The next day went by like any other. Josh picked me up at around noon and we went to the clinic...again. The nurses and doctors gave us dirty looks...again. Josh drove me back to his house...again. I was, as I'd anticipated, slapped in the face for doing something wrong...again. And, the highlight of my day, he got to have some more "fun".
At the end of the day, I was almost always left in his bed. Then I would get up to fix him something to eat so he wouldn't hit me again. I did whatever he wanted. Anything that got me out of punishment was worth it, even if it meant giving up my body.
[Because that's what Gravity Falls needed! Rape!]
This time I decided to be a little bolder in my actions and tried to have a serious, nonviolent discussion with him. One that he would hopefully listen to.
[Or you could just get Dipper to summon some supernatural monster to rip his fucking face off.]
I handed him a bowl of soup and sat down on the couch with him.
"I need to talk to you about something," I said.
He continued watching TV, leisurely flipping through the channels. He grunted in response but I doubted he was listening to me.
"Look, we need to take a break from the bedroom," I continued. "I can't keep having all these abortions."
[I don't know why but that line just cracks me up. Maybe it's because I'm imagining Kristen Schaal saying it. She makes anything funny.]
"I'm not taking a break from anything. Go on a birth control pill," he replied, still watching TV.
"I can't, everyone will know why."
"You're the one who keeps getting pregnant, you do something about it."
"The only thing I can do is stop having sex with you! Please, let's not do this anymore!" I pleaded.
He hit me on the back of the head. Not hard, thankfully, but strong enough to let me know I needed to shut up. Gideon was better than him.
Anyone was better than him. I wish he would listen to me. I hated getting abortions.
[Does anyone like getting abortions?]
Not only was it cruel, but I only did it because that's what he wanted me to do. I would be punished if I didn't do everything the way he wanted.
I watched him pop open a can of beer and start drinking. He got drunk often enough for me to know what horrors would occur. Attempting to talk him out of it was futile and only made him angry. I didn't like it when he was angry...or drunk.
[Does he turn into the Hulk? Is Captain America gonna show up too?]
Sometimes he was a combination of the two and that was when the nightmare came to life. I didn't understand why he couldn't just be nice to me, like he used to. It would be different if he was bipolar, at least then there would be a good side to him, but he wasn't. I could tell because he was like this all the time, every day.
"I-I should really be getting back. Everyone might get suspicious," I said, already inching away from him.
He lowered the beer can and raised an eyebrow. "Why would they get suspicious?"
[Dun Dun DUUUUUMMMMMMBBB!]
I knew what he was implying. He was thinking I had told someone. I felt fear's icy claws grab hold of me as I got off the couch, prepared to run if necessary. Of course I wouldn't tell anyone, I wasn't stupid.
[Jury's still out on that one, Mabel.]
I looked at the small dark red blotch on the front of his jade green couch cushion. I would be making the worst mistake of my life by telling someone. I could die if I told someone. I didn't want to die. I wanted to believe there was still hope out there, some miracle that would get me as far away from Josh as possible.
[If only the supernatural was real!]
That's all I wanted. I would never ask for anything ever again, except maybe the request that he would never find me. And it was so ironic that Christmas was approaching. Most teenage girls wanted clothes and jewelry and gift cards to their favorite stores. I didn't want any of that. What I wanted had a high chance of being impossible to get.
"I swear, I wasn't going to tell anyone!" I croaked.
He stood up and glared at me. "Wasn't?"
I tried to back away but he grabbed my wrist. His grasp was too firm for me to break free. And honestly, I didn't want to try to break free. That would be another really bad idea. Smiling, crying, laughing nervously, or wincing would be a bad idea. I would get hit no matter what I did. It was like I'd sealed my fate just by using one wrong word. And this time he was too serious to slap me. I didn't know what he would do. He had a wide variety of ways to punish me.
He gripped my shoulders and threw me against the wall. I stayed put even as he went away to rummage through his closet. Whatever he was getting, I knew it couldn't be good. And I was right. He fished out a wooden baseball bat.
I tried to brace myself for what was coming. The baseball bat wasn't new to me. I had been forced to endure it several times already. It could be worse though. At least I didn't get the bat every day.
[True story: if you are repeatedly beaten with a baseball bat, you will suffer no ill-effects what so ever!]
He came back, the bat tapping his leg gently. Slowly. Threateningly.
"Let me make something very clear to you," he growled, raising the bat high into the air.
['I have no characterization outside of EvilAbuser McMwahaha!']
On instinct, I ducked just in time for him to miss his first swing, my body automatically turning to the side. I shouldn't have done that. My stupid body was reacting without my consent. Now it would be ten times worse. And worse meant all the more painful. It also meant more swings. Which meant more bruises to hide. Which meant someone had a greater chance of finding out. Which meant I could lose my life.
[I'm pretty sure being beaten repeatedly with a baseball bat would cause you to lose your life faster.]
He tried again, this time succeeding. I felt an enormous amount of pressure on my back, followed up by extreme pain. I fell to my knees just from the force of it. It wasn't over. He would keep at it until he felt satisfied. This could go on for a full ten minutes, possibly even longer. Sometimes he would beat me with a golf club. It was metal, far worse than a wooden baseball bat. I considered myself lucky to have been spared a golf club.
[OK there is a line between abuse and attempted murder and Joel just crossed it.]
He swung again, this time in a downward motion. My whole body collapsed the instant it hit me. I cried out for him to stop, to please stop! The pain was so intense it was making my vision blurry.
[Only blurry vision but she's still perfectly lucid? Yeah, cool story bro.]
I didn't know if I was seeing through tears or if I was about to pass out. I knew I was saying something...or at least I thought I was...but I couldn't focus on it. The only thing I could do was stay down, put my hands on top of my head, and let him beat me. If I struggled, it would just take longer. A lot longer.
"I didn't tell anyone! No one knows!" I cried between blows.
[Mabel would have been DEAD at this point.]
The bat came down one more time. I was relieved to know the clubbing part of it had ended. But I guess it still wasn't over. He rammed his foot into my side at least six times before leaving me to go put the bat away. I saw flecks of red on it. At least it was finally over. At least it had ended. I was free to get up if I wanted, but my side hurt so much I didn't want to move. These were going to leave marks. The color of the bruises left behind were definitely not going to be brown. And I couldn't go back the Mystery Shack looking like I'd been run over by a truck. Though to be honest, I would take a truck over Josh anytime.
[By the way, doesn't this narration sound like Mabel? And totally not a stock 'woman in danger' character from every TimeLife movie ever.]
I looked at the wall. It had red spots on it too. So did the carpet. If my blood had splattered that much, then Josh should've gotten some on his clothes. But even if someone were to come in and find all this, Josh would pass it off as a spurt from the ketchup bottle. And they would believe him so long as I didn't tell them what really happened.
[And the bloody baseball bat? And the bloody, crumpled, bruised and most likely DEAD girl's body? That's some ketchup bottle. ]
Maybe Soos would notice my...no, nevermind. He was always very busy around the Mystery Shack. It wasn't that he didn't pay attention to anything, it was just that he was unaware unless it was something obvious.
My situation was far from obvious. I hid it from the world. I was careful to leave no evidence uncovered.
[Because a savage beating with a baseball bat is just something you can just cover up.]
In fact, I had become so good at hiding it that I could easily become the world's best actress.
[Kindly leave Kristen Schaal out of this.]
At least there was a glimmer of comfort to be found in the fact that Dipper had taken note of my silence recently. Deep down I wanted him to find out. If nothing more, I just wanted a shoulder to cry on. Who better than my brother?
[Oh I don't know. The Police?]
If only that book of his didn't get in the way...
[You mean that thing that Gravity Falls is supposed to be about?]
I summoned the strength to push myself off the floor. I felt blood trail down my back. It could be worse. At least my side wasn't bleeding.
"Mabel, go get a shower. And give me your clothes, we're going to wash them," Josh said.
I did as he said. He let me hand him my clothes through a slightly cracked door instead of making me take them off on the spot. I got in the shower, turned on the hot water, and started wiping some of the blood off. I didn't know about my back, but my side was starting to bruise. It was already a dark brown color. Since I was hit between the shoulder blades, some of the blood had gotten into my hair. Nothing a little shampoo couldn't get out. As for my clothes...they could be stained. Wearing a lightly colored sweater wasn't a very good idea.
I hated having to shower here. It meant I would have to stay longer to dry my hair and get my clothes washed if there was blood. Needless to say, I didn't want to stay at Josh's house any longer than I had to. I didn't want another bruise even though I was bound to get one sooner or later. The longer I stayed here, the greater the chances of more blood. I needed to get out as soon as possible.
Well, what did you think? Sad enough? Make you cry or tear up? Was it gut-wrenching? Because I kind of need it to be.
[It was gut-wrenching, but not for the reasons you probably wanted it to be.]