Secrets and Lies

Casey is a teenager with an amazing will to succeed. She is an incredible runner and is determined to enter a marathon. However it is not that easy. Her world is upturned as her friend's life begins to break down and only Casey can help, Casey is madly in love with a man she thinks will never want her and a sad turn of events results in a huge blow. But Casey is still determined to follow her dream...

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6. 12th April 2013

 

I groaned as I opened my eyes, every inch of my body throbbing. Slowly the scene around me came into focus, white light blinding me. My head was resting on a soft plump pillow whilst my arm felt really odd. I looked down to find it in a blue cast as it ached as much as my dignity did. My body felt on fire as I sat up taking in the hospital scene around. Suddenly it all flooded back to me. I remembered getting beaten and kicked until I was black and blue and bleeding, begging them to stop. I remembered my arm being snapped as quickly as a twig and face being clawed at by somebody’s befouled nails. I also remembered hearing Amaya weeping and howling in agony before my lights went out.

“Amaya!” I shouted. Where was she? Was she okay? To my left was a grass green curtain hiding the bed next to me. “Casey, where are you?” I heard a soft groan from behind it. I scrambled out of my bed, ignoring the horrific pain and the deafening cries of protest from my body, tearing open the curtain I saw Amaya lying in her bed. Screeching in horror, I ran over to her astounded of what she looked like. Two huge inky shadowed stains of black had attacked her eyes; her lips were fuchsia and swollen. She had no casts on her arms but a huge blue-black bruise suffocating her throat. On her cheeks were nasty cherry grazes. She looked horrific, worse than Frankenstein.

Tears fell rapidly as she saw me. Did I look that bad? I went over and squeezed her, and although it hurt I felt better. They had turned us into monsters. The curtain twitched and a pair of deep brown eyes locked onto mine. Swiftly, the curtain was open and Jia ran in eyes only for Amaya. They cried together as I walked back to my bed very gradually, climbing in gently. What had they done to us?

Before I knew it, I heard a familiar shriek “She’s awake, she’s awake! Nyx, Mark quickly!” My Mum lightly sat on the bed next to me; her eyes were brimming with tears. As she stroked my hair delicately my Dad arrived holding two cups of coffee. Hastily he put them on the side and held my hand whispering “hello, Princess”. That was too much; I couldn’t handle it anymore. All the weeping and sobbing, the dull ache and sharp pain which my body supplied me with, the unfamiliar attention and love which my parents emitted to me freely. Everything was too much. I wanted to breakdown and burst into tears, I wanted to lash out; I was so livid that it actually hurt, I wanted to fall into a painless and deep dream where the only person I wanted to comfort me was the man I secretly loved. So overwhelmed with a feeling of hot bitterness, I didn’t know what to do.

“Mum, Dad. Leave Casey alone, the very last thing she wants is you two flapping over her. I know you’re worried but go downstairs, go into the cafe and get her a deluxe hot chocolate with whipped cream and marshmallows. Now!” Nyx, after marching in all protective over me, shouted at Mum and Dad. I was in shock. Nyx had never spoken to my parents like that before. I expected them to shout at her but instead they got up, kissed me, and left.

“How are you feeling?” Like she cared                                                                                                                “Go away.”                                                                                                                                                                “Who did this to you?”                                                                                                                                      I didn’t want her to know. “I can’t remember.”                                                                                                      “Well the police know anyway.”                                                                                                                               “How?”                                                                                                                                                                    “Cole saw everything”                                                                                                                                            “What? How?”                                                                                                                                                         “He was hiding in the trees from a guy. Which isn’t usually like him but he was there.” What guy?                                                                                                                                                                            “Then why didn’t he help?”                                                                                                                                “ He really wanted to. But he was trapped in the tree; he had broken his ankle climbing up the tree so fast, so he couldn’t come down and help even though he was dying to. He seriously couldn’t bear seeing that happen to you, and tried to climb down the tree but got himself caught in the branches. The fire men had to rescue him and he is down in A’E. The lamest thing he did was bellow at them to leave you alone, but they couldn’t hear him. He called the police as soon as he realised what was happening, and tried to tell the girls that so they would leave you alone. But still they couldn’t hear him. Seriously he tried and is beating himself up about it.”                                                                                                                                                                             I never knew Cole cared about me so much.“Oh. Wow. So he knew all the girls names?”                                                                                                                                                             “Yes because he works near where they hang out.” He worked?                                                          

“So, have the police got them all?”                                                                                                               “Yes all of them. They are down at police station now.” I felt nothing but a faint pang which could have been triumph. But it was quickly wiped out by reality.                                                     “When did the police arrive?”                                                                                                                            

 “Just after you blacked out.” Why couldn’t they have come earlier?                                                    “What’s going to happen to them?” I just wanted them gone from my life.                                                                                                                 

“I think the people over 18, may get sent to jail for a few months. The others with a warning or sent to the young offenders. I know the ring leaders were expelled though.” At least I wouldn’t have to face them at school.                                                                                                     

 “Why are you being so nice to me?”                                                                                                               

“I’m your sister. Why on earth didn’t you tell me you were getting bullied? I could have stopped this from happening!” She wasn’t exactly the most appealing person to talk to about feelings. I couldn’t tell anyone, I didn’t want anyone to know that it was happening again. I was trying to keep my dignity. Well that was completely ruined now.

  “How could you help?” She was just a stupid six former.                                                                                                                                 

   “ I could have threatened them, told our parents, and got the school involved! I knew something was going on but I didn’t realise it was this!”                                                                      

 “ Now you’re sounding like mum. Just stop it okay!”                                                                                            

  “ I’m sorry but it’s not okay. Nobody does this to my sister and gets away with it!”                           “They aren’t getting away with it though. Anyway, how bad do I look? Honestly?”

“Nothing that time won’t heal.” She was obviously lying.                                                                     “Since when have you become so grown up?”                                                                                        

  “Since when have you become so cheeky?”                                                                                                      

“Pass me the mirror.”                                                                                                                                        

 

 “Okay, but be prepared.” Nyx said. She passed me the mirror and I saw for the first time my ‘new’ face. I had deep scarlet cuts down my left cheek which had been patched together was white stitches, my nose had a wad of bandage stuck to its nostrils containing the leak of blood of which was staining the chalky dressing, somehow I hadn’t noticed but it was so obvious to be now that one of my eyes were stuck shut swollen and stinging with a inky ring around it. My lips were cut and bleeding.

Handing back the mirror to Nyx, I started trembling and tears poured down my face. I didn’t want to cry but once I started I couldn’t stop, I just broke down. I expected Nyx to go fetch Mum and Dad but she didn’t. Wordless she cradled me in her arms like I was tiny baby dying of pneumonia, wiping my tears away softly taking care not to hurt me. I must have fallen asleep in her arms.   

Cackling was a man in front of me with a waxy white face and flaming copper frizzy hair, lank and greasy. His eyes seemed to bore into me; shining and ablaze crimson, they invaded my soul tearing apart my courage and trying to stitch it back up with bitter fear. He was a clown. But not just any clown you would see in horror films, no, this one was a hundred times more petrifying. He had a huge red smile carved into his face in what only could be blood and he had no eyebrows just maroon slashes across his forehead emitting the foul smell of rotting flesh; his fangs seemed so sharp that they could bite through a bone in a matter of seconds.

He held a machete in his left hand and slowly stepped forwards. We were in alone in a densely smoggy room with only his eyes as a light; they were on fire. Blood pumped through my veins like it was trying to flee from the killer before me, but it couldn’t so it ended up quaking in abhorrence too cowardice to try and keep me alive. Suddenly the distance between us disappeared and he was only a few feet away, bearing his disgusting smirk like he knew how frightened I was. But he had no idea.

A light flickered on from above me illuminating dimly the horrific sight below me. On the floor lay my Grandad who was ghastly grey and extremely still with a deep burgundy stain on his chest which seemed to be spreading at a rapid face. I fell to my knees in bereavement, tears splashing onto his body as I held his hand. And then he changed. His face bubbled into a monster before me; the clown. I leapt away, silently screaming in the world of inarticulate.

Blinding shots of agony stabbed at me as a blade cut its way through my ankle, sawing my bone apart. But it wasn’t a blade; it was a fang. The clown was devouring my foot ripping me open, vein by vein. I yelled out, never had I been through this kind of torture before. It felt like Hades had just welcomed me to his home.

“I’m here, hold onto me” the soft seductive whisper made me feel impervious to pain. Safe tranquil hands found and held onto mine pulling me away, breaking the join in my ankle from the beast’s fang. I couldn’t see my hero’s face but I knew instantly who it was. Nobody but him could send an ecstasy of delirium and allurement through just one touch, nor could anybody make me feel immune from harm and overpowered with amore with just a few words. His scent alone made me euphoric, I trusted him completely as we fled from the barbarian, my foot left on the blood stained floor. We leap into blinding light and-

I woke with a start. I could hear piercing screaming, which sounded too familiar for my liking. Nyx had gone, leaving me alone lying in the dark ward. The screaming started again and this time I knew who it was. Amaya. I tried to rush over to her but the pain was too strong to even stand up, so I had to stay put.

Within a matter of seconds somebody clumsily switched on the light beside her bed. It was Tao. What was Jia thinking, leaving him alone? He started violently shaking her, trying so hard to wake her up. He knew something was wrong and was trying to help. Amaya woke with a cry, and she looked alarmed that Tao was standing over her.

“Tao, Tao! Stop, I’m okay. I’m fine, I promise. Stop shaking me!” She whispered urgently but slowly trying to calm him down. After a while he sat down and Amaya held his hand until he started snoring softly. I was in awe of their relationship; despite everything they still had a strong bond.

Before long I was sleeping again.

****                                                                                                            

After a week or two I began to recover, slowly and painfully my face went back to normal, and the stitches were removed a few days before I was scheduled to leave. I had family visiting me everyday even Aunt Emma and Uncle Barry who seemed besides themselves of what had happened to me, I never knew they cared. My Aunt seemed to be getting very big, almost like she had swallowed a baby elephant or a hot air balloon. Hope was due in just under a month, and my uncle and aunt were quaking with excitement. It was their first child, and after many miscarriages, this pregnancy was finally successful. Any nobody deserved a baby more than them.

Nyx started to take her role very seriously as a big sister, and made sure I had everything I needed and more. My parents took turns to not work and would stay with me for hours, making up for all the time we had lost while they worked overtime. Mum and Dad thought it was their fault, because they hadn’t given enough attention to me. They were distraught, and were trying so hard to make it up to me for not being there when I needed them the most.But maybe it was too late. Or just in time.

I had the police visiting me, but I couldn’t really tell them more than they knew already, Cole had already done that for me. Strangely he never came to visit, even when my parents weren’t there. My dignity mended itself after a while, as slowly gradually my confidence came back.

Amaya took a little longer to recover than me due to the fact she had almost been strangled and it took a while for her windpipes to repair. Mentally, though, she was a lot quicker at recuperating and in no time at all she was back to her usual self fretting about how much school she was missing. She had such a big tantrum that someone from school was ordered to come and give us both some work.

I really hoped that they may have chosen the man I wanted to see most, but of course they didn’t. Nobody knew, so nobody would have thought to send him. I liked to think that he had fought to be the one to come though. Instead it was Mr Erikson. At least it wasn’t the smelly supply teacher that always stuck her nose into her everything.

When he arrived he seemed undisturbed by our mending looks, and was ecstatic that we were smiling and healthy. Well as healthy as we could be given the circumstances. “Well Casey, Amaya, I’ve got lots of work you wanted from school. I’ve got English of course, Maths, Science and Rs. Spanish, History and music for Amaya and German, Geography and Product design for Casey. Now for music you can’t really do much in hospital so Mrs Collins says to just listen to the three different types of music you have been studying, whilst for product design Mr O’Brien said to start designing your stereo.”

I tried to keep smiling as he passed us our work, but I felt disappointed that had had nothing from art. Not one thing. “Oh and before I forget, I’ve also got some work from your art teacher who seemed very keen that I give it to you. He said to paint a person that inspired you.” He said passing me a canvas, pencils and some acrylic paint. “Well, if that’s it I must be getting back to school. I wish you both a speedy recovery and hope to see you at school next week.” He departed, beaming.

A wave of bliss swam through me, I finally had something to work on, something to keep me distracted. I wanted to start on my art straight away but I knew wouldn’t be able to do it well there. So the last week was just pure work.                                 

    

 

 

    

 

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