The Only Witness
Author's note: Usually I write about love stories or off of a nightmare I have had, but I decided I wanted to... Show full author's note »
ThirteenBy the time I had walked all the way back home my whole body was numb from the cold and as it reached midnight I unlocked my front door and quietly crept inside the dark house. I flipped on the light switch for the kitchen and grabbed a blanket off of the nearest couch in the living room. I was shaking again, but I could not put the blanket on yet so I hurried to get the paper towel roll from the kitchen and bring it over to the table. I sat down, wrapped the blanket around me, and put a wad of paper towels against my bleeding face. The shaking of my body would not stop regardless of how tightly I was wrapped in the blanket but I had no other choice. It would hurt to take off my wet clothes right now so I had to stay put and wait for my body to stop shaking from the cold. I jumped slightly when I heard someone coming downstairs and looked up to see Peter with anger on his face that quickly fell and was replaced with horror. He hurried over to me but froze right in front of me as if he was afraid to touch me because I would break. Suddenly he turned away and ran up the staircase before calling to Dr. Alice who I heard come back downstairs with him. She froze when she saw me shaking at the table and looked to Peter. “Tell Rider to get as many blankets as he can and have Ash come down here,” She ordered before Peter ran back upstairs. When she came over to me I looked up and felt my headache enhance, “Noel, we need to get you into a warm pair of clothes.”
“No!” I whispered in a cry, “I can’t take off my clothes!”
She suddenly left and when she came back she had a sweatshirt and sweatpants in her hands. When she made me stand the ground moved and I started to fall. She grabbed my arms and tried to hold me up, “You have to stand, Noel.”
“The floor is moving! How can I stand!” I hissed as my headache made my ears pulse and I grabbed onto her.
“Are you feeling like you are going to throw up?” She asked with fear and I looked back to her.
“My head hurts,” I whispered, “And it won’t stop.”
She looked up in relief as Rider, Ash, and Peter came into the room, “Peter, keep Noel standing while I change her clothes.”
“What’s wrong with her, Dr. Alice?” Rider asked but they all stopped when I suddenly jumped as Dr. Alice tried to take off my coat. I hissed with pain and she stared at me for an explanation.
“Don’t touch me!”
“If we do not get you into some dry clothes you will go into cardiac arrest and I will have to take you to the hospital, Noel! Do you want that?” She hissed and I froze.
“No,” I whispered, “But I will take off my clothes!” She nodded as Peter let go of me. Everyone watched as I slipped off my jacket and then took off my shirt, but when it was fully off they saw the large bruises on most of my upper body. I put my hand out to Dr. Alice and she handed me the sweatshirt. I slipped it on before pulling off my shoes and pants but she did not give me the sweatpants when I put my hand out to her, “I need those pants.” I insisted and she finally gave me the thing I wanted. I slipped them on and she cleared her throat.
“Ash, you are the biggest of us here so I need you to share your body heat with Noel. Sit on the couch and we will put blankets around the two of you.”
“Okay,” I whispered before trying to walk over to the couches, but fell down because of my shaking legs. Peter helped me stand and get over to the largest of the couches before Ash sat down. I sat beside his and he embraced me with his entire body as my body shook more, “my shaking won’t stop!” I complained as I looked to Dr. Alice.
“We just need to focus on getting your body temperature up to normal and your shaking should stop.” Dr. Alice replied as she sat across from Ash and I at a smaller couch with Peter as Rider wrapped blankets around me before sitting at my side and embracing me.
“What’s wrong with her, Dr. Alice?” Peter asked as I rested my head on Ash’s shoulder.
“She has hypothermia,” She replied before looking to me, “How long were you out in the cold, Noel?”
I looked directly at her, “I started walking at around 9:30.”
“But didn’t you leave in your car?”
“Yea, I did.”
“Then why didn’t you come back in it?”
“My friend needed it.”
Dr. Alice frowned, “Since Anna is not here right now, Noel, you have to tell me the entire truth! I can’t help you if you lie to me about where you were and what you were doing!”
I sighed, “There’s nothing to worry about, Dr. Alice.”
When a tear ran down her cheek I froze and she put her hands over her eyes, “Then why were you beat and raped!” She cried, “You are seriously injured and you’re acting as if it’s alright!” When she looked up to me I felt disgusted with myself, “Why did someone rape you, Noel? Why did you leave and tell Grace your friend’s car broke down and you were going to help him and then show back up hours later with so many injures?”
“If I had told the truth, someone would have stopped me from going and Grace would have been hurt.”
“What do you mean Grace would be hurt?”
I looked directly to Dr. Alice, “The people who hurt me were threatening to hurt Grace if I did not meet them within 30 minutes of that phone call. If I hadn’t driven there they would’ve hurt her.”
“So you drove a car, even though you are terrified of them, in order to protect Grace?”
I nodded, “Of course.”
She became angry once more, “How can you act so calmly about this? You were raped!”
“As long as Grace, Chris, and all of you are alright I don’t care what happens to me,” I whispered, “This is a small price to pay to keep everyone I care about safe.”
“That isn’t the way you should look at this, Noel! You should worry about yourself also!”
I suddenly could not feel my painful body and lost control of my own body, “She’ll be fine soon enough,” Someone said as I saw everyone else stare in shock, “Noel was about to faint so I took over.”
“Anna?” Dr. Alice said with surprise.
“Hey there, Mary, long time no see.”
Annabelle! You came back!
She used my mouth to smile, “Yea, I’m back, but you need to rest right now, Noel. If I hadn’t taken over you would have passed out. I can handle getting your body to a safe temperature so you rest.”
“Anna, what happened today? Do you know?”
Anna nodded my head, “I had been watching everything. I never fully left, but when I tried to take over earlier when Noel was beat she locked me out without even realizing I was there.”
“Then who actually called earlier.”
Anna tried to make my body stop shaking, but it did not work, “A lot in Noel’s life has changed since she left Kennewick. The year Austin died she accidentally became associated with a guy in her college that was part of the mafia. Near that year’s thanksgiving Noel met the mafia boss of this area and he decided he wanted Noel to become one of his mistresses, for lack of a better word. Every time he comes into town the guy she used to be friends with calls and tells her to meet the boss at his place and threatens that if she does not come they will hurt Grace.”
“Is there a way to get her away from them?”
Annabelle shook my head, “They are connected to her by her friend…and also her uncle Sam so they will never let her leave.”
“So what you’re saying is her uncle was involved in the mafia?”
Anna looked to Dr. Alice, “You’re smart, Mary. Yes, Sam was and probably still is part of the mafia, but in order to make it so Sam cannot have us killed Noel made sure to become close to the head of the mafia so he would protect her.”
“How long has this been going on?” Ash asked as his grip around my body tightened.
“It started at about the time Noel gave up on life so right when we moved here and she was in her senior year,” Anna started to shake, “Noel had to abort her first child she was going to have because it was either the boss’s child or her uncle’s child. She actually never had a miscarriage. I made it up.” Anna used my eyes to watch Dr. Alice, “There was a small chance it was Austin’s child, but I told Noel not to risk it. There was such a high possibility it wasn’t his child I felt it was the right thing to do.” Anna seemed to touch me, “Noel, sleep. I can handle this. You need to rest.” She whispered and I slowly fell into sleep as she talked to the group.