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Roslyn should have realised why he had gotten so angry with her in the first place. He had always drawn a lot of parallels between her and his mother and she was now mentally kicking herself for not being more sensitive about it in the first place. Although, she couldn’t really blame herself after spending all day being reminded how much Michael could control her and how he could make her feel. A part of her was also scared that Michael wouldn’t get convicted regardless of the fact that she had been stabbed and that he had emotionally and physically abused her for years. She just hoped that the jury realised how manipulative he was and looked through all of his lies in support of her. Justin’s professional testimony would certainly help her though. It was hard to dispute with a professional.
He was standing then and obviously trying to encourage her to leave the room. There were times she barely made it out of her room when she first got here and it was obvious that he didn’t want her going back to that and she certainly didn’t want to deviate from her meal plan since she had resisted her urge to purge. She sighed and rose to her feet, making her way to the cafeteria. It was quieter that normal since it was towards the end of dinner service and she spotted Damien at their table. She turned to Justin. [b “Thank you for coming to check on me. I think I should speak to him alone.”] She knew he would understand and she offered him a smile before going to the counter with a tray. She didn’t even need to pick her food since hers was already set aside for her. When she got everything she needed she moved back towards the table that had become [i their] table.
[b “Is this seat taken.”]
Justin sighed knowing she wasn’t telling him everything, but disregarded pushing the subject any further. He knew the day was traumatic enough and he could tell that it was taking a toll on Roslyn. Brushing his hands through his hair, he nodded and listened to her words. “Well – I’m sure he didn’t mean to lose his temper with you Roslyn. You know how he feels when it comes to self worth because of his mother.”
Justin was at least glad that she hadn’t relapsed which showed great progress in her treatment and he knew that overtime it would become increasingly easier for her to ignore Michael’s baiting comments. Eventually she wouldn’t let him be able to control her. Justin only could hope that justice was on their side and he was convicted. If not he would be out there in the world, tormenting another woman or even worse coming after Roslyn. Men like him who were possessive always won in the end. Damien knew this first and had told Justin about it countless of times. His mother had only tried to escape twice and they were always found. Eventually she stopped trying, thinking his father was the best she could do. She felt like she was worthless because that’s all his father told her. Damien hated to hear it and even more so, it saddened him to know that his mother actually believed it.
Justin came to a stand then. “C’mon, you have to get out of this room. You can’t stay in her holed up and depressed. Let’s get you something to eat. I think it would also be best you speak with Damien. I’m sure you two can get past this. He’s probably cooled down.”
Damien had finished his cigarette then and headed back into the facility. Honestly he hadn’t touched much of his dinner from earlier and was paying for it. His stomach was growling. He headed to the cafeteria, glad most of the patients were gone. It was much quieter than earlier, but he still felt the same sense of loneliness. He hated himself for kissing Roslyn and hoped she would forgive him.
The only thing that gave Roslyn any peace at all was knowing that Justin would be there with her at the next gathering at court. She hoped that it would be easier next time, knowing what to expect would perhaps make it that way. She didn’t know but she could hope of course. This wasn’t one of her sessions but so she would tell him everything just yet but she would have to do so in their next session so he could fully understand why she had reacted in such a way but right now she didn’t feel like talking all that much because she was so fed up if crying.
Roslyn has to tread carefully now. If she said the wrong thing to Justin he would have to report what happened between them and she knew that he would no longer be allowed to mentor her and regardless of the fact he promised it would stay in this room, she could bring herself to tell him everything. She didn’t want to get Damien in trouble and she would never forgive herself if she was the cause of him receiving any form of punishment.
[b “I almost fell off the wagon. He found me in the bathroom. I was going to purge. I didn’t. I couldn’t. I couldn’t let you and Damien down.”] There she went again, ignoring the importance of her. [b “He told me that I should have gone to him first...that he cares about me and then I told him that I wasn’t worthy of that and he got angry with me.”] Roslyn wouldn’t mention the kiss, and while she hated to feel like she was keeping something from Justin, she just couldn’t. She cared about Damien too and she needed him.
Damien was saddened to find that Roslyn still wasn’t in the cafeteria and she hadn’t shown face. He sighed out then and just collected his plate of pasta and a cup of water before sitting alone at the table he had sat with Roslyn for the last month of her treatment. He played with his meal then, not really sure if he had much of an appetite which was unusual for him. He was mentally kicking himself for what he had done. He couldn’t believe that he had actually kissed Roslyn. [I What was he thinking?] He eventually knew that eating would at least distract him for now and would make it easier for him not to have to think about how he had severely embarrassed himself and even more the predicament he had placed on the girl after such a troubling time and day that she had.
He finished eating quickly then, heading outside while he still could to smoke a cigarette and try his hardest to relax and stop stressing out. He went to the place he always went to when he was stretched, a white bench under a flood of plants near a fountain. It was quiet and he was alone. He thought about how he was going to approach calling his mother then to set up a visitation. He didn’t know how that would go or what he would say or how to react. It had been so long since he had any communication with her and he was nervous.
[center [b _]]
Justin could see that Roslyn was upset and had made sure his actions were slow and careful so as not to trigger her. He still kept himself at a safe distance while he sat on the bed and listened to how she felt. He expected the trial to be too much for Roslyn and she only had furthermore to go through. The only way to end having to endure this is if Michael would plead out, which everyone knew he wouldn’t because it was another attempt to control and ruin Roslyn’s life.
Justin wasn’t asked to come in this time, but would have to show up at the next part of the trial to respond on Roslyn’s health as a part of the prosecution.
“The most important thing is that you know the truth and you keep up with your treatment,” Justin tried to assure her. He wasn’t shocked to hear that maybe Damien had gone off the loose end with the news he had received about his father, but he hadn’t suspected that he would take it out on Roslyn knowing just what she had gone through,
“I can’t see why he would get mad at you. After all he seemed to care a lot about you and asked for you when I saw him earlier.” Justin had an inkling of what the real issue was but didn’t want to face it as he knew he would have to report it and he didn’t want to risk either of his patient’s treatment. “Roslyn, I promise anything you tell me now doesn’t leave the room – did something happen between you two?” She could lie which Justin wouldn’t believe, but would’ve preferred.
Roslyn felt stupid. She didn’t know why she had freaked when Damien had kissed her. She knew that he wasn’t like Michael and that he would never hurt her so to have that thought for a second that he could make her feel awful. That was the real reason why she had walked away. She could bear to look at him with that same fear in her eyes that she always had. The other reason she had walked away is because she knew that this sort of thing was forbidden and if Justin found hot that they had kissed, she had no doubt that he wouldn’t be allowed to mentor her anymore and she didn’t want to be paired with someone else. She didn’t want to have him taken away from her when she relied on him so much.
Roslyn hadn’t realised the time. To everyone else it was dinner time, yet to her it was as though no time had passed since she got back from her trial. It was like everything had gone back to the way it was before. Like this was her first day over again and she hated it. She was so mad at herself and she couldn’t even begin to work through her emotions when it came to Damien. For a start, he deserved better than a woman who couldn’t be happy with who she was and who had as many problems as she did, hell as far as she knew he didn’t even know about her miscarriage yet. That was what had gotten to her more than anything, hearing his accusation about what happened to their child.
There was a knock then and she signalled for whoever it was to come in and she looked towards Justin with fatigue. She shifted slightly so she didn’t look like a scared child anymore. [b “I don’t know how I am...the trial...it was horrible...the things he said...the [i lies] he told.”] She looked to the floor and when he brought up Damien she didn’t know her response. [b “I made him angry.”]
Damien admittedly felt hurt to know that Roslyn hadn’t really taken his advance so lightly and he knew that she wasn’t to blame. Damien knew that this was too much for her and most of the time when she had any sense of intimacy it would lead to violence whether physically or sexually from Michael. Damien knew he wasn’t like her ex and he hoped she knew that he would never try to do anything that would mean hurting her.
“Roslyn I-“ his words had fallen on death ears then, nothing but silence as she had brushed pass him and out of the bathroom. “Dammit,” he cursed under his breath then. He was at least glad that Roslyn had escaped, as he was angry at himself and had punched the stall door then which would have certainly scared the woman.
Damien eventually left, wanting to head to Roslyn’s bedroom to apologize again, but figuring the best thing he could do was to leave her alone. He had headed toward his side then, passing Justin who asked him how things went.
“I don’t want to talk about it,” he muttered trying to walk away. Justin could see that Damien was worried and upset.
“Hey, Damien –“he said sternly and not removing his grip on the male’s arm.
“I screwed up,” he said with a shake of his head.
“Do you want to talk about it?” Justin was worried then and the male shook his head, pulling away. He could hear Justin calling after him, but Damien didn’t want to think about it. He had locked himself in his bedroom then until dinner time, not sure if he wanted to eat and not sure if Roslyn would bother going and if she would want to sit beside him at their table. He had made up his mind and headed for the cafeteria.
Justin himself had headed to Roslyn’s room, hoping this time she would answer him and he wanted to make sure that the woman hadn’t lost her appetite. Knocking, he then entered.
“Hey,” he said softly. “How’re you? I passed Damien earlier. Are you guys okay?” Justin knew Damien could be rough and hoped the two hadn’t had an argument after the trauma the ale had endured from earlier after learning of the death of his father.
Roslyn had experienced Damien’s tough love on many occasions but she had never seen him angry before and she would be lying if she said that it didn’t scare her a little. Her fear mostly came from her experience of Michael’s anger and she didn’t know what to expect when Damien rose his voice. Usually that would come with a black eye or a broken rib. As his arm went around her waist she couldn’t help but go to that darker place where Michael would grab her in the same way. He would hurt her most of the time or he would rape her in anger, telling her that she deserved it and no matter how hard she tried, she couldn’t stop those memories from flashing across her mind and she was almost frozen, scared that history would repeat itself. The difference was, his anger was about the fact that was [i was] worth something where Michael’s would obviously be the opposite.
Then something happened that she couldn’t prepare for. He kissed her. Roslyn didn’t really know what to do. She wasn’t thinking about the fact that this was against the rules but she was thinking about what would come next when the kiss came to an end. He could get angry again, he could hit her, he could do more...but this wasn’t Michael and when he pulled back and allowed his forehead to rest on hers she remembered who he was. She was still frozen for the time being, as her thoughts began to gather and then she looked at him.
[b “I... we can’t do this.”] She pushed back from his gently and then brushed passed him, making her way back to her room, avoiding eye contact with everyone before shutting the door and sitting in her bed as she pulled her knees up to her chin, unable to process what had happened.
“Dammit Roslyn!” Damien growled out, his hand running through his hair then as he tried to collect himself. He didn’t mean to get angry, but he hated how he Roslyn talked about herself. His hand instinctively drew her around the waist. “Don’t say things like that. I won’t allow it, you’re more than worthy.” Damien shook his head then, not caring at that point then to put any distance between them. He knew it was wrong, but at this point Damien didn’t care and he wasn’t going to back down despite how wrong he knew this position was and even more so his feelings for Roslyn was.
“You are more than worthy you understand that? You’re beautiful and smart and – I know you are strong. You can get through this and that would mean you could get through anything.” Damien battled with his internal thoughts, chewing on his bottom lip before without a second of thinking he leaned down to kiss Roslyn.
This wasn’t really the best time to unleash this type of emotion on the woman, especially after such an emotional trial, but Damien couldn’t help himself. This had been something that had plagued his mind and he couldn’t accept Roslyn to feel bad about herself. He wanted her happy, he wanted her healthy and he didn’t want her to ever talk about herself in a negative manner.
He finally pulled away then, instantly realizing exactly what he had did. “Roslyn –” Damien said softly, his forehead pressed against hers as he tried to catch his breath. ”I’m sorry, I didn’t mean to invade your space. I should have asked for permission – I mean I shouldn’t have kissed you. I – I don’t know.” Damien said finally then, completely embarrassed and nervous. His grip was light as he held her around the waist then, unable to pull himself away from Roslyn.
Roslyn was still putting so much emphasis on letting Justin and Damien down that she forgot that she was also doing herself proud by ignoring the desire to purge. While she had made her way to the bathroom and she had locked herself in the bathroom stall, something had stopped her and she had to give herself credit for the fact that was a sign of her growing strength. Purging wasn’t even a conscious decision she could make then and maybe when she wasn’t feeling so emotional, she might understand that gravity of that.
Damien was close to her now, closer than he ever had been and close enough that she could feel how breath on her face. He was trying to comfort her, trying to make her feel better about the fact that she had almost regressed from all the progress she had managed to make in the last month. He had looked at her many times but never in the way he was not and she wasn’t completely sure how she felt about it or what it meant but she felt nervous.
[b “I know you what?”] She asked a look of confusion upon her face as he cleared his throat and put a little more distance between them. When he said what he meant she looked even more confused. [b “But you can’t...you shouldn’t. I’m not worthy of that Damien.”]
She couldn’t let him down, but he knew there was also the idea that Roslyn couldn’t let herself down and possibly didn’t want Michael to win, even though it may have seemed that way from earlier when she was in the man’s presence at the court. He hadn’t ever been this close to Roslyn and Damien couldn’t fathom distancing himself any further from her. This was a weird feeling for him.
“You wouldn’t have let me down Roslyn,” he whispered as he leaned in further. Yes he had grown to be a bit more lenient but certainly he knew Roslyn was aware that Damien was someone who had a hard time when it came to emotions. There was something clear though, that had been weighing on him the more that he spent time with Roslyn.
He was starting to care too much about her and wasn’t sure if it was a bad thing. He knew though that it was against the rules and Justin would definitely be upset if he were to even pull a stunt like that. Though, why did he find it hard to pull away from her? Why couldn’t he take his eyes off the beautiful and forlorn woman?
Those eyes that he had fallen in love with the minute he saw her, still brimmed some and wet with tears. “Next time come to me. You know it’s my job as your mentor. You know I ca-" He cleared his throat then, blushing some as he tried to find the right words. Damien had finally broke the contact, his hand brushing the back of his neck then as Damien was beginning to feel things he had never felt before.
Now he was having a hard time looking her in the eyes, afraid what he would do if he took one more look at her face. Shoving his hands in his pockets, he looked down at his feet. “I care about your well being – I care . . . about you.” He had finally admitted.
Roslyn was not simply avoiding his eye contact because she had seen Michael. This was more from shame and the fact that she had been so close to letting herself down by relapsing and by doing so, there would be other people she let down in the process and she didn’t want that. She was simply slumped on the floor in a pathetic state and she wouldn’t have been surprised if the man scoffed at her and walked away, not wanting to have anything to do with her anymore. Instead, he reached for her and pulled her into an embrace which was the last thing she expected. Damien wasn’t the type of person to offer physical affection or anything besides tough love but that was not what he was giving to her now which was the complete opposite.
She remained there in his arms for a while, taking deeps breaths as she tried not to allow the crying to take over once more. Roslyn didn’t want to be scared anymore, she didn’t want to cry anymore and she certainly didn’t want him to have control over her anymore but today was just proof that he could do so.
Damien pulled away from her then, but not too far because he reached out to lift her chin up in an attempt to get her to look at him again. She had made his a promise to always look him in the eye and she had broken that promise today. [b “I’m sorry...”] Her voice was barely even a whisper as he let out a soft chuckle in an attempt to let her know everything was okay. She glanced down at the empty toilet bowl then before looking back to him. [b “I couldn’t...I couldn’t let you down.”]
Damien looked down at Roslyn as the door came to a slow opening. She seemed defeated, her shoulders sagging and much like the first time they had met, she couldn’t even meet her eyes. Though, Damien somehow knew that she hadn’t relapsed. Why she couldn’t focus on him though, he figured had something to do with Michael. He knew it had to have been horrible for her to experience that and being so close to him – Damien suspected the man had less than kind words for her.
He didn’t know what it was, whether it was about learning of his father’s death – or finding out his mother was now free from her abuser, but Damien found himself reaching and bringing the woman into an embrace. He could tell that she was trying to keep it together and was on the verge of crying and Damien couldn’t bear to see that.
He had no words though and usually he was one to try to speak promise and hope into Roslyn’s life. Now, all he could think of was how she hurt and the fact that tough love maybe wasn’t all that Roslyn needed. He had thought tough love was good for his mother, abandoning her and refusing to return her phone calls or letters. He had abandoned his brother when he needed him most. Damien had constantly shied away feelings and emotions thinking it made situations better and easier. Instead, sometimes it wasn’t always like that – sometimes people just needed to feel worthy.
He knew that Roslyn was used to pain after being loved or adored – her ex Michael a master manipulator and affecting the woman both emotionally and mentally. Hot and cold – one moment showering her in love only to turn around and do his best to tear the woman down. He cared for Roslyn though and he wanted her to know that this was just a bump in the road. It would get tougher, but she would get stronger and finally realized the only power Michael could have over her was the power that Roslyn gave him.
He pulled away then, his hands dropping from the hugging embrace, a hand now tipping her head up. “What did I say about the eye thing?” He asked softly, chuckling a little to lighten the mood. “I can only imagine you didn’t relapse and that says a lot Roslyn. Don’t you think?”
Roslyn had given up trying. Every time she got her fingers even remotely close to her mouth, she couldn’t do it. There was something stopping her and no matter how much she wanted to purge, to make herself feel less disgusting, she could only think about how much progress she made and how disappointed Damien and Justin would be if she relapsed now. She felt weak for feeling the need to do this and she felt weak for allowing Michael the power over her.
She leaned back against the wall of the stall, sitting on the floor looking and feeling pathetic. Now she was really mad at herself, but she didn’t know what else to do or how else to cope. This was her default when it came to Michael and it was clear that she still had a lot more work to do than she had first thought. Her tears wouldn’t stop either as she brought her head to her knees and covered herself with her arms.
[I Pathetic. Ugly. Weak.] All words that seemed to break through and it seemed as though she couldn’t even remember the words to her mantra. She heard movement outside the door then and she lifted her head, hoping that it was just someone coming to use the bathroom, but she knew the moment heard the knock that it was Damien. Roslyn had never felt so ashamed. Her breath hitched as she tried to stop herself from crying and she reached up to unlock the door, barely able to look at him when it swung open.
Damien was confused to find Roslyn not in her room. It was also unlike her to leave without him. Dinner didn’t even start for another two hours. Frowning, he headed back to the lobby.
“I need to see the sign out sheet,” he firmly stated. The woman behind the counter paused in her reading to look up at him. Clearly Damien wasn’t a doctor or staff and seeing the sign out sheet was none of his business. Though, the nurse did know him well enough from days he would escort Roslyn to her room or the bathroom – he wasn’t necessarily some wacko stranger.
“Damien, you know I cannot allow you to see those records. What are you doing here anyways?”
“I came to check on Roslyn,” he said, a bit anxious then clear by how he impatiently tapped his fingers against the counter. “Can you at least tell me if she left? Did she say where she’s going?” The nurse chewed on her bottom lip, but the way Damien acted was concerning.
“Should I be calling the doctor for you?” He could tell she had two thoughts – either Damien had gotten into a stash smuggled in or there was something wrong with Roslyn. She gave him the benefit of the doubt. “I have no records of Roslyn leaving since she came back from her outing. Maybe she’s just in the bathroom.” Damien mentally kicked himself for not thinking of that in the first place. Though maybe because he had hope that she hadn’t relapsed after the trial. Damien had left the front desk then and headed toward the restroom area. He pushed the door in as he entered.
“Roslyn?” Damien called out gently, as he began to push open the doors until he had reached one that was locked. He knocked gently then, not wanting to spook her. He also tried to keep his tone leveled, trying not to be angry if he was too late. “Please open the door. You’re better than this, stronger than this.”
She couldn’t remember crying this much since her first couple of days here. In those first three days she had unpacked everything there was to know about her relationship with Michael and she had worked through the miscarriage and the way it have made her feel two and then as soon as everything was out on the table with Justin, she started getting better and she didn’t cry again, having got it all out of her system. It wasn’t easy by any means and there were days where she struggled but it had been a while since she felt this way and she wanted nothing more than to shut everything and everyone out.
Roslyn didn’t even lift her head when Justin knocked on the door to check on her, him clearly accepting that she needed space as she cried it out until she felt as though there were not more tears to spare. At that point she couldn’t handle the pain anymore. She needed to purge and there was no one around to talk her down and she certainly didn’t feel strong enough to talk herself down in that moment. She was back to being that weak woman who couldn’t do anything for herself.
Michael had told the courts a lot of lies that would be overturned by evidence, claiming that she drank a lot which is why she had a miscarriage and that she stabbed herself with the knife to get him into trouble and that she was mentally unstable. She was mentally scarred, but she was not unstable, at least not in the way he was suggesting. So she made the decision quickly, changing out of the clothes she wore to court before heading into the bathroom, locking herself in a stall, ready to put her fingers down her throat yet even as she tried, there was something stopping her, causing her to cry even more.
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