The remnants of the previous night came back to her like sharp knives suddenly infiltrating her quiet rest. Sabrina groaned and attempted to bury her head in her pillow and hide from the morning light. Her boyfriend had tried to rape her. Her friends had refused to help. She had been forced to get a ride home from James while topless. And to top it off, he was probably sitting in her living room right now, waiting for her to get up. The last thing Sabrina wanted to think about was Dameon, but James was coming in a close second.

Then the pain from her face hit her, as if she had been punched again and she wanted to scream, but didn't. Gingerly, she pulled herself from the bed, holding her head to protect herself from the extra weight that seemed to be attached to it. Bracing herself against the wall she stumbled to the mirror and winced at the horrendous black eye and cut cheek in the reflection. She looked hideous.

After a few minutes of self pity, she formed a plan of action, she gathered a set of fresh clothes and prepared to sprint to the bathroom, hoping to delay the unavoidable and imminent encounter with James.

She opened her door just a crack and peered down the hallway. There was no sign of him. So, she took off running toward the bathroom and once inside locked the door firmly.

Trying to think, she let the cool water cascade over her, hardly paying attention as she completed her routine. Shampoo. Condition. Wash. Shave. She dried herself off with a clean towel and dressed mechanically. Her face felt bloated and bruised and her mind was a blur. Why did it happen? The details ran through her mind again and again.

Sabrina sat on the counter in front of the mirror and touched her face softly as she remembered and remembered, tracing alternate paths that the night could have taken. She imagined calling the police, being interrogated and questioned. She imagined being raped, if she had not been able to stop him. She imagined the night as she had wanted it, riding home with Dameon, having dinner together, going home, packing her belongings for the beach house. Why had life turned out this way? Why couldn't Dameon have been the perfect boyfriend she had wanted?

Wincing at the sting of the soap on her cut face, she washed her face again, as if trying to rid herself of the stain. She breathed deeply and opened the door walking carefully to the kitchen.

James was sitting at the counter next to two empty plates.

"How are you feeling?" He asked.

Sabrina shrugged.

"I made you breakfast, but you took too long, so I ate it," James said.

She shrugged again and walked past him to the living room, seating herself stiffly in an armchair.

Unsurprisingly, he followed and sat across from her on the couch, looking at her intently.

Awkward silence filled minutes passed slowly. Finally, Sabrina gave in.

"What? You can leave now. Thanks for helping me and everything, but I am really alright. Really. Why do you keep looking at me like that?"

It was James' turn to shrug. "I don't know. I guess I just feel weird leaving you like this… after everything. Does your face hurt?"

"No," Sabrina lied.

He laughed. "Icing it wont do much good now, but it might feel better if you do."

She nodded. "Whatever. Thanks, really. But, you can go."

"Do you want me to leave?"

"Yes," she lied again.

"Ok, well, um, I hope you feel better. And if you want I will try to kick your boyfriend's ass. Actually, he should be your ex-boyfriend now, right?"

"Right. I mean, he is my ex-boyfriend, but don't try to kick his ass. He is bigger than you, and I really don't care what happens to him at all. I just don't want to see him again or hear about him again," Sabrina answered.

"Yeah, I don't blame you. Well, don't hesitate to call me if you need anything or just want to talk."

She escorted him to the door and he surprised her with a hug. Flinching from the contact, Sabrina pulled back for a moment, and then relaxed, hugging him back with gusto. They held on to each other for a few minutes, she seeking comfort and escape. Then, conscious of the action, she pulled back and waved to him stupidly. "See you later!"

"Bye," he answered and walked out of the door.

Closing the door with a click, she felt relief wash over her at being alone, really alone with her thoughts. She walked carefully to the living room, sat down, stood up and walked to the kitchen. Restlessly, she opened the cupboards and found no appetite for any of the food they contained, closed the cupboards and walked to the bathroom. The mirror was still a hostile force. Clenching her eyes shut she grimaced, against the dull aching pain in her head and against everything she knew to have happened. She opened them. The bruises, the cuts, the black eye, they were still there.

"Death to Dameon," she muttered darkly. "Death to Maria, death to Eddie, death to Collette, death to Jennie and to Ray!"

The tears stung against her cut cheek and turned quickly into wrenching sobs that shook her entire body. Her life was over. She had ditched her family for people who had ditched her. Her boyfriend had been a monster, her friends had deserted her. Alone. She was really alone.

She would lie. When her family returned, she would like. It would be easy to pretend that she had gone to the beach, had fun, enjoyed herself. Nobody would know that things had gone wrong.

The phone rang. Sabrina searched for it and glanced at the caller ID. Maria.


"Hey, what's up girl? Did you get home alright?" a peppy voice called on the other end.

"Yes. I'm fine."

"Oh my god, I have to tell you about last night. You are going to die! You missed out on the party of the summer! Everyone was there…"

Listening complacently to her friend's happy babble, Sabrina felt something furious building up inside her. Maria had listened to her problem, dismissed it and opted to go to a party rather than to help her. Death to Maria. What could she even say to her? Sabrina held the phone away from her ear, listening to the nonsensical vibrations of Maria's voice.

"Hello? Sabrina? Are you there?" Maria asked in the distance.

Fighting the urge to scream into the phone, Sabrina hung up and slammed the phone into it's carrier.

A few minutes later it rang again. It was Dameon.

She watched it ring once, twice, three times, waiting for it to stop. On the fourth ring she picked up and said nothing into the phone, listening.

"Hello? Sabrina, honey? Are you there, baby?" he asked.

She listened to him breathing into the phone and closed her eyes.

"Sabrina?" the voice was sharper this time, angry.

"What?" she answered.

"Honey, I just wanted to apologize about last night. I really don't know what got into me. Did you get home alright?"

"Fuck you."

"What? Sabrina, seriously, I'm sorry. How about we go out tonight and I will make it up to you. I'll buy you anything. What do you want? Clothes? Flowers? Jewelry? It's yours. Sabrina, I made a mistake. But it's okay. I still want you, baby."

"Fuck you," she repeated.


"You heard me. It's over. I don't want to see you ever again. I don't want to talk to you ever again. If you try to call me again, I will call the police."

"And tell them what baby, that I am annoying you? Sabrina, really, be reasonable."

"No, you listen to me. We are finished. Don't call here again or I will call the police and report an attempted rape. Goodbye Dameon."

She hung up again and felt a warm feeling inside, closure. That was done. But she still had something to settle with Maria.

Her fingers dialed the digits automatically. Best friends. That is what they had always called themselves.



"Sabrina! Did you hang up on me? I was trying to tell you about this guy I met, Craig. Oh my god! You will not believe how gorgeous he is… and he plays baseball for Arizona State!"

"I don't care. Maria, how could you leave me last night? I was in a really bad situation."

"Oh," Maria sighed. "You are still pissed about that? I told you, I didn't have any gas money. Anyway, you got home okay, right? But, Craig is going to come to the beach house with us and then you can meet him! I think he is actually hotter than Dameon!"

"Maria, Dameon tried to rape me last night."

"Whatever, Sabrina. That is just how you are- overdramatic. And you always want to talk about yourself! He is your boyfriend, why would he rape you? Besides, you are supposed to be putting out for him anyway, don't be a prude. But don't be so selfish. I wanted to tell you about Craig. He has a Mustang Convertible that is bright red, and it is seriously like the nicest car I have ever ridden in and he has a girlfriend in Arizona but she is like so far away and she doesn't care anyway if he cheats on her."

"I'm selfish?" Sabrina asked softly.

"Yes, actually. You are proving it right now. Back to my story. I was talking to Craig and he is so honest. Did I tell you he is honest, and wise? Anyway he is really smart because he actually didn't fail any classes this semester, and he plays baseball too!"

"Maria, you are not my friend," Sabrina said and listened to a full minute of silence before hanging up again.

Scanning through her mental phonebook, she could think of no one else who merited a goodbye call. The others would go quietly. Would Jennie, Ray, Eddie or Collette really care if Sabrina dropped off of the face of the planet? Would anyone?

With an aching face and an aching void inside her chest, Sabrina crawled back into bed and tried to drown herself between her covers.