Part 1: http://iknewjameswastrouble.tumblr.com/post/78975685706/brad-simpson-imagine-for-spinthedirection
A/N: Sorry if it’s a bit graphic, I wouldn’t recommend reading it if you’re sensitive to violence etc xo
"What do you mean you can’t do this?", Brad asked you, his face full of confusion. "I-I can’t leave Danny. I can’t do it and I won’t do it. I love him and I know I can make it work with him. He didn’t mean to hit me, I made him angry. He’s never done it before and he’ll never do it again, it was a one-off.” “I can’t believe you’re saying this, Betti! He hit you. You’re too good for him; you always have been. I can’t stand around and watch him destroy you. What happened to your spirit? What happened to that girl who wouldn’t take shit from anyone; not even a police officer? What happened to that girl who stood up for herself? Betti three years ago would have been packing Danny’s stuff in a bag hours ago and kicking his sorry ass out of here. But now you’re going back to him? What is wrong with you?”
You began to cry. His words had really hit a nerve. He came close to you and wrapped his strong arms around you. “Betti, I’m sorry, please don’t cry. Look, let’s get your stuff packed and we’ll go back to my place. I’ll order us some take-out and we’ll forget all about this, yeah?” “No Brad. Please, just leave.” “Betti, I’m not going to-” “Leave!” You didn’t mean for it to come out as loud as it did, but it shocked Brad. You broke free of his embrace, and accepting his defeat, he headed for the door. Before leaving he turned and said, “You deserve better than this, Betti”, his eyes full of tears.
When the door had closed, and Brad was gone, you collapsed to the floor and cried. You were sat there for hours, just sobbing, wishing things were different, wishing you didn’t have to try to keep everyone happy. Why couldn’t you be like the old you and stand up for yourself? Why couldn’t you just leave? You heard keys in the door, and your heart instantly started beating faster. Danny was home. Chances were, he’d be very drunk and in a bad mood. 'You deserve whatever you get Betti, you weren't strong enough to leave', you told yourself. You heard footsteps and the light switch was flicked on, and you braced yourself for what was to come.
"Betti…?", a calm voice said. "I wasn’t expecting you to be here. I thought you’d left for good." He didn’t appear drunk at all, and that shocked you. He came over to where you were crouched on the floor and sat down beside you. "Look, I don’t expect you to forgive me, but I am so, so sorry for earlier. I’m disgusted with myself. I didn’t mean to do it, it-it just… happened. I promise you I will never lay a finger on you ever again.” You breathed out a massive breath of relief; it felt like you’d been holding your breath since he walked in. You had made the right choice; things were going to work out. You could be happy. “I forgive you, Danny”, you said, your voice weak from all the shouting earlier. “You do?” he asked, shocked. “Yes, I do” you told him with a smile. He gently pulled your face close to his, and you kissed sweetly, glad things were going to be okay.
A couple of weeks had passed and Brad had been calling you and texting you non-stop. You ignored it all and decided to focus all your energy on making things work with Danny. Having Brad in the equation would only complicate things, and he’d only try and convince you to leave Danny. You and Danny went to the supermarket for your weekly shop and decided to split up to get it done faster, Danny had plans to go out with friends that night, and he didn’t want to be late. You were in the bread aisle while Danny was getting the cleaning products, and you saw none other than Brad. You quickly turned to face the shelves full of bread, hoping he hadn’t seen you but it was too late. He tapped you on the shoulder and you reluctantly turned around to face him.
You had a massive shock. He didn’t look himself; his eyes were puffy and red and his usually well-kempt curly hair was a mess. He looked like he hadn’t slept in days. “H-how are you?” he asked, his voice small and unconfident. “I’m good, thanks”, you told him awkwardly, not wanting to make eye-contact. “Where’s Danny?” he asked you. “He’s in here somewhere, we split up to save time, you see…” you explained, realising you didn’t need to share details because Brad clearly wouldn’t want to hear. “Oh”, he simply said. “Why haven’t you been answering my calls?” he asked, his eyes glistening. “I-uh.. I…”, shit. What could you possibly say? “Look Brad, I’m trying really hard to make things work with Danny, and being in contact with you would just make that a lot harder than it needs to be, okay”, you explained. His face made you feel like you’d just kicked a puppy, and Brad was that puppy. “Well in that case, I wish you the best of luck”, he said, his watery eyes piercing straight through yours, his voice almost a whisper. And with that, he left. You straight away cleared it from your mind and got on with your shopping. You couldn’t dwell on it, you couldn’t.
Danny had just left to go out drinking with his friends, and you settled in for your cosy night alone. You had take-out food and watched films, but something was missing. Brad. You usually only had nights like this with him. ‘Oh well’, you thought. After several hours you eventually fell asleep on the sofa but were awoken to the sound of Danny stumbling in. It was only around 12:30 am, he wasn’t even out for that long, how could he be in such a state already? He couldn’t even stand straight and was absolutely trashed. Great, you were going to have to go through the arduous routine of getting him undressed and into bed. That all-too-familiar routine was not one of the highlights of your relationship with him, but then again, there weren’t that many highlights anyways.
You put his arm around your shoulders and dragged him towards the bedroom. He took note of the empty take-out containers and pushed you away from him, you fell to the ground. “Brad was here, wasn’t he!” he shouted at you, so loud it made you jump back from your position on the floor. “No! I promise you I was alone all night!” you pleaded with him, tears starting to fall. “Don’t give me that crap you little slut! You’re always with him, don’t think you can fool me into thinking it’s all innocent, I know what’s going on behind my back!” he pulled you up off the floor by your hair and backed you against the wall. “Brad isn’t here now to save you, is he?” you couldn’t say anything, you just stood there shaking and sobbing. “IS HE?!” he screamed in your face. He released his grip on your hair and exchanged it with a massive punch to the jaw, then another one to your cheek. You slid to the floor and he proceeded to kick you. When it was over you just lay there, lifeless.
Danny had gone to bed and after about half an hour of lying on the floor, you built up the strength to crawl over to the sofa and grab your phone. You should have called the police, but instead you called Brad. The phone was ringing and ringing, and you were desperate for him to pick up. You wouldn’t blame him if he didn’t though, it’d be a taste of your own medicine. To your relief though, he picked it up on the last ring and answered with a sleepy “Hello?”. “Brad, I’m at home, please help, come quick”, you said quietly, your mouth full of blood spluttering out as you spoke. He hung up and you were praying that he was on his way. But what if he wasn’t? What if he went straight back to sleep? What if he didn’t care anymore. ‘It’s nothing worse than what you deserve. You treated him horribly so why should he help you now?’, you thought to yourself. You just sat there on the floor, scared that Danny had heard you on the phone. If he had then you were in big trouble.
Less than ten minutes later you heard banging on the front door. You breathed air of relief and dragged yourself up to open it. There he was, your hero, standing right in front of you. When he saw you he did a double-take. His eyes flashed with anger and his fists clenched. “What the fuck has he done?” he asked, his voice full of rage. He walked past you and into your apartment, you tried to stop him, but you were in no state.
"Danny?! Where the fuck are you?!" he shouted out, pacing the apartment looking for him. "Brad, stop it! Let’s just leave, okay?" you pleaded. You were terrified. Not for yourself, but for Brad. The way you saw it was: you’d signed up for this. You’d stayed with him. This was your problem. Brad didn’t deserve to get hurt over it, and he definitely would get hurt if he came into contact with Danny. Danny was tall and strong, and just generally quite massive. He knew how to throw a punch, as you’d experienced first hand. Brad on the other hand, wasn’t much taller than you and was, well… tiny. He couldn’t fight his way out of a paper bag. This wasn’t going to end well, and it was going to be all your fault. Poor Brad was always fixing things for you, and this time it was going to cost him massively.
Brad stormed into the bedroom, and your heart was beating out of your chest. If only you just had the strength to pull Brad out of the apartment and just leave. But you didn’t, all you could do was grip the edge of the table to stop you from collapsing. Your sides were aching and you were pretty sure you’d broken at least one of your ribs. “You piece of shit, what the fuck have you done to Betti?!” you heard him shout. “Do you think it’s okay to beat women? Did you find it fun, did you?” “Get the fuck out of my apartment before a give you a face to match hers!” you heard Danny shout back. “Oh yeah? Try me you fucktard!” Brad shouted, voice full of venom. You heard crashes and something smash, and you gathered up all of the small amount of strength you had and dragged yourself to the bedroom at a pace much slower than you were comfortable with.
"Please, stop it!" you screamed, but then you realised that Danny was bent backwards over the chest of drawers, Brad leaning over him with his hand clasped around Danny’s neck and his fist inches from Danny’s face. Brad was okay. Not a scratch on him. Danny on the other hand, was not. His mouth and nose were full of blood. “Not so good at fighting when it’s against a guy, are you?” Brad asked Danny. “You can only throw punches when it’s to girls who can’t defend themselves”, he spat, jaw tightly clenched, along with his fist. He threw one last massive punch before letting go of Danny, letting him fall to the floor. “Let’s get out of here”, he said to you softly.
Conveniently, one of your bags was already packed from a few weeks ago, it was just one that you hadn’t gotten around to unpacking, and Brad carried it to his car for you. He insisted on taking you to the hospital, but you pleaded with him not to. You got back to his place and he boiled the kettle. Your shirt was covered in blood so you took it off to change it. Just as you were unzipping your bag to pull out a fresh one, Brad walked in from the kitchen, dropping both the mugs of tea he held in his hand. His eyes were completely focused on the bruises that covered your body. “Oh my fucking god”, he whispered. “Betti, we’re going to the hospital right now!” he told you, and you decided that maybe it was for the best. You hadn’t realised how badly bruised you were, and this was a wake-up call to how seriously you’d been beaten.
Brad walked over to you, forgetting about the two mugs of tea he’d just broke, and gently pulled his face to yours and kissed you. You would have kissed back if it wasn’t for the pain that made you pull away. He pulled your body into his for a loose embrace, careful not to hurt you. He lightly traced his hands over the bruises, the tears in his eyes spilling over.
You sat in the hospital A+E waiting room. You were so embarrassed about having to tell the nurses and doctors what had happened, but having Brad by your side made it so much easier. You were waiting for an x-ray when you decided to get some things off of your chest. “I’m so sorry for not listening to you when you told me to leave him. I’m sorry for ignoring all your calls and texts, and treating you so badly. I’m sorry for pretending I didn’t love you, when I’m so in love with you that it hurts. I was just so scared about the future, and scared of what my family would think. I’m sorry for you always having to pick up the pieces of my messed up life, and always having to fix things for me”, you told him, your eyes watering.
"Betti, don’t be silly. Never ever feel sorry for what happened, or feel like it was your fault, because it wasn’t. You didn’t deserve any of what happened to you. I understand, you were just trying to make things work to keep your family happy, and I honestly don’t blame you. If I was in your position I probably would’ve done the same. And you’d been with him for so long, it’s only natural that you’d want to try”, he told you, his voice confident and eyes glistening. “Please don’t ever be sorry for me being there for you. I’m here because I want to be, because I love you. I love you so much. So much that when I haven’t seen you in a few days I can’t sleep at night. So much that being without you feels like I’m missing a limb. I want us to be together forever”, he told you, his eyes locked onto yours. “I want that too, Brad”, you said, smiling a real smile for the first time in a long time.
You’d broken two ribs and fractured your jaw, but you had Brad to nurse you through it, while Danny got a hefty prison sentence. For the first time in years, you were truly happy. You’d moved in with Brad, and by the end of the year you were engaged to be married.