Major violence, you have been warned. Probably not that bad, but still...
|The weekend went by slowly; Becca came over once, and Caine spent most of his time over. We’d watch movies, talk, or just lounge around. We’d kiss a little, but nothing above pg rating. Caine has been extremely careful with me since Friday morning, and although it’s kind of annoying, it’s also slightly endearing.
I wake up this Monday morning feeling a little nervous. Last night I cut my hair. No more long hair... It’s now just above my ears, and it feels so strange. I asked on Friday for help, but my mum had to go into work (with my persuasion of course) and had no time until Sunday night to do it. I always used my hair as a shield. I was always hiding from the truth behind it, afraid to let it out. But now I have people who I know will stand up for me and protect me; people who accept what I did and why I did it. I have no more reason to hide, so no more long hair. Sighing, I stand and go to get ready for school. I shower, brush my teeth, etcetera. Mum is not yet up when I make my way downstairs so I make myself eggs and toast, making a couple extra for her. I hum Metallica softly to myself while I cook when there’s a knock on our front door. Confused, I make my way to the door, careful not to wake mum, to see who is here so early; Caine.
“Hey!” I whisper, throwing my arms around him.
“Whoa, hi there; is this my Jared I’m talking to?” He asks, hugging back and ruffling my short hair.
"Uhm, yeah, my mum cut it last night. I just kind of wanted a change I guess. Is it-is it okay?” I ask, nervous.
“It looks great.” He answers immediately. “I love it.” He adds smiling.
“Hmm... I made breakfast, do you want some?” I say, leading him inside.
“Nah, I’m alright. I just thought I’d ask you if you wanted to come to school, and if so I’d drive you.” He answers sitting at our small kitchen table.
“Yeah, I’m going. Thank you.” I smile, grabbing his hand as I eat.
I eat in silence and Caine runs his hands through my new hair, massaging it. I’d never admit aloud, but I almost purr at the feel of his fingers running through it. I lean against him, giving him more access. After a minute, his hands trail lower to my cheeks and he leans my head back, looking into my eyes. “You’re sure you’re okay for school today?” He asks in concern.
“Yes, I’m sure. I want to be there.” I assure him, pecking his lips.
“Alright, awesome; I will be staying in class a little later this afternoon to finish a project, but if you want to wait, I can drive you and Rebecca home. Will you be okay? I know Jerome is a dick to you when I am not around.”
“Caine, I’ll be fine. I’ll try to avoid Jerome today too, it’s fine.” I smile at him reassuringly.
“Okay, are you ready to go?” he asks, standing.
I nod then add “we have graduation practice tomorrow don’t we?”
“Yep; just one more week and we are out of school for good.” Caine replies, beaming with joy.
“Wow, it has only been three weeks since we met but it feels like ages, you know?” I sigh, leaning back against him again as I stand.
“Yeah, I know what you mean. But I’m glad we met,” He chuckles, “come on, we need to get going.” He adds.
I follow him outside, shouldering my backpack and hop into Caine’s jeep. The vehicle feels so familiar now as I take in its wonderful scent; a small scent of musk, along with the smell of cologne that Caine uses and the smell of leather from the seats. I lean back and watch my boyfriend, I still cringe at the word, but with my family’s help now, I’m getting better. As he steps into the vehicle I smile and immediately grasp his hand. The ride to school is quiet but peaceful. I stare out the window while Caine remains holding my hand tightly in his.
When we park, Caine jumps out and walks over to my side to walk me into the building. Rebecca meets us by the door. “Hey guys!” She calls as she rushes up to us. “Whoa, what happened to your hair?” She adds, running a hand across my head.
“I cut it...does it look bad?” I ask in fear.
“No, I love it! It looks great.” She chuckles and hugs me.
_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _
The rest of the day passes fairly quickly. There was a math test in first period. Lunch was the normal pizza/salad. Caine, Rebecca, and I met up then until the next class. We had presentations in fourth. Once, Jerome threw a harsh word at us in the hall after fourth but Caine shut him up with a glare. So, basically it was a normal day. Caine and I meet up again in the library after our sixth period class because Caine is staying behind.
“So, think you’ll be okay without me?” Caine asks, sitting down at one of the large, oak study tables.
“I’ll be fine, I promise. I was before you got here.” I remind him.
“Well,” Caine drawls, “technically when we met you were a damsel in distress and I needed to save you.”
“Ah, yes, my wonderful knight in shining armor comes to the rescue, but never lets his prince live it down.” I chuckles, throwing him a playful glare.
“Nope, you’ll never be allowed to forget,” Caine retorts. “But seriously, if you see Jerome anywhere near you, get away, alright. There’s something very off about him today.” He warns seriously.
“Alright, my knight, I promise, I’ll be careful,” I reply as I stand and kiss his cheek. I shoulder my backpack and head off, towards my way home. “Bye, text me when you get out, okay?” I call over my shoulder.
I step outside the school doors into the soft, spring air and take in the scent of fresh grass and rain around me. Usually, the scent is soothing and I enjoy it, but Caine’s words leave an uneasy feeling in my gut as I look around for my tormenter. ‘So far, so good; Jerome will leave you alone. You’re okay.’ I mutter softly to myself as I walk to the busses, but before I can make it and meet Rebecca, someone grabs ahold of my arm.
“Hey, let me go!” I shout. A thick, meaty hand clasps over my mouth. I am pulled away towards the back of the school. A few people pass us by, but not a single person does anything to help. When we reach our destination, I am thrown against the brick wall by my attacker. It is Channing Petrova, one of Jerome’s loyal dogs. Four more people circle around him; Emmett Hastings, Will Lennox, Logan Caldwell, and of course, Jerome. I am instantly surrounded by the gang, with no means of escape.
“Why am I here, Jerome,” I ask. My voice shakes a bit, uncontrollably.
“We know the truth now, fag,” Jerome scowls. “I was right. You’re nothing but a murderer; using lies and excuses to hide your crime.” He adds, stepping closer to me.
“What do you mean,” I ask, trying to sound casual. This only angers the bully, as he throws a punch, catching me in the jaw. I wince in pain, but I remain calm and stand strong.
“You know exactly what I mean! My friend here,” he points at Will, “was there Friday morning, at the park. He heard your little ‘confessions’; recorded the whole damned thing.” Jerome spits beside me, before he kicks my legs out from under me. I crumple to my knees, but again, I try to hold my calm profile. “Tomorrow morning, your secret will be all over the school. Everyone will know you as a murderer, just as I always said. No one believed me before, but now...” Jerome continues. As he trails off, he lands a kick into my ribs, which causes me to topple to the grass below.
“No, you can’t,” I wheeze pitifully.
“But we can; I can send it to every student here. With help, I can hack the system and play it over every computer and TV screen, and I will. Too bad you won’t be there to see everyone’s reactions.” Jerome sends another blow to my ribs and I hear a crack. I wail in pain, but one of the thugs place a rag in my mouth. Logan kicks my arm, right above the elbow and again I hear a sickening crack, Emmett and Channing then hold me up to allow Jerome to punch me in the stomach continuously. At one point, I’m dropped back to the ground.
I receive another blow to my nose, more kicks to my ribs; someone shoves a foot into my stomach, which is taking the most damage it seems. “Had enough fag,” Jerome questions. His group laughs and snickers as he picks me up by my throat and holds me up against the brick wall. I feel my throat close up; I can’t breathe. He is choking me. Jerome speaks again, but the voice fades in and out. He slams my head back, my vision fades. I cough and wheeze, trying to regain air. Jerome knees me, again a hit to my stomach. I cough yet again and feel wetness on my lips; blood.
‘Stop,’ I plead, or try to. I can’t speak. “Stop,” I try again. It’s weak, but I am heard. The grip on me loosens to drop me back to the ground. I hear more mumbling, but I can’t make out the words. My consciousness finally fades out. I promised Caine that I would be okay. I lied to him. That’s the last thing I think before I faint.
_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _
I awake to the sounds of machines beeping, the smell of disinfectant, and the feel of a warm hand in mine. I can’t open my eyes no matter how hard I try. Everything is hazy; I can’t tell my left from my right. I hear someone talking, but it fades in and out of focus. I can’t concentrate on much. I slip away once more.
_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _
This time when I wake, I can open my eyes. The harsh, white lights hurt, but I force them to remain open. Looking around, I notice that I am in a small room. Everything is white; the bed, the floor, the walls, the curtains, and even the chairs. I look down at myself and grimace. My left leg and arm is in a cast, I wear nothing but shorts so I can see the bandages across my stomach, coated in blood on the right side. I also notice the dark bruises coloring my skin. No one is in the room with me at the moment which sucks.
I lie here quietly for what seems like hours when my stomach growls in hunger. The nurse’s call button is beside me so I press it in hopes of getting food. In only minutes a young, blonde nurse enters the room with a huge smile. “Look who’s awake,” She states with a thick, southern drawl, “let us get a doctor to check you out, hmm? Did ya need anything first, sweetie?”
“I’m kinda hungry...can I have something to eat?” I ask her. My voice is hoarse and I wince at the pain it causes. The nurse comes closer and pats my arm.
“Let us run some test and when the doctor is through, I will see what we can do, alright? In the meantime, your friends are out here waitin’; didya want me to send ‘em in?”
I nod and mutter a ‘thank you,’ before she is out of the room and Caine replaces her. Caine has a wide-eyed look that seems relieved but angry. “Hi,” I whisper. Caine reaches my right side and I grab his hand as he sits. He runs his free hand through my hair and presses a kiss to my temple.
“Hey, how do you feel?” Caine asks
I scoff at his question. “I feel like I got hit by a truck and was left to starve for days. My throat hurts like hell...”
“I’m so sorry, Jay...” he sighs. “I’m going to kill Jerome for this. He will have no chance of ever hurting you again,” Caine promises. “I should’ve protected you...”
“Don’t; don’t do anything stupid. I don’t want you getting in trouble,” I plead with him. “Besides, it’s not your fault. You can’t be my 24/7 body guard, you have things to do.”
“Yeah, but still... Tell me what happened,” Caine demands softly.
“I was walking to my bus and suddenly feel someone grab my arm. It was Channing. He dragged me behind the school and then I was surrounded by three more people; Jerome, Will, and Emmett. They say the normal shit and then...oh fuck! They were there at the park, Caine! Will took a video of us and he’s going to broadcast it at school,” I remember. “Everyone will know. Caine, everyone will know what I’ve been hiding; everything you’ve been hiding,” I cry out, choking on a dry sob.
“Hey, hey, it’s alright, it is okay,” Caine soothes, holding me to him. “I’ll call Coach William’s and let him know, alright? We’ll stop him, I promise,” He adds as I hide my face in his neck. I nod, but fear still grips tight at my chest. “I’m going to go call him, alright? Rebecca is still here, I’ll be right back.”
I nod and he kisses my cheek softly before standing and leaving the room. Rebecca comes in next and takes his seat. She instantly notices my distress and asks what’s wrong, so I fill her in on all the details including what happened and how I got here. When I finish, a skinny, older doctor steps in and orders her out.
“Hello, Mr. O’Brian, I am Dr. Ryan. I am going to check to make sure everything is in order and then I will inform you of all your injuries.” He greets. The man is older; late 40’s or early 50’s is my guess. I block the guy out as he does whatever until he begins speaking again. “So, everything seems to check out. As for the injuries you’ve sustained... You have a fractured bone in your leg, your left wrist was broken and needed a few screws, your throat has taken some damage, but that will heal in a few days, and your ribs took serious damage and one broke, piercing your right lung, causing internal bleeding, but, luckily we were able to get in there and patch you up before you were permanently damaged. You will be on bed rest for a few weeks, maybe a month.” Ryan explains.
“Okay...so, how long do I have to stay here?” I ask him. Hopefully I can get out very soon. Hospitals bring back horrible memories.
“We recommend that you stay here for at least a week so we can keep an eye on you, but it is not absolutely necessary,” he answers politely.
“Is it possible to get out today?”
“It is possible, yes, but again, not recommended,” he answers with worry.
“Alright, thank you...what about food?”
“I will have food sent up to you. Considering the condition of your throat at the moment, soup, ice cream, and other soft foods would be best until it heals.”