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 »
SixFour days later I rode a bus into Kennewick at around 5p.m. I watched as my picture flashed across a screen with Amber Alert flashing below me. Then a list of details explaining where I had disappeared from was announced and I was relieved when the bus stopped where I needed to get off, but when I saw a young girl gasp and hide behind her mother at the sight of me it tore my heart. Six piercings filled my left ear with only my original one on the right, snake bites on my lip were filled with black hoops, my shorter boy-cut hair was now black with red tips, and I wore black sunglasses. For clothing, I wore a baggy black sweatshirt, deep navy jeans that were too big for me and black Vans with skulls on them. My famous ring was in my pants pocket bent so that it was un-wearable alongside the cut up pieces of my father’s necklace and the shards of the pink gems on my mother’s bracelet. I trudged over to my house to see it was the same so I went to the front door and took out my key but as I put it in the lock the door opened. I looked up to a police officer who stared at me as though his glance would make me leave. I put my key back into my pocket and sighed, “Excuse me, but why are you in my house?”
The man seemed stunned, “This is Noel Lovette’s home and we are here searching for any type of clue to where she could be.”
I tried to slide past him but winced as he grabbed me elbow and immediately slapped his hand from me as I hissed, “Don’t touch me!”
He pulled me off of the ground by my jacket and put his face in mine, “I don’t know what you want, kid, but no one is allowed in here!”
I kicked the man in the gut and he grunted as he let go of my jacket. I walked into the house and made my way to the kitchen to see everything misplaced, “Geez, you guys made a mess!” I hissed as I went over to my kitchen and started to clean, but looked up when three officers, Peter, and Rider came in the room.
“That’s the intruder!” The officer from before yelled and I pulled off my sunglasses.
“You’re the intruder! Get the hell outta’ my house!” I hollered and then looked to Peter, “Peter, get them out.”
“Who the hell are you?” Peter demanded and I felt sick. I pulled out my crushed ring and tossed it gently to him.
“This might give you a clue.” I mumbled before placing food back into my fridge, but I jumped when Rider ran over and embraced me.
“Noel!” He yelled as he squeezed me and I felt all of my wounds.
“Let me go!” I hissed and he was shocked, but let go of me.
“What the hell happened to you?” He asked as Peter told the police to leave us for a moment, “You disappeared from the fashion show 4 days ago and you come in here like nothing’s happened!”
I shut my fridge, “I’m just tired and don’t want to deal with police right now, that’s all.”
“Where have you been, Noel?” Peter demanded as he grabbed my arm but when I doubled over, he retracted his grip. I crouched on the ground and cradled my arm as I cried.
“Why’d you have to do that?” I hissed as I looked to him while crying all over the place.
“Are you okay?” Rider asked in fear and I stood. I wiped the tears off of my face.
“I’m fine, my arm is just bothering me,” I mumbled as I looked to the door and saw the police staring, “I’m back so you can leave now!”
“Don’t yell at them, Noel, they are just here to help.” Peter replied as he looked to the police.
“Well they did a terrific job of keeping me outta’ my house so I’ll be sure to thank them later.” I tried to grab a Coke out of the fridge but dropped it when I felt the pain of using my right hand. It exploded on the floor and I just stared at it.
“Rider, go call the doctor and tell her to come over here right now,” Peter demanded and Rider ran out of the room. I looked to him with annoyance before sitting on the counter of my kitchen, “Chief,” He started and one of the policemen came over, “We need to give her some time to calm down, so can you guys go? I will call you once I’ve talked to Noel about what has happened.” He said and they left within a few moments. The house became silent until Rider walked back into the room with his hands in his pockets.
“The doctor will be here in five minutes,” He said as he came over to us, “She said to get her into shorts and a tank top so she can examine her body easier.”
I slid off the counter and looked to Peter, “I’ll go get them.”
“No,” He said as he put his hand on my shoulder, “I will get them. You stay here.” He walked upstairs and I went over to my kitchen table. I slid off my black hoodie to show my long sleeve shirt but looked to Peter as he came back downstairs. He handed me a pair of black athletic shorts and a light blue tank top. I took them and went to the bathroom. When I came out the doorbell had already rung and the doctor’s voice carried from the living room. When I went in the woman and two men of the room froze. I walked over with a slight smile to the doctor before putting my hand out to her.
“It’s good to see you, Dr. Alice.” I said but she did not take my hand. She stared at my bruised body in a horrified way.
“What in the world happened to you, Noel? You’re covered in bruises!” She gasped and I grabbed her wrist. I put her hand on my forehead and she jumped.
“When I checked my fever last night it was 104.”
“You’re burning up! You must have an infection!”
I looked away, “Maybe, I have no clue,” I grabbed onto my right arm, “You should check my arm first,” I whispered, “I’m pretty sure it’s broken in more than one place.”
“Why haven’t you gone to see a doctor?”
I looked to her, “You know I don’t trust most doctors.”
“So you waited for me to check on you?”
I nodded, “It’s childish, but that’s what I did.”
“Alright, lay down on the couch and I’ll look at you,” she said but then turned to the guys, “Could you two wait outside the room?” Dr. Alice was quiet as she checked my whole body and when she was done she turned to the doorway, “You two can come back in.” She whispered and I sat up on my couch. Peter came immediately to the doctor as Rider lingered behind him.
“What’s your prognosis, Dr. Alice?”
She sat on the couch next to me, “Noel has broken her arm and wrist of the same side, has significantly cracked her ribs on her left side, has bruised at least 90% of her body, and…” Dr. Alice took my left hand in hers and I looked to her, “You were raped, weren’t you, Noel?” I stared at her in horror, “But this wasn’t the first time someone has raped you, is it? There are bruises that were from the time before when you were raped. It was recently. I’d guess in the past month but I’m not entirely sure,” Her grip on my hand tightened, “Was the time before the first time you were raped or did it happen before that too?” I looked away from her as tears beckoned to fall, “Noel, you have to tell me. As your doctor and someone who cares, I have to know.”
I looked back to the doctor, “N…no. That was not the first time.”
“When was the first time, Noel?”
I looked to her hand that held onto mine, “I don’t remember the exact time, but it was not long before my parents died.”
“Was it the same person who raped you every time?” She asked and after a moment of silence I nodded, “Who raped you, Noel?”
I looked to my legs, “I can’t say.”
“Noel! You have to tell me!”
I pulled my hand from hers and started to cry, “No! No!” I hollered, “If I tell you he will get angry! Then he will take Peter away from me too!” I put my hands on either side of my head as I felt as though I was going insane, “He took my parents! And if I tell anyone he will take Peter too! Then he’ll go after anyone else I care for! I can’t tell anyone! I can’t! I can’t!”
“Noel! You have to calm down!” She pleaded as she hugged me tightly, “Has this rapist threatened Peter’s life?”
I looked up to her, “If he had not I would never meet with him,” I whispered, “The first time he threatened to kill my parents but I told my dad in assurance he would not find out, but he was the one who killed them!” I cried onto her arm.
“But Guillaume and Charae died in a car accident! The man who checked the car afterwards said something went wrong in the steering wheel!” Peter argued and I shook.
“He did that to the car! The day of the funeral he told me he made it so the steering wheel would get stuck!” I cried, “If I had known he was serious about killing them if I told I would’ve never breathed a word but I was so scared I couldn’t keep it to myself!”
“Of course you were scared!” The doctor said as she pulled me closer, “Has he been continuously raping you since your parents died?”
I shook my head, “He left me alone since I came to live with Peter, but he started again a few weeks ago.”
“What caused him to start again?”
I choked back tears, “It was my fault once again, so I do not blame him for it. Each time I did something to anger him even though I knew the consequence of my actions.”
“Is he the only who cut your hair off before?”
I slowly nodded, “He cut it off with scissors once he knew I was away from Peter but it was all chopped oddly so I went to a barber and that was the best they could do.”
“Did he make you dye your hair and give you those piercings?”
I looked to my legs, “He told me the last time that if I did not stay away from…certain others…he would make it so I could not model and get near those people more.”
“Who did he tell you stay away from?”
I looked to the woman, “Rider, Ash, and all other male models around my age.”
“So he did all of these piercings so that you could not be a model anymore?” She asked and I started shaking.
“Modeling is all I have left that I love so he also took it away! He took away my parents, Peter, Rider, my friends, and my passion! He wants to make it so I have nothing left anymore.”
“Why? What does he have against you?”
I looked away from her, “I’m sorry.”
“You can’t tell us, can you?” She asked and I shook my head.
“Please, I just need everyone to stay out of this so that he does not get angrier.”
She sighed, “Alright, well let’s get a cast on your arm, hand, and ribs so that you can get around and they will heal.”
“Can I take my finals? They start tomorrow.”
“Are you up to it?”
I nodded, “Of course.”
The first three days of testing for me had become a routine. I ignored everyone’s staring at my gothic look; I took my first test, sat on the roof of the school in the sunny parts, took my second test, went home, and slept. For those three days that was all I did, but the last day of testing I had to go to Gym class even though I could not participate in anything with a large cast on my right arm and hand and the corset like thing around my waist that made it difficult for me to move. When I came in that morning I went to my locker, took out my clothes, stuck them in a bag I had brought especially for them, and went out to the gym while ignoring the stares of all the other girls in the class. I walked over to Coach Daniel who was putting up volleyball nets and he turned as he heard me trudging towards him, “Are you not dressing, Noel?”
I shook my head before pulling up the sleeve of my jacket on my right arm, “I broke my arm, so my doctor won’t let me play.”
“That’s too bad but I hope you get better soon. I’m sure you won’t want to spend your whole summer in a cast.”
I nodded, “Yea.” I replied before going and sitting with my back against the navy wall from before. I read a book for the entire two hours and did not look up from the book until I heard someone stop walking in front of me. I looked up to Ash who seemed shocked.
“Noel?” He asked with shock and I smiled to him.
“Hey, what’s up?”
“What’s up? What do you mean? I heard you were abducted and all you have to say is ‘what’s up’? What the hell happened to you!”
“Nothing really. The whole abduction thing was a misunderstanding. I am fine.”
“Then why didn’t you participate today?”
“Peter wrote a note for me,” I replied but when the bell rang I slowly stood, “See you around, Ash.” I added before walking off. I walked through the hall as kids hugged each other and promised to stay in touch over the summer as I pushed my way through the crowds. I walked home since I could not be in a car for a few weeks in fear of my ribs finally breaking. When I got home I was shocked to see Rider’s car in the driveway. I hustled inside but was surprised to hear more than Rider’s voice. I went to my kitchen to see Rider and Ash sitting at the table talking, “You know coming into to my house while I was gone is considered breaking and entering.” I mumbled as I set my bag down before going over to them.
“Why are you in so much clothing, Noel? It’s burning hot outside!” Rider said and I quickly took off my jacket.
“Is that better?”
“How’s your body doing?” Rider asked as he turned towards me, “You look paler than usual.”
I sighed, “That’s because you are here even though you know I feel sick when you are near,” I replied, “Now could you two please…” I started to say but froze when I heard a knock at the door.
“Noel! Unlock this door!” My uncle hissed and I started to shake. I grabbed Rider and Ash and pulled them into the pantry of the kitchen.
“Please! Please stay here! Don’t move!” I begged as I almost started to cry, “I can’t let him find you.” I whispered and they both froze. I shut the doors of the pantry before running to the front door. I smiled towards my uncle as he made his way inside, “I’m sorry, uncle. If I had known you were coming I would have left the door unlocked, but on usual days I lock the door for precaution.”
He walked into the kitchen and I quickly followed behind him, “I see Rick did as I asked with your hair.”
I nodded, “Yes, he did a good job.”
“So have you quit yet?”
I felt myself stiffen, “I am planning to tell Peter tomorrow that I am quitting modeling for good.”
“I told you to get that done as soon as you got here!” He hollered as he came towards me and punched my stomach. I gasped and kneeled on the ground as I was filled with pain, “Do I need to fully break your ribcage for you to understand!”
“I’m sorry, Uncle, I meant to but he hasn’t been here since the day I got back!” I whispered as he pulled me off of the ground and slugged my face. I hit the middle of my back on my kitchen table and slumped to the ground in pain.
“First I come and find you trying to hide the evidence that you let that boy stay over after I told you never to talk to any of that woman’s bastard children! Then he suddenly proposed to you and that all famous Ash punk starts hanging around you! Then you participate in that ridiculous fashion show to commemorate those two morons who didn’t have the brains to use protection when they had sex even though my baby sister was just 17 and that punk was 19! And then I see that photograph of you posing like your mom with another idiot behind you! If I hadn’t made you get an abortion you would’ve ended up just like your mother and had that Rider boy’s child even though you are just now 17! At least his mother was bright enough to wait to get pregnant when she was 19!”
I slowly stood and looked at my uncle with anger, “I told you I was not pregnant but then you go and make me go through abortion!” I hissed but gasped as my uncle grabbed my neck.
“There it is! Those eyes!” He hollered, “No matter how much I change your life and body you still give me those eyes! They are just like hers!” He pinned me to the ground, “I should have killed you instead of your father! Then Charae wouldn’t have been accidentally killed! After that I could’ve gotten rid of that bastard she married and I could’ve had my little sister back!”
I cried more, “When are you ever going to see that I’m not my mom!” I yelled, “You killed her! You took her and dad away! Why do you always blame me when I did nothing wrong? You raped your own niece and when I tried to confront my dad because I was scared you killed them!”
His grip tightened, “Your damn right I killed them! And now I’ll kill that damned man’s best friend!”
“No! I’m sorry!” I cried as I became hysterical, “I won’t oppose you ever again! I’ll quit modeling and I stay away from Rider and Ash! Just don’t hurt Peter! He’s all I have left!”
He quickly stood and pressed his foot on my ribs, “That’s more like it,” He mocked in an evil way, “Now, I want you to leave this god forsaken town. You will be going to another high school so that you cannot be influenced by the models that live around here.”
“Where do you expect me to go?” I said in a breathless way as I felt my ribs bending.
“You will be coming to live with me,” He replied and then took his foot off of my chest. I curled into a ball on the floor as I cried of pain, “Knowing your place has never been your high point, Noel, but lying to the ones you love has been. Make sure you use your skill to tell the others you will be leaving,” I heard the front door open, “I will be back in a week to get you, so be ready…Oh, and you should get your back checked. You seemed to hit that table a little hard.” The door shut quickly and I started crying aloud. I closed my eyes as I shook in horror and pain.
“Noel!” Rider yelled as he ran to me and kneeled in front of me, “My god! We need to get you to a hospital!”
“Call Dr. Alice and then leave!” I hissed, “I don’t want to ever see either of you again!”
“We are not going to let you go with that rapist maniac!” Ash yelled as he came to my side while Rider called the doctor, “Why didn’t you tell anyone your own uncle killed your parents?”
I sniffled, “I would lose Peter if I did.” I whispered, but looked up as Rider came back to my side and kneeled next to Ash.
“We saw everything he did, Noel. There is a crack between the doors of the pantry when they are closed,” He whispered, “But what did he mean he gave you an abortion? We have never slept together.”
“My mother told him she never slept with my father when he asked before she knew she was pregnant so he thought I was doing the same thing. I had to leave those two days a while back because I was so sick from the abortion since there was nothing to abort.”
“Noel!” Dr. Alice yelled as she ran into the house. She gasped as she saw me curled on the ground with the two boys watching me, “Rider! Get her upstairs right now! She needs to be horizontal!” She yelled but when Rider came towards me I put my hand in front of his.
“I can get up to my room myself.” I whispered as I used the chair nearby to get up. My body shook below my own weight as I wiped my tears off of my face.
“You shouldn’t get up, Noel!”
I smiled towards Dr. Alice, “I’m used to it, Dr. Alice,” I whispered as I wrapped my left arm around my ribs, “He’s been beating me since I was old enough to remember and probably before then and I usually don’t have anyone near to help so I can handle this,” I walked over to her, “Really, It’s not too bad because you had me in this corset. If it had not been for that I don’t know how I would’ve managed. He usually does not hurt me this much at one time,” I looked away, “I was actually surprised. This is the first time he has almost come to killing me. I’ve never seen him that angry before.”
“At least let me help you up the stairs.” Rider said as he came over but everyone seemed stunned when I slapped his hand away.
“No, you and Ash should get going. It is dangerous to be around me,” I whispered and started over to the stairs but stopped, “And please don’t tell Peter about what you witnessed today.”
“But…!” Ash started to yell but froze as I crouched to the ground on the first step of the stairs. Dr. Alice sprinted to my side.
“It seems my moving around had caused one of my ribs to finally break.” I whispered in a strained way as Dr. Alice seemed horrified.