Smashed like an egg

My skull was cracked open likea fragile shell...

Published by: Fiona Ford
Published on: 19th May 2010

Standing on the platform, I nervously watched the station clock. It felt like I’d been here forever waiting for the 12.15 from Swansea.
On board was Sean Beaver. He was 23, from Wales, and we’d met on the internet a few weeks ago.
I’d never chatted to anyone online before, but my mates were all at it and insisted I had a go. One night, I’d logged on and, within minutes, I was chatting to Sean.
‘What films do you like?’ he’d asked.
‘Anything with Arnold Schwarzenegger!’
‘My sort of girl,’ he’d typed back.
We soon chatted every night and discovered a shared love of dance music, country walks and kids – which was just as well, as I was a single mum to 11-year-old Michael.
I’d split with his father John eight years before, and I’d never dated since. ‘Been there, done that,’ I always told mates.
I couldn’t face having my heart broken again. Of course, it was lonely at times, but at least John and me were pals, and his girlfriend Trish, 37, was my best mate.
‘Sean’s 12 years younger than me,’ I told her. ‘He’ll think I’m going to eat him alive.’
We’d swapped photos, and he was gorgeous. He wouldn’t want an old biddy like me, I thought. But he’d jumped at the chance to spend a few days with me.
Now, as his train arrived, all I could do was pull my tummy in, and hope for the best.
Watching him rush down the platform, my knees wobbled.
‘Hello, gorgeous,’ he gushed.
Gorgeous? Me? I blushed.
Over the weekend we got on so well – and, best of all, Sean and Michael hit it off.
‘Fancy some footie?’ Sean asked Michael.
‘Yeah,’ he cheered. ‘Mum can go in goal.’
Watching them mucking about, I realised I’d missed being in a relationship. It turned out Sean felt the same – so much so, he never went back to Swansea.
Instead, he got a job as a gardener, moved in and spoiled us rotten. Roses for me, computer games for Michael. Nothing was ever too much trouble.
Of course I still enjoyed chatting on the internet, although this time it was on Facebook, boasting about how happy I was with Sean.
Everyone agreed I’d got a good ’un. ‘He’s perfect,’ Trish grinned.
We’d been together two years when I woke on my birthday to breakfast in bed and presents.
‘There’s so much stuff,’ I gasped at all his gifts.
‘You’re worth it,’ he smiled, watching me unwrap one after another.
That night, we celebrated with a meal in our local pub.
‘There’s one present I forgot to give you this morning,’ Sean said, as we finished.
With that, he got down on one knee and held out a diamond ring.
‘Will you marry me?’ he asked, as the pub looked on.
‘Yes,’ I shrieked.
We set to work planning a big do, swapping nights out for evenings in on the internet, to save money. Seven months of doing that flew by, but I didn’t mind.
One night, I was on Facebook as usual. Michael was staying with his dad, and Sean was watching telly. As I caught up with mates, time whizzed by. Suddenly, Sean was yawning.
‘You coming to bed?’ he asked.
‘Just saying goodnight to my mates,’ I smiled.
He scowled. ‘Who’ve you been talking to all night?’
Blimey, tiredness was making him cranky. ‘Mates,’ I shrugged, shutting down my computer.
‘Liar!’ he spat. ‘You’re cheating on me.’
I’d never seen him like this – angry, fists balled. ‘What?!’ I snorted. ‘Don’t be silly.’
Climbing into bed, I shrugged. We all have bad moods for no reason sometimes and goodness knows, Sean had been working all hours to bring in more money for the wedding. Ah, there he was now, standing in the doorway of the bedroom.
‘Come to bed,’ I smiled.
But he stomped off. Later, seeing a light on downstairs, I left our bed to turn it off.
Suddenly, I spotted Sean standing there, his arms behind his back.
‘God, you scared me,’ I jumped. ‘Come to be…’
He produced a baseball bat and raised it over my head. ‘What are you…?’ I started.
With a whoosh, the bat came thudding down on my head.
Pain jolted through me. My teeth rattled and flashes of light exploded in my skull. My knees buckled.
Sean’s eyes glowed with anger and delight. ‘No!’ I gasped. ‘Stop!’
As I struggled to my feet the bat slammed against my back, then my arms.
Reaching up to protect my head, it came smashing down on my hand. Bones crunched, sounding like gravel underfoot.
What the hell had happened to my fiancé, was he possessed?
As sticky, hot blood trickled down my forehead, I scrambled upstairs. Almost at the top… No! Fingers like steel grabbed my ankle, and dragged me downstairs.
‘Sean, please!’ I screamed.
Panting, he raised the bat again and swung it like a baseball player. An arc of blood was splattered across the room, and I fell face down.
Must stop him. Must make him realise what he’s doing. How?
My brain was befuddled, I couldn’t think straight. ‘You’re killing me,’ I moaned. ‘Think of Michael. I’m his mum.’
Sean stared at me as though seeing me for the first time, and he threw the bat down.
‘I-I love you,’ he mumbled, and slumped to the floor, holding his head in his hands.
Seizing my chance, I scrambled for my mobile. Unable to see the buttons, I dialled the first number I came to.
‘Hello?’ Trish!
‘H… help,’ I croaked. No more words, I had no more strength. Blink… Sean paced
the floor.
Blink… Trish was there. Sean, screaming, pushed by her, and ran out of the door.
Blink… blue flashing lights…
The police whisked me off to Blackburn Royal Infirmary where doctors thought I’d been attacked with a machete. They knitted my scalp together with 70 stitches.
The top of my head looked like a cracked eggshell. My back and arms were bruised and I had two broken fingers.
Trish was beside herself. ‘This is nobody’s fault but Sean’s,’ I told her. For absolutely no reason, my fiancé had turned into a monster – he was the only one to blame.
Sean pleaded guilty at Preston Crown Court to causing me grievous bodily harm with intent.
Seeing him on the stand, I remembered how I’d loved him once, but as the details of that horrific night were replayed, I knew I would never forgive him – the police were sure if I’d received one more blow with that bat, I would have died.
Who tries to kill the one they love? I never want to see him again.
Sean was sentenced to four years and eight months in prison.
I now suffer panic attacks, and poor Michael struggles to trust anyone, which is why my dating days are over. From now on, the only man in my life is my son.
Nikki Westall, 35, Blackburn, Lancashire