Categories > Original > Drama1 Reviews
Amelia is in an abusive relationship all hope seems to be lost until she meets Toby, a man who seems too good to be true...
Life is never cheerful when you’re walking home after a funeral. This funeral was particularly terrible for me. As I walked away from the cemetery, I felt nauseous. I felt like I was going to faint at any second and I with each step I took, I was headed towards my life of pain and torture.
We buried my Aunt Sylvia, the only member of my family that I truly loved. I was an only child and my father died when I was young and my mother’s head was filled with ideas about my future. I was fifteen with I was told I would be marrying Gerard Carmichael, a man who was moving up in the business world quickly as I was growing through adolescence.
On the eve of my 21st birthday, I was dragged, kicking and screaming down the aisle. The first few months were rocky and it took me a while to adjust. I assumed I would be pregnant within a year but Gerard didn’t want children and that suited me fine. We moved from my home city of Shreveport, Louisiana to up north in Boston, Massachusetts. I managed to keep in contact with my close friends and I often confided in them about my unhappy with an uncaring Gerard.
Dear Peggy, Gerard is growing more and more cold and I’m beginning to feel like I don’t know him anymore. Although, I barely knew him to begin with. Maybe I should forget about my mother’s happiness and concentrate on me for a while. Divorcing Gerard would make me so much happier and he would be able to have the affair with his secretary he’s longing for...
“What is this?” Gerard asked me. “I’m growing more cold am I?” Gerard waved the letter to Peggy in my face. I took a step back from him. His blond hair was disarray instead of being slicked back as usual and his piercing blue eyes bore into me.
“It’s just a letter to Peg-” I was interrupted with the back of his hand colliding with my cheek. Tears of fear stung my eyes and I took another step back.
“I don’t want you writing to these people anymore!” He screamed at me.
“You can’t tell me what to do!” I yelled back but not with as much force as him. He hit me again and this time I fell to the floor. He stormed out of the room, leaving me on the floor, shivering and broken.
He intercepted my e-mails, interrupted my phone conversations, I tried to talk to him, we were both obviously unhappy but he would yell at me, hit me and storm out. Soon enough he was causing extreme damage. I didn’t know what to do, so I called my loving Aunt Sylvia. I told her what happened, one day when Gerard was at work. She came to Boston, she moved into a small house near by and I had someone to run to with the wounds caused by the man I was spending my miserable life with. And now she had died after a short battle with cancer.
I dressed in my best black dress, I wore my Aunt’s pearl necklace, in my dark brown hair I wore a black Alice band, my grass green eyes were decorated with white eye shadow and my eyelashes were thick with black mascara. My skin was tanned after so many years in the sunny South. I walked in brand new stiletto heels and I carried my black trench coat over my arm seeing as it was a warm day. Just as I was turning the corner on my street, my right heel snapped.
Instead of landing on the hard ground, I felt someone’s strong arms around my waist, holding me up.
“Women and their heels.” A man said with a chuckle, he pushed me up right and held my hand while I pulled off my shoes. He had soft warm skin, bright blue eyes that reminded me of a sparkling ocean, I felt like I could swim in them, his hair was short and light brown and he was tall, very tall. It was hard to tell his age, he looked stress free as if he had never worked a day in his life. He wore a blue suit and black shirt; I noticed he was carrying a blue tie to match his suit.
“And you would know all about it?” I inquired.
“Being a fashion journalist, its my job to know about it.” He replied with a smile.
“Well thank you for saving me.” I said in a sweet, slightly flirtatious way. I smiled as widely as I could at him.
“I’m Toby.” He said. I found it hard not to feel like a school girl around him, Toby was certainly an attractive man. I couldn’t help but think what Gerard would do to him if he caught us talking. He would most likely send a few thugs to ruin that pretty face.
“Thanks Toby.” I said. I started to walk down the street but then Toby caught up with me.
“What’s your name?” He asked me.
“Amelia.” I replied. “I don’t mean to sound rude, really I don’t but could you leave me alone?” I asked him.
“Amelia is a pretty name.” He had completely ignored my question. “Do you want to get some coffee?”
“That’s not a good idea. I’m married.” I explained. He pondered for a moment. I was thinking what the neighbours must think of me talking to a strange man. Gerard would find out, I just knew he would.
“We can just go as friends.” Toby said taking me out of my dark thoughts. “You look like you need a friend.”
The worst part is he was right. I did need a friend. I needed a friend more than anything right now. I don’t know how it happened; I was just so overwhelmed by how kind this stranger was, I ended up telling him everything about my life, from my father dying to Gerard being a hateful and abusing husband. I was crying and praying no one would find about this afternoon.
“Why don’t you divorce him?” Toby asked. His sky blue eyes had turned to slightly gloomy as if they had become overcast sympathy.
“It’s not that easy.” I sobbed. “I already have the papers, I keep them hidden in locked drawer down in the basement. He never goes down there.” I wiped my face with a napkin and glared at nosey on lookers.
“You could call the police.” Toby said.
“He’s a bank manager. I’m not sure what he can do but he’s pretty powerful. He could ruin anyone’s life.” I told him. “I’m trapped.”
I looked at my watch. I was late, Gerard was home now.
“I have to go.” I picked up my coat, left five dollars for my share of the bill and hurried out the door. I was half way down the road and I realised I forgot my shoes.
“Oh well, they were ruined anyway.” I told myself. I hurried down the road in my bare feet and I was glad it wasn’t a cold a day.
The next few days were a blur and I was recovering from my injuries. I missed Aunt Sylvia, she taught me never to give up. I was so close to giving up. I needed her wise words of guidance. I thought of Toby I wanted to cry. I needed his kind words but I had to cut him out of my life for his own protection.
I was alone in the house right now, I was free to do what I wished until six o’clock. I decided to spend the morning fixing my broken face.
I stared at myself in the mirror, images of the bruises hurt worse than the purple blotches themselves, and they reminded me of a finger painting I made once as a child. I found my make-up and smeared liquid foundation over Gerard’s living canvas. If anyone asked, an elephant stood on my face. It was a better excuse than the usual: “I walked into a door.”
It took me an hour to apply my make-up and with the amount I needed, I looked like a drag queen. I got dressed in a plain t-shirt and blue jeans, it was a cooler day, so I sported my leather bomber jacket and a pair of sneakers.
I walked down the road of my street, with my head hung low, my hands stayed in my pockets and my hair hid my face. I wasn’t surprised me when I bumped into someone.
“Sorry sir,” I mumbled. I started to walk on but then a familiar voice called out my name.
“Amelia,” Toby said. I stopped and turned I didn’t look at him, I was too ashamed. He walked over to me, he had a proud air around him. He wore a silvery grey suit today with a black shirt, his tie hung around his neck instead of being held in his hand.
“Hello” He said, sounding ever so slightly childlike.
“Hello Toby.” I croaked.
“I have good news.”
“Oh?” I didn’t really need this right now. I wanted to be alone with my thoughts.
“I’ve been given a big newspaper job in New York.” He exclaimed.
“Congratulations.” I replied. I didn’t know what else to say, so I added: “I have to go now.”
“Wait…” Toby said before I could start walking. “I want you to come with me.”
I had to say, I was stunned into silent. Maybe it was the contrast between Gerard and this man I barely know. Or maybe it was because I had been waiting for an opportunity like this for so long now. But could I really be so selfish as to put Toby in danger of being beaten to a pulp or worse, killed.
“I don’t know Toby.” My bottom lip quivered.
“I want to save you.” Toby whispered. I gasped, only noticing now, how close to each other we were standing. I suddenly became very self-conscious.
“Why are so kind to me?” I asked him.
“I don’t know. There’s something about you.” Toby replied. “You are intoxicating.” He sighed.
“I’m nothing.” I said. We stared at each other for a long moment.
“Let me save you.” Toby said. “I’ll be in the city cemetery at nine o’clock tonight. Meet me there.” He kissed the top of my head and walked away.
I ran home and threw off my coat. I found my hand bag and found a collection of keys on a key chain. I hurried down to the basement. Cobwebs had gathered since I was last down here, and I realised that it had been a year since I had first hidden the papers.
Once I had the retrieved the divorce papers, I found a rucksack from my high school years and I packed a change of clothes, bathroom necessities, and I found as much cash I could. The grand total was eighty dollars. I picked up a pad of paper and wrote my goodbye note.
Gerard, you may have been able to push me around for three years but now it’s going to stop. I left some divorce papers for you to sign. Please leave me alone. Let me get on with my life without anymore pain and suffering. Amelia.
There, it was done. Today was Wednesday, Gerard would be home by half past nine and I will be gone by nine. I wasn’t sure whether I’d be out of this city by then, but I would be away from him.
I decided I would leave early so I could say goodbye to Aunt Sylvia. The afternoon flew by quickly and soon it was half past eight. My heart was thumping against my chest and my palms were constantly sweating.
I called a cab, took one last look at my old house and I was glad to be out of there. The cab arrived and I got in. I told the driver where I headed and during the short fifteen minutes, I thought about New York. I was going to have a new life. Maybe Toby would be involved in my new life as more than a friend. I’ve never had a first love but the way I felt about Toby had to be love. The old saying “Love at first sight” sprang to mind.
Before I knew it, I was standing in front Aunt Sylvia’s headstone, in the dress Gerard hated. It was red with sequin detail and no straps or sleeves. It was my favourite dress but I never wore it because of him. Tonight was different, tonight I was taking a stand. I removed my make-up and I let my bruises show: a symbol of Gerard’s final beating.
“You made it.” Toby said when I arrived. I nodded while he examined my face, his fingers barely touched me but I could feel him. “Are they old or new?” He asked.
“A few days old.” I replied. “I was late home.” I added as tears welled in my eyes, but I just ignored them.
“You’re safe from him now.” Toby said. I just nodded again and touched the hard, cold marble of the head stone.
“Bye Aunt Sylvia.” I said to it. “I’ll maybe see about moving you back to Shreveport, once things settle down.”
My heart was still pounding. I couldn’t believe I had gotten away it. I was questioning my and then I saw Gerard storming across the cemetery.
Then from out of nowhere, a police officer seized Toby. I screamed and then Gerard took a tight grip of my arm.
“Stop screaming, you silly woman!” Gerard said, his voice was full of rage and spite.
“Let me go!” I ordered him. He was holding so tight I thought he was going to break my arm. Toby was hand cuffed and he was pushed out of the cemetery before I could say anything about it.
Gerard forced me out of the cemetery and into the back of his car. I made a fist and hit the inside of the car. Gerard got in the driver’s he drove us back to the house.
“Where are they taking Toby?” I asked. I was furious but scared. I didn’t know what he was going to do.
“Your little boyfriend has been arrested on suspicion of robbing money from me.” Gerard replied with a venomous voice.
This was the last straw, he had taken everything away from me. Toby was my courage, my confidence. Now he was gone, I’d never see him again. Unless I could prove that, he didn’t take any money. Gerard was just too powerful. It was hopeless.
“Did you really think you could run away from me?” Gerard asked. His eyes glared at me and I was terrified.
“I thought I had a good chance.” I replied, telling him the absolute truth. Tears welled in my eyes. “Please don’t hurt him.” I begged for Toby.
“You won’t be able to save him.” Gerard said.
“I know.” The only thing I could do was agree. Maybe then, he wouldn’t hurt me too much. “You’re too powerful.” I sobbed.
Gerard left the room and I went into the white tiled bathroom. I left the door open, and I as I picked up a towel to wipe my eyes with, Gerard appeared in the door way, holding a small hand gun. I stared at the gun then I stared at him.
“You’re not going anywhere, anymore.” Gerard said, as he held up the gun and pulled the trigger…
Amelia turned over in her bed, a little too close to the edge. She fell to the floor, taking the duvet and a pillow with her. Her eyes shot open and she turned to get up. She took in everything around her. She looked at the calendar and registered the date in her mind.
“It was a dream.” She told herself. She hoped, by some chance, she dreamt up her Aunt’s death. Then she saw her funeral dress hanging on the wardrobe door. “Shoot.” She said.
The funeral was going to be a simple procession and Amelia patted herself on the back for being able to organise it without the help of anyone.
Before leaving her house, she made sure all her bruises were covered with make-up, she cursed at her husband as she left the house.
The funeral went smoothly and Amelia reminded herself to phone her mother. Amelia started walking away from the cemetery after everyone had left, she was the last to leave. As she turned the corner at the end of the road, she bumped into a fellow pedestrian.
“Oh, I’m sorry!” Amelia exclaimed. She composed herself and smiled. Her smile soon disappeared when she saw his face.
“No worries.” The man said. Amelia stared at his face. He had the same features as the man in her dream, the same soft voice, and the same invigorating scent.
“Sorry,” Amelia began in a stutter. “I know this might sound weird, but is your name Toby by any chance?” She asked.
“Yes.” He said. “My name is Toby.”