Cressida met a man named Steven when she was just out of high school. They started dating, and he seemed perfect at first. He slowly became manipulative, abusive, and cruel to her, telling her she was ugly, yelling at her when she asked for things, and hurting her physically. Cressida endured it, believing the lies he told her about no one caring, and that he would hurt her if she told anyone.
Her mother was in an accident one night and Steven made her stay at home, or he didn't love her. Her mother died the next day, and the resulting pain started breaking Steven's hold on Cressida. When he made her miss the funeral, she finally decided she'd had enough, and she packed up a single suitcase and left him behind.
Cressida slowly rebuilt her life, but she was afraid to trust anyone, most especially in a romantic way. She expected to be treated badly, and was confused when anyone showed kindness.
She had a love of photography, and had made it her career, even with Steven telling her she wasn't good at it. It gave her a job she didn't have to leave home for, giving her the freedom she needed to heal.
She rarely left her apartment, but when she did, she enjoyed walking past a pet store on the way to her best friend's bookshop. One day, she saw a litter of young chinchillas in the window, and enjoyed seeing them when she came outside. One caught her attention, a tiny runt, and when she saw it was the only one left after weeks of being at the store, she went inside and bought it.
Cressida named the baby chinchilla August, and enjoyed taking care of her new baby. Something about him calmed her, made her feel better about everything, in a way she couldn't explain.
Monster's Bride Part 1
Monster's Bride Part 2