Just Another Beating.
Three AM and the phone would not stop ringing.
I glanced over at Lola’s bed, she was passed out with her mouth wide open and Tia slept on the floor with a bucket beside her head. Both girls still wore the outfits they had on at the nightclub.
“Hello?” I said through a raspy voice, the hangover now catching up with me.
“Olive, you need to go find Liam.” Jordan said with a sense of urgency to his voice.
“He’s not my problem anymore Jordan.” I stubbornly replied although I instantly became worried about him and had a strong urge to find him.
“If you care about him, you’ll find him.” He hung up the phone leaving his words hanging in the balance.
Where would I even look?
I slipped out of bed and threw on a t.shirt and sweatpants, tiptoeing out of the door without disturbing the other two. The campus was quiet and creepy this late at night but I continued walking even though I didn’t know where I was headed. At home it would of been my tree house but here the only thing he could lose himself in was soccer. I got in a cab and lay my booming head against the cold glass watching the blur of buildings go by in the darkness.
The floodlights lit up the pitch and there was dark figure sitting with his head down but I knew Liams body well enough to know it was him. My feather light feet tapped on the grass as I approached him and the butterflies woke up sensing he was near.
I said nothing but I sat down on the bench beside him, he didn’t look up. He didn’t need to he knew I was there.
“I am so lost.” He whispered, keeping his head buried low underneath a dark hood.
I placed my hand over his to offer him some comfort and he raised his head allowing me to see his face.
“Oh my god Liam.” I exclaimed.
He had a deep gash to his forehead and blood trickled all the way down his cheek to the cut on his lip. One of his eyes had swelled and a fresh bruise was forming. But the worst thing was the hurt in his frightened eyes. Among the hopelessness the silver was back, evaporating all of the blue into an oblivion. I closed my eyes, absorbing the mess in front of me and knowing that somehow this was my fault.
“What happened?” I asked slowly, regretting the question before I had even asked it.
He glanced down at our hands as regret washed over his face but he remained quiet.
“I-” I began but he interrupted me.
“The other night in the bar...” he was clearly drunk, slurring his words and talking low like he was ashamed of himself. “...when Luke brought you over to our table. I was mad. I was jealous. I didn’t like it. But I knew eventually you would find out about Reece and I wanted you to remember that I told you I trusted you and I was fine with it so you could repay the same curtsy.”
“I’m sorry Liv, that was manipulative of me and I shouldn’t have done that. I just thought you should know.” Tears formed behind his eyes making them shine and gloss over. He touched the cut on his face and winced as his salty fingers grazed over the blood.
“Liam... what happened to your face?” I asked again.
He sighed sadly. “I picked a fight with some alleyway pimp and then stood back and let him hurt me because I wanted to feel it.” His cheeks pinked under the bright floodlights and I could see that he was ashamed for his actions.
“You finally escaped all of that why would you want to feel a beating again?” Liams stare was vacant, wherever he was I wasn’t reaching him. He lifted his hand out of mine and looked at me straight in the eye.
“You don’t get to ask me those questions anymore Liv.” He stood up and winced as his torso naturally stretched out. He grabbed it with his arm and then hobbled off towards the darkness.
I tried to reach out to Liam a number of times but he declined each and every offer. Meanwhile more pictures were showing up on his social media of him and Reece together. I couldn’t stop myself from reading through the comments.
‘What happened to Olivia?’
‘That Olivia was no good for you, this I ship.’
‘Sorry to hear about your break up.’
‘Knew it wouldn’t last!’
He always ignored the comments anyway but each one was like a dagger directly to my heart. I threw my phone down on the bed with a sigh capturing the attention of Lola who was flicking through a magazine on her own bed.
“Please come with us Lola, it’s going to be really awkward with Liam and I need all the help I can get.” I begged, knowing that Jordan would be picking me up soon to take me to the lake house.
“What do I get if I come?” She said with a disinterested tone.
I thought about it for a few minutes, I couldn’t really offer her anything that she would want. I didn’t even want to go myself but Tia was basically forcing me because she didn’t want to go alone.
“I’ll somehow get Liams keys and you can ride the motorbike.” The words fell from my lips before I had time to properly think them through. I just wanted Lola there for support. Her eyes widened in excitement and she launched a pillow at me playfully.
“Olivia Charles! Who knew you had it in you? I’m definitely coming now.” She rolled off her bed and grabbed a small suitcase, filling it quickly with the contents of her closet.
I secretly tried to figure out how I was going to fulfill my promise. Liam has three possessions, his jacket, his phone and his bike. Those keys were going to be tucked in his jacket pocket and on his person at all times. I would have to sneak in when he’s sleeping or something and then let Lola ride the bike at night. It would be back by morning and Liam would be none of the wiser.
Jordan pulled up just outside campus and Tia stepped out to help load our cases into the boot of his car although we both traveled light.
“Careful closing the bonnet I don’t want it scratched.” Jordan shouted from his window.
Tia shot me a smirk and I rolled my eyes. Some things never change. She purposely slammed the bonnet shut making a loud bang and vibration echo through the car.
“I said be careful!” Jordan shouted aggressively with some curse words thrown in there somewhere.
Lola and I slipped into the backseat, she introduced herself to Jordan but I think he was still feeling a little pissed so wasn’t exactly pleasant with any of us. Lola instantly hooked her phone up to his wifi stereo and changed the music from rap to Britney in under five seconds. The three of us burst into song much to Jordan’s disapproval.
“Guys isn’t this gonna be weird?” I was starting to feel the nerves as we moved closer to the wilderness.
“Hella weird, you’re dumb for even putting yourself in this situation.” Lola admitted.
I banged my head against the window in an attempt to knock some sense into myself.
“Stop it I don’t want my glass damaged.” Jordan peered at me through the mirror and I huffed back in my seat. “Zak and Ben are meeting us there.” He said to nobody in particular.
“Ben’s coming?” Tia and I both complained simultaneously.
“Who’s Ben?” Lola asked with a giggle.
“Yeah also Liam and Reece are coming on his bike.” I could see him nervously glance at me through the mirror. Tia shot her head towards him fast enough to give herself whiplash and the whole car was stunned into silence.
“Reece is coming?” I asked quietly.
“I told him it wasn’t a good idea but he insisted.” Jordan shrugged.
Lola and Tia looked at me sympathetically and I just cowered down in my seat wanting to be anywhere but in this car on the way to a hellish situation.