She loved him.
She knew that it would be work.
So she glorified.
He made comments about her cooking
why she didn't have better hair
where that great ass he fell in love with had gone.
She questioned the late nights
the prescription medications
the overnight trips.
She was met with swift resistance
and being told she was ridiculous.
He joked about whom she texted and called
Then he looked through her phone
to read her emails
and her text messages.
And then he forbid communication
with certain people.
And then he checked her phone every night
to ensure compliance.
She stopped seeing her friends.
She stopped sharing stories with
her best friend
She told them to call her
He acted like her orgasm wasn't important,
and then he said it wasn't
and then he stopped pretending he needed consent.
She told herself that it wasn't abuse until he hurt her
until he hit her
until he left a mark
until he put her in the hospital
until he put her in a coma
until he put her in a grave.
He apologized the first time
"baby, I'm so sorry"
the second time
"it won't happen again"
the thirteenth time
"I was just so _____"
Her rock bottom was
the morning her makeup couldn't conceal
the day the bank said their account was empty
the afternoon he threatened to kill himself
the night he almost killed her
when she learned she was pregnant
when she missed her sister's wedding
when she had her jaw wired back into place
She got a lawyer
and she got her life back.
Because, yes, love is work
but it shouldn't damage.