She was a good student, when she wanted to be.
Mostly, she was impatient and bored. She didn’t understand why it had to take so long to cover a simple, basic topic. She rolled her eyes in frustration, although it was taken to be brazen.
When she learned something she had never known before, she came alive.
Her eyes flashed as her whole being propelled itself forward, yearning to soak up the new information. The passion that emanated from her took people by surprise. Her teachers squirmed in discomfort, not knowing why she held so much power over them.
They tried to rein her in, but she was too good a player.
Eventually, they succumbed to her and she would be the focus.
Her friends didn’t mind, they were taken in, too.
They all loved her. The grownups thought her precocious. Her peers idolized her success.
She didn’t care.
She tried to be a good girl, for him, but it was never enough.
He still didn’t like her.
His games were the only times he showed an interest.
They made her so weak.
She abhorred weakness, and kept trying to rise above.
She said no one day, in a moment of triumph, and he just shrugged and walked away.
Her heart screamed in protest as she ran after him, begging him to forgive her, begging him to take her back. He pushed her, hard, and she fell under the weight of her love, her life, her passion, flogging her with lashes that ripped her heart to shreds.
She kept trying.
She began to feel the hatred he had for her seep into her bones.
On the day she became a woman, she stopped trying.
He no longer came to her, although his hatred grew.
It consumed her and became the voice in her head that dictated the rest of her life.
It distracted her in school one day, and she slipped.
They found out her secret, the one she had hidden, the one that caused her more shame than anything he had ever done to her.
They found out that she couldn’t read.
They found out that she was stupid.
The fall from grace hit her, wrung her tight and dropped her in a pile of lies and deceit she had created.
It left her crawling in the mud, desperately grasping at anything that promised salvation.
She found it in the things he had taught her.
He had given her tools to sooth her soul.
She was grateful to him.
He had saved her.