"Do it," I hissed as he glared at me. "If you want to hit me just f*cking hit me... do it already!," my hands shook, my whole body shook. His stare burned, the world was on fire. The flames threatened to eat me. Breathing felt impossible. "No you can't handle it. I would really hurt you," he spat with a faint smile, yet he took a step closer to me. Instinctively I stepped back while feeling my mouth go dry. Feeling insulted, I sternly replied, "I can handle it, I'm tougher than I look." Quickly I broadened my shoulders, trying to emulate confidence, but it felt like an act that neither of us believed.

He narrowed his eyes and whispered something under his breath before swinging at me. Reader, I wish I could have warned myself. Little, foolish girl, I would have said, do not tempt him to hit you. You think you are strong? The amount of pain from his hit will surprise you... then it will terrify you. Before I could move out of the way or think clearly, his fist hit my shoulder and my world changed forever. Panic set in as I realized my body was made of glass, not steel. My sense of self shattered as I thought about how wrong my mom was. No, mom, I cannot defend myself.

He stood in front of me while I clutched my shoulder. Slightly afraid and too stubborn to reveal how much my shoulder hurt, I kept my mouth shut.
"I told you," he exhaled, "you are soft." Feeling uncertain of my own abilities, all I could do was scowl back.

Since that day, reader, I like to believe my sense of self has recovered. Unlike before, I know I am not invincible.

I am not invincible.

"I'm soft."