Shush . . .
Chapter 7AS I drove home, I thought of everything that had happened today. The necklace Dean had given me this morning was dangling from my neck. That felt like it happened years ago. I had felt like I was so special at that moment. Like everything was finally going to start working out for me.
And then that whole guardian angel thing happened. I felt so stupid for not figuring it out when I read the back of that necklace. I didn’t figure it out in the nurse’s office either. “Where are you from?”
“Up north,” is what he had said to me. It all seemed so obvious now. The littlest things he did made it obvious, but he hid his secret so well that I would have never suspected a thing. But, why would I need a guardian angel? Memories from that summer night with Scott ran through my thoughts.
When I got home, I threw my keys on the counter. Mom wasn’t home yet, so I was all alone. I had never felt so alone in my life. I walked over to the fridge; Mom usually put notes there in the morning for me.
Happy Birthday! I might be held late at the office. But while I’m at work, think about where you want to go to dinner, okay? I shouldn’t be any later than 5 o’clock. See you then!
Her sloppy handwriting was scribbled across a sticky note. I took it off the fridge, and threw it away. The tiny slip of paper didn’t make a difference. The fridge was still as cluttered as usual. School pictures, doctor’s appointments, calendars, and family pictures were all stuck on the fridge.
I walked into the living room, hoping that I would get to lay down and take a nap. But when I got to the couch, I saw a few presents on it. I wasn’t about to sit next to presents that I can’t open. So instead I just walked up to my room, and laid on my bed. Before I knew it, I was asleep.
In my dream I’m running. It’s dark, and I can’t tell where I’m at. But I’m running as fast as I can. I kick up dirt every time I lift up my foot. I hear a dark laugh behind me. He’s following me. “You can’t run forever, Sarah. I’m going to get you one day. And when I do, I’m going to kill you. Just like I killed your dad,” said the voice that matched the evil laugh.
“Who are you? What do you want from me?” I screamed behind me.
“You know who I am. And I want you dead.” The voice was right beside me this time. And it sounded so familiar. I couldn’t quite figure out why it sounded familiar, though.
“Leave me alone! I don’t want to die!” I screamed to the mysterious voice. I could hear his fading laugh as it became farther and farther away from me.
“Don’t worry,” said a new voice. “I’m here to protect you.” I slowed down, and came to a stop. Arms wrapped around my shoulders, and I was comforted in the safe embrace of my guardian angel.
I woke in my bed, with my hand clutched around my necklace. I untangled my fingers from the chain, and rolled over to check my clock. It was time to pick up my sister from school. I slowly got out of my bed, and walked downstairs. I went to pick up my keys from the counter, but they weren’t there.
I looked all around the kitchen until I finally found them on the table. Why were they there? I slowly walked over to the table, being extra cautious. I felt like someone was just going to jump out at me and try to hurt me.
When I finally grabbed my keys, I drove to the school to pick up Jess. When I got there, she was leaning against the wall. She wasn’t talking to any of her friends. She was just standing there. She ran over to the car as soon as she saw me. “Hey, Jess! How was your day?”
“Fine.” She turned her head away from me, showing me that she didn’t want to talk. We drove home in complete silence. When we finally got home, she immediately headed for her room. When she was about half way up the steps she turned and said, “Happy birthday, by the way.” Then she turned back around, and walked up the steps with her head down.
I waited for a few minutes for her to come back down. When she didn’t, I went up to her. I slowly opened her door, only to see her lying on her bed. I heard a small weeping coming from her. I walked over to her. I sat on her bed beside her and rubbed her back. “Do you want to talk about it?” I asked her.
“Ethan talked to me today. He said that he wasn’t interested in being anything more than friends. He said that he likes someone else.” The tears flowed silently down her cheeks. She threw herself into my arms, and cried on my shoulder. I did the best I could to comfort her. I didn’t do a very good job; I was having my own problems.
I told her that there would be other guys. I told her that if Ethan didn’t like her, than it was his loss. The tears slowly subsided. By the time we heard the front door open and close, she had stopped crying. She wiped her eyes, making sure that they were dry. We walked downstairs together, and I kept my arm around her shoulders.
“Well it’s nice to see you girls getting along,” Mom said when we got into the kitchen. She walked over and put her arms around both of us, making it a group hug. “So, Sarah, have you decided where you want to eat?”
We ended up going to some buffet. I ate quickly. I didn’t want to be out today. I just wanted to go home, sit on the couch with a blanket, and eat some ice cream. We spent about an hour at the restaurant before we left. As we drove home, I just stared out my window, not bothering to make conversation.
When we got home, Mom insisted that I open my presents. She made a huge deal out of it. She got out the camera and everything! I pretended to be excited so she wouldn’t get upset. She got me a digital camera, a picture frame, a plain necklace chain, and a new ipod. I acted like I was really happy about the gifts. I took my camera and snapped a shot of my mom and Jess. They both looked really happy. I smiled, and told them that I would be right back, I’d be taking my gifts up to my room.
I slowly walked up to my room, with my gifts in my hands. It was almost dark out. I watched the slight breeze shake the leaves on the trees. The stars where shining bright in the sky, and there was a full moon. The moon lit up the backyard as the sun slowly disappeared. I suddenly got an overwhelming urge to cry until I had no tears left. But I sucked it up, and went back downstairs.
For the rest of the night, we watched movies and ate birthday cake. At about 10 o’clock, Jess went to bed. I followed behind her at 11 o’clock, and my mom went with me. I heard my mom start snoring about a half hour later. I knew Jess was already asleep. She always falls asleep as soon as she gets to bed.
I laid down in bed, and just stared up at the ceiling. I hadn’t changed into my pajamas yet. I had kicked off my shoes, and set them next to my desk. After sitting in bed for half an hour, I got bored. I climbed onto my window seat, and stared into the night. I thought about what had happened at lunch today. I couldn’t stop thinking about it.
My thought were interrupted by the steady strum of a guitar. Following the guitar, I heard a voice floating up into my window. I glanced down, only to see Dean in my back yard, with a guitar in his hands. I listened to his song as he sang.
The more of you that I inspect
The more of me I see reflect
The more I try to read your lips
The more the mask you wear rips
You’re all I see through my eyes
My memory of you never lies
If I could be with you everyday
That would blow my mind away
Sometimes you have a way
Of taking my breath away
You’re the lyrics to my song
The beating to my heart
Point me to the sky above
I can’t get there on my own
Tears fill my eyes
As we said our last goodbyes
This sad scene replays
Of you walking away
My body aches from mistakes
We lie to each other so much
That in nothing we trust
I think I’m falling for you
His hands dropped to his side as he finished his song. A single tear spilled from my eye. “I’m sorry that I had to lie to you. I’m sorry that I hurt you. I’m sorry for everything that i’ve done to hurt you. But, Sarah, I have to tell you something.” He had slowly floated up to me as he spoke, and now he was right in front of me. “I’m in love with you.”
My heart stopped. Before I could say anything, he leaned towards me, and kissed me. I wrapped my arms around his neck, and intertwined my fingers with his hair. He rested his hand gently against my cheek, as if I was glass that would break if he was too rough. And at that moment, I realized that I was in love with him, too.
He pulled away too soon. When he did pull away, we were both breathless. “Well? How do you feel about me?” he asked. He seemed so vulnerable at that moment. It seemed like if I said the wrong words, he would shatter like glass.
“You already know how I feel about you.” I pulled his head back towards me, telling him how I feel without using words. This kiss was sweet, less demanding. In it was all the love I felt for him, even after only a short time. He once again pulled away too soon. He put his forehead against mine, and sighed.
“Come on,” he said to me. I could feel his breath against my face. It smelt like mint. Everything in the world disappeared at that moment. It was just me and him. Nothing was going to hurt us, and nothing was going to tear us apart. We were finally together.
“Where are we going?” I asked when I could finally form a coherent sentence.
“I promised to show you the field in the moonlight, didn’t I?” He held out his hand, and I took it. He wrapped his hand around mine, and my hand disappeared. “Do you trust me?”
“Not at all. But that’s what’s going to make this fun.” He wrapped his arm around my waist, and pulled me out the window. One look at the ground had me cowering into his shoulder. I trusted him to keep me from falling, but there was the little voice in my head imagining falling to the ground. To keep my mind away from the image, I asked him a question. “How does it work, being my guardian angel?”
“What do you mean?”
“How does it work? What are you supposed to do?”
“I’m supposed to protect you,” he said simply. A thousand questions ran through my head when he spoke his simple statement. But, I only spoke the most important one.
“What do you need to protect me from?” I was afraid to hear his answer. Could he possibly know about what had happened that night with Scott? No. Nobody knows about that. Not even Scott. He was too high to remember his actions.
“Someone’s out to get you. I don’t know who it is, that’s why I have to protect you. And part of that protection means I have to know any secrets that can help.” At his words, I didn’t know how to breathe. All of the air escaped from my body as if I had fallen hard on my back. I hadn’t mentioned that night to anyone. Except Scott when I fought with him. Was he referring to that?
“I don’t have any secrets. I’m as clueless as you are.” Why was I such a bad liar? I could hear it in my own voice. He raised one eyebrow, and sighed. We stayed silent until we got to the field. And he was right. Everything was stunning when it was bathed in the moonlight. The flowers weren’t as bright, which made it easier to look at them. And you could see the stars perfectly in the sky. “It’s so beautiful,” I whispered.
He chuckled. “I knew you’d like it.” He led me to the middle of the field, and we relaxed
in the grass. He looked at me expectantly, and I tried to ignore him. He finally got tired of being ignored, and spoke. “Earlier today, you were talking to Scott. I heard you guys. What happened that night; the night you had been talking about?”
For a while, I just stared into his eyes. I knew I could trust him. But all this time, I’d been too afraid to speak to anyone about it. Not even my best friend. Then this guy comes, this wonderful, perfect guy, and I’m about to tell him everything. He’s supposed to protect me. So I should tell him, right? I push all the babble out of my mind, and answered him honestly. “He raped me.”
My voice was so weak. I had kept it bottled inside me for so long, and it just suddenly spilt out of me. Because he had asked, and he had cared. Now he sat silent, staring at me. He tried to find the right words, but there was nothing he could say to hide the truth of my brutal words.
“Because he was high.” He didn’t phrase it as a question, but I answered him anyway. It felt good to be able to talk to someone.
“Yes. But, that doesn’t change what he did.” I turned my head back to the stars. I couldn’t stand his gaze that spoke pity for me. I didn’t want pity. I just wanted love.
“Why did you never tell anyone?”
“I couldn’t do it. I couldn’t even admit it to myself, let alone someone else. I just kept it bottled up inside, waiting for someone that I could trust enough to tell,” I whispered. He grabbed for my hand, and I curled up to his side. Silent tears fell from my eyes. Not from sadness at the memory, but from happiness that there was finally someone who cared for me.
“Shush. No need to cry. Everything is okay. I’m here for you. He can’t hurt you anymore. Shush . . .” His reassuring words made me smile.
“I’m not crying from sadness, silly. I’m crying because I’m happy.” I looked up at his face, and he looked utterly confused. “I’m happy I found a guy that cares and loves me,” I explained. He kissed the top of my forehead, and we just laid there, relaxing with one another’s touch.