It’s 7:00am. I get ready and head out the door to Starbucks. I know if I’m going to get Alex up this early, then I might as well bring coffee. In the drive-thru, I order two caramel lattes and two chocolate muffins. I pay the employee at the window, get my order, and drive as fast as I can, without getting caught of course, to Alex’s apartment. It’s 7:30 by the time I get there. As I pull in I notice that Josh’s car is gone.
“Huh he must have gone to a friends house to vent.” I say to myself. I find a parking spot, shut the car off, grab our food and head towards the apartment.
Once I reach the door and set the drinks and muffins down, grab the spare key from under the mat and let myself in. The place smells like alcohol. I reach Alex’s door and knock. I don’t hear anything so I knock again.
“What do you want?” I hear her moan, she is still half asleep. I smile and let myself into her room and turn on the light. Alex moans and puts her head under her pillow. Before I can say anything, Alex turns around and lifts her head,
“How did you get in here?”
I simply reply with, “I brought coffee and muffins.” She sits up slowly and I hand her her coffee, she looks like she is in pain.
“Are you okay?” I ask.
I get up slowly because of the pain in my back and sides from Josh hitting me. Victoria hands me my coffee and I can see the concern in her eyes.
“Are you okay?” she asks.
“Not really. My back and sides ache from the blows last night and I didn’t get any sleep because of it. And I cried to myself most of the night.”
I see Victoria’s eyes water slightly, “I’m sorry. Oh I know what will help!”
She gets up and heads down the hall. I hear her grab something from the cupboard. Then I hear the water running in the bathroom. About a minute later, she comes back with a wet towel in her hand.
“Lift your shirt up then lay on your stomach.” I do as she says and slowly lift my top to my neck. When I lay down I feel the wet towel on my back. I cringe at the pain at first, but then relax as the warm damp towel runs up and down my back and sides. It feels amazing, I don’t know how but the pain is slowly going away.
“How do you do it Victoria?” I ask.
“Do what?” she replies.
“This? Everything thing you do works and helps in magical ways! I mean I could go to the hospital and get treated but still be in pain for a while. It hasn’t even been about ten hours and the pain is going away because of what your doing.”
Victoria giggles, “I don’t know. I guess I’m just special.”
Mack comes over any looks at me with pitiful eyes.
“Are you hungry?” I look at my friend,
“Can you please feed him for me his food and bowl are in the kitchen.
“Yeah no problem!” Victoria replies. She spreads out the towel on my back like a mini blanket, gets up and follows Mack into the kitchen.
I follow Mack into the kitchen.
“Here you go buddy,” I say as I pour dog food into his bowl. After I set the food down I notice something on the counter. I walk over to find a note left for Alex from Josh.
Alex, I left while you were asleep. Went to my friend Luke’s place to vent. The house better be clean by the time I get back or you’re going to get worse than last night. Don’t bother asking what time because I don’t know and I don’t care. -J
“Well at least he spelled everything correctly,” I say to myself quietly. I crumble up the paper and throw it away. I need to get her out of here by tomorrow!. I think. I go and check in on Alex and she is on her phone and eating a muffin.
“Yeah,” she says turning to me, the towel still on her back.
“I fed Mack. I’m going to clean up the place a little, it’s a bit messy okay. Don’t worry you just relax and enjoy your muffin.”
She nods, “Okay.” I decide not to tell her about the note because that will just make things worse for her.
I’ve been cleaning for about two hours and I keep checking in on Alex and switching out the towel for her back. The apartment is coming together nicely. I brought extra clothes for me in case I need to stay the night, which I might need to. It’s 10:27am when I look at the clock. I finished cleaning the house and Alex and I finished our coffee and muffins. I go in her room to talk to her.
“Hey so how are you feeling? Is your back still hurting?” I say taking the towel and feeling her back to see if any of the pain could be internal.
“No actually my back is great! I can move around a whole lot more than before! I can’t thank you enough Victoria!” she smiles showing her white teeth.
I smile. My back and sides feel so much better, I don’t know how she does it, but Victoria’s remedies help so much.
“Don’t mention it! Your like my sister and I’m here for you no matter what and I don’t like seeing you hurt,” Victoria says after me thanking her.
“Speaking of,” she continues, “we need to get you out of here! And by here I mean out of the state. We live in Rhode Island and if you move, it will be easy for Josh to find you. We need to go somewhere like Nevada, Washington, or California. We’ve always wanted to go there! Do we know anyone there that will let us stay with them?” Mack comes out from under my bed as if on cue, “and someone who will allow Mack too.” I add. Victoria and I sit in silence thinking of someone we know in California that we can stay with. And that’s when she comes to mind!
“I know! I know who we can stay with Victoria!” I say almost yelling in excitement.
“Who, who, who?” She say with the same tone.
“Do you remember our small group of friends in high school?”
“Yeah, what about them?” I pause.
“Well do you remember Mari? Mari Takahashi? She moved to California after high school. We were so close with her, she’d have to let us stay with her if she knew the situation. She even loves dogs! Mari is also a YouTuber, she does gaming with Smosh called Smosh Games remember!” I smile and pet Mack.
Victoria replies, “Oh my gosh yeah I remember Mari! I think I still have her number, hopefully she hasn’t changed it. I watch their videos all the time!”
Victoria takes out her phone and calls Mari’s number. At first she didn’t know who we were but after a little catching up we told her our situation. She understood completely and agree to let us stay with her until we found a place for us there.
“... Well I’m not shooting any videos tomorrow so I can pick you guys up at the airport if you want.” Mari says on the other line.
“That would be perfect we will talk to you tomorrow about what time we should get there.” Victoria said.
“Okay see you then.” Victoria and I said bye to Mari and hung up.
I had tears of joy running down my face because I am actually able to leave Josh. Victoria hugs me and Mack jumps up to lick me tears away. After a few minutes sitting there we decide to pack. Victoria drove home to pack her things and put them in her car and came back around 2:30pm. When she got back she helped me pack and hide the bags in my closet in case Josh came in the room. Once we finished packing, I went into the living room and sat down to watch a movie while Victoria made lunch.
“The place looks really nice. Why did you clean it Victoria? You didn’t have to.” I ask.
She hesitates then says, “It was messy so I cleaned it for you. It was no big deal.” I shrugged it off. We ate sandwiches, drank soda, and watched Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants.
I thought to myself, Wow, I finally get to leave this place and leave Josh forever. I’m moving to California with my best friend and dog! I can’t wait! Just one more day. Moving to California will be a new and fresh start, this will be good… I hope…