I pushed Max out of my way and rushed in. Hmmm, it smells so good. I forgot that I had to give Max a real ass beating. Well, whatever! It’s coffee time.
Someone squeezed my shoulders from behind and I whirled around to hug Max real tightly but when he wrapped his arms around my waist, I felt a weird feeling, like my gut feeling is telling me that something was wrong. This feeling! This smells like danger. No it can’t be what I’m thinking it is. My eyes widened in shock when recognition dawned on me.
This isn’t Max!
This stranger seized the sides of my waist a little too tight. Not a little. Too tight! I immediately unwrapped my arms from around his neck and tried to push him away but in vain.
“Leave me!“, I wheezed out while trying to control my ragged breathing.
“Leave me!“, I yelled at the stranger again, my voice trembling.
Just then, I heard the jiggling of the little bell at the door, announcing someone’s arrival and I stopped thrashing around to look at the door. Even though my eyes were welled up with tears, I could still see Max standing bewilderedly at the door, clearly.
“Max!“, I cried and started thrashing around to get away from this stranger again but he tightened his hold on me, making me cry out in pain.
“Hey!“, Max shouted, his voice echoing in the now deadly silent coffee shop.
“Oh looks like lover boy is finally here!“, the stranger whispered in my left ear, making an eerie kind of feeling settled deep down in my stomach. It’s as through my heart stopped beating for a second and everything around me froze. I knew this voice!
I could never forget this voice! I could never forget this voice! I could never forget this voice! I could never - I yelped when he pulled my hair from behind, making my scalp ache like a bitch. Everything was spinning around me and I could not understand what was going on anymore.
Just then, the guy was yanked away from me and I fell down on my knees, my spinning head in my hands.
“Are you okay, young lady?“, I heard a soft gravelly like voice, asking me and then, arms were wrapped warmly around my upper back, holding me still.
I merely nodded, finding it hard to respond with a dried up throat.
I looked up and found the Friends’ library’s owner knelt down beside me, holding me gently like I was some fragile object which could break if not handled with care. I smiled kindly at the old woman and pressed my head on her chest, hugging her. She held me in her arms while I cried. I just couldn’t help it. Why is he back? Why?!
“Get the hell away from her, Matt!“, Max seethed out at Matt and pushed the latter on the chest so hard that he stumbled toward the door.
Max know him? How?
“What? Are you going to be her knight in armor again?“, Matt pushed Max like he pushed him but Max stood his ground and only chuckled at Matt’s weak attempt of fighting him back.
What the hell is he talking about? Max, my knight in armor? Again? Wait, what?
Max only shrugged in response.
“Looks like neither her nor you have understood after that night, huh?“, Matt snickered darkly at Max, cracking his knuckles, while shaking his head from side to side like a psycho.
What the hell is Matt talking about? That night....
Max was not there that night.
I was alone that night when Matt tried to....
“Max“, I called him, my voice trembling so feebly.
I thought that he didn’t hear me since my voice was quite shaky but his head whipped toward me almost immediately and he rushed by my side. I hugged him almost instantly when he knelt down in front of me.
“Max! He- he- he tried t- to....
“Shush”, he hugged me tightly and then pulled back slightly to kiss me on the forehead warmly. This soothing gesture of his made me melt right away and I began sobbing again.
“Max! You don’t know! He- he..“, my voice broke and he pulled me in his arms again.
“Stop, Shelly! I know what he tried to do. I know everything”, Max said in a muted tone, as if he didn’t want to talk about it. He almost seemed hesitant in admitting that he knew everything.
But how does he know about that night? Does he know everything?
I was alone that night.
“Awww, seems like lover boy is caring, huh? I just wished that I was able to ruin her innocence and purity that night, then, I bet you wouldn’t dare date this characterless impure girl.“, he said darkly and then, began laughing.
After hearing this, I sobbed even more. I don’t know how I escaped this bastard that night but all I know is that I was lucky and fortunate that he wasn’t able destroy my life and disgrace me.
“N- no, Max!", I cried when Max unclasped my arms from around his neck.
Max pulled away all at once when he heard this and the next thing I know is that Max had pushed Matt to the nearest wall and squeezed him by the neck with his right hand, pressing him tightly in the wall. Matt choked and tried to remove Max’s hands but failed miserably.
“What did you say? How dare you say that?“, Max pushed Matt’s back even more harder in the wall.
“What? Can’t you bear listen to that?“, Matt chuckled and smiled wickedly.
“You swine! How could you? I should have killed you that night. I shouldn’t have let you go. You moron!“, Max whispered through gritted teeth.
“Shut the fuck up!“, Max yelled and squeezed Matt’s neck more tightly, his right knuckles turning white with the pressure.
Matt’s face turned deep red and soon, his hands fell limply by his sides. Oh no! I can’t let this happen. Max will be in trouble! I got up and rushed to stop Max. I need to stop him.
“Max, stop it! He’ll die!“, I cried.
“Please, Max! Stop!“, I yelled while hugging him from behind, wrapping my arms around his torso. I kissed him lightly on the right side of his neck and pressed my forehead on the back of his right shoulder.
Max released him and pushed him away, roughly. Matt fell on his left side over the floor. The latter took a large gulp of air and choked but he kept breathing quickly. He tried to get up but fell down again. He was probably trying to escape.
“Hey! Hey! Wait... “, Max grabbed him by the collar of his shirt and lifted him up. Matt was swinging side to side on his own feet and Max wrapped his right palm around Matt’s right arm to hold him straight.
“Listen well! Hey... “, Max grabbed Matt’s chin in his left hand to make the latter look at him, straight in the eyes.
“If you try to look at Shelly in that way again, then, I swear I wouldn’t think twice before plunging a bloody fucking knife in your shitty ass and I mean it.", Max shouted in Matt’s face and then, pushed him at the wall again. His body felt on the ground and he recurrently groaned out in pain.
Max turned around and pulled me in his arms. I sniffed and hugged him. He wrapped his right arm around my waist and pecked me on my left cheek while running his left hand through my hair.
“It’s okay, babe! Come, Let’s go!“, Max whispered while grabbing my right hand tightly in his left hand and pulled me toward the door.
Once outside, I stopped and Max looked back at me confusedly.
“Were you the one who saved me that night?“, I asked him slowly.
He looked down at his feet and after a few seconds, he glanced up at me. He merely nodded and that was enough for me to jump right in his arms, hugging him like my life depended on it.
“Thank you! Thanks a lot, Max! I don’t even wanna think about what would have happened if you hadn’t saved me that night. I- I ...“, my voice broke and I just hide my head in the crook of his neck.
“Shush, Shelly! I got you, you are safe. It's okay!", he cooed softly and rubbed my back gently.
“I’m sorry, I didn’t know that it was you. I honestly didn’t know that you were the one who saved me that night.", I apologised.
“You are not to be blamed, Shelly. You were unconscious!“, he shook his head from side to side at me.
“But still, I ... “, I trailed off, looking down guiltily.
“It’s okay, love!“, he whispered and cupped my face gently. My heart skipped a beat when he said love.
“I love you”, I said and hugged him.
“I love you too. I’ve been loving you since ninth grade! Since that night! God! I love you so damn much, Shelly and I couldn’t bear see that bastard’s hands removing your clothes that night. I just snapped that night ... ”
I pulled back to stare at him and he looked at me with teary eyes. Is he crying?
“What?“, he asked and looked down while wiping his eyes, blushing slightly.