Love At First Sight

Rachel was a normal 16 year old girl, her life was perfect. She had everything she could have possibly asked for; a boyfriend, a best friend, and and awesome dad. Then everything changed with the blink of an eye when an incident that happened 2 years ago come back to haunt her.

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8. That's Why I'm Here

Niall’s P.O.V.

I feel like last night was a dream. All that stuff Rachel told me about her past… that should never happen to anyone. It kills me to know she had to go through that; that she’s still going through that today. I wish I could make it better, make her forget, but I don’t have the slightest clue how.

I went to go get some bacon form the fridge to cook some breakfast; but an ear-piercing scream interfered. It took me only a second to realize there’s only one person it could be. My heart sank as I ran up the stairs. “Rachel!” I screamed. When I reached her bedroom she sat up in her bed with her face hidden in her hands. I sob escaped her mouth as I crossed the room. “What is it? What’s wrong?” I under the covers with her and pulled her as close as two people could possibly get. She lifted her face from her hands and viewed the wall in front of here, not wanting to look at me.

“I don’t want to talk about it.” I could tell she was struggling to hold her composure.

“Was it a bad dream?” I asked anyway, I’m not letting her do this anymore.

“That’s an understatement.” She laughed sarcastically.

“Tell me about it, I want to know.” I turned her face towards me so I could see her beautiful features. Her eyes were swollen and bloodshot, tears marked her cheeks, and she had bedhead; and she’s still as beautiful as ever.

She paused for a moment debating whether she wanted, or should, tell me and I sat patiently beside her.

Rachel’s P.O.V

Niall and I sat in my bed for almost an hour while I told him about my petrifying dream. I told him about the shiny white room, the small silver cell phone that lay in the corner of terrifying chamber and the petrifying voice that came from it. We held hands (I was not expecting him to seize my hand as I covered my face) while I explained to him about the mini earthquake that seemed to only affect me. He sat very tolerantly as I expressed to him how the red substance felt that was gushing from somewhere in the back of my skull. While he dried my tears with his thumb I told him about the frightening figure that stepped through the fog and how he held the gun to me, and what he said just before he pulled the trigger.

I stayed in bed as Niall made me breakfast downstairs. I wish he would hurry up; I don’t want to be alone. That’s when I realized Hannah wasn’t there; did she come home last night? I picked up my phone and I had 5 new messages: 2 from my dad, 1 from Hannah, and 2 from Harry. I read the two from my dad first.

From: Dad:)

“I just landed, I don’t know what time it is there but text me when you get this. I miss you.”

From: Dad:)

“Rachel? Did you get my message? Call me please. I love you.”

To: Dad:)

“Hey sorry, Hannah and I were out late last night with Harry and Niall. I just now got your messages. I love and miss you too”

From: Hannah!! :))

“I came in and saw you and Niall all snuggled up together, it was adorable!:) so I took it upon myself to stay at Harry’s for the night. Your welcome:)”

To: Hannah!! :))

“Hey I just read your message and thank you! I think he kind of liked me... but I doubt that, wishful thinking. Ha. And thank you! Oh and by the way, I began to tell Niall about Jared and Emmet. I think it’s time to tell Harry too… will you do it? I can’t tell it twice.”

Just 2 more to go.

From: Hazza

“Hannah told me you and Niall were snuggled up when she walked in, it’s about time he told you he liked you. Hope it’s alright that Hannah stays with me.”

From: Hazza

“Well… this is very awkward. I don’t know what to say other than I’m very sorry; Hannah just informed me Niall hadn’t told you that he fancies you yet. So if you could not let him know I let that slip, I’ll be your best friend forever. Thanks:)”

To: Hazza

“Are you sure he likes me? I don’t really see why he would… I’ve always liked him. And don’t worry I won’t say anything as long as you don’t tell him I like him. Oh and Hannah should be telling you something soon, tell her I said it’s okay to tell you.”

When I was finished reading my messages Niall carefully opened the door. I saw him walking over to me and I could feel the heat rising in my face. I wanted so badly to believe what Harry told me, but I just can’t. It doesn’t make since for him to like me the way I like him.

“Hey. Breakfast is ready.” He offered me his hand, to help me get up I assumed. But I quickly realized that he wasn’t letting go. Harry’s accusations were suddenly becoming clearer, but there’s still a part of me that doesn’t think it’s possible.

As we walked hand in hand down stairs I could smell the sweet fragrant coming from the kitchen. Once we walked into the kitchen there were plates of bacon, waffles, and biscuits set out in the center of the table. I sat down in my chair and tried to decide which one I should eat first, it all looked delicious. “Thank you, this looks amazing!” I picked up the syrup and poured it over my waffles. “Waffles are my favorite” I smiled taking a bite.

“Well I hope you like it then.” I looked up at him shocked.

“Wow! I didn’t know you could cook this good.” I said appraising him. “Where did you learn to cook?”

“If you love food as much as I do, you would understand. I want everything to taste its best.” He smiled my favorite cheeky smile, and then worry crossed his face for a brief moment, and then left again. 

“What’s wrong?”

“I want to know if… uh you’re going to tell me the rest of the story.” He said looking down at his plate. It seemed like he changed his question at the last minute, like he didn’t want to ask. I didn’t pay much attention to it; I was probably just imagining things.

“If you still want me to, I will.”

“I do, stop expecting me to run off. I’m not going anywhere.” He said that as if it had a double meaning.

“I’m just waiting to see when you finally realize how missed up my life is and leave like everyone else.” My voice was surprisingly even. The thought of me never seeing, or hearing, from him again was unbearable.

“You were to the part where you were running from Emmet.” He said ignoring me.

I sighed and began. “While I was thinking of ways to protect myself, I forgot to keep checking how close he was to me. I turned around to see where he was but all I could see was trees. I guess I ran into the forest, I don’t know. I decided to stop running and try to find my way back to Jared. I started to walk back hoping to find a light from the carnival, but there was nothing. The only thing I could see through the thick fog were thick, black trees. I walked for a little while longer until I got the feeling someone was following me. But I could be for sure because of my loud footsteps. I decided to stop and listen to what was around me. For a short moment, I didn’t hear anything but the sound of crickets. Then I heard an evil laugh from behind me, I immediately turned around and there he was.” I stopped when Niall got up from the table, and I realized both our plates where empty. I was surprised at how strangely calm I was telling him this story.

Once he put our plates in the sink, he grabbed me and walked me into the living room to sit on the couch. I sat down beside him and pulled my knees up to my chest. I could feel the moister forming in my eyes so I rested my forehead on my knees, hiding my face from Niall. I sat like that for only a few second before Niall scooted closer to me and out his arm around me. He raised my face so he was looking me in the eye with a mixture of emotion in his eyes. Fury, sadness, confusion, yet… love and hope. “What are you thinking?” I asked curiously.

“I’m trying to figure out how anyone could be so cruel to someone for no reason at all.” I could see lines forming on his forehead as his brow furrowed. 

“But, you look angry? Are you upset with me?” I asked a little worried. What if he finally realized I really am crazy? Then I saw shock in his features.

“What? No! Of course not! I’m not mad at you I’m mad at Emmet.” He sat for a minute gathering his thoughts until he spoke calmly. “What happened in the woods?” he squeezed my hand. I didn’t even notice our fingers intertwined until now. Everything is changing so quickly, I still haven’t decided if I should risk being with him. Assuming he likes me back, of course. But I made no objection to his grip on my hand.
I looked straight ahead at the cozy fire place that was glowing a fierce orange with a few specks of blew every now and then. As I listened to quite crackling sound that came from the fire, I got more relaxed and only a few tears escaped my eyes now. “When I saw him, I turned in the opposite direction and tried to run. But something caught my foot. A tree root, maybe. It was too dark to tell all I know is that I was lying on the ground facing my biggest fear. I closed my eyes hoping it would soon be over.

“But when I opened my eyes Jared was standing beside me, offering his hand. So I took it.” I had to stop for a minute. I tried to hold myself together, but a sob escaped my lips. Niall hugged me close to his chest and I buried my face in his arm. He slowly rubbed circles   on my back.

“It’s alright.” he said, his voice shaking a bit. I looked up to see that he was crying too. Fantastic, I’m making him cry. I gently unfolded his grip around me and sat on the other side of the couch.

“I can’t do this to you” I said looking at the floor. Another sob escaped my mouth. He’s seen cry too much, I hate crying in front of people. I got up and quickly ran to my room and shut the door. I lay under the covers, back to my door, and cried more. I wasn’t crying for myself, I was crying for everyone else in my life; Hannah, my dad, Niall, Harry, and eve Jared. I messed up all their lives for selfish reasons, and I hated myself for it.

I heard my door slowly open and close, followed by footsteps walking towards me. I assumed it was Niall, so I turned around to tell him to leave, but it wasn’t Niall. It was Hannah. I rose up as she sat down beside me. “I thought you were at Harry’s? Where’s Harry?”

“I was. And he’s downstairs with Niall. I told Harry the story, but I told him you would have to tell him about the last part since I wasn’t there.” She gave me an apologetic look and I just shook my head.

“That’s fine, I was just telling Niall that part.” I said trying to dry my tears. I was unsuccessful, I let my face fall in my hands. “This is all my fault.”

“What is? You didn’t do anything”

I looked up at her, furious at myself. “Yes I did! I involved you! I involved everyone in my crazy life! It’s my fault Jared is dead; it’s my fault that I moved to Ireland. And now I’m involving Niall and Harry!” at this point I was screaming because I was so angry. “I am so infuriated at myself.” I cried even harder. I didn’t even notice that Niall and Harry were in the room now. I looked up at them with an apologetic look. “I am so so sorry. I never should’ve told you. I did the right thing by staying away from you.”

I got up to walk out of the room but someone grabbed my elbow. I turned around and found myself facing Niall, his eyes still red from crying. “You aren’t leaving. This isn’t your fault, you didn’t ask for this. There’s nothing you, or anyone, could’ve done to prevent this. Now please, sit down and tell us the rest of the story. And after you’re done, we’ll do whatever you want us to. Deal?”

I sighed knowing there was no way I was getting out of this. “Deal.” We all sat down in a circle on my floor. I was between Hannah and Niall, while Harry sat across from me, also between Hannah and Niall.

“When Jared offered me his hand I took it. I looked up into his eyes and, for a split second, everything was okay. There was no Emmet; we weren’t in the middle of a dark forest. Then I heard a very faint sound, I could barely make it out. A couple seconds passed and I realized it was sirens. For the first time I actually had hope that everything was going to be alright.” I smiled at the little thread of hope I had in that moment and I frowned at how quickly it was taken away.

“Why didn’t you just call the authorities to begin with?” Harry asked

“Well, I did. But it didn’t work out to well.”

“Why not?” Niall asked.

“I had been planning to call, but I was waiting for the right time. I was always at his house so he could control me. He would take every phone in the house and lock it up in a safe that his dad kept in his closet. I never could find the key. One day I was doing his laundry while he was showering. As I was grabbing the clothes out of the bathroom I saw his phone on the counter. I saw my chance so I took at and ran out. Before I could call he was out of the shower and saw that his phone was gone. And I never got another chance.” I didn’t want to tell them what he did after he took the phone back; it was embarrassing to tell people. Hannah doesn’t even know.

“Anyway, when I stood up Jared looked at me and told me to run for the carnival.” As I said this I began to have a flash back.

***it was pouring over head but the trees overhead shielded us, only a light sprinkle formed under the tall trees. I looked around searching for Emmet. Jared turned my face to his and I could see the tears in his hazel colored eyes that matched the color of his hair. “Rachel, I want you to listen to me. We don’t have much time. I want you to run as fast as you can back to the carnival, and don’t stop, no matter what.”

“You’re faster than I am, I won’t be able to keep up.” I added shaking my head.

I could see the agony in his eyes. “I’m not going with you.”

I shook my head in confusion. “What? Your leaving me?” tears began to fall down my face.

“No, I’ll be right behind you. I’m going to distracted him first so you can get away. I don’t know how long I can hold him off, but I’ll try.”

“No. just come with me, we can make it back together.”

“Like you said, I’m faster than you. I’ll be able to catch up to you in no time. If you go now you can make it when the cops arrive.” I nodded knowing he wasn’t having it any other way. I began to walk past him until he grabbed my hand. “Wait.” He said as I turned towards him.

“What is it?”

“I want you to do something for me first.”

“Anything” I promised

“Promise me you’ll live, no matter what happens tonight, just stay alive.”

“Of course.” I kissed him on the cheek and I knew he wasn’t finished yet.

“There’s something you should know.” he looked straight ahead as if gaining courage. He looked back at me with regret in his eyes. “I love you Rachel, I always have and I always will. That’s why you have to live.” He leaned down and kissed me, it was a different kind of kiss. Not like the one on the Ferris wheel, it was as if he was trying to communicate through a kiss. He kissed me as if it was for the last time; as if we would never see each other again. “I’m sorry, I should’ve told you sooner.” He said pulling away. He kissed me one last time on the forehead and looked at me. “Now run.”***

“Rachel? Rachel, are you okay?” I was pulled back into reality by the sound of Hannah calling my name. Something wet was dripping down my face; I realized I was crying again. 

“Yeah, sorry.” I said faking a smile. “Where was I?”

“You were running toward the carnival” Hannah answered.

“Oh right. Well I’m not the fastest person in the world, so Jared stayed behind to distract Emmet. Even though I didn’t like the idea, I did as I was told. I ran as fast as I could toward the sound of sirens; worrying the whole time about Jared.

***I was running through the dark forest and the faint sound of sirens began to get closer. The rain began to pick up so I must be getting close. I was running fast, but not that fast. Jared should’ve caught up to me by now. I slowed without realizing it and I heard a stick snap under someone’s foot. I stopped thinking it would be Jared. Then I heard that evil, maniacal laugh and I sprinted toward the red and blue lights. Soon enough I was in an open space surrounded by cops. I made it. ***

“So what happened to Jared?” Harry asked “Did he show up at the carnival?”

I sat for moment, not answering that question. He must have known my answer because he let his eyes drop to floor and let it go. “Sorry” was all he said.

“It’s alright, Niall asked the same thing.” I looked at Niall giving him a faint smile. “The cops told me that Jared was stabbed and died from loss of blood.” I looked around and saw shock in all their eyes, even though Hannah already knows the story. “Emmet got the life sentence to prison and has been there ever since they found his hiding out in some cabin up in the mountains. I was so paranoid that he would escape and come looking for me so I told my dad about it and so we moved here.”

“And that’s why I’m moving here too.” Hannah said smiling at me.

“No way!! You kidding?” I screamed and we both jumped up and hugged each other. “Your mom is agreeing to this? Where are you staying?!” I could hardly contain myself, this day just got better.

“Well, we don’t know yet. But we’re definitely moving down here. I told Harry last night.”

“We have to celebrate! Let’s go get some ice cream!”  

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