Bringing back Rain

"Go home girl." My smile vanished when he mentioned home. No way was I going back there. He narrowed his eyes in frustration.
"If your a prostitute, I'm not interested." Now I was offended.
"I'm not a prostitute you asshole!" My jeans weren't even that tight.

A girl trying to survive the hell that is her life and a boy who could make everything better... or way worse.

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13. T H I R T E E N | Photographs

Nathan stared at me in shock. "What are you doing here?"
I was similarly shocked. Sure, Nathan wasn't exactly a good guy but what was he doing here of all places? 
"It's hard to explain…" I said, shuffling my feet nervously. Nathan had to go away before the drug dealer got here. 
"I'm listening." He wasn't really paying attention though. He kept looking around, looking behind his shoulder, back the way he came. As if he where expecting someone…
"It's none of your business." That sentence had become my most used sentence in the last few days. But exactly like before, Nathan didn't give up. 
"Cupcake. What the fuck are you doing here?" His voice was still calm but I could tell that it took him all his efforts not to scream at me. 
"I could ask you the same damn thing!" I snapped. His eyes widened. 
"Please tell me you don't know Natalie." He looked at me attentively, almost scared of what my answer might be. It would have been easy to lie to pretend I had no idea what he was taking about but I couldn't. 
"How do you know her?" I asked, my voice quivering. I knew the answer before he opened his mouth. "You're the drug dealer, aren't you?" 
"Yes." he said. "How do you know Natalie? Are you in trouble, Cupcake?"
"Don't fucking call me Cupcake! You're a fucking drug dealer! Why should I tell you if I'm in trouble?! You'll probably shoot me if I want to leave!" 
His gun was in his pocket again, I'd seen that earlier. Even though, that's what I'd desperately wanted a few days ago, the thought of that gun in his hands made me sick. He took a step towards me and I shrank back, afraid my rant had made him angrier than anticipated. 
"I'd never shoot you Cup… Rain. I'd never hurt you." The worst part was, I believed him. He would annoy me, threaten me, protect me but he would never hurt me. Physically at least. He was a horrible person but he wouldn't hurt me. And that made me angry. And sad. 
"Could you just give me that stuff?" 
"What? You don't seriously expect me to sell you drugs, do you? What are you planning to do with that anyways?" A single tear escaped my eyes. 
I pulled out the money. "Just give it to me." 
"Cupcake, you can't be serious." 
"Do I look like I'm joking?" My voice sounded tired, not at all what the voice of a sixteen year old was supposed to sound like. 
"I'm not giving that stuff to you." Only then did I realize how close together we where standing, how intimate the scene must look to an bystander. I pressed myself closer to the wall behind me. 
"You can't protect me Nathan. I swear I don't need it for myself but I do need it. If you can't give it to me I'll get it somewhere else." That was a lie, I had no clue where I would get drugs without also getting myself killed. 
"Why would Natalie send you? How do you even know her?" 
"I just do. Are you giving me the drugs or not." 
For a moment I thought he'd just leave but then he took a step back and pulled a plastic bag out of his back pocket. It looked exactly like the ones lying on the floor of the living room, next to the couch. I had trouble wrapping my head around what was happening. Nathan was a drug dealer. He sold drugs to my mother. My mother was in the hospital. She was in the hospital because of drugs. Drugs Nathan had sold her. I took the bag from Nathan and put it in the pocket of my jacket as quickly as possible before handing him the money. 
I heard Nathan suck in his breath when I left the shadows of the corner I had been standing in. He was looking at my bruising cheek. Before he could say anything more, I walked, or rather ran, out of the street without saying another word. It was only when I was sure that Nathan wouldn't follow me that I stopped running and let silent tears fall onto my cheeks while hugging myself and staggered home. 
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I was staring into the bathroom mirror, trying to figure out how to hide the nasty bruise that, once again, decorated my face. Normally, I wouldn't have bothered but today was the day I was tutoring Kasey and she would definitely ask questions if I didn't find a way to cover up my face. In the end, I just smeared ridiculous amounts of concealer on my face, tried to kind of blend it into the rest of my face, gave up and just left it. 
No one was home when I left the house. My mom was still in the hospital - at least I thought she still was, I hadn't visited her yet. After handing over the drugs to her boyfriend he thankfully left as well. As soon as he left, I had closed the door and locked it and then searched the house to make sure I really was alone. Then I had experienced what it was like to feel safe in your own home. I had made myself something to eat from the few things lying around in the kitchen and then watched some tv, although I sat on a pillow on the floor, since everywhere else was filthy. 
When I left the house, I made sure to lock it and prayed that my mother's boyfriend didn't have a spare key. 
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It's astonishing how much you can ignore if you really want to. I was currently sitting in the classroom and after Kasey had basically told me that there where other students in the room with me, I decided to actually pay attention for once. And she had been right. The classroom was chaos, which I had obviously noticed before but I've never taken the time to actually focus on the different people this chaos was made up of. A girl sitting only a few rows in front of me caught my attention. She looked like she had walked right out of a magazine. Her make up was flawless and I doubted that any of her clothes where older than a month. She was clearly gossiping with another girl besides her, who looked similarly fabulous. It was obvious that this was Chelsea. The way she looked around the classroom like she was somehow better than anyone else made me immediately  dislike her. 
A couple of guys where sitting on the desks next to me, one of them bragging about something, that sounded like a hook up, the others laughing and occasionally cheering. 
And then there, in the front row, writing something in her notebook, was Kasey. I wanted to stand up and walk over to her but now that I'd become aware of my classmates I realized that they would definitely be aware of me if I decided to start talking to people now. Before I could think about it further, the teacher came in and everyone slowly started to calm down.
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Kasey was actually really smart. I decided, the teacher was the one to blame for her having trouble understanding the topic when, after only ten minutes, she seemed to grasp onto everything I told her without problem. After just half an hour we'd covered the entire topic she had been struggling with and just started talking. I encouraged her some more to ask Ivy out on a date and told her the little I knew about her. By the time we said goodbye, we'd only spent half the time together we had originally planned. 
The front door was still locked when I got home. I got in and immediately scanned the room I really was alone. The kitchen didn't really have anything more to offer, the only few edible things left had been eaten by me the day before, so I just headed to my room without eating anything. I'd have to leave the house and get something to eat later, but since I now had an actual way of making money this didn't worry me as much. Even though I only worked in the bookstore on Saturdays and the tutoring didn't really make much, it was a huge improvement to what I had made before which was next to nothing. 
The door to my room was still locked but something was off. After thinking  for a few seconds I realized what it was. I hadn't actually locked my room door this morning. I had assumed that no one would be able to get into the house and by the time it occurred to my that my mother's boyfriend could own a key, I had already forgot about my room door. So why was it locked now? 
Someone must have been in here, someone who knew I usually locked my door. 
I shivered. What if someone was inside my room just waiting for me to come in? I immediately thought back to the creep that had tried to kidnap me and stepped back from the door. If he was here somewhere I wouldn't be able to escape like last time. But I couldn't just leave. I had to go in there at some point. I opened the door. And froze. 
There wasn't anyone in my room. But I would've preferred that to this. 
All the walls in my room where covered in photographs. 
And not just any photographs, all photos of me. 
Me on my way to school, me on the party with Ivy, me in the bookstore, me eating lunch, me talking to Kasey, me unlocking my room door, me sleeping. They where everywhere. A thousand pictures of me, taken over the course of months, years maybe. I felt bile rising up in my throat. Just the thought of someone following me for so long made me feel sick. I backed away from the door and before I knew what was happening I was running out of the house, not even bothering to lock the door. I had no idea where I was going, all I knew is I had to get out of here. Now. Those goddamn tears where rolling down my face once again and I began sobbing. Why was this happening? I had been fine, if not fine, at least surviving, why couldn't everything go back to how it had been? I had been miserable, sure, but I had been able to cope. Why did everything seem like it was too much to handle all of the sudden? I was strong. I had survived a lot. I could survive this. But then why was I running down the stairs in front of my house crying hysterically? Why did it seem like my whole world was crumbling?
I staggered onto the street, not bothering to look up, when I ran into something. That something immediately wrapped it's arms around me and I started hitting and kicking everything I could reach, my hits weak because of my crying. 
"Shh. Cupcake, calm down." I stopped resisting when I heard Nathan's voice but I couldn't stop crying. I hated myself for letting him see me like this so often. And I hated him for pretending like he wasn't a damn drug dealer and for being so fucking nice and comforting and for… my thoughts trailed of when I started sobbing again. 
"What's the matter?" Nathan was still holding me tight, so I couldn't see his face but he was definitely angry. I couldn't answer, couldn't get the words to leave my mouth so I just pointed towards the house. 
"Did someone in there hurt you?"
I shook my head. "No." 
"Are you okay staying here for a minute? I'll be right back." He let me go and I was hated to admit that I didn't want him to. 
By the time Nathan came back out of the house I had kind of calmed down. Nathan however looked like he was ready to rip someones throat out. 
"I should've killed that guy when I had the chance." He spat, his hands clenched into fists. 
"Can we just get out of here?" 
"Of course." He led me to his motorcycle and handed me an extra helmet. This time, I didn't hesitate to get on, I just wanted to get away, as quickly as possible. The engine roared to life and I clung onto Nathan, trying to forget everything except for the wind and the incredible feeling of almost flying. It took the whole drive for my tears to dry. 

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