Yeah, it took a while for me to update this. It is a very important chapter and I had to keep working on it over and over. But I am quite pleased with it now. I don't have much time for writing at the moment. I have finished all my exams (finally!), but I'm trying to find a Saturday job, which is hard. And I'm rereading all the Harry Potter books before Deathly Hallows part two (SO FREAKIN' EXCITED I COULD DIE!).
Anyhows, thanks so much to Anne Oying for your reviews. I am very grateful for all the support. I hope you guys enjoy this chapter (though it's not happy or fun at all), please let me know what you think!
Water and Paracetamol
I turned the radio off with a sense of foreboding and a little bit of anger. There had been a seventh rape, and no one was any closer to finding out who had done them. Someone seemed to suspect it was a group of men all working together with the same evil intent, but there was barely any evidence. It was sickening to think that somebody would do something like that to one woman, let alone seven! I sighed and wandered over to my kitchen to get a glass of water. It was nearly eleven, and I probably should be going to bed soon – I was playing in the band at church the next day, meaning I had to be up and out of my flat by nine.
Just as I opened the cupboard to get out a glass my phone rang.
"Hey Dan! This is Susanna."
"Susanna?" I repeated, surprised. Why on earth was she calling me at this time of night?
"I am so sorry to trouble you," she said, "But my parents are out tonight and you were the first person I thought of."
"Um... it's okay," I said, confused," What-"
"Just, I'm out with some friends, but I feel quite ill and need to get home, but they're all staying out and I don't want to walk because of... because of the attack..." she said in a rush, and her voice shook a little on the last word, "I know it's out of place to phone you, but I know you live nearby, and I was just wondering... if maybe..."
"You want a lift home?" I asked slowly.
"Oh please?" she said, in almost a whimper, "I mean, this attack yesterday... I'm quite scared... there's been loads of them... I am sorry to bother you, but there's no one else I could think of..."
I looked at the clock. It was 10:53pm. I had to be up early tomorrow. This was highly inconvenient, but if she was scared to go home... I lived quite close to town, and could easily drop her home within twenty or so minutes. Besides, it would be incredibly rude to just deny her request.
"I guess that's okay," I said.
"Oh god, thank you!" she said, and her voice had completely lost the quiet, anxious tone, "I'm by Waitrose right now, I could meet you there? You'll only be a few minutes won't you?"
"Sure. I'll see you in a bit, then."
"Okay, catch you in a minute."
As I put my phone in my pocket, grabbed my keys and slipped my feet into my trainers, I heard Katie's voice saying: 'You are way too nice, Dan.'
Susanna was standing on the street, her arms folded, staring at the darkened shop windows opposite with an unreadable expression. She was wearing a short black dress and scarlet heels that were, in my opinion, stupidly high. I never did understand why girls would put their feet into things that looked like instruments of intense torture, let alone walk around in them.
She hurried over as I pulled up, opened the car door and slid gracefully into the seat, gushing out the words "Oh my god, thank you so much Dan, this is so very sweet of you."
"No problem," I said, and she beamed at me, then proceeded to take out a little mirror and check her make-up.
"Well, we'll get you home quickly then," I said, turning back onto the main road, and as I looked past her into the wing mirror, I thought for a second that I caught a glimpse in her pocket mirror of her red lips pulled into a calculating smirk. But then she had turned to me and was smiling, and I found myself wondering how on earth someone managed to have teeth that white.
We sat in silence as I drove. The sky was dark, and the street lights cast patches of smoky orange light that flashed over the car as we passed under them. After a few minutes I turned to look at Susanna. She was looking in her handbag, her forehead furrowed, lips pursed as though she was in pain.
"Are you alright?" I asked, slightly worried.
"I have a really bad migraine," she muttered, "It's getting worse. My head kills. I'm sure I had some paracetamol..."
She rummaged frantically in her bag, and shook her head. "Oh god, I have none."
She put her fingers to her temples, eyes closed. I bit my lip.
"Um... I have some paracetamol at home," I murmured, "You wanna stop by at mine quickly to get some?"
"That's not fair on you," she said, and her voice sounded strained.
"I don't mind at all," I smiled kindly, "You can have a sit down and some water, and then I'll take you home."
"Oh, thank you so much Dan!" she trilled, and she looked at me and grinned widely, with the same unfathomable expression in her eyes.
We arrived at my flat and she followed me through the main doors and up the stairs, tottering on her high heels. As I unlocked my door a small, niggling voice at the back of my brain told me that this was a very bad idea. But what was bad about it? I was just helping out a friend. Jeez, it wasn't like I was going to do anything untoward to her. I'd obviously been listening to the news too much.
I held open the door for Susanna, and as she walked past me I caught a slight smell of alcohol. Had she been drinking? She didn't seem drunk. She had said she'd been out with friends. Maybe they'd gone for a nice meal somewhere?
"Oh, your flat is nice," she said.
"Hardly," I snorted, looking round at the magazines and bits of paper scattered across the floor, empty mugs lying here and there, and the cupboard door in the kitchen that was hanging off its hinges. As I walked past it, I pushed my bedroom door closed, so she wouldn't see the wall half-stripped of wallpaper. I figured I should probably tidy it all up at some point.
She rubbed her hands over her eyes and sank weakly onto my sofa.
"I'll... uh, I'll get you that paracetamol and a glass of water," I said.
I went into the kitchen and fished around in one of the cabinets until I found a crumpled packet of the white pills right at the back, poured a glass of water, and walked back over to her.
"Here you go," I said, sitting down next to her.
She took two and swallowed them, washing them quickly down.
"Thanks," she said quietly.
We sat in awkward silence for a few seconds, then she turned to me.
"Thank you Dan. I don't know many people who would gladly come out to help some girl get home. You're a really nice guy."
"I do my best," I muttered.
"It's cool," she continued, putting the glass down on the coffee table, "You've always been this nice guy, y'know. I remember back when we were, like, thirteen or whatever, and during ball games at youth group you would apologise like crazy if you hit a girl! And it was great to see you again after I got back from Uni. You haven't really changed at all, y'know."
I grinned at her, wondering where this was going. She was staring at me. I could see where her mascara had clumped some of her eyelashes together on her left eye. I could hear her breathing. I was about to ask if her headache was any better, when she suddenly leaned forwards and kissed me.
I froze in shock. Her lips pressed hard on mine, she grabbed the front of my shirt and I felt her nails scrape against my skin.
She began to press herself forward onto me, and I could taste her lipstick.
I pushed her away, a rushing in my ears, heart pounding. Her fingers were still clamped onto my shirt and she stared at me, frowning.
"What are you...?" I hissed.
A panic was rising in me. What had I done? Had I given her the wrong impression?
"No!" I cried, leaping up from the sofa, putting distance between us, "I... I..."
She looked confused and offended.
It occurred to me then that I barely knew her at all. I hadn't seen her for years, then she turns back up and gets much too close to me... I felt suddenly angry.
"What are you doing?" I snarled, and it was like something inside of me had just snapped, "You can't just do that! I don't know you... what..."
She stood up, rocking slightly. Now I thought about it, she probably had drunk a bit much. Though not enough to stop her doing this. Had it all been a plan of hers? Trick me into taking her back to mine so she could get off with me?
"Oh god, don't tell me you're like my brother," she snapped, and she sounded furious, "This is some stupid kind of abstinence thing, isn't it? What is wrong with you?"
She started to laugh, and her eyes flashed dangerously.
"You know, I don't know why I bothered. You're an attractive guy, Dan, but you won't even have a bit of fun. God, you've probably never had sex, have you?"
"I think you should leave," I said through gritted teeth.
"Gladly," she snatched up her bag and slammed the door behind her.
I glared after her then turned sharply and punched the wall. The sharp pain in my knuckles seemed to bring me back to earth. I closed my eyes and breathed deeply.
I shouldn't have lost my temper. I shouldn't have got angry. Bloody hell, I should have been calm and sorted that out properly.
Or you shouldn't have trusted her, another voice said, Shouldn't have agreed to take her home. You're an idiot! What were you thinking?
Still fuming slightly, I flicked out the lights and went into my room, pulling the door closed sharply behind me.
Well, that's that then. I kept going to write Santana instead of Susanna... I don't even like Glee that much. Besides, I don't think Santana is that horrible a character. Sure, she's a bitch, but I quite like her. (I swear me and my friends do not Facebook Role Play as Glee characters, and I do not do it as Santana (I wanted to be Blaine!) no I swear I don't.)
Anywhoooo, please review! Even if it is just to say: "I like this". I will be forever grateful!