The 1975 Runaway

Grace Forsyth, eighteen years old, abused. Abused by her boyfriend and people at school. Grace's life seemed to be going further and further into a spiral of despair, until one night she packs up everything and runs away. Walking along a deserted road in the middle of nowhere, Grace is stopped by a red Volkswagen type 2. And she can't believe it to be The 1975.


1. Jack's Outburst

Grace's POV

You know what's unfair? Life. You get these fake bitches who are the most popular people in the school, and then the people who actually care about others instead of themselves are cast aside. Outcasts. I was an outcast.

My friend, Sarah, used to be exactly like me. Until one day Jacob Paisley, our school's best looking guy and transfer from London, decided that she had a nice ass and she deserved to be part of the in-crowd. So Sarah said goodbye to me and hello to the world of Instagram likes and Starbucks.

I was never one for coffee shops. They were cool once in a while, but then there are some people who go everyday and have a fake name each time and upload pictures of their drinks to social media and blah blah blah.

"Move out of the way, slut bag," Hannah Black said on Monday as she pushed me against a wall with her 'designer' bag and carried on walking towards her next class.

She made a fake laugh with two of her followers and flicked her hair at me. Pathetic. I didn't like these things getting to me. Hannah Black was just another perfectionist queen, always concentrating on what she ate and what exercises to do and where to shop next and what shoes to buy. Never about important things, like politics or modern issues or even music. Music is such a big impact on social life that some girls don't even understand.

I received dirty looks from four girls who passed me as I tucked into a bite-size chocolate bar. They walked past, with straightened hair and glossy lips, with tubbed salads. I just want to put out there, that if I thought I needed to lose weight then I would have. But in my opinion, everyone should be fine with their bodies. I was still coming to terms with the fact I would always be the way I was and I couldn't help it.

For a while I didn't get why girls like Hannah Black, Sarah or even Jessica Palmer had become number one hits at our school along with five or six others. But then it hit me. What do the boys want? Hot bodies. Hot bodied, blonde, slaggy girls who excuses for Halloween are that it's the only time they can dress slutty and no one can judge them. 

All joking aside, I have thought about being one of those girls enough times that my brain started to hurt. I did really want to have other girls and guys want to have and be me. I wished sometimes that Jacob Paisley had picked me over Sarah.

But no, I was the girl sitting at home every night update my phone with the newest gossip, songs and pictures of The 1975. And who could blame me? If the girls at school actually stopped manicuring their nails and properly listened to something by The 1975, I could assure them their lives would change. 

It's not just that the band are four good-looking, extremely talented guys. It's also the fact that they just get people, they sing truthfully and it's really deep without even meaning to be deep. Sure some of their stuff is about marijuana and sex, but I would be damned happy if I got the chance to smoke with Matty Healy.

"Time for dinner, sweetie," mum popped her head through the crack in my door. I nodded and told her I'd be straight out. 

I turned off the radio, switching off The 1975's album, and I went downstairs. 

Mum had made macaroni. Dad, Tony and her were sitting waiting for me as I approached them. They were all smiling, creepy smiling, well apart from dad of course. "What? Are you going to tell me about a dead relative or something?" I asked.

"Don't fucking be rude," dad said as I sat down.

"Dylan," mum corrected him.

He rolled his eyes and stuck a fork into his macaroni, flicking it into his mouth quickly. "Your mother and Tony put together some money," dad said in between mouthfuls. "I didn't, the cause of what they spent it on is nothing that I wanted to have anything to do with."

Mum didn't look at him. I knew it was because she just wanted to slap him right across the face. He was such a rude pig at times. He just wasn't what you expected a dad to be. But he wasn't abusive, just rude. Sometimes he was okay, occasionally. Rarely.

"Your brother and I," mum started. "Well, we know how much you love your bands and whatnot."

"I do," I interrupted.

Tony looked up from his food. He had turned nineteen just three months ago and now he was saving for an apartment of his own. Lucky him. It was strange that he had managed to save up some money for anything other than his flat-search, and it was even stranger that he had decided to spend it on me. "We got you tickets for The 1974 or whatever," mum said.

"The 1975, and seriously?" I was overwhelmed. "Like, really? Oh my God. Guys, I can't thank you enough. Why?"

Mum cocked her head to the side and chewed one bit of macaroni very, very slowly. "Your principal phoned the other day and told us you were having some problems. But I'm not saying that I'm really worried or anything, or like we're sending you to a psychiatrist, just we want you to be happy."

"So, let me get this straight," dad sipped his water. "She's been getting bullied or getting the shit kicked into her or something, and you two decided to pay for fucking concert tickets? Why don't you just pay some money to a professional trainer, he can toughen her up and after she punches the shit out of them they would definitely leave her alone.

"Dylan!" mum scolded, picking up her plate and walking to the sink. She slammed it on the worktop and pointed at dad. "You have a lot to learn, you fucking piece of shit."

I could see he felt slightly bad about what he had said, rushing his dinner, apologising briefly and then leaving. Tony and I sat there in silence, chewing stringy macaroni. It was either too cheesy or not cheesy enough, I couldn't pick which one fitted the description. 

After dinner I went back to the bedroom, turned on The 1975 and flicked through pages of a magazine. My friend Jess phoned me half an hour later, telling me everything about the concert. Turns out mum had spoken with Jess' mother and they were both in on the plan. We left in three days. The concert was in Manchester. 

Mum and dad went out after dinner, for a walk I presumed. They said they needed to talk things through, that used scare me that they might get a divorce, but I grew up to notice that it just meant that dad was going to plead for forgiveness, as mum was the best thing that had ever happened to him.

Tony went out for a drink with his mates so I was left alone. I watched some films from the 1990's before going to bed at only nine. I fell asleep quickly, listening to The 1975 as I started falling into depth. But then my phone rung, cutting off Girls and wakening me.

"Hello?" I said, with a croaky voice, ignoring the caller ID.

"Babe!" someone said down the line. It was Jack. "I'm coming round, unlock the door. See you soon!"

He sounded drunk. Shit, the door was unlocked. I padded downstairs and towards the front door in the dark, it was all very eerie. I reached out to lock it but as soon as I tried, the door swung open and there was Jack, standing in baggy jeans and a white polo. "There you are," he said, approaching me and throwing his hands around my back.

Jack started kissing down my neck and up towards me lips. I didn't want this to happen right now, I was tired and honestly, scared, but he wouldn't budge. Jack was much bigger than I so I obviously couldn't push him off. 

He walked me backwards and we slumped down on a couch near in the living room. "Jack please," I said. His breath smelled of alcohol. "C'mon, just once, just once..." he whispered and his lips pressed against mine.

"Jack stop."

He didn't stop. He continued. I eventually had to scream for help, but yet no one came. And by the time it was two in the morning and my brother had just come home, Jack had me undressed in my bed and he was on top of me.

"Grace?" my brother called as he walked up the stairs.

Finally. Someone could stop this. "Tony!" I yelled, Jack clasped a hand over my mouth.

Tony appeared in the door frame. He was larger than Jack was so it was easy for him to grasp his body and pull him off. "Get off my sister," Tony said.

Jack stepped backwards and banged into the cupboard. He threw his hands in the air. "What the fuck man?" he yelled.

"Get out," Tony said.

I pulled the covers over me. It felt unreal. This was all happening as I sat there, be known to how violent Jack was going to become.

After Tony had approached Jack and went to lead him out, Jack jumped at him and punched him square in the face. "Jack!" I yelled, throwing a dressing gown over me and rushing towards the boys.

Tony and Jack involved themselves in a quarrel, before Tony and I had eventually brought Jack downstairs and threw him out into the streets. I heard him ten minutes later, whilst Tony and I were sitting in the kitchen drinking stale coffee, screaming in the street. Hopefully someone would eventually phone the police. "You alright?" Tony asked to break the awkward silence.

I nodded. "Thanks, by the way."

"No problem," he sipped. "Why do you stay with him? If that's how he treats you then why do you put up with him?"

I shrugged, it was just easier. Everything was just easier how it was. 


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