Humans is powered by Vocal creators. You support Reji Lashinsky by reading, sharing and tipping stories... more

Humans is powered by Vocal.
Vocal is a platform that provides storytelling tools and engaged communities for writers, musicians, filmmakers, podcasters, and other creators to get discovered and fund their creativity.

How does Vocal work?
Creators share their stories on Vocal’s communities. In return, creators earn money when they are tipped and when their stories are read.

How do I join Vocal?
Vocal welcomes creators of all shapes and sizes. Join for free and start creating.

To learn more about Vocal, visit our resources.

Show less

Gentle

Domestic abuse is hard to get away from. Even if your abuser is in jail, gone completely from your life, the bruises he left on your mind still stay.

He laid me down below him and placed his lips on my neck. He breathed against my ear and whispered "I have you". He gently placed a kiss against my cheek. I closed my eyes tightly. 

"No. Don't leave me now. Look at me. Who has you?" He kissed me. "Who has you?"

"Y-you?"

"Who?"

"You!" I nearly shout at him. He placed his hand on the side of my face, a gesture that used to make me flinch, I now welcome the gentle touch. The gentle kisses. The gentle love making. The gentle man before me. I open my eyes and look into his. He smiles down at me.

"I love you," he says. He pushes the hair out of my face. "You know I love you. I love you and you love me. Right?"

I nodded my head. He kissed me again and traced the kisses down to my ear and whispered. 

"I told you. I will not do anything unless you say-"
"Yes." I said cutting him off. He leaned off of me and I noticed that I have started to tremble.

"You don't mean it. If you did you wouldn't be afraid." He got off of me and covered my body with a blanket. I started to tremble even more now. My mind raced. Was he mad that I couldn't perform for him? Was he gonna throw me out? 

He gently placed his hands on both sides of my face and made me look up at him.

"You are wonderful," he said.

"I didn't do anything," I said. He sat beside me and pulled me into his lap.

"This isn't easy for you, my precious girl. You're afraid I'll treat you how...he did." I nodded. My inner thoughts thanked him for not using "his" name. Jacob kissed my head. "I will never hurt you like that. I promise. I've wanted you for a long time and I will never mistreat you."

"Jacob," I whispered he looked at me. His brown eyes remind me of hot chocolate on a cold winters day. So warm and inviting. A piece of good in a cold heartless world. He wiped a tear off of my cheek that I didn't even realize was there. "I'm sorry"

"For what, my precious girl?" He asked.

"You asked me out before he did and I turned you down and I shouldn't have. B-because now...I-I'm broken and used and..and.." I was crying so hard that I couldn't even speak. 

"What happened to you...what he did to you means nothing to me. In my eyes you're perfect. You deserve to be happy, my love. I am sad seeing you so broken but...I love fixing things. Besides, the most beautiful stain glass windows are made out of broken pieces."

He held me while I cried and trembled. He hummed "You are my sunshine" to me. I felt my body begin to relax. 

Jacob. My best friend since childhood. The person I called when..."he" hit me so hard that I couldn't get up. The one who took me to the hospital and slept on the floor so I wouldn't be alone. The one who drove me to the courthouse and the one who celebrated with me when "he" was finally gone. The one who is being so patient with me as I fight this internal conflict. The Gentle through my storm.