An Untold Secret

When 17 year old Lillian James starts at Cedar University she hopes to get a simple degree in science then move on to bigger things. Unfortunately for Lillian her life is not quite as simple as she hopes.

A story of Love, Friendship and Betrayal.

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2. An Act Of Kindness

I knew I was to be killed that night if I didn’t leave my dorm, I’d sleep with hoboes if I had too, I just knew in my heart that it wasn’t safe here. I wasn’t safe anymore; Kylie had assured me of that. Why even worry about wasting the time killing me, nobody even noticed me, I was the breeze, just there and never noticed.

Crap, crap, crap, what should I do? I can’t be out here when it gets dark, I hate the dark, and it scares the living daylight out of me (no pun intended). The dark is filled with bad things, things to be afraid of, rapists, murderers, drunks, you name it, and it’s got to me out there somewhere.

I really just didn’t know what to do, and all of a sudden I just became too overwhelmed with the days events and my knees buckled and I fell to the ground. The autumn grass had scattered drops of water covering it, I felt the cold dampness soak through my black denim jeans and onto my skin. It was at that point that I finally gave-up, I cried my eyes out, I cried until I could cry no more, when I had finished crying my eyes were red rimmed, bits of my flicked hair were soaked, and my white blouse looked like it had been through a washing machine. I looked to the sky and realised that I must have been crying for a while because the sky had taken on an orangey-pink coloured sunset instead of the gorgeous blue it was before. I looked back down.

My life sucked so badly, why did it always happen to be me who constantly drew the short straw, it just wasn’t fair. I began to cry again, long heaving sobs, seeming to come straight from my heart; I began to get angry with myself whilst I was crying. Why didn’t I look where I was going? Why did it have to be Kylie I bumped into? Why me? What did I ever do to deserve this torture?

I was so mad with myself for not being more careful that I didn’t pay much attention to the slow approach of footsteps coming up behind me. So when someone tapped me on the shoulder I jumped out of my skin and nearly flew into the large oak tree positioned in front of me.

“Um, sorry, I thought you heard me, are you okay, do you need a hand to get up?”

I was so close to the tree that I could clearly see all the cracks in the bark but I took a deep breath and calmed myself down, continually telling myself “be cautious, he could hurt you, be cautious, if you notice something weird act like you don’t”.

“Who are you?” I asked. A little frightened, I noticed I was beginning to get flustered and felt myself begin to sweat. I slowly turned around to face the boy.

He reacted to my feared expression and body language by saying in a melodic calming voice “There’s no need to worry; I just wanted to make sure you were okay, I swear I won’t hurt you. Hey I’m Miles, Miles Capriano, and I’ll ask you again do you need a hand to help you up?” He held out his hand for me.

I accepted it and began to pull myself up, his hand felt very smooth, and he held on to mine with a gentle grip to give me some extra support to stand. Once my feet were firmly planted in the ground, he let go of my hand. I could see him better than before now , he had shag-cut mousy brown hair and large brown eyes, which seemed to glow and have minuscule golden specks within them, he looked about 5 foot 5 inches, and had slightly pale skin, not quite tanned but not quite pale. He was, to put it quite simply, a beauty not meant for this world, a beauty that you couldn’t help but stare at. He was enchanting.

I composed myself enough to sound stern as I say “Hi, um, Miles, my name’s Lillian, uh, Lillian James, and I ask you, why I am any of your concern”

“Okay Lillian, to be quite frank you’re not, just thought that I’d try to be a gentleman and help you up. Would you care to enlighten me on why you’re sobbing, under a tree, on dampened grass, in the slowly dwindling light?”

I wouldn’t have answered, but the problem was that he sounded generally quite concerned, and I didn’t fear him anymore, there was just something trustworthy and friendly about him, either that or I really was under a spell, but I knew that to be ridiculous. So I replied, feeling more than a  little embarrassed, silently pleading to myself that I wouldn’t go rose red in the cheeks, silently pleading that I wouldn’t make myself look daft, cause heck I was being daft enough. I could just call the campus cops and I’d be fine, wouldn’t I, I really, really couldn’t be sure, and I really, really didn’t want to die.

“Oh, me, I’m just recapping the great memories of my life so that at least when I get murdered in my sleep by Kylie I’ll know I’ve lived an okay life, a short life, but an okay life none the less.”

Miles seemed shocked for a moment, and then he shook his head, as if that way, it became easier to get rid of his expression. Once he had, he asked me a fairly reasonable question.

“What do you mean, why are you going to get killed in your sleep.”

Why was it any of his concern, he didn’t know me, I didn’t know him. But hell, I had nothing to lose anymore, did I? So I told him. Why I told him I had no idea, we’d only just met, but none the less, I told him about what had happened earlier today and why I was out here again just in case he had short-term memory loss (better to be safe than sorry) Then by the end of my recap he actually looked scared for me. Was he generally terrified for my life? No he couldn’t be. I didn’t have the time to linger on that thought because he suddenly decided to smile. A smile so warm, so happy that it made him take on an angelic look, almost made him glow, it was at that moment I felt my breath catch in my throat. Oh GOD he was just, just, there was no word that matched his beauty, as they all seemed unworthy of it. The closest word you could get would be godly and even that seemed too small.

“I have an idea, if you want to hear it.” He was still smiling, I couldn’t speak, so I just looked at him, wondering if he was actually serious or just pulling my leg. I didn’t care anymore, I was willing to hear anything if it even gave me, a slight chance of leaving my dorm, and going to some place safer. So I nodded in agreement,  I couldn’t trust myself enough to speak yet, I thought I may die from lack of oxygen if he didn’t stop smiling soon. True to god I swear I’m not just saying that.

His grin became a bit more subtle, thankfully, because I could physically breathe again. He spoke in an encouraging voice as he said “I share a cottage with two friends about half a mile from here and we’re looking for a person willing to pay for the forth spot. So far there’s been nobody interested in it. The cottage, well, it’s not an eye saw, and to be honest with you it isn’t that big either. But if you’ll be safer there, then I can personally call the others right now and say, “Hey guys I found the roomie”, but it really is entirely up to you.”

Well, that was blunt. Just put it out there and leave be fighting for a response, why don’t you. I thought for a very long time about the idea, and had to admit that it sounded like a good one, plus Miles sounded legit, nice and trustworthy, we’d only just met, yet I felt as though I’d known him my whole life, how was that possible! I was thinking of considering, provided it wasn’t too expensive. Miles’s eyes were locked on mine and as if reading my mind Miles said, “It costs £150 a month, and one week you’d buy groceries, it’s a tad expensive but you’ll get broadband, landline, and Sky.”

Expensive ... in my world safety and all the things I needed for £150 a month and a week’s worth of groceries, was dirt cheap. He smiled again, a full beam of a smile, could he really read my mind. I began to think the answer to that was a definite yes when I thought, “I think I’ll go for it, but only for a trial period”, and he said, “Consider it done.”

Maybe I nodded my head without realising, how could I have realised I was nodding when I was getting the full impact of his breath taking smile and gorgeous encouraging eyes, again. Yeah that sounded about right knowing me, silly, stupid me, doesn’t think before I act. While I was mulling this over in my head, silently kicking myself for looking so dumb, he was calling someone. Presumably one of his roomies as he said, “Hey I found our roomie, and guess what Ellenn ..... No wrong, it’s not another lad, in fact I think you’ll be glad when I say it’s another girl” and then he gave me the thumbs up.

“I need to pack my stuff” I whispered, swaying from my toes to my heels, getting restless with excitement. He held up his finger, and mimed one sec, said bye to the person on the other end of the line, what name did he mention, oh yeah, that's it, Ellenn, and clapped his hands once – so that his hands stayed together at the end – and said to me, “I’m coming with, don’t want you being stabbed or something on route, Ellenn and Skye will never forgive me, especially Ellenn, she’s become annoyed with being the only girl and gave me orders to keep you safe so as to even out the amount of boys and girls in the house.”

I would have tried to convince him that I’d be fine, but to be honest with you, I was glad of his company. So we both walked cautiously back across the now dark campus, past the tennis courts and football fields, to my poorly decorated room with no window, passing the quizzical and surprised stares of the ladies working at their pine reception desk, and I packed my suitcase. I didn’t have much (‘I really need to go shopping’ I thought), a few tops, some trousers, a couple of jumpers, my books and my iPod, so it didn’t take me long. And as soon as I was finished Miles grabbed the suitcase, I protested of course, and informed him that I was capable of carrying it myself, but it was no use, he was older and stronger than me, which he just proved when he slung my suitcase over his shoulder, may I add, with complete ease, after insisting he take it.

The ladies at reception seemed surprised too see us coming back down so soon and, oh, it suddenly dawned on me what they had been thinking. I giggled in my head, how weird that people would assume that, anyway he was sooooo out of my league.

He walked a lot faster going down the 4 flights of stairs and I had to jog to keep up with him, I asked him to slow down more than once but he just kept repeating, “Can’t someone’s following in the shadows.”

The thought terrified me and I decided to edge closer to Miles, mainly for protection, but also because I suddenly realised I was freezing, and I needed the body heat. I tried to keep up with him a lot more than before. When we reached his car - Wow a black Ferrari, somebody has generous parents – after walking across the football fields as a shortcut to the student parking lot, he slung my plain navy blue suit case in the back and hustled me into the passengers seat. To be fair I didn’t mind the rush, I was just happy to be safe.

Then he got into the drivers side in what could’ve made the Book of World Records for fasted sprint from the passenger side to drivers, if I’d timed it.

He looked flustered and scared and virtually yelled “Lock your door, there’s someone out there; I think it’s a girl and I don’t think she’s particularly happy.”

I would’ve laughed and said he was being crazy had it not been for the fact that his face was set in a serious and scared expression. So I did as he said, and as we drove off I could have sworn I saw Kylie with something sharp, that gleamed with a silver glow in the moonlight. I realised then that it was a knife; she would’ve killed me, if I had been alone. I was suddenly terrified. What if Miles hadn’t seen me crying, and came to see what was wrong?

We didn’t talk on the way and I was shattered and the car was so comfortable and warm. I just drifted for a while with my eyes closed, trying not to cry in fear and frustration, which was surprisingly tiring, and then eventually I gave into the darkness and just fell asleep.

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