The house was quiet when I woke up. I felt a usual sense of loneliness inside of me, but it was stronger and getting harder to bear. It has been almost five months since I have last seen Rae. I’m getting used to the days coming and going without her being around. I want to hear her voice. Her laugh. I stopped looking at the pictures and videos of us on my phone. I stopped messaging her. But as much as I try, I can't stop thinking about her. It's taking over me, and I'm getting so tired of a life without her in it. She was the only friend I had ever been close to. She understood me more than I understood myself, and the second she left, I felt like my whole life had been stolen from me. 

I had always told her to get a boyfriend, to fall in love. She never wanted anything to do with it. She wanted to spend her time with me, and if I knew five months ago that this is how my life would have turned out, I never would have denied her that right. I always feel so guilty. I never should have left her alone with him at that party. She would have walked right by him, never knowing he existed, and I'd still have her here with me. We could be at our favorite spot on the beach right now, dancing to our favorite music and talking about our eighteenth birthday party we had been planning for months. Our whole future was planned together, and if she wasn't going to be there to live it with me, I didn't want to live at all.

It was almost twelve o'clock when I decided to get out of bed. I spent most of my days sleeping or watching TV. I never used to do that. I used to go out with my friends every day. I would spend time with Rae and my boyfriend, Nick. But everyday is getting harder for me, and I haven't even left my house in three weeks.

 I walked downstairs, and looked out the front window. No one was home. I took this as my opportunity, so I walked into my moms bathroom, opened her medicine cabinet, and took out a prescription bottle full of pills. I dumped about twenty of them in my hand and made my way into the kitchen. I poured myself a cup of tea, and sat down on the couch, waiting until I felt the time was right. I stared at the black screen for a while, not bothering to turn it on. I didn't feel like having noise drown out the house. I liked the quiet, which was rare for me to experience when I have three younger siblings that live with me.

 I frowned at the thought of my two brothers and my sister growing up without me, but my mind started trailing back to Rae. I was thinking of when she used to stay the night and bribe my siblings with candy to be quiet, just so we could sleep in. They loved her like a sister, and I knew they would have done it for her even if she didn't offer them anything.

 My thoughts were interrupted when the beeping of the outdoor motion sensor started to ring throughout the house. I put the pills in the pocket of my sweatshirt and stood up. I walked back over to the window, expecting to see my parents' car and three blonde, curly haired kids running through the yard, but no one was there. I ran to the front door to make sure it was locked, then I made my way to the side of the house to check the back door. I was halfway there, walking through the kitchen, when I heard the creaking of the back door slowly being opened. I hid behind the wall, which separated me from the room where someone was trying to break in. 

There was a pause, and everything went silent again, but it was short lived when I heard faint footsteps coming towards me. My heart was racing, and I felt my eyes starting to fill with tears. Then, the footsteps stopped. Whoever was there was standing on the other side of the wall. 

I closed my eyes and took a deep breath, when a sudden urge of bravery swept over me. I quickly opened my eyes, balled my fists, and rolled up my sleeves, expecting to start fighting with some man in an all black outfit and mask. I walked into the doorway, and around the corner, where I saw a figure standing with its back to me. Whoever it was had long pink hair, and wasn't much taller than me. “Who are you and why are you in my fucking house!” I was filled with rage. Was this some kind of joke? The figure turned around, and I met eyes with a familiar face. It was Rae.

I stared at the bruises and scratches across her nose, eyes, and cheeks. Then down at her body. She was covered in all kinds of wounds, some were old looking, but some were still fresh with blood. I knew she had been living with her boyfriend, Jax. Did he do this to her? She ran away from home five months ago. No one knew where they were and she didn't talk to anyone, but I knew Rae, and she wouldn't have just left everything to be with a boy. I figured she was dealing with something much worse, and he was her perfect plan to escape. Love can do crazy things to a person. 

But she looked awful, she was so skinny and beat up. Her hair was a different color and she smelt like she had bathed in alcohol. I looked down at her arms, and tears fell from my eyes when I saw the needle marks covering her skin. I looked up at her, and without hesitation, I pulled her in to hug me.

“Cali, I'm so sorry”, she sobbed, “I never meant for this to happen. Jax was so nice in the beginning and he told me to leave and come stay with him after my mom and I got in that huge fight. I thought it was love, I trusted him. We would go to the beach and he would take me out to eat. But when his friends started to come to his house, he would show off and he started being so mean. He would make me take drugs, and if I didn't want to, he'd get mad and hurt me. His friends would just laugh. I tried to leave, but he wouldn't let me. He would apologize for hitting me and I would forgive him. He told me I needed him, and I believed him”. I was going to kill him. “Last night we got in a huge fight and he hit me so hard, he knocked me out. I woke up around midnight and he wasn't home, so I left. I walked all the way here. He’s going to come here Cali, and he’s going to take me back with him.” She was crying so hard, she could barely talk.

“Shhh, it's okay, you're safe now, you're with me, and he isn't going to hurt you again.” Anger and sadness filled up inside of me. My best friend just went through the worst five months of her life, and I wasn't around to comfort her. It hurt me worse to know if she had come thirty minutes later, she would have walked in and seen me dead. She needed me to feel safe, and I needed her to be alive.

May 07, 2020 21:15

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Adam Wright
17:20 May 22, 2020

That is a very powerful story and is filled with strong emotions. That really comes through in the writing. I did notice a couple of grammar errors, especially at the beginning and I think fixing those up might make this even better. The end was a really nice touch and I felt strongly for both characters. Well done.


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Ray Van Horn
20:52 May 14, 2020

I feel the despair of both characters and in the end, you feel yourself praying for Rae especially. Emotional. Nice work.


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Tarin Santos
21:09 May 11, 2020

Reading this hurt, and in a wonderfully way. It felt so real and raw and full. Especially the beginning. I've had similar experiences and it made it really easy to resonate with your characters, even in such a short setting. Thank you for sharing it. <3


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