"Hey, man are you okay?" Beckett asked. "You're limping horribly."
I smiled at him and crossed my arms, leaning against the wall.
"Yeah? You think I'm too weak to handle a little injury? Huh Beck?" I teased. He pouted and hit his head against the wall. Bennett pulled him away from the wall.
"C'mon Beckett! You don't need any more brain damage than you already have, o... kay...." he said, the last word fading off as he stared at somebody who passed us in the hall. Beckett looked at who his brother was staring at and I follow his gaze. My eyes landed on a tall boy with dirty blonde hair talking to Beckett's girlfriend.
"Oo Bennetts got a crush!" Beckett sang, poking his twin in the arm. Bennett didn't answer. He just kept staring at the boy and swatted Beckett away. They would look cute together I think. Suddenly, Beckett's girlfriend glanced over and caught Bennett staring, but Bennett didn't notice because he was too entranced by the boy. Said boy now looked at Bennett who quickly snapped his attention to the ceiling. I watched the boy smirk and chuckle, heading in our direction. Bennett's face turned a faint pink and he grabbed Beckett's arm and tried to pull him away. Beckett just slipped out of his brother's grip and went to greet Alex, his girlfriend. I was grabbed next in an attempt to escape, but I didn't budge.
Bennett froze. I watched him slowly turn around and look up at the new boy.
"H-hey," he replied, averting his eyes. The bell rang, and I left the twins to limp to first period. My body still hurt a lot from yesterday and the day before. New bruises and marks were scattered across my skin. I pushed the classroom door open and limped up to my seat.
When lunch time rolled around, my back was killing me. I carefully sat at a lunch table and waited for Beckett and Bennett.
"Hey Christian! Can Alex sit with us today?" Beckett asked, walking up to my table and sitting down. I smiled at Alex and him and nodded. The couple sat down and the three of us started up a light conversation. Bennett plopped down in the seat next to me and put his head in his hands.
"I'm such an idiot!" he groaned. Beckett laughed at the confused look a gave his brother. Alex smiled at me and bumped her shoulder against her boyfriend's.
"Eli asked Bennett what his name was and he said his name was Dennis!" Beckett explained, laughing. I cracked a smile and lightly hit Bennett's arm. He groaned again when the new boy, Eli, decided to sit right across from him.
"Hi Elliot..." he mumbled, not meeting his eyes. Eli smiled brightly at him.
"Hi Dennis!" he greeted happily. Bennett groaned again and Beckett and Alex burst into laughter. I chuckled along with Beckett and his girlfriend as Eli obliviously patted Bennett's shoulder, causing the smaller boy's face to heat up and swat his hands away.
"It's okay, Dennis."
"My names not Dennis!" Bennett groaned and Eli laughed, thinking it was a joke.
"Then what's your name, huh?" Eli teased. Bennett hit his head against the table and the other boy ruffled his blonde curls.
"It's. Benn. Ett," he answered, banging his head against the table at every syllable.
"Stop. You don't need brain damage!" Beckett said. His brother rolled his eyes and glared at Beckett who just smirked.
"Your name is Bennett?" Eli asked. Bennett nodded and his hair was ruffled again. They would definitely be cute together. I wish I could find somebody. I wish I wouldn't ever get hurt again. It's a stupid wish though and I knew it.
"Christian! Shut up, will you? I'm working!" my dad yelled at me. I winced and tip-toed the rest of the way to my room, careful not to make any unnecessary noise. I've got to stop doing that. I flopped on my bed and my phone dinged. I unlocked it and read the new text.
I'm picking you up for the party at 9:00 okay?
Yeah that's fine. Thanks by the way!
Yeah, yeah. No problemo.
I smiled at the text and turned on some music, going through my bathroom window for a smoke. It would be alarmingly loud at the party and I needed to prepare myself. I wasn't too fond of loud noises or yelling, but I preferred it over silence. I hated silence. It was never silent with her around. God, I missed her.
I've been going through the motions
Learning how to pretend
That everything is perfect
Hayd played out of my phone as I removed a cigarette from the carton. I pulled my lighter out and lit the cigarette, placing it between my lips and taking a long drag.
And I've been sinking in an ocean
Drowning but I'm silent
Yet everyone thinks I'm afloat
I smiled at the sky and laid down, putting an arm behind my head and relaxing. Blowing more smoke out, I closed my eyes and let my thoughts and music take me away to places I didn't want to be and places I wish I were. Places I didn't want to revisit and places I wish I never left. Places I wish were burned to the ground and places I treasured close to my heart. I let my mind rest and before I knew it, I was drifting into a deep sleep.
“Tia, how are you?” she asked me. We were stargazing again. I shrugged, not bothering to look at her. She knew I wasn’t going to answer. I never did.
“Wanna know what I learned I’m science today?” she asked. I nodded. She knew I loved science class. She would learn about the moon and the stars and the skies and then she would tell me about it. It was my way of learning. She smiled brightly at me.
“So, you know how you can’t see the moon and stars in the daytime?”
“Well, it’s because it’s not dark enough to see them. They are always there, we just can’t see them because the moon and stars can’t shine without darkness! Isn’t that cool? I always thought they disappeared for daytime and reappeared at night.”
“That’s cool,” I answered. I didn’t let her know how cool I actually thought that was. I want to be a star. I guess in a way, I was one. I would hide away and disappear in the day, but at night, I talked and expressed my emotions. To her at least.
“You know, Christian. You’re kind of a star yourself,” she began. I smiled. “You hide during the day, but shine at night. Only certain people know that you shine during the day as well because they pay attention to you and care for you.”
My smiled faltered. I never thought about that. I guess I could still see the moon in the day if I really looked. If only I was a star.
When I woke up, I checked the time. It was almost eight-thirty. I sat up and climbed back into the house, turning my music off and hiding my cigarettes from my dad. Feeling hungry, I travelled down to the kitchen and made some toast.
"Christian! The fuck is wrong with you?" my dad yelled. I winced and turned around to face him. He was drunk. He flung the empty beer bottle at me and my eyes widened and I raised my arms to protect my head. The glass shattered and cut the skin of my arms.
"What the fuck? Clean that up, you idiot!" he yelled. I bent down to pick the shards of glass up, muttering apologize. I'm such a terrible son! How could I let this happen? I carefully put some of the shattered glass into my hand and stood up to throw it away.
"Wait. Get over here," my dad commanded. I walked back over to him, the glass still in my hand.
"Clench your hand. You need a punishment for breaking things."
My eyes widened, but I clenched my hand anyways, wincing in pain. Tears threatened to pour out, but I didn't let them. My dad nodded in approval and made a hand motion, telling me to throw the glass out.
"Now come back and pick up the rest in your other hand and do it again. Bring me another beer while your at it."
I did what he told me to, making sure there was no more glass on the floor before getting up and walking towards the fridge, I opened it and took a beer bottle out, careful not to get blood on it. I handed the bottle to my dad.
"Good. Are you going to keep breaking my things?" he asked. I shook my head quickly, the stinging pain in my hand getting worse. He nodded and walked away.
"I'm sorry!" I said.
"You should be. Now go to your room and leave me alone," he replied. I nodded my head and quickly scurried up my stairs to my room.
"Not now, Moody! I have to wrap this," I said to my cat, heading towards my bathroom. I turned the sink water on and rinsed the blood off my palms and cleaned the cuts. I winced at the sting it caused. I deserved it, it's fine. Grabbing a roll of medical wrap from the cabinet, I wrapped the cloth around my hands before going to greet my cat again.
"Hi Moody! Sorry from being mean earlier. My hands were hurting, but they're better now," I said, picking him up and putting him on my lap, ignoring the pain in my hands to stroke his fur.
I smiled and my phone dinged.
Okay, heading out after I change.
I put my phone in my pocket and stood up, placing Moody on my bed. I pulled off the shirt and shorts I was wearing and slipped into some nice ripped jeans and a big hoodie. I tip-toed down the stairs and pulled on my sneakers, heading out the door and making my way to Scott's yellow Lamborghini. I hugged the car and got in the passenger seat, smiling at my friend.
"Hey, bro. You excited? You missed the other party, so you must be extra excited, yeah?" he asked, pulling out of my driveway. I nodded.
"Yeah, it's going to be great!"
"Yo, what happened?" he asked gesturing to my bandaged hands. I looked down at them and shook my head with a smile at him.
"Nothing. Just sliced my hands up on some broken glass. I cleaned it up already though, so I'm fine now," I laughed. I didn't lie, just withheld information. It's different, right? Yeah.
We made it to the party and got out of the car, heading inside. I immediately spotted Eli and Bennett making out in the corner of a room and Beckett and Alex making out in another corner. Twinning, much? Scott seemed to know what I was thinking and bumped my shoulder.
"I know right? They're copying each other without even knowing it!"
I smiled at him and nodded, letting him pull me to where the drinks were. I cringed at the sight of the drunk people falling over each other in the kitchen. I never liked drinking. I hated it, actually. She didn't like drinking. I watched Scott pour himself a drink and walk onto the dance floor.
I turned my head and my eyes landed on Brian. What was he doing here? Is he here to hurt me again? What did I do wrong this time?
"Hi," I replied. He smirked and put his red solo cup down. He was drunk. I stepped back from him. He could rape me. I didn't want to be raped. He took a step forward and grabbed my wrist, pulling me towards the stairs.
"Stop! You can't touch me without consent! Stop it! Let me go!" I begged, struggling in his grip. He chuckled darkly and walked faster, dragging me up the stairs and to an empty bedroom. He threw me in and locked the door.
"You're fine. We've done this before," he said, smirking and advancing towards me. I knew we had done this before, but the other times I didn't struggle, which meant I consented to it, right? Well, this time I didn't consent. He jumped on top of me and grabbed my jeans, trying to rip them off. Tears welled in my eyes. Don't cry! I blinked them away. Eventually, he stripped my clothes off of me and began to touch me. I whimpered and struggled to get away from him, but he was stronger. I screamed in pain when he pushed himself into me. I wasn't ready. I was still sore and in pain from the last three days. I finally let my tears flow free as he ripped me apart.
"Stop! Please!" I screamed, punching and kicking as best as I could, but with every movement, my body throbbed in pain. He grabbed my wrists, pinning them to the bed and pounded in and out of me harder and faster. I cried and screamed and struggled.
"Stop! Stop!" I cried out. He released inside of me and pulled out, not letting go of my wrists and rolling off of me. The tears didn't stop, but were slowing. My butt throbbed in a dull pain. Brian shifted and rolled back on top of me.
"Round two?" he asked, smirking at my sorry state. I shook my head helplessly.
"No... please, no..." I whimpered. My body couldn't take it. I couldn't take it. He didn't listen to my pleads though and lined up, pushing his way back in. The last of my tears ran down my cheeks as the pain numbed. I didn't scream. I didn't cry. I didn't struggle. I lay there like a dead body and took the abuse. I didn't have the energy to struggle against him or cry out. I couldn't feel anything. I was numb.
Brian groaned and pulled out for the third time. I hadn't moved. I lay still as he stood up and redressed. He unlocked the door and left me alone in the room without a second glance. I waited a few minutes before slowly standing up and redressing through the numbed pain. I limped out of the room and pushed through the crowd towards the back door. I turned the handle and stepped out into the night air. I checked my phone. The time was now eleven-fifty and I had a few new texts.
Hey, where are you? I was gonna head out now. Do you still need a ride?
Never mind. I found Theodore. He said you said he'd could give you a ride. See you tomorrow Christian! Goodnight! 🌙
Okay, goodnight Scotty! ⭐️
I couldn't let him know anything was wrong. Why would Theo say that? I didn't even know he was here. I haven't seen him at all. It was probably because of Brian though. I'm guessing he left when he couldn't find me. I pulled my cigarettes and lighter out of my hoodie pocket and started to smoke.
"You know, you really shouldn't smoke, Carson."
"What do you want, Theo? I didn't know you were still here," I responded, too tired to put up a fake act around him. He smiled at me.
"You knew I was here though."
"Scott texted me saying you're my ride home. Take me home."
"Alright, let's go," he said, grabbing my arm. My mind flashed to tonight's earlier events and quickly pulled my arm out of his grasp.
"Don't touch me."
"Okay, okay. Come on, let's get outta here, okay?" he said apologetically. I nodded and followed him out to his car. I got in the passenger seat and he got in the driver's. A few minutes of silence passed before I realized we weren’t going to my house. We were going to his. My body ached with every turn the car made.
When he parked in his driveway, the two of us got out of the car and I limped inside behind him.
“Are you okay? Why are you limping?” he asked. I looked at him for a second before averting my gaze. Should I tell him? He won’t be able to help me. What’s the point? I shook my head.
“Tell me, Carson. Please. I can help you!” he begged. I sighed. Was he ever going to stop worrying? Was he ever going to stop caring? I looked him dead in the eye.
“I got raped.”
His reaction was different from what I expected. He frowned deeply and clenched his jaw, sighing. I raised an eyebrow at him.
“Are you not surprised?”
“Not really. I suspected something like that was happening due to all of the hickeys on your neck,” he replied, gesturing at my neck. I scoffed.
“So now what, huh? How are you going to help me? Gonna erase my memory? Gonna go back in time? Gonna arrest the guy who did it?” I asked and he hung his head slightly, refusing to meet my eyes. A moment of silence passed between us.
“Look. Let me at least be your friend. I’ll stay close to you. I’ll try to protect you. I’ll sleep over at your house for weeks if you need me to, just please,” he pleading, pulling his beanie off of his head. His black locks stuck up in weird directions, but he ran a hand through it, taming it a little. Would it hurt that bad if I lost him as a friend? Would he leave me?
“I... fine. But you’re staying away from my house. You’re not allowed in there. If I need to stay with you overnight, I’ll sleep here. Deal?” I agreed hesitantly. His face lit up and he nodded furiously.
“Why do you wear beanies all the time?” I asked suddenly. He looked up at me with a small smile. The beanie was placed on top of my head and I pulled the sides down to adjust the hat to my head until it fit snugly.
“They were my sisters. She loved beanies and would wear them all the time. She... she died in a plane crash,” he explained. I frowned and patted him on the back.
“I didn’t know, I’m sorry.”
He smiled weakly at me and shook his head, telling me that it wasn’t my fault.
“I’m staying the night again. I have to be home tomorrow though,” I said. He nodded and I followed him to his room. I saw a couch in the corner that wasn’t there the last time I stayed over. It looked relatively new.
“I uh wanted to be prepared if you ever slept over again,” he explained, rubbing the back of his neck sheepishly. I looked up at him.
“So you bought me a couch?”
“Well, I.. you see I didn’t have- yeah.”
I shot him a small smile and walked over to the couch, flopping down on it. He left the room and returned with blankets and pillows, handing them to me before laying down on his own bed. He flicked the lights off.
“Goodnight Theo,” I yawned. Maybe being friends with him wouldn’t be too bad. Maybe I wouldn’t regret it. Maybe this would be good for me. Maybe...
[November 30, 2020]