Silence is A Virtue

Rhiannon Spencer is just your average 16 year-old teenager: hyper, hates school, argues with her parents every so often, fancies guys WAY out of her league and has serious friendship problems. Of course, being a teen, Rhiannon's diary of every day events seems outrageous, but as the pages turn, more is revealed. Deep inside lies a troubled past, and a girl who's scared of the future.


3. Snogging in the Street

Dear Diary,

I am thoroughly disgusted. I have just seen my crush and his pig-faced girlfriend snogging in the street. It was vile. I ran off before I vommed. Yuck! Although, I am guilty of committing the same crime. Back when I was with Ethan. Which reminds me, I need to continue with my explanation of my dream trouble. I managed to get some sleep last night. I dreamt about toffee apples and having plant cells implanted into my brain and evil Care Bears running after me with pitchforks. It was really weird...

Where was I? Oh yes, I remember, Ethan had just offered to walk me home. As I said before, I accepted his offer and once he'd clocked off from work he walked me home. I only lived up the road- about a mile away. We chatted on the way. It was surprising how much we had in common. We liked the same music, liked the same subjects at school, liked the same celebrities. We both supported the same football team and liked the same books and wanted similar things. Looking back on that day now, I wish I'd seen what he was doing. He didn't like half of the stuff I liked. He was faking, and that led to the very painful and traumatic ending to our relationship.

As you've most probably picked up, Ethan did ask me out and I said yes and we ended up 'madly in love'. Well, I was madly in love with him. I don't know whether he felt the same or if he really was just using me. It was about a month after he's walked me home, I'd been to the café with Krissy and Ethan was working. Krissy left and Ethan walked me home. It was almost routine. He'd always walk me home if I was on my own. Anyway, that day seemed almost the same as any other. We chit chatted on the way, but as we were turning onto my road, he reached into his pocket and gave me a chocolate coated apple with a note attached to the stick,

"Think about it," he instructed me. I nodded and he left, not even walking me to the door like he usually did.

Once I was inside my room, door closed and music on, I read the note and nearly keeled over backwards. I couldn't believe my eyes: I had a 'love note'. Obviously, being young, naive and having the hots for Ethan, I said yes straight away- no questions asked. That was the start of our relationship.

Everything was amazing and new when I was with Ethan. He made me feel amazing in every way possible. We used to walk through town, hand-in-hand, laughing and smiling and chatting. I was in Heaven. I'd never had so much attention from a boy in my entire life and I was lapping it up. Ethan was happy enough to shower me with compliments and I was more than happy to accept them.

About two weeks into our relationship I told Krissy. She wasn't happy. All she kept saying to me was: 'he's bad news, Rhi. Stay away from him' and 'I don't want you to get hurt and I know he will hurt you'. I was disgusted by her lack of faith in me and we stopped talking for a while. Just a few days, but it was long enough for me to realize that we can't function properly without each other.

A month in and I was being bombarded with questions by Krissy about me and Ethan. One question she asked was whether or not we'd kissed. The answer was a surprising 'no'. We hadn't gone much further and hugging each other good bye. Every time Ethan tried to kiss me I managed to get myself out of it. I wasn't ready for this. He was my first boyfriend and I hadn't had any romantic experiences before. Including being kissed. I know, it sounds weird in today's society, a girl reaching thirteen years of age and still not having been kissed. Not everyone's a slut, y'know. My mum didn't have her first kiss until she was fifteen and Krissy's mum's first was at seventeen. Krissy went out with Josh, her boyfriend, for six months before they both felt ready. The 'no' was a shock to Krissy because after a few weeks of careful observation, she'd made the conclusion that Ethan was genuinely interested in me, and it was obvious that I felt the same about him.

"So you're not ready?" Krissy'd asked one afternoon during her regular detective sessions on me. I nodded.

"He's ready. I know he is. He's tried to kiss me a few times. But I always get nervous and scared and get out of it."

"Oh Rhi, you're going to give in to him at some point. I know you, you're head-over-heels for this guy, you're ready."

"I don't feel ready!"

"I know, I know. I didn't feel one hundred percent ready for my first kiss, but I was so happy with Josh- and I still am- I wanted him to be my first. Ethan's ready, you're ready, let him kiss you. You'll enjoy it. Trust me."

And I did. The next day, I let Ethan kiss me, and it was worth more to me than my toffee apple supplies during the Bonfire season. That one kiss escalated, and meant me and Ethan were still dating a year later.

I was fourteen by then, Ethan approaching his seventeenth birthday. Instead of walking through town every Saturday, we went to new places. One Saturday we caught the train to Leeds and went shopping, another we went to see a production at the local theatre. We were getting more and more used to each other.

In the weeks leading up to his birthday, I helped him plan his party, which was when I finally met his parents. That meeting didn't go down well. His father, a stocky, cruel man didn't like my manner -which is perfectly okay usually. His mother, a sullen faced old hag, wasn't keen either. She found me too refreshing and thought some of my upbringing was wrong. Ethan's brothers weren't so bad. They liked having a change of face. So did his sister, Maybelle, she was even nicer. We'd known each other for a while before hand as she was in most of my classes at school and we partnered up when Krissy wasn't there. She seemed more at ease at school. When she was at home, it seemed as though she had to follow strict instructions 24/7. She sat up straight, used her manners and didn't ever rest her elbows against the table. She wasn't the same girl I knew from school. The Maybelle from school was bubbly, happy-go-lucky and mischievious . We were forever thinking up evil plans to use against the sluts and the teachers.

After meeting his parents, I decided that it was high time that he met mine. He didn't like the idea very much, but gave in when I pretended to cry- which I am very good at, may I add. The meeting with my parents was worse than my meeting with his. My dad refused to talk to him because he hates Ethan's parents and has always hated them since school. My mum wasn't so great either, and after Ethan had gone, told me that she didn't like him and would've preferred it if we broke up. Of course, I flew off the rails and refused to talk to my parents for over a week. But by then, it was too late. Ethan had me exactly where he wanted me: upset and vulnerable. His party was that Saturday.

I got all dolled up and went to the arranged venue, but no one was there, other than Ethan. He had a look that chilled me to the bone on his face and he stood with every muscle in his body tensed.

"Ethan?" I asked. He smiled menacingly at me.

"Rhiannon, just who I wanted to see."

I try not to think about what happened after that. I don't remember much of it anyway, but what I do remember is quite disturbing. I remember being pushed to the ground, struggling, blood- lots of blood- and being left for dead. Ethan had hit me over the head with a brick, beaten me repeatedly and raped me. I still hate myself for thinking that he loved me, and I hate myself for lovting such an animal. I would've died if Krissy, Josh and Maybelle hadn't turned up. Ethan hadn't old them that there wasn't going to be a party.

I was whisked off to hospital in an ambulance and had several operations to stop internal bleeding and fix most of the damage that Ethan had done to me. My parents were shocked to find Krissy on their doorstep in tears and covered in blood. They'd all been right from the very beginning- Ethan was bad news and he'd hurt me. Didn't I know it.

During my recovery, I had to speak to the police- telling them everything that I could remember-, Maybelle ran away from home, Ethan's brothers beat him up and Ethan was taken into custody. Then the court trials came. Ethan pleaded guilty on all accounts of accusation, and he'd confessed to the police. He was trialled as an adult and received a life sentence. I hope he rots in the deepest depths of Hell.

I am still recovering now. Some of my injuries meant I will have problems in later life with walking. I had spinal damage from being beaten and I'm only just walking after years of rehabilitation and physiotherapy. I had nearly a year out of school, constant check-ups and further surgery. I'm scarred for life, both mentally and physically.

My nightmare is always the same thing: Ethan whispering 'silence is a virtue' into my ear while I bleed to death. I couldn't have kept quiet about it. It was impossible with three friends, two parents and several doctors all asking the same questions.

Not many people at school know about what happened, and that's why I'm scared to let anyone in and make new friends. Getting a boyfriend also falls into this category. His name's Edmund, by the way. The guy I've got a crush on. Edmund Keer. Edmund Keer who is going out with Abigail Blythe.

Edmund Keer who is snogging Abigail Blythe in the exact same spot in the street as I kissed Ethan. Edmund Keer who should be going out with me.


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