Beauty and the Beast.

by Upon A Falling Star

I wasn't anything special. I couldn't fathom why you'd picked me. You; gorgeous in every way. Me; average in every way. I thought maybe this was my fairytale. Cinderella and Prince Charming, you said. Little did I know my my fairytale would be Beauty and the Beast.

It was in the end of autumn. The sunlight hours were retreating and so were the temperatures. I was sat on a bench outside, enjoying the last rays of the sun. You came up to me, hands in pockets, those eyes peeking out from underneath your hair. You coughed; I looked up. There was silence, and a smile. A flash of perfect white teeth and a parting of those lips. Then came your voice. Then came those seven words that changed my life:

'Wanna go grab a bite you eat?'

I was astonished. You? And me? Surely this was come kind of dare, or a bet. But I still nodded, taking my chances with you. I followed you to your car and you opened the door for me. A gentleman, that's what those watching had said. You went round to your side of the car and clambered in too. A turn of a key and a press of your foot and we were off.

That was the start of the longest winter our town had seen. The day we went out for a bite to eat was the last day of sunshine for five months. I hated winter, but I loved you. You were my own ball of gas heating up my heart. The first day it snowed was the day you said you loved me. I said it back, and then I was caught in your trap.

From then on, things changed. You'd never even looked at another girl, and now you were suddenly laughing with them and flirting with them in the corridors. I'd heard whispers, too. But I figured I was just being jealous and you could talk to girls and that didn't mean you were snogging them round the back of the science block. I still talked to my male friends. I didn't have any close female ones. Then, when I was talking to a guy from my English class, our eyes connected. I knew that look. I ended the conversation and met you in an abandoned classroom. You were all manners and 'If you wish,' and 'I can't bear you share you.' You asked me not to speak to any of them again. I nodded. My stomach flipped when you sealed the words with a brush of lips and you told me you loved me again.

The next day the guy I had been talking to in English didn't turn up to class. He didn't turn up to school. They found his body in the canal over by the shopping mall. The police said it was suicide. He hadn't seemed suicidal. But I guess he hid it well. You said it was a shame, he seemed so nice. I cried and you held me in your arms.

For Valentine's Day you invited me out for dinner. It was a quiet, secluded restaurant on the far side of town. You said seven forty five. I was there for seven. I waited for two hours at the table. I was the only one sitting alone in a room full of couples. I texted you to ask where you were. You never texted back. I waited until the waiter told me they had the table booked and I had to go. I'd have waited all night for you.

The next day, I asked you where you'd been. You said where had I been, it was restaurant in the middle of town. I said I must have got it wrong. You shouted at me and told me I had to listen in the future. I shook my head and looked down at the ground, rather than your face of anger and disappointment.

You didn't talk to me for a week. I made friends with the quiet boy in my maths class, just to annoy you. I saw your face across the classroom when I leaned in to ask the answer to a question. You confronted me after class. A mix of shouts and warnings and pure anger. That was the first time you hit me. Across the face, a patch of red skin on an expanse of white. It hurt, but after you apologised and said you'd never hurt me again.

You were wrong. You hurt me again and again. Each with a promise you never would. I sobbed and fell straight back into your arms. Without you, I was nothing. After all, you were the popular one. You'd said many times that I was blessed to be dating someone as high up in the hierarchy as you. I believed it. My only friend was the quiet boy from maths, and even he stopped showing up to class. They couldn't find him anywhere. There were appeals on the news and everything.

Spring was coming. I could taste it on the tip of my tongue. You took me to the spring dance. I dressed up my best. Mum even spent money we didn't have on the perfect dress. It was teal and pearls and satin. I curled my hair, Mum said I looked beautiful. You'd told me to meet you at the end of my street. I found you in jeans and a t-shirt. I asked about the dress code for the dance, and you said we weren't going there. You took me to a house party a few miles away. Everyone laughed at my outfit. You laughed too. You wouldn't let me onto the dance floor, you said the males there would try things. I had to watch you dance with other girls from the side. Later you pulled out your phone and said my Mum wanted me home. You couldn't take me because you'd had too much to drink. I walked the five miles home in the cold. I'd left my jacket on the side.

A few weeks later, on the first day of spring the school bully came up to me. He said he'd seen the mark from one of your hits on my face and he wanted to know who i'd got it off. I didn't say anything. I saw you glaring over my shoulder. He looked over his shoulder and saw you. Then he smiled and went over to talk to you about football scores.

The police came to my house that night. They had found the quiet boy's body in the canal. They asked me if I knew where you'd been the night when the boy from my Maths class disappeared. I told them that you'd told me you had a football game. They asked me where the mark on my face came from. I said i'd walked into a door by accident. The policeman didn't believe me. I could see it in his eyes.

It turned out they hadn't been any football games that night. The police went to your house next. They searched it. Apparently they'd found the knife the quiet boy had been killed with. They arrested you the next day. It was all over the news. The school bully had phoned the police. He'd seen you on the canal that night. The next day he talked to me. He asked me where the mark on my face had come from. I told him that it had been just a mistake by you. He'd asked me how many mistakes he'd made. I couldn't remember the number.

They put you on trial for both murders. The judge said he was going to put you down for a very long time. You told me you loved me as those men took you away forever. I wasn't sure I did anymore. It turned he wasn't a bully. It was you that had hit all those people and you'd made me keep quiet.

He saved me. He told me that I shouldn't have had to deal with what you had done to me. I said you loved me. He said that wasn't love. He showed me what real love was. It wasn't what you had been giving me.

A/N: A little project I wrote in a day. It's short, I know. I just felt I had to write something a little more depressing and different to my usual.