Becky Bloom is furious. She saw her boyfriend, Jareth Slader, kissing one of her best friend’s boyfriends! It makes her so, incredibly angry; she and Jareth may be in an open relationship, but Becky had confided her fears about her friend’s boyfriend cheating just earlier that month. And now, Jareth has made those fears come true?! It’s unbelievable! So unbelievable, that Becky has no idea what to do or where to go…. 1,582 words.
afab & queer-specific relationship trauma
Becky couldn’t believe what Jareth had done.
Never in a million years would she have believed it, if she hadn’t seen it with her own eyes.
How could Jareth have even considered doing that to Jezzibeth?!
She thought that he was better than that.
She’d really, really thought he was….
A notification dinged on Becky’s phone, and she saw it from Adam, still trying to suss out what her last text had meant.
Becky grimaced and rubbed her face where Guillmero’s cat, Chiken, had scratched her.
Trashing Guillmero’s house for being a lying, cheating, skeevy piece of shit hadn’t made her feel any better. It hadn’t made what Guillmero had done to Jezzibeth go away.
And it hadn’t made what Jareth had done to Jezzibeth go away.
Becky’s hands trembled as she looked at the confused texts Jezzibeth had sent her.
Apparently the voice mail she’d left hadn’t been… completely coherent. Because she’d been so furious.
Biting her lip, Becky hovered her thumb over her keyboard for a long, long moment….
Then, she took a deep breath.
Jezzibeth: Becky? What’s going on?
Becky: guilmero is cheeting on u
She sent it quickly, before she had time to stop herself, and felt her heart pounding in her chest.
She felt like she was going to be sick.
She couldn’t do this anymore.
Everything was just… too much.
It was all just too much.
She still couldn’t believe Jareth would do that to Jezzibeth.
He knew about her and Guillmero!
And he knew that Becky was scared Guillmero was going to hurt Jezzibeth— And then he had been the one to make that fear a reality!
Becky squeezed her eyes shut and took in a shaky breath, trying to hold back the tears.
Why would he do this?
It made her entire body heavy with grief.
How could he hurt Jezzibeth? Becky thought he cared about her….
Then, with a jolt, Becky realised that she’d left her things with Benny.
She’d left her things with Benny!
She couldn’t go back there.
If she went, and Jareth was there, she’d—
Becky gripped her phone so tight her fingers hurt.
If she saw Jareth’s stupid, awful, beautiful face, she wouldn’t be able to control her temper!
She’d do something stupid —something she’d never forgive herself for— and then everything would get worse and be awful forever.
A lump was forming in her throat as she scrolled her contacts. She found her father’s number and, looking away from the notification she received from Jezzibeth, sent him several quick messages.
Becky: im not coming home
Becky: benny has the stuff u asked me 2 hold on 2
Becky: u can get it frum him
Ken: Honey? You promised you would be home for tonight.
Becky: ye well things changed
Ken: I understand if you want to stay at Jareth’s tonight but I thought we had plans. You could bring him here instead, perhaps?
Becky felt her entire body stiffen as she read her father’s message.
Every part of her body trembled with white hot rage as she thought of spending the night with him after what he did.
If she had hackles, they would have been standing on end.
Becky found herself typing, then. Her fingers moving so fast and furiously her brain could barely catch up with them.
Becky: i a mm NOT stayijgbf at jareths aand heee he is NOT coing ONCER
Becky: EVERR AGAN
Becky: i am DINE
Becky: ii am. DONE with. HIM!!!
Ken: Becky what happened??
Becky didn’t reply. Instead she let out a frustrated scream, and gripped her phone tighter, and tighter, and—
A large crack appeared on the screen, causing Becky to reel back in surprise.
And with the shock, some of her senses managed to return to her.
She was angry.
She was so, so angry.
Unreasonably and dangerously angry.
She needed to calm down or she was going to lose her mind and hurt someone.
Deep breath, she told herself. Deep breath. You’ll be okay. You’ll be okay….
Becky looked to the wall of worried messages her father was sending her, though she barely took in his pleading with her to talk to him.
She just couldn’t face him.
She’d only end up taking all of her anger out on him— And that wasn’t fair.
So she took a deep breath, and tried to stay calm.
Ken: Becky please reply to me are you ok??
Becky: im sorry
Becky: i luve you
Becky: hav fun 2nite with isa
Ken: Becky please I’m really worried.
Becky: ill b fine
Becky: dont b worry
Ken: Honey please
Becky: i go 2 a frend house or sum thing
Ken: Becky please come home
Ken: Wherever you are I’ll pick you up it’s going to be ok I promise
Becky closed her eyes again, shaking her head to herself and letting out a long, miserable breath.
She didn’t want to go home.
Maybe she could go to Adam? Even if he was mad at her for trashing Guillmero’s house, he’d understand why she was upset. But… if she told him about Jareth… he might get angry. He might get protective of her, like he used to with Mattel. And then he might try to pick a fight with Jareth. Just like she’d tried to pick a fight with Guillmero for hurting Jezzibeth.
And she was just too tired to deal with that….
She could go to Malinka.
Malinka would let Becky grieve.
Malinka understood how big and terrifying emotions could be—
Something soft and wet ran over Becky’s cheek and she jumped, spinning around with a shout that made several of the deer she hadn’t noticed gathering around her stumble back into the trees.
‘Oh— Oh, no— I’m sorry!’ Becky gasped. ‘Oh— Oh. It’s… it’s you again. You’re back?’
Becky recognised these deer. She’d met them several times, before they’d moved away to avoid the worst of last winter.
These were the erkling’s deer.
‘Spring returns, and so do we,’ said one of the deer. Becky recognised her; Tender… hoof. Tenderhoof! ‘You have scratches on your face. Have you been in a fight?’
‘Kind of,’ Becky sighed, fondling her cracked phone. ‘I got jumped by a cat.’
‘A cat?’ Tenderhoof asked. ‘Such a small creature did that much damage to you?’
‘Well. I didn’t fight back,’ Becky admitted. ‘I didn’t want to hurt him.’
‘Even when he was hurting you?’
‘I started it,’ Becky shrugged. ‘I was in his territory, breaking his owner’s stuff.’
‘Ah, a pet…. Well. It’s no wonder he wasn’t showing the proper respects to a druid,’ Tenderhoof flicked an ear, before leaning in to give Becky’s scratches another gentle lick. ‘Even if you’re a strange one….’
Becky felt a light chuckle escape herself, and she ran a gentle hand down Tenderhoof’s neck.
‘You look like you have a lot on your mind,’ said Tenderhoof.
‘Yeah, things aren’t going well,’ Becky sighed. ‘My friend’s boyfriend cheated on her…. With… my… boyfriend.’
‘Ugh. Bucks,’ one of the other deer huffed sarcastically from the tree-line. ‘That’s how you know it’s spring, isn’t it?’
‘Yes,’ agreed another. ‘They lose all control!’
Tenderhoof ignored her herd-mates and shook her head. ‘It sounds like you need some space.’
‘I do,’ Becky confirmed. ‘I really, really do.’
‘You could come with us,’ another of the deer piped up.
‘Yes, that’s a good idea,’ Tenderhoof agreed. ‘We’ll be in the area for quite a while, you’re welcome to stay with our herd while we do. We can all vent our frustrations with this year’s sorry display of bucks.’
‘Um… maybe,’ Becky gave a shrug, and fiddled with her phone.
It was… an idea.
She looked at her phone’s cracked screen, messages from all different people blowing up her notifications.
She didn’t know who to tell she’d be gone. Or how to explain the situation. But she couldn’t go home. She needed a break.
So she opened one of her group chats and sent the only thing she could manage to type:
And then, as she sent the message, a notification from Jareth appeared at the top of her screen and she felt her anger begin to burn again.
She ignored Malinka and Adam’s concerned replies to her goodbye as she tapped the notification and was taken to Jareth’s message.
Jareth: Hey are you ok? Benny said you left in a rush? All your stuff is here
Becky: ho dare you
Becky: how DAARE oyu
Becky: i SAW you
Jareth: Babygirl what
Becky: HOW ddare tou hurt jexxibethh like that
Becky: DONT UOU DARE CALL ME BABY GIRL!!!
Becky felt her anger overflowing as she send her last message, and when Jareth’s name appeared on her screen, accompanied by his ringtone, Becky let out a furious shout and threw her phone into the nearest tree.
The case shattered into pieces and the phone fell silent, and Becky was left standing, panting, in a circle of deer.
‘Your buck?’ one of then guessed.
Becky scowled, and gave a nod.
A head pressed affectionately against her side as she did, and Becky found herself being led away from the broken remains of her phone.
‘Come on, come along…. It’s alright. You’re alright….Take a deep breath, and come and graze with us. You’ll feel better soon. I promise….’
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