pulling me under

Every day Jasmine withdraws from me a little more. No matter how much i try, her best friend, to knock down the wall she has erected around her heart, she pushes me away, breaking my heart a little more. I see the bruises she tries to hide and wonder how she got them. Jasmine says she's just clumsy. But i know better.

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1. Darkness on a sunny day

Friday 5th

Humming to myself, I tipped my head back to enjoy the sun’s heat rushing over my face. I sighed after looking at my watch. 2:31. Jasmines late. Again. Picking up my phone, I dial her number, only to hear the screeching of the garden gate opening. Jasmine's long, wavy hair glistens in the sunlight.  If you just look at her without really seeing, you would notice her golden skin and wide, innocent baby blue eyes and a girl who doesn’t really care what anyone thinks about her.

But I've noticed that over the past eight months, Jasmine has changed. These changes would be imperceptible to anyone else. I see her flinching when someone tries to touch her. I see a girl with her arms wrapped tightly around herself, trying to hold everything together. But mostly I see the pain in her eyes that will soon swallow her whole.

“Hey! What’s taken you so long?” I question. Jasmine sits down next to me on the soft grass and pulls out a book.

“I’m only 15 minutes late, Demi. Relax.” She answers. I roll my eyes.

“How do you not get fired from work? You never fail to be late.” Jasmine smiles and says

“You know I’m not the most punctual person” I snort

“That’s an understatement!” We both laugh and listen to music for the rest of the afternoon. Jasmine moved here to Birmingham after her Mum died a year ago. She doesn't talk about her Mum much. The only thing she's told me about her is that she was very beautiful and made the best hot chocolate. Her Dad only comes out of their house when he goes to work. He's a tall man, i'd guess around 6 foot 5. He has the same blue eyes as Jasmine, although on most days they are blood- shot because of the amount of alcohol he consumes.

Jasmine and I go inside when the sky darkens and threatens to rain.

“I don’t know about you, but I’m ravenous” I go into the fridge and eagerly pull out a chocolate yoghurt. As soon as the chocolate hits my tongue, I sigh in bliss.

“Do you want me to leave you two alone?” Jasmine jokes.

I pause for a moment, pretending to think about it.

“If you wouldn’t mind, that would be great.” Jasmine and I laugh.

“Can you get some glasses for us? You know where they are.” I indicate the cupboard on the right of her.

“sure” Jasmine reaches up to get the glasses and her shirt gets pulled up. I gasp out loud.

“How… how did you get that bruise?” Jasmine freezes, then quickly pulls down her shirt.

“I fell” she mutters.

“You fell” I repeat in disbelief. The bruise is the size of my hand and is an ugly shade of purple. Deep cuts run from the bottom of her back and disappear underneath the cover of her shirt. She refuses to meet my eyes.

“Stop lying to me and tell me what happened.” I demand.

“I’ve already told you what happened.” She snaps back. I take a deep breath then slowly let it out.

“Was it Jamie?” I question, referring to a guy I saw her with a few days ago.

“No” she denies. I clench my jaw.

“Who. Did. it? I ask through gritted teeth, undeterred. Silence is my only answer.

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