Chapter 17 | A Very Long Morning
I didn’t tell my parents about Jared’s threat to Jacob. I didn’t want them to worry even more, and I didn’t want to cause my dad to spiral again.
I told Shane, and he almost had a meltdown. I had to hold him back from leaving me and going to hunt Jared down for threatening my little brother.
I managed to calm him down, and explained to him that we need to keep calm over this. If we spiral out of control and lose ourselves, Jared will only use it to his advantage.
I decided from then on that I would make it a point to walk Jacob home from school every day, or at least the days that my parents weren’t able to pick him up. I’m never going to leave him alone and I’m going to make sure that he always has protection.
Jared Winston can punch me all he wants, but I will not let him touch Jacob. That is something Jared Winston will never do, is hurt my little brother. If he tries, there will be severe consequences.
I hope that my threat to him at Fred’s last night will keep him away. At least away from Jacob. I can handle his small torments and evil glances, but I won’t let anything happen to anyone else.
“Addie, are you ready for school? You’re running late.” I hear my mom say from behind my bedroom door.
“Yes, I know mom. I’ll just walk to school, don’t worry about me. Oh, does Jacob have a ride home today? If not, I’ll walk him home.” I offer.
Thank God today is Friday.
“That’s awfully nice of you. What do you want?” She chuckles.
“Nothing.” I laugh as I walk over and open my bedroom door. I give my mom a smirk and then walk back over to my closet to pick out an outfit for the day. “I just don’t want him left there waiting for someone to pick him up.”
“Alright, well then you can walk him home today. Your father is going to be at the office late tonight and I can’t get away from work to pick Jacob up due to a meeting late in the afternoon.” She says, nodding her head yes to the clothes I pick up and hold out for her to judge. My mom works at a magazine studio. She runs stories, takes photographs and even helps design the covers. She became an executive partner in the office and she even has people working under her.
My mom smiles every day when she leaves the house for work and is smiling when she comes home too. I hope one day I have a job that I love going to every single day. I don’t want to be one of those people who wake up every day hating life because they can’t stand their place of employment.
Maybe I’ll even take over for my mom one day. I would love to work at a magazine publishing office. I’m shy and pretty soft-spoken, which is the perfect person for the job of snooping and finding out other people’s secrets.
“Have a good day sweetie!” My mom says as she leaves my bedroom and heads for the front door with Jacob to drop him off at school.
“You too mom!”
After taking a shower and brushing my hair out, I pull on my black skinny jeans and pair it with a white v-neck T-shirt that surprisingly fits nice. I grab one of my black zip up jackets and put it on, leaving it unzipped.
I leave my hair down, but run some moose through it and grab my purple glasses, putting them on. After putting on my black doc Martens, I grab my cell phone from my bedside table and bolt down the stairs.
Debating on whether or not to eat breakfast, I decide a banana would suffice as I pluck it from the bunch of bananas sitting on the kitchen counter. After I grab it, I rush to the front door to leave for school.
Just as I open my banana and go to take a bite, I notice someone sitting on the bottom of the steps to my house.
I immediately hear sobbing, and though the person sitting there had on a hood covering their face, I recognize the sound of her voice almost instantly and drop my banana on the ground.
“Rebecca?” At the mention of her name, her shoulders tense and she immediately stands up.
“Rebecca I know it’s you. What’s wrong?” I take a step closer to her, but when she suddenly turns around exposing her beaten and bloodied face, I stumble back into my initial spot on my porch.
“Rebecca... oh no...” My eyes widen with fear as I take in her brutal appearance. I don’t know what triggered me to do so, but I discreetly reach into my pocket and pull my phone out. I pretend to look at something, but what I really do is turn my recording on, so I can capture everything that’s said. I might be able to use it later.
“I told you Addilyn. I told you things would get worse for me, but you didn’t listen.” Her voice is low and full of pain. I can barely understand everything she’s saying due to the swelling of her face and lips. Jared surely did a number on her.
“Rebecca, I know how you’re feeling right now, but this is no one’s fault except Jared’s okay? He is a vicious monster and a coward.” I seethe, feeling anger rile up inside of me at the thought of Jared’s evil and twisted face.
“Why couldn’t you have just stayed out of it like I told you to? He told me not to warn you about Jacob, so when you mentioned Jacob at the diner, he automatically knew I ratted him out. He thinks I’m a traitor because of you!” She screams as her fists clench at her sides.
“Rebecca... don’t you see? He’s a manipulator. That’s what he does! He gets into your mind and disguises his evilness with giving you whatever you want and making you feel important. He’s the reason all of this is happening, and you’re seriously going to sit there and blame me for all of this? He attacked me at that party all by himself. He punched me in the face all by himself and he has clearly done the same if not more to you... All. By. Himself!”
I couldn’t hold in my anger anymore. Rebecca and I are victims of Jared Winston and she still thinks that I am to blame for her beaten face. That I caused Jared to lash out at her.
Yes, maybe outing Jared’s plan against Jacob to Jared himself wasn’t the best idea. Maybe I should’ve kept that little secret to myself, but Jacob is my little brother. He is my innocent little brother and I was not about to stand by and let a direct threat to him go unnoticed.
Rebecca’s eyes soften just a fraction before she charges for me. I think she’s going to attack me herself, but what happens next certainly catches me completely off guard.
Before I know it, Rebecca jumps into my arms and begins sobbing against my chest while I simultaneously wrap my arms around her waist.
“You s-should have seen the look in his eyes Addie. They were terrifying!” She sobs some more, crying tears all over my jacket and white T-shirt.
“I’m so sorry Rebecca.” I hug her a little bit tighter, and try my best not to start crying myself as images from the night of the party come flooding back. At that, I reach and pull my cell phone from my pocket. I turn the recording off from behind Rebecca’s back and slowly put my phone back into my pocket.
After a few seconds of standing on my porch with Rebecca crying on my shoulder, we pull apart and sit down on the chairs that are a few feet away from us.
Looking at Rebecca in broad daylight, I’m able to see the intense extent of her injuries. Jared must’ve hit her repeatedly. Both of her eyes are swollen and bruised. Her nose has dried blood circling the edges, and her bottom lip is busted open and still bleeding.
“I can’t believe he did this to another girl. What a coward. He has to hire men to fight other males for him, but he has no problem beating on women.” I rant, feeling fed up with Jared all together.
“Yep, he sure is tough huh?” Rebecca tries to joke, though she can’t even smile without wincing.
“We should get you to a doctor Rebecca.” I urge.
“No. If my parents find out about this... I just can’t.” She frantically shakes her head.
“Rebecca, you need to have your face checked out. You can’t just leave it like that.”
“I can take care of it myself Bishop. My parents are away on vacation, and I can’t bother them with this. They won’t have it.” She crosses her arms over her chest and sighs.
“So you’re telling me they wouldn’t care that you got beaten, but that you interrupted their vacation?” My eyes widen in disbelief, not believing that any sane parent would react that way.
“Parents of the year, right?” She scoffs.
“That’s ridiculous!” I seethe, not sure of who I hate more at the moment; Jared or Rebecca’s parents.
“It’s whatever. I’ll clean myself up with a first aid kit and all will be well with the world. I just gotta skip school for a couple of days, at least until the swelling goes down.” Rebecca frowns and I instantly feel sympathy towards her.
“I still have some pain medication from when I went to the ER. I don’t need all of it.” I look over to her, hoping she caught on to what I am offering.
“Are you sure?”
“Yes. I’ll be right back.”
I go back inside to grab the medication bottle. I open it up and pour five pills into my hand. After putting the medication bottle back into the cupboard, I go back outside only to find that Rebecca has left.
“What the hell...” I look around for her, but she is nowhere. Almost as if she’s vanished into thin air.
I huff and bring the medication pills back inside to put them back into the container. After locking the house up yet again, I decide to walk to school even if I have already missed the beginning of first period.
I feel my cell phone vibrate in my pocket, so I pull it out to find Shane’s face smiling at me.
“Hey.” I breathe, still confused as to why Rebecca disappeared so suddenly.
“Baby, what’s wrong?” Shane asks with panic clear as day in his tone. “Why aren’t you here at school?”
“Calm down. I’m just a little late this morning and I’m walking to school right now. I should be there in about ten minutes or so.”
I grab my bag from the porch and begin speed-walking in the direction of school. My speed-walk is suddenly put to a halt when I notice car tracks in our front yard by the sidewalk.
Did someone pick Rebecca up?
“Oh, okay then.” Shane lets out a cute chuckle and I can’t help but smile as I continue walking towards school.
“See you in a little bit. I’ll probably get there ten minutes before class is over.”
I hang up the phone and put my headphones in to listen to Pandora.
Who the heck picked Rebecca up and why didn’t she wait to say goodbye or at least take the medication pills she wanted for her face? Nothing made sense as I replayed everything in my mind.
One thing I definitely knew to be true is that Jared Winston is very dangerous and I need to stop him from hurting more people. Especially my friends or family.
He’s already hurt me, and Rebecca. Who’s to say he won’t go for someone else next? He already threatened Jacob, but I will die before I let him touch my little brother.
Thinking about Jacob made me nervous, so I unplug my headphones and dial his school.
“Hello, Dunedin Elementary, how may I assist you?”
“Yes, hi. May I please speak with Mrs. Roberts?” I ask, praying she is available to talk.
“Of course, one moment and I’ll transfer you to her classroom.”
I wait for a couple of seconds and finally Mrs. Roberts picks up the line.
“Hello, this is Mrs. Roberts classroom, how may I assist you?”
“Hi Mrs. Roberts. It’s Addilyn Bishop, Jacob Bishop’s older sister.”
“Ah yes, hello dear. What can I do for you? The kids are just finishing up their alphabet review with my assistant.”
I can hear the chatter of numerous kindergartner’s in the background and I smile knowing one of them is Jacob.
“Oh, I just wanted to check up on Jacob and make sure he’s alright.” I try to keep my voice void of any worry, but I can tell I didn’t do a very good job at it.
“Why? Should something be wrong? Do I need to call your parents?” Mrs. Roberts asks, causing my eyes to bulge out of my skull.
“No!” I quickly reply. “It’s just that... uh... Jacob said his stomach wasn’t feeling too good this morning. I just wanted to check up on him.”
“Oh, well hang on a second, I will put him on the phone for you.” Mrs. Robert’s tone softens and I smile at how well I covered my ass.
“Addie!” Jacob practically yells into the phone.
“Hi buddy!” I smile wide, though I know he can’t see.
“I never said my tummy hurted.” I almost laugh at how confused he sounds.
“Hurted isn’t a word Jacob, and are you sure? I thought I heard you say that. I’m sorry.” I apologize.
“It’s okay!” He chirps, clearly in a good mood.
“So everything is alright? You’re having fun at school?” I ask, just to reassure myself that I have nothing to worry about.
“Yes! Everything is fine! I like the new assistant!”
“What’s her name?” I ask, feeling curious.
“It’s a boy Addie.” He replies in a duh tone.
“Oh, my apologies. What’s his name?” I smirk.
My heart sinks to my feet.
Jared. It cannot be the same Jared, can it?
“Oh yeah? What’s he look like Jacob?” I casually ask, trying to hurry this phone call along.
“Well, he’s tall with yellow hair.”
My eyes widen more. Blonde.
Jared has blonde hair.
“Oh and he has band aids on his hands.” Jacob casually observes.
My heart rate immediately begins increasing.
Jared freaking Winston is the “assistant” at Jacob’s school, and in Jacob’s class.
That is definitely not a coincidence.
“Oh, cool. Well you be good okay buddy? I’ll be there right after school to pick you up. You stay put and wait for me alright?” I demand.
“Okay Addie, bye!”
A few seconds later, Mrs. Roberts speaks again.
“Get everything squared away?”
“Yes. I’ll be picking Jacob up today Mrs. Roberts, so please keep him there at the school until I arrive.” I demand less harshly. “Please?”
“Of course dear. Take care!”
I put my headphones on and press play on my Pandora app.
Jared is in the same room as Jacob. Relax, Mrs. Roberts is there and would never let Jacob leave with someone unfamiliar. Right?
I know I’m not going to get any real work done today in school. All day long, the only thing I will be able to think about is Jared Winston in the same room as my little brother who he just threatened yesterday.
After a long walk, I finally make it to school. I waste no time in getting a late slip and heading to first period. There are only a few minutes left of class, but I need to see Shane, Angie, and Jaxon.
When I walk inside, Shane’s head immediately perks up at the sight of me. He smiles warmly and I’d be lying if I said it didn’t cause severe butterflies to flutter against my stomach.
“Well, Addilyn Bishop, thank you so much for finally gracing us with your presence.” Mrs. Andrews sarcastically greets. I’m taken back by her hostile attitude, but I shrug it off and think nothing of it.
I hand Mrs. Andrews my late slip and give her a small smile before heading towards my seat behind Shane. He instantly turns around and leans over to kiss my cheek.
I notice a few jealous stares from a few of the other girls in the class, but I simply smile at them in reply.
“Everything okay?” Angie whispers from my left.
“I will explain everything at lunch.” I say as I pull my notebook from my bag.
“What happened?” Jaxon whispers from my right.
“Did you not hear what I just told Angie?” I glare, annoyed with the rough start to my morning.
“Sheesh, my bad.” Jaxon sighs while leaning back over into his own seat.
I give Shane a small, but tired smile and he smiles back before turning around to face the front of the classroom.
I slouch down into my seat and begin absentmindedly fidgeting with my pen and pretending to listen to the teacher give her notes.
I’m far too distracted to listen, let alone write down a page full of math notes. Today is just not the day for school.
When the bell rings signaling the end of first period, I sigh in relief knowing that at least one class is done for the day, and that meant getting to Jacob that much sooner.
I dread having to tell Shane, Angie and Jax about my morning. They’re going to freak out, but I can’t keep this much information to myself. Especially the part about Jared volunteering as the assistant at Jacob’s school.
I make sure to tell them to meet me in the library so we can talk privately. I don’t need any eavesdroppers hearing anything important that they shouldn’t.
Once we all agree, I give Shane a sweet kiss on the cheek and hold his hand as he walks me to my next class. As we walk down the crowded hallway, I lean my head against his shoulder.
“Someone’s tired.” Shane chuckles.
“How’d ya guess?” I yawn.
“Long night after I dropped you off?”
“No, just a very long morning.” I sigh, stopping so I can get a much needed hug from my handsome boyfriend. I smile when his arms tighten around my waist, pulling me closer.
A very long morning indeed.