Much to Beth’s relief the evening came to a close. She uttered a polite goodbye as they left his parents’ house. Harrison led Beth along the flagstone path, putting his arm around her shoulder in attempt to fool his parents that he was caring. Surely they must see through his trickery? Beth wondered. Almost immediately Harrison made a smarmy remark. “Why did you wear your hair up? You know I prefer it down, having it up makes you look so OLD!!” Beth thought carefully about her answer she sighed “It was being unruly and I thought the style suited my dress better.”

Beth bit her tongue not wanting to start a heated argument between them. He had the nerve to continue “and you know that I hate how quiet you are around my parents they think that you lack personality, I haven’t tried to convince them otherwise” he smirked. Beth felt the anger bubbling up from the pit of her stomach. A violent person would have fought back, but not Beth. She was meek and didn’t want to endure the painful consequences again.

Beth was trapped, he had devices to track her mobile phone, he was her own personal stalker. The next morning Beth sat alone upstairs at her dresser in her bedroom, she barely recognised her own reflection in the mirror anymore. Harrison’s voice called from downstairs. “Beth did you touch the pile of paperwork that was on my desk?” He sounded cross. Beth’s heart froze she had, but only to wipe down the desk. It was rapidly collecting dust and in dire need of a clean. Beth was house proud but now she was to regret it. “O-only to clean in there” she stuttered. “It’s on the printer”

His reply was razor-sharp “God damn it Beth! How many times have I told you NEVER to touch my paperwork! I bet you read it too didn’t you! You sneaky little bitch!”  Woah! This was out-of-order. Beth hated being shouted at from a different room and cautiously crept into the study. A decision she’d regret. Harrison’s face was flustered, he seemed guilty, and why had he already changed his clothes? He looked so casual, verging on scruffy.  Maybe she should have read the document? Beth thought, he seemed to be behaving sheepishly about something. He made a lunge at her grabbing Beth by the hair, pulling part of her bun loose so it hung in messy tendrils around her face. Her scalp was filled with a sharp stinging sensation, his grip was strong like a vice. Beth screamed as Harrison violently let go shoving her to the floor. “NEVER touch my work again do you hear! or you’ll have me to answer to !” He issued a sharp slap to the side of her face. Harrison stormed out of the room, and she heard the front door slam. Beth sat stunned upon the carpet; she trembled, shaking like a leaf. She hadn’t even read the document. What was he hiding?

Beth needed to escape the house once more to seek comfort in the quaint church. She tidied her hair as best she could, grabbing her coat which was draped over the banister and crept down the stairs leaving via the back door. She was by herself in the church this time, a part of her felt disappointed but she wasn’t alone for long. All of a sudden the heavy door creaked open and through it walked the young man from yesterday.

“Hello again” his voice was gentle “mind if I sit here” he pointed to the empty space in the pew next to Beth. “N-no of course not”  Beth felt all of a flutter and was still shaken from the argument. The young man continued “Are you ok? what brings you here? I’m Eddie by the way.”

Beth cleared her throat and hesitated momentarily thinking of a suitable answer. “I’m fine” (that was a white lie) but continued “It’s a good thinking place for me” Eddie nodded continuing “and me” Beth held out her hand “Sorry, I should have introduced myself too! I’m Beth” He shook her outstretched hand. It was like an electrical current had flown up the nerves in her arm, her heart skipped a beat. He was so, so beautiful in a gentle kind of way. Eddie was dark-haired with glowing skin and incredible conker-coloured sparkling eyes. They chatted for a while. Beth had never found it so easy talking to a man before, she felt like she’d known him for years. Maybe she should ask him for his number ? Harrison would hit the roof, he was always reading through her text messages. She quickly decided against it, but wished with all her heart that she might see him again . She sadly returned to the house, it was dark. Harrison must be in bed Beth thought . She hated sharing a bed with that monster, Beth crept up the stairs, showered and changed into her soft pyjamas, they were so comforting like a warm cuddle. Beth blocked out all images of Harrison and drifted off quickly. Her dreams were replaced with thoughts of placid Eddie, with his warm welcoming smile.

PART 7 COMING SOON !

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