I woke up with a feeling of happiness. The last few weeks had been exciting and productive. I had gotten an A on all my homework and papers so far. My job was going excellent, and I was getting really close to my coworkers. I had received many postcards from my Mum and Dad from all the places they've been going to. Jake and I have been continuing to go on many dates. Two weeks ago he took me to all his favorite pubs and showed me around the Temple Bar district. Despite me not being able to have a pint with him because I'm only seventeen, it was a blast. We laughed a lot and really enjoyed the local musicians playing in all the bars. Last week we had a picnic in St. Stephen's Green. Romantic picnics are a bit over the top for my tastes, but I enjoyed it nonetheless. The flowers and landscape were beautiful, and we actually didn't get any rain or clouds that day. He was great guy, and I had grown fonder of him. I dismissed the warning that Callie had given me, because it obviously wasn't true. She was just some weirdo lying girl. I'm not sure what Jake and I's relationship status is at this point but I do know that I haven't been going on dates with anyone else, and I didn't think he was either, but you could never be sure. I wouldn't call him my boyfriend, but we were definitely more than just friends.
My birthday is tomorrow and I couldn't be more ecstatic. I would finally be turning eighteen which meant I was finally a real adult. Sometimes I felt like an old woman already, living on my own, but I had to remind myself that I had so much ahead of me. Jake and I were going to celebrate tonight since I had the signing to go to after class tomorrow, and he had to work all day. He wouldn't tell me what we were doing. It was another one of his surprises. I rolled my eyes and smiled at the thought of it. He was going to pick me up, and told me to dress nice.
I rolled out of bed and went to the kitchen to make some tea. I had never liked tea until I got here. Rachel had me trying all different kinds at the cafe, and it was starting to grow on me. While I waited for the kettle I grabbed a bowl of cereal and a banana. After my breakfast and tea I headed to my room to get ready for school. I had two morning classes back to back today, and then I would head to work for a few hours. I couldn't wait to get to the cafe. Sarah, Morgan and I had been getting really close and the two of them were definitely my closest friends here so far. Sarah was studying social work, so she and I would often have similar homework and papers. We studied together often. Morgan was in her last year of high school, so she often came to Sarah and I for help on her papers. The three of us had taken up running during the evenings before it got completely dark. We would run everywhere, and I was getting to know the city very well, thanks to our excursions. All in all, the three of us were becoming very good friends, and my favorite shifts were the ones they were on. It was nice to have people here I could hang out with and rely on since I came to Dublin knowing no one. I had made a lot of friends at school too. The psychology kids kinds of took me under their wing and we would go out often. It was large crowd, and they all knew each other very well, but they invited me right into the group. I loved having all my Irish friends, and their accents always made me giggle to myself when we would go out together. A lot of them gave me crap for being so young when we would go out, joking about how I hadn't even tried to black blood of Dublin yet. But it didn't matter now, tomorrow I would be eighteen and able to enjoy the whole pub experience for real. I had also met some of Jake's friends. He introduced me to his best mate Declan. Declan was a real sweetheart and I could tell he was a nice guy. All in all, I had met so many great people here so far, and I loved it.
Walking back to my apartment from class was dreary. It was pouring down on the city and I had accidentally walked through a huge puddle while crossing the street. Normally, I loved the rain, but it was a lot less enjoyable with soaking wet flats on. I finally made it to my apartment and hurried inside out of the weather. I took the lift up to my place to find a note taped to my door. It was from Jake.
Raegan, I came to surprise you with breakfast this morning, but it seems you've already left. Hope the day before your birthday is going well. See you tonight at 9. Dress nice. -Jake
I smiled at his sweet gesture, grabbed the note, and entered my apartment. I ate some lunch and relaxed for a while. I had about an hour until work. I turned on the TV and turned it to some gossip program. I know these shows are kind of tacky, pathetic to watch, and not always true, but I was a sucker for them. We all have our vices I guess. The first story was about Katy Perry and John Mayer and their "fierce" relationship, which was incredibly boring.Luckily the next story was about One Direction, of course. It was as if the show was teasing me about the remaining hours I had to suffer through until I could meet the band in person. It was torturous. I was so excited and extremely grateful for the gift from my father. I had already bought a new poster and book for them to sign. I watched the screen as pictures of the boys landing in Dublin airport were displayed. Like always, I was in awe of how cute they all were. Each of them had great features, especially Niall. Something about him always made me smirk and get butterflies in my belly.
Rushing around my apartment, I tripped over my heels and caught myself on the arm of the couch. That was a close one. The cafe had been super busy, and we were short staffed because Sarah had to leave early for something important that she wouldn't reveal. I ended up getting out extremely late, because I couldn't bear to leave Rachel with so much to do all on her own. Now I was running very late, and Jake would be here any minute. I hadn't even finished my make-up or brushed my teeth yet. I ran to the bathroom to do all the finishing touches when I heard a knock at the door. I yelled for the person to come in. I heard a person yell.
"Raegan?" It was Jake.
"In here! I'm almost ready!" I yelled back. He walked into the bedroom as I flicked the bathroom light off. "Hi," I said with a smile, walking over to him.
"Hi," he said back, kissing my cheek. "You ready to go? Your chariot awaits you."
"Yes, now come on. We need to be on time this evening."
"Where are we going?" I asked him. I couldn't help but wonder.
"I told you. It's a surprise."
"Okay, whatever you say I guess."
"That's right. Whatever I say goes." He said cheekily. He kissed me again, with some passion this time. Both of his hands rested on my cheeks. I smiled into the kiss and we broke apart. "Now let’s go." He grabbed my hand and headed off. As we exited the lift, I got a glimpse of a limo through the window outside. As he held the lobby door open for me he gestured towards it.
"This isn't for me is it?" I said pointing to it.
"For us you mean, and yes it is." The driver held open the door for us and we climbed in.
"Jake, you didn't have to get a limo for us! I don't mind walking." He leaned in and kissed me long and hard. He was being quite the kisser this evening if I say so myself. It was a little much, but I wasn't going to complain.
"Yes I did. It's your birthday surprise tonight. You deserve the best. And speaking of your surprise, you need to put this on." He pulled out a scarf. I kind of winced a bit. "I'm going to cover your eyes with it silly." he said, noticing my confused look. He tied the scarf around my head so I couldn't see a thing. I must look like a total idiot, or maybe even a pirate.
I felt him grab my face with his hands and kiss me again. It was soft and gentle. The next thing I knew, I heard the panel blocking the driver from seeing in the back raising up. Jake must have been pressing the button. Suddenly the kissing got more passionate and deeper. We were full on making out at this point, and I didn't mind it at all. It was rather interesting with the blindfold and all. Jake was decent kisser and rather experienced I'm sure, but I knew that was as far as I wanted go, and he respected that. I mean, we weren't even boyfriend and girlfriend, I wasn't planning on doing anything else with him anytime soon. I hadn't ever done "it" before, and I obviously wasn't ready. I had always told myself I wanted to wait until I knew I was in love with the person, and I was sticking to that.
The next thing I know, the limo came to a stop and I heard the engine turn off. Jake and I untangled ourselves and the driver opened the door for us. I heard Jake slide out first, and I scooted myself toward the door. Jake grabbed my hand, and I steadily stood up while he made sure I didn't hit my head. He grabbed my right hand with his right hand and placed it against his chest, and wrapped his left around my waist, walking slowly to make sure I didn't trip. These heels were tall, and I couldn't see a damned thing. We didn't walk more than twenty feet until he made me stop.
"Alright, you ready for your surprise?" he asked me. I could feel him trying to unknot the blindfold.
"Absolutely." The blindfold came off and I squealed at the sight before my eyes. We were at the jazz club that I had fallen in love with. "Jake! I love this! It's perfect for my birthday night! Thank you so much!" I leaned in to give him a hug and kiss.
"Anything for you beautiful. You look lovely by the way. Ready to go in?"
He opened the door and I was surprised to see that all the lights were out. As I stepped over the threshold Jake flicked on the hall light, and led me down the hallway to then entrance of the main room.
"Is this place even open? All the lights are off."
"Hmmm, it is weird in here isn't it..." he replied.
As we reached the archway to the main room, lights suddenly turned on and I heard a huge "SURPRISE!" yelled throughout the room. My jaw dropped. I couldn't believe it. I did not see that coming....I looked over at Jake while every one of my friends was clapping.
"Thank you. So much. I don't know how you pulled this off, but thank you."
"Anything for you. Besides, it was easy."
I rolled my eyes. "Whatever you say." I leaned in to kiss him and the crowd clapped louder. Sarah wolf whistled. He let go of my hand and left to go socialize with his friends. I walked over to Sarah and Morgan. They both gave me a huge hug and a happy birthday.
"Wait a minute, Sarah, is this why you had to leave work early?"
She laughed. "Yeeeep! I was about ready to slap you if you had asked me what I was doing one more time."
"Well you were acting all weird! Now it makes sense though." Morgan, Sarah and I chatted for a while and then I left the two of them to go see some of my psychology friends. One of them offered me Guinness, and the entire group said cheers. The entire night people got more and more saturated. I didn't drink too much because of the signing tomorrow, but it was a great party. Around eleven the same musician from my first time of going to the club came in to play for an hour. It was an amazing performance. After the performer left, it was time for cakes and presents. The cake was a huge vanilla sheet cake with "Happy Birthday Yankee" written on the icing. It must have been Sarah and Morgan's job to get the cake. Jake had given me a card with a gift card to the jazz club in it. It was enough money to buy me 50 pints, which was typical of Jake. Sarah bought me some One Direction buttons for my bag and a new tea kettle while Morgan bought me some adorable tea mugs to match. After presents, the dance music returned and everybody was out on the floor. Strobe lights were going on and off and everyone would sing the songs they knew. The entire room was full of drunkenly fun people.
I was dancing with Sarah and Morgan when suddenly someone grabbed my arm and yanked me around. It was Jake and he was obviously plastered beyond control.
"Will you follow me?" he said slurring his words.
"After this dance?" I yelled at him over the loud music. He didn't answer and had a very tight grip on my arm. He pulled me through the dance floor quickly and down the hallway leading towards the bathroom and then another door leading to the kitchen. He opened the kitchen door and pulled me through it, slamming it afterwards. Finally he let go of my arm and went to kiss me. His breath reeked of alcohol and he could barely stand up, but I let him kiss me nonetheless. I went to make it a quick kiss and get him back to the party where I wasn’t so uncomfortably alone with him when he grabbed my face and forced his lips onto mine. I tried to pull away but he wouldn't let go. I tried pushing him off of me but it was no use. I was a short little twig compared to him, and I couldn't get him off of me. One of his hands suddenly reached down and grabbed my butt and then around to the front trying to lift my dress of. I tried pushing him again but at this point I was pinned against the wall.
"Jake. Stop. I don't want to do this. You're drunk. Please get off of me." I begged him while he pulled away from my face to get some air. He then continued to sloppily kiss me down my neck as he tried to take my dress off, his hands rubbing up and down my thighs. I pushed him again with all the force I could he stumbled backward off of me.
"What do you think you're doing?" he said with fire in his eyes. He wasn't slurring his words and I could visibly see his fists trembling. I was terrified. "You're mine and I will do what I want with you. I throw you a huge party and now you owe me." His words chilled me to the bone. I don’t owe anyone anything.
He pinned my arms against the wall and went for my dress again. As he started working his way up my thighs I began to cry. He was doing things against my will, and I could do nothing about it. His hand reached my panties and I began to quiver. I tried pushing him off but he had me pinned, one hand covering my mouth. I tried to yell for help but it was no use. He suddenly took his hands out from underneath my dress, leaving my panties where they belong. I breathed a sigh of relief as I thought he may actually be stopping, but when I looked down he was un-tucking his shirt and unbuckling his belt. He still had me pinned with one arm against the wall, and tried to lift it off of me.
"You're mine Raegan." he said with his hand still covering my mouth. I looked down, scared out of my mind, and kneed him the balls as hard as I could. He stumbled backward and I went for my escape. I started running towards the nearest door when he grabbed my wrist, spun me around and slapped me with all his might. The pain stung across my cheek and underneath my eye. He then pulled my hair to make me look up at him. He got right in my face and I could smell the alcohol on his breath. "No one says no to me. This isn't the last time." With that he fixed his belt and shirt, and then proceeded out the door, leaving me on the cold tile floor.
I started sobbing uncontrollably, and couldn't stop it. Tears ran down my face streaking my make-up and staining my beautiful dress. My wrist was throbbing and so was the left side of my face. I knew I need to get the hell out of there but I couldn't bear the thought of risking seeing him again in that huge group of people. I just sat there sobbing when I suddenly heard someone yelling my name. It was Sarah.
"I don't know Morgan. I just saw Jake out there, but no Raegan. You don't think she left do you?" I could hear her saying to Morgan. Their voices were getting closer when suddenly the kitchen door banged open. The two girls immediately saw me sobbing on the floor and ran over to me, heels clacking against the grimy tile floor.
"What the fuck? What the fuck Raegan? What the hell happened to you?!" I noticed that her accent was much stronger when she was angry. This made me giggle, and then start sobbing uncontrollably again.
"My god, Sarah look at her face,” Morgan commented, sounding worried. I wondered if my face felt as bad as it looked.
Sarah looked up from the handprint bruise on my wrist. "Jesus Christ. What the hell happened?" Sarah asked. I couldn't even answer them. My body began to shake and I continued to sob. "We need to get her out of here."
"We can't just walk though that entire crowd with her looking like this! There has to be a back door somewhere." Morgan stood and started looking around the kitchen while Sarah started wiping my face up with her sleeve. It was comforting and I slowly stopped crying. We sat on the floor like this for a few minutes until I heard Morgan yell "I found a door. Let’s go!" Sarah helped me up off the floor, picked up my shoes and grabbed my hand leading me toward the sound of Morgan’s voice. We found the door and stepped out onto the cold street. It was another little alley, and the two girls started leading us towards the main road, each of them holding one of my hands.
"Raegan. We're gonna get a taxi back to your place, and it’s probably a good idea if we stay the night with you. Is that alright?" Sarah asked. I nodded my head yes. We hopped in a taxi just as a group of guys hopped out while their blonde friend tipped the driver and thanked him, yelling something about getting to the hotel in time for tomorrow. I hadn’t a clue why I was listening in to the blonde’s yelling, but I did anyways. We slid into the cab and I immediately felt safer. The ride was silent at first, and Morgan started rubbing my back. It calmed me down and I appreciated that. I was beginning to get surprised that they hadn't asked me what happened yet, when Morgan spoke up.
"Did Jake do this to you?" she whispered, looking right into my blue eyes with her brown ones. I nodded, and she pulled me into a tight hug. "I am so sorry this happened to you. But we need to call the guards. The garda can get him."
"No." It was the first thing I had said, and my throat felt dry and scratchy as I spoke. "That will only piss him off. Besides, they won't be able to prove anything. It happened in a kitchen where nothing was broken. I'm sure people just think he went to the bathroom when it happened, and that's probably what they will say when the police ask them. They won't be able to prove anything. There's no evidence besides my face, which anyone could have done to me." I only knew these things because my father had done many cases like these. He rarely lost a case, but he had lost a few similar to my situation. "All I know is that Jake will no longer be in my life."
"Damn right you are. Bastard." Sarah rarely swore, only when she was angry.
The rest of the ride went by quickly. We made it to my flat in no time. The girls helped me clean up my face and assured me that my wrist looked better. My face looked much better when it was cleaned up. There was only a little blood where his fingernail had clipped my lip, and I didn't have a black eye. My cheek was just very red and swollen. After climbing into my bed, Sarah made some tea while Morgan went back to the club to pick up my things and explain my sudden disappearance. The three of us had agreed on a cover story. Morgan was going to tell them all that I had gotten food poisoning and need to go home urgently, and that they were free to party it up until dawn. The three of us had also agreed not to tell anyone else about what actually happened. I didn't people to ask about it because that would only lead to more drama with Jake. I had been through enough already, and didn't want anything else to happen.
After crawling into my bed it really started to hit me. I had been assaulted, by a guy I had thought was "charming, sweet and kind." All of it was an act, and he was a damn good actor. He reeled me in, charmed me into liking him, and then hit me. Well, there was no way in hell I would be liking him any longer. The worst part of it all was that it happened at my birthday party. The only thing keeping me sane was that tomorrow is a new day, and it will be a great one. I would get to go to the school I love. I would get a day off from work. I would get to meet One Direction that afternoon, and I would get to drink my first legal drink here in Ireland, which will be a pint of Guinness at the brewery atop the Gravity Bar. Tomorrow couldn't be more perfect, and a good way to forget the events of the evening. Thinking these sweet thoughts, I talked myself down from crying and slowly fell asleep. Sarah had the good sense of playing some music, and I closed my eyes to the sound of the One Direction singing "Little Things.”
The next morning I awoke to the sound of an air horn at six in morning Normally I get up at this time, but not to a damn air horn.
"HAPPY BIRTHDAY" Sarah and Morgan screamed from both sides of my bed. I had barely opened my eyes when they began jumping on the bed singing happy birthday to me. "GET UP GET UP WE MADE YOU BREAKFAST." I immediately jumped from my bed and ran to the kitchen. The table was set with three plates stacked mile high with chocolate chip pancakes. I smiled and turned around and gave them both hugs.
"Thanks guys. You're the best." We all picked a seat and chowed down. The pancakes were superb, and I was even more superb that they had cleaned up the mess they had probably made in the process of cooking. They even had my chai tea ready! I couldn't stop smiling. It was a great start to the day already, despite the events of last night floating through my memory. I would try and forget about it and that was that. I already felt loads better after getting some sleep, and I didn't have any lingering feelings of violation. Jake may have hit me, but his hands never made it to where they shouldn't be. And I was so grateful for that. I don't believe in angels or anything, but somebody or something was looking out for me last night.
I shook the memories away and focused on the good. The pancakes were delicious and made with love. It doesn't get better than that. After breakfast the girls and started getting ready for the day ahead. Sarah and I would be walking to school together and Morgan would take the city bus to school. Luckily the master bathroom was big enough for all of us to do our hair at once, and we were ready in no time. We grabbed a lift downstairs and Sarah and I said goodbye to Morgan. I thanked her for being so helpful and staying the night. The walk to school was pleasant, and I definitely had a spring in my step. Sarah and I raved about the signing this afternoon. She was a One Direction fan as well, and since my Dad sent two passes I had asked if she wanted to go with me. She was a big Harry fan, and nearly passed out when I invited her. We had decided to meet at my place at noon and leave together. The clock was ticking down and the two of us were all giddy. We finally got to the courtyard and split ways.
"My place at 12 right? It starts at 1:30." I reminded her.
"You got it. We can NOT be late for this. I would die if I missed the chance to stare at Harry's perfect curls." she said, doing a silly hair flick as she spoke. I laughed at her.
"Hey, don't forget about the rest of the boys. They're all good looking." I did my trademark eyebrow wiggle and we started giggling again. After about five minutes of being silly we said goodbye, both of us dragging our feet to class.