“My names Peyton,” I say, extending her hand.
She just stared at it. No reply still, ugh. Have I done something wrong here? She took the seat beside me. I explained the assignment to her, we were working on fingerprints, she only nodded.
While she was doing her work, I couldn’t help but stare at her. Her dark bangs covered half her face, she was so beautiful though. Her light blue eyes were big, she had eyeliner on with the flick at the ends. What is it that girls call it? Tiger eyes?
Anyway, she also looked like she barely weighed anything. Gym class was going to be hell for her, we have to play dodgeball. One of the girls, excuse me, yet another leech glared at her. Apparently, me staring was an issue. As always these rejects pick on the wrong people all because of me.
The day went by in a blur. She disappeared at lunch, but with the stares, people were giving her I would’ve left too. Alexis had all her classes with me, so I didn’t mind showing her around. She didn’t speak though. After school, I caught up with her at her locker.
“Hey, do you want to hang out?” I asked her.
She took a piece of paper from her notebook, wrote something then handed me it.
“WHY WOULD YOU WANT TO HANG OUT WITH ME?” I read the paper.
“Well you seem different and you’re new here so I just figured, it’d be nice ” I answered.
Which is true she wasn’t throwing herself at me, she opened her locker without help and she did pretty well on that forensics assignment meaning she actually had a brain. She handed me another piece of paper
“EXACTLY WHY WE SHOULDN’T HANG OUT, I COULD RUIN YOUR REPUTATION, SEE YOU AROUND” I read again.
Before I even had a response she was walking away. I caught up with her.
“Wait, no. I’m not one of those popular assholes, I mean I’m well known but I’m not an asshole” I stared at her one visible eye.
“Please?” I asked again.
She hesitated but then nodded her head. Yes!
I took her to the woods not too far from my house. I think she liked it she smiled when she saw where we were, still no words though. We sat on some branches a bit away from me. She was keeping her distance. The trees here are gigantic, their limbs stuck out from the ground. She wrote something in her notebook then handed it to me.
“WHY’D YOU BRING ME HERE?” it said.
“I like to come here and clear my mind, sometimes,” I said, noticing she was holding her stomach.
Another paper, “IT’S SO PEACEFUL, LIKE OUT OF A BOOK” I smiled, I knew she’d like it.
“Hey do me a favor, let me see your phone? ” I ask She handed me her phone, I added my number to the contacts, then texted her.
Me: Let’s just text, much easier and less work for you.
Her: Good idea
Me: Alexis, can you speak at all?
Her: Please just call me Lexie, and yes.
Me: So why don’t you?
Her: Long story short, it’s just better if I don’t.
Me: Oh okay. Um, it’s your stomach okay? I noticed you holding it
Her: Yeah, fine.
She looked up at me, kind of shocked. I mean yeah I did just call her a liar that was the appropriate reaction.
“I’m not gonna hurt you I promise,” I say, I just wanted to make sure she was okay.
She lifted her shirt so I could see her stomach. There were bruises everywhere. Anger took over my eyes. I thought maybe she wasn’t feeling well and that’s why she left a lunch, maybe a stomach ache but this was something else. From what I saw the first time I met her I put two and two together.
“Your Dad?” I ask. She nodded after a while. I knew there was something off about him.
“He hits you, why Lexie?” I ask.
I didn’t realize it but I had made her cry. First one tear then another until she was shaking. I took her into my arms making sure I didn’t hurt her. After a lot, I mean a lot of tears and shaking she finally looked up. She didn’t pull away, then texted me.
Her: It’s all the alcohol, but he’s never liked me very much.
Me: And your mom?
Her: She died when I was very little, car accident.
“Is this why you don’t speak?” I ask and she nodded.
“There’s more to it though, isn’t there?” I asked, thinking of all the horrible things she could be dealing with.
How could you harm your own daughter?
Her: If I tell you will you promise you won’t tell?
Me: I swear on my life.
Her: Where we used to live I dated someone. I figured dating would keep me out of the house and I wouldn’t have to deal with my dad as much. We’d gotten into a fight and he beat me into a coma. When I woke up I had two broken ribs and a fractured wrist.
I don’t know what came over me, I took her into my arms again. If hell existed, Lexie had been through it. I’d learn so much about Lexie in the past hour, I felt so bad. I couldn’t imagine going through that.
“You don’t speak because you think something you said caused him to hurt you because your dad will just hit you if you ever respond,” I say.
She didn’t respond she just cried into my chest again.
“It’s not your fault. No man should ever hit a girl, nothing you could’ve said or done should’ve resulted in that, Lexie ” I whispered. She shook when I said her name. But she just sat there letting me hold her. Another text.
Her: Why do you care?
She looked up at me tears still in her eyes. When they fell I wiped them for her.
“It’s not pity if that’s what you think, I do wish none of that happened to you, and I wish I could go back and help you and beat that dirtbag for hurting you. I think you’re smart, I saw how easily you finished the assignment first period. You’re pretty too and unlike anyone I’ve ever met” I confessed.
She got up and hugged me. It wasn’t a half-ass hug either like when you see your friends in the hallway and you’re all hey and you hug. Well, girls do that more than guys, we just hi-5 or nod. This hug meant something, we hugged for a while. When she finally let go, I took her hand and led her to my house. We went upstairs to my room no one was home. I switched her bandages from when she fell that day.
“I have to get home, I can’t be late,” she texted and I nodded knowing what she meant, I hugged her one last time.
“I’ll do my best to help you I promise,” I say.
She hugged me and I hugged back again. I quickly walked her home then walked back home. I instantly felt bad, I should’ve let her stay with me. My mom and dad wouldn’t mind they’re only here on Sundays, busy jobs.
It’s Tuesday morning, my dad was already off to work. Today was going to be a bad day, when he left early he always got crazy drunk then I’d get the worst beatings. I sigh feeling my tummy. My bruises were still blue-ish. I get up when suddenly my head spins and I’m instantly running to the bathroom. Puke, falls into the toilet. Great, I’m staying home today. Home, weird saying that to this place.
Moving was strange, our last home was where mom was. Although I had very little memories of her the house made me feel like she was still there with me. I hate having lost her so young. I never got to know her.
I have to figure out what I’m going to do. I told Peyton about my dad and my past. Not the smartest thing but I couldn’t help it. It seems like he actually cares, I’m kind of glad we met. I feel safe around him, and he likes taking care of me. He walked me home after the woods and we texted for a while after that.
Peyton: So I thought of a way we could spend more time together without you getting in trouble with your dad.
Me: Omg really?
Peyton: Yeah, you see every year we get these forensic class assignments to do with a partner they last months. You could be my partner!
Me: omg you’re a genius!
Peyton: well I don’t like to brag but ;)
I smiled at this he was funny I’ll give him that and smart too. I saw how his name was on the honor roll boards.
Me: lol well ill ask my dad when he’s sober, it’s school-related so he can’t say no.
Peyton: Okay great! Umm, are you okay?
Me: Yeah he was passed out when I got home luckily. Thanks for asking, but I should be getting to sleep, I don’t feel too well anyways.
Peyton: Aww, okay, sleep tight feel better beautiful ;)
Beautiful? Me? Maybe he texted the wrong person. I fell asleep.
I found myself clutching my stomach, my throat burned from puking. I took a shower when I was done and washed my hair.
As I showered I looked at the bruises on my body. They were getting harder to hide. My dad usually aimed for my torso but when he hit me in other places I had to make sure no one could see them. When I finished I dried off and walked into my room. I have my own shower which I was thankful for. My room was what I call normal. Blue walls, posters everywhere, black bed sheets, just a lot of black really.
I put on some black ripped jeans, and t-shirt then started on my hair. After drying it I went down to make some breakfast. It was nice being home alone, no yelling and getting hit for once.
I settled for some toast and some fruit. I don’t eat much as you can see. I have a weird appetite, sometimes I barely eat sometimes I can’t get enough food I’d be saying that if I was younger but no. I restrict myself from eating too much now. I know getting beat, pain and me eating too much was not a good combination. I do a lot to deal with my suffering.
I had just finished with my fruit salad breakfast thing when the door opened. In walked my dad. He was drunk.