Chapter 5

"Thank you for taking me home." I said softly. He nodded and I opened the car door and closed it gently. When I approached my door step he backed out of the driveway and sped off, and all I could think of was his piercing gray eyes.

As I approached my house door, I opened the door and it was quiet. It was only nine and I knew my parents were expecting me at ten. I was almost embarrassed to know that if they saw me like this; all their suspicions of Jason's image would become questionable. I didn't want to have to go through all the questions, so I decided to lightly walk up the steps and shut the room door behind myself. Sighing, I stripped out of my clothes and resorted to wearing a simple t-shirt and baggy sweat pants. I turn on the bathroom lights and scrubbed at any excess makeup with warm water.

My eyes were still red and slightly puffy, and my back was still throbbing in pain and I lifted my shirt up, turning around so my back was facing the mirror.

I could see the forming of a light purple bruise around me lower back, and I winced as I touched the sore spot. Shuffling though the medicine cabinet I retrieve ibuprofen and swallow two pills, rinsing down the bland taste with cold sink water. After leaving the bathroom, I went back in my room and shut the door quietly behind me.

I couldn't stop the tears from flowing down my face as I wiped them away. What was I thinking getting involved with Jason? I didn't even know him too well and I assumed that he was an okay person. I wasn't initially attracted to him because I thought we would only become friends, but he wanted more than that. I completely blamed myself for ever going with him and I couldn't also help but feel enraged. It was like I was becoming more vulnerable than before, and that's what's bothering me.

The Patrice I knew from Philly was strong, independent and thought things through. Prior to coming to Washington, I feel that I moving further and further away from my old self, and becoming someone I don't recognize. I heard a light knock on my door and I knew it was mother.

"Patrice are you asleep?" Quickly crawling into my bed, I place the covers over my face and saying,

"No. Come in." I heard the door open as her light footsteps approached my bed. I felt her weight as she sat on the edge, knowing that she was going to ask questions.

"Did you have a good time at the party?"

"It was great." I lied to her, a false sense of happiness in my voice. Al I wanted was to sleep through the night without any questions.

"That's good. You didn't drink or smoke or do anything else?" She inquired, clearly trying to get me to tell her everything.

"You know I'm not like that mom. I didn't stay long so I asked Jason to drive me home." Lying was the only way out of this, and if I kept it to myself maybe it will go away.

"Okay. I'm so glad you met someone as responsible as Jason. We should one day schedule to have him over." It was like I was seeing warning signals in my head and I said,

"That's not necessary. Jason and I are just friends."

"Oh, I see then." I could hear the disappointment in her tone, "Well I hope you have a good night. Remember tomorrow I have a two day meeting in Seattle and your father will be out of state on a business meeting in New York. Are you sure you'll be okay for the weekend?"

"I'll be fine mom don't worry." She sighed and said,

"Well, you must be tired so I'll leave you. Good night." She said, closing my door gently behind herself. Sighing in relief as she just the door, I closed my eyes and prayed that sleep would come.

The next morning I woke up sunlight peeking through my blinds. Rubbing the sleep from my eyes, I get up and walk down the stairs towards the kitchen. Yet again the house was filled with silence as I poured almond milk onto my frosted mini wheat's, sitting quietly at the table deep in thought. To be honest I wasn't okay with being alone and I didn't know why I didn't say anything. Sighing, I place my bowl in the sink and head back upstairs to brush my teeth and wash my face. Changing into a simple long sleeved cotton blue shirt and dark denim jeans, I call Rita from my cellphone hoping her day wasn't busy.

"Hello?" She said tiredness laced in her voice. It was only eleven thirty and I wondered how she still managed to sleep that that.

"Hey this is Patrice."

"Hey! What's up with you?"

"Not much. I'm basically free Saturday and I was wondering if you have any plans." Biting down on my lip, I stare out the window as I waited for her response.

"Yeah sure we can hang. I'll be at your house in twenty minutes. I'll see you then?" I hung up quickly and felt relieved. Twenty minutes later her sleek Lexus shows up to my driveway, honking her horn. She gets out and says,

"Hey girl, how have you been?" I approach her and she gives me a hug. I didn't realize I was crying until a concerned expression was on her face.

"What's the matter?" We get into her car and she drives off, occasionally glancing at me and then the road.

"You were right about Jason. He wasn't what I expected. I just thought that I was talking care of myself by making the decision to go with him. I was wrong. When he picked me up, he did the whole show of being a prefect date and my parents liked him. Up until going to the party, everything changed when we arrived there. He completely changed and was almost aggressive. Then he left me to go drink or smoke and that's when Brody approached. I could tell that he was already drunk and he tried to advance on me. I refused and he shoved me into a wall and then Evan literally came out of nowhere, nailing Brody to the wall and beating him up. There was blood everywhere and it got violent. Evan then drove me home and I couldn't even tell my parents what happened. I feel so weak." She listened intently saying,

"I'm sorry that happened. We should have done more to prevent you from going. I can't believe Jason and Brody would do something like that!" She was clearly enraged as her blue eyes glowed.

"I'm glad Evan was there and that you made it home. Don't blame yourself because you didn't know. Know you see what kind of person Jason is, and just beware.

But I think you should tell someone if not your parents. You could of nearly gotten raped Patrice! Do you know how many girls don't realize this being with guys like Jason or Brody? That's all they do, manipulate girls into thinking there something they're not and you won't even know what hit you." She honked furiously as a driver that sped past us, muttering a curse under her breath.

"I'm sorry; I usually don't get this angry. But all I'm saying is that were looking out for us and we care about you."

"I know Rita. I just want to forget about the whole thing." Suddenly any traces of anger were gone and a smile lit her face.

"How about you stay over my house this weekend? Since you told me your parents are out of town, maybe it'll take your mind off of things?"

"I think that's a good idea. I'll just call my mom and tell her, I'm sure she'll understand." She pulls into seven eleven and parks her car.

"I'm just going to get some coffee. I haven't had anything since waking up." She turns off her car and we both head into the convenience store, the bright fluorescent light causing me to blink rapidly. We go over to the coffee machine and she pours the coffee into a Styrofoam cup, adding milk and two sugars.

"Do you want anything to eat or drink here?" She asks, meeting my gaze and I shook my head.

"No I'm fine, thanks." She lightly shrugged as she goes and pays for her coffee and we leave. We quietly sit in her car she takes a sip of her coffee.

"So, where do you want to go today? The mall is open and so is the movie theatre. It's completely up to you though."

"I heard that new comedy came out with Ashley Smith, it's called Why Love. I heard it's supposedly to be good."

"Okay, then we'll go to the movies. It's my treat. I know you're going to object but after what you've been, you need to take your mind off of anything school related."

"Thanks Rita, I don't know how to thank you."

"That's what friends are for." She said smiling, her eyes now on the road. We drove to Belmont Theatre and the smell of buttered popcorn filled my nose.

"Two tickets to Why Love." Rita said and she paid for the tickets. We entered theatre number three and sat near in the middle row. We waited through the trailers and sat through the movie.

It turned out to entertaining and I found myself laughing hysterically, tears filling my eyes. After the movie it was already three thirty as we got into her car.

"That movie was funny. I enjoyed it." I said. Rita nodded and said,

"I'm not really into romantic comedies, but this one did it for me. Hey do you want to get pizza? Well meet up with Vicky and Matthew. I'll text them to meet us Ray's Pizza Parlor."

We arrived at Rays and I noticed a few students I recognized from school said hi. We both and I sat across from her as Vicky and Matthew come five minutes later and Vicky slides in next to me.

"Hey guys." Vicky says, looking at the menu.

"Sorry I arrived late. I'm hope you two weren't waiting too long." He said, glancing between me Rita.

"Not really, as of matter of fact haven't been waiting too long." A waiter with curly dark hair by the name of Anthony came towards our table.

"What would everyone like to eat?" He said, looking down at his note pad and then back at us.

"We would like a large vegetarian pizza pie with three sprites and one coke for me." Rita said, handing him our menus.

"Okay. Is there anything else you want?"

"No, were fine." I said, and he walked away.

"He was definitely cute, don't you think?' She said, smiling as she addressed Vicky, seeing her face slightly flush a light red. Matthew gave her a look and she said,

"You know I didn't mean it like that. I meant it for Vicky. He was definitely paying more attention to you than to anyone else."

"I think you should just talk to him." I said, but it caused Vicky to blush deeper.

"I'm way too shy. He probably goes for pretty tall blond girls, unlike me."

"Don't say that about yourself. I think you're very pretty." I said, giving her a reassuring smile.

"Yeah, Patrice is right. I think you should go for it. Do you like him?" She nodded and said,

"Well just wait after our order so you can talk to him, okay?" She said.

We chatted amongst ourselves as we waited for our pizza.

The door opened and in walked Evan, where a light navy blue leather jacket and low rise jeans that accented his long athletic legs.

Beneath his jacket his wore a black long sleeved V-neck that exposed his muscular chest.

I nearly jumped out of my seat as Rita had a knowing smile on her face.

My pulse was racing against my chest and they all noticed my sudden tenseness.

"Patrice, are you alright?" Matthew said, real concern showing in his eyes.

"I'm fine guys." He took off his dark shades that were covering his beautiful eyes and scanned the restaurant. Please don't come over. I said to myself, hoping he didn't see me. Unfortunately luck was never on my side as he came towards our table, placing his shades in his jacket pocket, his gaze meeting Rita's and everyone else's.

"You guys don't mind if I spoke to Patrice?"

"No, go right ahead." Rita said, throwing me a wink as I Vicky scooted out of our booth to let me out. I suddenly didn't notice how tall he was compared to my five foot stature.

We walk out of the pizza parlor and I wait for his respond. He pulls out a cigarette from his jean pocket and fetches a silver zippo from his other pocket.

"I hope you don't mind." He says apologetically.

"No it's fine. So what do you want to talk about?" I was surprised at the level of calmness in my voices, despite feeling light headed from his silver gaze. He lit the cigarette, taking a long drag, exhaling the smoke through his nose. Although I found smoking repulsive, something about when Evan did it seemed almost enticing. He flicked the ashes from the cigarette towards the ground meeting my gaze.

"I just wanted to know if you're alright. Did Brody hit you or anything?" I shook my head and said,

"Besides the fact that he threw me against a wall, I'm fine." I suddenly winced from touching my back, feeling a little sore.

"How much pain are you in right now?" He asked, throwing the cigarette to the ground. I watched how the cigarette bud dispersed of its orange glow.

"A little, but it's fine really!" I said, laughing hollowly, sounding wrong to both of our ears. He knew that I was lying as he seemed unconvinced. Before I could utter another word he said,

"Turn around. I want to see it for myself. "His tone was surprisingly gently and I silently obeyed. I heard his footsteps walking closer to me as his fingers were on the edge of my long sleeved shirt. Slowly lifting my shirt, I heard him mutter a curse.

"Shit Patrice, this is bad. You need to have this wrapped. "He moved his light slender fingers along my bruises and I felt myself weak by his touch. His touch was cold, feeling like an ice cube against my skin. After gently pulling down my sweater I turned to face him. A pain stricken expression was on his face and he asked,

"Did you tell anyone about what happened yesterday?"

"No, I only told Rita. Not even my parents know. "I sighed, and he ran a hand through his dark blond hair, before meeting my gaze again.

"Come with me. I can get you bandaged up."

"I can't just leave. How can I even trust you?" I said defiantly, crossing my arms over my chest.

"I won't hurt you if that's what you think. I'm not like that." He said, his tone pleading.

"How do I know you're not like Jason, or Brody? How do I know you're not like one of them?" My defensiveness was kicking in, and I didn't know why. Maybe I just stop trusting guys after yesterday except for Matthew. He sighed and said,

"Because I know you trust me. I can see it in your eyes." He said, his gaze understanding. I dropped my arms from my chest and said,

"Your right, I do trust you. I'll just tell Rita that I won't be eating with them." I got into his mustang and we drove off towards his houseā€¦..

This chapter took me a while to write so I hope you enjoy!