Introduction to the first strike

‘Please take me with you,’ she said. ‘I promise I will change.’
With her heart racing and face flushing, Jen made a last, desperate attempt to salvage what was left of her relationship with Matt.

‘You can’t change – it’s your personality.’ Matt responded, his blood boiling.
’I’m going away and I think we should just end this….I’m not gonna stay with you just to make you happy!’

The shock of seeing the tension in Matt’s face and the sound of his scream made Jen’s body shiver. He continued, ‘I’m sick of being the angry guy, the guy who is always wrong! I make you sick and I make you crazy – you’d be better off if we just leave this!’

Matt’s band, ‘Hopeful Day’ was relocating from Adelaide to Melbourne, looking for success. A meeting with recording executives from a small-time record label had been arranged and things were looking bright for the young talented musos. Music, Matt’s great passion, was winning the ‘competition’ with Jen, the girl who at one time held his heart.

Jen felt dizzy with anxiety as she could very well see her life with Matt was coming to an end, her whole world was crashing down around her.

They were lying in his bed before the revelation. Smelling of musky aftershave and always in a mess, Matt’s soft, lumpy bed had always felt like a safe haven to Jen. At this moment, as she scrambled herself up, it felt like she was being engulfed and suffocated. The musky smell and softness was friendly no more – Jen now felt like she was drowning.

Matt’s mind was racing. He didn’t want to hurt Jen, because he still loved her deeply, but the guilt of focusing all his time on his band and neglecting his relationship was getting too much for him. He longed for this opportunity his whole life and the resentment he was developing towards Jen was not fair to her. Despite this, he couldn’t control himself around her anymore and just thinking about sticking around to live a quiet life made Matt feel like Jen had put a straight-jacket on him. The whole situation he had created for himself was aggravating him to within an inch of his sanity…he needed release.

Matt threw his sheets off and slammed his fist into his cupboard door. He wanted Jen as far away from him as possible. He looked down to find a huge gash on his knuckles. The stinging pain made him so angry.

‘Please you have to leave!’ he shouted.

Jen stumbled out through the kitchen, not noticing the dirty dishes from last night still on the sink, straight through to the living room. The vision of the hole in Matt’s old pine cupboard door and red droplets on his dirty carpet still in her mind, almost like it was still in front of her. She curled herself up into a foetal position in the corner, not believing what was happening. A mad panic came over her when suddenly she noticed that poster on the wall. She couldn’t speak. She could only sob.

The poster had always frightened her. The rock group, whose name she never remembered, suddenly looked even more sinister than usual, almost like they were ready to attack her.

The band on the poster had white make-up on, black circles drawn around their eyes, blood dripping from their mouths, leather biker style outfits and evil stares. It seemed to come alive to Jen. As Matt approached her with his arm raised, suddenly Jen felt like she was in her own horror movie.

It was at that moment that Matt unleashed Jen from the emotional hold he had over her. Jen’s body ached and her heart pounded, but in her mind she knew it was time to heal and start fresh.

Journal Comments

  • Kath Cashion
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