Trust Me

When an independent girl is faced with the demanding task of solely raising her young sister while maintaining her fast-paced, hectic life, she barely manages to glue things together. She suddenly crashes into a man that can either make or break her situation, depending on one imperative thing: trust. Can she pull enough trust together to save both her and her sister, or will things tumble down from above, engulfing her in the shattered pieces once again? Is this an escape to recovery or just another all-too fresh wound in life?

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3. Chapter Three

***Bridget's POV***

 

"As we gaze into each other's eyes / I take this moment / I am going to make it mi--"

 

Not today, I tell myself. I am not going to think about that.

 

I cut off the song from my CD player and fast forward it to another one. I like the song, but now is not the time.

 

I sing along with my own voice as the next song plays, trying to forget about the other song and all the feelings that spill over with it.

 

I am a singer; I always enjoy singing. I write some songs sometimes whenever I get really upset or super excited to help me channel my emotions. One of the other reasons I like singing is because it's the only way I can really express myself freely (as I'll explain more later). 

 

I record some tracks and have a few CDs of them, but nothing is professional; it's all things I make personally. I take old CDs that I don't like anymore out of their cases and replace them with mine; then, I draw a cover for it--as best as I can draw, that is. (Drawing isn't my thing as much as singing is.)

 

Anyways, I reach over and grab a random conditioner, lathering it in my honey-colored hair. Just to my luck, it is the strong scent of strawberry that fills the room, meaning I've grabbed the sun-ripened strawberry kind.

 

Why do I even buy this kind? I wonder as my eyes start to brim with tears. I can never handle it.

 

Despite my question, I know exactly why; I like reminders. As stupid and irrelevant the shampoo is, it still does the trick.

 

Just then, I hear a small knock at the door. 

 

It must be Lily.

 

Lily is my sister. Her real name is Lilyanna, but I call her Lily pr Lil for short. 

 

She knocks again, and I sigh, turning off the water for a moment in order to hear her. I wipe my eyes and take a deep breath. 

 

I will not cry in front of her.  I can't.

 

I try to stabilize my voice. 

 

"Yes, Lily?" 

 

I don't know if it works, but she doesn't take note of it, so I allow relief.

 

"Bridgey, I have to use the potty," she informs me in that young, dragged out voice of hers.

 

Great... I cheer sarcastically in monotone.

 

Nevertheless, I reach out of the curtain to unlock the door for her.

 

"I unlocked it. Please be quick though; I need to finish soon."

 

She enters and does what she has to. She turns to leave after, but I tell her to wait.

 

If I'm going to tell her, I need to get it over with.

 

Before I can think about taking it back, I call out a "Stop!"

 

She freezes in place, probably thinking she is in trouble for something. I slightly laugh at her scared reaction.

 

Well, who can blame her? She is a trouble maker sometimes, that little stinker. That's not what I have to say though, not this time.

 

I quickly rinse all remains of shampoo from my hair and grab a towel from below the sink, wrapping myself in it.

 

I step over the side and immediately slip on the soap. My head launches forward into the--get this--rubbish bin, and the rest of my body slams hard behind me on the floor. Luckily, my sister dodges in time or else I would have been on top of her poor little body.

 

Great, I mock sarcastically again, I just love having rubbish all over me after I've taken a shower. I mean, who doesn't? 

 

In all honesty, I should probably hop back in in this case, but there's no time to do so before what I know is coming. I grit my teeth and take the garbage off my head as I stand up to see Lily trying to suppress a giggle from behind her hand.

 

How dare she; she can't laugh! That little crazy girl is enjoying my pain!

 

I slowly inch my way over to her with my hands on my hips and a playful shocked expression on my face. I scoff playfully, picking her up.

 

I tease, "Meanie."

 

She stops chuckling and her smile flattens.

 

"Sorry," she frowns.

 

I giggle this time and tap the edge of her nose.

 

"Kidding, silly."

 

Her smile returns. She laughs with me. I open my mouth to tell her what I was going to tell her before, the whole reason for my suggestively hilarious fall. However, the loud sound of the doorbell rings throughout our house and interrupts me before I can get a single word out.

 

Oh, no. That must be dad, I fret. He came home early!

 

Time has run out. I tripped, and now I can't talk with Lily because of it. What I was going to say will have to be put on hold. I pick up Lily by the waist and rush her to my room, slamming the door behind us.

 

I look around for a spot to sit the child down in this montage of junk, homework, and unfinished business. Finally I spot the edge of my mattress sticking out from a dirty black tank top of mine on the floor. I launch the tank top somewhere across the room and drop my sister in its place. I take her hands and look into her eyes. 

 

Every time I do this, I feel like I'm destroying her. I don't want to destroy her.

 

Tears prick my eyes. I roll them back. She can't know. She's not ready. The moment soon passes as soon came as words run together and I begin the over-said instructions.

 

"Stay here and don't move an inch until I come get you," I command.

 

She nods like always, my little trooper. It almost brings me to tears again, but I don't burst; I've learned well enough how to conceal myself before now. I manage a small smile as I pick her up again and deposit her in the closet once more.

 

It's the most cliché hiding place ever, but I pray it works. It has so far. I hate to be strict like this, too, but what choice do I have? 

 

Who knows what could happen now? Jesus, please don't let it be too harsh--especially for her.

 

With that, I give her a tattered blanket to put over her head and rush downstairs to open the door.

 

Please don't yell; please don't yell; please don't yell, I repeat over and over with a wince, bracing myself for what is to come.

 

Nothing comes. I wait a few more seconds. Nothing still happens. Finally, I look over to see the reality:

 

This isn't my dad; this is... No, it can't be.

 

I push the thought to the back of my head and examine the guy at the door.

 

Hello, Mr. Stalker Dude... Why you here? 

 

I follow his glance to our tattered welcome mat and wonder what's so hypnotizing about it.

 

Weird... But I'm not here to judge.

 

He looks up at me with a cheeky smile that I roll my eyes at.

 

Dude, I have things to do. You think it's okay to just come to our house to give me a heart attack?!

 

I can't help but to be a bit angry with this stranger because, after all, I do have things to do, and this is not one of them.

 

I must be staring, because he inquires, "Would you like to come over to my house?"

 

His house? Am I hearing right?

 

I bite my lip in thought and glare at him. Something tells me I didn't misheard him.

 

I could use this actually, to escape dad.

 

I love dad. Nevertheless, he's very tyrannical sometimes--or a lot of times actually. 

 

Fine. It's time to tell you the truth; my dad is abusive. He hurts me and my sister. He is like a battery; when he was fully charged, we receive the most beatings, and when he runs out of power, which rarely happens, we don't have to face any. Nevertheless, I try to guard little Lily from anything at all. She's only about five, and I don't want her to have any remembrance of this after she grows up. I know that's probably impossible by now, but still.

 

Truthfully, he's the reason I stay with my sister; I could leave technically, because I am 19. However, with my sister here, I don't even want to know how much worse he would treat her if I were to make a sudden disappearance. She's too young for that, unlike me. Besides, as much as I hate to admit it, I love her.

 

If I went, it would mean punishment, for sure, but what doesn't mean punishment? Everything means punishment. 

 

I bite harder on my lip as I recall the first time we learned what our futures would hold.

 

***flashback***

 

It was a rainy day in the June. I was cheering from the sidelines of a football (A/N: soccer here) game as lots of 4-year-old girls wobbled across the field. 

 

"Woo! Go Lily!"

 

I stood up and clapped almost obnoxiously as the little child with hazel hair and a large 03 printed on the back ran all the way to her side of the field, kicking the ball.

 

"You can do it Lils!"

 

My voice raised as did my excitement. I could see the smile on her face from there as she swung her foot back and kicked the ball straight into the goal.

 

"That's my Lily!" I announced proudly and ran down to engulf her in a hug. It was her first goal ever and there was no use in trying to conceal my excitement. I spun her around and time seemed to stop as we each absorbed the moment.

 

I took her out for ice cream afterwards to celebrate--she got banana; I got fudge--and then we drove back to the house singing along in the car to all our favorite songs (and some I wrote).

 

We went through the front door still giggling about something said previously when we saw him: the ragged-haired, alcohol-consumed, monster. His eyes dug daggers into mine. His sharp voice shouted "GET OVER HERE!"

 

I gulped and took Lilyanna's hand tighter. Right then I made probably the best decision I ever made in about half a second. I turned to Lily, whispered in her ear, and said as follows:

 

"Run. I've got this. Go. Now."

 

I knew she was terrified not just by the look on her face but because of the fact that even her legs wobbled as she turned and ran off to my room.

 

Dad turned to yell at her. I wasn't about to let him.

 

I interrupted, "No!"

 

He faced me, outraged.

 

"You do not mess with her. You have to face me if you want to do that, got it?"

 

Then I prepared myself for the beating to come.

 

I would not let him hurt her; I will never let him hurt her.

 

***end of flashback***

 

Can I even trust this guy? I mean, I know he's our neighbor and all, but we've never done anything together; I don't even know him. Why is he even doing this?

 

I must respond with a yes though. I don't want to deal with my dad right now, not ever.

 

 Who cares why? I don't. I don't have time to care why. I have to run away--and he'll give me a start in doing it.

 

I know it is wrong, to use him. I know it is terrible, yet I have to do it. 

 

This is my one and only chance.

 

With that, I step out the doorway, ready to set on with my adventure.

 

Here's the thing, I don't usually go on adventures much. It's not that I didn't want to; it's that I don't really have much opportunity to. I work two jobs--one as a receptionist at music company and one as a library assistant--just to get by. Balancing that with my sister and normal necessities such as eating provides little time to be adventurous. Literally, I think the biggest adventure we've gone on is to the grocery store at 2:00 in the morning because of the ridiculous fact that I forgot to buy medicine for my sister when she was ill. 

 

"Shall we go?" he questions. 

 

I nod as normal.

 

"Alright then."

 

He moves his hand, and I automatically jump away.

 

Don't hit me please!

 

He doesn't hit me. In fact, he is reaching out to take my hand. I am told that by his next sentence of explanation.

 

"Wouldn't you like to hold hands? It'll make it much easier to cross the snow that way."  

 

Oops. My hand. He wants to hold my hand, not hit me. Got it. I guess I never realized how paranoid I've been about that stuff.

 

I glance at him, unsure for a moment, before taking his hand.

 

This could be a bad idea... 

 

He shuts the door for me, and we begin our journey across the snow-coated ground.

 

To be honest, I never think much about me being only in a towel until the moment I feel the freezing wind rush over me.

 

I'm in a towel! I finally realize. I'm actually in front of a guy in a white, for goodness sake, towel! And it's snowing! 

 

My teeth chatter as I began to rethink my whole decision of coming along. I cross my arms as tight as they will go to hopefully keep in any warmth. 

 

Geez, would these things stop chattering?! I wonder of my teeth, irritated. It's like one of those toys you get from the dentist or something where you wind it up and then let go and they chatter like crazy.

 

They don't stop chattering though, and I become self-aware.

 

I hope he doesn't notice me or my "outfit." This is so embarrassing. Why did I have to even answer the door in a towel? What's wrong with me?!

 

"Shouldn't we get you a coat?!" he interrupts my thoughts.

 

No, no, no. Just great! I sarcastically declare throughout my head. He's not supposed to notice me! I'll be fine; it's not a big deal!

 

I shake my head vigorously, still avoiding eye contact.

 

Just don't please. Just drop it. Just drop the whole subje--

 

"You mush to freezing though!" 

 

Why does he have to be so sweet? Huh? What did I do to deserve this?! 

 

I remain speechless, avoiding his gaze.

 

It's really not a big deal. He shouldn't d--

 

All at once, his jacket has now found its way to my shoulders. I try to push it off, give it back to him. 

 

No, I don't do hand-outs. I can handle this.

 

He isn't having it though, putting his hands on my shoulders so that I can't remove it and demanding with a "You need it."

 

He's just as stubborn as I am, I muse. Meaning, this isn't going to go anywhere.

 

I took a long breath to apprise him that I am displeased then relent.

 

After I attempt to look him him over a bit to see what I was getting myself into, I trip and fall to the ground--I was distracted by his wardrobe--really hard. I wince in pain, avoiding his concerned stare; I don't want him to see the agony.

 

He drops beside me.

 

"Are you alright?" he rapid fires.

 

Yeah, just made a fool of myself and have a jabbing pain in my leg.

 

I didn't respond though, or tell him about the pain. I was cut in doing so when I saw it--my dad's car. 

 

I glance through the woods behind the houses and see my dad's old, beat-up truck driving pretty quickly up the road. It's red, which I've learned to mean danger. I really do love dad, but not when he comes home, never when he comes home. When he returns home, it means a fresh, new battery, one that I don't want to have to see the effects of, and I wasn't about to.

 

He'll be here soon, I know, and if he sees me, I'm dead. 

 

I practically shoot up to my feet, breathing heavily in panic. The boy follows suit, firing out more questions by the second, questions that I don't have time to answer. 

 

"What? What's wrong, love? Are you okay?" 

 

I manage to shake my head multiple times as I stagger to my feet and grip firmly on his arm. He chooses this moment to suddenly flame up with ignited worry about my bleeding knee.

 

He mutters something that I fail to catch over the sound of assured impending doom. I drill my eyes into his. 

 

We have to leave.

 

The thought dominates all my brain. I glance back through the thick woods once more: Danger. 

 

Run.

 

I follow the only instruction my brain will provide, spinning around, grabbing my "escort"'s arm, and pushing him off briskly to wherever our destination is located.

 

I can't help but to keep glancing that way. I know I shouldn't stare at it, but it is so close not to. The brutal treatment, the looks that work like daggers, all the existence I've ever known to be, my past--it's gone now. Done. Finished. Never to be rediscovered. The last quick glance before it vanishes before me is all I get to grasp the concept of all I am disposing of forever.

 

Now I face the door. The only thing that is standing in the way of me shredding of beyond the presence. I study the perfectly painted masterpiece and grin widely of what it symbolizes. I practically launch at the door when I suddenly discover it blocked.

 

Blocked, I clench my teeth in anger. IT CAN'T BE BLOCKED!

 

I can feel my chance at freedom and new discovery being pried out of my hands; that piece of rubbish known as a boy Is guarding off my pathway to heaven! I can feel each of my fingers being lifted from the possession that was never fully mine as each wasted second ticks slowly by. 

 

I feel it now, what I didn't before. The cold overwhelms me as a make a pathetic motion to grasp at the forgotten jacket that must have slipped from my shoulders mid-travel. The lack not disturbs me as much as the presence disgusted me. An icy ghost nibbles from my toes slowly crawling up my leg to--

 

My knee!

 

There is no time to wish hopelessly that the dreaded thought had not appeared for a visit, because as soon as it hits, I feel the blood drain away from my body and the excruciating pain swallow me whole. There is only time for one last realization to slap me before I'm claimed by the black dusk.

 

Lily.

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