I gasped as my head impacted the ground the pain instantly went through my body. My breath came out choppy, and I could feel my now ex-boyfriend Bruce lift me up to throw me down again. Unexpectedly, my voice came out clear when I yelled, “Stop!”
We lived in a small town, and I knew somebody had to hear me yell. Bruce put his hand over my mouth to make sure I wouldn’t scream again. Then we saw people walking near us; I was thankful one of them was Old Man Jenkins. Old Man Jenkins walked with a cane and was wearing brown pants, a cream shirt, and an old weathered leather jacket. He had already lost most of his hair, but he still had a little bit of white around his ears; he was like a second dad to me. His godson, Declan was my best friend so I was delighted to see that he was with Old man Jenkins; Declan had had short, dark brown hair and hazel eyes; he was wearing jeans, a t-shirt and his varsity jacket.
I couldn’t hear Declan, but I could read his lips as he spoke my name, “Rain.”
He was shocked when he saw Bruce and me—more importantly, what Bruce had done to me. I don’t know what I looked like in that moment, but from the way Declan looked at me, I knew it was bad. I glanced up at Old Man Jenkins, he said sternly, “Bruce, put her down!”
Bruce looked at me and threw me down. I was gasping, grabbed my legs and pulled them up against my chest. Bruce turned around and ran away quickly. I could feel Declan pick me up, and I whimpered as I wrapped my arms around him. He whispered, “Are you okay?”
I said, “Take me home, please.”
“I’ve got you”, he assured me.
Declan and Jenkins didn’t have a car with them and there were no cabs here since we lived in such a small town so they carried me back to their home that was about three blocks away.
Declan wanted to know what happened, but all I could whisper was, “I don’t know.”
When we finally got to his house a few minutes later he carried me inside and set me on the kitchen counter as Jenkins got out the first aid kit. I was breathing heavily still; they both could tell I was in shock. Mrs. Jenkins came home and gulped loudly when she saw me she made the boys take me to the bathroom where she helped me take off my clothes that wasn’t an easy task; the dried blood made them stick to my body then she helped me into the shower to clean myself off. My lip was swollen and was still quivering from the shock of everything that happened. She got some of her old clothes for me and walked me to the living room.
I didn’t speak; I was too scared. Declan looked down at me and said, “How about you guys give me some time alone with her?” Jenkins and his wife looked at Declan trying to figure out why, but they listened and left us alone. Declan moved a strand of my brown hair behind my ear. I shuddered, and he gently asked, “Rain, what happened?”
“He…he hit me.”
“Well I see that.”
I smiled. Declan always knew how to make me smile in the worst of times. He looked at me, “Do you want me to order pizza?”
“Could you get Hawaiian?” I requested.
He smiled, “Is there any other kind?”
I let out a sigh as he called the local pizzeria. He turned on the TV, and the news was on. I looked at the TV screen they were reporting about a severe fire that destroyed a bakery in a town that’s about an hour away from us. The entire bakery was burned to the ground the story overwhelmed me with memories of what happened to my parents when I was younger. I guess that’s why Declan and I are so close he became one of my best friends when my parents died. I was 8 years old when I went to live with my aunt, and I had to change schools in the middle of third grade; I didn’t know a soul. Declan accidently turned his juice cup over on me at lunch. He apologized, but I have to admit I held a grudge for a while. He ruined my brand new dress! I also had been through a lot recently; it took Declan roughly three weeks until I forgave him and ever since then we’ve been inseparable.
Declan came back and asked, “So what movie do you want to watch?”
He saw the look on my face as we both gazed at the screen. I looked at him and asked with a smile, “Do you remember how we met?”
He turned off the TV and chuckled, “How could I forget? You weren’t too happy with me for spilling juice on you, and you wouldn’t forgive me for weeks! It took forever till you would be nice to me!” I laughed at the memory he was right, but still he shouldn’t have been so clumsy! Declan looked at me then asked hesitantly, “Are you okay?”
“Yeah, it’s just the memories of them. You know I don’t really remember what they looked like? My aunt never lets there be any pictures of them in the house because she thinks it’s too hard on me.”
Declan and I looked at each other then I stated, “I want to see my old neighborhood again.”
He raised his eyebrows, “Really? Are you sure that’s a good idea?”
“Declan, I haven’t been there since I was eight; it’s only an hour away. Would you take me?”
Declan sighed and after another half hour of me begging and not letting him eat until he agreed he finally caved. I thanked him and he told me he could take me after he ate and took a shower. While he was in the shower I called my aunt to let her know I’d be home late.
Declan and I took the hour drive to my old neighborhood. I pointed to where my house used to be. The lot was empty now but I could see the smoldering and smoke though a couple of blocks over where the bakery used to stand. It was sad for me as I remembered crying in the ashes and wet soot when I was just a little girl. It seemed like so long ago. Declan tried to comfort me as much as he knew how to. He mainly quoted something from the Bible in the book Ecclesiastes; I think that’s what book he said it was. He told me how there’s a time for everything; there’s a time to cry and a time to laugh. Right now I think is a time to cry.