1- Meeting him
The wind whipped my long red hair, causing it to dance in front of my face as I fumbled with my shopping bags, trying to find the keys in my purse. I heard distant thunder, which meant rain. Great... looks like I’m going to have to walk home tonight as I couldn’t find the keys to my 80s-style mustang. It was almost 10:30 pm and I knew the store had already closed up for the night. I hoped that my car would not be towed away and that the store would find my keys so that I could pick them up tomorrow. Even if I lost the keys, it wasn’t a big deal as I didn’t much care for the car anyway. It was all I could afford when I ran away all those months ago, and now that I am in New York, I don’t need it too much.
Pulling my hood over my head, I zip up my jacket as I try to get warm from the chilly air. My apartment was more than a mile away from the store I prefer to shop at. In the dark, it was quiet and peaceful, and for some reason, I felt more comfortable than in the light most of the time. It was so cold, I knew winter was coming soon as we were nearing December.
Looking around as I walk, I start to get lost in my thoughts. When I finally got up the courage to accept help and escape, I took the help and got out of the situation back home. I ran, I ran as fast and as far as I could. I choose to move to the city I find myself in right now; the big apple. New York and I chose this city for two reasons. One, it is so big and filled with so many people, making it hard for them to find me. Two, it is over 3,000 miles away from them. Those people wanted to forgive and forget something so terrible and force me to live with an abusive person. It was not okay with me... I had to leave, I had to get away from him. I am so thankful he still hasn’t found me; it’s been eleven months since I took off and ran away from him. I was hopeful that he would never find me.
When I first arrived in this city, I didn’t have much money or gas in my car, but I checked into one of the cheapest motels on the outskirts of the city and I stayed put in that small room for several days because I was too afraid to go out. After paying the manager for one week of living in the bug-infested place, eventually, I found a job as a floater at The Warehouse, a rustic and sleek new restaurant that just opened a couple of months ago. The owner bought an old abandoned warehouse and turned it into a successful business. I was so grateful to my boss, I could almost look past all the times he has hit on me.
Even with me working six days a week for nine to ten sometimes even up to twelve hours a day, I can barely afford my small studio apartment I finally found due to pure luck. The place had been rented by an older man who had been a regular at the restaurant, and after his passing, the complex’s manager reached out to the restaurant asking if they could house someone who needed a place to live. I was the only one living in a motel at the time, so naturally, it was offered to me. I moved in two weeks later.
Taking a deep breath, I noticed it was starting to rain... ugh, I knew it. As I breathed in the cold air, I became numb to my surroundings. When I heard drunken laughter coming closer, I put myself on high alert. I was all too aware of the dangers lurking in the darkness of night. Looking around the street I noticed the group of guys who seemed to be approaching me. There were five of them and they all looked strong and rugged to be honest, their laughter reaching my ears as they slowly approached and my stomach dropped as the fear settled in.
I could tell that they were drunk; I knew it because they acted as he did. I stuffed my icy hands in my hoodie to shield them from the cold wind that seemed to be picking up. A shiver went down my spine as I glanced around again, noticing that they were all watching me closely. As I walked past them I felt so anxious because my body was preparing for the worst possible outcome. After all, I didn’t see men the same way I did before. One of them reached out and grabbed my shoulder and pulled me back, turning me around to face them.
“Hey, pretty girl.” He said in a drunken drawl. Ignoring him, I tried to continue walking, but soon realized they would not leave me alone. Glancing down the street, I panicked as it was completely empty; we were the only ones out and about at this time of night.
“Hey, I’m talking to you.” I hear another one say as I speed up. I need to get away from them quickly. “Oh, don’t be that way! We only want to play with such a pretty thing as you!” I heard another one say and my heart began to race as I feel one of them grab my shirt, ripping it in the process. I tried very hard to get out of his grip but he was just so strong as he pulled me against his brick wall of a chest, causing me to drop my bags. I start kicking out my feet and thrashing my arms around while screaming for help as he drags me into a dark alleyway.
He turns me around, pushing me hard against a wall as he holds me in place with his body and an evil smile on his face as he says, “Look boys, we just got very lucky!” My heart sank when their laughter continued to ring out; I didn’t see an escape. I stared him in the eyes, trying to convince him to let me go, this was not going to happen again.
“What’s your name?” One asks me standing behind the man who was holding me tight against the wall. I did not want to give them that information, so I bit my lip and forced myself to keep quiet. I knew it was pointless to scream when nobody could hear me anyway, so I just kept quiet.
The guy holding me reaches down and tugs up my pencil skirt, which he tore. I stare up at him with wide frightened eyes as he runs his hand up my leg. Not wanting to face him, I closed my eyes tight; I didn’t hear the guy approach until I heard his deep low voice break through the commotion. “Excuse me, but what the hell are you doing to that poor girl?” I opened my eyes and stared out as they all looked at the stranger who had come to my rescue out of nowhere. This guy was tall with a deep demanding voice I noticed as he looked at me, and then to the guy’s hands which held me tightly against the wall. “Are you all right?” He asks me full of concern.
Before I could answer him; the guy who was holding me turned to him and said, “She’s fine, aren’t you, doll?” I stood still, not wanting to make a move. “We were just gonna have fun.” He tried to downplay the situation, but I could tell that he was trying to appear just as demanding and strong as this new guy. “Just turn around and forget you saw anything,” he demands of him.
I felt disgusted and scared at that moment; I didn’t know what was going to happen to me. And just to be honest about the situation; whether or not this guy tried to do anything about it; there were five of them and only one of him. He was outnumbered severely. Then something happened I hadn’t expected, the stranger laughed out loud. “Really? You’d like me to walk away and just forget what I saw, while you go ahead and rape this poor girl?” he asked in a low, deep voice. I could tell this guy was used to issuing orders rather than receiving them. His cold voice made me want to flinch back. “I’ll give you two options here...either I kill you, or you hand her over to me and walk away.” He sounded incredibly confident. I could not help but tremble at his threats.
The men all around me burst out in laughter; I could tell that they didn’t believe his threat. From his posture, I could tell he didn’t like being laughed at. I saw it in his face as he tightened his jaw and clenched his fists down at his sides. I held my breath as he pulled a gun out of his jacket and pointed it at one of the guys. I pull my hands over my eyes as the one holding me against the wall releases his grip and charges at him, I cringed and screamed as I heard the shot ring in my ears. As I slid down the wall to the ground, I hid my head in my knees and hummed to hide the sounds as shots rang out around me. Each shot made me dizzy and sick to my stomach.
When everything stopped and there was only silence, I flinched when he suddenly laid a hand on mine. “Look at me!” he commanded. Cautiously I Open my eyes and look up at this Hero who just appeared out of nowhere to help me. I felt my legs start to shake and go slack as I stood up. I feared I was going to fall over when he stared at me so closely, studying me. “Good girl. Now I will get you out of here!” he said, I felt dizzy and I thought I might topple over. He reached around so fast to catch me, and I stumbled into his arms as my eyes closed in shock at what had just happened. He cradles me in his arms; my eyes felt heavy and I couldn’t keep them open, causing me to drift off into the darkness.