Author: EnoughSilence PM
Plagued with a past of sexual assault and an abusive ex-boyfriend, Morgan turns to self-harm. But when a new guy in town learns her secret, she realizes she can't run forever.Rated: Fiction T - English - Romance/Hurt/Comfort - Chapters: 2 - Words: 4,336 - Reviews: 15 - Favs: 8 - Follows: 13 - Updated: 04-08-13 - Published: 06-19-12 - id: 3033981
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
Everything was dark, except for the center of the dance floor, which was illuminated by a disco ball. I sat on a wooden bench that lined the room, mesmerized by the party. Shadows danced and swung all around me. While I didn't dare to join them, I couldn't help but watch. I found there was something sadistically pleasant about music playing so loud you could hardly hear your own thoughts.
"Do you wanna dance?" a voice asked.
Startled out of my trance, I looked up to see a boy my age.
"No, that's okay," I replied, thankful the darkness was hiding my blush.
He shrugged and walked to the other side of the room, sitting down with a group of guys. I hadn't noticed them sitting there before. But to be honest, I hadn't been looking, either.
Much to my surprise, the boy was back in less than a minute, though. "Are you sure?" he asked.
"Yes, I'm sure," I answered clearly, still wearing my blush. I could feel my face getting even redder. I'd never been asked to dance before, and certainly not asked twice.
"Come on, just once?" he insisted. I shook my head. Then before I realized it, he had a hand on my arm, tugging me up from my seat.
Not having time to consider the proper course of action, I found myself clutching the bench beneath me for dear life. Unfortunately, the bench was not weighed down enough, and before either of us could stop it, it crashed to the floor.
People stopped dancing to see what had happened. The boy and I stood awkwardly, looking from the bench to each other. He let go of my arm and helped me pick it up. Afterwards, he left without saying another word, which was quite alright with me.
Deciding that I'd had enough of the party, I made my way to the door.
FIVE YEARS LATER
"I remember you."
I looked up from my book. A brown-haired guy was standing in front of me, studying my face. I scrunched my eyebrows at him. I had never seen him before in my life.
"Sorry, but I don't think I know you."
"You're right, you don't. But I know you…" he said with a mischievous grin.
I feigned a smile, not sure whether to ignore this boy, talk to him, or run. I continued holding my book between us, now as a make-shift barrier. He sat down on the bench beside me.
"Whatcha reading?" he asked casually.
"Jane Eyre," I replied, lowering my book. "Where do you know me from?"
He shrugged. "Oh, here and there. You know. Drunken parties."
I rolled my eyes. "I don't go to parties." I closed my book and slid it into my book bag, ready to walk away.
"But you've been to a party," he insisted quickly, giving up his game at the threat of losing my attention.
I considered this for a moment, but I couldn't recall ever going to a party. I pulled my book bag over my shoulder and stood up.
"The last day of summer camp, five years ago. You were probably twelve. I asked you to dance, but you were stubborn and kept turning me down. Then you pulled the bench over, causing a scene," he spit out.
I stopped in mid-step, the long-forgotten memory surfacing. I turned back to him, searching his face: his thick brown hair, green eyes, small mouth, and scrawny build.
"Ah, so you remember me, too," he grinned.
I shook my head. "I don't know you." I replied. It was the truth: we really didn't know each other, even if he was the one at the dance.
Two girls from my class walked up then and stood right next to us. It was clear they wanted me to leave.
These girls looked like they belonged with a guy like him. They were cheerleaders; pretty, bubbly, and blonde. He had a playful, confident demeanor to him and a handsome face to go with it.
I started walking away.
"Hey!" he called after me. "I still don't take no for an answer!"
I felt like I was twelve again, blushing uncontrollably, but I refused to turn around. A lot of things have changed since then, but my stubbornness was not one of them. This guy may be the new kid at school, but that didn't mean I had to be friends with him. He'd find a crowd to fit into soon enough, and I knew it wouldn't be my crowd. It never was.
"Hey, isn't that the new guy?" Travis asked, walking beside me.
"Yeah," I replied.
"Do you like him?"
Travis was always trying to make conversation with me, about anything and everything he could think of. It seemed like he only had a one-track mind though, and it was always in the gutter. It was a never-ending battle trying to avoid him as much as possible.
"I don't even know him," I answered, following him into our first class of the day.
Travis just laughed. "Since when does that matter? Do you think he's hot?"
"That's none of your business," I stated, a blush creeping into my cheeks. I did think he was hot, but I also considered that irrelevant.
"Do you wanna sleep with him?"
Before I could reply, the bell rang for class to start. I jumped on the opportunity to escape to my corner of the room. Travis took his seat near the front, but he kept giving me suggestive looks every time he caught my eye.
By the time school let out for the day, I was more than ready to go home. I made my way to the bus loop to pick up my little sister.
Two girls in front of me were chattering loudly and giggling every other word. "He is soo cute! I can't believe he's in my class!" one exclaimed, while the other one squealed in agreement.
I rolled my eyes. Everyone seemed to be talking about the new guy today. It was getting on my nerves.
"So what is your name, shy girl from the dance?"
I stopped dead in my tracks. The new guy's face appeared in front of mine, smiling. Speak of the devil.
"Listen," I started. "We're not friends and I don't know you."
"Ouch," he exclaimed, holding a hand over his heart. "Harsh. I was only asking your name…"
"Morgan!" a small voice exclaimed happily. I turned just in time to catch my little sister's hand. I'm glad she had found me, since I wasn't paying attention.
"Did you have a good day?" I asked her. She nodded enthusiastically.
"Aww, and who is this?" the new guy asked, stooping down to her level.
"Megan," she replied in her high-pitched five-year-old voice.
"Well, hello Megan!" he said, shaking her hand. "My name is Ryan. It's nice to meet you!"
She grinned and blushed, ducking behind my legs. Ryan stood back up. Still speaking in his kid-voice, he extended a hand to me. "And what is your name?"
I glared at him.
Megan peaked from behind my legs, saying, "That's my sister. Her name is Morgan."
I glared at her now, too, but she ducked behind me again before she saw.
"So, Morgan it is, then. I'll remember that." Ryan flashed another mischievous smile. "I'll see you guys later. Buy, Megan!" he called behind me.
A tiny hand waved goodbye, while she continued to cling to me.
I sighed, but couldn't stay mad at my little sister. And I had to admit, the exchange had been cute.
"You ready to go home?" I asked, scooping her up in my arms. She nodded frantically, and I gave a short laugh. "Alright, let's go home then." I'll deal with Ryan later.
Dealing with him turned out to be harder than I expected, though. He was an awfully pesky bugger.
He found me first thing the following morning, and decided to escort me to my first period class.
I tried my best to pretend he wasn't walking beside me.
"So, Morgan, do you have a boyfriend?" he asked cheerfully.
My face flushed, completely caught off-guard. "No."
"Because I don't want one? That's none of your business." I answered, feeling defensive.
"Well, I don't have a girlfriend either, if you were wondering," he replied casually.
I nodded. I hadn't been wondering, actually. Although, the news was rather surprising considering how many girls were swooning over him.
"Have you ever had a boyfriend?" he asked then.
Does this boy have any manners? I thought wildly. I hated myself for blushing again. "Yes, one," I answered, not liking where this conversation was going.
"Let me guess: It was going great until he asked you to dance…" Ryan laughed.
I thought I could punch him. "Something like that," I muttered.
The warning bell rang right as we reached my first class. "I'll see you later, Morgan!" Ryan called, and without a warning he disappeared into the crowded hall, leaving me alone. I felt totally and utterly defeated. This morning was not going as planned.
For the remainder of the day, I found myself paranoid and looking over my shoulder every few minutes, certain that this Ryan was about to reappear at any moment. Much to my surprise, though, I didn't see him again all day. And for some reason, I had this funny feeling in my stomach that I couldn't quite place, but I wrote that off as annoyance.
That night, a familiar nightmare decided to visit me. It didn't matter how many times I relived that scene; it always felt so real, every time.
I woke up in a sweat, tears streaming down my face and panic rising in the back of my throat. I stumbled blindly to the bathroom, turning on the light and squinting into the mirror until my eyes adjusted. I was alone. I was safe. It was a dream.
But the dirtiness I felt wouldn't leave so easily. I brushed my teeth, scrubbed my face, and washed my hands. It didn't help, as I knew it wouldn't.
I reached for the box I kept under my sink.
"Sorry I didn't see you again yesterday," Ryan said, falling in step with me.
I was staring blankly at the sidewalk in front of me, drained of all energy. I hadn't been able to sleep since my nightmare the night before and there were so many thoughts clouding my head. I felt like I was in a daze. Somewhere in the distance, a voice was telling me that I should answer him, but I didn't think I had the energy.
When I didn't reply, Ryan asked, "What's up?"
I just shook my head, afraid to look at him.
"Are you okay?" he asked, suddenly concerned. He stooped down so he could see my face, but I turned my head away.
"Hey," he said softly but firmly, grabbing my arm and pulling me to a stop.
A tear escaped my eye involuntarily and I ducked my head a little.
"What's wrong?" He was genuinely worried about me.
"Nothing," I mumbled, risking a glance at his face. He green eyes were dark with concern as they studied me intently.
There was silence. I shifted awkwardly. He continued to watch me.
"Please tell me?" he asked quietly. I shook my head. I could never tell anyone.
"Okay, I won't push you," he said, giving in. "I can tell you're not in the mood right now. But remember, I don't take no for an answer, Morgan," he said. It almost sounded like a threat.
I only nodded though, and feeling dismissed, I continued walking myself to class. I could feel his eyes on me until I was out of sight.
I spent the next day avoiding Ryan like the plague. I was embarrassed by my lack of self-control the day before. I must have looked so stupid and strange. Heaven knows what he must've been thinking.
By lunch time, I had only seen him a couple of times, and he was always surrounded by a group of girls. I was beginning to think maybe he wouldn't have a chance to talk to me. But much to my surprise, he was waiting outside my classroom door when I left for lunch, and he immediately took my hand. I went limp as a noodle and could only follow where he led. I had a very bad feeling about this.
We ended up outside, sitting on a bench on the other side of the building. There was no one else around, except a few squirrels and the maintenance guy.
"What was going on yesterday?" Ryan asked.
"Nothing," I answered with a shrug, trying to sound casual.
"That wasn't 'nothing'," he said flatly.
I stared off blankly at the squirrels, unsure of what to say. I had a bad dream? I've had a bad life? I have issues? None of these things seemed the right thing to say.
"It just happens from time to time," I finally decided on. That seemed like a good answer to me. It was true, at least.
"What happens?" he prodded.
"I just get upset sometimes," I said, getting an annoyed edge in my voice now. I'd never met anyone who asked so many questions…
"Upset about what?" It was clear he was not going to accept my indirect answers.
I sighed, biting my lip. I was trying to think of what to say next, when he asked his next question, startling me to my very core.
"Why were you limping yesterday?"
My mouth ran dry and I could feel my heart pounding in my chest. I was limping… He noticed that I was limping. I felt so stupid for not being more careful.
My face turned bright red and I looked away.
I jumped when he put a hand on my leg. It was the leg I had been favoring. "What happened?" He asked again, with a seriousness that I couldn't ignore.
I squeezed my eyes shut and pushed his hand away. "Don't touch me," I muttered, my voice wavering.
"What is going on with you?"
"Nothing, okay? It's nothing."
"I know. Please stop asking."
He was silent. When I dared to look at his face, he was pursing his lips and staring at me. He looked like he was deep in thought.
"Can you at least tell me why you're lying about it?"
"Why do you care?" I was raising my voice now, angry that he wouldn't leave well-enough alone, like everyone else in the world.
It was his turn to not answer. He continued to study me. A heavy pang went through my heart when I realized that for once, someone actually cared about me and here I was, pushing him away. But it was too late to turn back now.
After several silent minutes, he spoke again, in a softer voice. "I want to walk you home today."
It wasn't a question, it was a statement. I was caught off-guard.
"But I have to get my sister…" I started, trailing off. Somehow I knew he didn't care about that, though.
"That's okay. We'll get your sister, too," he said, looking off in the distance now.
I nodded. My stomach felt all twisted and I was pretty sure I had butterflies, too. My mind was racing a million miles a minute. The bell rang for lunch to be over.
"I'll see you after school," Ryan said as he got up and walked away, leaving me sitting by myself on the bench.
I felt the tears welling up in my eyes. Someone actually cares about me?
So that is the end of the first chapter! Please review with any comments, suggestions, or questions. I hope to have the second chapter done soon!