TW: Milly’s story contains Coercive Behaviour.
Winter in the city brought beautiful blue skies and a dusting of snow. The air was crisp, a chilly breeze as Milly linked arms with Hunter, snuggling close for warmth. His presence in her life flourished as aspects of him appeared in her bedroom. The few days Hunter stayed became weeks. She knew his presence irritated Eliza but she was too polite to say anything. Milly regretted opening her mouth regarding the living situation. Their neighbour, Azure, asked how she and Hunter were settling into life together. Hunter had handed in his notice to the landlord, and with boxes packed, he would move in with Milly by the weekend. Azure seemed concerned as she attempted to cover her surprise. Milly conceded to the point of saying how adjusting to this shared space was difficult.
Broaching the subject, Hunter lowered his eyes to the floor, soft closure. His mouth took a downturn, lips parted. Milly could see the tension in his body. Hunter believed they had something special, a serious adult relationship. What need did she have for space and isolation unless there was another man to pursue? He questioned her motives, wondering if Milly had led him on. Her breathing quickened; she pawed at his arm as he shook her free. Milly had never glanced at another man. If she were, to be honest, Azure was attractive. Sporting a shock of blue hair and a muscular build; he knew how to make her laugh. This level of honesty would serve to make the situation worse. Milly kept those thoughts hidden; they meant nothing when she was in love with Hunter. The life ahead of them both scared and excited her. Hunter paused, taking in those large green eyes. His hurt expression softened with an idea.
Their trip to the city was to take an unusual turn. Milly had prided herself on a slender figure, one she had not needed to work hard on. Scarlett cooked delicious, irresistible meals. Milly and Eliza complained about their expanding waistlines. Hunter proposed a shopping trip where he paid for a makeover. It would be his choice on how Milly should look. Should she dislike the outcome, Milly could change back in a few months. Milly was reluctant to agree. Hunter’s eyes pleaded, kisses accompanied words. He could see her beauty and how to share it with the world.
The braids were a painful process. Each blended with artificial fibres to thicken the look and strength. When tied up in a ponytail or bun, the weight made her neck ache. Since arriving in the city, she suffered this process but had taken them out in frustration. Her braids were fraying since her job and relationship gave her less time alone for their upkeep. Changing her style would be a shock to the system. Milly fidgeted as ginger locks fluttered to the floor, leaving short curls to adorn her head. In her mind, the style aged her twenty years. Her eyes stung; it took strength to hold them back as Hunter gushed over her mature appearance. She regretted the decision to give Hunter control. The hairdresser smiled, adding a finishing flourish of spray. They stepped back, proud of their work.
Hunter ushered her into various shops, selecting clothes in shades of green. Milly respected that this was his favourite colour, and it emphasised her eyes. She had hoped other colours would factor into his choices. Each item made her feel old. Milly saw her mother looking back as she posed. Hunter gushed; each outfit made him excited to see the next. He wanted to buy them all, to show the world this fantastic woman. Milly told herself to breathe, to not be ungrateful. To have someone buy her a new wardrobe was an act of kindness and generosity. She wanted to make him happy to be the perfect girlfriend. Milly accepted, showing her commitment to their relationship.
Hunter and Milly https://www.patreon.com/posts/75764100
For anyone effected by the issues raised in Milly’s story https://www.mind.org.uk/information-support/guides-to-support-and-services/abuse/