Learning to Let Go

Annalise is a volleyball all-star. One who will have the ability to go to the Olympics. It's just a natural talent. At 15, two years ago, she got involved with Seth. A sweet guy, really. But she stopped focusing on volleyball. After breaking up, she swore she wouldn't date until making the Olympics. So much for that, now she's got a new crush, one that she's trying to keep hidden. It's bad enough she has one problem, but she's moving down the block to a bigger house. Why? Because three years after her father's death, her mom is ready to marry again, to Ryan Kennedy.The worst part? Annalise has trouble getting along with Dylan, Ryan's 14 year old son.


7. Seth Keeps His Threat

I woke up to the sound of my alarm and stretched. Next to me, Rosy woke up from the movement of my body. She stretched and yawned, too. I smiled down at her as she licked a spot where she itched. I scratched her there and headed for the shower.
Today was Tuesday, and my stupid speech had to be given tomorrow, in the four to six minute range, and on a place. I was doing Greece, because I might be a little addicted to the Percy Jackson books... Yeah... 
I hopped out of the shower and dried myself off and pulled on jean shorts and a  spaghetti-strap top with aqua-blue and lime green diamond patterns. I pulled on Chuck Taylor's and hopped out the door, walking to the bus stop, and wondering if this meant I would sit with Derek on the bus now. Normally I sat alone, since I couldn't stand anyone on my bus. Then I wondered if Derek had any friends who would want to sit with him that ride this bus. I hope not. Everyone on my bus is an idiot. I climbed on the bus to see Derek already there. Before, I'd barely known his name. Now, how could I not?
"Annalise," Derek said. "Wanna sit with me?"
"Sure." I smiled and plopped down next to Derek. "I can not WAIT for summer!" I exclaimed.
Just then, Seth got on the bus and headed for the back, but stopped in his tracks looking from me to Derek to Derek's arm around my shoulder. He glared at Derek and continued.
"Be careful," I warned.
Derek laughed. "I will be!"
"I mean it," I said.
"Hey," he looked down at me. "Don't worry about me, ok?"
"Ok." But I was still worried.
Getting into the school we separated ways, me to LA class, and him to Math.
Mr. Phillips was the only one in the room when I got there.
"Hey, Mr. Phillips," I said. 
"Oh, hello Annalise," he said with out looking up from his paper work or whatever was in his hands.
"Working on the lesson?" I asked.
"Yeah. Um, I kinda need to concentrate so..."
"Oh, ok. Sorry to bother you."
Gosh, Mr. Phillips can be annoying. REALLY annoying.
Just then, Dani walked in and we chatted until the bell rang. 
Class dragged on and on and on and on and on and on and ON. Mr. Phillips can be soooooooooooo boring and unenthusiastic. Dani sits diagonal from me and the whole time all we did was pass notes.
Dani: get me OUT OF HERE.
Me: and take me with you!
Dani: He's driving me bonkers
Me: bonkers? lol
Dani: ***crazy*** happy now?
Me: yea
Dani: ugh
Me: Who freaking cares about his kids! Get ON with the LESSON!
Dani: I KNOW!
Me: I hate this class
Dani: stop he's looking our way.
Me: shoot.
Dani: lol
Me: finally! Class is almost over!
Dani: hallelujah!

The bell rang and everyone practically stampeded out the door. Only a week more of school left. I can do this.
"Annalise!" Derek called, "What are we doing in LA?"
"Passing notes- I mean, uhhhhmmmmm..."
"You weren't paying attention, were you?" He asked, wrapping me in his arms.
"Uh.... No?"
He rolled his eyes. "Must've been really boring."
"It was! It was a stupid review lecture, then he started talking about his kids! Well, I gotta get to class, see ya," I said.
"Bye," he kissed me.
I headed for Math with the best teacher in the whole world, thinking about summer.

~ ~ ~ ~

"Alright, so I'll see you at the park, then?" Derek asked as I got off the bus.
"Yeah, see you in 10," I said.
I ran up the stairs to the back door and unlocked it. I placed my phone on the counter and raced upstairs to get Rosy.
"Rosy!" I called, coming up the stairs. "Here, girl!"
She came bounding out of my room, racing to get to me. When she did she practically knocked me down and started licking my face.
"Rosy! Ros- girl! Off! Leash! Help!" I yelled. Finally I succeeded in getting her off of me and I snatched the leash, Rosy at my heels. I ran into my room, pulling off the tank-top and switched to a t-shirt which I tied up kinda high, exposing my belly button. I don't know if you've noticed, but I'm not very conservative. Even my jean shorts were a little low at the top, so more stomach showed, but aren't all jean shorts low?
When we got into the kitchen I hooked the leash on Rosy's collar, grabbed my phone, and headed out the door.
Rosy climbed into the passenger seat while I locked the back door after telling my mom I was going to the park.
We drove off, starting the 8 minute drive to the park.
We got there, and when I saw Derek sitting under that tree, THAT tree, it gave me a sickly reminder from two years ago when Seth had stood on this very ground and declared war on anyone who dated me.
I swallowed back the memories and went to go join Derek.
I should've canceled. I should've run. I should've done anything to stop what was about to happen. But of course, I didn't have a clue at that moment.
"Hey," I said, unhooking Rosy's leash and letting her run free with Rover as I sat down next to Derek.
"Hey," Derek said as he swung his arm around me.
Just then I spotted Seth, sitting casually on a bench, a little ways across the park. Every once in a while he would look over at Derek and I, making me feel nauseous.
"Uh, Annalise?"
"Huh, what?" I asked, realizing that Derek had asked me a question.
Derek followed my gaze. "Oh." He said. "Anyway, I asked you if you wanted to go to the professional baseball game this Saturday?"
"Sure! My whole team is going, so we can go together. I think Vicky's boyfriend and some other boys are coming too, as dated."
"Great," Derek started to say, but just then Seth walked up to us.
"Hi, guys," he said with no facial expression, but his eyes shone with a cold, dark anger.
"Hey, Seth, what's up, man?" Derek tried to say as he stood up, but Seth pushed him over.
"Don't play games with me, you jerk," Seth said. He called him worse names, ones I won't repeat. "You've stolen my girl!"
Derek got up saying, "What do you mean... your girl?"
"She's mine! She may have broken up with me, but if I can't have her, no one will," Seth said, glaring at Derek.
Out of nowhere, he punched him. Derek doubled over, and I screamed, "Seth! Stop it! I don't like you! I never should have dated you!"
Seth looked at me pitifully. "Look at you, he's corrupting your mind."
I stared at him dumfounded. He's the mind-corrupter! How could he think else wise!
"But he actually cares if I'm late or not to practice!" I screamed at Seth as he got ready to deliver another blow.
Derek blocked, and screamed, "Annalise! Call the police or something!"
I pulled out my phone and hit "Emergency Call" as the boys continued fighting.
"I don't want to fight you, Seth, why don't we talk things out instead?" Derek tried to reason.
"No! I warned her! This is what she gets!"
"Hello, 911, what's your emergency?" A woman said into the phone.
"There's a fight at Rosewood Park on Rosewood Lane! One boy doesn't want to fight, and the other's willing to knock him out!"
"Ok, Police will be there shortly," the woman said and hung up.
But it was too late. Seth had knocked Derek out. He grinned at me, and I stared at him, disgusted.
He came closer.
"Stay away from me," I said. "Don't you dare come near."
"Oh, come on, Annalise." Seth rolled his eyes. "You know you want me."
"No!" I pushed him away.
His expression hardened. "You are going to kiss me and you are going to like it!" He said and forced his lips onto mine.
I've never been so disgusted in my entire life. 
That is, until he pulled me closer by hooking his thumbs into the belt loops on my shorts, in the back, not the front ones. I tired to pull away but a hand flew up to my head and pulled me back, and dang, his grip was tight. 
I thought it couldn't get any worse. But it could.
He pulled me behind the trees and forced his tongue into my mouth, his other hand on my waist. I pulled away from him as hard as I could, but it was no use. 
When he let go to get a breath, I said, "You disgust me. Leave me alone!"
"No! You are mine! All mine! You can never date someone else!"
And then I sobbed. I should never have dated again. He tried to comfort me, but I pushed him away and ran to Derek's still unconscious body. 
At my touch, he woke up and put his arm around me, glaring up at Seth.
"Don't ever touch her again," Derek said, his voice dangerously low.
"Oh, I will. I'll touch her however I want, when the time is right," Seth said, making me shudder.
"No..." I sobbed.
And then Seth was gone, right as the police arrived.

~ ~ ~ ~

"So he raped you," my mom summarized in my kitchen after I explained what happened.
My body shook at the mention of the word and Derek hugged me from behind, his head in my neck. As he raised his head, I leaned against him, feeling safe and secure.
"I should have been able to stop him," Derek muttered to himself. 
"It's ok," my mom said. "You tried."
"But not my hardest! I was afraid of hurting him, but then I got knocked out," Derek said.
"Well, next time, don't be afraid. Just don't mercilessly beat him up," my mom said.
Rosy rubbed against my heel. I leaned down to scratch her, hoping Seth didn't mean what he said.

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