I got up the next morning refreshed, I walked to my window and pulled the panes out, the morning breeze and light filled my room, making my hair dance to it’s fascinating tune.. I smiled and stared down into the streets, at the few people passing through our alley. I sighed out and walked away from the window, I walked to the bathroom and brushed my teeth before picking out my outfit.. I journeyed to the kitchen after that and made breakfast; pancakes with syrup. After bringing out the last pancake from the pan, I turned off the gas and left the tray of pancake on the counter.. I took three large pieces and dump them on a flat dish.. I poured hot coffee from the mug into a coffee cup and took the food in a tray with a bottle of water and a cup, to the dinning. I came back for the jam, sugar and milk and left them beside the food.
I was done arranging the food when Allan walked out of his room, dressed in a plain white shirt and black pants.
“Good morning” I greeted, leaving me hanging, he walked to the table while I turned and walked to my room. I hurriedly got into the shower and had my bath, I applied my lotion and pulled into my clothes.. After checking myself, I walked out of my room to go have my breakfast. I hurriedly walked past the dinning that was only few steps away from the living room.
“You seem to be in a hurry” Allan’s voice stopped me and I turned to face him. “Your boyfriend’s getting impatient for the morning quickie you promised him?” “No. I have a morning test to catch up with” I said.
He was quiet for a moment, munching the last bite out of one of the pancake. He twitched his lip and stood up.
“Did you add syrup to my pancakes?”
“I thought I made it clear on the list that I don’t want syrup in my pancakes” he bellows.
“U-um I might’ve skipped that part unintentionally but since you’ve already– “Make me a new breakfast. I want casseroles this time” he dropped the fork on the table cloth and wiped his lips, he started walking away.. I let out a soft sigh.. “Okay” I mumbled and started packing up the plates. Allan stopped walking and turned.
“And I want nothing other than an A+ in your test” he gave me a small look and walked away.
I sighed out again.. Some mornings.
School wasn’t so much fun like most days cos first, I missed the brief test and wasn’t given an opportunity to do it cos Mr Robert was in charge and he had a very bad mood swing and then secondly, we took third place in our project.. Martha’s group came second and a group of four, whose members I don’t even know, came first. They created an electric board pen that somehow didn’t run dry.. It wasn’t something that’s fancy to the world but it is to the school and they were sponsored to make more since it is beneficial. Lance saw it as unfair and I could feel his pain cos he really worked hard and had so much hope on it but it all came to this. Our prize was given to Nicholas on behalf of our group and we got to take pictures with some school staffs.
“Hey,” Lance said and I tilt my head to look at him “Why are you standing here by yourself?”
“I’m just staring and thinking”
“About the project or the test you missed?”
“The project is your thing Lance, you worked extra hard for it. Both you and Nicholas.. I did a small share out of everything, if not taking first place is supposed to bother anyone, it should bother you more”
“I know but I think I get why we didn’t take first place.. Our project is something that wouldn’t last.. I mean even though we didn’t say it, it’s pretty obvious.. No one can make a lasting bike in just a week.. We thought quantity was the best but the school thought different and besides our project isn’t so beneficial to the school because apart from the fact that it wouldn’t last for long, it’ll also have serious complications but a board pen is something that’s very beneficial to school. Not that we weren’t thoughtful or creative, we were but it just wasn’t enough, we didn’t completely think out of the box” he said and I gave him a small smile and nodded.
“So how’s your mom?”
“She’s good. She came home from the hospital yesterday and we had a small dinner party with few friends”
“That’s great news” I said. “Have you seen Martha anywhere?”
“Um I saw her last with her groupies after they left stage. She’s probably celebrating with them” he said. “And Nick said I could take the bike, if it’s okay with you”
“Oh yeah, sure” I said.
“And he also said we could take the money too. He says he doesn’t need it” “Re–
I didn’t complete my statement when my phone buzzed in my pant pocket.. I took it out. It was a message from Nick..
Lance and I will be having a football duel at my house in the afternoon. Since you’ve resigned from your night work, I want you to come over at night. I have a surprise, trust me, it’s something you won’t want to miss.. I’m not giving any hint, it’s a surprise
I finished reading the message.
Um okay and I’m glad you’re getting that close with Lance. I hope your surprise’s as high as my hopes are now
I sent a fast reply. I tilt my head up to see Lance staring at me strangely..
“What?” I gave him a questioning look.
“Thought you forgot I’m still here”
“I didn’t. And right now I’m craving badly for bagels”
“Let’s get bagels then.. Bill’s on me” he said and I arched a questioning brow at him and he chuckled.
“Just kidding.. It’s our money alright” he said and I gave him a light shake of my head.
After school, I walked home and after using the stairs, I opened the door and walked to my room.. I left my backpack on the bed and finished a half bottle of water on my drawer.. I took off my jacket and walked to my wall mirror, I traced my finger from my upper hand to my elbow, I tilt it and checked the injury on it.. The plaster was soaked, I took it off and the bloodied cotton wool, I hissed in pain and moved to my drawer, I pulled it open and took out my small first aid purse, I
took out a healing ointment and a fresh plaster and dressed my wound, biting my inner cheek to suppress the pain.
I threw the used items in the trash bin and walked to the kitchen, I started making Allan’s lunch.
I finished the meal and left Allan’s share, I covered it up with a paper towel. I had
my share on the kitchen counter and washed the used equipment.. Getting to my
room, I put on my jacket and workbag, I put a novel into it and walked out of the
After staying up to two hours on a bench close to our building alley, reading.. I stretched and stood up before heading to work at the restaurant.
After lots of serving, moving and cooking, Noel and I walked to the bus station. I
still find it hard to believe how I moved from three part-time jobs to just one and
with double payment; thanks to someone who cares that much.. It’s still hurting
that I haven’t found how to accept him, he’s a great guy, someone that any girl will
be lucky to have but he chose me.. Probably because he doesn’t know about the
true me beneath the jacket and constant skinny jeans.. He doesn’t know about
Allan. I don’t know what falling in love is like but I know I have a different feeling
for Nick, it’s not the same thing I feel around my friends or anyone else.. It’s a deep
feeling that I’m sure wouldn’t go away soon. I feel like it’s love but I’m scared more
about the future, somehow the whole truth will have to come out if we eventually
get into a relationship and same way I fear for myself, I also fear for Nicholas.. I
wonder how he’ll look me at that time and how hurt he’ll be knowing that he’s spent
time and fall in love with a girl that gets molested by her own family, with
someone that encourages him and goes home to be discouraged, with a girl he had
tagged as worry free. I sighed and took out my phone that was suddenly ringing.
“Nicholas” I said into the phone.
“Hey. Are you still working?”
“No. I’m few steps away from your apartment gate. Why?”
“Just needed to check up. I’ll see you soon then” he said and hung up, I tuck the phone into my pant pocket and continued my journey..
I arrived at his house door and before I could ring the bell, the door got opened.. “Hey,” he said with a smile “I saw you through the camera” he said as if answering my thought.. “Come in” he moved aside and I walked in..
“I came here with so much expectation cos of the surprise you texted me about but I don’t see any of my expectation” I said, dropping my bag and tilting my head to face him.
He frowned a little “What were you expecting?”
“Mmh,” I placed a finger on my chin in a thinking manner “A candlelight dinner, a pool party–
“What?” He cut me off with an arched eyebrow.
“Just kidding” I chuckled..
“I know and about dinner, I did that but that’s not the main surprise” he said. “Well good thing I came here hungry, let’s go” I said and he nodded. We walked to the garden and before me was a small dinning corner with a table that had food and drinks and designed chairs.
“Whoa, You made this?” I asked and he nodded.
“There was no time for enough designs” he said with an apologetic look..
“Are you kidding me, this is really impressive” I said..
“Okay.. Let’s sit” he said and we walked to the chairs. He pulled a chair out for me and I sat, he took the other chair..
“This is so much food” I exclaimed, staring at the table.
“I made it so you can eat a lot.. You’re getting more skinnier lately and it’s scary”
he said and I gave him a playful glare..
“Are you saying that I’m thin?”
“No.. I’m saying that you’ve been working too much, you hardly have time to eat properly.. I want to watch you eat a lot”
“Then you’ll carry me home when I can’t move myself?” I asked teasingly. “That’s no biggie. Eat whatever you want, there’s potatoes and steak, lobsters, meatloaf and chicken sauce and cheesecake for dessert” he said with a smile and I picked up a spoon to take some food while he popped the wine. We started eating, I took a forkful of chicken into my mouth..
“So.. Where’s the main surprise you talked about?” I asked, chewing on the meat.. “It should be here any moment from now” he said and almost immediately I heard a small pop sound behind me, making me turn and my eyes popped open..
On the sky was a very colorful knockout with an I Love You, written in stars and surrounded in heart shapes.
I moved my gaze to Nicholas, amazed and speechless.. “Firework?” I said when I found my voice and he nodded. “Do you like it?”
“Seriously.. I love it. This is so amazing. How’d you get it to write that?” I asked.
“I have my ways” he winked at me.
“There’s another one” he said and I heard a pop sound again, this time louder and it was another firework.. I turned to the sky and it was so many heart shapes in a bigger heart.. I smiled and faced Nick.
“I didn’t want to make you nervous with the words so I had them written on the sky.. Somewhere it’d never clear off or get wiped, it’d stay for eternity” he said and I gulped.. Feeling guilty.
“I just wanted to remind you while you keep thinking of an answer..” He said, I rubbed my sweaty palm on my jeans and stood up.
“I-I’m suddenly craving for some coffee” I said. “Oh.. There’s some in the kitchen, inside the mug”
“Okay.. I’ll go grab a cup” I said and hurried away. I passed through the back door and entered the house, I rested on it and sighed.. I walked to the kitchen counter and poured myself a cup of coffee, I walked away from the counter and lifted the cup to my lips, I was about taking a sip when I felt a sharp pain on my forehead, I shut my eyes; trying to suppress the pain and I did cos it disappeared. I breathed out calmly when the pain stroke my forehead again, this time I yelled and touched my forehead, it kept getting painful. I could barely talk.. I took in heavy breathes.. And the cup dropped from my hand, a loud sound came out from it. “N-Ni-Nich..olas” I stammered and suddenly I felt my body getting weak and I started falling, halfway to the ground a strong body caught me and I turned almost lifeless to see the face of the person.. It was Nicholas and his expression was of complete shock and fear.. I opened my mouth to say something but my words only came out as air and I drove into unconsciousness. .
There are still so much words I have to tell her but with the little I told, I noticed how uncomfortable she got. I needed to assure her that what I feel for her is something different and unique and something that doesn’t go away.. She’s my first love and I don’t think I can feel for anyone else, what I feel for her.. I’ve seen so many signs that she cares about me and loves me but she just wouldn’t say it.. She’s still probably scared of relationships, probably because of what she might’ve watched in movies or seen from her peers and I wanted to prove to her that ours will never end that way, especially since I’ll be becoming human soon.. That’s right.. My dad already got a doctor with a different and rare kind of specialty and with the conversation we had online after showing him the scar, he said he could handle it. I just want things to work out between Jacqueline and I first and then I’ll
tell her about it.. I hope she says it soon. She stood up to get a supposed coffee which I knew was to get away from me but I let her go.. And as she walked away, I drained the wine in my cup up and sighed. I rested my back on the chair and stared at the sky, the firework was beginning to wash off, I’m glad she got impressed by it but it still isn’t changing anything, I sighed again.
The breeze washed my skin, as if comforting and assuring me and I smiled. Maybe I’m being a little to pushy on her, this is probably not how relationship works, I guess I’m just desperate plus it’s my first time so it’s technically not my fault.. After a moment I heard a small sound behind me and then there was a breaking sound, as if something was smashed to the floor, I wanted to ignore it but I couldn’t when I realized Jackie was in the kitchen and the kitchen is where most house accident happen. I quickly rushed into the house and opened the kitchen door, I first saw the coffee cup on the floor, broken and coffee on the floor then my gaze moved from Jacqueline bleeding leg to her face and I saw her falling.. I immediately rushed to her and before she could hit the ground, I caught her. She looked at me then her eyes closed. A wave of panic rushed through my insides.. “J-Jacqueline?” I shook her a little “Hey!” I called, shaking her again but there was no response.. Fully alarmed, I walked with her to the living room and grabbed my phone, my hand touched with her palm and I flinched when I felt the hotness.. She was burning up a lot..
I quickly dialed the paramedics and as it rang, I tried to take off her jacket and long sleeved clothes.. With the phone hanging on my shoulder and ear, I took off her jacket and stopped abruptly when I saw the traces of dark thick marks, healing scars and bandaged wound.. Her hand looked frail and battered. My brows furrowed, she had just a short sleeve top on. I stared at the injuries and severe marks that doesn’t obviously look like an accident, well except she has suddenly become a maniac. With a curious hand, I lifted her shirt up, flinching at the hotness of her skin.. A gasp escaped from my lips.. The marks, scars, wounds, blade cuts, red and soggy skin, and a dark mark on one side. There were so many questions I wanted to ask that I couldn’t answer but one thing I know is that Jacqueline isn’t doing this to herself.., that means someone’s doing it to her. That explains why she’s always putting on baggy clothes on a ninety degree weather. She’s been hiding everything all this while, all this abuses..
“Hello” the impatient sound in my ear jerked me up, making me realize that I was on a call.. I quickly took it away from my ear and ended the call. One thing I don’t want is letting anyone else see this, I’m sure the paramedics will want to take off her clothes and check out one or two things and I can’t let that..
I can’t believe she’s been suffering all this silently all this while and acting like she’s the most perfect human on earth.. How long have this been going on and why haven’t I noticed until now? Okay maybe I have but I never suspected it to come to this, I didn’t know that..that she gets abused by someone.
I carried her to my room and placed her on the bed, with one eye closed; I took off her clothes, leaving her in only her inner wears, her leg and laps also had some of the pink wounds and mostly marks. I used a duvet to cover her up to her shoulder and entered my bathroom.. I got a wet towel and massaged her body carefully with it.. I covered her up and felt her pulse, her breathing was getting audible.. I took out my first aid box to treat the wound on her leg. I watched her sleep after it, questions itching my insides.. I planted a light kiss on her forehead and walked out.. Not wanting to scare her when she wakes up and see me and realize that I’ve found out about everything.. It’d be better if she figures it out slowly. I sat on a couch and thought about her.. Who might be abusing her. She once said her parent were late and she lives with her brother.. Hold on? Could it be him.
I don’t think family can do that to their own.. It has to be someone else and I must
find out who it is.
My hand shook.
My eyes slowly yet carefully flung open and I bat my lashes twice, they sweep my lower eyelid, adjusting to the environment and feeling weak, I opened my eyes properly and tilt my head, glancing around.. The room looks familiar yet alarming. I rolled my eyeballs, trying to figure out where I was then it all hit me.
Dragging my pained body up, I felt a heavy object over my body and it sent me back to the bed.. I felt bare and weightless. I was in Nick’s room and–
“Oh no!” I gasped softly, I quickly yank a side of the duvet and gasp with a palm on my lips when I saw myself almost naked.. Everything was now in sight. Did Nicholas do this? I gasp again at the thought. It couldn’t have been anyone else.. Why will he do this?.. Oh my goodness! What must he be thinking now?
Not knowing where the strength came from, I completely pushed the duvet away.. Looking around, I found my clothes and quickly pulled into them.. I slipped my feet into my flip flops and hurried to the door, only stopping halfway to ease the pain on my forehead. I walked out of the room and got to the living room.. I was about hurrying to the door when my gaze caught Nick on a couch, his gaze was on
me too.. My throat suddenly went dry and I gulped the lump, my eyes staring back widely at him.
“Hey, you’re awake” he said after an awkward silence. He gave me a lopsided smile. “I figured you might feel cold since you weren’t on your clothes for some hours so I made you some hot coffee” he said.. “W-what time is it?”
“I have to go” I said, cutting our gaze.. I rushed to a couch and grabbed my bag and started heading to the exit when he took my wrist.
“Why don’t we have coffee first?” He asked and as our gaze stayed on each other, a wave of electric shock moved on my inside.. He knows it right? Why’s he acting clueless.
“No.. I have somewhere I should be” I said.
“Someone’s waiting for you?” He asked and I gulped again, looking downward “And if you’re not early, he or she might punish you?” My gaze shot up at him.. Not responding, I tried to free my wrist from his grip but he held it tight. “Let me go Nicholas”
“How long do you plan on hiding it? Wearing those..jackets and acting like everything’s fine?” He asked and my breathing became audible. “Please leave me alone Nick” I said.
“Do you fear them that much? How long has this been going on.. For days or is it weeks or months?”
“I-I don’t know what you’re talking about” I stuttered, my eyes getting misty. “Really?” He scoffed “Are you going to do this now?
I wanted to ask you lightly but right now I think I’m loosing it Jacqueline. How can
you hide something like this? What if it gets you killed or hospitalized.. How long
have this been happening?” He asked “It’s an abuse, isn’t it? Who is the abuser?”
“Ju-just let me go Nic–
“No.. I won’t until I get answers–
“And then do what!?” I cut him off.. “What will you do about any of it Nicholas? This is my life, it’s how I live and I’ve been surviving ever since.. I don’t want you prying Nicholas! I don’t want your help or your pity!. Stay out of this and act like nothing happened! It’s none of your business” I yanked my wrist off forcefully, a tear dropping. He walked past me and stood in front of me.
“I won’t stay out of this Jacqueline and just so you know I’m involved now because when it was me, you didn’t stay out of it even though I asked you too.. You kept
coming and didn’t give up until you got it and made me this guy.. That’s exactly what I’m doing too except that in this case, I’ll kill whoever is doing this to you” he said, his palm curled to a tight ball by his side, his eyes was completely filled with anger and uncertainty.
I gave him a short blank stare, not knowing what to say, I walked past him and
hurried out of the house.
I burst out crying.
She walked past me, her body brushing against mine slightly..my sigh came out in a grunt.. I didn’t mean to be so direct and angry.. I know it’s not her fault, she’s probably passing through something that’s making her this way.
Arrgh.. Why do I have to be so mad about everything. I should’ve been calmer and act like I didn’t know anything, I just always loose it each time it comes to Jacqueline.
I sighed out and sweep my hair with my palm backward.. I walked to the table and grabbed my car keys, I walked out of the house to the driveway.. I hopped into my car and sped out. I didn’t drive for long when I sight her, running on the street.. I drove to her side and parked at her front, she stopped for a while and probably seeing it was my car, she started walking past it.. I came down.
“Jacqueline” I called and she stopped, I heard her breathing from where I stood. I walked to her.
“I’m sorry. I just want to drop you off to wherever you’re going to.. It’s too late for you to be walking on the street” I said.
“That won’t be necessary. I can manage” she said and I held her wrist before she could walk away.
“Please. I promise not to say anything unless you ask me to.. I’m just concerned about you. I’ll drop you off and leave. Please” I said and she said nothing at first, she took the grip off her wrist then walked to my car.. I hopped onto the driver’s and started driving. I stole a glance at her, her face was at the window’s direction and all through the ride, she remained that way, giving me brief directions.
“Stop here” she said and I stopped. Few steps away, I sight a storey building house and got down..
“Are you sure you’ll be okay?” I asked not being able to help it.
“You promised not to say anything”
“I know.. I’m just really worried about you”
“Stop worrying and leave Nick. Goodnight” she said briefly and walked to the
house.. I stared at it.. Her house.. Is this where she gets all those injuries? Is the
abuser here.. Or could it be where she works or there’s someone else she meets
with.. I need answers and I’ll get them.. I won’t give up until I crush this abuser,
whoever it is.. I rested on my car, not ready to leave.. I need to watch for anything,
anything that’ll lead me to my answers.
I climbed the stairs miserably, I can’t believe something I’ve been hiding for years now just got revealed in a day.. I can’t believe Nicholas knows now.. It’s a good thing I didn’t accept his proposal yet, it’ll make him less hurt.. I sighed softly and took the last stair.. I opened the door and walked in, the stench of alcohol hit me first and I closed the door behind me. I looked around and sight Allan close to the window, his gaze was on me.. He smirked a slurry one.
“A big hit this time huh?” He said in a slurred tone “He looks rich” he said and chuckled.
“He’s just a friend–
“You even brought him here,” he hiccuped.. “You could’ve let him in.. I’ve got
more beer you know” he said. “I didn’t know you moved from small boys to big
guys.. You’re really one hell of a slutty butch” he said and I sighed softly. He’s just
drunk. I took two steps to my room..
“Where are you going to?” He stopped me.
“To my room. I need to sleep”
“It’s been one really long night for you.. You even had guts to let him drive you here and kiss you..
One of those s£x maniac isn’t it?” He chuckled again.
A slap flew across my face and I gasped slightly, he dragged me roughly and I hit my face on a wall.
He pressed himself against me..
“Show me how you did it bitch–
“No.. Please I swear, he only dropped me home, he’s my friend and.. we’re not lovers or anything I swear” I said, trying to struggle out but he suddenly started reaching into my jeans and in a bid to escape, I pushed him off me with all my strength and moved away, like a flash, he started coming toward me angrily and unexpectedly, I picked the closest object to me and hit him hard with it before he
could grab me.. There was a loud sound first then bottles shattering and the silence followed. Allan stood still for a while, blood gushing out from a side of his head.. He suddenly dropped to the ground, causing me to jerk and shift. I stared blankly at Allan, my body shivering in fear.. My breathing hitched in my throat. “A-A-Al.. Allan” I stuttered
Oh my God! Did I kill him?!! ..
B-but I didn’t mean to, I was only trying to defend myself and I didn’t mean to kill
I didn’t know when I shouted and almost immediately the door burst open, I quickly ran to it and whoever opened the door caught me.. “It’s me, Nicholas” he said.
“I-I k-kill..ed him. I k-killed my brother.. I swear I-I didn’t mean to.. H-he wanted to.. I mean I wanted t-to defend myself. I sw..ear Nicholas” I rushed my words.. “Shh,” Nicholas held me.. “It’s okay”
“N-no.. I hit him with a bottle.. He w-was trying to..rape me. I didn’t mean to kill him”
“Jacqueline,” he called me calmly “stop panicking. I’m here and I believe you” he said and hugged me before I could say a word. I cried on his chest. .