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I left Dani’s house. It’s nearly midnight. I don’t even know where I am walking. I am just walking away. I can hear the harsh wind in my ears as it whips my hair around. The snow is falling heavily. I’ve been walking for almost fifteen minutes. I haven’t had a problem yet, but now I can feel the eyes of someone behind me. Following me.
I start to try to walk faster, but I can’t because my legs are going numb on me. They start to get closer to me very quickly. I can’t tell just yet who it is but I really don’t want to find out. I may have no choice but to. My phone was dying so I can’t call anyone for very long.
I suddenly feel a hand grip my arm tightly. I don’t know what to do next. I am frozen in time.
“Dani told me you left her house and that you were all on your own,” Michael said seductively.
“Don’t talk to me,” I growled.
“Why? Is it because you hate me?” He was beginning to be cocky.
“I do and yes. Now leave me alone.” I ripped my arm free of his tightening grip.
“I think you really love me. You find me irresistible. You want me all for yourself.”
“I hate you! Leave me alone!” I yelled at him as I turned to punch him.
He fell to the ground.
I could feel heat moving through my legs. I started sprinting. I found a small side road and leaned against the wall to catch my breath. I was choking back the tears that were coming rampantly. I fumbled for my phone. My hands were shaking. I finally found it and found Duncan’s number. He picked up his phone. He was at home.
I told him what happened. I told him where I was. I can hear my phone beeping in my ear to tell me that it has no battery.
“Okay. I’m leaving my house now,” he said.
“Okay. Please hurry!” I said in a shaky voice.
I didn’t hang up yet. He was telling me things to try to get me to calm down. He was praying. That’s all I could make out of what he was saying.
“Thought you could get away…didn’t you?” Michael’s voice was husky. He had obviously been running to find me.
He started to come towards me.
Duncan is telling me to stay on the phone, almost yelling the prayer. The tears are showering out of my eyes.
Michael is starting to put his arm around my neck. I screamed. I can hear Duncan’s voice through the phone being cut off. My phone died. I started to pray in my head. I couldn’t speak. Michael was gripping my throat too hard.
Next thing I knew a Chevy Cavalier was whipping into the small ally. Duncan turned his lights off before he turned. Probably hoped to not be seen by Michael. He had something in his hand. It looked like a bat. He came behind Michael and hit him square in the head. He fell to the ground. Obviously unconscious for the time being.
Duncan grabbed my wrist and pulled me in. He held me in his arms as I just cried. It wasn’t long before he pulled away and brought me to the passenger side of his car to let me in. He buckled me in and ran to the driver side and got in. He threw the car in reverse and headed towards his house. I was supposed to stay the night at Dani’s house but maybe I’m staying at his. I know my parents will understand when I explain it all.
“You are staying at my house. You can sleep on my bed and I’ll sleep on the floor or the couch. I refuse to let you out of my sight until I know it is safe.” His voice was calm and soothing.
He was holding my hand to try to get me from shaking so much. It wasn’t helping much at all but it was comforting to know someone cared so much about me. All of me was shaking. Partly because I’m so cold but mostly because I’m scared. Tears are flowing out of my eyes. No sign of stopping anytime soon.
We got to a red light. He purposely slowed for the yellow light. I could tell.
Next thing I knew his hand was gently turning my face to meet his.
“Love, listen to me. I will never let anything happen to you, ever. I am never leaving your side.” The light turned green and he started to drive again. We were pulling into his neighborhood.
When we got to his house he opened my door for me and immediately took my hand again. His parents were on vacation somewhere so no one was home but him for a week or two.
He took me to the kitchen and got me a glass of water. All of me was still shaking so he got a big plastic glass and only filled it half way. He sat next to me. I had one hand on the glass and one hand in his hand.
He then took me upstairs. He found me a shirt of his, a hoodies, and a pair of sweats. They would all be big on me but I didn’t care. He then got me a towel and took me to the bathroom.
“Give me your clothes when you are done with them. I’ll wash them. Just put those clothes I gave you on when you get out. I’ll call your parents and fill them in while you’re in there. I’ll be sitting at this door,” he said.
I just nodded and did as he said. I knew the shower wasn’t because I needed one but to hopefully calm me down a little and make me feel a little better.
I was quick with the shower but the mater was so hot that my skin was red. I fumble at putting the clothes on. It wasn’t long before I was outside the bathroom. He was waiting there for me, just as he said he would be. Worry left his face when he saw me.
“Did you put your car in the garage? I don’t want him to find us,” I whispered.
“I did while waiting for you.” he replied. “Called your parents and they are fine with you staying here. They trust me with you”
I was clinging nervously to him. My tears were still flowing out of my eyes. He wrapped his arms around me and pulled me in close. He didn’t say anything. He just held me.
When he did say something, it was a prayer. He was praying for safety and protection over us. He kissed me on top of my head. Not in a way of wanting something but in a protective and caring way.
“You must be tired,” he said.
I nodded slowly. I went with him to his room and he got me laying down. I wouldn’t let go of his hand. He got on the bed but laid near the wall. He was planning on getting on the other bed when I was asleep. I could tell by the look on his face. I was facing him but there was space between us. I was sleeping within minutes.
When I woke up in the morning, Duncan had his arms around me still. He must have fallen asleep before he got the chance to move. He was holding me rather tightly and kind of closely. He felt me wake up and his arms loosened.
“You were shaking terribly in your sleep. It was all I could do to get you to stop,” he said apologetically.
I nodded. I didn’t have anything to say. I didn’t want to hear my voice.
“How are you feeling?”
I shook my head. I felt horrible still. He kissed my forehead sympathetically.
“Are you hungry?” He asked.
I nodded. “I’m not sure how much I’ll eat though.”
The sound of my voice startled him. “That’s okay. As long as you eat something.”
He took my hand and guided me downstairs to the kitchen. He made me toast. Obviously going easy on food until I was feeling better.
“What if Michael finds me?” I asked warily.
He put a section of hair behind my right ear. He looked me deep in the eyes. “If it takes me never leaving your side to keep you safe, it’s worth it.”
I looked down at my feet. Unsure of what to say to that. It was true. I was feeling much safer with Duncan. The thought then hit me though. All my stuff was at Dani’s house still. He could tell that something was wrong.
“What is wrong?” He looked concerned.
I looked in his eyes. “My stuff. Its all at Dani’s house.”
“Lets go. We need to get your stuff.” He looked and sounded serious so I let him take me to his car. We were quiet except for a few words of direction.
When we got to the neighborhood Dani lives in, Duncan told me what he wanted me to do.
“Crouch down into that space at your feet. Stay there and I’ll go to the door to ask for your stuff. I refuse to leave without it.”
I nodded and did as he said. I was praying inside of my head that God would work this out in a good way.
It didn’t take long to get to Dani’s house. Before he got out of the car he squeezed my hand and promised he would be back soon. I just nodded and let got of his hand. I trust him and I know that he won’t do anything to hurt me. He already promised so I don’t have a reason to doubt him.
He calmly walked to the door and knocked. Her mother answered the door. I couldn’t tell what was going on. Her mom left for a minute and came back with my bag. I couldn’t believe how easy it went. I thanked god silently but stayed still and silent.
When Duncan got to his car, he told me to stay down because Dani was watching him. I listened as he drove away towards the entrance of the neighborhood.
When we got to the main road he let me sit up again. He then immediately took my hand back. His skin was soft and warm. Comforting. The ride back was just as quiet as the one there. If not, even quieter.
When we got back, we were still quiet. He had to take a shower so I sat by the door and waited patiently for him to finish. I sat there just thinking about all that had happened these past few days. It was so much to take in.
I was then suddenly over come with thankfulness. It finally hit me what Duncan had said to me. He said he would stay with me. Always and forever. The tears fell at their own rate. I heard the shower turn off. It was quiet for a few seconds. He was obviously listening to me. Within seconds he came out. He only had his sweats on but I have a feeling he was more concerned about me than a shirt at the moment.
When he saw me crying, his eyes were full of grief and care. He pulled me up to my feet and wrapped his arms around me in comfort.
“Thank you,” I managed to mumble out through my shower of tears.
“For what Love?”
“You’re giving up everything just to help someone with a mess of a life. I’m not worth it.”
“ Awe. Listen to me though. I would not want to give up everything for anyone else. And I mean that. And you’re not a mess. You’ve had some hard points, but I’ve seen you grow immensely. You’re change is amazing and the way you love God even more so. Your life happened how he wants it to. You are living how he wants you to.
I had nothing else to say. My tears came faster and I hid my face against him. He just held me in closely.
“I would have died if you didn’t come when you did. I owe you my life.” My voice was quiet and sincere.
“Oh. You owe me nothing. You being safe is all I could ask for.” He kissed the top of my head again.
It was close to twenty minutes that we stood there. We decided that we were both hungry so we went to the kitchen for food. He made a sandwich for himself and cut an apple up for me. Then we sat on the couch and just ate in silence.
It was then when we heard it. The tires squealed to a sudden stop and the engine was quickly cut off. Duncan jumped off the couch and ran for the front window.
“Oh no. We’ve got company. Get to the basement and go by the DVDs. Make yourself as hidden as possible and don’t come out until I get you!” His voice was getting shaky but still determined.
I jumped off the couch and grabbed my bag with me. I sprinted to the basement. I got in the darkest corner of the small space. Making myself as hidden as possible from everyone. I quickly hid my bag somewhere. In my corner, I was beyond scared. I was terrified. I didn’t know who was here. I only did as Duncan commanded me.
I could hear the front door swing open and slam shut. Duncan was trying to find out what the intruder wanted and how he found his house. His voice was harsh and demanding. And then I heard it. The voice I never wanted to hear again in my life. Michael had found me. I don’t know how, but he had. I started to shake violently and crying again. I was worried for Duncan. I started to mouth prayers that we would both be safe.
“Where is she?” Michael shouted.
I can hear them. They are in the kitchen. There are close to the basement door. I held my breath. I am still shaking.
“ She’s not here. She called me from a different friend’s house. I don’t know where she is. She isn’t telling me.”
“You’re lying. I know she’s here. You’re hiding her.”
I am starting to calm down. I was forming an idea in my head. I just had to wait for the right time to come.
“I’m not leaving without her gone. And I mean gone, forever.” Michael is very angry. He was saying something but they are leaving the room so I can’t hear them well. I think they are in the front room.
I started to move out of my corner. Things didn’t seem right. It was to quiet. I froze in place. Then I hear the most terrifying, heart throbbing noise ever. The first shot from the gun was fired. It hits something glass. The second shot was fired and a loud thud came from above me.
I was crying very hard now. My heart was racing out of control. My throat is closing up and I feel as if I can’t breathe. I am frozen in my place. Nearly unable to move any part of me. By force, I move myself back into my dark corner. It isn’t long before the basement door is open. As I hold my breath I watch his shadow. They are standing at the top of the stairs. It seems as though they are listening for me.
Then they quickly run down the stairs and head right for where I am. They find the light switch and turn it on. It’s Duncan. He’s perfectly fine. I then jump to my feet and throw my arms around him. He pulls me in close and whispers in my ear.
“I told you I would do what ever it takes to keep you safe.” I know that he is very serious about that now. I had nothing to say. I just cried and cried. He is risking everything for me no matter what. I owe him all of me.
I am shaking too much to walk so he grabs my bag and carries me up the stairs. I’m not sure what to think.
“If you’re living, then what happened to him?” My voice slowly faded out. It sounded shaky.
Duncan held his index finger up. I listened carefully. From the front room I could hear a noise. He carried me in there. And there on the floor grasping his knee, was Michael. He looked at me. His eyes like fire.
“I knew you were here. I hate you! You filthy, little…” He cut off suddenly.
A gun was loaded and pointed at him. Duncan and I just glared at Michael. I was not shaking anymore. I was safe and seeing him helpless and wounded on the floor was all it took.
An ambulance pulled into the driveway. A cop car followed in behind it. Duncan put me down in a chair in the back corner by the computer and went to the door. The medics and two cops came in. the medics stopped at Michael on the floor. And Duncan and the cops came by me.
Duncan was explaining what happened and how it started from what he knows. I filled in missed details and corrected things when I needed to. The cops were arresting him for assault and harassment. Duncan grabbed my hand and smiled at me. We are finally safe from him. I was still over whelmed by everything that just happened so I just looked into his eyes. He understood and kissed the top of my head. I don’t know what to say. The tears slowly come out of my eyes. Duncan and I are safe.
It wasn’t long before it was just us two in the house. Duncan and I decided to get a movie at the mall. It wasn’t really late. It was around four in the evening. It was kind of a way of celebrating Michael’s arrest and our safety. So we climbed into the Cavalier and headed off.
Duncan could not stop holding my hand. We were both so happy. I could not stop smiling and either could Duncan. Nothing could bring our moods down. We were driving around with the windows down and blasting David Crowder Band. We were praising God for his miraculous hand being over us.
When we got to the mall, we went to see a movie. It was good and we both liked it. Then we decided that we both wanted smoothies. We were just talking about the movie and having a great time.
It wasn’t long before we got our smoothies and we were just sitting at a table and relaxing. As we talked I let my eyes wander some.
Then my body jerked in panic and my hands were shaking. My heart rate went up and I could catch my breath.
“Whoa, hey what’s wrong?” Duncan tried to hold my hands still. That just made my legs shake. I didn’t need to answer because Brennan and Dani were already by the table. Both of them are glaring down at me. Dani looks like she’s been crying all day. I know she has and I know why. And Brennan is still mad about the break up and even more because I’m with Duncan.
“So this is what you do when you break up with someone? I knew there was another guy.” Brennan’s voice was fierce.
“No there isn’t. He’s just a good friend.” My voice is quiet and meek. I knew what his reply to this would be. I know exactly what he is going to say.
“She’s telling the truth.” Duncan was backing me up.
“Stay out of this!” Brennan started yelling at him.
“Hey! Just because you cannot accept the truth doesn’t mean you can take it out everyone around me! I dumped you! Get over it! I don’t have a boyfriend right now! Duncan and I are just friends!” I was now yelling.
“Oh, really? Just friends? Right. I bet that is true. You are probably ‘just friends’ like we were before we dated. I bet you are all kissing on each other whenever you get to. You have not changed at all Melanie. So stop acting like you’re perfect.” His words were venomous. My hands were shaking in anger. I knew he would say that. I wanted to hit him. Duncan took one look at me and his face went hard. He knows that I have changed and he doesn’t like people saying I haven’t. His eyes were full of anger.
“You know what, she has changed. And I don’t like you denying that. So until you can accept that fact, please do not talk to her.” With that he took my wrist and guided me to the car. We just left them there with no chance to say anything else to us.
When we got to the car, we just sat there. We didn’t even turn the car on. Before we go anywhere, we both need to calm down.