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Never Again


My hands came up to cup his wrist tightly as I tried to push myself away from him. "J-Johnny…nothing happened…" My words came out no louder than a whimper as I managed to back away a bit, "I wouldn't cheat on you. I love you. You know that…" He cut me off by simply shaking his head. It didn't matter what I said to him - there was no hope of him believing me. The alcohol had taken over.

"No, see…I don't believe any of that. I've seen the way you look at him…" A knot formed in my throat as he began walking around me. Just like a lion stalking its prey. "I've seen you look at him the same way you look at me. All hopeful and innocent…and I've seen you check him out from time to time. You check Matt out, too…don't think I haven't noticed. If…if you wanted someone else…someone built differently…" Once more, he stopped in front of me, "…you should have left a long time ago." I watched as tears swelled up in his hazel eyes once again. Sniffling, he shook his head a little. "I don't want you to leave me, Leita. I love you. I can't say it enough."


"Shut up!" The palm of his hand struck my cheek abruptly, immediately cutting off my next words. I recoiled as my hand shot up to cradle my injured cheek. No…not again… "I don't want to hear the lies anymore! I don't want the bullshit!"

Whimpering, I caught his arm as he raised it to hit me again. My eyes, quickly becoming filled with tears to match his, pleaded with his. "P-please…Johnny, you're drunk…don't do this to me…"

His eyes narrowed. Perhaps stopping him from hitting me was worse than letting it just happen. With strength I didn't know he possessed, he gripped both of my shoulders in his hands and pushed me against the wall adjacent to our bedroom. Before I could take the time to groan in pain, the sound of wood sliding against the wall caught my attention. The edge of a wooden picture frame soon dug its way into the top of my skull as it fell from the nail that held it up, breaking instantly. I cried out in pain, crumpling beneath Johnny's hands as the glass shattered around me. The spot where the picture frame hit combined with the ache in my back, causing every nerve in my body to scream in agony. And it had only just begun. "…Look what you did." Johnny whimpered, "I always told you that you were so clumsy. Pick it up." I was shoved to the floor abruptly. Glass slicked into my hands as I quickly caught myself before my face could hit. Thankfully, the pain from that was meek compared to the aforementioned two.

"I'm sorry…" The words meant nothing, but I would always find myself saying them. Sorry didn't cut it for him any longer. He wasn't satisfied until I was bawling my eyes out, crying until I couldn't cry anymore. A few bruises would typically mark my punishment. Tonight, I felt that not even all that would suffice as punishment. The glass shards were collected carefully along with the frame, held carefully in one hand. The picture was picked up in my free hand once the glass was removed from it. "Johnny…please…just don't do this…not tonight…"

A hand gripped my shoulder-length auburn hair tightly, fisting the soft tendrils between his fingers. I was yanked to my feet, causing me to hurry and drop the glass in hopes to save my hair from being ripped out. Too bad his free hand was quick to twist an arm behind my back. I could do nothing as I was hauled up against him, my head tilted back just enough for him to let his breath play over my neck. Once more, my eyes found his pleadingly. The person who looked back at me was not my Johnny. As corny as it sounded, this was not the man I fell in love with. He was long gone. "You make it sound like I enjoy doing this to you…" His voice was thick as he spoke, while his breath reeked of various types of alcoholic beverages. "…I don't, if that's what you're thinking. I don't like hurting you like this. But it's the only way I know of that will keep you with me. You don't love me the same anymore, Baby Girl…I know you don't. And that kills me. You…you're not with me emotionally. That makes me sound like a fag, but whatever. I don't like hurting you-"

"So don't do it!" I sobbed. His grip never loosened on my hair, resulting in my scalp beginning to burn. He said nothing, simply began stepping backwards with me. I had no choice but to move with him, crying quietly. It wasn't until my foot brushed against the top step of our staircase that I began to panic. "J-Johnny..." The hand that kept tight on his wrist began to clutch desperately as my balance on the step teetered. He held me in such a way that forced me to hold onto him. If he let go...

I should have known that the action was his exact intentions. "If I can't keep you with me emotionally, I have to keep you here with me physically. There's only one way to do it." He pulled my hair in such a way that forced me to look at him. An arm wrapped around my waist, keeping me with him at least for the moment.

"N-no...Johnny...Johnny, Baby...please...no..." I shook my head quickly.

A tear rolled down his cheek slowly as he let out a shaky sigh, "...I'm sorry." My eyes closed tightly as he brushed his lips over my forehead, "Why can't you see what this does to me? You know I love you too much, Baby..."

It was a blur of motion and color. The line that separated stairs from ceiling, up from down, was indistinguishable as my body slammed into each and every hit. I was only able to measure the first couple of hits to my body. After that, my brain shut down from each impact. It wasn't until I crumpled at the last step that I was able to scream in pain. Blood pounded in my ears, blocking out any other noise. My entire body seemed to throb and ache in agony, but my brain went into shock. My position was awkward as I laid on the carpet - my leg was bent in the most unnatural of ways, obviously broken along with my arm that was stuck behind my back. My sight was forced toward the ceiling as I silently begged the pain to cease. Too bad Johnny wasn't done. His black Converse sneakers came into view as he hurried down the steps. I just couldn't hear what he was saying. Whimpering, I carefully reached with my free hand to paw at his sneaker. The man I loved had to be in that vessel of a man somewhere. I just had to reach out to him. He would take care of me...deep down, it was an instinct for him, right?

Wrong. I wasn't in enough pain for that side to come out. "You're fucking getting blood all over the carpet!" Was I? I couldn't feel it. "Do you understand why I do this?! I have to!" Another cry, this one much more animalistic, passed my lips as he jammed his foot into my ribs. I was kicked onto my stomach, causing my broken arm to flop uselessly onto the floor. "Tell me you still love me, Leita. Tell me, and this will all stop."

I couldn't. It seemed as though my brain was no longer connected to my mouth. "Ah-!" It was all noise at this point - anything that escaped me. There were no words, just pleas of desperation. He pulled me up by my hair once again, ripping me up.

"Answer me!" A sharp smack was delivered to the side of my face as he sobbed out his words. "Tell me that you love me, and I won't do this anymore!" The pain overwhelmed my ability to form words. Looking up at him, I simply cried quietly. Even if I could say it, I wouldn't. The man before me was not the man I loved. I couldn't say it enough. So I couldn't lie to him. "Leita, please... Leita!" A sharp punch was given to my stomach, resulting in me coughing. If I could pull my legs to my chest, I would. Too bad the broken bone seemed to be more in my knee area. He pulled me onto his lap, cradling me in his arms. I was broken, bloodied, terrified and miserable. "Baby..." A hand was pushed through my hair. The once soft tendrils became weighed down as blood soaked through them. My mind was numbed over, more than likely from lack of blood. He had set out wanting to kill me...and he was doing a pretty good job. "O-oh God...what have I done...?" He whimpered. With my breathing slowing, I forced my eyes to meet his. There...he was. It had taken all of this to be able to see the man I loved once again. There he was in front of me. This was Johnny - my Johnny, the man I had grown up and fallen in love with. The man I had spent a good portion of my life with. This was the Johnny that was my Mr. Perfect. Behind the drunken haze, the abusive alter ego, and the lack of compassion was the man I needed and loved. "...It's okay, Baby...you don't have to say anything. I love you. Don't ever forget that, okay? I love you, and I can't bear to lose you. So don't leave me, okay?"

Too bad he arrived just a little too late.


"Leita? Leita, are you awake?"

Where was that beeping come from? Why did my body feel so numb? I felt funny...off. Something tight was wrapped around my arm and my leg. My leg was hoisted up, or so it felt. My eyesight was blurry as I opened my eyes slowly. A bright white room, hardly decorated...wait a minute, I knew where I was. I was in the hospital. My right arm and left leg were carefully encased in two casts, with my leg suspended in the air. To my right resided a IV tree, filled with some sort of liquid pain medication. At least that explained why I felt so numb; I was being pumped with pain medication. Something was wrapped around my head, some sort of gauze. More gauze was wrapped around my waist. And the more I took inventory of where I was injured, the more memories came back to me. But...how did I get to the hospital? Beside my bed, Zacky stood leaning over me. A hand reached to caress my cheek, making me wince.

"Oh thank God..." A heavy sigh escaped him in relief. Leaning forward, he brushed his lips over my forehead lightly. I whimpered, closing my eyes tightly. That was what got me into this mess in the first place. "Sh…it's okay…you're in a safe place. Everyone is going to help you, in whatever way we can. Do you remember what got you here?" Biting my lip, I slowly shook my head. A deep breath was taken before he slowly recalled the night's events to me. It simply verified the memories swimming through my head. "And…when he realized that you weren't responding, he called the police on himself. The ambulance came too. They said you had a broken arm, a broken leg, fractured ribs, the back of your head split open, and you might have a concussion…they've got you on the good stuff, medication wise."

My eyes closed for a moment as the memory of Johnny crying as he held me at the foot of the stairs came into mind. "…Where is he…?" My voice was raspy, and quite unlike my own.

"The police arrested him for assault and attempted murder…I don't really know the details, but he won't be around for awhile. His only request was that he could make sure you made it to the hospital. The cops mentioned something about you being able to visit…if you wanted to…" He seemed to be choosing his words carefully. I watched as he moved to sit on the bed, taking my uninjured hand in his own. In all honesty, I didn’t have an answer for him. The shock was too overwhelming for me to be able to process any of it. Johnny…was arrested? He turned himself in? And here I was beginning to think that the abuse was all in my head. Two sets of guitar calloused fingers rubbed my hand gently. "…What happened, Leita? Between you and Johnny? How long has this been going on…?" No. I couldn't. Not now. Johnny wouldn't approve of it. I couldn't tell him the truth- "He's not going to hurt you, Leita. You're safe. I need you to tell me."

[i]You're safe.[/i] The magic words I needed to hear more than anything else. I was safe to tell him everything. I could tell him that the abuse had been going on for awhile, starting out with a simple accidental hit. I could tell him about the fact that Johnny was terrified of me leaving him, especially for Zacky. I could tell him that the anger seemed to mostly stem from alcohol, drank in excess. I could tell him that the man I loved seemed to disappear completely. But this proved that my hunch had been correct - my Johnny was still in there. If not, he would have let me die. Perhaps what he said was true - he simply loved me too much to let me go. If you love someone, it's hard to let go when you're afraid they won't come back. This much was true for Johnny and I. He was afraid that I wouldn't have come back. "…He was afraid." I finished, looking up into his sympathetic blue-green eyes.

A hand came up to brush my tears away gently. He was doing his best to understand, that much I could tell. "I just…why did you put up with it for so long…? Why didn't you tell anyone?" My eyes fell to the arm that was surrounded by a cast. He followed my line of sight before noticing what I was looking at. With a quick glance of reassurance, he pulled the small piece of paper out that had been bunched in my fist ever since the picture frame shattered the night before. While picking up the shards of glass, I had held the picture in hopes of saving it. Even with everything that had happened, I never let it go. It was simple, really, just a picture of Johnny and I from over a year ago. In the picture, he was kissing the top of my head while I smiled at the camera. We were on the beach somewhere, with me relaxed in his embrace as we sat together. It was one of my favorites, for it hadn't been staged. The kiss had been last moment, and resulted in me blushing shortly after the picture was taken. "…Oh…" As Zacky looked down at the picture, he seemed to put two and two together, "…You were waiting for things to get better. Waiting for him to come back."

I pointed to Johnny in the picture, "Him. I wanted him to come back." The guitarist didn't answer. Instead, he carefully set the picture on the bedside table before pulling me in for a gentle hug. His arms didn't even come around me fully in fear of making my injuries worse. I did my best to hug him back, running my fingertips along the back of his shoulder. "…Do you think he ever will?" Maybe, somewhere down the road, Johnny and I would be able to be together again. It would just take a long time to recover, for both of us.

"…I dunno…" He mumbled after a minute, "But I'll tell you this - everyone has your back. No matter what happens with Johnny, we won't let this happen to you. Never again."


Part Two of Two - Word Count 2,730

Thank goodness for unlimited word count!

This was written for Manic Fame's [url=http://www.mibba.com/journals/read/291905/]Get Out Alive Contest[/url] on Mibba and it was actually rather interesting and difficult to write Johnny as the bad guy.

Hope you've enjoyed.


I don't know if this story it's over. But if it is... just let me tell you that I really, really, enjoyed it! It was great! It was amazing & i loved how real you made it seem.

Great work.
Nia_Flores Nia_Flores