A/N: Major hints of emotional abuse.

One Little Message

She felt like she could scream. Like she could scream so loud it would shatter the windows and people miles away would hear her and back to back calls at the sheriff's department would come in about a shrill shriek that shook the town. That's how much she had built up in her. How much hurt and frustration. How much depression and anger and she doesn't know how to vent it. She doesn't know how to get rid of this baggage and just let go. She shouldn't be worried anymore. She shouldn't be carrying it all around anymore. But at some point, it always creeps up, and she hates that someone has a hold on her like that. That the mere thought of someone can send her spiraling like this. Can send her down a path of strong negative emotions that she can never truly crawl out of.

Actually, she doesn't even know if she's ever been without these emotions, especially in recent years. This self doubt, loathing, non-acceptance of who she is...it feels like it's been so long since she's been without that. So long in fact, she's no longer sure of who she is without them. It's hard admitting that but it's true. She despises the very hatred she has for herself. It's not like anyone wants to hate themselves, and she surely doesn't, but here she is...loathing herself. Letting someone get to her. Letting her past creep in on her and overtake her mind just because of one little message. One little message from him.

No one has ever quite gotten under her skin the way he manages to. And it didn't use to be this way. Truthfully, it was once quite the opposite. They loved each other. He used to be the person she told everything to. The one she trusted on a level she never knew she could give to anyone. Her trust was wary. She'd been hurt in the past. So deeply and by people she once called friends, and by a man before him. A man she had also loved, but one that broke her heart. She knew she'd broken his too and she blamed herself for how that relationship had ended, and she told him this. The man she now tenderly handed her heart to, and he held it gently. Paternally. He made her feel like she wasn't broken or damaged in anyway. She trusted him. It was slow and difficult to give him that trust, but she did...and her fears came true.

The fighting became too much. It became too frequent and each time it became more intense. He became more possessive of her. Going through her phone and even going after some of her friends. She felt isolated and that he just wanted her to be his and no one else's. He insisted on topics that made her uncomfortable. And they argued and each time she did her best to move on. To let it go and trust that he would change. He never did though.

She knew she was at fault as well. Maybe she didn't fight hard enough for their relationship, but there are some things that hit too close to home. Some things that are said that cannot be forgiven.

He broke her all over again. It was a slow break at first because he was so good at cracking her in little places and making it better. He was holding her heart and he would drop it sometimes, but he was great at kissing it and bandaging it up. But he dropped it one too many times, and finally it shattered. He sat for awhile and tenderly tried gluing it back together, but the adhesive wasn't strong enough. She was done for. They were done for.

He put her things out on the porch, but it's obvious he kept some pieces of her heart. He stomped on them. He was so angry at her for leaving him. She'd known it would hurt him deeply, but she couldn't stay. It wasn't good for her. It would hurt her more and she knew it. She may have self loathing at her core, but she knew when it was time to walk away. That for her to have a chance to be happy she couldn't keep trying to reassemble what wasn't fixable.

He didn't understand and he made that clear. He made that clear with every insult. He put the blame all on her, and she let him. She was too exhausted and broken to try and argue. He went back on so many things he had said. Things he had told her in tender moments that she would've treasured for the rest of her life if hadn't taken them all back.

He shattered her. She's had her heart broken, but not like this. Some of the fragments were stomped to dust and blown away with the wind, never to be glued back together. She did what she could to collect the rest of the pieces, but with days like this she remembers he still has one. It was like a punch to the gut every time he messaged her. Like he squeezed that piece of her heart he still held onto. The ache was almost physical. Her emotions jumped around inside of her in ways she couldn't process. One message could make her want to scream or cry or both. She hated it so much and she wish she could reclaim that piece of her heart and take this power he had over her away from him.

But instead...she held back the tears and took a deep breath. She looked at her phone and did what she hadn't done yet. She ignored him. She left the message unanswered and put her phone back in her pocket. It hurt doing it, but not as much as replying would have.

She wasn't healed. She may never be. But she did feel stronger today.