Remember how I said I’d never make that mistake again?
Well I did. I did the moment I let Demetri wedge himself into my life.
I met Demetri in my freshmen year. I was fourteen, and extremely guarded after all the bullshit friendship issues I had.
Demetri was nice the first time I met him. He smiled at me like I was truly something good. Though once he caught wind of the gossip everything changed. He changed. Suddenly I became the dirt beneath his feet. He liked me, but he liked his reputation and popularity more.
I wanted for only his attention, because maybe I was tired of feeling alone.
For the most part I liked how he treated me when it was just us, but hated how he harassed me around our peers.
He could get mean and we’d fight a lot over my dissatisfaction with his embarrassment towards dating me, but I blocked that out because a small part of me did care about him one way or another. Or at least originally that’s what I thought.
Relationships shouldn’t be like that.
I knew it well, but I ignored it. Maybe I was being stupid or stubborn? It didn’t matter, because either way I didn’t want to be all by myself. I could deal with not having friends. I could deal with his verbal abuse in public. I just needed one person to care about me even if it was in a unconventional way.
Our relationship was so bi-polar. It got to the point that I sometimes I wasn’t sure if I wanted to kiss him, or strangle him.
Truthfully, I don’t think I ever really liked him that much. I think I just liked that fact that he was sweet to me sometimes. I liked being doted on by him when he was in the mood to do so. Though other than that his personality was a major turn off. It left me frustrated and angry at myself for settling for such a horrible guy.
Maybe I’m the horrible one. After all we both were equally using each other. I used him to fill the empty void in my heart, so I didn’t feel quite as isolated. He used me as a plaything, because as much as he tried to hide it he always wanted what was off limits to him.
In the end we were toxic to each other.
It got to the point that even long before it happened, I knew one day we’d crash into each other and explode.
It was inevitable.
I peek over Skyler’s shoulder to see Demetri’s lips move as he asks Skyler who the hell he is. The interception by Skyler, obviously only makes Demetri angrier.
I see Skyler’s head and shoulders move, but I can't see what he is saying.
My eyes linger at Demetri’s mouth. “Don’t tell me what I can or can’t do. She’s my girlfriend!” His lips curl into those words.
I feel a flash of anger break through my fear. So now he’ll admit I'm his girlfriend? Not when I need him most, but now because of his apparent needed to assert his dominance?
Skyler’s body moves again, but I still can’t see his face entirely. Whatever he says seemed to make Demetri smirk.
Demetri steps closer to Skyler. I read his lips as he points behind Skyler at me. “That whore isn’t worth fighting me for, now is she? So you better get out of here and mind your own business.”
I feel a bigger flash of anger flow through me. I open my mouth to say something, but whatever I;m about to say drops from my mind as all hell breaks loose.
Skyler grabs Demetri by the collar of his shirt, and uses it to push him against the concrete wall of the office building.
I let out a cry as I scramble to see what is going on.
“Don’t you ever call Risa a whore again.” I watch the words as they form on Skyler’s lips. “I saw you that day when those three girls attacked her. You had your head down as if you couldn’t see it. You don’t even give a damn about her do you, you spineless bastard?” His mouth is wide as if he's yelling.
Demetri struggles against him. I back up as they both crash against the ground.
I can’t tell anything apart as they roll on the ground taking turns punching at each other. After a while of rolling around Demetri gains the upper hand, hovering over Skyler, continuing to ram his fist into Skyler’s face.
“Stop! Stop it!” I screamed out, or at least I think I do. I panic. Skyler’s eyes are half closed, and blood drips down from his nose and mouth.
I need to do something fast.
I drop my skateboard, having forgotten that I had been holding it all this time. I then drop down to the ground, grabbing Demetri’s fist before it can connect again to Skyler’s face.
“Leave him alone!” I tell him as loud as I could manage.
Demetri’s angry, blood lust filled eyes direct towards me. “This is your fault.” The words drip off his lips.
He grabs my wrist that holds his other fist and pulls me down, right next to Skyler’s motionless body. He straddles my hips, pinning me to the hard ground.
“Who is he? Are you fucking him? Are you, you little bitch?!” Spit gathers at the corners of his mouth as he speaks.
The person in front of me is a stranger with black eyes, and fearsome clenched teeth. I don’t know him. I don’t know him at all.
“What are you doing. Stop it. Get off!” I'm frantic as I try my hardest to push him off me.
Demetri doesn’t budge at all. He stays in place, keeping me helpless against the ground. “Do I not give you everything you need? Am I not attentive enough to your needy nature, you deaf slut?!” He rages at me.
His grip on my arms soft enough for me to free my left hand. I slap him right across his face. “Fuck you.” I hiss through my teeth. Tears threaten to spill, but I hold them back until my eyes start to burn. I don’t want to give him the pleasure of making me cry.
Demetri’s expression darkens as he moves to tightly hold both my wrists in one hand, smacking me across the face with the other. “I gave you the time of day when no one else would. Is this how you repay me?” He asks before smacking me across the face again.
My cheek stings, but I try my best to keep a straight face. It isn’t the first time he’s smacked me, but it is the first time that I've realized that his behavior isn’t tolerable. He can’t treat me like this. I will never let him or anyone else treat me like this ever again.
I open my mouth to hurl an insult, but he crushez my lips with his. I wince at the feeling. His lips that I have been so familiar with in the past, only seem lifeless, angry, and oppressive. There was no fluttery feeling or wanting of more. Just pure disgust. I bite his lip hard. He pulls back, reeling his hand to hit me again.
His hand is inches away from my face before it drops, and he collapses on top of me. I look up to see a bleeding and bruised Skyler holding out my now broken skateboard, which he must have used to hit Demetri over the head with.
Skyler helps me push Demetri off of me.
I'm gasping for breath. I can’t hold back the tears anymore as I collapse against Skyler.
The pieces began to fit together once we are at the police station. Demetri attacked Skyler after Skyler tried to protect me, Demetri knocked Skyler out for several minutes, when Skylar came to he saw that Demetri had me pinned to the ground; he found my skateboard on the ground, he then sneaked up behind us, whacking Demetri over the head before Demetri could hit me again.
I tell my version in of what happened in ASL ,while Skyler tells the one above. It's enough to prove that Demetri- who has suffered a broken tooth, massive bruises, and a concussion- is the instigator of the fight. Both Skyler and I had to be interviewed for four hours before they concluded that we weren’t going to be charged with anything, and that Demetri would be charged for two accounts of assault and battery.
After that they bring us the the hospital to get checked out. I'm fine with only just a bit of swelling and bruising to my left cheek. The police insist on having my mental health state checked. The doctors at the hospital say I have low self esteem and severe depression, which isn’t a shocker by any means. They give me a name and number for a therapist that they suggest I should start seeing.
To be honest, I’d probably never go to a therapist. Not only is it too expensive, but it’s a waste of time and money. I don’t need someone to be paid to tell me that I’m screwed up in the head. I know that just as well without being told.
After I'm able to leave, I wait at the front of the hospital for Skyler. He hobbles out with a bandaged nose and gauze tapped to his jaw. He's bruised badly in multiple areas. My chest hurts just thinking about the damage I’ve indirectly caused him.
“Why did you save me?” I ask, unsure of what to make of all of this. We had met earlier this week and yet he risks getting hurt in order to save me? I can’t quite understand it.
“Because you’re worth more than you think, Risa. This is nothing. I’d do it all again if I had to. I’ll save you as many times as you need it, because I want to protect you.” He mouths before kissing my right cheek softly.
My hand shuts up. I press my fingers against the hot skin where his lips have touched. I feel shaky, nauseous, and still a bit freaked out, but even with all that I can feel my heart flutter now just from that chaste kiss.