The bell above the door jingled as Jerick pulled me into the smoke filled tattoo shop. I squirmed, stumbling over my red platform stilettos. His grip tightened around my arm. He sat me down on a stool next to the bar area. As I plopped down into my seat I wondered what kind of sketchy tattoo shop served beer. If anything, it was a sure fire way to convince people to get more tattoos, only to have them wake up the next day with instant regret. Jerick sauntered over to the large black chair where his tattoo artist sat perched on the counter, leaning against his supply cabinets. My eyes fell to my hands that were perpetually shaking, the gold diamond ring that Jerick had given me just weeks before shimmered under the dim lighting. As beautiful as it was, the reason I had it made my stomach turn. The bruises on my wrist were another reminder of the twisted gift he had placed on my finger. My face grew red with embarrassment as I thought to myself… ‘Why?’ Why was I still with him? Why had I not said something to someone the first time it happened? And, the question that ran through my mind the most… ‘Why me?”.
My eyes then wandered over to the man behind the bar, he had hair the color of coal and eyes so green they seemed to glow. He was wiping down the oak counter top and stealing glimpses of me as he worked. One of his glimpses stuck and he stared at me with a look I almost didnt recognize. It was gentle, almost as if he was curious of me. Im sure its not every day that he sees a girl being dragged into his shop and treated like a pet rather than a partner. I had become lost in my thoughts, not noticing that he was approaching me. I felt a light hand on my shoulder and I jerked up.
“Excuse me, miss… are you alright?”
“I… I cant talk to you. Im sorry”
“What do you mean? Im not gonna hurt you”
“I really cant talk to you, if my boyfriend sees you…”
My eyes started to well up as I noticed Jerick give me a side look, his eyebrow raised. The look in his icy blue eyes as wicked as ever. Part of me always thought he liked when other men approached me, just so he could get in a good beating.
“Wait, does he hurt you? I mean I saw you guys come in but is that a regular thing?” The man with the emerald eyes was almost whispering now. In a burst of courage, and adrenaline I nodded. The word “Yes” barely escaping my heavily glossed lips. Just as they word finished coming out of my mouth, Jerick shot up and rushed at me.
His eyes were seething with anger as he ran up behind the green eyed man. Shoving him against the bar, knocking me out of my chair in the process. I fell to the ground, a sickening crack following. I looked down as I realized I had hit my head on the metal rod that ran along the bar. A shadow surrounded me as Jerick stood over head, peering down at me. Just as he was about to grab me I saw his body fly across the room. Everything was spinning, my ears ringing, my head throbbing. My eyes finally focused enough to see the nice man pinning down Jerick. He turned to me mouthed the words “GO…. RUN”. As I scrambled to my feet, I held on to the railing, wobbling on my sky high heels. The door bell jingled once more as I made it to the exit, the icy autumn breeze stinging my teary eyes. And I ran.