I turned my head sightly and looked over my shoulder as Jackson entered through the door. I sucked in my breath as he stood there, a mix of anger and disappointment on his face.
"Bec, I told you, if there isn't dinner on the table when I get home, there'll be consequences." He growled, slowly stepping closer to me.
I sank ever so slowly into my chair and stared up into his dark, anger filled eyes.
"I- Um, I didn't think you'd be back this early." I said quietly.
He leaned into me and put one hand on either side of the table behind me, out faces only inches apart.
"I hope you're not using an excuse. I told you what happens when you make excuses." He frowned.
"I'm sorry." I whispered slowly. "I'll um, I'll make dinner now."
He looked at me for a moment before slamming his hands on the table behind me and pushing the chair I was sitting in over angrily. I fell to the floor and he glared down at me.
"I'm here already. What the hell am I supposed to do while you make dinner?!" He yelled. "I gave you everything and this is how you repay me!? I gave you everything!"
"Jackson please." I pleaded through soft sobs.
"Please?" I chuckled darkly. "Please?"
"Jackson." I choked out.
He looked down at me, feeling myself getting smaller and smaller. Before I could react I felt his foot come into contact with my ribs and I cried out in pain.
"This'll teach you to obey me next time!" He bellowed.
He slammed his foot into my ribs again and I curled up into a ball.
"Jackson." I cried out.
"Oh, you want to scream my name? I'll give you something to scream my name about." He chuckled darkly.
He lifted me off the ground swiftly and threw me over his shoulder.
"Please." I cried into his shoulder. "Jackson don't do this. Please."
"Shut the fuck up. I'll teach you to listen to me." He spat.
He made his way up the stairs with me struggling over his shoulder. I could hear the bedroom door being kicked open and next thing I knew I was being slammed down on the bed. He crawled on top of me and began unbuttoning my shirt.
"Jackson." I sobbed.
He stopped unbuttoning and I felt his hand hit my cheek.
"I said shut the fuck up. One more word from you and it'll get worse than this." He spat.
I lay there helplessly sobbing as he continued to rip my shirt open. He pulled down my shorts and began to violate my body. And what could I do? I could only lay there and hope it got better.
I shot up from my sleep and stared around the dark room. My sheets were damp and my body was covered in sweat. I sat there a moment, pulling my knees to my chest. I had had that dream every night since it happened. It was less of a dream and more of a painful nightmare. It haunted my memories. I sat there in the darkness and allowed my breathing to slow. Once my heart rate returned to normal I looked over at the table beside me and looked at the clock. 5:56. I contemplated on the idea of trying to go back to sleep but quickly banished the idea in fear of having the nightmare once more. I shoved the covers aside and my feet hit the soft carpet. Silently, I crept out of the room and walked down the hallway toward the stairs. Careful not to make a sound, I walked down the slick stairs and found my way to the kitchen where I grabbed a cup of water. I sat at the table in the dim light of the kitchen, slowly sipping my water, thinking. I wasn't necessarily thinking about one thing in particular but about everything. I took another sip and let the cool liquid rush down my throat. I heard slight movement upstairs but I assumed it was just Harry getting up to go to the bathroom. I was just waiting for the day that he turned on me and treated me like every guy had. Eventually he'll get tired of me taking up space and either hurt me or kick me out. I'm almost surprised he hasn't done both. The footsteps continued upstairs and moments later I heard footsteps on the stairs.
"Rebecca?"I heard Harry ask softly.
I didn't respond but moments later he appeared in the kitchen, his hair messy. I glanced at him but said nothing.
"You're up early." He said.
I looked at him and shrugged. "So are you."
He walked past me and opened the fridge and grabbed a water bottle. Uncapping it, he took a sip and set it on the table across from me. He shrugged.
"I go running early in the morning sometimes." He told me.
I looked at the clock. By now it was 6:10.
"At 6?" I asked dully.
He looked at me for a moment before responding. "Yeah. I like the privacy of mornings. Its quiet."
I looked around the kitchen.
"You live alone, isn't it always quiet?" I muttered.
He shrugged again. "Sometimes. Its a bit hard to understand I guess."
I nodded slightly, taking another sip of my water.
"Well I'll be back in about half an hour. You're welcome to join me though." He said.
I shook my head. "No. You go. I'll say here." I said softly.
He nodded. "Alright. But if you change your mind you're welcome to come next time."
"I won't change me mind." I said emotionlessly.
He took another sip of his water. "Alright then. I'll be back."
He grabbed his water bottle and walked out of the kitchen. Moments later I heard the door open and close and I was once again left with a peaceful silence. I thought about him again. It seemed almost mysterious that he lived alone in a huge mansion. I suppose he's probably the heir to his dad's company and fortune. Or possibly one of those secretive drug dealers. Who knows. Really, the only thing I know about him is his first name. But to be fair, thats all he knows about me. I don't want him to know more about me. I don't want him to know anything about me. Its safer that way. I sat in silence for about ten minutes before the sound of the landline began to ring. I stared at the phone for a few moments and decided it wasn't my call to take. I glanced at the caller ID. Louis. I shrugged. Brother probably. Or maybe best friend. The ringing stopped and a message played.
'Haz, where the hell've you been. Its like you dropped off the face of the earth. Call me back when you get this.'
I frowned for no reason in particular. I took the last sip of my water and set the glass in the sink. I walked silently up the stairs and walked into my room. I sat down on the bed and picked up my bag. I pulled out my bedraggled copy of the book I had shoved into my bag and set it in my lap. To Kill A Mockingbird was written on the front cover in gold ink. I flipped it open to the page I was on and sat back on my bed. I continued the story as Atticus Finch battled in court for the disadvantaged Tom Robinson. I had read this book many times but each time the story was brand new. Like I was seeing it from a whole different perspective each time. This book was once of the last things I had left from the place I truly called my home... or I used to. A while later, I heard the door open downstairs indicating the arrival of Harry. I could hear his heavy footsteps on the stairs and he jogged past my bedroom door. Moments later I heard the shower go on and I went back to being absorbed in my book. My heart broke like each time before as I learned of the death of Tom Robinson and the loss of Atticus Finch. I was so absorbed in the book that i hardly noticed the knocking on the door.
"Rebecca?" Harry's voice asked.
I set my book down on the bed and stood up to open the door. He stood there on the other side in skinny black pants and a white Ramones shirt, his hair still damp. I said nothing.
"Listen, I know this is probably really weird for you, a complete stranger taking you in... but I'd like to at least become friends." He said.
"Why?" I asked softly. "I'll be out of your way soon enough."
He sighed. "Rebecca, its actually refreshing to walk into the kitchen in the morning and seeing another face. It gets lonely. So please, stay as long as you'd like."
When I said nothing, he continued.
"I'd like to get to know each other in the meantime." He said.
I looked at him and frowned. "Thats not a good idea."
"Why not? Rebecca, I'm not some creepy stalker or anything. I just want to get to know you." He told me.
"What's there to know about me? My name's Rebecca. That's all you need to know." I sighed.
"Well whats your last name?" He asked.
I was silent but finally reluctantly answered. "Madison."
"Rebecca Madison." He repeated. "Well Rebecca Madison, I'm Harry Styles."
"Cool. Now are we done? I don't feel like having a conversation in a doorway." I muttered.
"Well lets sit then." He replied.
He walked past me and sat in the chair in my room. I sighed and sat on the bed.
"If you don't mind me asking, how old are you?" He asked.
"Nineteen." I said softly.
"Ah, see, we're not that different. I'm nineteen as well." He replied joyously.
"All we have in common is our age." I frowned.
"Well, when's your birthday. Mine's February First." He informed me.
"December Eleventh." I replied emotionlessly.
"Your enthusiasm is killing me." He chuckled.
I only frowned at him. "Well you better start digging your grave then because it won't get any better."
He looked at me for a moment before sighing. "Rebecca, what happened to you? You just seem so sad."
"Nothing." I replied quickly.
"I found you walking in the rain with nothing but a shoulder bag, its not nothing." He said seriously.
"Look, Harry, I get that you want to help but you don't know me and I don't know you. We're from two different worlds. Once I find a new place to stay, I'll be out of your hair forever and you'll forget all about me. Theres no use telling my story to someone who will just forget me."
He leaned back in his chair and looked at me intently. "Why are you so against staying here? Is it something I did?"
I shook my head and sighed. "No, you're really kind but I don't belong here. I was walking in the rain for a reason and I'm not going to stop walking because someone kind invited me in. You've probably got your problems to deal with and I've got mine."
"Please Harry. Just let it go." I sighed.
He fell silent. He ran his hands through his damp hair and stood up. "Okay."
"But don't say I never tried." He sighed.
He walked out of my room and closed the door behind him. I let out a slow breath and grabbed my book, luring myself back into the story.