Grandad's Girl by Emma Louise

Grandad's Girl by Emma Louise

Author:Emma Louise
Language: eng
Format: epub
Publisher: Ebury Publishing

Chapter 10

Awakening

The Sunday before Christmas, I tagged along reluctantly to the social club with Grandad and Paula. I would rather have been anywhere else, but it was tradition. We went every year and questions would have been asked if I’d tried to duck out of it. It was Grandad’s favourite haunt and, that evening, he was full of festive cheer. I prayed it would be a good night and that maybe, as it was Christmas, he’d spare me.

Who was I kidding? A few minutes after arriving, I popped outside to smoke. It eased my creeping anxiety and, when I noticed a man next to me puffing on a cigarette, we got chatting and laughing. Suddenly, Grandad came blundering out like a raging bull and smacked the stranger around the face. ‘How dare you try it on with my granddaughter,’ he fumed as he went to punch him again. ‘She’s only 16.’

I ran away in floods of tears, but he chased me, grabbed my hair and yanked my head backwards. ‘I can’t stand to see another man near you,’ he said, shaking with rage. ‘I hate the thought of it but I know I’m losing you,’ he cried, crumpling over. I didn’t know what to say or do. I hated that he always managed to make me feel pity for him, even after doing something horrendous.

Paula came running out looking horrified She’d been told he’d punched a man. She tried to defend me, and said it was strange he was acting like a possessive boyfriend. But as she attempted to calm him down, his anger boiled over again. Lashing out, he pushed her into the door and punched her. It was awful and I covered my eyes. No one else was around by then to witness it. I felt shocked and sad for her. I hated to see her hurt.

I know she’d begun to wonder why he lied about texting me and hid it from her. Then, his assault on the man who had tried to talk to me left her even more suspicious. And she’d faced his wrath herself. It was clear to me she was under his spell, too.

That night, I slunk home and crawled under my duvet to try and blot out the vicious events of that evening. I woke up early the next day with a heavy heart and couldn’t stop thinking about Paula. I hoped she was ok. I wished she would escape him.

Then I remembered I’d arranged to go to Doncaster dome for swimming and ice skating with Darren. Instantly, my tense shoulders lowered. He had this magical ability to take my mind off everything and make all the bad things go away.

Christmas Day with my family was lovely, hectic, and yet uneventful. I gave Grandad a wide berth. He’d made me feel scared and horrible and I didn’t want him ruining the day.

As the New Year approached, he kept contacting me and apologising. He begged for forgiveness and, eventually, I relented. I just couldn’t see any other way around it.



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