The South Bank Review Winter 2017 | Never settle
post-template-default,single,single-post,postid-518,single-format-gallery,qode-news-1.0,qode-quick-links-1.0,ajax_fade,page_not_loaded,,qode-title-hidden,qode_grid_1300,side_area_uncovered_from_content,qode-child-theme-ver-1.0.0,qode-theme-ver-13.4,qode-theme-bridge,disabled_footer_bottom,wpb-js-composer js-comp-ver-5.4.5,vc_responsive

Never settle



N E V E R  

S E T T L E .


Night after night she spent her time crying,

all because of his petty silly lying.

She asked for nothing but only the truth,

yet he couldn’t give her that, even though she had proof.



Now let’s take it back to around a year ago,

when everything was different and she took things slow.

Meeting him was like a breath of fresh air,

all she longed for was to run her fingers through his hair.



Scrolling scrolling scrolling, he found her online,

X amount of followers that he knew he had to outshine.

So he sent her a message to see if she’d reply,

and believe it or not she didn’t seem shy.



After talking for a while they decided to meet,

what a gentleman he seemed, even pulling out her seat.

She was instantly drawn to this tall, toned figure,

yet it would be her mental state he’d attempt to disfigure.



As time passed by they fell further in love,

thinking nothing was wrong, she experienced one little shove.

After addressing the problem, he apologised and pleaded,

saying clichéd phrases, like she was all that he needed.



Falling deeper into his possession, she let the shove slip,

agreeing to overlook this tiny little blip.

Life went back to eyes filled with love hearts,

then six months later, the abuse would restart.



She pondered and wondered – where had he gone?

Was it all her? Was their love one big con?

He uprooted and left without a trace in sight,

wishing he’d change, she thought that he might.



One month, two months, three months, four,

she was home alone and there was a knock at the door.

To her surprise, there he stood,

praying that his return would do them some good.



In he came and it started out great,

yet half an hour later she knew her fate.

She begged as he punched and oh how he kicked,

he left her on the floor feeling physically sick.



Before he left, he sat and he glared,

cowering and crying, she asked “have you ever cared?”

Avoiding the question, his words would coast,

making a swift backdoor exit, it was time for him to ghost.



Left confused and broken she had no where to turn,

it didn’t take long for her to finally learn.

He’d left her alone all battered and bruised,

whilst she stared in the mirror feeling ugly and used.



How she longed for the early days to return,

she sat overthinking; how did we crash and burn?

Where had the guy gone that was once a noble man?

Her heart grew cold, feeling it was all just a sham.



She dusted herself off and picked herself up,

even called up her friends to hit her favourite club.

Drink after drink, her spirits grew high,

until his name lit up her phone, making her cry.



Hesitant to answer, she tried to resist,

but seven missed calls later and her mind finally shifts.

A shaky “hello”, her heart pounded in her chest,

he took a deep breath and done what he did best.



Three weeks later and he’s back in her life,

making false promises, claiming she will be his wife.

Happy and content she’s back on cloud nine,

but later down the line things won’t be fine.



He tried again to break her down deliberately,

only this time was different, he failed so miserably.

After many inner thoughts and discussions with friends,

she knew she had to leave and that this road must end.



One night feeling trapped, she awoke and packed,

her presence gone by morning left a massive impact.

The tables had turned: he felt pure sorrow,

he knew that this time there was not another tomorrow.



The violence and suffering he made her endure,

became so frequent but believe there is a cure.

This domestic abuse is not okay,

don’t be afraid, make a change and speak up starting today.


There are various ways of taking that first scary step but remember, you are never alone. If you or someone you know feel as though this poem is familiar to their life yet do not know what to do there are ways of speaking out. The 24 hour National Domestic Violence Free Phone Helpline is always on hand for those who need to share their voice across the country. Whether it’s you, a family member or even a friend that needs this because you are concerned, do not hesitate to use this number to speak to fully trained female helpline support workers who are on hand at anytime. Do not live in silence.

Call for Free: 0808 2000 247.

Lucia Etheridge

Lucia Etheridge is in the final year of her English with Creative Writing degree. She applies techniques she has learnt and developed over the last three years to create her pieces. Living in Tunbridge Wells, she is open to the slow country lifestyle as well as the busy London life - this helps to influence her creative writing. She is yet to discover what she aspires to be in the future however, one thing that she is sure of is that forming various creative texts seems to come naturally. She thoroughly enjoys this and she knows that she would like to take this forward with her in her future career whatever that may be.