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Printed from https://www.writing.com/main/view_item/item_id/2099260-Shes-Like-The-Stars
Rated: 13+ · Short Story · Romance/Love · #2099260
the third story in my "Like A Rainbow" series
Niklas loved life, because life was unexpected. He’d met the love of his life, Elizabeth, now 18, in a way that he couldn’t have predicted, and he was all the better for it. Walking into the apartment he shared with his girl, he didn’t know how rapidly his life would change, in just a few moments.

“Izzy?” Placing his keys into the dish by the door and slipping off his shoes, he furrowed his forehead in worry when no laughter or soft tone answered his question. That wasn’t like his girlfriend, nope, not at all.

Chomping on his lower lip, Niklas trekked the 15 steps down the hallway to Elizabeth’s room and pushed open the door, not knowing what he’d see inside. The room was dark, so he flipped on the light switch in order to distinguish things better.

There, on the bed, curled up into a tiny ball, wearing blue green , poke-a-dotted leggings, a white fuzzy sweater, her red hair tangled and messy on the pillows, lay his girlfriend. Her blue eyes, usually so twinkly and sparkling with a warmth that could be hotter than the sun, were dim with sadness. Her face, usually marked with dimples and a gentle flush, now stood covered with streaks of tears.

“Sweetie?”

A grunt, a whimper, and a weakly-whispered “Yes?” slapped Niklas’s eardrums.

His frown deepening, the young man made his way to the bed and sat down gingerly, in an effort not to scare her, and stretched out a hand to stroke the hair out of her eyes.

“What happened?”

Barely had the words exited Niklas’s lips before Elizabeth started to flap her arms hard and whines like a wounded animal escaped her mouth.

Quickly scooping up the crying girl, Niklas sat down in the rocking chair—an old one that his mother sent over from Sweden once she knew about Elizabeth’s autism—and pushed the chair back and forth with his feet, murmuring soothing things into her ear to calm and quiet her sobs, which, if he didn’t stop them soon, would turn into wails.

“Shh, shh, love, you’re okay. Listen to the sound of my voice. I know, you’re scared, but this will soon pass. Shh.”

After a few moments, Elizabeth’s sobs quieted, and ebbed into hiccups, her eyes red from all the crying. Silently, Niklas snatched up a squishy ball and handed it to her to squeeze. Not only did this give the girl something to do with her hands, but it also calmed her down. Niklas read up on how to treat people with autism, so he knew what he was doing.

Elizabeth shifted in Niklas’s lap so that her head rested on his chest, the sound of his heartbeat drumming in her ears the most beautiful sound on the planet, and her legs swung lightly, the movement helping her get some stimulus.

“Good girl.” In praise and affection, Niklas patted her on the back, between her shoulder blades, before sliding the hair-brush out of Elizabeth’s sweater pocket, and carefully beginning to comb the tangles out of her hair. “Now, do you want to tell me what happened, honey? Why you were so sad before I came home?”

Sighing, the girl played with her ball in one hand while the other arm fluttered in a nervous habit.

“I don’t know how to tell you this, Nicky.”

Trying to gently as possible untangle a particularly large knot without hurting Elizabeth’s head or rip out any hair, Niklas clucked his tongue and smoothed a hand over her shaking arm.

“You can tell me anything, sweet girl. That is what I am here for, don’t you remember?”

Biting her lip and trembling under Niklas’s sweet touch, Elizabeth, tracing over his knee, making a heart with his fingernails, whispered, “I’m pregnant. But there is more to the story than that.”

Shocked at the news, because as far as Niklas knew, his girl was a virgin, but, hearing the tone in her voice, that sad “Please, I just need someone to listen” tone that he knew better than anyone, even Andrew, her own father, he nodded at her to continue.

“Do you remember that party I went too, when you were gone on your road trip last month?”

Brushing out the last of the tangles, Niklas answered, “Yes, darling, I do. What about it?”

Elizabeth couldn’t bring herself to tell the whole story. Instead, her whole body quaked, two huge tear-drops ran down her flushed cheeks, and burrowing her face into Niklas’s neck, the ball dropping from her fingers onto the floor with a thud, she blubbered, “I didn’t want it. I didn’t want it. They took it from me. The most precious thing I had, they took it from me.”

Niklas’s lips turned white, his hands clenched into a fist around the material of his jeans, his pupils dilated, his jaw tightened, and the hairs on the back of his neck stood up. The cold hatred he felt for these cowards started up in his chest and spread throughout his body, making him chilled to the bone. Elizabeth didn’t need to say the word for Niklas to understand what she was trying to say. He knew.

“Baby.” He brushed his lips across her forehead, his heartbeat slowing down the tiniest bit as her much smaller body relaxed against his, her beautiful, long, black eyelashes fluttering across her soft cheek. “I’m so sorry I wasn’t there to protect you. None of this was your fault, not at all. I will do whatever it takes to make sure that you have justice, and I will help you raise this baby. I love you so much.”

Elizabeth hummed and pressed into the kiss, for she loved nothing better than the love that radiated off Niklas’s lips into her skin. She must be the luckiest girl in the world to have a man like him in her life, taking care of her, loving her, much like Andrew did. She noticed a lot of the same qualities in Niklas that Andrew had.

“I love you too, Nicky. My Nicky.”

Niklas pressed his forehead to hers and smiled, as big as a half-moon, at the high-pitched squeal that escaped her lips. He adored the stars that replaced that sadness dancing in her deep blue eyes. He loved that small curl always hanging down in the middle of her forehead. If he wasn’t the luckiest man in the world, he didn’t know who was.

“My Izzy. Always.”
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