It was cold when I felt a hand shake me roughly, "Carter!" I heard Niall's thick accent. I opened my eyes hazily and stared up at his concerned face. "Ni…" I try to speak but I become light headed. "It's okay. You don't have to talk, you need to get to a hospital. Now." Niall picked me up and laid me carefully in the passenger seat of his Range Rover. I couldn't remember anything up to that point. I just know I woke in a large hospital room in a hospital gown and a giant bandage on my right cheek. I began to touch it when Niall spoke, making me jump. "Don't touch it. It'll hurt. You had to get 9 stitches." Niall looked tired. dark circles formed under his sagging eyes, his hair was disheveled and his shirt splotched with dried blood. "It's nice to see you too." I said with a smile. Niall smiled but not convincingly. "What's wrong?" I asked, my voice sounding hoarse. "Carter, what happened?" Niall held my hand that was scraped up at the knuckles. "Can we talk about it later?" I mumbled. I honestly did not want to talk about what happened. Niall didn't seem to agree but just nodded. When he opened his mouth to say something, a doctor with dark skin and grey hair walked in, "Well, Miss Riggs, it looks like you hit your head pretty hard." He said my birth last name. Niall looked at me confusedly, but I brushed it off. "Well, I'm glad to say that you're ready to go home now." He smiled softly. I nodded as Niall handed me a pair of clothes, not mine, but his baggy sweatpants and Ramones t-shirt. "Sorry, I just took those out of my car. They're clean though, don't worry." Niall tried to lighten the mood, but I just smiled weakly and stumbled dizzy-like out the door. I couldn't handle it; my head felt like a top spinning on a wooden floor endlessly. I guess Niall noticed that my head hurt and that I walked like a drunk person taking a alcohol test. He chuckled, "I'm sorry sweetheart, they gave you painkillers that are a bit strong." He slung his arm on my shoulder, and I winced. Niall lightened his grip, "Why are you so jumpy? Are you hurt there?" I shook my head, "Doesn't matter." I pretended to rub my eyes to keep from crying.
The car ride was silent as I just stared out the window without saying a word, and Niall doesn't even bother me for answers. But that changed when we got to his flat. I was laying on couch with him sitting across from me, his eyes bleeding through me like a marker held on a white sheet of paper. I acted like I didn't notice, but when he finally came over, I began to look away from him as he tried to touch my cheek. "Carter," he mumbled. I ignored him and covered my face. "Carter, what happened?"
"I don't want to talk about it." I mumbled and stumbled up towards the bathroom. Niall grabbed my hand roughly, "Carter! Stop this!" He screamed. "I said I don't want to talk about it! I told you! I don't want to talk about it!" I screamed back. I could feel the tears stingingly eyes as I began to walk away again, "Why did he call you Riggs, Carter?" He was yelling at me loudly. I turn on my heel the tears preparing to break onto my cheeks, "Is that all you fucking care about?! My last name? I'm a foster child, Horan! Is that good enough?!" I feel the tears streaming down my cheeks in big drops. "Is it?" I ask, a little calmer. I could see the anger boiling up in him. Partly I felt ashamed for screaming, and the part made it felt good to stand up and yell at him. Adrenaline was coursing through me. "Look, that's not all I care about, Carter! I just want to know what made you so afraid and so depressed that you can't let me touch you! That you push me away! I just want to help you!"
"Because the last someone touched me they tried to rape me in an alley! Maybe the reason I push you away is because it's better to feel nothing than feel the pain of no one loving me!" I had shoved him away from me and stared at him for a response. "Carter..." He said breathlessly.
"Is that all you can say... Is... Is my name?" I ask in a calmer tone but still felt the tears streaming endlessly from my eyes. No answer. He just stood there. Finally I said, "That's what I thought." Through a shaky voice and made my way out the door. It's easier not to feel.