Chapter 27- Noah
Haven runs into my arms, startling me, but I don’t hesitate to embrace her. At first, I think she’s just excited to see me, because we haven’t seen one another in three months. I hug her tight, until I realize she’s crying. I pull her away from me and I see blood oozing from her nose and a black and blue bruise forming on her eye and a cut on her lip. I look down and she is wearing a skirt, but the slit is unusually high, up to her mid hip and looks ripped.
“Who the fuck are you? Haven where are you going?” I hear a voice boom behind her. I look up and see a blonde man standing in the doorway. Haven looks behind her, and as the man, who is coming down her step’s approaches, I pull Haven behind me and feel her feel close to my back. The man, who I realize is Charlie, stops in his place and looks at me in curious fury.
“Get in the truck Haven,” I say sternly, holding Charlie’s gaze. I can feel she isn’t moving. I turn my head to the side and meet those familiar hazel eyes. She’s terrified, tears fill her eyes. I soften my eyes and tell her softly, “get in the truck.”
Once Haven is in the safety of the truck, I look back to the man that was storming after her, he has his eyes behind me, looking at my girl. Images of when she ran out of the house play on repeat in my mind. Her face swollen, her skirt ripped, no shoes on her feet, blood on her face. The anger in my chest burns inside of me. I want to bash his face in, taking the sneer off. He steps closer to me, so we’re chest to chest.
Be the bigger man, Noah. You don’t want Haven seeing that side of you again.
“I don’t know who you think you are. That is my wife,” he jabs me in the chest with his pointer finger. I look at his finger and grab it, squeezing his hand tightly, he tries to pull away, but I begin to walk closer towards him until he falls to the floor contorting in pain.
“What? You can’t handle someone your own size?” I ask intensely, the anger in me, a raging fire. He groans in pain as I squeeze his hand even harder, “Fucking. Leave. Haven. Alone. She left you and your baby feelings are hurt, but this will be the very last day you lay a fucking hand on her,” I let his hand go and he immediately brings it to his chest. I spit on the floor right next to him, looking down, daring him to try anything on me. He gives me a dirty look, but I see the fear in his eyes.
“Look man, this isn’t your concern what goes on between my wife and me,” he says in a shaky voice.
“She isn’t your wife, and it is my fucking business,” I say, clenching my jaw and bending down close to his face. I sneer at him and stand up straight, turning around walking to the truck.
“So, you guys fucked, huh? I always knew she was a fucking slut.” I stop walking in my tracks and I ignore Haven’s eyes through the truck window. I turn around and walk over to Charlie as he is standing up from the floor, still cradling his hand. When he realizes how close I am, he tries backing away, but I punch him in the face causing him to fall on the steps of Haven’s house. I just bend down punching him over and over again. I don’t say anything. Only the sound of my fist hitting against his face fills the air. The anger that was bubbling inside of me since I’ve met Haven is now exploding out of me. I punch, and punch and punch some more. His face was once white and now pools of blood are covering every inch of it. My ears are muffled, all I hear is the sound of my erratic heartbeat.
All of a sudden, I feel two hands grab both of my shoulders, yanking me off of a very bloody Charlie. I do so, but I can’t stop looking at him. I then feel two hands on my face, bringing my attention away from him. My vision feels blurred, so I blink quickly to refocus my attention. My eyes land on a crying Haven. Her mouth is moving, but I don’t hear anything. I look to the area I was pulled away from and I see Charlie laid out on her steps. His chest is still rising up and down, indicating he’s still alive. I look back to Haven. Her hands are removed, and she presses herself into me. My ears unclog and everything comes back into focus.
“Noah, please get me out of here.” I hear her say through sobs. I nod slowly, my mouth feeling dry. I look down at my hands and they’re all bloody and cut up. I feel my anxiety rise within me, causing my hands to shake. As Haven and I slowly walk side by side to the truck, a figure is walking up the driveway. We both stop to see who it is and it’s an older woman, all decked out in a beige fur shawl wrap and a long black dress that is down to her ankles. She gets closer to us and looks at me with shock on her face. Then she looks towards the house and immediately her hand flies to cover her mouth. She then runs to him.
“Charlie, Charlie,” she cries. He groans and tries to sit up. She helps him. She then looks at us yelling “WHAT DID YOU DO?” I have my arm slung over Haven, who is shaking uncontrollably. The women gently leans Charlie against the banister and starts walking towards Haven. As she gets closer, I can already tell this is Haven’s mom. The black hair, diamond face shape, defined jawline, and of course she has green eyes. I protectively push Haven behind me, causing her to stop at least two feet away from us and shift her eyes to me. She looks back at Haven, who shifts over to be in her line of view, she’s stopped crying. “How could you allow this monster to do this to your husband?” the woman asks. I look down at Haven, for the first time, I see her looking pissed off. The bruises on her face are more evident and blood is still coming down her nose even in the night. The only light is coming from the sconces by the front door.
“Shut. Up.” Haven says angrily.
“I beg your pardon?” her mother says, placing her hand on her chest.
“You heard me. I’m done. You left me,” Haven’s lip begins to tremble, and her eyes begin to well with tears again. “Look at my face, that monster got what he deserved. He even tried to force himself on me.” Her tears spill out. I grab her hand and she looks down, trying to wipe every tear coming out. Her mother looks at her with disgust.
“It’s not like you don’t deserve any of it,” I look down at Haven, who looks up at her mother in shock, “It should’ve been you that died and not your father. You’re the worst thing that has ever happened to me,” she sneers at Haven. I step closer to her mother, whose eyes turn to me, shocked, most likely forgetting I was even there. Before I can say anything, I feel Haven’s hand gently squeezing my tricep, I turn my head and she nods. I step back.
“The best thing Dad did was be free of you, even if that means he isn’t here with me. If you think I deserve what that monster did to me for the whole duration of our marriage, even just today, then you and Charlie deserve one another. I expect you both to get off of my property by the time I get back,” she looks to me and nods her head in the direction over her shoulder, towards the truck.
I turn around and open the door for her, patiently waiting for her to get inside. Once she is, I close the door and turn around to see Haven’s mom back at Charlie’s side. They both look at me, Charlie with his face covered in blood and one side of his eye completely swollen and Haven’s mother glaring at me. I chuckle, shaking my head, as I walk a little closer, but keeping the distance. I look at Haven’s mother in the face.
“That girl, is the absolute best thing that has happened to me,” I say, pointing behind me, towards Haven. “I don’t know what fucked up childhood you had, but you missed out on an opportunity to love the most amazing human being in this world. All I can say is, I feel sorry for you.” I shift my eyes quickly to Charlie, who is holding a handkerchief to his nose, “The next time you come anywhere near this property or her, we will call the police and have you both arrested for trespassing.”
“I can have you arrested for assaulting me!” Charlie spits out at me. I smile and slowly walk backwards.
“What do you think the police would care more about? Me beating the shit out of you or you breaking and entering into a home that is not yours and attempting to rape your ex-wife? You’re a joke and a coward of a man. Now get out of here and go back to wherever the hell you both came from.” Charlie grumbles something under his breath but puts his head down, looking at the floor. With that I turn and walk around the truck, hopping in. I don’t take a moment. I make a U-turn, driving around my bike and down Haven’s driveway. I don’t look at her and I can see in my periphery that she isn’t looking at me. The tension, however, is thick between us.
I immediately drive to Ava’s, pulling into the garage. Her and Drew took a week vacation conveniently, so we won’t have to worry about them barging in. Once I shut the truck off, I get out and make my way around it. I open the door for Haven. She is completely zoned out, emotionless. The blood has started to dry up, her eye is swollen, her hair is very matted with some dry blood in it also. She doesn’t sense I’m next to her. I gently touch her arm causing her to flinch, bringing her hands up to block her face and move away from me. I put my hands up in surrender.
“Baby, it’s me. It’s ok,” I say softly. She looks at me, bringing her hands down, sobbing. She inches closer to me. She cries uncontrollably, putting her face in my chest. I take the opportunity to pick her up bridal style and make my way through the garage and into my apartment. It was difficult but I managed to open the doors.
Once inside my apartment, I bring her to the bathroom setting her on her feet and she takes the opportunity to sit on the toilet seat. She continues to cry, little hiccups escaping in between sobs. I turn on the water of the bath and go to my bedroom to get her a pair of my boxers, sweatpants and white t-shirt along with a towel. I return to the bathroom and she is still in the same place I left her in. I crouch down, making sure not to touch her. I hold on to the sink to keep my balanced. “Haven,” I say quietly, trying to capture her attention. She doesn’t respond. She is just looking straight at the wall, crying. “Haven,” I say a little louder. This startles her, bringing her eyes to look at mine. She begins to cry again, as though being reminded of the traumatic events that just took place. I take the opportunity to shift on my knees and bring her head to my chest, my chin resting on top of her head. I rub her back.
Once the sobbing subsides after another couple of minutes, I lean back to look at her face, I ask her gently, “do you need help to bathe? If you aren’t comfortable, I can call my mom.” She immediately shakes her head fast t my suggestion and a new set of tears begin again. I kiss her forehead. “Okay, I won’t call my mom. Do you want me to help you though?” I ask her.
“Just- with- my- hair,” she says through hiccups. I nod, kissing her forehead one more time. I get up placing the clothes on the sink counter and turning around for Haven to get undressed. “ok,” she says softly. I turn around and she has a towel tightly wrapped around her body. She goes in the bath, which has raised substantially. She sinks down into the bath, tilting her head back to submerge it under water. I grab my shampoo first, squeezing some on my hand and massaging it into her scalp. Her eyes flutter closed; her face still has the dry blood because she hasn’t rinsed it off yet. After a few moments of massaging her scalp, the water has turned a murky brown because of the blood. I grab the conditioner and do the same process, massage her scalp and then move down her hair length. After a few moments, I use the water to rinse off the remaining conditioner in her hair. Her eyes flutter open. She sits up in the bath, no emotion evident on her face. I stand up and grab another towel hanging behind the door, placing It on the toilet seat. I give her a small smile and leave her alone.
After about, twenty minutes the bathroom door opens and out comes Haven in my baggy clothes. All the blood is rinsed off of her face, her black eye more prominent. I walk to her immediately, looking at her closely, seeing her lip is busted and some bruising on her forehead. I see finger imprints around her neck, as though she’d been choked. I don’t hesitate to bring her close to me and embrace her. She melts against me and begins to cry once again. I lead her into my room and over to my bed. We both lie down and settle in with her snuggled on my chest and my arm protectively around me. I can hear her sniffle every couple of seconds. I kiss the top of her head constantly. Eventually both of us fall asleep, not saying a word about the nights events.