“Rise and shine, love bug!” I woke with a violent jolt and crash landed onto the floor.
My father, with a tray of food in his hands, looked down at me like I was a sort of escaped mental patient and not his daughter.
“What in the wide, wide world of sports is up with you?” He asked as I hastily got off the floor. “You’re acting pretty suspicious.” He squinted his eyes at me and I froze.
I was a terrible liar.
He belted out a boisterous laugh.
“Lighten up, Mikk.” He placed the tray on my bed and sat down. “I know you’re not loving this whole move of your moms,” I could hear her downstairs banging and pounding and singing, turning this place into hers, “but try to look at the glass half full.” I sat on my bed, next to my dad, and I placed a head on his shoulder. He handed me a cup of coffee and I sighed with a content smile on my face.
‘You’re right, I just have to find the silver lining in the dark cloud,” My dad gave me an enthusiastic and tight squeeze.
“That’s my love bug!” He stood up and headed toward the door. “Oh and don’t spend too much time getting dolled up, you have to be at the bus stop in 30 minutes.” As my dad left the room, I started to think about the private school I was about to go to.
I have only gone to one school in my whole life. I had friends I had known since I was in diapers. Now I was going to be thrown to the well dressed and upper class wolves.
I had to admit one thing, the uniform wasn’t too bad; there was a long sleeve white shirt, (also a short sleeve for when the weather was nice but, really, how often does that happen here?) a gray vest, a black and grey plaid tie and skirt, knee high black socks, and comfortable black dress shoes. I gathered up the uniform and headed into the bathroom to get ready.
“Oh Mikkel! You look so adorable!” My mother exclaimed as I walked down the stairs with my bag and overcoat in my arms. “You look like a college Barbie doll!”
“Mom, I look nothing like Barbie,” I shook my head, causing my long wavy ponytail to brush against my dad.
“That’s right,” he said. “You look better.” He gave me a kiss on my cheek and put a mug of hot coffee and a green apple on the table in front of me.
“Thanks Dad, so where is this bus stop I need to go to?” I asked as I threw my large overcoat onto my back, followed by my bag.
“Oh, it’s down at that little park you went to yesterday!” Once again I almost choked on my coffee. I remember a certain bad experience at that park. I desperately prayed that they wouldn’t be lurking there.
“Mikkel, what is with you this morning?” My dad inquired as he and my mom sat themselves at the breakfast table. “That is the second time you have almost died right before my eyes!” I turned away from my dad, I couldn’t hide anything from him, not to mention me being a terrible liar didn’t help.
“Oh, I’m going to be late!” I grabbed my apple and mug and ran to the door. “I love you guys!” I yelled as the door slammed behind me. I kept running once I was outside. I had no desire to get to that park and rick seeing those girls again, I also didn’t want to spill my beans to my dad about the whole truth.
So I ran.
I arrived at an empty park and sighed with relief. They weren’t here, no one was. I was alone. I walked up the bus bench and sat down, pulling my hood up. It was starting to rain. I looked down at my shoes, wishing I had some rain boots. I was going to have to shop for more Seattle friendly wardrobe. A few more minutes passed. I finished my apple and my coffee and was feeling a bit wired.
I decided to walk around the park, the bus must be running late or something. I kept pacing, back and forth, back and forth. I was thinking about those people I met in that teeny house in the woods.
They all seemed like a close knit group of friends. They also called my attackers the Decatur group. I wonder if that was their name and if they were all related? I looked up at the woods and felt my heart stop.
The boy that was with the Decatur group, the boy that made me a tad uncomfortable with his staring, was once again staring. He was right at the tree line of the forest, leaning against a tree with an unknown look on his face.
I quickly turned around to head for the bus stop, only to see those three girls there, watching me with their smug grins and $400 shoes.
“Oh shit,” I whispered. I didn’t know what to do. Do I go to the bus stop? Do I try to run home? Fight or flight, fight or flight.
I took a deep breath and walked toward the bus stop. Ignoring the three girls, I sat down. I tried to keep my breathing even, I tried not to show I was afraid but that got hard when I heard more footsteps behind me.
“Hey,” I jumped out of my skin and landed in a forming puddle on the sidewalk. The girls laughed at me. “Jesus girl, what is your problem?” The boy who was staring at me, the boy named Josh, looked down at me with a sour look.
“You scared me,” I shakily got up and looked down at my skirt, shoes and the bottom of my overcoat, they were completely soaked through. I sighed and let a few angry tears fall, it was raining so it wasn’t like anyone could see them.
I heard the bus before I saw it and by then, it was too late. As the bus pulled up to the curb, it threw a tidal wave of water, soaking me to the bone. The shock of the water fall threw me back against the bus bench. I heard laughs and snickers coming from the now ten of them.
“Sucks to be you, bitch!” the brunette yelled as she and her group got on the bus.
I couldn’t stop shaking. I was freezing cold and my clothes were heavy.
I looked up at the boy Josh as he passed by me to get on the bus.
He stopped in the open doors, he looked in the direction of his friends and hopped right back off.
“We should get you warmed up,” He said softly as the bus driver closed his doors and drove away.
“You live nearby?”
I sniffed, hating that I couldn’t get warm.
“My house is just down the street,” I answered, I started walking in the direction of my house. Josh followed.
“I’m sorry about what my sister said,” He replied in a low voice. “She isn’t always like that, once you get to know her she’s a real sweetheart.” I sneezed loudly.
“I don’t want to get to know her, I don’t want to know any of you!” I walked faster in an attempt to get away from Josh but he was able to keep up.
“That’s a little unfair don’t you think? I mean, if you can be friends with the Vulca group why can’t you be friends with us?” I stopped dead in my tracks, did he really just ask that?!
I turned around to face him.
“Three of your fucking whores jumped me for no fucking reason! Then another one calls me a bitch! Charlie,” he seemed to grimace at the sound of my rescuers name, “saved me and took me to his home, where he and his other friends became my friends and helped me out. Charlie, Claire, Ayedan, they are all better people than you. They are better than you and your whole fucking clique will ever be!” I was never one for swearing but this boy brought it out in me.
I turned back around and headed straight for my house. Josh, to my dismay, was still following me.
“Just leave me alone, I don’t need you help!”
“I think you do,” He answered, having to almost yell due to the pouring rain. I scoffed.
“Whatever,” I made it to my house and headed toward the backyard.
Josh gave me a confused look.
“Where are you going?” He asked as he followed me.
“I don’t have a key!” I yelled at him as I began to climb the lattice fence.
I looked down at Josh just to see him mouthing something.
The rain was coming down so hard I couldn’t hear him.
“What did you say?!” I yelled.
His face turned into a look of shock as I heard him yell over the rain.
“Look out!” I looked up and saw a thick broken branch falling right toward me. I quickly jumped from the lattice fence and onto the cold mud below. Josh was nowhere in sight. I looked up and was just about to be crushed by the trunk when I was roughly pulled several feet. The branch barely missed crushing my toes.
Josh had pulled me out of harm’s way just in the nick of time.
I slowly turned my head to look up at him, only to see him looking at me.
He had dazzling hazel green eyes.
“You know,” he said as he helped me to my feet. “I don’t even know your name.”
I casually shrugged myself out of his arms and stood up straight.
“My name is Mikkel.” He smiled, exposing perfect straight white teeth.
“Mikkel,” He extended his hand to me. “I’m Josh.” We shook hands and stood in an awkward wet silence for a few minutes.
A huge crash split the air and we both looked up, only to see another huge branch slammed into my room.
“Sonofabitch!” I yelled. “Cock sucking, mother whore cunt bag dick wart son of a blue waffle whore!” I just let loose a flurry of swear words saying words I didn’t even know I knew. Josh stood there, looking at me like I was insane and also trying not to laugh at the same time.
My rant lasted ten minutes.
After my head became clear, I realized I needed to call my dad. He had to know that there was a huge hole in the house.
Only, I didn’t have a cell phone and the phone company wasn’t due to come to the house until tomorrow.
I looked over at Josh, who was surveying the damage. ‘I’m sure he has a cell phone,’ I thought. ‘I’ll ask.’
I walked up to him just as he was about to walk toward me. We bumped into each other like one of those cheesy sappy T.V. moves.
I cleared my throat and asked about a cell.
He shook his head.
“I never much believed in cell phones. Old fashioned I guess,” I scoffed as his lame joke. “I do have a house phone.” A house phone, as in a phone in his house. I really didn’t want to go to this dude’s house, his friends were rude and I had an uneasy feeling about being alone with him. He seemed dark.
But I needed to get a hold of my dad to let him know of the huge shit (and rain) storm inside my room.
So I went with him.
His house was pretty modest. It had four bedrooms, two bathrooms a connected living room and kitchen and a big backyard. He led me to the phone which was next to the T.V. I shakily dialed my father’s work phone at the T.V. station.
After a few minutes I was able to get though and informed him of the terrible situation at home.
Once I hung up the phone, I realized that Josh had disappeared. I had no idea where he was.
“Hello? Josh?” I maneuvered my way toward the bedrooms only to walk right into him.
“Oh my! You scared me. I need to go home now, my dad is on his way.”
He nodded his head and placed a hand on my back, leading me to the door.
“Jesus Christ, Mikkel. You’re freezing!” Only when he mentioned it did I notice it.
“I guess I should hurry back before all my clothes get wet.” I started heading out the door but Josh’s strong grip stopped me.
“You can borrow some of my sister’s clothes.” I grimaced thinking about the skimpy and dark clothes she wore. Not to mention those monster heels.
“I don’t think your sister and I have the same taste in clothing.” I snorted, getting a look in reply.
“Not Staci’s or Emma’s I’m talking about my older sister May. She lives down on Colorado with her husband. She left some of her clothes here and I’m one hundred percent sure that they would fit you.” I sighed as he led me to a huge closet like storage space.
He handed me a pair of jeans and an old faded Seahawks shirt.
“Thank you,” I murmured as I headed toward the bathroom to change.
When we finally got back to my house, my dad was already there, barking orders at some dude on our roof.
“Hey Dad!” I called out. My dad didn’t reply, he hurriedly ran down to where Josh and I were standing.
He swept me up into his arms.
“Oh Mikkel! I was so worried. I came home and saw the trees all over the yard and in your room!” My dad let go of me and held onto my hands. “I don’t think we’re going to have this done anytime soon, Lovebug. I could probably make room in our room for you.” I thought about how my dad grinds his teeth in his sleep. No thank you.
“Dad, what if I stayed with a friend?” His eyebrows raised, then he saw Josh.
“Not this friend I hope,” my dad roared, causing Josh to take a step back from me.
“No. A girlfriend named Marie. I’m pretty sure she wouldn’t mind.” My nodded and gave me another hug.
“Sadly, it seems all your clothes are wet.” He grabbed his wallet from his jeans pocket and pulled out a debit card. “Here, go get some more rain friendly clothes and be careful.” He handed me the card and gave me another hug.
“Thanks Dad, I love you,”
“I love you too.”
I turned back to Josh and motioned for him to follow me.
Once we were out of hearing distance I stopped.
“Okay, I know you know where Charlie and Marie live. I need you to take me there.”
“Fuck that, I’m not going anywhere near their sad little shack.”
“Watch your mouth,” I threatened. “Those are my friends.”
“They’re not good for you Mikkel,”
“Oh and you are?” I screamed. He didn’t reply, he just looked at me, like he was looking straight into my soul.
I turned away from him and headed toward the park.
Hopefully, Ayedan or Charlie would be nearby, otherwise I would have to talk to Josh again.
“Hey, Mikkel!” I heard him call out and I swore under my breath. “Alright, I’ll take you to them, but don’t blame me for what happens when I get there.” Before I could ask, he grabbed my arm roughly and began pulling me toward the woods.
I was afraid of what Josh said, and even more worried by what he meant.
There was something else a bit off, I found myself excited because I was going to see Ayedan again, and I didn’t like it.