You’re beautiful, I love you.
You’re beautiful, I love you.
When you say those words, my whole world stops. For a solid moment, I sit there, staring completely ahead, my brain unable to process the threat. All the people who don’t know… my family, the producers, the public… they’ll hate me. No one can ever recover from a publicity knock this hard, and I know that for every person who supports me through, there will be one who abuses me for my choice. And worse, someone who abuses you. It’s you that I’m worried about, because you’ve never had to face that, you’re too soft and tender to receive hatred that strong.
“He…” I can’t even speak, the sense of nausea that overwhelms me is that strong, the fear gripping my heart and throat, rendering me silent. “He can’t.” I eventually manage, meeting your eyes, widened with fear, the mirrors of my own. “He’s throwing us to the wolves…” Panic spreads through me, a combination of panic and fear and worry for you, for me, for us. “Millie, he can’t, he can’t…”
“Just being weird I don’t know, like calling me a slut.. I don’t care, I’m with you, so I’m happy”
“Ignore him, you’re not, you could never be…” I can’t find the words so I hug you more tightly, trying to show you how I feel. “He’s not important any more, he can’t hurt you. I’ll be your strength.”
“Hmm.. If you say so” I lean my head on your shoulder as you kiss my neck, letting your lips move onto my spine as I cuddle into you, smiling.
“I do say so,” I murmur as your phone vibrates again. “Who is that?” I ask, curious, but I know from your reaction that it’s Stephen and he’s bothering you again. “What’s he doing?” I say fiercely, holding you to me tightly, protectively, as though I can save you from him.
I smile at your gentle touch and place my hands on top of yours once they reach my waist “Well I’ve never thought so, I don’t know… Look at you!”
“Yeah yeah, I’m not the one doing absolutely gorgeous FHM shoots, you beautiful thing.” I kiss your neck gently, then slightly harder when you don’t resist, my arms resting on your shoulders and holding you to me.
“I like it when you do that, no, I’m not anything special”
“He really has totally destroyed you, hasn’t he?” I whisper, very cautiously undoing the buttons on your blouse until it’s totally undone and then slipping it from your shoulders, kissing your stomach. “This isn’t anything special?” I ask in between kisses, running my hands gently down from your shoulders to your waist.
I smile back at you in the same way “I love you too” I say before looking down at my phone and frowning, then I look back up at you and kiss you “and you are more beautiful!”
“I’m not, don’t be silly. You’re stunning.” I smile at you and place my hand on your cheek, running my thumb along your bottom lip slowly and softly. “Look at you, you’re stunning.”
“Sorry, I’m OK” I lie so easily, probably because I’m used to having to lie to Stephen “I don’t know about the show yet, or what I want to do, I like at the moment how we are, if you don’t mind? I don’t know.. I’m confused, I think, after Spencer, and then Stephen, we can’t just go public right away..” I’m worried for your reaction but I squeeze your hand lovingly anyway
“No you’re not.” I know you, and I know when you’re lying, so I lean forward and kiss your forehead softly. “I like how we are too, but it’d be nice to be able to actually go out in public with you, I want to show everyone my beautiful girlfriend.” I smile at you and scrunch my nose, encouraging you to do the same. “That’s OK, I know, I know… I love you so much.” I murmur, squeezing your hand back.
I stay silent, the words you’ve just said whirling round in my brain like a tornado. I know you’re right, but I’m ever so scared. I don’t know what to say, so I blurt out anything without consulting my own mind “I want to leave him, Caggie” I start crying “So badly, I want to be who I am, I want to be me again… I loved him but I just don’t anymore, I love you…” The hairs on my arms stand up as I realise the seriousness of what I just said. I put a hand over my eyes and kiss the top of your head.
“Don’t cry, baby. Please don’t cry.” I wipe your tears gently, my heart aching for you. “This is who we are, this is us, and if he doesn’t like it then that’s his problem. I’ll… I want to come back on the show. If it’d make it easier for you.” I bite my lip and look down, wondering how the producers would take the news. No reality TV show has ever had such an openly affectionate same-sex couple, and I know the backlash would be enormous. “If not, if you want to stay private, that’s OK too, I don’t… I couldn’t stand you getting shit for being with me.”
I look at the floor and think for a minute, worrying about what Stephen will think in the morning “Yes, of course I will” I say quietly in your ear before kissing your neck. I’m worried, I can’t tell him the truth, even with these circumstances, he would blow the whole thing out of proportion. I hate it. I hate it how I can’t even tell him I’m seeing my best friend anymore, but then again, he’s right to be worried, isn’t he?
I don’t even think, I go over to the sofa with you and curl onto your lap, hiding my face in the soft warmth of your hair. When I speak, I address your shoulder, the words so quiet I wonder myself if I even said them out loud. “Millie, leave him.” It’s half questioning, half a demand, and I sigh, realising I’ve phrased it all wrong. “I mean, please, we don’t have to go public if you don’t want but I can’t stand seeing you like this, he’s destroying you. What happened to my party girl? My crazy girl? He’s broken you, worn you down…” I murmur in a rush, babbling nonsensically as I cling to you, feeling your muscles tense under my touch.
I’ve said the wrong thing. I know I have. I curse myself inwardly, so stupid, so selfish, wanting you all to myself and not having to share you with this fool of a man who is too blind to see what he has in front of him. You deserve better.