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Being Her

A series of one-shots in Claire's perspective throughout the series For Her.

Um, will not go in any order. they come as i get bored enough to write them. PSSSTTT if you want a new story, go review with her!

43. Fear

Rating 0/5   Word Count 1427   Review this Chapter

Awake and afraid but what’s the difference between that and asleep and afraid I’m alive and afraid so afraid

God don’t let me be hurt again please but what is there but that it’s my whole life it’s everything I’ve ever seen everything I’ve ever known fear and pain and pain and fear

I have not escaped I am not free I am the perpetual prisoner

He doesn’t leave for work, he stays here, with me, but not

I am completely alone, and I wish he would just leave so I know he can’t hurt me, he’s not coming any closer he’s standing at that gentle distance with such a sweet and woeful lying smile on his face and trying to make me happy even though he’s miserable, watching me watch blank pages, watching me pretend my emotions were nothing, that I was a cutout doll of a person with no fear and no pain, nothing for him to prey on

I rose carefully and snuck to the fridge eating my food with no comment as subtly as possible and then returned to my place hiding in plain sight being nothing so he could not make me less


I wince at the sound of his voice not because it frightens me but because I love it and it is crackling with agony.

“Claire, honey, it’s all right. I swear to you, I won’t hurt you. I won’t let anyone else hurt you.”

How is it possible that even when I’m a liar at living like this that he knows exactly the words I need how can he take my nothingness and know it perfectly and fix it

He imprinted on me and suddenly the thing that once frightened and then saddened me seems beautiful because love or no love it ties him to me and I am just selfish enough to want him near, to need the safety he is

He continues. “I don’t have money to pay for a therapist, but I’ll find some somewhere. I’ll sell crack…which I’ll get… somewhere.”

I laugh a little Quil’s familiar bad jokes a tiny weak laugh but one nonetheless amazing that I’m scared, this scared, of him and I can still laugh at his bad jokes

“Will you tell me why you’re so afraid?”

I would recoil from the question but he says it softly clearly understanding how terrifying it is to be talked to and doing his absolute best to minimize that he talks quietly but with a sweet roundness in his tone that comforts almost without my knowing why

And I cannot bring myself to look at him but I can speak a little, a tiny little bit just to reassure him, to take that look of agony of misery of guilt off his face out of his voice I can’t see him but I know him nearly as well he knows me and I know what he needs just these words that are in the end so very little

“I wanted you to kiss me. I did. But when you did, it felt… like all of a sudden, you weren’t you. I felt you growing and me shrinking until I was tiny and helpless and in that second you were him and it scared me.”

I downplay it a little because I know Quil’s worst fear is that I’m afraid of him and I am, so I transfer the fear into someone else a different him and realize it’s truly not Quil I fear it’s him it’s been him all along

But my almost lie did no good at all “I’m so sorry. Sweetheart, you know I would never hurt you. You know that. And you know I stopped.”

I had nearly forgotten that but when he points it out and it’s really pretty remarkable that he stopped so soon, the instant I knew my fear he knew to leave me alone and he did he did why am I so afraid when he let me go when he loved me enough to see that I was frozen and didn’t even for a second push on knew the moment it happened and saved me

. “Yeah. Yeah, you did. And I guess there’s no reason for me to be doing this. But it’s…”

“No, there isn’t. Does it make you feel better?”

He nods to the futility of the gesture but will allow it, if it helps—anything to help me

I search for the words to explain

“No. It stops me from feeling at all. When I was living… with him, the first time he hit me, I came in my room and locked the door. So he ripped it off. I didn’t try that again… instead, when he got worse, when something happened… the first time he kissed me… I shut down. Didn’t go to my room or he’d follow.”

I could still hear that door crashing to the floor, could still hear my own teeth chatter, could hear his breath in my ear, could hear myself scream, could hear the silence as no one came

I wince and I watch Quil’s face contort as he struggles to control himself. As soon as the trembling stills I continue.

“So I’d stay on the couch, and just… make myself invisible, or boring, or something. I’d sit there and stare at a book, and when I had to get up I’d move like a robot. Not a person. If I was a person, he could hurt me… I learned that fast. I couldn’t be hurt if I couldn’t feel anything. So I didn’t feel… and when he made me do something… anything, really, from laundry to saying I loved him to… I would just pretend… pretend it didn’t mean anything. Break down the syllables and the movements into nonsense. So it didn’t hurt. Didn’t scare me.”

And I hadn’t done that. I’d allowed myself to get emotionally invested, to let it happen to me, not to do it myself with all my thoughts behind it.

An idea occurs to me.

“I… should… have… been… there…” Quil hisses, his fists balling up as he speaks, his whole body shaking.

“That’s why. I’m sorry I scared you, Quil.” I shake my head- the full explanation has been, no matter how painfully, delivered. And the appropriate apology. I truly wish I could redo my overreaction, my ridiculous panic. I wish I could go back and not freak out, or at least shrug off my panic and let the night continue in peace, without the terror and this morning’s oblivion.

“I’m sorry I left you all those years. Sorry, sorry, sorry, Claire. And I swear, you don’t have to protect yourself from me. You don’t have to hide. I won’t ever do anything. I swear.”

His voice starts out furious—I’m myself enough to recognize it’s anger at himself, nothing to do with me. But by the end, his tone changes, until it’s unbearably tender, every word laden with devotion. And I believe his promises. He’ll treat me like I’m made of glass forever, weighing every action of his big clumsy hands so as not to break me.

“Wait… Quil… it’s not your fault. And I’m not afraid of you. It was just the shock, and the nightmares…” One of those occurs to me as I pause, but I shake it off, remove the phantom feeling of his hands on my shoulders, and force myself to continue. “I don’t want us to drift apart, I want us to come together. And I want you to know, Quil. I’d like to… try it again.”

I stand, leaving my refuge and walking towards another one. I can feel the fear, waiting to bubble up, the pain, the loneliness, all of it. But there are other, more important things.

I want him so much. I love him so much. This is really only a tiny little thing, and it’s Quil.

I love him.

I love him more than anything else in the world. He’s done so much for me, asked for nothing, and loved me more than I can deserve.

And the look on his face…

I reach him, stretching an arm to touch his face. I stand on my tiptoes and press my lips against his, softly, gently, once, and wait for our reactions.