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 »
FourIn the morning I straightened my hair, put on makeup I had been given by a cosmetic company a few years back that I had yet to use, a pair of diamond earrings, my father’s symbolic leather necklace that everyone recognized just as much as my mother’s pink crystal bracelet that I put on my wrist, and slipped on my own symbol which was my flat platinum 10 mm thick thumb ring that had a heart cut out of it. Unlike usual, I unbuttoned the top of my shirt and loosened my tie so that neither of them got in the way of my father’s necklace. I then clipped back my strawberry-blonde bangs before grabbing a tote bag I had been given by Victoria’s Secret which I had moved all of my school things to. I went downstairs, grabbed a bagel, and Peter drove me to school, but we were followed by the paparazzi all the way there. I slipped on a pair of Coach Sunglasses before getting out of Peter’s car when he stopped and the paparazzi flooded around us. As he drove away news reporter’s crowded me and I was finally ready for them.
“Lovette! Lovette!” They called and I smiled towards them.
“You must excuse me; I need to get to class.”
A persistent news caster grabbed my arm as I got past the other reporters, “Lovette! When did you enroll into public school?”
I sighed and turned to the woman, “I started going to this school in disguise five years ago when I moved to Kennewick.”
“But why do you choose to now show your true identity and do any of your classmates know who you really are already?”
“My manager decided it was time to let the other students know who I really was in order to cease all suspicions on why I missed so much school, but the only student who knew who I really was would be Ash Williams since he is a fellow model and saw straight through my disguise,” The bell rang and I felt frantic, “Excuse me, I need to go.” I hurried into the classroom but everyone stopped moving when I walked in. I ignored it and made my way to the teacher. I took off my shades, “Sorry I’m later Mr. Eta.” I whispered and he seemed to jump.
“You are the famous model Lovette, right?”
I nodded, “You are correct.”
“Then why are you in my classroom, Miss Lovette?” He asked and I sighed with annoyance.
“I have been in your class for this whole year, Mr. Eta.”
“My full name is Noel Lovette Morel. You know me better as Noel or Miss Morel, but I answer to Lovette also since it is my modeling name,” I replied, “Now if you will excuse me, I need to go to my seat.” I walked quickly over to my seat but it took the teacher a while to get to the lesson. I felt sick by how many people stared at with awe and I couldn’t help feeling alone more than usual. When the class ended the hall was filled with kids flocking around the door to my class and when I came out I was bombarded with them asking for autographs, to be their friend, or to shake their hand.
“Noel!” Someone called and I was shocked by all the people calling out Lovette, someone actually would call me by my real name. I looked over to Ash who came over to me with a smile, “What happened to you? I heard you were in the hospital and we had to reschedule our photo shoot together.”
My joy from hearing my real name plummeted as I looked away, “I’m sorry about that, but I’d really rather not talk about it.” I whispered back before quickly going to English. By this time my teacher had already heard who I really was so I did not need to explain but when I went in I nearly cried as V and Sami ran to me.
“Hey, Lovette! Do you want to hang out at lunch? We haven’t hung out in a while!”
I bit my lip and held back my sorrow, “I’m sorry, I already have plans but maybe some other time.” I replied before the bell rang and they were forced out of the room. I felt as though I floated between English and Math but when the bell rang for lunch I had to keep myself from crying. Now, I couldn’t even go to the library because I would be followed. I went out of the class and was attacked by offers to eat lunch with tons of people but I quickly ran out of the hallway and went up the staircase nearby. I kept going up to the top floor and then made my way to a door most students had yet to open. I shut the door and hustled up the other staircase to the rooftop. I went to a small shaded spot of the roof and sat down with my head against a brick wall. When I looked down to my father’s necklace tears fell and I could not stop them. My tears did not stop flowing down till I heard someone walking on the roof near me. I quickly brushed away my tears and pretended to be reading something on my phone.
“Noel?” A boy asked and I looked up in shock at the voice.
“Rider!” I hollered and jumped to my feet. I embraced the man as he also held me tightly, “What in the world are you doing here! You are supposed to be in Fiji filming you next episode of ‘Oceans’!”
He let out a deep laugh, “Well I was in Fiji when I heard you were in the hospital so I jumped onto my jet but ironically, on my flight here Peter called and asked me to be in a photo shoot with you. He also called my manager and explained that he needed me here for a few weeks so I have been enrolled in your school,” He brushed my hair out of my face, “Also, I plan to be your bodyguard against whoever did those horrible things to you. Peter said it was a girl at school so I came to check it out.”
“You are the best guy ever!” I gushed and then hugged him again before allowing him to take my hand in his and lead me back into the school. When we got down to the main level he brought me over to a men’s bathroom.
“Stay right here. I have to change,” He ordered and I nodded. I leaned against the wall by the bathroom but was mortified when I saw V standing with Chase, Sami, and Colin who watched me as I waited. I was relieved when Rider came out of the bathroom in the boys’ uniform which fit him perfectly. The navy sports jacket with pink lining on the inside, the nice button-up white shirt, the navy tie, the black slacks, and black shoes, all of it fit him with grace and ease. He kissed my forehead with kindness, “Sorry for the wait.”
“So?” He asked before turning all the way around in front of me, “How do I look?”
“Possibly better than you did before.” I replied with a smile.
I nodded, “But it’s a shame your muscular arms have to be hidden by that shirt and jacket.”
He laughed, “Now you sound like one of my adoring fan girls!”
I laughed too, “No, if I was one of them, I’d be hanging off of you while pleading for you to date me.”
He suddenly became serious and lightly grabbed my chin between his thumb and index finger, “I definitely wouldn’t mind that.”
I smiled, “I’m sure you wouldn’t.”
He cleared his throat, “So, which girl is the one that’s ass I have to kick for getting you hospitalized?”
“You really don’t have to do that,” I replied, “I actually want to pretend the whole thing never happened.”
“If you let others push you around, Noel, they’re never going to stop pushing you around.”
I sighed and looked to him, “Yea, ‘cause this would be better,” I pretended to hold a newspaper and read it, “Breaking news! Top model Lovette banned from private school for violence!” I looked back to his face, “I have a perfect image to uphold. For me and for Peter.”
“But that headline could read: hottest female model finally stands up for herself against cruel classmates.”
“What fairytale is that paper in? In the real world, news reporters twist your words to make you sound cruel in order to earn a few bucks.”
I shook my head, “I’m smart enough to come up with my own lines, thank you.”
“I know that.” He said with a smile as the bell rang, “So where’s our first class?”
“Our first class?”
He nodded, “We have the same schedule.”
“Follow me,” I said as I took his hand in mine. We went to Physics where Rider insisted to sit by me and I was happy to be near him. After the bell rang he looked to me for more instruction, “Uh, next is gym.”
“Is this where the girl tripped you?”
I looked away from him, “Let’s just go.” I whispered before quickly making my way to the locker room. I separated from Rider for the first time since he showed up and felt unsettled. I quickly changed into my gym uniform but was shocked when the girl who tripped me ran over to me. I jumped back slightly as she came closer.
“Omigosh, who would’ve ever though quiet, keep-to-herself Noel would actually be Lovette! I nearly fell over when I saw you this morning.” She said with a happy smile and I wanted to run away from this cruel and insensitive girl. Luckily, the female gym teacher told us to go outside and I was allowed to move away, but the girl followed me. When we got outside I saw reporters being pushed away by Coach Daniel and Rider so I stayed near the tennis courts until they were gone. Rider quickly came over to me once he was finished.
“You okay? You look pale,” Rider said as he took my hand in his, “Did you have another encounter with the girls that hurt you?”
Suddenly a strong hand grabbed my shoulder and I looked to Ash who stared at me, “Wait, a girl at our school injured you?”
I shoved his hand from me and grabbed onto Rider’s shirt, “Get away from me Ash, I told you to stay away!”
He seemed angered, “What’s the big deal if I’m near you?”
I looked to his face with power, “You are the reason I was attacked by girls in this class! I hate that you won’t leave me alone and then I’m injured because you are paying attention to me!”
“Those girls injured you because this guy was paying attention to you? Why do they care?”
“Rider, this is Ash Williams.”
“Ash Williams! Well, well, well!” Rider said with slight sarcasm, “I’m sure all the girls want your autograph!”
“And who are you?” Ash asked in a snobby tone.
Rider put his open hand towards Ash, “Rider Stevens, part time model and the leading male character on the number 1 TV show in the country,” He replied as Ash shook his hand, “Noel and I were childhood friends and ended up doing hundreds of photo shoots together. My mother was good friends with Noel’s mom.”
“Let’s get started! Everyone to the tennis courts!” Coach Daniel hollered and I quickly took Rider’s hand in mine so I would not be separated from him by the large crowd forming around us, “One boy and one girl per team, but you may choose your partner,” Rider squeezed my hand slightly and I leaned on him in response to his question as a yes. We went over to a court and were put against V and Chase who were much better than us. But because I gave all of my effort and Rider used his well toned body to play, we won by two points. Then we followed the group into the gym where the gymnastics equipment was set up, “Miss Morel! Could you give us the honor of showing your skills on the mats?”
I let go of Rider’s hand and went over to the long mats. I started off in a sprint and then started 8 front hand-springs but ended with a double back flip. The class clapped but seemed to silence when I ran over to teacher, “Coach Daniel, I need to go to the bathroom.” I mumbled through my hand as I tried to cover my mouth.
I quickly took my hand from my face and he gasped like the others to see blood dripping out of my mouth and onto my chin, “I need to go to the bathroom, Coach Daniel.”
“Yes! Go! Go!” He insisted and I put my hand back over my mouth before sprinting out of the room. I ran down the hall and to the bathroom where I leaned my open mouth over the sink. Blood slowly dripped in a small stream off of my chin as I waited. When it finally slowed down and was barely dripping I cleaned off my face with a paper towel that I put water on and then stuck a dry paper towel in my mouth by my cheek. I made my way to the locker room where I changed out of my gym uniform and back into my usual one. As I went into the gym Coach Daniel came over to check me out, “Did you get it under control?”
I nodded, “My stitches were pulled on slightly.”
I nodded, “I have a few in my mouth.”
“Well I hope you’re better soon.” He said before walking away. A few minutes later Coach Daniel told everyone to change so I waited outside the boys’ locker room for Rider. He was the first one out of the locker room in order to see me.
“So what the hell happened back there? You were fine and then suddenly were bleeding.”
“The stitches in my mouth were pulled on somehow and my mouth bled. But it seems to have stopped,” I pulled the paper towel out of my mouth and then nodded, “Yea, it stopped.”
The bell rang to signal the end of class, “Peter is going to let me drive you to the studio,” He informed me and I nodded. We left through the front of the school but he suddenly stopped in the grass we were walking through to get to his car. He knelt to the ground and then took my hand in his, “You dropped your ring.” He informed me as he slipped it on my thumb. When he stood I kissed his cheek.
“Thanks. I wouldn’t know what to do if I lost it.” I said before taking his hand back in mine and then he led me to his car. The blue mustang was fast and magnificent as Rider drove to the studio I was going to be shooting in today. When we got there I noticed Peter waiting while smoking and leaning against his car. He quickly came over to Rider’s car and opened the door for me. He helped me out as Rider parked the car and shut it off.
“Let’s get inside.” Peter said before leading us into the glass window covered building. We went to the top floor where a familiar looking photographer smiled towards me.
“I was so surprised when your manager called and told me that he wanted to change the second model that would be shooting with you to the famous Rider! Granted, it was a large loss for that other fellow who was supposed to be shooting with you, but it was a great gain for us! I have seen the photographs you two took as children when you both started your modeling careers and I am excited to do some new ones!”
“So what is your thought on what we will be trying to create in this shoot?” Rider asked as he wrapped his arm around me.
“Since this is for men’s cologne I was thinking we would create a scene where you are both in beautiful, expensive clothes at a party and Lovette is drawn to you by the smell of the cologne where she will cling onto you with passion.” He said and I nodded.
“Alright, then let’s get you two into wardrobe and makeup.” Peter announced and the two of us were brought into two different areas to get ready. The stylists assigned to me put my strawberry blonde hair into large ringlets that reminded me of the photo shoot I was made to look like a princess; I was put into dark eye makeup, given a deep red lipstick, and slipped into a long, black dress. The dress was as deep as night in color, floor length, had a slit from the bottom to the top part of my thigh, and was strapless except for the thin diamond covered strip of material that went over my shoulder before wrapping around me twice, once above my breasts and once below my breasts, and ended in the front once more in a swirl off to the side near my stomach. Thin strapped stilettos were put on my feet but laced halfway up my calf as the head stylist placed long dangling earrings made of three strips of tight woven chain that had diamond teardrops at the ends. I was allowed to keep on my signature ring, but was forced to take off my mother’s bracelet and my father’s necklace. I was brought out of the changing area but froze when I saw Peter talking with Ash who was in a tuxedo. I picked up my dress slightly before quickly walking over to Peter who smiled as he looked back to me, “You look stunning today, Lovette.”
I smiled in agreement but then looked to Ash, “What are you doing here, Ash? Do you also have a shoot today?” Ash was in a typical tuxedo, but he seemed to make it more glamorous than it was. His black hair and blue eyes seemed more accented by the clothes.
He let out a small laugh, “We are in the shoot together, Lovette, so of course I also have a shoot today.”
I looked to Peter, “But I thought the photographer decided to have Rider in the photographs with me.”
Peter nodded, “That was the plan, but when Ash came in earlier the photographer decided to put all three of you in the shoot.”
I turned to Ash while holding back anger, “But if you didn’t have a shoot originally, why did you come here, Ash?”
He sighed, “Well you left so quickly earlier and then I couldn’t find you after class so I was worried your mouth was still bleeding and I came to make sure you were okay.”
“Thank you for your concern, Ash, but I am fine.”
“Did you bother your stitches, Lovette?” Peter asked and I nodded, “The doctor said for you not to do anything to bother them. Maybe you shouldn’t participate in gym for now.”
“It’s alright as long as I don’t do anything too strenuous again.”
“Make sure you do that,” Peter said but then he suddenly turned, “And you watch her to make sure she keeps her word, Rider!”
“You got it, Peter,” Rider said as he walked over to us but he stopped when I picked up my dress and ran to him, “Damn! You’re as hot as ever, Noel,” He said with a smile, “It’s been a while since I’ve seen you in a black dress.”
I spun around for him and then stopped with a smile back, “You don’t look shabby yourself,” I replied with a small laugh, “oh! Wait!” I added and then went over to him. I adjusted a piece of hair that was out of place, “The stylist must not have realized you have an odd hair part.” I explained and he smiled in thanks when I was done.
“Is everyone ready?” The photographer asked as he came over to the four of us, “Since Ash has been added to the scene it will be changed slightly,” He went over to Rider and handed him a pair of old fashion glasses, “Rider will be the ‘nerd’ male of the scene that is wearing the cologne,” the photographer turned to me, “Lovette will be the woman drawn to Rider,” he then turned to Ash, “And Ash will be the hot model who is left by his girl, Lovette, because she is drawn to Rider. Now! Show us what you three can do!” I grabbed Rider’s hand and led him over to the scene created to look like an elegant dance floor and the other people of the shot were already placed around the area designated for us while wearing tuxedos and expensive dresses, “Ash should be standing near the other groups of people while looking angrily as Lovette hangs on Rider.” The photographer announced and Ash moved a ways away from us as Rider put the glasses on and then stuck his hands in his pants pockets while leaning slightly away. I draped my hands on top of each other on his shoulder that was closest to me, I leaned myself against him, bent my legs as if I was dizzy from his smell, and put a almost erotic face on. After hundreds of shots were taken we were finished. I changed back into my school clothes and rushed out to the photographer who complemented me on a job well done. When Peter came over with Rider in tow, the three of us went out to the two cars.
“Rider, where will you be staying?”
Rider looked to me, “At a hotel near school.”
“Why don’t you stay with me? I have enough room.”
“I’d love to, if it’s okay with Peter. I mean it is his house.”
“Please?” I asked as I looked to Peter who sighed before nodding, “Alright!” I cheered and then hopped into the passenger’s seat of Rider’s mustang. It only took us 30 minutes to get to my house, which I had to direct him to since this was his first time coming to my home. He parked in the driveway and then followed me through the front gate and to the front door. I used my key to unlock the door and walked in. I flipped on the front light switch that lit up the empty hallway in the front of the house.
“You live here?”
“Home sweet home,” I replied before setting my backpack beside the door as he walked in. I shut the door and then walked to the kitchen. Rider locked the front door for me before following to the kitchen. I turned on the lights and slipped off the jacket of my school uniform, “Are you hungry? I can call for pizza or make something.”
“I’ll take whatever you want.” He said with a smile as I went to the fridge.
“Is pizza okay?”
I took out two frozen individual pizzas and put one in the microwave. I went to the fridge again and took out two cokes before going to sit back down at the table. I passed one of the sodas to Rider, “So how’s your family?”
He sighed, “Mom’s living pretty off of her divorce money and the money she still has from her modeling days, Darcy is in her third year of Yale, and Sam…well let’s just say I haven’t killed him yet even though I’ve thought about it.”
I smiled, “Sam’s just a rebellious, brand new teenager.”
“Yea, but he won’t leave me the hell alone.”
“He looks up to his very accomplished brother.” I replied but stood when the microwave buzzed.
“So how have you been? I haven’t seen you in almost a year.”
I stuck the other pizza in once I had taken the first one out and then brought the one that was finished to Rider as the other one started cooking, “Me, I’m alright. Everything was going great for a while. I had two great and dependable friends, was doing perfectly in school, and kept my two lives separated from each other. That’s how everyday was until I met Ash and everything went to hell,” I sighed, “ever since I met him my whole world has been flipped upside down.”
“That guy’s a real piece of work, I can tell you that,” Rider said as I took a sip of my soda, “He is the reason you were injured and yet he didn’t even apologize or come see you in the hospital. Then, once his career depends on it, he suddenly is concerned about you and is coming to check on you.”
“I don’t understand why he suddenly is all caring.”
Rider snorted, “You’re joking, right?”
He gave me a very childish smile, “He’s jealous. Before I came to town he had no competition on getting you, but now that I’m here he’s trying to get into your heart before it’s too late and you’re taken.”
“You think he’s jealous?” I asked as I stood when the buzzer on the microwave went off again, “I think it’s more that he’s an ass than anything else. I swear! What did he think was going to happen if a star suddenly started noticing a girl like I pretended to be? Of course I was beat up! It’s common knowledge that you should never do that to someone if your fans are near!”
Rider nodded as I sat back down, “He probably hasn’t been popular long enough to figure that out.”
“Also, he acts like he’s a big shot when he’s around me! What? Does he think I’ll find his arrogance charming? As if!” I hissed before taking a bite of my pizza but when Rider smiled I became uneasy, “What?”
“Nothing, I’m just glad my first impression was wrong.”
“What was your first impression?”
He took a bite of his pizza that was suddenly halfway gone before leaning on his hand, “I thought you were in love with him.”
I choked on my drink for a second and coughed a few times before looking to him, “What! He got me beat up!”
“I mean before I knew that part of the story. He’s into you so why is it so crazy for me to think you might be into him?”
“I wouldn’t even consider being his friend! He’s just like everyone else in this industry! Fame and money obsessed! He acts like he’s the best thing ever and it really pisses me off!”
“Well I’ve never met any of your boyfriends so I don’t know what your type is.”
I flicked a crumb off my plate at Rider, “You and I both know I’ve never had a boyfriend.”
“Then what’s your type? You obviously have high standards.”
I nodded, “Am I not allowed to have high standards?”
“Not at all, that’s not what I meant. I just meant that it’s not a lack of guys who like you, I mean name anyone and I know he’d date you in a heartbeat, so it has to be that you haven’t found a contender yet.”
I leaned back in my seat, “You know what type of man I like?”
He leaned towards me, “Enlighten me.”
“A man just like my dad,” I whispered as I looked down to my dad’s necklace, “Fearless, caring, dedicated, not obsessed with material possessions or fame, and above all, a man that puts me before others.”
“And you haven’t found anyone like that?”
I sighed, “Only one.”
“And who’s the lucky guy?”
I stood and grabbed his plate, “The moron across the table,” I replied with a smile and then walked over to the sink with the two plates in hand. Rider watched me as I came back to the table and took a sip of my soda, “Otherwise I would not even let you near me.”
He gave me a frown, “Then why have you denied me every time I’ve asked you to date me? You know I’m in love with you.”
I looked away, “Your career has no place for a girlfriend, let alone someone as busy as me.”
“Then I’ll quit!”
I froze and looked to him with anger, “You can’t be serious.”
“I’m dead serious.”
“But you love modeling and acting.”
“I do, but I love and care about you more. If you’d let me, I would give up anything to be with you.”
“I can’t tie you down like that, Rider, not right now. Your career is at its peak,” I whispered and he looked away from me, “Are you mad at me?”
He stood angrily and I knew we were going to get into the fight that’s impact made him choose to leave me and go to ‘Oceans’ for his first acting job. When he came over to me I looked up but was shocked when he kissed me. That was my first kiss, “You’re doing it because you care about me. How can I be mad when you’re denying me because you like me?” He sighed and stretched his arms, “Even if we aren’t going to be together, I’m not going to give up because I know someday will be the day you realize we can finally be a couple.”
I quickly stood and hugged him, “Thank you for understanding,” I whispered before letting go, “I’ll show you your room,” I added and then waited as he went to get his suitcase that Peter had given him before we left the studio. I then led him up the stairs and to the best guest room of the house, “Here we are.” I said and he opened the door.
I leaned against the door, “Peter designed it.”
“Really?” He asked and I nodded, “Well that man can be very surprising sometimes.”
“Well I need to get ready for bed,” I said and he looked back to me, “We need to leave to get to school at around 7:45. Goodnight.” I added before walking away from the door. I went to my room and took a quick shower before falling to sleep while watching the video of my parents and me before my birthday party.
The doorbell was rung repeatedly at a quick pace and I jumped out of bed in shock. I ran to the door and looked through the peep hole to see hundreds of reporters and news vans in my yard and around my house, “What the heck!” I hollered but looked up the stairs when I heard someone sprinting. Rider looked down to me from the top of the stairs while his blonde hair was in all different direction and he only had on a pair of sweatpants.
“Where’s the fire?” He asked in a grumble and I leaned against the door with a yawn.
“Something must’ve happened. Either that or its national reporters have a pow-wow on my lawn day.”
“What time is it?”
I sighed and then stood regularly, “I have no clue,” I mumbled before going into the kitchen and turning on the TV to news. A blonde haired woman smiled towards the viewer while talking about weather as I looked at the time, “It’s only five! Don’t reporters have better things to do than this at this time of the morning?”
“Does it say what happened?” Rider asked as he sat down at the table a few feet away and laid his head down.
“Not yet.” I replied and then we both became silent.
The news camera shot over to a black haired girl who smiled, “Thanks, Clair,” She started off, “In other news, fans of the famous female model Lovette and fans of the lead male role of ‘Oceans’ are in a panic over shocking footage that was taped by one of our reporters. It seems the famous Rider Stevens has proposed to his good friend, Lovette Morel, while picking her up from school!”
“Do what!” Rider hissed as he flew over to my side. We both watched as a videographer showed the scene yesterday when Rider picked up my symbolic ring that I had dropped and when I kissed his cheek.
“We have yet to get confirmation on whether the kiss planted by Lovette was indeed a yes to the proposal,” She cleared her throat, “But stunning footage taken last night shows us that the kiss was most likely a yes since Rider Stevens was seen being led into Lovette’s home by her late in the evening. There will be more news given tonight by the two stars on what really happened last night.”
“Oh my god!” I hissed, “They cannot be serious!” My mind processed what exactly was going on and I sighed, “Peter is going to kill us when he hears about this.”
Rider placed his hand on my shoulder, “The way I see it, we have two choices. Either we have to separate for some time or we have to get together.”
“You mean we either cannot see each other or we have to be close to marriage?” I asked as I looked back to him.
“I’m not saying we would be engaged, I’m saying we would date. Neither of us is ready to think about marriage.”
“Rider,” I started to explain but jumped slightly when the house phone rang. I quickly ran over to it and picked up, “Hello?”
“What the hell is all this stuff about this boy proposing to you?”
He cut me off, “It doesn’t matter anyways. I’m on my way to your place right now so I’ll meet with him in about 5 minutes.” He quickly hung up the phone and I felt myself shake. I turned as Rider put his hand on my shoulder.
“Is everything alright?”
I nodded, “I’m sorry, Rider, but you have to get out. Right now!” I yelled as I pushed him towards the stairs.
“What the hell? What do you mean I have to go?”
I forced him up the stairs and then to his room. I pulled out his uniform from his stuff and then threw it at him, “I’ll explain later, but for now you have to get out! Change! Quickly!” He did as told and put on his uniform while I gathered all of his things into his suitcase. I handed him the suitcase before pushing him down the hall, forcing him down the stairs, and shoving him out of the front door, “Take your car and go to the hotel you were going to go to last night. I will meet you at school and explain everything.” I shut the door and flew up the stairs to the room Rider had stayed in. I tried to clean up as much as possible but looked up in horror when the door opened. My uncle stared down at me as I felt my body overcome with terror.