Bruised and Broken

November 21, 2010
Chapter One

Last summer I was the most outgoing fourteen year old you‘d ever meet. My eyes sang with excitement and my smile would brighten a path through a cave. I remembered that summer like it was yesterday; the summer that changed it all. My home in Idaho was stifling, the air was hot and sticky, and sweat dripped off my neck, soaking my long, braided hair. I was just fourteen at the time, and life was carefree. I was always the adventurous little one, but out of me and Taylor, my best friend since first grade, she was the one who won that award by a long shot. She had always been the one to check the closets for monsters, to ride her bike down the steepest hill followed by me, and to cross over rickety, broken bridges first. Everyday last year me and Taylor would go for adventures with Dane, our other best friend. He said he loved coming with us on hot days around sunset. I never understood why though until one night when Taylor decided to go out with her boyfriend, leaving me and Dane to embark on our annual hike through Hackleston State Park alone. As I helped Taylor get ready for her date at my house, I begged her to come with us, but she was so into her new boyfriend-of-the-week Sam Marton to care about our ‘silly adventures’.

“Taylor, we’ve been doing these since we were seven. It’s like, best friend tradition, you can’t just blow it off!” My voice was more whiney than persuading. I sounded like I was seven again, and I guess Taylor thought so too. She stopped spraying her Fantasy by Brittany Spears perfume and looked up in my direction.

“Its just one time, I’ll make up for it another time okay? The Killers are only at the Java Cup once and Sam wants to take me. It’s a lifetime chance! Besides, Dane’s going, he’s like, sixteen. I’m pretty sure there won’t be any creepers in the woods when he’s around. I mean, seriously? Have you seen his muscles?!”

“Yeah, but I have Aiden, and I like him a lot compared to Dane, trust me.“

“Oh yeah.. Aiden, I forgot about him.” She blanked out for a moment, but then started rambling about guys, music, celebrities, and every other subject except our hike through the park.

“Listen Kels, just let me go this once, you can’t always have someone there for you. You have to grow up and grow into new habits. Maybe next summer we can do other, more mature things than hiking, don’t you think? Oh hey, Sam’s calling, I better go. Listen, I’ll make it up to you, I promise, okay? Bye girl!” That was the last time I talked to Taylor. That was the last time I decided to trust anyone.

It was a Sunday evening, the week right before the first day of sophomore year and Dane suggested we check out a spot in the woods. For the first time in a while, I was a little scared because Taylor wasn’t with me. Even though I trusted Dane, it still felt weird not having Taylor with me. The sun was just setting, but I let that fear blow over me as I slowly walked into the dark woods. It was quiet and all you could hear were the sounds of the leaves crackling underneath our feet along with the occasional snapping branch. About twenty minutes into our walk, Dane suggested that we lay on that big rock over near the tall tree about five feet from us. I agreed because it looked like it had a good view of the stars. The rock was cold underneath my bare legs that were only covered by a pair of jean shorts along with my new brown tank-top from Abercrombie and Fitch. I began to toy around with my phone, looking for something to keep me occupied. It was that moment that Dane looked over at me with his dark brown eyes.

“Kelsea, do you mind if I put my hand on your arm?” He asked me calmly. I didn’t really mind him touching my arm because it was no big deal. It was getting late and I was very tired, I began to shut my eyes when I felt Dane’s hands caressing my arm and feeling across my shoulders. I felt a little uncomfortable but since he was older than me, I didn’t want to say anything that he’d go and tell his older, popular friends. Eventually, he began tracing his fingers over the top of my bra line and moving down until he was grazing the roundness of my developing breasts. I twitched at the first feeling of this and inched away but he slowly rolled over me and began slipping my top off. I tried to push him off of me but he ignored me and slowly unbuttoned my jean shorts. Thoughts began rushing in and out of my head

Keslea… don’t do this to Aiden. He;s going to find out.

Scream and yell! What else is there to do?

Stay calm, it’s no big deal right?

I wiggled my hips trying to stop him. Eventually I yelled out for him to stop, but he kissed me with full force to keep me from talking as he continued to undress me. He unbuckled my bra and headed down toward my panties. His lips never left my, which prevented any sound from escaping my mouth. I tried to push him away, but the harder I tried, the harder he kissed.

“D-d-dane.” I tried to speak, but I was breathless. “W-what are you doing?” I kept moving around, but it wasn’t worth it. He lifted his head off my face and started to snicker in a way that did not sound like Dane at all. He stroked his hand through my now unbraided hair, all the way down my back.

“Oh Kelsea, oh naïve, little Kelsea. We’re in the woods, all alone, and you think yelling is going to solve problems? Listen, screaming and moving around is going to shorten you’re life line, and neither of us will want that, now would we?” Dane smiled his Crest White Strip smile and waited for a response. Tears started to sting my eyes, but I nodded nervously, waiting for his next move.

“Good, I knew we had an agreement.” He started to reposition himself, and he glared in my eyes. He covered his hand over my mouth with one hand, and held his finger up to his mouth. “Shhh. It’ll all be over soon. Just sit back, and relax.”

My phone began to vibrate, barely audible over the sounds of the babbling brook. I could barely make out the letters that appeared on the caller ID. Taylor’s name flashed a few times, until it turned into the words ‘1 missed call’. The number ’one’ soon turned into ‘six‘. If only I could reach for my phone, I would be able to answer and she would hear my screams. Dane rearranged himself, entangling his legs with mine, knocking my phone off the rock into the dirt; abandoned near the river, just like what I would turn out to be when this nightmare ended. He pushed my neck in an awkward position up against the rock, pushing it back as far as it would go as he started to kiss my neck, making his way toward my breasts. His arms continued to press hard against my arms, too much pressure that I could handle. My circulation felt as if it would stop any moment now. My legs felt like twigs; prepared to be snapped at any second. He released his grip slowly and whispered in my ear, “You’re doing great, just relax”. His words echoed throughout my head as the minutes dragged by. I began to drift off, hoping this night would end soon.

Chapter Two

I was known as Kelsea Chapkowski; bubbly personality, most giggly, and best body among the freshman class. As I walked into the threshold of Lakeview High school, I could tell my sophomore year would not even be close to last year. I entered the school with circles surrounding my eyes, which filled with terror and anxiety . My legs, barely covered by my plaid miniskirt were covered with bruises ranging from every color. My weak arms were barely able to pick up my half empty Abercrombie&Fitch bag as I strutted unladylike through the halls. I was so used to the attention I got last year; all eyes focused on me as I walked down the halls. The attention I grabbed now was not the type I wanted.

“Kelsea, what’s up girl! Need help with that bag?” Shelby’s new haircut, now chin length, was the first change I noticed. I watched as her little clones, Marilyn and Jeanine followed after her. Shelby’s teeth were whiter (total bleach job) and her skin was now a brassy color, rather than her old, pallid skin (tanning booth anyone?). The trio always seems to pop up in the worst situations, usually complimenting you or trying to up their popularity status. I smiled sweetly at them and kept walking.

“Hey, no I’m fine, really.” I adjusted my bag and continued to my locker. They followed, Shelby first, then the clones.

“Oh, okay. You seemed like you were getting pummeled with your bag. I’m guessing all your honors books are weighing you down, huh? You look great by the way!” The clones nodded and smiled in agreement.

“Uh, yeah, that’s it. And thanks, I have to keep my grades up if I want to succeed.” I tossed my books into my locker and checked my locker mirror. Sure enough, the trio was definitely handing out free lies. My tired eyes and wrinkled face didn’t fit the phrase ‘you look great’. I gave them another brief smile and took off to my classes. Morning? Check. Now I’ve got to mark off the afternoon and evening and my day’s finished.

I pushed through the bodies, barely making it to the door alive. I bent over my body and inhaled the autumn breeze, filling my head with fresh air. I walked toward the courtyard, listening to the chatter of the students and the leaves that crunched under my flats. I could hear footsteps behind me and I was afraid to turn around. Thoughts filled my head, but I blocked them out.
Shhh. It’ll all be over soon. Just sit back, and relax.

Hands covered my eyes tight, pulled me toward a hard, sculpted, chest. The scent of peppermint quickly filled my nose. I panicked, and grabbed the strangers hands and ripped them off my face, my nails digging into their palms. I turned around, only to see Aiden Geraught, my boyfriend, standing there; staring with confusion at my performance. My jaw dropped incredibly, and I hugged him, grabbing his body.

“Babe, I’m so sorry sweetie. Please, you know I don’t like when you do that!” I ruffled his hair and leaned in for a kiss, but he backed away.

“Why do you always flip out when I do that?” His voice was stern, but filled with concern. I slowly looked up to him, he was about a foot taller than my five foot two figure.

“Aiden I’m sorry, I just don’t like it.” I slid closer to him. “Sorry”.

“Mhm, it’s fine. I forgot, it’s fine.” He kissed my forehead and matted down my hair. “Are you okay? You don‘t look yourself today”. It was the first time in a month that we’ve seen face to face since Aiden went been at football camp. His hair was longer, dangling just below his eyebrows where his hazel eyes gleamed just as the light ricocheted off the iris.

“Yeah, I’m fine. Just woke up late I guess.” He grasped my hands; entangling his fingers within mine.

“Lets go meet up with Brian and Chase, they’re waiting down there.” He pointed to the Pentagon, the only table that seats five people, the table everyone would kill to eat at. I never had to envy that table. Since I entered this school, I was invited there thanks to my invitation called Aiden Geraught of course. He’s one of the most popular football players in the eleventh grade. We’ve been together since last year, which I must say is impressive. As we walked to our table, everyone’s eyes glued right back onto me again. Last year I loved having everyone’s eyes on me, but lately, that habit was weakening.

I sat on the end of the wooden table beside Aiden, whom was having a contest with Chase to see who could chug their milk faster. Sometimes I think I should be the junior, and he should be a year younger. Just then, the smell of Fantasy filled the air and a chill ran down my back. I turned my head slightly toward Aiden as her voice reverberated through the courtyard.

“Well hello Aiden”. The tone of her voice danced with sweetness and she waited for him to respond back with a cute remark. Just like last time. Just like last time.

It was only moments from the time she let that cute, sweet “Hey Aiden” slip from her lips, but it felt like minutes passed by, It took too long; I fell into a flashback. One of which I could never forget. His hands on her back; sliding smoothly up and down her shirt. His lips pressed hard and tight against her pale, pink lips. My hand trembling as a I reach for the doorknob, not knowing what I would find after I got back from my horrific night with Dane. My eyes start to widen as Taylor laid flat against Aiden; his shirtless body laid on top of her exposed body. So much for a f***ing night out with her boyfriend.

“Hey Taylor. Eh, what sup?” His voice acted as if her appearance meant nothing, which was the only thing that kept me sane. I gripped his hand tightly, and he squeezed my hand back, acknowledging my fear. I turned away from Taylor and nibbled on my peanut butter sandwich, no jelly of course.

“I’m good, it’s been like, forever, since I’ve seen you! We should totally catch up sometime!”

No. Only one week. A short a** week.

She looked at me and smirked, as if pleased of what she’s done, of what she’s doing.

“Yeah, it has been a while. Uh, I’ve got football, and school and stuff.”

Of course, he doesn’t mention my name.

His tone was monotonous, and trying to be as nice as possible. I leaned onto his shoulder and he stroked my hair. Taylor’s nose turned upright into the air, as if disgusted by our actions.

“Well, I can see you’re busy. Just let me know when you’re free. It’ll be… fun.” She winked, and scurried off with her own clique; a clique I did not want to take part of.

“Yeah, bye.” He turned toward me, and mouthed “sorry” as she slipped by us. I placed my sandwich down. I was suddenly anything but hungry. He placed his arm around me but I pulled away.

“Aiden, I’ve got to go, okay?” I started to get up until I bumped into a muscular figure, knocking our books across the grass. I rose my head, only to end up staring at Luke, one of the most mysterious and unknown guys in the sophomore class. He stood about six inches above myself, and his muscular body toppled over my bruised and frail arms. Our eyes met; mine filled with fear and startle, while his were filled with surprise and confusion He and I both helped pick up his books. I cradled the book marked Sketch Book: Luke Frazier, and was about to open it when he grunted, and my eyes met his again. Embarrassed, I handed his books back, then scurried off. Luke Frazier has been a mystery to most of us, no one’s ever tried to speak to him, and I kind of felt bad. Slowly this encounter slipped my mind as I passed Taylor and her clique; the fab five, actually the fab four now that I left them. Laughter soon filled the area as I paced by them. I turned nonchalantly and saw them staring at me; watching my every move, as if they knew what I would do next. The words Taylor mouthed were so ambiguous, but soon became more audible. She saw my eyes meet hers, and the word ‘sl**’ escaped her mouth as she pointed towards me. I turned my head and rushed off into the building, where the lies would soon enter the doorways.

The rest of the day dragged by, but finally came to an end. I slid into the passenger seat as Aiden parked his yellow mustang in front of the school. I buckled my seatbelt and relaxed my head against the faux-fur leopard printed seats. He kept his eyes on the road as he spoke to me.

“Babe, you okay? You really seemed out of it today.”
I closed my eyes and took a deep breath, acting as if everything was just ‘peachy’.

“Yeah, totally fine. Never been better actually!” I looked at him, but he was still focusing on the road. It was probably more interesting than looking at his disgusting girlfriend. I rubbed my hand up and down my bruised arm, and was shocked when I noticed how badly it looked. I guess Dane was stronger than he looked. Aiden took his eyes of the road and took a double look at my arms.

“Alright, whatever. Dude, what happened to your arms? Your father abuse you or something?” He laughed, but I couldn’t join in.

“Yeah, everyday like its no big deal.” My voice was dripping sarcasm, but clearly he didn‘t catch on. His eyes bulged and then he turned back to me

“Serious Kels?”

“Of course not! My dad is definitely not like that.

“Then what happened?”

“Nothing, I’m a klutz; I probably just walked into my dresser or something. No big.” I shrugged it off as best as I could, I really didn’t feel like telling him, nor anyone else.

After the silent car ride to my house, the car finally pulled up to the driveway and I unbuckled my seatbelt.

“Hey, babe. You sure you’re alright?” He stroked my cheek with his warm fingers. Chills ran down my spine as I flashed back to Dane.

“It’ll all be over soon. Just sit back and relax.”
I came back to reality and quickly opened the door. I turned around and faced Aiden’s bright hazel eyes. Oh those eyes are just so captivating.

“I’ll see you tomorrow, right? Pick me up before school. And for the millionth time, I’m fine.” I kissed him quickly and headed up my pathway towards another hellhole we all call home.

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