He Took Her to the Moon (Part 1)

By Tess, age 17, Florida

"I'll take you to the stars," he whispered. His eyes were shadows of the moonlight as he stared at her, his lips faintly tickling her ears.

"I promise you, I'll take you there," he whispered again.

She was lost in him, lost in his promises, lost in his eyes. She couldn't say anything, and she touched her arm where the bruises formed. There were at least ten of them hidden under makeup and long sleeve shirts. They burned when she melted in his arms as he held her closer, tighter. If she tried to move he would pull her tighter until it pinched. She was his, he owned her. She knew that, he knew that. His words held a power over her that she could never explain.

"I will take you to the moon," he whispered faintly, biting her as roughly as he could. She flinched and he squeezed her arm tightly. She was afraid that he was going to hurt her again, a beating for every time she resisted him. She didn't understand why he did this, why he hurt her. She didn't see that the devil resided beneath his smile. He turned her toward him, his hands gripping into her side. She held back her scream as she felt his nails dig into her side.

"I said I would take you to the moon! Are you deaf?" The fire rose in his eyes; he gripped her, and pulled her in. She just stared at him, motionless. She was trying to make herself numb, trying to be invincible.

"Hello? Oh, I see, you just don't love me. You just want some other guy, don't you!" His eyes shined as he raised his hand to her, his other hand still gripping into her side.

"NO! Stop, I love you! I do! I- I-" She pleaded with him not to hit her. She begged him with her eyes not to rip out her earrings or tear out her hair.

He stopped and the twinkle in his eye got brighter. To her surprise he put his hand down, and again pulled her in.

"Good, baby," he whispered. "Don't ever scare me again, baby." He kissed her forehead and again began to whisper promises about the moon.

It had not always been like this; at one time in her life she had been free. Free, a word that seemed like a fairy tale to her now. She was once a naive seventeen year old girl, learning to love, learning to live. That was before he had strolled into school with his Audi A4 and skinny jeans. He was beautiful, and he wanted her. She remembered when he asked her to the movies, she almost fainted. She remembered their first kiss, how light and perfect it seemed. It was so gentle; his touch had sent shivers up her spine. Now she could not escape him. Everywhere she went, he was there. Her friends never spoke to her, her parents never saw her. He was always with her; he never gave her a chance to run. She was forced to wear long sleeved shirts in the summer because he bruised her anytime he felt like she deserved it. The twinkle in his eyes would get brighter when he was about to hit her. He almost smiled when he watched the blood seep from her skin.

Her friends had once envied her because he seemed like the quintessential epitome of perfection. He once gave her three dozen roses during class. She looked up at him and mouthed I love you. All he did in return was flip his brown hair, wink his pearl blue eyes, and kiss her. He was a man of few words then, which is why she fell for him so quickly. He was mysterious and blunt. He was everything she had ever dreamed of.

It was strange how drastically he changed, how the fire in his eyes began to grow when she disagreed with him. It was strange how the flowers were replaced with words that cut like knives, and how his kisses felt acidic on her skin. She never knew people could change so quickly. She never understood he had been wearing a mask all along.

The first time he hit her, he said it was an accident. He had just gotten overly playful; he never meant to cause her nose to bleed. She remembered that day, the numbness that had come over her as he looked at her bleeding on the floor. They were at his apartment; his parents were out of town, and they were cuddling on his leather couch.

"What movie do you want to watch, my darling?" he asked.

"I feel like a chick flick. I know how much you love chick flicks," she laughed. He twitched.

"You know I hate chick flicks." His eyes twinkled and his jaw clenched.

"I know, silly, I was just joking." She gave him a playful pat on the shoulder. She noticed his eyes looked stranger, bluer, shinier even.

The rest was all a blur. He picked her up, threw her against the wall and punched her. He let her bleed. She was so numb, so afraid, so alone. She looked at him in shock, unable to scream or cry. She wanted to run, but she loved him. How could he do this?

"Baby! Baby, are you okay?" He came running to her. "Oh baby, I was joking. I didn't mean to make you bleed." She couldn't speak. She just stared.

He brought her to dinner the next day, gave her a promise ring, and vowed to never hurt her again. Yet, the abuse got worse. She had to watch what she said, watch whom she talked to. If she ever told she would be dead - she knew it. He was dangerous, but she never had a chance to run.

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February & March Magazine Issues

March 15, 2012

The February and March issues of Sweet Designs Magazine are now online, featuring a combined 53 new articles and features!!

- Cover: Stephanie Lynn reflects on 5 years
- Cover: India (of Darn-licious knitwear)
- Life in the dumps (moving in with my bf)
- The difference between men and women
- Angels among us (parts 1 and 2)
- Arts graduates & the dark night of the soul
- Triple threat (how I survived my teen yrs)
- Dating isn't easy (my true story)
- How to turn not-so-great gifts ... (fashion)
- Ten reasons to love being single
- Taking the big leap (college)
- Valentine's Day (not what you'd expect!)
- The last of the cold (hopefully) (fashion)
- A month full of love
- Ten tips for successful airline travel
- Reasons I love writing for SDM
- Who needs love?
- They're not all the same
- The life I'm glad I don't have (fiction)
- Professional dress/ finding Fendi (fashion)
- An airport anniversary: a true story
- Inappropriate Facebook photos
- The perks of a big city (college)
- A night(mare) to forget (part 2)
- The Anita Blake series (book review)
- Saving June by Hannah Harrington (book)
- Under the Mesquite by GG McCall (book)
- The Lullaby by Sarah Dessen (book)
- If I Stay by Gayle Foreman (book review)
- My sweetheart (original poetry)
- Isn't it funny (original poetry)
- The stranger (original poetry)
- A winter wonderland (original poetry)
- One night valentine
- The thick envelopes (college acceptance)
- Southern love
- Healthy hair and vitamins
- It's a date (dating idea alternatives)
- The 30 hour famine
- School's out forever!
- Marching right back into spring? (fashion)
- Dear John
- When TV shows depict your life
- 3 Fun ways to rock spring's hottest trends
- Neglected teeth
- Starting something new
- Guy movies
- To hesitate or dive in?
- Deadly, by Julie Chibbaro (book review)
- Beastly, by Alex Flinn (book review)
- I don't care (poetry)
- Together, alone (poetry)

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