80, wrinkled and surrounded by 60 different cats..
"Emily, get up."
Mum knocked on my bedroom door and I groaned, rolling over in my sleep.
"Emily, you've got half an hour to be up and ready!" She yelled again through the crack in the door. I heard her footsteps grow fainter as she walked back down the stairs.
"Screw you." I muttered, flipping a finger at the door. I knew she couldn't see me but it was still satisfying.
Did Mum seriously want to walk around and act like the perfect family?
I hadn't seen any of Mum's or Dad's family since he died. It was almost as if Mum wanted to isolate herself after his death. Once Trevor came along, he made sure we never spoke to our relatives again. I remember having endless days where I felt insanely lonely, nothing but my teddy bears and barbie dolls to keep me company. Considering it had been six years since I had seen my family, I was feeling a little nervous.
I glanced at the outfit I had bought yesterday that was hung up on my wardrobe door.
Yes, I know, I'm pretty last minute.
It was a light pink dainty dress that ended just above my knees. It had a gorgeous lace collar that made me feel pretty and feminine when I had tried it on. I was wearing nude tights underneath to hide my scars and some white pumps that I'd found in the back of my wardrobe. Comfy but cute.
Mum using Trevor as a threat against me was still fresh in my mind and I couldn't look her in the eyes anymore. I plan on ignoring her and Trevor the whole way there and back. It wasn't as if we had anything interested to say to each other anyway. I mean, how sad is that?
After showering, changing into the dress and completing my hair and makeup, I was finally ready.
"Thirty three minutes, not bad." I grinned, feeling proud of myself. How many other girls can say they got ready in that time?
My stomach still flared up in pain and I was on constant painkillers to dull the pain out but I had managed to make myself look presentable. I grabbed my phone off my bed and tucked it into the small shoulder bag I was taking with me. Exhaling slowly, I opened my bedroom door and walked downstairs.
Let's do this.
The wedding ceremony was incredibly boring.
After being greeted by a hundred and one cousins and aunties I never knew I had, I was officially pooped out. My eyes became heavy, fluttering shut. I was exhausted and my body craved sleep.
A sharp jab in my ribs woke me up suddenly and I hissed in pain, clutching it tightly. I spun my head around, glaring at the culprit – Trevor. He was frowning at me, eyes burning holes through mine. I sighed and sat up straighter, willing for the ceremony to be over soon.
On the plus side, Auntie Mandy looked gorgeous. She was wearing a stunning white floor length dress, her smile lighting up the room. When she had seen me, her eyes filled with tears and she hugged me tightly. I grinned as she repeating over and over again how much I had grown. The woman practically cut off my circulation for a few minutes but I didn't mind.
It's nice feeling like you belong, even if it is only for a day.
After the vows and photographs, everyone began to head towards the party room to celebrate in style. AKA – Get so drunk, you forget your own name.
I walked slowly behind everyone, dragging my feet as I went. All I want is to sleep, is that so much to ask?
"Emily? Is that you?"
I spun around at the mention of my name and my eyes connected with my favorite human ever. Grandpa.
I gasped and ran towards him, my eyes filling up quickly with tears. He opened his arms out for an embrace and I fell into him, knocking him backwards slightly. He chuckled quietly, returning my hug. I rested my head against his shoulders, memories flooding back to me. My emotions suddenly exploded and I began bawling my eyes out, staining his immaculately crisp white shirt.
Eight years. I haven't seen him in eight years.
Grandpa is my favourite person ever.
Every school holidays I'd spend a few days with him and Grandma and we'd spend endless hours by the lake. I listened carefully whilst my Grandad fished and told me all about his adventurous childhood stories. He was older now and a lot smaller than I remembered him. He woody scent remained the exact same and I inhaled it, a smile stretching across my face. Grandad stood back and looked at me, his eyes glistening with unshed, happy tears.
"You've grown up so much Elly," he smiled, sadness filling his eyes.
I grinned at his nickname for me which was music to my ears after not hearing it for so long. I wiped away my own tears, feeling a little embarrassed for the way I had reacted. I always thought about him over the years but didn't know how to get in contact. Mum always refused if I ever asked her for help.
"I've missed you Pops," I cried, hugging him harder. He held onto me and stroked my hair before re-assuring me that everything was going to be okay. He repeated it over and over again —
"I'll make sure of it Elly."
I didn't know how he would make it all okay but I held onto his words tightly.
He's my only hope right now.
I flinched as I pulled my dress over my head, getting undressed. My eyes scanned my body landing on my stomach where huge ugly bruises stared back at me. I feel hideous. They didn't seem to want to heal which concerned me that something was definitely wrong. I sighed, knowing I couldn't go to the hospital to get them treated.
What could I possibly say?
Years of abuse wouldn't go un-noticed by professionals and I knew Trevor would kill me if I went to get help. Part of why he beat me was because he knew the effects of it would last for weeks, if not months. Every time the pain would shoot up, it would remind me of him and the twisted, sick individual seemed to thrive off it.
I was back from Auntie Mandy's wedding but I had made sure to put my number into Grandad's phone so we could stay in contact this time. I felt slightly better knowing I had one person I could rely on. I had just gotten him back so I wasn't ready to let him go anytime soon.
I made Grandad promise me he wouldn't let Mum or Trevor know we exchanged numbers but he was already one step ahead of me, his eyes filling with sadness as he nodded silently. I think a part of him knew I lived in destruction and pain constantly.
I changed into some fresh pyjamas and sat down on my rug before pulling out various different sheets of homework that needed doing this weekend. I didn't mind homework – it meant I had something to do all weekend whilst I was locked inside my bedroom. Trevor never let me leave the house and Mum would tell him if I sneaked out. I had never been out with friends to experience things every teenager should. Sadness filled me as I thought of everything I was missing out on that my friend's weren't.
Parties, boys, hanging out with friends.
All superficial however I wanted to experience it, desperately. I grabbed my phone and scrolled through my contacts, landing on Trish. I rang her and waited patiently for her to answer.
"Hello?" She giggled on the other end, sounding breathless.
"Trish? Are you okay?" I asked, concerned at her difficulty to breathe. She giggled louder and I faintly heard a male voice in the background, instructing her to hang up. I gasped, slapping my knee –
"Trisha Louise Lockwood, do you have a boy with you?!"
She erupted into giggles and I rolled my eyes before ending the call. No way was I listening to my best friend making out with someone through a phone. My nose scrunched up in disgust before I sighed sadly from the lack of my love life.
I'm 16 and never had an actual boyfriend.
Before I knew it, I'd be 80, wrinkled and surrounded by 60 different cats…
The Bad Boy Doesn't Believe Me
I'm completely drenched with rain, head to toe.
My hair is soaking wet and clings to my forehead unattractively as I run under some shelter. I squint my eyes and look around to take advantage of someone with an umbrella. No luck. I sigh and mentally prepare myself to make a sprint for the college doors.
Three. . . Two. . . One.
I run as fast as I psychically can, internally crying as my converse slaps against the wet floor. Pain immediately flares up my side from the simple movement and I wince as I make it to the doors. The pain is much more frequent now and I don't know whether my body can handle this beating. I close my eyes, leaning against the wall for a moment as I struggle to brave the pain.
Moments pass and I inhale deeply before entering. I ignore the amused look from my classmates and head straight for the bathroom.
I let out a groan as I come face to face with my appearance, my hair is a frizzy mess and mascara runs down my cheeks. As for my clothes. . . They stick to me uncomfortably, the material heavy with rain.
The door is pushed open and Ivory walks in, one of my classmates. She takes one look at me and burst into fits of laughter. I scowl and pout at her, signalling for her to pass me some paper towels.
"Do you need some help Emily?" She giggles, handing me a wad of paper towels. I raise my brows —
"Is it that obvious?" I respond, humour lining my voice. Ivory laughs again, her auburn hair flying around her face. Her laugh is infectious and soon enough, I'm laughing alongside her. My body begins to shiver from the cold rain and Ivory smiles at me, shaking her head.
"Wait here, I'll be back in a minute."
I watch her leave and take the opportunity to dry my hair under the hand dryer. It's the closest thing I have to a real hairdryer but did little to tame my mass of hair. I groan again, running my fingers through it as I attempt to make it look more presentable. The door is pushed open again and Ivory re-appears, holding a pile of clothes. She throws them in my direction, giving me a sympathetic look.
"These are the only dry clothes I could find."
"Thank you, you're a lifesaver." I smile at her gratefully, heading into an empty stall to change.
"You're welcome Em, see you in class!" She yells over the cubicle door and I hear her leave, allowing me to get changed in peace.
I hold up the clothes, frowning as I realise they belong to a guy. The hoody is ten times too big and when I pull it on, a familiar scent of cologne mixed with the slightest hint of smoke wraps around me. Jake's smug face immediately flashes through my mind. I groan quietly.
Of course the clothes belong to Jake Melvin.
I step out of my jeans, grimacing as they stick to my legs and pull over Jake's shorts. It's a good job I shaved recently.
I tie the waistband tighter because the minute I let go, they fall round my ankles comically. I look down at myself and let out a deep breath.
"I look a mess," I mutter unhappily, bending down to retrieve my wet clothes from the floor. I place them over the heaters in an attempt to dry them. Next I have to tackle my face.
I decide to remove all my makeup as it's already ruined, streaking down my cheeks. A bruise that hasn't faded yet underneath my eye stares back at me. It's definitely noticable but to me I can see it stick out like a sore thumb. I sigh and rummage through my bag looking for anything to cover it up.
Nothing. Nada. Zilch.
Taking a deep breath to calm myself down, I glance at the bruise again. I'd hide behind my hair and If anyone asked, I'd say I hit myself in the face with something. I open the door and stepped out into a silent, deserted lobby.
Great, now I'm late to class too.
Ditching for the day looked appealing to me but the rain continued to pound down outside and Trevor was at home so I didn't have anywhere else to go. Besides I'm in shorts three sizes too big for me — I'd end up freezing.
I slowly walk to my classroom, pulling at Jake's clothes feeling insecure. I push open the classroom door and greeted thirty set of eyes, thirty oneif you count Mrs Wilkins. My face blushes and I stare at my feet, feeling extremely self conscious. A few sniggers broke out around the class and I look up to meet Mrs Wilkins amused face.
"Take a seat Emily." She gestures towards the only empty seat and I nod, my face burning up immensely.
Trish is staring directly at me, her eyes shining brightly with amusement. I scowl at her and sit beside her quickly. Placing my bag underneath the desk, I glance to my right and my eyes met Jake's. He's leaning back in his chair, one arm draped around the back of it. The other is resting on the table in front of him.
He stares at me before his lips finally twitch up into a smile. I can feel his eyes scanning over me . . . over his clothes. They wonder down my body before gliding back up again and I feel my cheeks burn in embarrassment. I narrow my eyes and stick my tongue out at him childishly. In return he laughs a low sexy chuckle causing me to grin back at him.
Woah Emily, since when is Jake sexy?
I clear my throat and tear my gaze off him before turning towards Trish. She's looking between me and Jake with a confused expression. I shrug in denial, hoping she wouldn't question me over him.
"Wait for me after class, okay?" She whispers and I nod silently, paying attention Mrs Wilkins as she reaches the lesson. No doubt Trish wants to talk to me about the thing between me and Jake but the truth it . . .
I don't know what it is either.
I remained behind after class to catch up on classwork I missed when I hear the door open and shut. I glance up from my papers to see Jake leaning against the door. He simply stood there, his arms folded across his chest as he watches me.
"Are you going to stand there all day and stare at me or actually do something?" My voice trails off with a playful smile on my face.
"I came to tell you to keep the clothes."
My eyebrows shoot up in surprise and I feel slightly taken aback.
"I was going to give them back to you," I tell him quietly. He shakes his head, his lips twitching into a smirk. From across the room I can still make out the sparkle in his cobalt eyes.
"They look better on you."
I feel the blush instantly creep up my neck and onto my cheeks as I stare at my papers, too embarrassed to make eye contact with Jake. My stomach flutters from his words and I have to bite down on my lip to stop myself smiling.
I see Jake walk towards me from the corner of my eye and sit a few seats away from me, swinging his legs on top of the table. My eyes widen at his actions but he appears unfazed as he pulls out his phone from his pockets.
This boy is dangerous and here I am, alone with him.
The silly thing is I don't feel scared. It isn't the same fearful feeling when Trevor is in my presence. I nod slowly to myself.
“It's completely different," I mutter as it dawned on me how petrified I am of Trevor. I mean the man terrifies me.
"Nothing, never mind. I'm thinking out loud." I explain quietly, hiding my face behind my hair so he couldn't see the blush on my cheeks.
"Do you do that often?" Jake responds, humour lining his voice. My blush deepens and I know he's teasing me.
"Only when I'm nervous."
"Why do I make you nervous?"
"You don't." I lied.
"Now you're contradicting yourself Muffin. You told me you only do it when your nervous so why are you nervous?"
"Don't call me Muffin."
"I like Muffin, Muffin suits you."
I scowl, looking up for the first time to show him the effect his pet name has on me.
"I hate it."
"What would you prefer I call you?"
He's looking at me intensely, eyes sparkling in my direction. Moments pass and I feel the air grow thick between us as we silently stare at one another from one end of the classroom to the other.
"Emily?" I finally whisper, clearing my throat. I want my voice to sound confident but it fails miserably.
"Emily is what everyone else calls you."
"It's kind of my name."
"No, I'll stick with Muffin. It's cute, like you."
I shake my head, my lips twitching up into a smile. Jake sits back and grins widely at me, looking like he's won the argument. I look at him from under my lashes and when I do, his eyes narrow and the smile on his face vanishes. My heart begins to pick up pace as I watch his features turn to stone.
He swings his legs off the table and begins to walk slowly towards me, like a predator after it's prey. My heart hammered against my chest as he crouches down, his piercing blue eyes staring straight into mine. His head is tilted slightly and his eyes appear emotionless, miles away from the playful glint in them previously. His alluring scent hit me and I could feel my head spin, throwing me off balance.
I swallow nervously, my gaze flickering back up to his eyes. They are so beautiful. Dark and mysterious, with a story to tell. Swirls of blue mixed in with his eyes and I find myself feeling lost in them, almost as if I'm in a dream induced daze. My breathing hitches as Jake inches a little closer.
"Where did you get that bruise?"
His voice is blunt, snapping me straight out of the daze I'm in. Disappointment settles inside my stomach. Oh right, the bruise.
"Emily, where did you get the bruise?" He repeats, growing impatient. I stare straight back at him and without hesitation, reply in a bored, monotone voice —
"I'm clumsy, I fell down some steps yesterday."
Jake studies me for a second, a deep frown on his face.
"You're lying to me."
I immediately felt a lump lodge itself inside my throat, restricting me from being able to defend myself.
"I'm not." I whisper.
A look of hurt flashes through his eyes before he stands up, walking away from me and towards the door. He swings it open but before he leaves, he turns around and stares straight into my eyes.
"Bullshít" Jake calls me out, his voice low. He doesn't wait for me to reply and pulls his hood over his head, disappearing from the doorway. He leaves me alone in the room, my heart hammering against my chest.
That's when his words dawn on me.
He's the first person to know I'm lying.