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Finding My Way Out

People warned me. They told me to not get involved, but did I listen? No. Of course not. I went and did it anyway. And that is what has led me to be sitting here, loaded gun in hand'

What? You ask. What could possibly be so bad that it would lead her to killing herself or someone else?

Well, let me tell you. I fell in love. Honestly, it wasn't really the 'falling in love' part that led me to this point. It was the man I fell in love with that has changed my life forever.
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Blaine Spence sweetest guy in the senior class. Yeah, he is a little geeky. He would rather study the anatomy of a cell than the anatomy of the female body. Which is what most guys want to do. But, still, he has a cuteness about him that makes me tingle whenever he looks my way. Ok, so maybe it was just the hormones talking and the fact that I seem to be the only virgin left at Bush High, but I thought I was falling in love.

So when the day came that I was sitting in Computer Sciences and got a message from BSpence449, the only thing I could think of was, 'Maybe he likes me too!' When I heard the bleep signifying I had been asked to chat, my mind raced ninety to nothing.




BSpence449: Hey.


CRogers912: Hi, What's up?


BSpence449: Nothing. What are you doing Friday night?


CRogers912: Um' I don't think I have plans. Why?


BSpence449: Be at Joey's Caf' at 7:00 P.M. Call it a date.


CRogers912: Okay' See you then?


BSpence449: Alright. Peace Out.


CRogers912: Bye.



Wow! A real date with Blaine Spence! I must be dreaming! I can't wait to tell Ashley about this, she will be shocked!
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After Computer Sciences I rush out to catch Ashley at her locker and I quickly spot her through the crowd. You see, Ashley isn't exactly normal. She is more of an eccentric. She is wild on the outside and very tame on the inside. She used to be a blonde in middle school, but then she dyed her hair bubble gum pink.


Finally I catch up with her, and share my news.

'Hey Ash, you will never guess what just happened!' I screech.

'What are you so happy about? Did your sister finally screw up and make you look better than her?' Ashley monotones.

'Better. Blaine Spence asked me out Friday night!'

'Wow. You people get so excited about the oddest things. Blaine is the freak of Bush High. What do you see in him?'

'I don't know, that doesn't matter. What matters is I have a date and you have to help me find the perfect outfit!'

Ashley rolls her eyes at me and says that she will talk some sense into me after school, as she walks away to her class.

The late bell rings and I rush into Trig before Mr. Conn can notice. I manage to suffer through math and make it to Ash's hybrid Civic before she speeds out of the parking lot.

'Where are we going this afternoon?' I ask.

'Ugh. There is nothing to do in this town! I'm tired of our same old-same old.' Ashley cries.

'Well, where do you want to go then?'

'Oh, forget it. Let's just go to my house and watch some TV, ok?'

'Whatever, that's fine with me. I'll meet you there. Bye.' I say, as I walk to my car.

I open up the door to my car, and feel instantly at home. I drive an old BMW convertible that smells like leather and cherry chapstick. I call her Princess. She used to belong to my grandfather. When I turned sixteen, he gave the car to me. I reach down to put it into gear, when I look up I notice the note tucked under my windshield wiper. Curious, I get out of my car and take it off. I get back in my car and unfold it.


My Claire,



I am so glad we are going on a date



tomorrow night. See you then.






Xoxo,






Blaine

I drive off toward Ashley's house thinking about the note and what I want to wear for my date. I pull into her drive and walk to her back door, I open it up and who do I see none other than her hot, older brother Chad.

'Um' Chad, hey. I' uh' didn't know you were back!' I stammer.

'Oh, hey Claire. Yeah, I caught a ride home this morning. They are having to quarantine the computers at school, some genius freshman hacked into the system and screwed it up. So they have postponed classes for a week to fix it.' Chad laughs at the thought.

Did I mention that Chad is hot? I mean hotter than hot. He has gorgeous blue eyes and chocolate brown hair. He is super tall and built. Don't even get me started on his washboard abs. To die for! And, he goes to a private college for geniuses. He is a sophomore this year and number one in his class.

'Haha. That's funny. How did he manage that?' I laugh.

'Who the hell knows. He is a freak, a really smart freak. Those two combined make a damn dangerous combination.' He smiles.

' Uh, where is Ash?' I ask.

' Up in her lair. tell her that I said to go suck some blood.' He winks at me.

'Alright. I will do that.' I chuckle as I walk up the stairs.
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'Ash, did your brother get sexier in the past year or what?' I exclaim as I walk into her bedroom.

'Gag me! Don't ever say that again, unless you just want to see chunks blow.'

'Sorry. I forget that the whole 'him being your brother' thing makes that topic off limits with you.'

'Um, Yeah! But about this date with Blaine, I think you should wear like jeans and a sweater. He creeps me out. The less skin you show, the less likely he will be to try something.' Ashley cringes as she says the last part.

'Yeah, I will probably wear something like that. I mean, it's not like he is taking me to Da Vinci's or anything! It's just Joey's.  Oh, speaking of Blaine, look at the note he left on my car! Isn't it sweet?' I hand the note over to Ashley. She reads it and hands it back.

'My Claire? What are you, his cat? This is like the first time you two have ever talked and he is already claiming you as his? Sounds a bit possessive to me'' Ash's face goes red with rage.

'No Ash, it's nothing like that, he is only trying to be sweet. And I mean we have gone to school together for six years. It's not like we have never met. He is like the total opposite of that.' I say, denying her claim.

'Just be careful Claire. I don't want to see you get hurt. You're like the sister I never had, I don't know what I would do if something happened to you.' Ashley's eyes plead with me.

'Don't worry babe. I'm careful and you have taught me how to kick a guy's ass if he ever tries to hurt me. I trust that your technique works and I will use it against him.' I say.

'Ok. Well, it's getting pretty late. Your mom will freak if you don't get home soon.'

'You are probably right. I better head on out.' I reply, not wanting to leave so soon.

'See you tomorrow.' She hugs me and leads me down the stairs. Chad was no where in sight Bummer. No last look before I leave. I get in Princess and drive off towards my house. As I turn onto my street, I catch a glimpse of Chad running down the sidewalk. He has his shirt off and a perfect six pack stares back at me, glistening with sweat. He sees me and smiles, waves, and continues running down the street. I cant help but think what it would feel like to have his abs pressed against my chest. Nothing between us but hot air.
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So I somehow manage to survive school today. All I could think about though was my date tonight with Blaine. I only saw Ashley once and she gave me the thumbs up for 'Good Luck.' As soon as the bell rang at four, I sprinted to my car. I drove home as fast as I could to start getting ready for Blaine. First, I take a long, hot shower. Then I do my makeup, while my hair sets in curlers. I think about my outfit while doing my hair. I decide to go in a different direction from Ashley's suggestion. I borrow my sisters mini skirt and throw on a comfy tank top. I look totally HOT. After dressing, I take down my hair and have perfect curls cascading down my back.

'Honey, there is someone on the phone for you!' My mother shouts up the stairs, interrupting my thoughts. I rush to the nightstand, grab my phone, then bounce onto my mattress.

'Hello?' I question.

A deep sultry voice comes over the line.

'Hello my dear Claire. There has been a slight change of plans. Can I pick you up in five minutes? I came up with a better idea for our date.' Blaine explains.

' Ok. That's fine. Do you know where I live? Or do you need directions?' I ask.

'I can find it. Be there in five. Bye Claire.'

'Bye.'

I wait until I hear the click on the other line before I hang up. I take one last glance in the mirror before I head downstairs. I yell at my mom telling her that I am leaving and will be back by one, as I head out my front door. As I lock the door behind me, Blaine pulls into my drive.

'Wow!' I say out loud at the sight of his car. He drives my dream car. A 1969 Mustang, candy apple red with white pinstripes. Blaine must have recognized the look on my face.

'Yeah, she is my baby. I only take her out for special occasions like this.' He winks. He walks over and opens the passenger door for me. I carefully step in and buckle up. He gets in the driver's seat and begins to back down my driveway.

'So,' he began, ' my friend Joey had an incident at his restaurant today and burned down half the kitchen. So he is closed for awhile until he can fix it. That is why we are going somewhere different.'

'Oh my gosh! That's horrible! So, where are we going, then? If I may ask?'

Blaine leans over and smiles slyly.

'I was thinking of taking you up to Tucker Beach. There is this great restaurant there that I want to take you to. They have tables right out on the beach and everything is lit by candlelight. You will love it.' He reaches over and gives my hand a squeeze, then wraps his fingers around mine. I smile at him and squeeze his hand back.

We do not say a lot on the way there. I am nervous and I think he is too. So we just listen to the radio.

When we arrive at the restaurant he tells the ma'tre d' his name and she leads us to our table.

'I called ahead and asked them to prepare our dinner and have it ready for us when we got here.' Blaine explains as we sit down. 'I hope you like shrimpThey have the best in town.'

'Uh. Actually, I don't really like fish. I usually eat chicken or steak. Is there anyway I can order something''

'Shh',' Blaine says as he interrupts my protest by putting his fingers to my lips, 'close your eyes and open your mouth.' I do as I am told. He places a shrimp in my mouth. I do have to admit it tastes pretty good.

'Mmm' That doesn't taste bad!'

' I told you.' he says with a smile, 'Now, I pulled a few strings and have managed to get this to accompany our dinner.' He pulls a bottle of Champagne from an ice bucket.

'Oh, that's so cool, but I don't drink, and I don't ride with people who have been drinking. Sorry. Personal choice.' I reply to his gift.

'My Claire, dear, it is just Champagne. Now, I could drink this whole bottle and not feel any different. I pulled some hard strings to get this lovely bottle of Champagne, I know you aren't going to refuse my good wine.' He looks at me with very sad eyes. I knew it was wrong, but I said it anyways.

'Well, I do like Champagne. I guess a little wont hurt.' I take my filled glass and tip it towards my lips. A sweet tingle hits my tongue and flows down my throat. It is the best tasting thing I have ever had in my life. There must have been a look of serene pleasure on my face.

'See, I told you it was good. Just heavenly isn't it?' Blaine asks.

'Mhmmm',' I reply as I finish my first flute. Blaine pours me another glass. I take it even though I know I am already becoming bubbly.
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After we finish the bottle, we leave the restaurant and start strolling along the shore. My senses are decreased by the affects of the champagne I seem to be void of anything unpleasant.

'You know what's a funny word?' I ask Blaine.

'No, what?' He asks, smiling down at me.

'The word Emu,' I giggle, 'think about it. Say it over and over. Emu. Emu. Emu''

'Ha. You are so drunk.' Blaine whispers to me.

'No I'm not' I scream back, offended. But, as soon as the words come out of my mouth, I lose my balance and fall flat on my ass.

'Damn it!' I shout. Then I begin to giggle uncontrollably. Blaine stands over me snickering.

'Ok, so maybe I'm a little drunk.' I manage to spurt out between hysterics.

'Yeah, I told you.'

'So, are you just going to stand there and laugh or are you going to help me up?'

'Nah. I thought I would leave you down there so I can continue seeing up your skirt.' He smirks.

'Jerk.' I say as I fix my skirt.

'I was kidding. Give me your hand.'

As he pulls me up, my foot accidentally slips under his and knocks him down on top of me. We both begin to laugh and before I know it he is kissing me. It started out slow, with him exploring lightly around my mouth. His tongue doing ballet behind my teeth. Now normally this would be as far as I would let it go, but tonight I am near overdose on alcohol and hormones. So, I let us keep going.

He began to caress the inside of my thigh and my whole body felt sensational. Waves of tingling shivers rushed methodically through my body. He moves his hands up and begins massaging my hips while gently kissing my chest.

'Hmm' Blaine?' I say softly, 'what if someone sees us?'

'No one will be down this far. Trust me.' He begins kissing me again.

'Blaine?' I ask.

'Yeah?' He says with a tinge of annoyance.

'Do you have a condom?'

'Uh' No. Is that a problem?'

'Well, I am on birth control but it is only like 97% effective.'

'It will be fine Claire. Just hush, relax, and enjoy the ride.' His words talk me in. If the Champagne weren't coursing through my veins, I would have never let him go on. But, my mind was blurred.

Blaine began to take off his clothes. He pulls me close to him. I pull off my clothes and let the moment take over my body. Once we are both comfortable, he pulls me on top of him and kisses me behind my ear, and softly sings, 'My darling, you are wonderful tonight''

It is over before I knew it had begun. It wasn't spectacular or erotic like it is in the movies. I barely felt anything. Then it was over. When we are done cuddling, Blaine gets up and walks towards the ocean. He smiles back at me as he rinses the sand off that had stuck to his sweat. I watch as he redresses and walks back to me.

'You might want to rinse off. You don't want sand rash.' He laughs lightly.

Following his advice, I get up and trace his footprints down to the water. I dive in and quickly rinse off. The water feels refreshing against my flushed face. The alcohol had begun to wear off and I was feeling exhausted.
When I was done and dressed, I grabbed Blaine's hand and we slowly walked back to his car. I sit down and lean my head against the cool window glass. I barely hear the engine start.

The next thing I know, Blaine is gently stroking my arm.

'We are almost to your house babe, time to wake up.' He speaks softly to me as we pull into my cul-de-sac .

'Tonight was amazing. Thank you.' I say groggily.

'Yes, it was. Mostly because of you. Now you better go inside before it's past your curfew.'

I look at the clock on the dash. 12:58 A.M. Two minutes until I am late. I angle myself towards Blaine and kiss him gingerly on the lips. He responds with a last kiss on my forehead.

'Goodnight my darling Claire. Sleep well. I'll call you tomorrow.'

'Goodnight.' I climb out of the car and walk up to my front porch steps. I wave at Blaine as he takes off down the street.

The inside of my house is pitch black. My mom must have already gone to bed. I tip-toe up the stairs, close my door behind me, and take off my dirty clothes. I pull on an old t-shirt and lay down on my bed. I was asleep before my head hit the pillow.
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I wake up the next day with a major hangover. I grab my aspirin bottle and take four. I lay there, rubbing my temples and staring at the wall before I look over at the clock. 11:05! Crap! I have slept all day!

I check my phone. Three missed calls. My heart pounds thinking they are from Blaine, checking to see if I am ok. I looked at the listings, all from Ashley. I forgot I told her I would call her when I got in last night to tell her everything that happened. She is going to be pissed.

I reach over and dial her number and wait for her to pick up.

'Hello?' Ashley answers.

'Don't be mad. I fell asleep and didn't wake up until now.' I reply.

'I know. I talked to your mother. She said she tried to wake you up but you were knocked out. She said she thought you might be drunk because your breath smelled like alcohol.'

'Crap. I'm screwed. I drank like a bottle of Champagne. I was pretty blasted. I thought I would be able to sober up before I saw my mom. She is going to kill me!'

'Nah. Don't worry. Your mom is cool. So? What else happened last night?'

My face gets hot thinking about the things we did.

'Eh.' I begin, 'I don't want to talk about it over the phone. Can I meet you at the coffee house later?'

'Sure. Now you better go tell your mom you're up so she doesn't think you're dead. I'll see you at three-thirty?'

'Sounds good. Bye Ash.'

'Bye.' she hangs up on her end.

Now time to face the mother'
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I walk to my bathroom because I have to pee really bad. I glance at my reflection in the mirror after flushing the toilet. I look like a mess. I wipe my hands over my face to remove the crusty makeup. I walk out and start down the stairs.

I hear the hum of the TV and the sound of the dryer clanging against the washer. Suddenly, I feel really lightheaded and sick to my stomach. I grab for the rail and miss. I tumble down the last flight of stairs and land on the hardwood in the foyer. I don't even notice the blood trickling down my face because I am too busy puking up my guts.

My mom rushes in from the kitchen, stopping short of my vomit.

'Claire! What the hell? Are you ok?' She asks as she helps me sit up.

'Mom!' I burst into tears. 'I'm so sorry. I didn't mean to. I didn't want to. I' I' I'm sorry.'

'Honey, it's ok. Look, I know you were drinking last night. I'm not mad at you, disappointeda little, but madno. I was much younger than you the first time I came home drunk, I would be a hypocrite to punish you. Now, lets get you cleaned up, then we can talk.'

She helps me into the kitchen and sits me down at the table. She brings me a glass of ice water and a wet washcloth. I wipe off my face. My mom then brings over some ointment to put on my head. She takes my washcloth and wipes it over my wound, then gently rubs the ointment on.

'You need to eat something. Let me make you some brunch. What do you want? My mom asks.

'Ugh' No food. Food is bad. Food equals puking.' I reply.

'Trust me. Food will make you feel better. How about some French toast? Your favorite.'

'Ok. If you insist. I guess that sounds good. Thanks mom.'

'No problem babe. If I can't be a good mom, what is there left for me to do?' She grins. She walks over to the fridge and cracks some eggs into a bowl. The sight of the raw eggs makes me feel sick to my stomach, so I turn away. Soon the sweet smell of syrup fills the air. She sit's a plate down in front of me.

'Yum.' I say as I take a bite. 'This definitely makes me feel better.'

'I knew it would. So, are you going to tell me about last night, or are you going to keep me guessing?'

Once again my face gets hot. I take my time thinking about what I want to say, which only makes my mom even more suspicious.

'Uh',' I stammer, 'well, Blaine took me to this place up at Tucker Beach. We had dinner and a bottle of champagne.'

'Ah, so that explains all the throwing up.' My mom laughs.

'Yeah, so then we just walked the beach and looked at the stars. Then he brought me home!'

'Wow. That's it? Sounds boring to me.'

'Not really. We had fun just talking and getting to know each other.'

'Oh. Ok. So, what are you doing today?' My mom asks as she takes my plate to the sink.

'Ash wants me to meet her at the coffee shop at three-thirty. That's the only plans I have so far.'

'Alrighty. That's fine by me. Question though, do you want to have dinner with me and Chrystal tonight? I miss our girl's nights.'

'That sounds fine to me. I should be back by seven.'

'M'kay, be careful babe and see you at seven?'

'Right.' I tell her as I walk upstairs to take a shower. I hear her shut the back door, off to run errands, as I get to my room.
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I arrive at the coffee shop at 3:29 and go straight over to the table Ash and I always sit at. Ashley is already there waiting for me.

'I went ahead and ordered you a frozen coffee. Just the way you like it.' She slides the plastic cup toward me.

'You are amazing! I knew I could always count on you!'

'No biggie, now spill. Tell me EVERYTHING that happened last night.' Ashley smiles at the thought of juicy details.

'Well,' I blush, 'we went to dinner.'

'And?' Ash asks.

'And we walked the beach.'

'And?' Ash's eyes widen.

'And'' I stutter.

'Oh! Just tell me! It's not like you had sex with him or anything.' She laughs.

'Well'' I hide my face.

'No you didn't. Tell me you didn't. please!'

'I did!' I squeal as I hide my tears behind my hands,' it wasn't exciting, it lasted like three seconds.'

'Crap. Are you serious?'

I lift my hands to show her the very real tears flowing down my cheeks.

'Yes I am serious. Why would I lie Ash?' I whisper, 'I made a huge mistake. I regret it, but I did it and have to live with it. I guess.'

Ash swivels her chair to my side of the table and embraces me in a hug.

'Claire, don't cry. Everything will be ok. I've been there. The first time always sucks. It gets better,' she pauses, 'WAY better'' she smiles slyly.

'Whatever. I don't want to hear about that'' I say as I wipe tears off my face.

All of a sudden I hear the squealing of tires in the parking lot and a loud crash of metal against metal. I look out the large window and see Blaine's Mustang.

'Oh my gosh.' Ash says at the sight of my crunched vehicle.

'My car!' I scream. I push through the crowd of people gathering at the door and walk straight up to Blaine.

'What the hell?' I scream at his face.

'I didn't mean to honest,' he says, 'I was just trying to get out of here before you saw me.'

'What are you talking about?' I yell.

'I was behind the bookcase inside. I heard you crying and regretting going out with me. I was mad. I just wanted to leave. I didn't mean to hit your car. I accidentally hit the gas instead of the brake.' He explains.

'How does someone do that? Are you dyslexic or something?'

'Yeah, I guess.' Blaine smirks, as the police pull up.

'I have to call my mom. I'll be right back.' I walk over to the corner of the building.

The line begins to ring.

'Hello?' the familiar voice answers.

'Mom?' I ask.

'Claire, what's wrong?' I break down at the sound of her voice and begin to cry.

'Blaine hit my car. He backed into it. I think it's totaled. Will you come over here?'

'Of course Baby. I'll be there in two minutes. Love you.'

'Ditto.'

I wipe my tears and walk back over to where Blaine and the cops were standing.

'So, are you the owner of this vehicle?' the older cop asks me as he points to my BMW.

'Yes sir.' I say, a quiver in my voice.

'Mr. Spence was informing me that he accidentally backed into your car. Were you in the vehicle at the time of the accident?'

'No sir. I was inside. I heard the squeal of tires and looked up to see Blaine hit my car.'

'I need to see your insurance, license, and registration please.' He holds out his hand to signal where to put them.

I reach into my glove box and pull out what he needs. As I back away from the door I see my mom pull up, a look of horror on her face. I hand the officer my things and turn to greet my mom. A younger officer approaches her.

'Ma'am, nothing to see here. Please continue on your way.'

'Excuse me? That's my daughter and I am here to help her.' My mom exclaims as she pushes her way past him.

'Mom!' I scream, to direct her attention toward me.

'Honey! I'm glad you are ok! Look at the car!'

'I know! It's horrible.  Oh Mom, this is Blaine. Blaine this is my mother.' I gesture to each.

'Hello Ms. Rogers. It is nice to finally meet the women who birthed my beautiful Claire.' Blaine replies, his hand outstretched to my mother.

'Nice to meet you too Blaine.' My mom says, trying not to laugh at Blaine's comment.

The two officers walk over and hand Blaine and me our reports. The tow truck pulls up and loads our cars to be taken to the body shop.

'Blaine,' my mother asks, 'do your parents know you are here? Are they coming to pick you up?'

'Yes ma'am. They are bringing me my other car.'

'You have two cars?' my mother asks in awe.

'Well, I have three actually. My favorite, the Mustang, a Honda Accord, and a Jeep for my off-road adventures.'

'Aren't you a lucky one. Claire was lucky her grandfather gave her the Beemer, otherwise she would be sharing my momma van. Well, judging by the looks of her car nowI would say she will be sharing the van after all.'

'No, Claire is not going to be driving the van. I will not let her be seen at school with that. No offense to you ma'am, it's a teenager thing.' Blaine replied.

'Well, I can't afford to get her another car, or to get that one fixed, and chances are insurance will not give enough to pay for the costs either. So what do you suppose I do Mr. Spence?'

Blaine looks over at me, I just stand there fiddling my thumbs, tired of listening to them talk about cars and my new lack of one. He reaches in his pocket and pulls out a key ring. He tells me to close my eyes and he places the key in my hand. I open my eyes and see a Honda emblem in my hand.

'Wait, are you saying you are giving me your car?' I ask half thinking it was a joke and half in shock.

'Yes. I have the jeep and my dad will pay to have the mustang fixed. Ill just sell your car to a junkyard for a few hundred bucks and you can have the Accord. Problem solved!' He pulls me into a hug and kisses me on the forehead.

'I don't know what to say! Thank you Blaine.' I reply still in shock.

'No problem. Nothing but the best for my Claire, right?'

At this moment a navy blue car and a green jeep pull up beside us in the parking lot. Blaine walks over and opens the door to the car.

'Hey mom. Thanks for bringing the Accord. Did you bring the papers too?'

'Yes darling. Everything is here don't worry. Now, are you going to introduce me to this Claire that I keep hearing so much about?'

Blaine's mom starts to walk over to me. You can tell she is obviously a Wall Street kind of gal. She is wearing a gray skirt-suit with a lilac button down underneath. Croc skin heels click against the pavement as she takes gracefully determined strides toward me.

'Hello, you must be Claire.' Mrs. Spence says with an outstretched hand. I take it into mine and lightly shake her hand.

'Yes ma'am. And you must be Blaine's mother. It is so nice to finally meet you. I have heard so much about you!'

'Really? I thought Blaine pretends I don't exist when he is with his friends. But, I guess you are more than friends, huh?' She smiles. Making me nervous that she might know about last night, but I finally settled on her not knowing. Blaine wouldn't just tell her about that, would he?

'Well, Blaine's father and I hate to meet and run, but we have an important client to meet with. Blaine, we will see you at home tonight for dinner I presume?' Mrs. Spence asks.

'Actually, I was going to see if Claire would like to go out.' He turns to me. 'Would you?'

'Um' My mom is making dinner for me and my sister tonight and I promised her I would be there for it. Sorry Blaine.'

My mom steps in, 'Blaine She would love to attend a date with you tonight. I can make dinner another night for us. Go Claire. Have some fun. Live a little!'

I look at Blaine and shrug my shoulders, 'I guess I have no choice. I would gladly accept your invitation for a date tonight.' I say with a smile.

'Why wait until tonight? Let's start now! Hop in the jeep and we can get this date started!'

'Mom, is that alright?' I ask.

She lays a hand on my shoulder and pulls me into a bear hug. 'Like I said before. Go. Have fun. Just call me if you are going to be out past eleven, ok?'

'You have yourself a deal. Bye Mom. I love you.'

'Love you too babe.'

Blaine pulls his jeep up next to me. I climb in and buckle up my seatbelt. I glance out the window, waving to my mom, before we take off for our date.
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'So, where are we going?' I question Blaine.

'I'm taking you somewhere for another surprise. You know me, full of surprises.'

'Oh boy!' I joke.

We ride in silence for about ten minutes until he turns off into an apartment complex. 'What is there to do here?'

'My parents rented me an apartment here for those days I just need to get away. They are cool like that. They actually understand what it is like to be a teenager.'

'Oh. Ok. What are we going to do?'

'You will see.'

We walk up the stairs to a loft apartment on the top floor. He opens the door. And leads me in. The place is immaculate and luxuriously furnished. Obviously his mom's doing. He leads me to the couch and turns on some sultry, jazz music.

Blaine sits down next to me. A mysterious look in his eye. I'm not sure what it means.

'I thought we could recreate the last part of what we did last night.' He inches closer to me placing his hands gently around my face. He leans in to kiss me. I pull back.

'Blaine, I don't want you to get that impression of me. You got me drunk and took advantage of that. I didn't mean to do what we did last night. And I don't want to do it again anytime soon.' I go to stand up and he grabs my wrist and twists it backwards.

'Ouch! Blaine, you are hurting me. Let go!' I yelp. Tears forming in my eyes.

'Look Claire. I don't like when girls play games with me. I know you aren't the game playing type. Just sit down and relax. Everything will be fine.' He yanks my arm forcing me back down on the couch. I notice his eyes again, this time a wild look plays across his face. He tries to kiss me again and I turn my face away from his. This only angers him more. He grabs me by my hair and starts dragging me to the bedroom.

He pulls me up off the floor and throws me against the bedrail. I feel a trickle of blood coming down from my eyebrow.

'Wipe that off your face, Bitch. And take off your clothes.' He growls. I do as he says not wanting to further my punishment.

'Please Blaine! It doesn't have to be this way! Just calm down. Let's go get something to eat, ok? I think that's all we need. How about some burgers?' I plead, trying to distract him from his moment of insanity.

'Do I not seem calm to you Claire? I seem pretty calm to myself. And how can you think of food. Don't you respect me? Why cant you just love me for me? Huh?' He asks. Growing wilder by the second.

I try to get off the bed to no avail. Blaine pushes me back down and presses my arms between his hands and the bed. 'Stop! You are hurting me!' I cry. 'Please just stop!' I try to choke out.

He continues not to listen as he rapes me. I close my eyes tight and try to pretend that it is not happening. Just when I think it can't get worse. He forces me to give him oral sex. When I try to refuse he slaps me across the face, reopening my head wound.

'Son of a Bitch. You are getting blood everywhere! Go clean that mess off your face. No, better yet, just get out. I don't want to see you again. Go! Get the hell out!' He screams as he leans back against the headboard. I don't even clean myself up. I throw on my clothes and run out the door. I grab my purse from the front seat of his jeep and take off toward the park beside the complex. I find a bench and pull my compact out of my purse. I open it to look at my face. I am shocked at what I see. I have a small cut across the bridge of my nose and a larger incision on my left eyebrow. My left eye is swollen and bruising. I lick my fingers and wipe all the dried blood of my face and try to cover the wounds with some concealer. I find my cell and call Ashley.

'Hello?'

'Ashley? It's Claire' I manage to say with only a slight tremble to my voice.

'What's wrong? Why do you sound like that?' She worries.

'Can you come pick me up? I'm at Silver-Land Park.' I ask.

'Yes. I will be there in like five. Hang tight.' She hangs up. I walk further into the park, trying to get as far away from the apartments as possible. I find a hiding spot on a cement ledge. I sit waiting for Ashley to come save me.
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My phone rings three minutes later. 'Where are you? I'm right outside the gate.' Ashley asks.

'I'm coming, be there in a sec.' I grab my purse up and drag myself to the ground. My whole body hurts from the physical and mental exhaustion of trying to fight off Blaine. I see Ashley waiting for me and quicken my pace to her car. I open the door and fall into her car. I buckle up, then before I can realize what is happening, I begin to cry. My whole body shaking. I feel Ashley's hand on my shoulder as she pulls me close to her chest.

'It's ok baby. It's all over with. Let's go home.' She whispers to me in a motherly tone. She pulls back out onto the highway and heads toward my house. I lean up against the seat and don't move the entire way there.

We pull in my driveway about ten minutes later. I see my mom's car parked out front and begin to cry even more. 'I don't want to tell her.' I cry.

'Baby, you gotta tell her. She needs to know. Also, you need to see a doctor. Especially if you want to do anything legal about it.' She opens her door and slams it shut. She walks around and opens my door, extending her hand.

I stare, just long enough, to get the point across that I am scared. I give her my hand and she squeezes it tight. 'Stay with me, please.' I ask.

'Always.' She replies simply.

I follow as she leads me up my front porch. She opens the door to my house and hollers in, 'Ms. Rogers? It's Ashley. I think you need to come here a minute.' I hear a clank in the kitchen and watch as my mother emerges into the foyer. She is drying her hands on a dishtowel.

'What is it Ash?' She trails off.

Her eyes widen at the sight of me as she comes running over.

'Claire, what happened? Where is Blaine? Did he do this to you? We have to call the police. Oh my God. Claire!' My mother spouts out.

'Mom, I'm scared.' Is all I can manage to say. I see tears form in her eyes as she grabs me into her arms.

'Everything is going to be fine. We need to take you to the hospital. If not simply to clean that cut, but to get a rape kit done. We need to do this right, I'll call my lawyer on the way to the hospital. She will know what is best to do.' She grabs her purse and car keys from the credenza and pulls me out the door.

'I'm just going to head home, ok Claire?' Ashley says wearily.

'You Can't leave me, I need you Ash. I need you.' I sigh.

'Ashley,' my mother speaks up, 'please come with us. I need you too.' Ashley's shocked reaction at this comment from my mother has her flabbergasted. She merely climbs into the backseat and buckles up, not making a single sound.

On the way to the hospital, I kept wishing that this was all a dream. A nightmare, and any second now I would wake up safe and sound curled up in my comforter. But, that wasn't going to happen. My mom called her lawyer and she said she would meet with us after the examination and get all the legal papers drawn up. I, meanwhile, just stared out the window at the people in cars passing by, wondering if they had ever felt the way I do at this moment.

As we pull through the awning of the emergency room, I begin to shake again. Uncontrollable chills wreck havoc on my body. My mom notices my panic and grabs my hand.

'Honey, don't worry. I am right here. I wont let anything happen to you. You understand? Everything will be ok. It may not seem like life could ever be right again, but it will. Believe me. I know what I am saying. Ok?' I nod understandingly.

By this time, Ashley had exited the car and was coming around to open the door for me. She pulls me up and helps walk me inside. My mom follows us inside as we go to check-in.
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I reach for the pen on the counter as the triage nurse approaches. He smiles at me politely and hands me a clipboard with some forms to fill out. I head to a corner of vacant chairs and sit down. I try to write my name, only to find that my hands are shaking so much that I can't. My mom relieves me of the papers and fills them out for me. Ashley sits beside me and squeezes my hand. I lean against her shoulder and try not to cry again.

Another nurse, this one female, walks over to my mother and whispers something in her ear. My mother nods as the nurse walks back into the office. I give my mom a quizzical look and she just shrugs and goes back to filling out the medical forms.

Two female nurses come out from the office, the one that talked to my mother and another younger looking one. They come towards me with sympathetic looks on their faces. 'Sweetie,' the older one says to me, 'you can come on back. Do you want your mom and friend to come with you?' I nod, like a shy, little kid. They lead me through the office to a corridor in the back. I shuffle behind as we pass room by room of sick or hurt patients. I look behind me to make sure Ashley and my mother are still there and they smile meekly at me.

We turn left down another hallway and enter an unoccupied room. Suddenly, the sterilized smell of hospital hits me, making me queasy to the stomach. I shudder as I run to a small trash can in the corner. The older nurse hands me a cool rag for my face as I weakly sit down on the bed. I notice my mother is standing outside the room with the younger nurse.

'Ahem,' the younger nurse clears her throat as she walks into the room. 'Claire, my name is Tiffany. I am a specialist here at the hospital. I deal with rape and domestic violence victims. Your mother informed me of your situation. I know this is hard, but I need you to tell me, in your words, what happened.'

I tell her the story. Not leaving any details out. When I am finished I feel almost relieved. Just by telling someone what happened, it feels like a ton of bricks have been lifted off my shoulder.

'I know that was hard for you Claire,' Tiffany says, 'now I have to do something else that is hard for some people to experience. I need to do an SAE kit, Sexual Assault Examination kit, on you. I will swab for any semen that may have been left during the rape. I will also look for other DNA markers that your attacker could have left behind.' Tiffany hands me a gown to change into and tells me to get into the stirrups once I have changed.

After the exam is finished Tiffany approaches me with a small pill in her hand. 'This is RU-486 , more commonly known as the morning-after pill. It is used as a contraceptive to help prevent pregnancy.'

'I don't want it.' I say, this time without a tremor in my voice.

'Are you sure Claire? He didn't use a condom and you could get pregnant.' Tiffany explains.

'I am positive.' I tell her.

'Ok. Well, my work here is done. I am going to let the other nurse, Nancy put a couple stitches in that cut. While she is doing that, a police officer should be coming in to talk to you. After that you will be free to go.'

Nurse Nancy comes back in and puts five stitches above my eye. Then she leaves to let the officer come in. We wait in the room for about thirty minutes after the nurse has left, then finally the officer arrives. She was a young woman also. She elucidates my rights and tells me that we will get justice. She helps us to file a report against Blaine and tells me that she will get in touch with me tomorrow to update me on any legal progress.

As we are leaving the hospital, I notice a familiar guy standing outside the sliding glass doors. Ashley and I are first out the door. 'There you are!' The guy says. 'I have been looking everywhere for you. Mom told me you were here with Claire.' I realize then that it is Chad.

'Chad? What are you doing here?' Ashley inquires.

'I came to check on Claire. I wanted to make sure she was ok.' He reaches out to touch my arm and I pull back quickly. Surprising him.

'Don't touch me.' I growl.

Stunned, he replaces his hand to his side. 'I didn't mean to upset you. I'm sorry. '

'It's fine. I'm fine.' I say as I grab my mom's arm and pull her to the car. Leaving Ashley and Chad standing, confused in the doorway. My mom waves good bye to the two and we start backing out of the parking lot.

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After arriving home I go straight upstairs and turn on the shower. I wait until the glass panel is completely fogged over before stepping in. I stand there under the flowing water and let it wash away the events of the day. What little bit of shield I have left, disintegrates under the hot water. My legs give way and I fall knees first against the tile floor. I lean my back against the shower wall and cry. My body and mind go numb. I sit, unable to gather the strength to move. Eventually, when the water starts to run cold as ice, I find the strength to get up.

I dry myself slowly with a towel. I glance in the full-length mirror and see the bruises all over my body. Battle scars from a war against love. I quickly turn my head. Not wanting to have any memories of the fight. I throw on an old t-shirt and sweatpants. I cross the hall to my mother's room and sit down on her bed. As usual she is reading a book with her head perched against the headboard.

'Feel any better?' She asks in a nurturing tone. I shrug my shoulders and lay down on her pillow.

'Can I ask you something, Mom?' I say as I fiddle with a loose string on her quilt.

'Yes. You know you can always ask me anything.' She closes her book and sits it on the nightstand beside her.

'How did you know?' I ask.

'How did I know what dear?' She looks me in the eye, forcing me to give her my full attention.

'How did you know I was raped?' I say. A slight crack in the last word.

'Mothers always know. I knew from the moment I took sight of you that something terrible had happened.' As she closes the sentence her eyes dart to an unknown spot across the room.

'Oh. Ok. I just thought that maybe'' I trail off. 'Never mind.'

'You just thought that maybe,' she pauses. 'I was raped too?' She keeps staring off into the corner of the room. Focused on the invisible object. 'I was twenty-five. I was working on my graduate degree. I remember that night like it happened yesterday. My supposed best friend took me to this party. This guy kept eyeing me all night. He was cute, so when he offered me a beer, I took it. We talked for a few minutes. Then I started to feel funny. Next thing I knew, I was waking up in the backseat of some car outside the hospital and my friend was dragging me to my feet. This guy had slipped GHB into my beer and had brutality raped me. He tried to strangle me, but my friend's boyfriend walked in on him and stopped him before he could kill me.' A single tear slides down her cheek and she quickly wipes it away. 'But, that was in the past. I have moved on to bigger and better things.'

'I'm sorry Mom. I didn't mean to pry. I was just curious.'

'Honey, I have been awaiting the day when I would have to tell someone the truth about my life. I am just glad I could share it with you. I hope it helps you to realize that you are not alone and that it isn't your fault. Do you understand that?' She turns to look at me for the first time in minutes.

'But, I think it is my fault'' I say burying my face in the pillow.

'No. It is not your fault!' My mother exclaims. 'Don't you ever say that! You couldn't have done anything different to stop him. He was going to do that to you no matter what you did or didn't do.'

'Mom. We had sex on our first date. I was drunk and stupid and I let him have sex with me. Then when I wouldn't do it again and told him that he took advantage of me last night and I wasn't that girlhe raped me. So, it is my fault!' I say, ashamed.

My mom closes her eyes for a moment, her mouth left slightly open. 'It is not your fault.' She says with her eyes still closed. 'He still raped you. Even if you had consensual sex before, it doesn't mean that you are at fault just because you wouldn't have sex with him a second time.'

'Ok. I get it, it is just going to take some time for me to get over all this. I am still in shock. I want to believe that it never happened. That I will wake up and it will all have been a nightmare. A long, horrible nightmare.'

My mom reaches over and strokes my face. ' I know. I still feel like that to this day. It never quite goes away. You just have to move on babe. Just push past it and remember to keep living your life.' She smiles gently and kisses my forehead. 'I think we have had enough for one day. Why don't we try to get some sleep. I am thinking we will have a rough couple of weeks ahead of us still. You want to sleep in here with me?' She asks.

'Yeah. I would like that.' I say as I bury myself under the covers. She turns out the bedside lamp and curls up beside me. I lay there listening to the sound of her breathing. I wait for sleep to come to me, and take me away to a better place.
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This article has 4 comments. Post your own!

BasketballChick5 said...
Mar. 16, 2010 at 3:06 pm:
I like this artical it tells you what really happens to girls and how dumb adn stupid guys are lol........ I Thought this was excalent(speled that wrong) Have you talked to this guys since this had happened?!?!?!?!?!
 
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YeseniaG said...
Apr. 14, 2009 at 12:14 am:
No problem. I really do think this will turn out to be a great novel.
 
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HemiLiz said...
Apr. 2, 2009 at 1:25 am:
thanks. i know that it isnt perfect. my "editor" aka my bff has been busy and not able to help me as much. i appreciate the comment.
 
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YeseniaG said...
Mar. 30, 2009 at 8:48 pm:
good excerpt. it was really capturing. a bit of editing on grammar and spelling and this will be amazing.
 
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