If I had predicted someone among my friends who would be in this situation, Kristy would be at the complete bottom of the list. I would never have imagined her being in an abusive relationship. She was strong, feisty, assertive, and what some of you may call The Alpha Female. In a conversation we had earlier when we were kids, Kristy carelessly said that it could never be her. That she would just simply walk away the first time a man tried to hit her or raise his voice at her.
Kristy was raised in a lovely home. Her parents openly showed affection for one another. Her parents loved her friends, as well. They received us and treated us as though we were their kids.
After we finished high school, we drifted apart for a while before we finally found one another again. At the end of university, I attended her graduation party where she whispered into my ear that she was dating Jade, the guy that was sitting at the other end of the room. He was tall and well built. When I spoke to him he was extremely nice to me.
Two months later, Kristy moved into this guy’s house. We all thought they were moving too fast, but then they seemed ready. We came to find out, later, that Kristy’s parents had no idea that she was living with him. They chose to live together ‘to save on living expenses.’ After this, Kristy became more and more distant.
Hearing from Kristy would be a miracle. She would never respond to phone calls or text messages. On very rare occasions she would text and say that she missed her girls, but that was it. After trying and trying, we all gave up.
One random day, I met Kristy at the supermarket. She was with Jade. She wore a black hooded jacket, and I could tell that she had tried as hard as she could to be unrecognizable.
“Kristy! Oh my. It’s been so long!” I said, enthusiastically.
“Yeah, it has. Sorry, I’m in a hurry. We have to go, bye,” she answered, brushing me off.
I could tell that something was wrong. She was not her usual self.
“No wait, Kristy. Are you okay?” I asked her. She walked away waving goodbye.
Kristy, the bubbly and happy personality, was now watered down. Her boyfriend Jade didn’t even look in my direction when I stopped her. He kept walking. I knew something had to be done.
That evening, after consulting a few friends, we called Kristy’s parents.
“We don’t know what happened to her. She doesn’t visit us or call us. We know that she’s living with that boy…Jude,” her mother said.
“It’s Jade. I think we should try and reach out to her. She might be in trouble,” I said.
One of our long-term friends, William, had been a friend of Jade’s. He willingly told us where they lived but then again, he warned us to leave him out of it.
We visited Kristy on a Saturday afternoon. Jade was not home at the time. When she saw us, she started wailing. She didn’t speak, all she did was cry, and we held her tightly.
“Your parents want to see you. We can drop you there,” I said.
I noticed, however, that Kristy had marks across her shoulder. She had, most definitely, been beaten. I didn’t want to ask. It wasn’t the right time.
When we got to Kristy’s parent’s house, she embraced them in tears. That evening, none of us wanted to go home. We sat with her all night, and that was when she opened up.
“It started slowly. One day he yelled at me, and the next he slapped me. He drinks a lot of alcohol, and that’s when he becomes violent,” she said, breaking down.
“Yesterday he pulled me by my hair and hit my head against the wall. He said that he had done so much for me, and I had never reciprocated.”
Eventually, we all fell asleep. Ashley and Njeri, our friends who were there with us, left. Then, it was just Kristy and me.
“You have to leave him. You can’t go back to his house. He will kill you,” I told her, and she nodded in agreement.
“Thank you for rescuing me,” she said.
The next day, I stayed with her all day. That evening, I had to go back home to prepare for work. I asked Kristy to text me and let me know how it goes. She was going to get her clothes and things from Jade’s house, and leave.
It was now Monday evening, and I hadn’t heard from Kristy. I called her, and as usual, she didn’t pick. I left messages that weren’t responded to.
That evening Njeri accompanied me to the house. Kristy saw us from the window upstairs and rushed down to us.
“We’re okay now. He won’t do it again. You guys please get out of here, I don’t want him to get angry. Please, go!” She said.
We tried to resist but she forced us out. How were we going to help our dear friend? How can we show her that she needs to walk away from that monster of a man? There are no easy answers to this question.
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