One day after musical practice I am the last one to leave. I keep thinking about how Brice didn't come to musical practice because he had baseball practice. He doesn't even know who I am. Why do I like him? Why did I have to develop a crush on him? I mean he is funny, cute, smart, not to mention that he is also in musical, band, chorus, baseball, and basketball. He's also really tall and has the cutest smile that I've ever seen. But, he doesn't know who I am!!!!!
As I'm walking in the parking lot, someone runs up to me and tackles me to the ground. I look up and it is a senior, I think his name was Mathew, but I've never talked to him. Seniors don't talk to freshmen like me. He looks drunk, very drunk. He starts trying to take my clothes off, but I kick him. I get up and start running away. He gets up and tackles me again, this time making sure I can not kick him. He starts slapping me and hitting me. I can't move so I start screaming for help. No one is in sight, I know this isn't going to end well. Then, I see the doors open and Brice and Jacob, Brice's best friend who is also plays baseball, walk out, but they don't notice. I scream their names and they look my way. When they realize what is happening they throw their stuff down and start running towards us. They get the guy off of me and start punching him. I stay still and close my eyes. Once Mathew can't move, they walk over to me. Then they come over to me and ask me if I'm okay. I say," It hurts."
Brice says," I know it does just hold on." Then I just sit there while they try to figure out what to do. Jacob says my name, but I'm in so much pain, I don't say anything. He says my name in a worried and desperate way. He sounds really worried, so I try and slowly open my eyes.
Jacob says,"I know it hurts, but you have to answer me."
Brice says,"I have an idea," and he grabs my hand. Brice continues,"When I squeeze your hand squeeze mine back." I nod. Brice says," Jacob went to his car and we are going to take you to the hospital." Then I hear the car and I feel Brice's arms go under my back. Jacob opens the door and Brice sits down. He puts me his lap and positions me so my head is laying on his shoulder and my face buried in his neck. As we start to move I realize how tired I am. Brice keeps squeezing my hand and every time I squeeze back. But I'm getting more tired every second. I got so tired he squeezed and I didn't squeeze back. Brice says,"Emma, are you ok????"
I nod and say,"I'm tired."
Brice says," I know you are. You can sleep, but promise me you'll wake up. I nod and he says,"Sleep well." As I fall asleep I hear Jacob ask Brice how I'm doing.
When I wake up Jacob and Brice are arguing with a nurse. I hear the nurse say,"Without the patient's consent only family are allowed in." I want them to stay and without think I say their names very quietly.
Jacob stops talking and says," Guys did you hear that?"
Brice says," Hear, what?"
Jacob replies," I think Emma said something." Since they didn't hear me I say their name again, but a tad bit louder.
Now that I have their attention I say," Stay." Then I blacked out.
The next time I wake up they are gone. In their place are my mom and my sister, Sarah. They ask me how I feel and I say surprisingly good. My mom says,"They have you on pain killers. Emma, what happened?" I shake my head and don't say anything. My mom sighs and we sit in a comfortable silence for a minute.
Then I ask,"Where are they?"
Sarah says,"In the waiting room, they're worried after you passed out."
My mom adds," They wouldn't leave the room until we got here." I ask why and my mom says,"One they were worried about you and second they told us they were never going to leave you alone." A nurse comes in and checks to make sure I'm okay and ask if I feel any pain. I shake my head no and ask her to tell Brice and Jacob that I'm okay.
She says,"Those two boys are so sweet, they would not leave your side." Then she leaves. She comes back and says they want to see me, but my mom and sister will have to leave. I look at them and they nod and leave. In a minute Brice and Jacob enter and I look away so they can't see my face. They ask why I won't look at them.
I say," Because I look ugly with all of these scratches and bruises."
Jacob walks over and uses his hand to turn my head so they can see and says,"You are beautiful no matter what happens."
I look down and say, "You're just saying that."
Jacob looks back at me with sad eyes and says, "Emma, you are so beautiful yet you don't know it. How?"
I don't' answer, instead I say, " Thank you for helping me...I-I don't know what could've happened if you weren't there."
Jacob says," Don't think like that, you're safe now."
Next Brice says," Were never going to leave you by yourself."
Then Jacob grabs my left hand and and Brice grabs my right and Jacob says,"Never." Then we sit like that for a while and then a nurse comes in. The nurse says that they have to leave because visiting hours are over and they nod and say goodbye. Then they leave and I just now notice that it is dark out. Since it is late I decide to sleep.
The next day I'm released from the hospital and went home. I decided to go to school tomorrow. In the car ride home I get two text messages, one from Brice and one from Jacob. They both ask how I'm feeling and I tell them I'm okay, but it hurts a little. They say I hope you feel better. Then at lunch they both text me again and I talk to them in a joined text when they are at lunch. Then at night they both text me goodnight and I go to bed.
When I get up in the morning I get dressed and head out to the bus. When the bus comes I get on and my brother sits next to instead of in his seat. Though I don't mind because he looks like one of my favorite anime characters and I call him Tatsuya. When we pull up to the school, I get off the bus and Jacob and Brice are waiting at the sidewalk for me. They say good morning and follow me to the gym. I ask why they were waiting for me. They say,"We told we were not going to leave you alone." When we get in the gym I sit next to my friends. I notice everyone is staring at us. I guess news travels fast. Brice sits beside me and Jacob sits next to him. My friends ask me what happened and I decide to tell them. Brice knows that this is hard to talk about and he slyly grabs my hand and squeezes. I look at him and we smile at each other. Then when I am finished with the explanation it is time to leave the gym and go to homeroom. I get up and so do Brice and Jacob. They follow me out of the gym and to the hallway where they turn. I keep walking, expecting them to turn, but they just keep walking with me. I ask them why they didn't turn.
Brice says,"We went to talk to the guidance office."
Then Jacob says,"And we got permission to escort you to all of your classes."
I reply by saying," Why so formal?" They just laugh and keep walking. They follow me to my locker and once I have my books they take me to my homeroom. Once I'm in the room they leave. Everyone keeps asking me what happened and I just ignore them, but Kyle also asked. I decided to tell him because he looked worried and I know he won't tell anyone. After I tell him what happened he looks worried and asks me if I'm okay. I say," Yeah, I'm good. If it weren't for Brice and Jacob I probably wouldn't be here right now."
Then Kyle says,"That's awesome," but he has a weird look. If I didn't know better I would've thought he was jealous. Then class started so I sat down. When the period ended I went to leave, but Mrs. Crouse told me to wait. I ask why, but she doesn't say. Then I see Brice and Jacob walk through the door.
Brice says,"You have gym now right?" I nod.
Then Jacob says,"Let's go." They start walking, I put my books away, and I walk a little until stopping in the hallway. The bell rings and everyone goes into their classes and the hallway is empty. They turn around expecting me to be right behind them, when they notice I'm not they look at each other and walk towards me. Jacob grabs my hands and looks at me in the eyes. He looks at me with sad, curious eyes.
I tell him, "I-I can't stop thinking about it. It still hurts. What if..." At this point I'm in tears. "What if it happens again and you're not there? What would happen?"
Jacob hugs me and says,"It won't happen again."
I ask, "But, how do you know that?"
"I just do. You'll be fine. Plus you have us, we'll protect you." I wipe my eyes, nod, and Jacob grabs my hand again and Brice grabs my other hand. Then we continue walking. When we make it to the gym, I go into the locker room and they head to their next class. After gym they take me to my next class and so on. After 6th period they walk me to my locker to put away my books and we walk down to the cafeteria. On the way down they say they are going to eat lunch with me. I nod, even though I'm confused as to how they get to eat lunch with me, and put my stuff down at my seat. Then we get in line to get our food. Once we have our food, they follow me to my table and we all sit down. We eat and Jacob takes my tray for me. While Brice and Jacob are taking their trays, my friends give me looks questioning why they are eating with us. So I tell them that they refuse to leave me without someone looking out for me so they want to walk around with me. When the bell rings, we go to my locker to get my books and head to my next class. Once we are there, they head to their next class. After that class they take me to chorus and since they are in the senior high chorus they decide to stay and sing. They get permission to stay at chorus and come back. They share my folder with me because my folder partner is absent. They sing with me the whole period and for once I forget what had happened. We finish early so Mr. Strine lets us do what we want and I just talk to Jacob and Brice. When the bell rings we grab our stuff and exit the building. When we get to my bus I turn around to say goodbye and when I open my mouth Brice gets a text.
I wait for him to look at it and then he says,"Follow me guys." So we followed him, but my ankle hurts so much I can't fake being okay anymore. I start to limp thinking they won't notice, but they do. They ask me if I'm okay, at the same time.
I decide to tell them the truth and say," No, my ankles been hurting all day." Their faces are looks of anger mixed with worry as Jacob asks why I haven't told them. I tell them that I didn't want to worry them and sound like a baby because my ankle hurts. I decide to keep walking and I guess Brice saw how much it really hurt and so he picks me up, bridal style, and carries me to the parking lot where I see my mom.
Brice continues walking towards her and I ask him what is going on. "Well Jacob, your mom, and I talked knowing that if you weren't occupied that you would only think about what happened and would be shut in your room all day depressed, so we are going to have fun at your house this weekend."
I ask him how he got my dad to let this happen because he would definitely not allow it. They say," Oh, about that. Emma, your dad has left and your mom suspects that he's never coming back. They say this with sad faces and when they say that at first I have a sad face too, but then I realize that this is awesome and get a smile on my face.
Then Brice asks," How could you be happy about that." I simply say that I don't really like my dad at all and that I could care less if he left. In my opinion I think we might be better without him. Plus I have a feeling that he is cheating on my mom with some woman he met online. They don't say anything and keep walking towards the car. They tell my mom that we need to go to the hospital because my ankle hurts and they want to make sure its not broken. The doctor takes x-rays of my ankle and tells us that it just sprained, I just need to try and stay off of it. We all nod and leave. We head to my house. When we get there I take some painkillers to ease the pain of my ankle. Then, Brice and Jacob suggest we play board games. I tell them I love playing board games, but no one will ever play with me. We played Monopoly first. It lasted a long time, so when we finished (I won) it was already super time. My mom, Brice, Jacob, and I all made pizza together. After supper we played Life and Sorry. By the time our second game of Sorry was done, it was getting late and I was getting tired. I don't think Jacob and Brice have noticed, but I keep zoning out, thinking about what happened. I can't get it out of my mind. It was so scary. I never thought it could happen in our small town. When we all decide to go to bed, I went to get ready. As I walked into my room I heard Brice and Jacob talking, about me. I tried my best to ignore it and got ready. When I came out, Brice asked if he could talk to me outside, alone. I nodded and we walked outside. I came out first and stared at the stars. I listened as Brice walked out and shut the door. For a while he just stared at the stars with me and then he started talking. "Emma, I've noticed that you keep zoning out. You need to stop thinking about it. Jacob and I will protect you."
Realizing we weren't getting anywhere I said," Yeah, you've said that. Jacob has too, but how do I know that? There's nothing keeping you from just leaving, like my dad."
Brice looked down and said," You're right. There's nothing keeping me from just leaving, but I'm going to fix that." He looked at me with a very serious face and asked," Will you be my girlfriend? I've been thinking about asking you for a long time, but what happened pushed me. You need someone to always be there and, well, I've liked you for a long time, Emma." I took a step back, surprised.
I didn't know what to think, but I did know what to say, "Yes." Brice smiled and started to lean forward. He kissed me. His lips were so warm against mine, it was more than I ever imagined. He pulled away and put his forehead against mine.
We stayed in silence, enjoying each other's presence, and Brice said, "I will protect you."
I smiled and said," I believe you." Brice smiled and grabbed my hand leading me inside. As we walked in, my mom smiled, knowing what had happened. We all went to bed. This was just the start of the long life we would live together.