There’s a guy that I know. He has a trophy girlfriend.
The very look of her makes him preen, and when she walks along next to him, every glance of every passer-by is a brick in his highly-built self-esteem.
At parties, she comes up behind him and slides her arms around him whilst he’s talking. He kisses her, and feels like a Man.
There is no feeling equal to having her there as he walks into a room. He knows people are looking at him and admiring him, just like that.
He likes showing pictures of her in her bikini to his lad-friends. He likes them being almost embarrassed, and impressed. He gets a kick out of it.
Sometimes he loses his train of thought just from looking at her. He lingers on every curve, and on every feature.
Of course, it’s not just about her looks, he will say. (Of course it’s not.)
She’s witty, and smart, he says. Much smarter than you’d realise.
And she’s brave. Strong. She’s been through hell. Can you not tell?
He can tell. He can see it whenever he looks at her face; at the puckered, scarred skin down a smooth cheek.
He sees it when she climbs out of her clothes at the end of the day, and traces his fingers down the long line of burns across her body.
He kisses the drawn-down edge of her eye, and feels a surge of warmth.
Because those burns, given to her by an angry former lover – those marks and weals – they are the badges of his pride.
His glorious, dented trophy shines on his arm, and lights him up, too.