"Since we have no more material in this chapter to cover, you may leave early." The professor announced, giving all of the students as small smile. Thank god we'd be getting out early. It was becoming too nice of a day to sit inside lecture halls. I shoved my things in my bag and made my way out of the classroom. As the big doors to the building closed behind me I looked for Neely, but he was nowhere to be found. Normally he was waiting for me right by the clock tower where he had a good view of the surrounding courtyard. Maybe he was getting a coffee or something, which is totally fine with me. He wasn't expecting me for another twenty minutes or so. I started making my way around the library, texting him to meet me under the big oak trees by the fence. I could read a book while I wait for him.
"Stop right there you bitch." The words rung out through the back alley, making me halt in my tracks. I completely froze, even though my brain was screaming at me to run, my feet wouldn't move an inch. I was stuck in place. I knew that voice anywhere, it was Jake. I could hear him getting closer and closer to me with each step, and before I knew it, both his hands were resting on my shoulders as he stood behind me.
"You look so lovely today." He said, whipping me around. I started backing up to get away from him, but he just matched my stride. I kept walking back when I felt the cold stone of the school building on my back. "Where's your little friend? You know...the one who's supposed to watch out for you?" He starting squeezing my shoulders tight, reminding me of the nightmare where he broke my collarbone.
"I....I don't know." I stammered out. I tried to step to the side but he blocked my way.
"Try to run, and you're dead."
"Please, don't do this." I started to beg, tears running down my face. He ran his hands through my hair, placing a strand behind my ear. Such an innocent gesture made evil by his intentions.
"It's a shame he's not here to help you." He said, ignoring my pleas. He took both my wrists in hands. His touch made my entire body feel cold and scared. "Because this what's going to happen." His grip started getting tighter and he leaned in, his face inches from mine. 'You're going to come with me, quietly." At this point, my feet decided they were ready to run, so I tried to escape his grip with all my might, but it was no use. He held me in place gripping my wrists so tightly that it hurt, and as he pulled me back I hit my head on the stone building on accident. Pain started radiating through my head from where it hit, making me a little dizzy. "That's what I thought. Running away won't help you now." He whispered to me, evil riddling through the tone of his voice, giving me the creeps as well as scaring the hell outta me. He leaned into my neck and started kissing it sloppily. The smell of alcohol and tobacco wafted off of him, making me gag. I continued to squirm and try to get away, but he put one hand over my mouth, pushing me against the wall, so I couldn't go anywhere, and so no one would hear my screams. He kept kissing me, making me cringe. His hands wormed their way up to my throat and he had me pinned against the wall by my neck, making it difficult for me to breath. "You're mine now." He said, chuckling to himself. I tried to scream but no sound came out. I continued to squirm to try to get away when suddenly I heard rapid footsteps echoing through the alley. Finally a person!
"Hey let go of her!" It wasn't just any person, it was Neely. Jake's grip suddenly released as he took off running away. I sunk to the ground, feeling dizzier than ever. Tears started coming even faster than before and I felt two much more gentle hands on my shoulder.
"I'm calling an ambulance okay? You don't look so good." He pulled out his phone and dialled 999, asking for medical assistance as he pulled me in closer to him, letting me soak his shirt with my tears. He gave the operator our location then hung up. "Come on. I've got you now." He said as I continued to cry. Warm arms scooped me up off the ground. "I'm so sorry." Those were the last words I heard before everything went black.
My eyes flickered open, only to feel blinded by bright florescent lighting, making me blink a few times to adjust.
"Well hello Ms. Moynihan. It's nice to see you awake." A lady in blue scrubs said to me. She looked nice. I didn't answer her right away, instead I just looked around the room, trying to figure out what happened. It looked like I was in a hospital, which made sense because I remembered hitting my head pretty hard and Jake having his hand around my throat.
"I'm in the hospital right?" I asked her.
"That's right. You hit your head pretty hard, but it looks like you'll be just fine. Now that you're awake, the doctor will come in and check on you once more, he'll likely let you go after that." She explained in her Irish accent.
"Okay thanks. Do you know where my friend is by any chance? The guy who brought me here?"
"He's just outside the door, taking a phone call I think. He said he would be right back."
"Great, thanks." With that she scribbled something on a clipboard then left, leaving me to myself. My head was still hurting, but not as bad before I passed out. I closed my eyes and laid my head back on the pillow of the hospital bed, trying to relax.
The door to the room opened once more, and I heard footsteps come around to my bed. I opened my eyes to see Neely looking down at me with a worried expression on his face. He sat down in the chair next to me.
"Raegan I am so sorry. I should have been there. I left for one second to go to the toilets. I didn't realize your class got out early. I'm sorry, I should have been there. This is completely my fault. I feel-"
"Neely. It's fine." I started, cutting him off. He needed to know that I wasn't blaming him for this. "This is not your fault. This is Jakes fault. So please don't blame yourself for something he's done." I said looking over at him.
"Thanks." He said giving me a small smile and heaving a sigh. "How are you feeling?"
"I feel alright. My head kind of hurts, but I'm okay."
"Do you need anything?"
"Actually, a thing of ice cream would be nice."
"Can do, we'll get you one on the way home."
"Thanks." I said smiling at him. He really is the nicest bodyguard I could ask for, and I felt bad for the times I wasn't so welcoming to him.
"The doctor says you have a concussion. Not a serious one, but enough to mess with your head."
"Got it." I said, no other words coming to mind. Which would be an effect of the concussion. I've had one before so I knew what to expect. Spacing out randomly, having trouble focusing, and fatigue were all to be expected for the next day or so.
"I called Paul, just so you know. He said he would let Niall know what happened." Oh boy, Niall was probably flipping out. Right on cue Neely's phone starting ringing. "Speak of the devil, that would be him." He handed the phone to me and I picked up.
"Hello?" My voice sounded tired and weak. It was difficult to speak, and I figured that was because Jake nearly strangled me.
"Rae baby, Paul told me everything. Are you okay?" The butterflies in my belly went crazy at the sound of his voice and his pet name for me. His voice immediately put me at ease.
"Yeah I'm okay now. My head just hurts a little bit. I guess I have a concussion."
"That's what Paul said." He sounded worried, but underneath that I could tell he was angry too. "I'm just glad nothing worse happened."
"Me too....." Once again I couldn't think of what to say for a second. "I miss you."
"Do you want me to come out there? I can get on a plane right now. The guys will understand. I'll take care of you as long as you need." He was talking really fast, obviously freaking out.
"Niall. I have a concussion, I'm not dying." As much as I would love for Niall to come see me right now, since we haven't seen each other in a few weeks, I couldn't tell him yes. I refuse to let him leave tour for me over a stupid concussion.
He laughed a little bit at the other end. "Okay, but promise you won't be stubborn and you'll listen to what the doctor says?"
"I promise." I told him as a smile came across my face. He knew me so well.
"And promise me you won't go through any shortcuts in alleys anymore?"
"I promise." I told him, smirking. He could be so overprotective sometimes, but I know it's only because he cares.
"Good." He started. "Because I don't know what I would do if something happened to you." Right then the doctor opened the door to the room. He was tall with grey hair and glasses. He shook Neely's hand before sitting down on the stool beside the bed.
"Well the doctor just came in, and I promise I'll listen to him. I love you." The doctor and Neely both chuckled at what I said.
"I love you too. Please listen." He said to me, almost begging.
"I will geesh." I couldn't help but laugh myself, the concussion doing some of the talking....."Talk to you later."
"Okay bye love. I'll call you tonight right after the show."
"Sounds good. Bye." With that I hung up and handed Neely back his phone. I adjusted the way I was sitting, my tailbone was starting to hurt. These hospital beds aren't really comfy at all. In fact the rooms are rather ugly. Off white walls with dreary curtains and a bunch of medical equipment everywhere. It wasn't the nicest place to be.
"Hello Raegan, I'm Dr. Bernarn. Pleased to meet you." He said shaking my hand.
"Same to you." I said with a smile.
"So, as your friend here probably already told you, you have a concussion." He said gesturing to Neely. "It's not exactly the worst I've seen, but it's not the best scenario either. This means for the next few days you might feel unfocused, dizzy, more tired than usual, possibly even confused at times. You may even faint for no reason at all. It's all to be expected. According to your records, you've had a concussion before, correct?"
"Mhmm, it wasn't too bad. I was just really tired the whole time."
"That's the symptom people experience the most with these things. Now, I recommend taking a few days off from class and work, just to rest up. From what I've been told you're very studious and hard working."
"Uh yeah, I guess you could say that." I said. Neely just laughed a little.
"Don't let her fool you Doc, I never knew a person could study so much until I met her." Neely said to him.
"Well, just know that trying to do all that schoolwork in the next few days isn't going to help you any. It's best to just take a few days off and get better first. We can't have you fainting in the middle of lecture." The Dr. Bernan emphasized.
"I guess I can skip a few days." I said, making both of them chuckle again. If I hadn't promised Niall, I would probably just go to school anyways, which is probably why he made me promise him not to.
"I've also taken a look at your wrists and your neck." I looked down at my wrists. I hadn't even noticed the bruises yet. The blue and yelled splotched were ugly looking, and I wished that I could just erase them. "They're just bruised as you can see, but no bones are broken or anything like that. They'll heal right up in no time, And your voice will return completely in the next day or two."
"Thank you." I said to him as he made his way out of my room. I looked over at Neely and gave him an "are you kidding me?" kind of look, making him laugh out loud.
"You ready kiddo?" He asked me.
"Ready." I pulled the covers off of me and swung my feet around, making me dizzy.
"Easy tiger, take it slow." He said. "I'll get your shoes on."
"Thanks." I said, slightly embarrassed that Neely had to put on my Keds for me and tie them up. After that he handed me my jacket and I slipped it on, embracing it's warmth in the cold hospital. I went to stand up, when he pushed me back down.
"I don't think so." He said. "Hop on." He gestured to his back and squatted low so I could wrap my arms and legs around so he could piggy back me out of the hospital.
"You're too good to me." I told him as we left the little hospital room.
"It's my job." He said smiling back at me.
Resting on the couch with my tub of ice cream, wrapped up in my favorite blanket, I was pretty relaxed. Neely was sitting on the end of the couch with my feet resting in his lap, watching the TV with me. I had been so busy with school and work lately that I hadn't had much time to turn on the telly. Part of me had been avoiding it too, not wanting to see my picture splashed across the screen. The night of the concert, people obviously took pictures, meaning my face was finally in the press, and by the next morning someone spilled the beans on me. Now, everyone knows my full name, my program at school, what I do for work, and even what my favorite pubs are around town where I've been spotted. In the last few weeks, I've gained well over 100,000 followers on twitter, and counting. Most of the tweets are really sweet, but there have also been tons of hate tweets too, some of them going way too far. Words such as ugly, and twig, and bitch have been floating through the feed, so I haven't been on in about a week, not wanting to deal with it. And after pictures from the wedding made their way out, it got even worse. Niall immediately started to feel guilty for the hate, but I told him there was no need. I chose to be with him, and the haters are just part of the job, just like the paparazzi. They haven't been too bad, but some of them have gotten some pictures of me just hanging around town. I've only been felt really overwhelmed by it when they ambushed me when I was shopping one afternoon, but Neely was with me and he told them to go away so they went away pretty quick. I think the worst part about the paps is that now I always spend way too much time in the mornings deciding what to wear in case they get my picture. I didn't need any sloppy pictures of my splashed across the internet.
"And right after the commercial we'll be talking about the one and only Niall Horan and his blossoming romance. We'll be right back, so don't go away." The lady announcer said, smiling at the camera. Neely and I were watching some gossip program because nothing else was on. I wasn't sure if I wanted to listen to some lady evaluate my relationship with Niall, but there was nothing else to do and we were waiting for some Pizza to be delivered before starting a movie. I couldn't even read a book instead because it would make my eyes start to hurt. Stupid concussion.
"We can change it if you'd like." Neely said to me.
"No that's alright. I'm curious as to what they have to say." I'm sure it wouldn't be anything mean. I've noticed the Irish gossip channels tend to be a bit nicer than the ones in America.
"Do you need anything?" He's been treating me like a queen all day, catering to my every need. He was definitely going above and beyond his job description.
"No, I'm good for now. I just want that pizza to hurry up." I said to him.
"Me too. I'm starved." Right then there was a knock on the door. "That must be it." He said rubbing his hands together excitedly. The person knocked again as Neely stood up. As he paid the driver I just mindlessly watched the commercials, waiting for them to be over.
"And we're back, and ready to talk One Direction." The lady started as Neely went into the kitchen. "The big question of the day is, how are Niall Horan and his girlfriend, college student Raegan Moynihan holding up" Different pictures of us showed on the screen as the lady talked. One was of us leaving the wedding, another of us that they took from twitter that Niall posted a while back.
"You guys seem just fine to me." Neely said chuckling as he sat back down, handing me a plate with two slices of pizza on it.
"In the last few weeks, Niall's lovely lady has been enduring some serious hate on twitter from fans, and the couple were last seen out together during his brother's wedding in County Westmeath. Just yesterday Niall tweeted 'sorry folks, but the hate isn't stopping us anytime soon. xx' Shortly after, his bandmates joined in and started tweeting their own comments as well. Louis Tomlinson tweeted 'we'd really like it if you guys stopped hating on our girl @RaeganMoynihan. She's actually amazing' while Harry Styles wrote 'people really shouldn't be mean to people they don't know. #benice' It looks like the guys all support Niall and Raegan's relationship. Let's hope things take a turn for the better for the lovely redheaded student.
I couldn't help but smile at the tweets the lady read out loud. I had already thanked the guys and replied to them when I first saw them, but their kindness still made me smile. They really are the sweetest things in the world, and anyone who says anything different is an idiot.
"Is it weird to hear people talk about you like that on TV?" Neely asked me before taking another bite of his pizza.
"Yeah it's definitely weird. I'm just a normal person. I haven't done anything special or crazy, but they talk about me like I'm some big deal. To be honest I think it's kind of silly how much they care. I'm no celeb or anything. I'm really just a normal person." I explained to him. To be honest, I still ask myself how I got so lucky to be with Niall. He could date any of those stunning models or celebrities, but instead he's dating me. It blows my mind.
"You ready for the movie?" He asked me. We would be watching Moulin Rouge. I've never seen it, and Edin sent it me from America, so I had to give it a try. Edin told me it was really sad, but good anyways.
I curled into my blanket, setting my pizza plate on the coffee table, cringing at the bruises on my wrist. They were clearly in the shape of Jakes hand, he gripped me that tightly. But, despite everything that's happened today, I couldn't help but smile. Because at the end of the day, I still have Niall, I still have my friends, and I still have my family. The things in life that are the most important to me all remained the same.