Apparently every girl loves a bad boy, although I can’t possibly believe that is true. I can’t name another girl who would put up with what I did.
And yes, perhaps there is something alluring about a man with grazed, tattooed knuckles or something seductive about that nasty scar.
But there’s nothing sexy about the sound of a skull shattering on concrete or multiple sirens waking you up at dawn on the first day of your new job.
There’s something tragic about scrubbing blood out of his shirt, but take it from me, tears don’t work as well as cold water and a toothbrush.
And it’s horrible opening the door at 4 in the morning to his drunk and battered face. You’ll go through more bags of frozen peas than you’d imagine.
Sometimes you’ll tend to his wounds, bandage him up and kiss him better, but other times you’ll push him away, spit at him and call him a fucking disgrace.
There will be a time when you’ll look at his swollen hand, inverted knuckles and dislocated fingers and say,
“I hope that fucking hurts.”
Oh, and you’ll have to throw your own clothes away a few times because they’re covered in someone else’s blood. Yeah, even that cashmere jumper that was the most luxurious thing you had ever owned, that’ll get splattered with claret on a night out in Essex. I’ll leave it to your imagination to guess how.
Sometimes you’ll try to help the victim. Sometimes he is the victim. There is always a victim, but you will never really acknowledge the fact that you’re a victim too.
Sometimes you’ll quickly and quietly burn the evidence without so much as a word, but other times you’ll scream that you want nothing to do with any of it.
You’ll have to change your phone number regularly and you may have to go to extraordinary lengths to acquire the one CCTV recording of the night in question.
You’ll become fantastic at making up stories that are both realistic and foolproof. Whenever anything goes tits up with anyone, they will immediately contact you to ask you to construct a cover story.
You will tell these stories to the police, your parents, his parents, the local primary school teacher and the man in the corner shop. You will tell these stories to yourself because they’re much nicer than the truth.
It will break your heart when you listen to his mum crying about how he used to be such a good little boy.
Your heart will break a little more when you realise that his mother genuinely believes he is an angel who has done nothing wrong.
It will take all of your power not to reveal to her what a little shit her son is and list all the criminal things he does in her own home that she doesn’t know about.
You will consider breaking up with him that first Christmas together, when you go to your mother’s house for family dinner and he sports a fresh black eye and split lip.
Your daddy will look at him disapprovingly, but he’ll be brilliant with the kids, compliment your mother’s terrible cooking and give everyone extravagant gifts.
And you won’t break up with him anyway, because you adore him. And he promised you that he will never get in trouble again.