I’ve done but I need to see your bird tattoo. It’s my favourite I think.”
“Bird one?” I laughed at his confused face.
“On your chest?” I moved forward. He looked up in thought before he moved his t-shirt neck forward, looking down. “Really Wyatt?” I giggled. “You don’t even know what tattoo you have.”
“My chest was finished like five years ago, I can’t remember!” He chuckled. “Oh I see it. The little one.” I nodded, grabbing my drink.
“It’s beautiful, like you,” I sang.
“You’re going to get cheesy with this? Doesn’t seem very Gabby.” He finished his drink and I smiled.
“It’s not. For you I will though.” I giggled as he came closer to me, kissing my lips.
“Drink?” He asked.
“It’s a school night so just a lemonade please.” Wyatt nodded, getting out of the booth. I watched him go to the bar, letting out a sigh. Fuck, was this dude my boyfriend now? It kind of felt he was. I shook my head from these thoughts, I was going to enjoy my time with Wyatt and whatever happens, happened. I smiled at him as he sat down, passing me my drink.
“Thank you.” I took a gulp.
“I was thinking,” he whispered and I turned to him. “I should tell you some shit.”
“You don’t have to,” I interrupted him. Fuck, I didn’t want to force him on this.
“No, I was thinking at the bar, you deserve it really.” He shrugged and I moved closer, my leg going back over his. I put my drink down on the table, my hand on the back of his neck.
“So,” he chuckled sadly. “Me and Caroline. That’s her name.” He looked at me and I nodded. “We were together since we were about seventeen.” I put my head back, listening to him. “It got pretty bad pretty quick. I had my own place and a job and she lived with me when we were eighteen.” I was chewing my bottom lip, terrified of how bad this was going to be. “At first she would put me down randomly, something I couldn’t do right. Then,” he breathed heavily before taking a gulp of drink.
“You can stop there.” I told him, rubbing the back of his neck.
“No, it’s okay. Then it got worse, she would say I was a loser, put me down every single day. Then she got in her head I was cheating on her.” His face screwed up. “She would go through my phone, she followed me once.”
“Jesus,” I whispered.
“Literally the minute I opened my eyes she would say I was a fucking idiot or I should just kill myself.”
“Oh my god!” I shouted, my hand going to his chest.
“It actually gets worse.” He looked down and my stomach turned. “I walked in on her going through my phone and I was so tired I pulled her up. I wasn’t particularly angry, I just asked her to fucking stop. She lost it, saying I had to be cheating on her and I was going to get HIV like my sister.” I moved my head back. What the actual fuck? I had met some fucking arseholes in my time but fuck me. “I told her I was leaving and she threw a glass bottle over my head.”
“Excuse me?” I asked.
“Yeah, when I said I regrew my hair because I didn’t like it. That wasn’t true. I had to shave it because I got thirty stitches in my head. The lotus flowers go around it. My friend did it for me. To try and cover any scars.” I wiped my cheek quickly, a tear appearing. “The biggest joke?” He asked me, his eyes on me. “I went back. By then she seemed to have some sort of vendetta against me. She put me in hospital about four times before I finally left. My dad came from the Philippines and packed my shit for me while I was in the hospital.” He let out a long breath, smiling at me. “Also in that time she forced me to do swinging just so she could fuck over dudes.”
“I don’t know what to say,” I whispered. My eyes were full of tears and I stared at this beautiful man. I never understood domestic violence, how could you ever say you love someone and put your hands on them. I’ve had some amazing relationships and some shitty ones too but never in a million years did I even think of touching someone. Wyatt was one of the loveliest men I had ever met and it would be impossible to be horrible to him like that. In my eyes anyway. I took a deep breath in an attempt to keep these tears in. I was clearly about to fail and I put my hand over my face. Wyatt grabbed my wrist pulling it down.
“Gabby, don’t please.” His voice was soft.
“Sorry,” I whispered, my voice breaking.
“I’m okay, I promise.” He smiled at me. I smiled at him weakly, wiping my tears.
“You could be better though. I can’t believe anybody would do something like that to you.” I shrugged.
“Yeah I know. I’ve only just started learning that she was the one in the wrong. The manipulation was insane. Which is why I panic now around women and around you. I was taught I was a piece of shit. You say my bird tattoo?” I nodded, chewing my bottom lip. “It was one of the last tattoos I got on my chest and when I came home she went crazy and told me how fucking ugly it was and only gay dudes would have a bird tattooed on them.” I moved my head back, this bitch was fucking stupid as well. “So for you to tell me it’s beautiful throws me off.” He smiled. “I’m not used to women being nice to me. I’m not used to talking to women. Caroline was my first and only girlfriend.” I rubbed the back of his neck, moving closer to him.
“I get it. I understand you. I can sit here and say she was the bad person, you did nothing wrong and don’t deserve it but it’s something you have to realise and you will.” I smiled at him, moving my head to his shoulder. “Thank you for telling me your shit.” I laughed slightly, looking up at him.
“You’re welcome. You deserve it.”