I wake up in Bryson's bed and all the memories from that party come rushing back. Did the stranger rape me? Why would he do that to me? I should've known better than to attend Darren's party. None of this would've happened if I stayed home.
I sob quietly as I look around. Bryson brought me to his house and dressed me up in his clothes. I'm so glad he brought me here. I wouldn't want my mom to see me like this. She's going to lose her mind if she finds out about what happened to me.
"Aria," he sits next to me and hugs me tightly. I feel so safe in his arms.
"Bryson. He raped me," I hold on to him as I cry my eyes out.
"No. He did not do anything. I got there before anything could happen."
"You saved me. I can't imagine what I'd be feeling if I lost my virginity like that." I cry and he pulls away slowly. He cups my cheek and wipes my tears off.
"Every girl deserves a good first time. I'm glad I found you." He lays next me and I rest my head on his chest.
"Thanks Bryce." I say quietly.
"You don't need to thank me. I'll always be around to protect you." I look up at him with a smile.
I've never felt so safe in my life. With Bryson next to me, I feel like no one can hurt me. He saved me from the worst the worst situation I've been in.
Mom! Did he call her? I didn't tell her where I was going. She must be worried right now.
"Did you call my mom?"
"She called me and I told her you were sleeping over at Tina's." He says, "I called Tina and asked her to say the same thing."
"I don't know what I'd do without you."
I wake up when I feel a cold hand cup my cheek. Bryson is looking at me with a smile on his face. He's shirtless and his hair is damp. That's so fucking sexy. I wanna run my hands through his hair and touch his abs.
"Morning," he says softly.
"Did you sleep alright?"
"Yeah." I smile at him.
"You look beautiful," he says and I feel my cheeks heat up. Why am I blushing?
He has been saying that a lot lately and to be honest, it's kinda nice hearing it from him. He never called me that.
"You're blushing," he cups my cheek and looks me in the eyes.
What's happening here? It's just Bryson! He saw my boobs. It feels so weird knowing that. I wonder what he thinks.
"Bryce," I say his name quietly.
"You saw my boobs."
"That didn't matter to me at the moment. I was worried about you." He says and I smile at him.
"They're beautiful," he adds and I look at my fingers.
"I'm gonna take a shower."
"Okay. I'll wait for you in the kitchen. You can use my toothbrush." He winks at me and makes his way out of the room. I stare at his back with my mouth hanging open. Why is his bare back affecting me? I've seen him shirtless so many times. He's such an angel.
A stranger would think he's my boyfriend. He's being very nice to me. He's always nice but this is way too much. He's like a different guy right now. He's calling me beautiful and making me blush. Am I seriously gonna use his toothbrush?! I might do that.
I make my way into Bryson's bathroom and strip out of my clothes. I step into the shower and let the warm water hit my body. I wanna forget about last night. I don't wanna think nor talk about it. I can't believe I'd be a rape victim if Bryson didn't save my ass from that stranger.
I wonder what would have happened to me if I stayed with that guy any longer. What if Bryson didn't come for me? I'd be feeling way worse if I woke up next to that stranger. My guardian angel saved me.
Darren carried me into that bedroom. He caused all that shit. I started feeling dizzy after having the drink he gave me. Did he want me at his party so that one of his friends could fuck me? Who does he think I am? I just can't wait to come across that dickhead. I'll teach him a lesson he won't forget! How could he do that to me?! What have I done to be put in that kind of position? I'm gonna kill Darren! He better watch out.
Once I'm out of the shower, I look through every drawer and manage to find a new toothbrush. I can't just use Bryson's.
After brushing my teeth, I make my way out of the bathroom and put on one of Bryson's shorts and a T-shirt.
I go to the kitchen and find Bryson on his phone.
"Hey," I say as I sit beside him.
"Hello," he turns off his phone and looks at me. We look at each other without saying anything. He has a small smile on his face and I'm just staring at his lips.
"I made pancakes for breakfast," he says.
"Nice." He hands me a plate and I dig in immediately.
"Are you feeling okay?" He asks.
"Yeah. I guess so."
"Did he hurt you?" I wanna tell him everything. He should know since he's the one who saved me.
"He kept pushing me and pulled off my bra. I was so weak. I could barely stand on my feet." Tears sting my eyes as I say this, "I got scared when Darren carried me into that room. I wanted to run but I couldn't. My head was spinning and I couldn't see well."
"Yeah. He got me a drink before we started dancing. I started feeling dizzy and wanted to splash some water on my face. Darren caught me when I was about to fall and took me to his room. He left me there with that stranger." I cry.
"That fucking Asshole!" Bryson groans. His face softens when he sees me crying. He gives me a hug and I snuggle into his chest.
"I'm really sorry that happened to you."
I pull away and wipe my tears off. I plaster a smile on my face and get back to eating breakfast. I don't wanna cry anymore. I have to be strong to forget about this.
"Why do you hold it in?" He asks.
"It's in the past," I say.
"For fuck sake Ariana! It fucking happened last night!"
"Why should I cry? I wanna forget that ever happening to me. I don't wanna remember any of that. It was the worst thing that happened to me."
We don't say anything for the rest of the hour. I don't like how silent we are but it's better than talking about what happened yesterday.
Bryson and I watched two movies and now we're just tryna find another movie to watch. We've been so chill and I'm starting to feel better.
I'm gonna go home tonight. I can't stay out another night.
"I'm not finding anything Ari."
"Give me the damn remote." I stretch my arm and reach out for the remote but he refuses to hand it over. "What the fuck!" I get on top of him and grab the remote.
"Give it back!"
"No! We watched Marvel movies 'cause of you. It's my turn to pick."
"Holy fuck!" He groans and lays on the couch leaving his legs to rest on my lap.
"No way! I'm comfortable."
"Fine then!" I get up and sit on his legs.
"You're light," he chuckles and I roll my eyes.
"I'm not finding anything."
"Let's just talk." I get off his leg and he sits up.
"Anything,," I say, "there's a lot of things I want you to tell me."
"Why weren't you coming to school this week? You were really sad when I came to see you."
"I only get so sad when I don't meet my therapist." He says.
"Why do you have a therapist? You're like the jolliest person I know."
"That's what I want everyone to believe. I've gone through so much shit and I prefer not to let people know about it."
"Bryson. I really want you to open up to me. I care a lot about you and I don't like to see you sad and broken."
"I started going to therapy after my father died. I was depressed and emotionally wrecked. You didn't know me back then. We met in sophomore year when I got better."
"I couldn't talk to anyone about this. It was really hard for me to share my feelings with anyone. It took long for me to open up to my therapist and when I did, I started feeling better and that's when I met you. Things started getting bad a month after my father's death. My mom caused the pain."
"She didn't give a fuck about me anymore. She barely came home and when she did, she was either drunk or with her new man. She went on business trips without letting me know. The only thing she'd leave is a credit card on the kitchen counter. She didn't give me love and attention like a mother should. She doesn't call to check on me and doesn't answer when I call her."
"When dad was alive, we sat on the couch in the living room every weekend as a family. Now all she does on that couch is fuck with her new man. I witnessed that shit four fucking times this week. She's acting like my father never existed. She's acting like I don't exist. The most she's said to me this week is 'sorry'. Like that would fix anything. She came in after I saw her fucking that man. I feel so lonely everyday of my life. You and Leo are the only people that keep me sane. I know I'm an asshole. It's my character but there's a lot more than that. When I'm fucking, I feel relaxed and I forget about my sadness. I also happen to love girls. You know I'm addicted to them." He chuckles but it doesn't reach his face.
"I feel like I'm choking every time I get back to this house. This place is always so empty and quiet. I've gotten used to it but the one thing I'll never get used to is my own mother treating me like a piece of shit. I still go to therapy because I need it. My mother doesn't talk to me. She ignores my presence and that breaks me. She's the only one I have left on this earth and yet she doesn't treat me like her son. I wasn't coming to school because I was angry and I hadn't seen my therapist. I was afraid I'd do something stupid."
How could Bryson keep this to himself for a such a long time? I know we only met last year but I never thought he had any problem. I really feel bad for him. How could his mother ignore him like that? She's the only one he has left. I can't imagine what he's feeling right now. It's really so hard to smile knowing that you have such problems but he manages to keep a smile on his face all the time.
I never once thought that Bryson was the kind of person to give fake smiles. He has always been so real and calm. He doesn't get angry so fast. I wish I could help him. I wish his mother could see what he's going through. I feel like I've been a really bad friend for not noticing his emotional breakdowns.
I just wanna cry. It really hurts. My parents aren't together and that hurts me but it's nothing compared to what Bryson is going through. He feels lonely even when he's around so many people. All he wants is for his mother to love and care for him.
"I'm so sorry this is happening to you. I can't imagine what it must feel like." I give him a hug and tears threaten to roll down my cheeks, "I'll always stand by you Bryson. No matter what happens, I'll be here for you. I'll never let you feel that loneliness when you're with me."
"I've never felt lonely when I'm with you. You're the closest person to me and knowing that you're always around makes me feel better."
"Please don't keep anything from me," I say and he nods slowly. I feel closer and more connected to him than I've ever been before. He opened up to me about his worst situation.
"Stop holding in your emotions," he says softly and I nod in response.
We hold onto each other much longer and I can feel his breath fanning my neck. The feeling sends shivers down my spine and makes me breathe heavily.
We pull away slowly and look into each other's eyes. He starts to lean in and I breathe heavily. His breath fans my face as he leans in closer and I close my eyes.
The door bell rings and we pull away quickly. I clear my throat and Bryson gets up to open the door.
Tina comes in with a shopping bag and runs to hug me. "Oh my God! Aria, are you okay?" She asks with a lot of concern.
"Yeah. I'm fine. Thanks to Bryce," I look at him and he smiles.
"He called me last night and I got really worried about you. I brought some clothes. Your brother is home." she says. How come? He said he was coming home next weekend.
"Thanks Tina," I smile at her. "I should get dressed and head home immediately. I really wanna see him."
I run upstairs and get into Bryson's room. This house is really huge. It must have been more than hard for him to live alone most of the time.
I strip out of Bryson's clothes and get out the ones Tina brought me. She got me jeans and a tanktop plus a jacket and flats.
I put them on as fast I can and brush my hair quickly. It's still so messy so I tie it up in a messy bun. I can't wait to meet Sean. I've missed him so much.
Once I'm done, I make my way downstairs and find Bryson flirting with Tina. Some things never change.
"Bryson. My car keys," I say.
"Oh. I'll go get them." He goes upstairs and comes back shortly. He doesn't hand me the keys though.
"Give me the keys!" I yell.
"I'll drive," he says.
"No! I'll drive. I know how to get myself home Bryson!"
"I wanna make sure you're safe."
"I'm not stopping anywhere. I'm heading straight home. Come on B! Give me the keys. I'll call you when I get home."
"Promise!" I roll my eyes and he hands me the keys.
"Be careful out there babe."
"Sure babe," I say as I make my way out with Tina with him following right behind us.
"Are y'all dating?" She asks.
Bryson and I started to laugh at her question and answer, "no!"
"Okay." She looks really confused and It's so hilarious.
"I gotta go now. Bye Bryce," I kiss him on the cheek and walk towards my car.
"Aria, I'll come over later. I'm going to see Leo." Tina says.
"He says needs my help. It'll be quick."
"Okay. Sure, take your time."
It feels like I haven't talked to Leo in ages. He's barely around me and doesn't call as much he used to. I wonder what he's so busy doing these days. I should check up on him tomorrow.
The only thing on my mind as I drive home is Bryson. I can't stop thinking about him and the way we talked. I feel like I know him better now. We're closer than we've ever been. I wonder what he's doing right now. I wanna turn back and spend more time with him but I can't. I need to get home and spend some time with Sean. He barely visited us and I want to make the most of every moment.
After everything I've been through these past few days. I don't think I still have feelings for Leon. I think I'm finally over that crush!
When I get home, my two brothers are playing FIFA and there's music playing in the background. There are two beautiful girls seated on the couch watching and vibing to the music.
"Pause the fucking game!" I yell and stand in front of them. "I need a moment with my big bro." I jump on him and he hugs me tightly as he lifts me off the ground.
"How's my little sis doing?" He asks.
"Good. Even better 'cause you're here."
We pull away and I look at the girls seated on the couch," hey there," I say.
"Hey," they both say.
"They're our girlfriends," Cole says.
"Oh." I smile and look around in so much confusion. "Where's mom?"
"I'm right here," she's standing at the kitchen entrance with no expression on her face. What's up with her? "Come here Ariana. We need to talk."
Talks with this woman never go well. I wonder what she's up to.
I walk into the kitchen and we stand there looking at each other silently.
"I know you weren't at Tina's last night," she says.
Holy fuck!!!! No!! I hope she doesn't know about what happened last night. She'll never let me go out till I die.