The painful secret (1)

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Chapter eleven

Sorry for the long wait ....

Allison heard the chains on his pants growing louder and louder as he began catching up. She veered left and down her driveway. Her legs pumped beneath her as reached the door, but it was still locked. Fumbling for the key in her bag, her heart raced and her breath struggled to catch up with it.

Finally finding the small brass key, she shoved it in the lock and opened it. But just as she opened it, Brian reared up behind her, pushing her inside and following after. She turned to him, stepping back. "You need to leave, Brian," she said, trying not to sound timid, but it didn't work.

He closed the door and approached her, but his eyes weren't as intense as they normally were. "Allison匈 was never going to hurt you"

She continued backing away. "I know that在ut you can't know anything else about me or my bruises. You need to leave如lease" She headed for the stairs, hoping that would be enough to get him to go.

It wasn't. He followed her up the stairs and to her room. Brian wasn't done with her yet. "If your father is-"

"Enough!" Her loud demand surprised both her and Brian. She put her bag down on her desk and turned to him, apologetically. "Please圬on't say anything more about it" She looked away, hands fisted at her sides. "Just go!" She hated to yell at him like that, but she needed him to leave.

"No," he shot back, countering her demand. "I'm not leaving here until you talk to me. You are in danger here! I figured it out and I can't just sit at home and wait to see if you come into school the next day."

Her eyes watered at his comment. "Why?" It was the only thing she could think of saying. As she looked at the boy, she could see that he was battling with telling her something. "Why can't you just ignore me like everyone else? Why do you have to know so badly?" she challenged.

Brian frowned. "Listen, your father is on his way home right now," he replied, switching the topic away from him. "My parents think he's innocent and called him, but I know he is the one doing this to you." He stepped towards her, only to have her retreat a step, fear visibly shaking her to her core. "If I am right, then you need to come with me before he gets here!"

Allison couldn't talk, couldn't breath. Her father knew that she was socializing with his therapist's son and that they knew about her bruises. This was the worst thing that could have ever happened. She looked at Brian, who extended a hand to her, asking her to go back to his house with him.

Then, the sound of a car screeched to a stop in her driveway. If possible, her breath became even shallower and her body was as stiff as a board. "He's here" Her eyes shot to Brian. "Please. You need to go, now," her words were rushed and dire. "Out the window! Hurry."

Brian shook his head. "Are you crazy? I'm not leaving you with him."

"ALLISON!" came a thunderous voice from downstairs. He was pissed.

Allison grabbed the dark-haired boy's hand and pulled him towards her closet. "Please. Just stay in there until all of this is over." Her eyes pleaded with him as she spoke. "And don't come out, no matter what you hear. If you come out, it'll only make things worse"

He looked down at her about to protest, but her eyes were what made him nod and step into the darkness of her closet. She shut the door, but, unbeknownst to her, she didn't close it all the way.

Suddenly, her bedroom door was thrown open and her father came barreling in. "You have been to the Lakes!" He was irate. "What have they told you and, more importantly" he approached her, grabbing her arm forcefully. "What have you told them?"

Allison winced under her father's grip. "Yes在ut only because my art teacher paired me and their son up for an art project," she explained. "I haven't宇old them anything."

"Don't lie to me!" He threw her onto the ground and planted at foot on her lower back. "They called me today! They told me that they know about your bruises! They don't think it's me, but they said that their son does! So tell me, what have you told him!?" he demanded, forcing his weight down on her back.

She gasped. "N好othing" she coughed out.

A growl escaped his broad chest as he began to remove his belt. "Liar! I will get the truth out of you even if I have to beat it out of you!"

~~~~

Brian watched in horror from the crack in the door. Her father ripped off her shirt, leaving her in only her bra. The boy now realized how small she actually was. Allison was always in baggy clothes, disguising her thin frame. Her ribs were visible as were many other bones on her. But, what were worse, were the scars playing across her back and upper arms. This was not the first belt lashing she had received.

Then, she looked up at the closet, bringing her face out of the carpet. Her eyes were desperate and full of sadness and fear. Somehow she kept from crying even as her father screamed profanities at her as a prologue to the upcoming beating. Those eyes, those orbs of full of pain, were staring right at him.

It yanked at his heart to look at her and do nothing. He should, he kept telling himself. And he was. That is, until she looked up at him with those eyes. They were telling him to stay back.

Then, the worst sound he ever heard echoed into his ears and even made him look away. It was the sound of leather connecting with skin and it was sickening. So sickening, that Brian couldn't bear to look back. It was enough to hear her gasps of pain in-between strikes.

Sliding to the ground, he listened. Her father continued bombarding her with profane words and lashes from his belt. He felt like a coward, just hiding there and doing absolutely nothing to help. He wanted to and badly, but her eyes told him not to. They kept him back with just one glance.

"You will never leave this house again, Allison," her father said, striking her one final time. "After I get home from my business trip this weekend, you will be home schooled." He put his belt on and headed for her door, but turned back to her before he left. "Oh, and Allison, if you even think about talking to that Lake boy ever again, I will personally make sure that you regret it." With those last dangerous words, he left.

Even so, Brian did not move. He continued to listen to her father moving around in his office and then walk back down the hall, bypassing her room. Then, the front door opened and closed with a loud slam. And when he heard a car start, he stood and left the closet.

Allison was flinching on the floor in pain, her fingers digging into the carpet. He looked over her back. It was beet red and blood trickled down her spine from where the leather belt tore through her skin. She whimpered and looked up at him with watery eyes, catching his breath in his throat.

Brian walked over to her and knelt down next to her frail body. Carefully, he took her in his arms as she cried into his chest. He couldn't help but bend down and continuously whisper apologies into her ear.
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