The Girl Next Door

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Chapter 5: Fights

Nick, Jack, and I went to our favorite club. This was a normal occurrence. We would go to the bar, have a couple of drinks, maybe get a little high, find some girls, who knows.

This time, though, we did the stupidest thing of all. We picked a fight. Jack was pissed off at something someone had done at school and felt the need to take it out on someone. And of course Jack being Jack, he picked the largest dude in the room.

We ran down the twisted network of alleys outside the club.

“This way!” Jack called to us.

“Are you sure, man?” Nick called to him.

“Follow me!” he yelled back to us.

He led us down a long alley that ended in, of course, a dead end.

“You idiot!” I yelled to him.

Just then the guy caught up to us.

“Come here, you maggots!” he growled at us.

We were backed up against a wall. Most literally. Nick surged forward and immediately got beaten down. I was pretty sure he was unconscious. Jack was next. He dodged the first few fists but caught one to the jaw and was down like a rock. I knew I had no other choice but to fight back.

I squared my shoulders and balanced my weight. The guy sprung a sloppy right hook which I deflected easily. But I didn’t see his left hook. It connected with my nose. After that it was a blur. I got my ass kicked.

When it was all over, the guy left satisfied and me, Nick, and Jack on the concrete.

I was in the most conscious state. I slowly picked myself up of the ground and assessed the damages to my two friends.

I knelt beside Nick. “Nick, come on man.”

He groaned but rolled onto his back and opened his eyes. “This was stupid.” he grumbled as he slowly got up. “Jack?” he asked.

“I haven’t checked him yet.”

We both got down beside him. “He’s out.” Nick told me.

“Ugh.” I groaned. “Alright. Let’s get him up.”

We each grabbed an arm and threw it around our shoulders. We dragged him to the car and threw him in the backseat. “Where am I am taking you?” Nick asked as he slid into the driver’s seat.

Dragged the back of my hand over my nose. It came away bloody. “Just take me to Shaina’s. If my dad sees this he’ll just make it an excuse to keep beating me.”

He nodded and drove me to her house.

I climbed up to her window and tapped loudly. She rolled over and opened her eyes.

I pressed my hands and face against the cool glass.

She climbed out of bed and started stumbling to the window.

“Let me in. It’s cold out here!” I called.

She threw up the window causing me to lose my balance and tumble into the room.

She looked down at me, sighed, and said, “I’ll go get the first-aid kit.”

While she was gone, I picked myself up from the ground and pulled the mattress out from under her bed.

She came back in and sat down across from me on the mattress. Shaina looked up at my face assessing it. My nose was still bleeding and swollen, my lip was busted, and my eyebrow was cut. I think the guy was wearing a ring.

“Did your dad do this?” she asked as she rummaged in the kit.

“No, I got in a fight.” I answered nonchalantly.

She cleaned the cut on my eyebrow which honestly stung like a mother... Shaina cleaned my lip and it tasted like rubbing alcohol. Duh Matthew. And she taped my nose as gently as she could.

“Now go to sleep.” she told me firmly as if I was a child.

She turned off the lights and snuggled back into her bed. I laid down the mattress facing her bed. “Shaina?” I whispered.

She rolled over and faced me. “Yes, Matthew?”

“I’m sorry. About what happened at school.”

“It’s okay.” she assured me. “You couldn’t have known it would happen.”

“Has she done anything?” I asked her. “Alice I mean.”

“No.” she answered me quietly. “She hasn’t. It was an empty threat.”

“Tell me if she does anything, okay?” I felt like I had to protect her. She protects me so now I needed to return the favor.

“Sure Matthew.” she mumbled.

I didn’t quite believe her but I hoped she would tell me when she was ready.

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