My feet ached as I took yet another step on the slippery pavement. The night had fallen hours ago and I was now left with the faint light of the streetlights that occurred every half mile. A deliberate drizzle had begun about half an hour ago and my entire body ached. Not just because I had been walking for three plus hours, but because my heart had been abused. Torn apart as others would say.
I gripped the ends of my sweatshirt sleeves in an attempt to at least block some of the bitter air but I soon learned that it would not be that simple. I was already drenched from head to toe and makeup was probably running down my face. I shifted the small bag that was slung over my shoulder and kept walking. I could hear the sound of a car approaching and the weak light from the headlights growing brighter. It wasn’t long before a wave of water splashed over me as the car sped by carelessly.
“Fuck you too!” I screamed after the car, knowing all to well that the driver wouldn’t have cared even if they had heard me.
I again began slowly shuffling my way through the intensifying rain, carrying on my way.
I can’t believe I ever trusted him. Held him. Loved him. He created a new me. A rebel. A runaway.
I again heard the slow rumble of a car approaching behind me and mentally prepared myself for the wave that would surely come crashing over me in only a matter of seconds. I waited. And waited. But to my surprised I was every bit as bedraggled as I was before.
“Are you okay?” I heard a voice ask loudly through the rain.
I looked up slowly and saw a car slowly driving beside me as I walked. I said nothing.
“Okay that was a stupid question. Lets try it again. Do you need a ride anywhere?” They asked.
Still, I stayed silent.
“Will you please give me the time of day? I swear, I’m not some rapist or kidnapper. I just saw you walking and it’s raining and you look cold. Please, just let me take you where you need to go.” The voice said.
“Look I’m just going to keep driving slowly beside you until you get in. I promise, just tell me where you need to go and I’ll take you there. I’d hate myself if I left you here in the rain.” They called.
I stopped walking and they too stopped the car.
“Please.” They pleaded.
“I don’t need your help.” I spoke, my voice hoarse.
“Well seeing that you’re walking in the rain and your clothes are completely soaked through, and it freezing outside, I’d say you do.” They called.
“Please. It’s all I’m asking.” They said.
I stood there, contemplating whether or not I should. So much of me wanted to fight back and tell him that I didn’t need his help, that I didn’t need anyone’s help but I knew it was nonsense. I took a deep breath and opened the car door. I could faintly see the outline of their hair and a masculine form. I immediately assumed they were male.
“Don’t worry about getting the seat wet. I just care that you’re safe.” He said.
“You don’t care about me. You don’t even know me.” I whispered coldly.
As the car slowly started to accelerate he didn’t say anything. I stared at the tiny droplets of rain that ran down the window.
“So, why were you walking by yourself in the rain?” He asked after a long silence.
“That is for me to know and for you to not.” I muttered.
“Well will you at least tell me your name?” He asked.
I stayed silent.
“Well alright. We’ll work on that. How about I introduce myself. I’m Harry.” He said.
I continued to gaze out the window.
“Want to tell me where you were headed?” He asked.
He sighed. “You’re really making it difficult for me to help you.”
My head whipped towards him. “I didn’t ask for your help. You insisted.” I told him bitterly.
He sighed. “I’m sorry that my kindness annoys you. It won’t happen again.”
He drove in silence as I continued to stare out the window.
“You didn’t know where you were going did you?” He finally asked, breaking the silence.
He responded when he was left with silence.
“You don’t have a place to go.” He said, almost knowingly.
I wasn’t going to give in. I could feel the tears in the corners of my eyes. I knew that if I spoke, nothing would hold them back.
He did nothing but sigh.
“Well its settled then.” He concluded.
“Nothing is settled.” I choked out bitterly.
“What’s your name?” He asked me.
I said nothing.
“I’m not asking for your darkest secret. I’m just asking for your name.” He said, sounding a bit frustrated.
I could hear the sound of my breathing and I swear I could hear the faint heartbeat that was pounding in my chest.
“Rebecca.” I finally whispered.
He looked at me intently before turning his gaze back to the road.
“Rebecca.” He repeated.
I crossed my arms over my chest in an attempt to consume heat. Every once in a while Harry would glance at me but I’d just stare out the window. I think by now he’d adapted to the idea that I was in no mood to talk about my past, present or my future.
By now the clouds in the sky had cleared and the rain had stopped long ago. I could faintly see the stars shining in the dark sky. It was a while before I was aware that he was pulling on to a street. I watched as we passed large, beautiful houses with bright green lawns. The sight of it made me frown. Before I knew it we were pulling into a driveway of a large, modern looking house.
I glanced at Harry. He got out of the car and walked to the side that I currently occupied. He opened the door.
“You’ll be staying with me.” He said, helping me out.
I had one foot in the car and one foot on the ground when my head shot up.
“I’m not staying with you.” I growled.
“Really?” He asked. “Do you have any other place to go? If so then please, tell me. I’ll take you.” He said.
I stepped fully out of the car and shut the door delicately behind me.
“Thanks but I’ll walk.” I muttered.
I began walking back down the driveway.
“What? So someone can pick you up again? Rebecca, not all guys are as nice as I am. Some actually want to hurt you. And when they see a girl walking by herself they see her as bait. I don’t want you to be their bait.” He called after me.
I spun around on my heel. “Stop acting like you know me. You don’t know me. Maybe I’m used to being bait. Maybe that’s what I am… Who I am.” I told him bitterly.
“You don’t have to be bait. No girl should ever have to feel like they’re bait. Please. Just stay here tonight. You don’t have to talk to me. I promise. It’ll be a roof over your head for one night.” He said calmly.
I crossed my arms over my chest and stood there. I stared at his dark figure intensely. I could barely see his face through the dark shadows. I finally let my arms drop to my sides.
“Fine.” I huffed. “One night.”
“Its all I’m asking.” He said.
I followed behind him as he led me to the front door. After unlocking it he opened the door and allowed me to walk in first. I glanced at him as I walked by and he followed me into his house. He flipped the light switch on and I just stood there. I turned to him and for the first time I could see his face. His piercing green eyes. His chocolate brown curls. He couldn’t be more than 20 years old.
He gave me a small smile. “Follow me. You can shower and I’ll wash your clothes for you.”
“You don’t have t-“
“I want to. I don’t know about the other guys you know but you’ll learn quickly that I respect girls okay?” He asked.
I nodded silently. He gestured for me to follow him and he led me up the stairs to the second floor. He led me into a bedroom.
“You can sleep here tonight. There is a bathroom right over there. “He said, pointing to an open door inside the room. “My room is just across the hall if you need anything and there’s plenty of food in the kitchen if you get hungry.”
“Thanks.” I said softly.
“Just don’t be afraid to ask for anything okay?” He asked.
“Alright. Well there are towels in the bathroom. Remember, I’m just across the hall.” He said.
“Okay.” I whispered.
“Goodnight Rebecca.” He said.
He left the room and closed the door behind him. I took a moment to engulf myself in my surroundings. I used to live in a room just like this one. I’d wake up. Get ready for school. And when the day was over I’d drag myself right back to the place I started. But there’s a reason I gained the reputation of a runaway. The name says it all.
I slowly stripped out of my damp clothes and set it all in a pile on a chair. I walked into the bathroom and flipped the shower on. As I pulled the door aside and stepped in I felt the rush of heat hit my body. The warm water engulfed me in stream and it instantly relaxed me. I looked around and saw a bottle of shampoo and conditioner sitting on the ledge as well as a bottle of body wash. I grabbed the body wash and scrubbed my entire body as if a disease I was desperate to get rid of had infected me. I scrubbed until my skin was pink and numb. It wasn’t just the dirty rainwater I was looking to remove from my body though. It was my past. I grabbed the shampoo and began massaging it into my hair. After conditioning it I stood there beneath the water, letting it hit my shoulders.
To my slight displeasure I turned the knob and the water shut off. I was met with the peaceful silence. I stepped out and grabbed a towel, letting the soft white fabric cover my body. Walking back into the room, I noticed my pile of clothes no longer sat on the chair and instead a T-shirt and sweats sat in a neatly folded pile on the bed. I grabbed the sweats and shirts and let the towel drop to the floor. I slipped the shirt over my head and pulled the sweats on. I could instantly smell the expensive cologne that remained on the clothes and I could think nothing but heaven when I smelled it. I slowly slipped under the soft covers of the bed and let there for what felt like forever. Millions of thoughts came and went and I soon sound my eyelids getting heavy and soon I found that I had drifted off into a deep, dreamless sleep.