*A couple days later
I awake to the sound of my door creaking open. I pick up my head and I find my uncle standing in my doorway with his arms crossed and a creepy smirk on his face. Shit! I forgot to set my alarm last night before I went to bed. And now my uncle is going to pull me out of bed, like he always does when I never set my alarm.
"I see you forgot to set your alarm," he chuckled darkly as he comes walking over to my bed slowly.
My breathing starts to become uneven at the thought of what he's going to do to me. I know that my uncle has to work early on Monday and that he can't waste his time trying to wake me up because of course, my mother would go ballistic if she found out that I missed school and my uncle will the one to blame. Before I was able to react, I feel a hand go right across my face.
I cry out in pain and he grabs hold a fistful of my hair, throwing me out of my bed and onto the floor. He backs away from me and then he leans himself up against the doorframe again. Crossing his arms over his chest, he looks down at me, his eyes narrowing at the sight of me.
"Stop your crying and get the fuck up!" he said sharply and kicks me in the stomach before walking out.
I lay on the floor for a little bit longer and once I caught my breath, I let out a sigh of relief as his footsteps grow quieter and quieter. That's it for the morning. Hopefully. I wipe my eyes and slowly get up off the floor, ignoring the pain all over my body. I walk into the bathroom to take a quick shower and then I put on yoga pants and a t-shirt before blow drying my hair and straightening it.
When I finished, I check myself in the mirror to make sure I don't have I have no marks, scratches or bruises but I find a few on my arms and neck. Sighing, I put on a sweatshirt and make sure it hides my bruises on my neck. I feel so ugly and disgusting. Who would ever love me with bruises all over me? Probably someone crazy. Then I walk out of the bathroom and just as I begin to walk out of my room I feel my phone vibrate in my sweatshirt pocket. I quickly take it out and I smile when I see that I got a message from Harry.
Hey, need a ride to school?
Okay, be there in 5.
I smile again and put my phone back in my pocket. I love when he gives me rides to school. It's just better because then I don't have to warm up my car when it's below freezing out. And not to mention his car is always warm when he gets to my house and that always makes my mornings on cold winter days.
"Have a good day, sweetie!" I hear my mom call from her bedroom when I begin walking down the stairs.
I stop and make my way back up the stairs and into my mom's bedroom. I find her laying her bed with her TV on. What is she doing home? She should have left for work 3 hours ago. It's 7:30 AM now.
"Mom, what are you doing home?" I asked.
"I'm sick, so I called out of work," she replied. "I'll be here when you get home from school,"
"Oh okay. Feel better," I said.
"Thank you. And you should go warm up your car. It's below freezing out,"
"No, Harry's driving me today," I exclaimed.
She nods and lays back down in her bed.
"Okay. Have a good day,"
"I'll try," I sighed and walk out of the room.
I close her door and make my way downstairs. I go into the kitchen to get myself a quick breakfast. Just as I grab a granola bar out of the pantry, I hear the sound of horn beep outside. Harry's here. I grab my bag and quickly go outside. I get into the front seat of Harry's Range Rover, feeling the warmth from the heater, and put my stuff down on the floor.
"Hey," he said.
"Hey," I replied.
I nod and then he pulls out of my driveway. Harry turns up the heat some more and I feel warmer than ever. He knows I hate the cold and always make sure I'm warm and comfortable. That's what I love about my best friend. There's never one thing I dislike about him. He's perfect.
"So, how was your morning?" I asked him.
"Exhausting," he replied.
"I was up all night thinking about this girl," he replied.
I feel my heart sink into my stomach. Harry likes another girl? I guess that eliminates the chances of us ever being together.
"Oh really? Tell me about this girl,"
"Well," he started. "She's beautiful, smart, funny, caring, everything I would ever want in a girl. I guess you could say we're pretty close. But I don't know how, or if even, should tell her that I like her. What do you think?"
I sigh. My best friend is crushing on another girl. He's always told me that I'm beautiful and I always believed him. He never compared me to another girl because he knows that will hurt my feelings if he did that. But what if I'm the one that he's crushing over? Eh, probably not. He would have told me years ago if he liked me.
"I think you should tell her," I replied.
"You think so?" he asked.
I nod and look down at the floor. Great. Now he's gonna ask some other girl out....wait. He said he was close with the girl he liked. Caring, Bailey. Funny, Becky. Smart, Lauren. Beautiful, definitely not me. Kendall? No. I mean, yeah she's beautiful, but I don't think they're close. But I think he does like her. I still haven't forgotten the way he looked at her and how he was flirting with her at the mall on Friday so I think it's kind of obvious. But I'm sure all the guys at school like her and I'm sure anyone would choose her over me including Harry, my best friend. I sigh again, my stomach drops even more.
"Hey, you okay?" Harry asked me after a moment of silence.
"Yeah," I replied, still looking down at the floor.
"You don't look fine," he said. "Was it something I said?"
"No I'm fine. Really," I exclaimed once more.
He nods and the rest of the ride to school was just silent. Harry and I didn't say a word, which is weird. We always talk about things but today we're not. We haven't been speaking much and it's making me even more depressed. The abuse I've been suffering from is what's causing part of my depression. When we got to school, Harry parks the car and we get out and walk into school. I grasp onto my sweatshirt, trying to get some warmth but it's sadly not working. I knew I should have put on my coat before walking out of the house but I was too lazy. We get inside and I feel the heat immediately warm me up. Thank god. Harry walks me to my locker like he always does and gives me a hug.
"I'll see you in Algebra," he said.
"Okay, see you later," I said.
"Are you sure you're okay?" he asked.
"Yeah, I'm fine," I replied, obviously lying.
He nods and gives me another hug, a lot longer than the last one. Then I watch him walk away and go into his class which is far down the hall. I already know that this is going to be a long day.
Just as predicted, the rest of the school day went by slow. I had tests in almost all of my classes, except for Biology and English, and I have tons of homework to do. Just great. Way to start my first day back from winter break. I ended up cheering up when I got to geometry because we had a sub in the class and we didn't do anything. So, pretty much the entire period Harry and I talked. But then, my day soon got ruined again when lunch came along. Becky invited Kendall to sit with us and Harry had his eyes glued to her and she flirted with him the whole time.
And every time she did, she'd give me a snobby look. I've known her for 2 days and I already hate her. She's such a bitch! Like why would Harry have a crush on a bitch who is not nice to me? He hates those types of girls but I guess he doesn't seem to mind about Kendall. When last period ended, I literally run out of my last period class and go to my locker to put away some books that I don't need. I just want to go home, do my homework, and go to bed.
"Come on Lainey, let's get out of this hell hole," Harry said as he wraps his arms around behind me.
"Sounds good," I said.
I zipper up my bag and shut locker and follow him down the hall. We get outside and it's still freezing like it was this morning. Harry unlocks his car and we get in. Most of the time after school I go to Harry's house to avoid going home to my uncle. But then I remembered mom is home. He can't do anything while she's there right? And especially not if Harry's there to protect me. Why didn't I think of this earlier?
"Yeah?" he replied.
"I know we go to your house every day after school but can we go to my house today? My mom took off from work,"
He pulls out of the parking and heads towards my house. I can't even remember the last time Harry has been over my house after school. Probably not for a while.
"I hope my mom doesn't mind," I said.
"Oh please. Your mum loves me," he said while playfully rolling his eyes.
He laughs and reaches over to ruffle my hair but I back away, laughing as well. He always finds the way to make me laugh when I'm having a bad day. That's what best friends are for right? After a few more minutes, we finally arrived at my house and I look in the driveway to see that my uncle is home, sadly. But so is my mom. And Harry is here, so I shouldn't have anything to worry about. I take a few deep breaths and get out of the car with my stuff.
"I'll be right in. I have to call my dad. My mum has been reminding me to call him," Harry said.
"Okay," I replied and go inside.
I can hear the TV on in the living room, football again, which means my uncle is in there. I begin shaking and getting butterflies in my stomach as I find him on the couch. I looked out of the window in the door and I see Harry closing the door to the car and starts walking up to the house. Thank god. But before he was inside, my uncle appears in front of me.
"You're home early," he said.
I don't reply and try to brush past him but he stops me by grabbing onto my arm really hard.
"Don't walk away from me, bitch!" he said, raising his voice and lets go of my arm. "And why weren't you not up this morning?"
I don't answer. I'm scared to even say anything because I know that he's going to hit me. My mom may be upstairs but he doesn't care. When my mom isn't around that's when he hurts me.
"Answer me bitch!"
"I-I forgot to set my alarm last night," I mumbled.
"How many times have I reminded you to set your fucking god damn alarm?" he asked not too loud.
I try to think of something to say but then he raises his arm preparing to slap me. I close my eyes tight, waiting for the pain but I hear the door open behind me. I slowly open my eyes and my uncle's hand isn't raised anymore and he has his eyes on Harry. I feel Harry grab my hand and pulls me closer to him, wrapping his arm around my waist. My uncle nods at him and then walks back into the living room. I look up at Harry and he has a worried expression on his face. Shit.
"Let's go upstairs," I say to him, grabbing my bag off the floor.
He nods and we go upstairs into my room. I shut my door and just as I set my bag on my bed, there was a knock on my door.
"Alaina?" I hear my mom say on the other side of the door.
I sigh with relief. Thank god it's not my uncle. I open my door and poke my head out.
"Leave the door open. You know the rules," she said.
"Alaina," she trailed off.
"Okay, fine," I sigh.
"Thank you," she said and goes back into her room.
I close my door a crack and sit down on my bed beside Harry. How does my mom not trust me in my room with Harry when my door is closed. It's not like we're gonna have sex or anything because we're not like that.
"What was up with him?" Harry asked.
"Your uncle. He looked like he was about to....you know,"
"Oh....I don't know," I replied, obviously lying.
I look at him and he has a suspicious and a worried look on his face but he doesn't push it any further. I can tell that he knows that something is going on but he's just not sure. I don't want him to know about my uncle abusing me. It's just going to make things worse.
"So, what do you want to do?" he asked.
"I don't know," I replied and look around my room until my eyes stop on my guitar that my dad gave me.
I haven't picked that thing up ever since he died. It has been sitting in the corner of my room by my closet door. He taught me how to play when I was little and I was pretty good, along with my singing. I used to sing in my school talent shows but after he died, I didn't do anymore because he isn't here anymore to watch me. I bet my dad is upset with me that I haven't picked it up but it's just going to bring back so many memories and it's going to make me upset. I loved my dad so much. I was his little girl since the day I was born. I still am even though he's gone.
"What are you looking at?" Harry asked.
"My guitar," I said as I get from the bed.
"Oh yeah. I remember that," he said. "You used to play that all the time,"
I nod and grab it before blowing away all the dust from when it was sitting there. I sit back down on my bed and begin to play Landslide by, Stevie Nicks. That was the last song I played in the school talent show and I still remember how to play it.
"I took my love then I took it down. I climbed a mountain and I turned around. And I saw my reflection in the snow covered hills, when the landslide brought me down," I sang.
Harry listens to me sing and smiles. He always said that I have a good voice and wants me to start a career but I don't think I'm good enough for that. I finish the song and set the guitar down.
"I haven't heard that beautiful voice in a while," Harry said.
"I know it's been a while. I'm surprised that I remembered the words and still know how to play it," I said.
"You should really try out for American Idol, they'll like you,"
"I told you no," I said. "And I've seen it live before and it wasn't that good,"
"No you haven't,"
"Yes I have. I saw it when Kris Allen and Adam Lambert were on it," I said.
"Okay, prove it," he said.
I get up from my bed and go to my dresser to find my t-shirt. How does Harry not believe me that I saw American Idol live? I saw it with my mom, Becky, and Gemma. Well, it was almost 2 years ago so he probably doesn't remember.
"What are you doing?" Harry asked.
"Looking for my t-shirt from the concert," I said.
"What color is it?"
"Black," I replied.
"You hate the color black," he exclaimed.
"Harry, I went almost 2 years ago and that was the only color t-shirts that I had,"
"Well, that explains it. Here I'll look in your closet,"
He gets up off my bed and goes walking over to my closet as I continue to look for it in my pile of clothes in my drawers. But then I realize that I haven't heard my closet door open. I stop searching and look over at Harry. He is looking at something over by my window sill with a worried expression on his face.
"What's wrong?" I asked him.
"What is that?" he asked me, pointing to something on my window sill.
I walk over to him and I look at where he is pointing. Shit!
"Alaina.....is that blood?"