Lee put his arm lightly around my shoulders and I automatically put my arm around his waist. I was talking to Clarity and Young when Lee came up and I had to admit, I wanted to run away as fast as I possibly could but I knew that wasn't going to happen. I glanced up at Lee and could almost forget his habit of using me as a punching bag to get his frustration out.

Dark brown eyes that shined to everyone, even me sometimes. Structured face that looked like the model of Mars, the god. I guess that was a good way to explain Lee, god-like. Or so he and everyone else thought. To the world Lee had no faults, no problems, no negatives. Lee was in a sense perfect.

And I?

I was the girl who seemingly clung to Lee for everything. I've overheard many girls saying how I don't deserve Lee, how I wasn't pretty enough or smart enough. I don't really care what those girls say though, if they honestly wanted him they could have him.

But I needed him, right?

That question was becoming harder and harder for me to answer. Did I need someone who beat me every chance he got? That had a temper that snapped at the slightest thing? That whispered the most hurtful, painful things into my ear which I would have to pretend that he said something cute and smile.

Yet there was a different side to Lee. The side he showed everyone else. The caring, loving, adorable boyfriend that was so careful with his girlfriend all the time. Well, most of the time. If Lee acted like that all the time he would be perfect.

But things were far from perfect.

"Hey." Lee squeezed my shoulder, sending jolts of pain throughout my body but I hid the wince behind a fake smile. I looked up into his brown eyes, easily finding the held in anger behind the cheerful and friendliness.

"Hmm?" I asked, glancing at Clarity and Young who were giving me an identical look. "Sorry, thinking about the test." I didn't clarify which test it was because the truth being, I didn't have a test. And even if I did, I wouldn't be thinking about it.

"Stop being such a worry wart." Clarity said with a smirk. "You have to come to the party this Friday!" I searched my brain and wished the world would swallow me whole. I had to stay late to finish the deadlines with Noel but I knew Lee wouldn't like that.

"Aw man." I said, acting like I was really unhappy that I couldn't go. "Sorry guys, I have to babysit my little cousins Friday. I promised my aunt and uncle last week, they haven't been out since the twins were born." Which was partly true. I promised to babysit Saturday, not Friday and they haven't been out since the twins were born. Clarity pouted, Young shrugged it off and Lee gave me a smile but squeezed my sore shoulder which sent more pain throughout my body. I bit down on my tongue to keep from screaming, knowing Lee was not happy at all.

I collapsed into my bed, completely wiped out from the day and soccer practice after school. Though practice went well, it always did. Soccer was the one way I could just push everything going on in my life away and just concentrate on the ball and where, or who, its suppose to be.

Though now was the problem of me being in a layer of sweat and dirt, not to mention I was still a bit sick from the pervious days. So I had to somehow get my lazy butt up and off the bed and into the shower. Way too much work if you tell me.

Yet I managed to push myself up and off my bed, my whole body aching from pushing so hard at practice and what Lee had done. Though after the morning Lee seemed to calm down and didn't try to agitate anything.

I grabbed some pj's and walked slowly into the bathroom, turning the water on steaming hot and flicking on the radio. I listened to them talk away, deciding if I should change the station if they were going to keep talking but they stopped and a familiar song came on.

I woke up and called this morning
The tone of your voice was a warning
That you don't care for me anymore

I pulled off my clothes that were matted to me from sweat, I hadn't bothered changing out of my soccer clothes. I looked at myself in the mirror. Bruises that were all different shapes, sizes, and colors were scattered across my body. Most of them were on my stomach, back, left shoulder and my wrists.

Did you know when you go it's the perfect ending
To the bad day I was just beginning?
When you go all I know is you're my favorite mistake

I stepped into the shower, the steaming hot water hitting my body. I hissed at the pain at first but than welcomed it as it numbed my body. I closed my eyes and let the water bombard me, trying to forget everything.

"You're a bad girl, a very bad girl." My tiny wrist was enveloped by a huge hand that squeezed my wrist to the point where I felt it might snap. "And you know what they do to bad little girls, don't you Azura?" I started to sob and tried to pull my aching wrist out of the much larger mans hand. The man pulled me harshly, so I stumbled in front of him and the only thing that kept me standing was his hold on my hand. "Take your punishment like a big girl Azura." The way he said my name made me shake with fear as he pulled me into a room of the quiet house.

"Please dad, I'll be good." I promised, saying it over and over but he just ignored me as he through me down. I tried scrambling up and running away but he grabbed me by my hair and gave me a swift kick to the stomach. My 6-year-old self doubled over in pain as I sobbed harder. The man grabbed my hair and forced me to look into his cold, calm face.

"Now don't ever forget to do the dishes okay, don't be a bad little girl again, okay?" I nodded, the sobs wracking my body as he dropped me and left me there.

I leaned against the wall, trying to regain my breath as the memories came rushing back to me. My mother never found out, I don't know what she would have done if she did. I didn't even know if he beat her too but I learned early on that it was better not to cry and just get the punishment over and done with.

My mothers new boyfriend and Lee are exactly the same as my father. So cold, distant and calm when they do it you'd suspect they were just playing a game of checkers. Nobody would have even thought any of them capable of doing that.

So it was me, right? I was the problem. If three, seemingly nice guys all hit me than I really had to be the problem. That must be it.

I was the problem.

Hmm... this is a lot darker than my usual fluff-drama filled stories, huh? Oh well... Lives not all candy canes and puppy dogs, ya' know?