I wish I would’ve stayed, I wish I could just run. I’ve got to be to work in a few minutes, but my body is in too much pain. I’ve got bruises everywhere, everywhere is sore, and I think I’ve got a sprained ankle. That’s what I get for running, right? I’ve already showered, dressed, and covered up my bruising as best as I could. It was one of the most painful things I’ve ever had to do, the only reason I didn’t sob the whole time was because John would’ve woken up. But now, I’m sitting on my brown love seat, waiting for John to take me to work.
“Are you ready??” John yelled from my bedroom, making me flinch, and wince in pain.
“Y-yes…” I lightly called back. I’d learned my lesson for shouting at him last night.
“Let’s go then. “He slammed the front door behind him and I limped outside as fast as I could. Getting into the truck left my ankle throbbing and my bottom stinging. He didn’t talk while driving me, just listened to the radio.
“And now we’ve got a request for One Direction, Story of My Life.” The DJ announced on the radio. As the melody started to play, I felt Goosebumps washing over me. It was Harry’s voice. My mind went back to last night and his calming yet stunning eyes. For a moment, the pain didn’t affect me, until I heard John scoff.
“Bunch of pussies they are.” He had a disgusted look plastered on his face as he slammed the radio off. Don’t flinch, don’t flinch, don’t flinch. It he sees I’m still scared, he’ll hit me again. “We’re here, get the fuck out.” John said as he slowly drove through the parking lot.
“Are you going to park?” I gave him a wide eyed look, but he didn’t look my way.
“Get out.” He coldly replied. I looked out my window and the longer I waited, the more he sped up. I whimpered before jumping out of the vehicle, landing on my face. Fuck, my ankle. I rolled onto my back and sat up.
“Are you okay miss??” An older gentlemen came to help me up.
“Yes, I just, it was a mistake.” I couldn’t think of a valid lie, so I limped away, with the man looking at me as if I just swallowed a snake.
I sighed when I entered the little diner. I had to close tonight, so I’d end up walking because John doesn’t want to pick me up at ten at night.
“Yeah, I’m heading over there now.” I spoke into my phone.
“Do you got the money?” Scott asked me from the other line.
“What do you think? Dipshit. I took it from Claire’s savings and a few pay checks, but it’s worth it.” I made a left turn and parked in front of an alleyway. I hung up the phone and got out. No one seemed to be around and I waited for a few moments before I could feel my temper rising.
“You John?” An Irish accent spoke from behind me; I turned to find a tall man with dark hair and crazy eyes.
“Yeah, that’s me.” I had to look up at him because he was so tall. “You Allen?” I watched as he nodded his head. “Here” I pulled out the envelop of 6,123 pounds ($10,000) and handed it to him.
“It’s all here?” He weighed the envelop in his hand.
“All there.” I nodded at him and he slipped the bag of cocaine into my pocket, trying not to get caught.
“See ya around.” He walked off and I got back into my truck.
As I was packing up to go, I looked out into the dark night. Fuck, it’s raining. I grabbed my purse and went outside, locking up the diner in the process. The eaves, thank God, blocked the rain, keeping me cold, but dry. I searched through my phone for his number and dialed it.
“WHAT!?”” He yelled into the phone.
“It’s raining, I can’t walk.” I weakly said.
“I’m fucking busy! It’s just a little rain, grow a pair!” And with that, he hung up. Of course! He’s fucking busy! I stared out into the rain, it was pounding on the pavement, and there was NO way I was walking home. What about Sophia? I contemplated calling her, but I deleted her number a while ago. Bloody fucking hell! I felt my lip quiver as I stepped into the ice cold rain. I had an idea of where I was going, but it was quite dark, and I’ve never walked in the dark. The rain pounded on my weak body as I blindly walked.
I was nowhere near Sophia’s flat and I felt defeated. Step after step made me want to break down into sobs. Think happy thoughts, I told myself. Yeah, happy thoughts, like my boyfriend beating me and leaving me to walk in the rain. So happy! I breathed through the pain as a familiar tune started playing in my mind. The Story of My life, Harry’s voice, his eyes. I tried to smile, but instead tears fell. I remembered how I had seen those eyes watching me as I took the slap from John. I remembered feeling guilty for knowing he was watching and knowing that Harry knew I just let it happen. What am I even talking about? Why was I even worried about Harry? Or any of the boys for that matter. It was no one’s business what happened in my life. As I felt my anger rise, more tears fell, because I realized something. If it’s no one’s business, I’m going to have to live with this for the rest of my life. As I walked on, a car slowed down near me. I began to walk faster as the car pulled up next to me.
“Claire? Claire wait!” A familiar voice yelled to me. I stopped dead in my tracks and turned to meet the gaze of those warm brown eyes. “Claire, what are you doing out here?!” He yelled at me over the rain. I stood, shaking, scared, and soaking wet without a word of explanation. “Get in!” He gestured for me to join him in the warm car and I gave in. I quickly jumped into the passenger seat and buckled my seat belt. “Are you okay, love?” He looks me over with a concerned expression.
“Yeah, I-I’m fine.” I push a strand of wet hair behind me ear and look down. After a moment of silence, my phone went off. I promptly answered it and pulled it up to my ear. The only sound that could be heard was a woman moaning, I could faintly hear here moaning “John.” I winced and ended the call. I hated when he did that. It was a warning from me, ‘don’t come home, or else.’ He was probably doing drugs with some slut and they ended up having sex, how nice. I’m surprised I haven’t contracted a disease from him, but then again I’ve only slept with him a total of three times, well four if you count the other night.
“Who was that?” Liam asked.
“Just-” Should I tell him? “Wrong number.” I lied and Liam nodded his head.
“Do you want me to take you home?” He watched as my face paled. “Or do you have somewhere else to go?” His soft eyes examined me; he knew I had nowhere to go. I looked down in an attempt to hold in my tears, but they poured out of my eyes. I felt a comforting arm wrap around my shoulders and I was pulled into a tight hug. I sobbed into Liam’s shoulder as he rubbed circles into my back. “Love, it’s okay.” He cooed and I attempted to calm down. As we sat, still embracing each other, I took deep breaths, and finally calmed down. I pulled away from Liam and he examined my stature before he said, “I’ll take you back to my flat, eh? You stay over tonight if you’d like.” He gave me a small, but comforting smile and I nodded my head. “Good.” He replied before starting the car up again. As we drove, I started to realize how nice it was to have someone care for you. I didn’t like Liam in that way, although he was very attractive, but he was so sweet and I felt as though he really cared for me. I hope he stays around in my life; I need a strong shoulder to cry on, rather than a foot to beg at.
“Thank you Liam.” I mumbled and he flashed me another smile. We pulled up to a complex and Liam parked.
“My flats on the third floor.” He told me as we got out of his car. He led me up to flat and walked in. I followed quietly behind him and stepped in. It had a cozy feeling as I took a few more steps in; it kind of reminded me of my house before my Dad passed. Before I could get lost in my memories, Liam walked into his bedroom and said, “I’ve got some clothes you can change into. That way you don’t have to sleep in the nude.” He let out a light chuckle and I smiled. I followed him into his bedroom and watched as he rummaged through is dresser. “Here, love.” Liam said as he closed his dresser drawer and handed me a folded pile of clothes. I looked at them sitting in my hand; he had given me a plain black shirt, with some grey sweats.
“Thank you so much, Liam.” I smiled at him and gave him a hug.
“It’s no problem, love.” He returned the smile. “So, you go get changed and I’ll set up a bed for you on the couch. The bathroom is the next room.” He squeezed my shoulder before heading out of his room. I found my way to the bathroom and closed the door. I stripped off my wet clothes, pulled the sweats on, and the black t-shirt. It fit loosely, but it was dry so I had no room to complain. I looked in the mirror and winced. My cover-up had come off in the rain and my bruises were clearly visible, great. Liam already knows what I have to deal with and I was too tired to really care. I took one glance at my disheveled appearance before exiting the bathroom. I maneuvered my way to Liam’s sitting room and pulled my hair back in a pony tail with the tie I keep on my wrist.
“Thank you so much.” I said as I saw my cozy bed on the couch being made by Liam. He just looked up at me and chuckled.
“Those close are ridiculous.” He chuckled again.
“They’re comfortable though.” I said as I adjusted the baggy clothing.
“Good.” Liam replied as he walked over to me. “I’m going to head over to Niall’s real quick, but you should get some sleep.” He nodded over to the made-up couch and I nodded my head. I quickly made my way over to the warm blankets and snuggled into my make-shift bed. “I’ll be back.” Liam called to me from the front door.
“Alright.” I called back. “Oh, thanks again. This really means a lot to me.”
“Anything for a friend, Claire.” He replied before heading out the door. A friend. What a nice thing to hear, especially after the names I was called last. As the memories started flooding back to me, I pushed them out, and started to think about my Dad. His loving eyes, big smile, a lot like Liam. Maybe that’s why I feel so connected to him so quickly because he reminds me of my Father. I smiled at the thought and felt my eyes getting heavier and heavier before I couldn’t hold them open anymore.
“Oi, Liam!” A voice called from the front door. I fluttered my eyes open, momentarily confused on my whereabouts, but the memories from last night came back to me. Liam picking me up, me crying on his shoulder, him being so kind to me.
“Liam, what are you-” The voice stopped as they entered the living room. It was Niall who had stopped talking, but Louis, Harry, and Zayn were right behind him.
“Oh…” Was all Zayn could muster out while the boys watched me. I felt embarrassed, having no makeup on, just waking up, and waking up on a friend’s couch.
“Morning boys.” Liam said as he walked in to join them.
“What’s she doing here?” Louis pointed towards me. “No offense.” He gave me a sympathetic look before turning back to Liam.
“Long story.” Liam shrugged and walked into the kitchen. I stood up and awkwardly stood there as the boys gave me peculiar smiles. After a moment of awkward silence, Louis, Zayn, and Niall went into the kitchen to join Liam, but not before they could give me warm smiles. Harry stayed though, making me feel more awkward. He had seen me get slapped and I could feel his eyes analyzing every bruise on my body. He gave me a remorseful look and it looked as though he was going to say something, but instead he gave me a smile. Failing to cover up the sadness in his eyes when he looked at me, he wandered into the kitchen. He knows. Obviously, but why hasn’t he said anything. Should I be relieved?