I’m laying here on the floor where he left me, keenly aware of my body in that super heightened way. It hurts too breathe, I can hear it rattling out my mouth, a loud raspy sound that would have me wincing if I could muster up the strength. I can’t, I never can, not with this and not with him.
I wonder when I’ve become so weak, to allow him, to allow anyone to abuse me so. I know once I was strong, capable of protecting not only myself but others in my care. Now I can do nothing, and that knowledge brings red hot tears that burn my eyes. I don’t want to cry, do not want to be reduced to tears on the floor, but like with so much else, he’s changed me, made me into this mess on the floor.
It wasn’t always like this. In the beginning we were happy, he actually seemed to care for me. I look back at those memories of better days, and it’s a sense of wonder that surrounds me. How could he be the same man of my memories and yet do this to me? I moan as I wonder that, but it’s a quiet sound, one that won’t draw attention to me.
I must never draw attention, it’s one of his rules. He has many, and this feels the hardest to follow. It’s difficult, as tough to please him as it is to live my life in accordance to his commands. I’m rewarded with pain if I falter, if I show hesitation in the slightest.
It’s so hard not to cringe at the memories, knowing he won’t show any hesitation in putting me in my place. His hands are always quick to fly, to let loose with his assault. I may not bear scars from these attacks, but they’re imprinted on me, deeply ingrained in my heart and in my psyche.
At best he leaves only bruises, and worst? Well, just look at me now. Blood on my lips, a tight, painful feeling inside me. I’m sure he’s broken a rib or two. I never thought he’d be capable of hurting a woman, and I pay the price for doubting such a thing.
I’m crying now, deep, soul wrenching sobs that hurt. But can anything compare to the pain of what he’s done, to the trust he’s shattered, to my faith in men being destroyed? The sobs follow that thought, and I keep my head down, trying to muffle my wails against the carpet. I don’t know why though, why am I continuing to protect him? He’s gone too far, went too far the moment he grabbed my arm that first time, his fingertips leaving bruises on my skin.
Those bruises had been easy to hide, I know the damage he’s done today will not be. A split lip, possible internal damage, my one eye already swelling shut. How does he intend to cover it up? Or does he not even care, confidant to leave damage control to me? I’d laugh at the thought, knowing I don’t have even one clue as to where to begin to spin this story in a way that will keep suspicion away from him.
If he had just held back, even a little, we could say my injuries stemmed from today’s practice. My lion had spiraled out of control, they all had seen it. I crashed into a cavern’s side, my body being rocked in place inside blue lion. It’s a lie we’ve used in the past, and I shudder with the realization of just how many times blue lion has taken the blame for his abuse.
I shiver, wondering why I can recognize that what he does is abuse, and yet not take the steps to stop him. Is it because he’s a hero of my people? The shining knight that can do no wrong, at least where they are concerned? I wonder what they would think of him if they knew, would they revile him? Or would they blame me, say I am wicked for bringing a hero down so low?
He certainly would, he blames me for his behavior, says I make him crazy. That all he wants to do is love me, and yet I make it so difficult with my behavior. I used to believe him, used to think if I got better, improved my attitude then he’d have no reason to hurt me. I know better now, but the pain doesn’t lessen. Even worse is the knowledge that he’ll do it again. He’s proven that in the past with his actions. And next time I might not survive!
My tears fall faster, burning their way down my swollen cheeks. No one is going to stop him if I don’t speak up. The time for lies, for covering is over. He’s gone too far, pushed me past my breaking point. I struggle to my knees, and nearly scream with the pain, hunching over. I pant and gasp for a few minutes more, and then I am standing, unsteady on my feet.
The room spins around dizzily, but I manage not to fall, though I do lean into the wall for support. My shaking hand reaches for the knob of the door, and I know he’s not coming back. Not to the scene of the crime, and it is a crime what he’s done to me. I’ve dealt with women of my kingdom who’ve gone through similar things, but never did I imagine I could fall victim to that same abuse.
There’s no one in this segment of hall, and I wonder if I will have the strength to make it to where Coran is. I hold back a shiver of fright as I realize he will probably be there with my advisor, talking over things, acting as if he hadn’t just been victimizing me minutes ago.
I’ll have to be brave, even with his eyes on me. I know Coran won’t let him hurt me, he loves me likes a daughter. And no one wants to see their daughter reduced to this. I am confidant he will believe me, and not my abuser, no matter how skillful his tongue is when it comes to it’s lies.
Somehow I stumble through the castle, and then I am hearing voices. Coran is there, as are the other members of the Voltron force. But worse yet, Keith is there, though he’s not laughing, not joking around with the other men. I almost turn back, frightened of the thought of facing him. But stronger is the fear of this happening again, and I force myself to enter the room.
A pause is heard in the conversation, than gasps and excited exclamations. People run to me, catching me in their arms, Coran cradling me carefully. I’m trying not to faint, it was too soon to travel such a distance. And through it all, he watches me, his eyes narrowed, daring me to speak.
Someone asks who did this to me, and I swallow back a lump of fear. His eyes continue to mock me, but I hold my gaze steady with his. With a tearful exclamation, I raise my hand, finger pointing at my abuser. “Keith.” His name is the last thing I say, before the darkness takes me once more.