My face stung and I ached like I was saddle sore. I had enough dignity left to pull on my clothes, but my shirt was ripped and I saw the zipper of my shorts was undone. Tears slipped down my cheeks and my eyes gazed unseeingly up at the stars.
My hands couldn't stop shaking and neither could my legs, so I curled up in a futile attempt to cease my quaking.
I couldn't believe it. It never actually happened; you hear about it on the news, but it never actually happens.
And even though we were 100 yards from a packed stadium, nobody came to help. A sob racked my body and I curled up tighter.
I felt so dirty. So nasty. And, for the first time in a week, I wanted a knife. For the first time ever, I wanted to feel the pain. I wanted the hurt from being raped to be moved to my wrists.
I heard laughing and the metallic creaking that hinted that people were coming through the field.
I prayed that I did not know them.
I prayed that they would think that I was just a homeless person.
I prayed they would not see the bruise on my cheek from where Nelson hit me once he finished.
I averted my gaze from the sky to my wrist. I saw the butterfly and the name written below it. Cole.
"Regan?" Cole's voice rang out and I heard footsteps coming towards me.
"What happened? He asked, and he gently turned me over gently so that I was facing him. I closed my eyes. I didn't want to see his reaction.
I heard him inhale sharply.
"Co-ole." a girl's voice said. "Are we going to your place or what?"
"Not now Macy," he said, dismissively, "I'll text you tomorrow."
Cole waited until she left, and when he spoke again I heard the fury and worry in his voice. In a way, it was a comforting sound.
"Regan, please tell me that you just ran into something and decided to lie down..." he said, and I knew that he wasn't making a joke. He wanted that to be it.
I opened my eyes and Cole helped me up. That's when he saw my undone pants, my ripped shirt and the stained ground with red and white flecks dotting the dirt.
"Who did this to you?" Cole whispered, and he extended his hand as if to rest it on my arm and I flinched back. Hurt spread across his face and I felt terrible, but I wasn't ready to be touched. Not yet. "Regan..."
I couldn't tell him. He was friends with Nelson; teammates with him. It would...
"Nelson." I squeaked before I could stop myself.
Cole seemed to register everything quickly, for his face contorted into an expression on such fury that it was scary, but at the same time very attractive.
He whirled around and started to stomp back to the field. I stood there like an idiot. Finally it clicked; I understood what he was doing. I groaned and ran after him.
A little bit
(a lot bit)
Of me couldn't help but be happy. Cole was going to beat up a kid that I hated. But still, I hated making a big deal out of stuff. Even if it really was a big deal.
I broke though the crowd just in time to see Cole confronting Nelson. In my mind, I saw them as the same size. However, once they were together, I saw how much taller Nelson was. I gulped.
"What's wrong with you?" Cole yelled. Nelson just smirked. I hated him even more at that moment.
"I just wanted some ass!" Nelson laughed and I shuddered. 'some ass'. Yeah, that's exactly how I want to be known.
Cole made the first move. His fist made solid contact with Nelson's stomach. He staggered back, bent at the waist and I felt a swell of pride.
But Nelson recovered quickly and slammed his knuckles into Cole's chin. Blood sputtered out of his mouth and he stumbled over his feet on his way back. I winced in empathy- that was where Nelson hit me too.
Cole's break put him at a disadvantage. Nelson lunged for his throat just as I heard two middle school girls next to me. Their high pitched voices annoyed me and angered me even more than I already was.
"Who are you rooting for?"
"I dunno, the cutest one!"
"Which one is that?"
They erupted into giggles and I knew that they were right. Cole and Nelson were both attractive in very different ways. All thoughts like that disappeared when I saw that Nelson had Cole in a headlock and my Cole's face was turning red.
(what the fuck, Regan?)
I was horrified and I just wanted the fight to end.
"Stop it!" I screamed, "Let him go!" I just couldn't stand it anymore. I wouldn't put it past Nelson to kill someone. He looked up and he hesitated for a moment when he saw me. That hesitation was all that Cole needed. He kicked back and hit Nelson's knee cap. He crumpled to the ground and Cole, free to breathe, gasped for air. Behind him, a wincing Nelson started to get up.
Cole seemed to sense him though, because he whirled around and kicked Nelson's legs from under him. He hit the ground with a moan and then we all knew who won.
But Cole wasn't finished. He slammed his foot into Nelson's side multiple times, and each time Nelson let out a little wail.
"Cole!" I yelled. I hated Nelson, and I wanted him to go to hell, but nobody deserves to be kicked while they're down.
He stopped kicking, but he spit and hissed quietly so that only the three of us could hear, "Son of a bitch."
"Is that all you got, white boy? That all you got?" Nelson coughed. Cole stiffened, but with one look from me he walked away.
"Principal!" Someone yelled, and Cole's steady pace turned into a sprint and he pushed his way through the crowd and grabbed my hand and together we ran to the car. He entwined his fingers in mine and I didn't want him to touch me; I wasn't ready; But at the same time I didn't want him to let go.
We got to his car and as soon as I closed my door, he revved up the engine and pulled out of the parking lot. Cole ran his hand over his short hair and I saw the tears shimmering in his eyes.
"Cole?" I asked. He just shook his head, but I pursued. "What's wrong?"
"This wasn't supposed to happen, that's all." He said it in such a tone that I didn't want to know what he meant.
Suddenly he pitched forward, and his free hand clutched his head. "Fuck!" He cried.
"Oh my God!" I screeched, and he sat up with difficulty, straightening out the car.
"I'm fine... I'm... fine." He said, but he didn't sound too sure. He reached into the glove compartment and pulled out a square container. He took a long swig from it and when we passed under a streetlight, I realized what it was.
"I can't believe he would do that." Cole muttered, and the reality came crashing down. It all became clear. I got raped. I got raped. The statement wouldn't stop running around my head, and I felt like crying again. He took another deep drink and gulped loudly. "Are you okay, Regan?"
"Dandy." I snapped. I felt a little bad for doing it, but I was kind of emotionally unstable at the moment and the fact that the driver was drinking didn't help anything. "You know, considering I just got my virginity stolen."
"What?" Cole cried. He slammed on the breaks and some brown liquid splashed out of the flask and onto the dashboard, filling the car with the sickly sweet scent of alcohol. "You were a virgin?"
"Don't act so surprised." I mumbled, feeling the tears start to cloud my eyes again. Cole reached out as if to comfort me but he withdrew his hand, probably remembering how I denied him earlier.
"That asshole is going to get it." He hissed, and he started to turn the wheel and make an illegal u-turn.
"Cole, don't." I said, and he stopped trying to make it. He straightened out the wheel and fingered the flask.
"Why?" he asked.
"I just don't want you to get in trouble." I said, and obviously it was the wrong thing to say because Cole let out a very sarcastic sounding laugh.
"And that matters? What matters is that you got taken advantage of, Regan. You lost your virginity to rapist! You're too nice, you know. You're too fucking nice for your own good and I love you for it but it can be really fucking annoying."
Did he just say that he loved me?
Cole put the flask up to his lips and gulped several times. The truck started to criss cross the road and I tightened my seatbelt
"Cole!" I said, trying to get his attention. "Cole! Stop the car!"
"What? No!" he pulled his drink away long enough to answer. I reached over him and pulled the keys out of the ignition. The engine sputtered and the truck slowly rolled to a stop.
"Come on, Cole, we're switching."
He obeyed, unlocking his car door. "Have you ever driven before?"
"No, but I'll still be better than your sorry ass."
We got out of the car to trade places. When we met in front of the car, I saw that Cole was crying again.
"Cole?" I asked. He said nothing but he stepped forward and hugged me. I stiffened in his arms. I wasn't ready to let myself be touched. No way, no how. But he was obviously upset so I wrapped my arms around him and let him hug me in the middle of the road.