Unfulfilled Journey

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Chapter 7-Cole

You can call me obsessed and even crazy, but wouldn’t you be if you just found out your girlfriend was attacked? How would you feel if she told you there was nothing that could be done about it? I know I should just listen to her, but no matter how hard I try and I start focusing on something else, the thoughts come flooding back and it just makes me raging mad. I spent the afternoon researching and talking to my dad about options for her.

I was hitting a brick wall. What really bothers me is her dad is a lawyer who deals with this stuff but yet he is unaware of what happened to his daughter. He would refuse to acknowledge she was violated by anyone, even someone he trusted. Who does that? I can’t begin to understand what her father was thinking and yet I don’t know that I want to.

Willow has been gone most of the day, she texted to tell me everything was good and she was having fun with Erin. She also mentioned that she had talked to Erin about some things and wanted to discuss them with me, which piqued my curiosity. I had been sitting on the couch with my laptop open when my phone alerted me of an incoming text.

From Chris: Hey bro, how’s it going?

Me: Ok and you?

C: Great, I wondered what you were up to tonight.

Me: Just staying home. I had a feeling I knew what he was texting me about.

C: Oh, there is a party tonight and I wondered if you wanted to go. Yep, just what I thought. Chris has to go to every party that existed and he just wouldn’t give up on inviting me even though he knows I hate parties.

Me: Come on man, when are you going to give up on Ashley? She is mean and you deserve so much better than her. You know I can’t go; I’m still recovering from my accident.

C: I don’t know what you’re talking about bro, she is hot and popular. She can do a lot to increase my social status at school and I forgot about your arm. Sorry, bro.

Me: Seriously, dude, all you’re going to get is a reputation as one of Ashley’s throw away guys. You know she has been with almost every guy in the senior class, except for us and you know I’m not going anywhere near her. Why don’t you just give it up, Chris?

I know I was being insensitive, but maybe that’s what it will take to make him see reason in his long-lasting crush on a girl he can never have or should even want.

C: Well, not all of us are lucky enough to get a girl like Willow Johnson. You know most guys are jealous of you. I wasn’t sure what to say to that.

Me: What do you mean? Most of the guys at school ignore her.

C: That’s because she was unapproachable until now. It doesn’t help that there are rumors flying around. I don’t like the sound of that.

Me: What rumors?

C: They started shortly after you started seeing Willow. The rumor is that Willow is easy and will give it up for anyone.

They all say that she got drunk at a party and let Ashley’s cousin have his way with her so now all the guys want a chance with her. They’re all envious of you because they thinking you’re hitting that.

This doesn’t make any sense and yet I’m not surprised that Ashley would be the one to start the rumor. This is one of those things Willow said would happen.

Since Ashley couldn’t have me she was going to do the next thing and ruin my sweet Willow’s life. Well, the rumors are going to end.

Me: You don’t believe them, do you?

C: I don’t know man, it seems coincidental. One day she doesn’t date and shoots down anyone who asks her then all of a sudden she’s spending the night at your house. Now if that doesn’t scream easy then what does?

I was beyond angry now, and someone was following Willow because how else would anyone know she stayed here.

Me: You really don’t know anything, man! If you’re going to believe the rumors of a piece of trash girl who is jealous then you really aren’t a true friend; I don’t have the time or room in my life for people like that.

The rumors aren’t true; Willow was attacked last night and afraid to go home. She slept in the guest bedroom with my dad next door and you should know me better than that.

C: Did she say she was attacked or did you see it? There is another rumor saying she made that up to get attention.

Me: I SAW HER GET ATTACKED! SHE BROKE THE CREEP’S NOSE! Look, I got to go.

I wondered if Willow knows about the rumors yet but I didn’t want her to find out through text messages. I shoot a message to Erin.

Me: Have you heard the rumors about Willow? It took Erin a few minutes to get back to me

Erin: Yes, and I’m about ready to go find Ashley and give her the beating she deserves. I’m so mad right now.

Me: Does Willow know?

Erin: No, right after I got the messages I made her turn off her phone. I didn’t want her to know yet. She is finally having fun and not stressed out. Do you want me to tell her?

Me: No, don’t ruin her day. She needs this. I will tell her when she gets back.

Erin: You don’t believe them, do you? I expected this question.

Me: Hell no! I know my girl; she would never do those things. She told me last night what Tyler and Ashley did to her.

Erin: It really makes me mad that they are getting away with this and still tormenting her. It has to stop.

Me: Yeah, me too and I agree. I’m doing what I can on my part.

Erin: Damn, I gotta go, my phone is supposed to be off too.

Me; Thank you and Erin, please be careful. I think she is being followed. Someone knows she stayed at my dad’s house last night.

Erin: Yeah I know. I’ve been keeping my eye out since she told me about Tyler and then the rumor mill. Thanks for not believing them; this is going to destroy her.

Me: I hope not.

Not even five minutes had passed when my phone rings. I don’t recognize the number but I answer anyway.

“Hello?”

“Cole?” the voice purrs.

“Um, who is this?”

The voice lets out a failed seductive laugh it only made her sound like she was coughing up a lung. “Oh come on silly, it’s me Ashley!”

“What do you want Ashley?” I demanded.

“Oh, Cole, it’s not me you should be angry at. I’m not the one who lied to you.”

“Really, Ashley? I’m more than angry with you! I hate you!”

“What did I ever do to you, Cole baby?” Ugh, my skin is crawling at that reference.

“DO NOT CALL ME BABY!” I yell again. I just want to get off the phone and go take a shower. I feel dirty and like I cheated just by talking to her. “You have done plenty. I know you called so you could try to make yourself look good after you just destroyed Willow. Luckily Willow is stronger than you think, she won’t let your jealous behavior or your demented cousin break her.”

"Oh, Cole, you really are blinded by her act. I’m not the one who behaved as Willow did. I’m not the one who got drunk and begged Tyler to have sex with me. Did she tell you he raped her? Because that’s what she does." I knew the truth and I believe Willow, she has never given me a reason to not believe her.

“You know Ashley, you and your cousin need help,” I say. “If I ever see you or him anywhere near her, you aren’t going to like the result. You also need to get in your head that there is nothing between us and there never will be. As for Tyler,” I spit that name out,

“Willow has her choice in whom she wants to be with and she doesn’t deserve to be treated like a dog. She is a beautiful young woman with more soul and class than both of you put together.” I knew that would get her.

“What I want to know is how can she tell everyone he raped her when she is just finally realizing what happened?”

Ashley started laughing. “Come on, Cole, are you really that naïve? She told me the next day she wasn’t sure what happened. She was pretty sure she had been raped but I told her exactly what I told you, she begged my cousin.”

“You are truly insane if you think I’m really going to sit here and listen to you. You can smear her name and do your best to destroy her life, or better yet try to get me to walk away. I will tell you this right now: YOU AND I WILL NEVER HAPPEN!”

“Fine, you can believe what you want but you will soon realize that Willow has fooled you. She is not as pure and innocent as she is making you believe. She has done things far worse than me. I’ve never spent the night at a guy’s house.”

I don’t want to hear anymore but curiosity is not my friend today. “What the hell are you talking about?”

“Really?” she challenged. “She set up the whole thing Cole; she knew you would be there to comfort her and to buy her innocent act.”

“You know, Ashley, you are grasping at straws and just want to make Willow look bad because you’re just stubborn to admit you lost. I saw the fear on her face, there is no way you can act that much and she broke his freaking nose for crying out loud,” I was shouting now.

“This phone call has lasted long enough. Please do not call me again and stay away from Willow.” With that, I hung up.

I fear I had just made things worse for Willow, but regardless, it is what is and we will face them together. I just hope she doesn’t break up with me when I tell her Ashley called. I would hate for her to close herself off and shut me out. I guess we will just have to wait and see what happens when Willow gets here.

I had been pacing again and wearing a trail in the beige carpet waiting for Willow. I had this sick feeling that she already knew so when I answered the door after she knocked. I didn’t see a girl closing herself off, instead, I see a girl who is angry and determined to take her life back.

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