Quinn is just about ready to finish her senior year of high school with her best friend by her side. She's been accepted into her school of choice. If only her mother would just let go. There's no escape for Quinn except the ones she makes herself. She and self-harm have always been very close and she's kept this to her self for a long time. Then there's Trent a mysterious boy who she seems to see everywhere. He learns of her secret and still by some miracle which Quinn can't see, Trent falls for her being her first everything, Quinn starts to feel the same. Will Quinn make it to college or will her abusive mother keep her for her self? Can Trent save her? Can Quinn save her own life and keep moving forward?


2. 2

I sat down on my bed where Trent had just been moments before. His scent still lingered in the air. I tried to force the look on his face away from my memory. I heard my phone chirp; I rolled myself off the bed towards my desk. It was Eve telling me when to be ready since she would be picking me up tonight. She knows I don’t like to drive at night so she usually does. Even though I always end up being the designated driver it’s nice to know that she tried. I text her back saying okay and hop in the shower. As I undress I feel disgusted with myself. I can see all my scars and new injuries thanks to the full length mirror in my bathroom. My eyes stung with tears as I stepped into the too hot shower.

               I stayed under the water until it turned cold. Wrapping myself in my favorite robe I stepped into my room. I pick out my outfit for the night as I dried my hair. Black jeans, a white long sleeve shirt and, a black zip up hoodie for good measure. I’ve been hiding this for so long it’s just like second nature. How could I have been so dumb with Trent? Any chance I had with him vanished as soon as he saw how disgusting I am. The look on his face was enough to know that. What if he still goes tonight? Hopefully he doesn’t bring it up or even talk to me for that matter. I finish lacing up my Converse and let Eve know I’m ready. About ten minutes later I heard a beep in the drive way. I open my front door to see a strange car. The driver’s door swings open and Trent steps out into the moonlight.

“Sorry, I know I’m the last person you want to see right now. Eve asked if I could pick you up. She said she’s not ready yet and you won’t drive unless forced to at night. So, here I am…” He looks at his feet kicking dust into the breeze. I let out a breath and start towards the car. He rushed around to the passenger’s side and opened the door for me. The car feels too warm and he’s listening to music I’ve never heard. He opens his door and slides in the driver’s seat. He lets out a ragged breath and turns to me.

“Look Quinn, I’m sorry about earlier. It’s none of my business what you do with your body after all it is your body. I just want to you to know that I’m here for you if you ever need to talk. I’ve had my own run in’s with self-harm and I might be able to relate.” He tried to smile. He reached over and put his hand on my thigh. I winced and pulled away. His hand felt like it had been dipped in acid. I moved over to the far end of my seat and looked out the window.

“You know what I do need Trent?” He perked up a little waiting for my answer. “I need you to not bring this up at all to anyone. Is that understood?” I tried to sound stern but my voice shook as I spoke. He looked away from me and started the car.

“Yeah Quinn, I get it. My offer still stands. I don’t want you to hurt yourself but there’s nothing I can do about it. I’ll be here if you want to talk or whatever. Just call. I’ll pick up, I promise.” He looked upset. I just shook my head and we started to drive. I don’t know what his angle was but I still didn’t trust him. I mean how could I? I literally just learned his name today. Just as long as he didn’t tell anyone we wouldn’t have a problem. My secret was safe.

               We drove for what felt like forever. We didn’t talk the entire ride. I just watched the world fly by as he drove too fast around every corner. I could feel him staring at me but I couldn’t bring myself to look at him. We finally pulled up to a huge house at the edge of town near the beach. That’s when I saw Eve standing by the porch. Trent put the car in park and walked around to my side. He opened my door and I stepped into the warm night. The breeze coming up from the ocean made my long sleeves and hoodie bearable. I thanked Trent for the ride and started walking towards Eve. She had a huge smile on her face like always. We hugged and made our way towards the back of the house. I looked over my shoulder to see him quietly following looking down at the ground as he walked. I should probably be nice to him. I mean he is keeping a huge secret for me. I stopped and turned around.

“Wow, you’d think you didn’t want to be here or something. Come on Trent; walk us in like a gentleman.” He looked up at me and a smile flashed as he jogged up to us. He locked arms with both of us and escorted us through the gate.

“Right this way my lovely young ladies. What was I thinking? Two of the prettiest girls can’t be seen walking into a party alone.” He held his head high as we laughed. Eve let go of his arm as soon as she saw Ben. I let go and looked up at Trent though my bangs.

“Thank you for being cool about this. Sorry I didn’t mean to explode earlier it’s just I didn’t know how else to react, ya know? I didn’t mean to yell. You’re probably mad at me now, if you don’t want to talk to me anymore you don’t have to I get it. I just…” Before I could finish my sentence his lips were on mine. This was my first kiss so I just stood there, dumbfounded and vibrating with excitement. We were still on the side of the house so no one could see us. He put his left arm around my waist and with the right he moved my hand to touch his cheek. I felt weak; I thought my knees were going to buckle. He pulled away and looked at me. I could feel the heat rising to my cheeks.

“What was that for? You can’t just go around kissing people. What’s wrong with you?” I couldn’t help but smile. Trent smiled back and pecked my cheek.

“Remember earlier when you asked what I needed? I needed that. I needed to kiss you, to feel you against me. I’ve had a crush on you for so long Quinn. Please don’t be mad. You’re just so adorable when you’re apologizing for no reason. I couldn’t help myself.” He smiled at me and looked down towards my hands. He stepped towards me and reached out his hand. I took it and smiled. We walked to the back of the house and found the kitchen to get a drink. He grabbed two beers from the fridge and we made our way out on to the deck to sit down without a ton of people around.

               We sat down but we were quickly interrupted by Eve and Ben. Eve sat down next to me and started gabbing about something but I couldn’t tell you what it was. I was watching Ben and Trent. Ben had taken Trent over to the other side of the deck and was talking to him. Every once in a while I saw Trent look of his shoulder and smile. Before I knew it Eve was pulling me to my feet and we were walking towards the house. I shrugged at Trent and walked with her. We ended up in the bathroom. I couldn’t help but wonder why I never noticed Trent before. I mean if he’s been in my class all year why had I never seen him before?

“So what do you think of Ben? I think I really like him, I might even go all the way with him. Quinn? Are you listening?” I shook my head and turned to face her.

“Yeah, I like Ben but I don’t know if he’s all the way material. I mean as far as I’ve heard he’s been with a lot of girls. Are you sure you want to be another trophy for him? I mean it’s your first time shouldn’t it be special or something?” Eve looked at her shoes and shrugged her shoulders.

“I’m just tired of being a virgin. I mean I’m eighteen years old it seems a little stupid to be such a baby about it. The longer I wait the harder it’ll be.” She started to fix her make-up in the mirror when there was a knock on the door. We left arm in arm I really hoped she wasn’t going to do anything with Ben. I mean she always talked about true love and all that sappy stuff.  I didn’t want her to make a decision she was going to regret for the rest of her life. I’ve only ever heard about him hooking up with girls then leaving them heartbroken for the next chick. I didn’t want that for Eve. Who knows, I mean I just had my first kiss and I’m just as old as she is.

We made our way back out to the deck. I couldn’t see Trent anywhere but Eve spotted Ben. He was sitting with his back towards us with a girl on his lap. They were making out; her arms were around his neck while his were snaked around her waist lifting her shirt exposing her stomach. Eve didn’t say anything. She walked straight past him and towards the side of the house. Ben called her name but she kept walking. I finally found Trent as I was following her. I grabbed his arm and pulled him away from his conversation. I apologized and told him Eve needed to leave. Trent ran out front and started his car. I pointed his car out to her and she got in the front seat. I sat in the back and rubbed her shoulders.

The car ride was quiet but we didn’t mind. I was just glad that Eve found out what type of guy Ben really was. Trent tried to cheer her up but nothing worked so we stayed quiet. We pulled up to her house and I told Trent to wait for me. I walked Eve up to her door and helped her to bed. She was still buzzed so I made sure she was okay before heading out. I left her a note to call me in the morning when she got up. I moved her phone to her desk  so there would be no drunken texting. I made my way back out to Trent’s car and got in the front seat. I looked at him and he asked what I wanted to do.

“Well since you’re the one driving we can do whatever you want. I don’t have to be home until later so it really doesn’t matter.” He smiled and put the car in gear. We were quiet; I think he knew I was worried about Eve. It was rare that she dated and when she did most of the time she was cheated on. She was too trusting and just assumed everyone was a good person. Before I knew it we were pulling into a driveway. “Where are we?”

“This is my house Miss. Quinn. Sorry, I didn’t know what else to do.” He smiled and got out of the car and then opened my door. I followed him up to his porch and went inside. His home was small and cozy. A few pictures were on the walls but none of his family. The walls in my house were covered with family photos. They were all quite embarrassing but it made the house feel more like a home.

“Why don’t you guys have any family portraits or anything on the walls?” Trent stopped and looked around the room. He shrugged his shoulders with a sad look on his face.

“After my mom died my dad couldn’t stand to look at her anymore. It just made him really sad to see her every day. He keeps telling me one day he’ll put them back up but it’s been almost three years.” He shrugged his shoulders and I smiled sympathetically back at him. “Come on, my room’s up in the attic. We climbed up the stairs and past a few closed doors before stopping at the end of the hallway. He reached up to what looked like an alien head dangling from a small rope. He pulled and down came a ladder out of the ceiling. “Well here we are, ladies first.” He smiled and held the ladder steady as I climbed the stairs.

               After my eyes adjusted to the dark of his room he flicked a light switch. He had lights strung from the ceiling in all different colors. There was a mattress on the floor near the corner of the huge room. He had a desk overflowing with books near a small window. I made my way to it and started looking through the stack. I scanned the titles, nothing really stood out to me, and they all seemed pretty old. The spines were cracked and the names mostly worn.

“Please don’t touch those, they were my moms.” I backed away and looked around the dim room. The walls were bare as was the floor other than a large round area rug. Across from the bed there was a shelving unit and flat screen TV with what looked like hundreds of movies surrounding it. Trent came up behind me laced his fingers with mine. “I know it isn’t much but I like it. I moved up here just before it happened. I couldn’t stand the noise her machines made and up here I couldn’t hear them.

“I like it. It’s my kind of space. Have you read any of those?” Trent looked over at the stack of dusty old books on the desk. He shook his head no and collapsed onto his bed.

“Do you mind if we don’t talk about her? Sorry, I just don’t feel up to it tonight.” I walked over towards his bed and sat on the edge of the mattress. We stayed like that for a while, sitting in silence. Finally he sat up and slid next to me. He turned to face me and just stared. I could feel my face turning pink. I turned to him and he smiled. He put his hand on my thigh and squeezed slightly. I winced in pain; I guess he had forgotten about my stupid leg. He pulled away quickly and looked down at his feet. “Jesus, sorry I completely forgot. Do you want to talk about it? I don’t mean to push you about it, I’m just concerned…”

“No Trent, I really would prefer if we didn’t talk about it. You’re not even supposed to know about it. I think it’s time I get home. Do you mind driving me?” I was on my feet before he had a chance to answer. He followed me downstairs and out to his car. We were silent the entire way. I just wasn’t ready for this. I wasn’t ready to tell him my secrets I barely knew him. Kissing him is one thing but opening myself up is just not going to happen. Maybe I made a mistake I should have just left him alone at that stupid party.

               When we pulled up to my house it was dark. The only light came from the kitchen window which meant my mother was home. I got out of the car and thanked Trent for the ride; he nodded his head and took off. He didn’t walk me to my door or even say goodbye. I guess it’s for the better, I don’t want to hurt him and that’s all I’ll do if I let him stick around. I walked up to the porch before I made it, the door swung open almost hitting me in the face. I stumbled back; my mother caught my arm before I fell off the porch. She yanked my arm hard forcing me into the house.

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