"Your hurting me" I yell through my cupped hands that are covering my face. Keron doesn't care though. Then again he never does. He continues to kick me wildly. The kicks land wherever they want and with every kick I hear him draw for a bigger breath. I keep my eyes closed and my head tucked away. I try to distract my self by thinking of something else so that I won't think about the pain, but all I come up with is how stupid and reckless I was for loving him. I don't even know what hurts more the breaks in my heart for this man or the breaks in my bones from his abuse. "Go clean yourself up, your a fuckin' mess" Keron says stepping away from me. I guess he is done and feels better now.

    I get up slowly making sure I show no signs of me being hurt. He hates when I show any type of weakness. I walk to the bathroom making sure to not look him in the eye. I close the door behind me and lift up my shirt to inspect the damage. I remember that I use to think it was me doing something wrong when he beat me, but then I realized it wasn't me at all. He needed to feel in control and I would let him. I stare in the mirror tracing over the purple bruises on my brownskin. I don't cry anymore when he hits me, no amount of bruises surprise me anymore. Not the bruises, not his attitude, not the broken bones, or the gifts afterward. I always knew he was like this, I just thought that he would change for me.

    I get into the shower and wash away the blood. I use to always think that showers had a way of washing away all the bad you've felt durring the day. I stay in the shower longer than normal in no rush to get back to Keron. Him telling me to fix myself usually means that he has company coming over. Normally he would leave me on the floor and tell me to think about why he let me live. Believe me there were many times when I wish he hadn't. I get out of the shower and get dressed. When I am done I go sit in the room we share. Keron says when I am on punishment I don't get the privilege to be seen unless he says so. Can you imagine I am nineteen years old and being treated like a toddler.

    "I guess your thinking about running away again huh Reema?" Keron asks entering the room. I don't look at him or even raise my head when I answer him. "No I know better." I can feel his eyes on me making me feel uneasy. "Good. Malik is on his way. So be a good girl and show me why i should want you." I nod my head yes and wait for him to leave the room. Malik is one of Kerons boys. Keron has always been envious of Malik because Malik is his higher up. Out of all Kerons drug dealing friends Malik is most mysterious.

    Normally when Keron goes out of town Malik is the one sending him. If there is those rare times when I need to go out of the country to help Keron Malik is the one who funds it and even comes with me. We have never really talked though he mainly keeps to himself but he is never rude. When the door knocks I walk out the room to greet his guests. I smile at Malik and he gives me a confused look. "What happened to your girls face?" Malik asks. "You know how it is bro" Keron replied. Malik doesn't respond he just takes another look at me. "She is who your using?" Malik finally speaks up. "Yea. Want a test run?" Keron asks.

    I look back and forth at both of them confused. Me and Keron haven't discussed me going anywhere. "Nah bro just make sure tomorrow she is ready." Malik then leaves the house. "You couldn't put any makeup on your damn face? Got this fool asking questions embarrassing me." Keron yells. "What were you guys talking about?" I ask. "Girl you know better than to ask me my buisness". "It involves me which makes it my buisness" I yell. Keron chuckles as he walks to our in home bar. "I need you to do some hotel work until my shit starts running the way I need it too".

    My face and heart falls. "No....hell no....is that what you think of me?" I say unsure of what to do. Keron looks at me obviously pissed. "What do you mean no? You think you can tell me that after the four years I've spent with you?" Keron walks over so that we are now face to face. "Fuck the four years" I mumble. He grabs my face and brings it to him so that we are close enough to kiss. "Do you want to repeat that?" He asks still holding onto my face. "Is that what I have become to you? A whore?" I asks with tears starting to fill my eyes as I stare into his. Keron let's me go and leaves the house.

   Remember when I said nothing surprises me anymore? I take it back because nothing in this world could have prepared me for what Keron just said to me. Crazy thing is if I had not asked I wouldn't have known. I wonder what he would have told me. Through the four years of struggle, loss, and abuse he has never pulled this. My eyes start filling up with tears again but before they could drop I feel an extremely sharp pain in my side. The pain is so intense it knocks me on my ass. I fall to the floor gripping the side that is hurting. I grab my phone and call Keron. Ofcourse I got no answer.

    The pain seems to be getting worse and now I'm feeling nauseous. I look through my call list and apart from the police the only other number I can call is Maliks. My head starts to hurt same time as my stomach starts to turn. I try my best to make it to the bathroom but my vomit comes out first. The contents of the vomit is all blood and before I can think my finger presses the call button. I am grateful when I hear Malik answer. The first thing i ask is if Keron is with him but he says no. I start to explain to him what's going on but before I can finish he says he is on his way.

    When Malik arrives five minutes later I am still on the floor laying next to the vomited blood weak. I am in and out of consciousness but I can feel us driving. "Don't tell Keron he will kill me" I say before I pass out again. If Keron knew I called his friend to help me I would literally be in bags. He rather I die before I get help. The ambulance would have been even worse. He stabbed me once and when I called the ambulance I was surprised he let them come. But then he bust my ass the minute i got back home.

    When I wake up again I am in the hospital. There is no sign of Malik or Keron. I look around and see ivy tubes in my arm. There is a red button beside my bed to call for help. I press it twice and wait for the nurse to come. When she comes in I ask her what is going on. She let's me know that there is a doctor who has been waiting to speak to me. I wait for the doctor to come in knowing that nothing good ever comes from it. I know these procedures all too well. He will ask about my injuries and then discreetly offer me help for battered women.

    The doctor walks in and gives me a saddened look. I recognize him he treated me last time I was here with a broken arm. "How are you doing Ms.Wilson?" He asks. I don't reply as I sit up in the hospital bed. "Can you tell me how you sustained your injuries?" He asks. "Can you tell me what is wrong with me?" I ask trying to ignore his questions. "Well you have a broken rib, some mild inflammation in your stomach and...." the doctor pauses. I look at him like hes crazy "and...." I say. "Well Ms.Wilson you are also pregnant".

    I let out a sigh. "You don't look surprised" the doctor says. The truth is that I'm not. I had a feeling that i might have been. Keron has been very careless lately. So careless that I feel like this was his intention. "So what happens now" I ask ready to move on from any other questions that he may ask. He let's me know that he scheduled me in for an ultrasound to check on the baby as well as my due date. I nod in okay and he leaves the room. The only thing on my mind at this point is if the abuse hurt the kid.

    I think back to every fight we have had in the past couple weeks. I spend sometime with myself going back and forth debating if it was bad enough to a point where it hurt the child. How badly are the injuries now going to affect my pregnancy? I guess I should have thought about all of that when I thought there was a possibility. Me and Keron tried for a baby for two years and nothing happened. I was convinced I couldn't even get pregnant. I use to think that him putting his hands on me was a type of birth control. Because as soon as the egg came down he would beat it before it could ever have an existence. Now I have to worry about how I am going to tell him the news. Maybe the baby will make him change his ways.

    A nurse comes into my room to let me know where to go for the ultrasound. I have nervous butterflies when I get there. I was given a big cup of water and was told to drink it. I do and after an hours time I am undressed and laying on the bed. The gel used on my stomach is cold and makes me jump a little. The technician also seems to be pressing very hard on my tummy as she asks when my last period was. I let her know that I don't remember and when shes done she gives me napkins. She also gives me photos and says that I am thirteen weeks in and my due date is September eleventh.

    I stare at the picture all the way back to my room. I guess all that meant the little thing is okay. The doctor once again comes in to give me the same details as the technician. He tells me that by some miracle this baby is still alive. Also that I would need to stay longer for extreme care. We also talk about the right vitamins and finding a family doctor to help me out. By the time he leaves I lay my hand on my stomach and smile. "I'm pregnant" I say out loud giggling. I feel silly wondering if the little one can hear me.

    I check my phone and I have no missed calls or texts from Keron. I wonder if he even knows that I am here. I exhale out loud and lay back in the bed. This man does not love me. But maybe he will love this baby. I rub my stomach and think. Will it be a boy or girl? My eyes are starting to get heavy. I guess that means my baby needs rest. I get myself comfortable and fall asleep thinking of all the names I would want to name my new found love.