C13 Step too far
I turn the key slowly in the front door, my heart pounding as I push it open. Silence comes from inside and I breathe out a sigh of relief before stepping inside. I don't dare slow down and risk Mum or Trevor spotting me in last nights clothes. I make a beeline for the stairs, taking them two at a time.
"Emily? Is that you?" Mum's voice fills the air and I ignore her, pushing through my bedroom door and locking it behind me. I hear her walking up the stairs, her voice lined with confusion.
"Emily? What are you doing?"
I quickly tear off my clothes, dropping them to the floor.
"I'm in the shower! I'll be just a minute!" I yell back at her, heading for my bathroom. I turn the shower on and step inside, grabbing my shampoo to get rid of last night's scent.
Ten minutes later and I'm squeaky clean, smelling of sweet vanilla. I wrap a towel around my body and search through my wardrobe, picking out my white cashmere jumper and denim jeans. My hair is falling freely on my shoulders and I begin to tackle it with my hairdryer, my arms aching from the strain. The bruises on my body are slowly healing . . . slowly being the key word.
I apply some concealer underneath my eyes, covering the dark bags. I choose a pale pink lipgloss and a nude eyeshadow, finishing off the look with some mascara. After I'm content with my appearance I reach Jake's note on my dressing table. A smile immediately stretches across my face and I'm unable to ignore the excitement inside my stomach.
Meet me at two in the park.
My eyes scan over the words a hundred times, over analysing his scruffy writing. Is this a date? I nibble on my bottom lip, re-reading the note over and over again before realising meeting Jake at the park definitely doesn't sound like a date. I sigh unhappily, feeling disappointment settle inside my stomach.
I'm going to admit it. . . I have a crush on Jake Melvin.
The town's bad boy.
His kiss lingers on my cheek and my fingers brush over the skin, wanting to remember the moment forever. I sigh knowing I'll have to put my feelings aside for Jake.
It feels so surreal that he knows everything about Trevor. I have to admit it's good to finally expose the truth but part of me feels vulnerable, scared of what Trevor will do if he knows I've confided in him.
"It's too late to go back now," I murmur, resting my head in my hands.
I've cleaned my room twice, completed all of my homework, brushed my hair again and re-applied my makeup, adding some liner and blush before finally painted my nails a bright red. I glance at the clock and groan, I have twenty more minutes to kill before I can try to sneak out and meet Jake.
I haven't heard any noise from Trevor or Mum so I'm wishing it'll be simple to leave. I grab my leather jacket and pull it on, deciding I can't wait any longer. I unlock my bedroom door and peek out, listening carefully. Silence. So far, so good.
I close my door quietly and tip toe down the stairs, avoiding the creaky step. I've learned over the years which steps creak and which are safe so by now, I'm a professional. My heart begins to race as I see the living room door wide open but there's no sight or sound of Trevor. I'm just about to open the front door when he appears out of nowhere —
His tone is icy and low. I turn slowly and smiled falsely at him, avoiding looking him in the eyes.
"To the library to study for exams."
He takes a step closer to me, the scent of smoke and alcohol immediately slapping me in the fact. I grimace, unable to hide the disgust on my face.
"You have no books, you liar!" Trevor hisses at me. His eyes scan my body from head to toe and his lips turn up into a sick sneer.
"That's why I'm going to the library!" I attempt to persuade him, shrinking into myself.
"Don't lie to me. How many times have I told you that?" He yells at me, his voice booming through the hallway and bouncing off the walls. I cower against the walls, my hands trembling by my sides.
"I'm not lying to you, I swear!" I shout at him, desperately trying to make him leave me alone. He remains stood in front of me, his fists clenched violently. His face is turning a bright shade of red and he suddenly lunges forward, grabbing a fistful of my jumper. I scream, fear building up inside my body.
I can't take another beating, not again. I still haven't healed fully from the last one and I don't know whether my body can handle it.
I feel myself being dragged forward and I lose my balance, tripping over my own feet.
"You're going out to sleep with someone. Look at you, all dressed up! You look cheap, it's disgusting!" Trevor roars in my face, foaming at the mouth in a drunken rage. His free hand reaches into his pocket, pulling out a small object.
My eyes instantly zone in on it and widen in fear as it finally dawns on me, he's holding a knife. He flicks it open, eyes twinkling with sick pleasure.
"It's about time I got rid of you."
The blade glistens in front of my eyes. I immediately silence, my body frozen in place.
"Please don't do this," I plead, my throat closing over until it's hard to breathe. His hand grips onto me and shoves me against the wall forcefully.
"You can beg me all you like, I hated you from the minute I laid eyes on you." Trevor hisses, the blade growing closer to me. I scream out loud, my frightened yells bouncing off the walls and floating around us. I reach up, scratching at his hold so that I can escape.
It only causes him to hold on tighter.
The cool feeling of the blade pressing against my throat silences my screams for help and I whimper, tears streaming down my cheeks.
"Mum will never forgive you," I whisper, desperately searching his cold eyes for any sign of human sympathy. Cold black bottomless pits stare back at me and I blink, tearing my eyes off him. It's no use, he's a monster.
"Your mother hates you too." He hisses in my face, the blade pressing further into my skin. Any further force and I know it'll eventually pierce the tender skin. I suck in a sharp breath, squeezing my eyes shut tightly. Hot tears stream down my cheeks and I have no option but to continue begging for my life.
A knock on the front door causes Trevor to freeze, growing silent. He clamps his hand over my mouth, muffling out the whimpers coming from me.
"Don't say a word or I'll kill you."
I nod desperately, my eyes dropping down to the knife that's still pressed against my throat. Relief washes over me, silent tears streaming down my face as Trevor pushes me backwards into the living room, out of sight. He clears his throat and heading towards the front door.
I stand up shakily, my vision blurred from my tears. My legs are shaking underneath my weight, threatening to give in any second.
This is it . . . my chance to escape.
I run up the stairs two at a time, locking myself in my room. I don't feel safe. I grab my phone off the side, the screen brightly lit up with a text from Jake.
Where are you?
I quickly reply, my fingers shaking in fear.
Please help me, he's trying to kill me.
I send the text quickly, my chest heaving with heavy sobs. My phone pings straight away and I read the text, my vision blurry due to the tears.
I'm on my way, pack a bag Muffin.
I do as Jake says, grabbing the biggest bag I own before throwing in clothes, shoes, makeup and my school work. I place the photo of me and my dad on top of the pile before zipping it up. My hands are trembling and I sit on my bed, breathing deeply to calm myself down.
It suddenly dawns on me that Jake doesn't know where I live. I reach for my phone again and ring him but he doesn't answer.
"No!" I yell out in frustration, letting out a scream.
Jake's POV -
I instantly know something is wrong when she doesn't show up to the park. I'd written her that note because I knew she'd probably forget and I need to see her again. I didn't want her to leave this morning but it took everything I had to stand back and let her go knowing what happens inside that house.
My phone pings and I pull it out, glancing at the screen. My eyes scan the words and my grip on the phone tightens as I feel the anger curse through my body. The urge to break every bone in Trevor's worthless body grows stronger by the second.
"Fuck." I mumble, feeling powerless. I respond back to her, my fingers tapping away at the screen quickly. The image of her trapped with him trying to kill her flashes through my mind and I let out a yell in frustration. The anger continues to build inside of me until it's impossible to contain and I lash out, needing a release. Pain flares through my knuckles but it does little to help my anger.
I scroll through my phone, jaw tensed as I finally find what I'm looking for. I ring him, bouncing on the heels of my trainers impatiently as I wait for him to answer.
"What do you need?"
"Emily Wentworth, full address."
Within a few seconds he has it for me, word for word. It's only a ten minute walk, five if I run. I end the call and pull my hood over my head. On the way images of her bruised and beaten body fills my thoughts which fuels me to run faster. She looked so vulnerable, years of abuse finally breaking her in pieces.
I feel a sense of honour knowing I'm the first person she confided in. When she told me she trusts me, I was completely taken aback.
Not many people trust me.
I held her against me the entire night, unable to sleep a wink myself. She doesn't remember but knowing I was there to comfort her made it worth every second. Every time she stirred or mumbled in fear due to her nightmares, I held her closer. I know I'm becoming way too protective over this girl and if I'm completely honest. . .
It terrifies me.
I never like to admit fear either.
Emily's POV -
I hear a soft tapping noise coming from my window. I walk towards it and open it, peering down to find Jake stood at the bottom, panting. I stand there, staring down at how attractive he looked, unable to stop myself from admiring his beauty. Beads of sweat are glistening on his forehead and his hair is a complete mess but for some reason, I like it.
"Emily, don't just stand there and stare! Get down here!" He whisper-yells, shaking his head at my lack of co-operation. I snap out of it, my eyes widening as it dawns on me what he's suggesting.
"You want me to jump out of this window?" I gesture at the window and then cross my arms tightly over my chest, glaring at him.
"Do you want to kill me Jake?" I ask, my eyes narrowing at him. I notice his right hand bleeding and my eyes widen further —
"What happened to your hand?"
"What happened to your face?" He shot back, signalling at the cut on my head.
"I can't jump, it's too high Jake." I swallow nervously, glancing down at the height. My stomach does a complete flip and I take a step back.
"Muffin, it's the only way you can get out. You won't fall, I'll catch you." He reassures me, holding out his arms. I groan, knowing he's right.
I couldn't stay here with Trevor any longer, the thought alone terrified me. I drop my bag out the window first, hearing Jake catch it with an oomph.
"God, what have you got in here?" He mutters up at me, his eyebrow raised slightly.
"Girl stuff," I respond, sitting on the window ledge and rotating myself. I grip onto the ledge tightly, shutting my eyes.
"That's it, you've got it." Jake encourages me.
"Dear God, if I fall to my death, please send me straight to heaven."
"Emily, what are you doing?"Jake hisses, cutting me off.
"Saying a prayer incase I die!"
"It's not that far! You're tall anyway, use them legs for good use."
I scoff and lower myself down, my knuckles turning white from the strain of having to grip onto the ledge. I close my eyes and count down from three before letting go and bending my knees slightly.
For a brief second, I'm flying.
I feel myself fall into his arms and then he wraps them around me tightly. I look up at his smirking face —
"I knew you'd end up falling for me one day." Jake winks, his words smooth. My mouth fell open slightly and he chuckles, lowering me down to the ground. I turn back to take a look at the house and I shudder with fear. If only people knew what went on inside. . .
Jake takes hold of my hand, fingers wrapping around mine. The further we walk, the hold on my lungs loosened, allowing me to breathe again. After we're safely a few streets away, he stops and turns, his expression serious.
"What happened back there?"
His finger carefully brush over the area that is cut and red raw. I bite my lip and look down at the floor, not wanting to admit that Trevor almost killed me. Just the thought of it churned my stomach. Jake lifts my chin and looks at me softly before taking my hand in his.
"Come on, let's get out of the cold."
His hand feels large and rough compared to my small one. As we walked ahead, his thumb drew circles on the back of my hand causing me to shiver from the feeling.
"Are you cold?" He asks me, turning round. I shake my head, not wanting to admit the real reason I was shivering. I pull him towards Lulu's cafe, knowing we'll be safe inside.
"He won't find us in here," I said, leading Jake through the door and into the warmth. One of his hands is clutched tightly in mine and his other is carrying my bright pink escape bag.
We're sititing in my usual spot in the corner, waiting for our order of two hot chocolates. The owner glanced at Jake's hand before shaking her head disapprovingly. She silently hands me a first aid kit with her eyebrows raised.
"Thank you." Jake says politely.
"Does it hurt?" I ask him as I gently wipe the blood off his hand. He shakes his head, clearly unaffected by the stinging it must be causing him.
"Im used to it, I'm a tough cookie." He smiles softly. I laugh before sitting back and admiring my handiwork.
"Thanks Muffin," he murmurs, smiling at me. A subtle blush begins to rise from my neck to my cheeks.
"Where did you learn to bandage like that?" He asks me, impressed as he studies his hand. I give him a small smile, knowing he'd eventually figure it out. His eyes suddenly turn a shade darker and his lips stretched out into a thin line.
"What happened back there?" Jake asks again, changing the subject.
I sigh and take a drink, the warm liquid comforting me before telling him everything that happened. Tears run down my cheeks as I explain how Trevor held a knife to my throat, almost ending it completely. Jake's jaw clenches and his hands grip tightly around the mug.
"I'm going to kill him," Jake hisses, scraping his chair back and standing up. I stand up next to him, my eyes wide with fear.
"Please don't," I beg him. I don't want Trevor and Jake fighting over me, I couldn't think of anything worse. My words did little to stop the enraged look on Jake's features so I try to persuade him further.
"I want to forget about him." I say quietly. Jake grows silent, his eyes fixed on me. I watch him, waiting for his reaction.
His hand reaches up, touching my cheek with tenderness I've never felt. Despite it feeling good, I flinch slightly due to the tender sting from Trevor's slap. Jake's eyes darken, turning into two angry dark pools. I can see from his tense posture that he's struggling to hold back his frustration. I know he wants to hurt Trevor but it won't solve anything, it doesn't take back years of abuse.
Jake reaches for my bag, swinging it over his shoulder. I swallow the lump in my throat, watching as he holds his free hand out towards me.
"You're coming with me." Jake says firmly.
My hand reaches for his and he holds it tightly, giving it a small squeeze. I nod, knowing this isn't the end to all my problems but it's definitely a start. I need to get away from Trevor . . . forever.