My life is ending, I am close to death and there is no way I can stop it, everything seems to be going in slow motion. I look to him, panic bright in his eyes. He looks to me for an answer but I don't know what to give him. Panic is eating me alive and all I can do is stare at him. We were both going to die. So many emotions were running through me all at once and my mind couldn't comprehend them all at once.
"I love you," I say for the first and the last time, something other than panic enters his eyes, something warm.
"I love you too Anna." That's when we tip and I see the waves crashing below us. I squeeze my eyes tight and grasp his hands, he squeezes back trying to reassure me that everything was going to be okay but it wasn't. We were just seconds from our death. Just seconds from the inevitable.
I tap my pen in a continuous rhythm against the desk earning several glares from Mr Stevenson the maths teacher. He didn't like me very much because of the fact I just came here last year and yet was doing better than the students he had taught in this year for many years so yeah a completely stupid reason for his dislike. It was the period before lunch and I was yearning to get out of here. I just wanted to go home shower, open a book or switch on Netflix and check out what was on and watch it until I fell asleep. I was in desperate need of comfort which I sought but could not achieve here in this rectangular shaped wasting my time sitting on the most uncomfortable seats and watching unimportant minutes pass while wasting my time here, the last place I wished myself to be. Laughter erupted from those whom sat in front of me. I roll my eyes irritatedely at the jocks who laugh breathlessly as a result to whatever conversation they were having or whatever joke had been implied. Mr Stevenson glared at them, his lips part ready to say something but the bell interrupted whatever words would have left his cracked lips, the whole class rose in unison and rushed for the door, as usual I being the last one out not wanting to interfere with anything. I made my way slowly down the stairs and out to the back area of the school where a lone bench sat surrounded by plants and trees. I spent most of my lunches here unless I felt sociable but that was extremely rare for me I don't really like socialising. I took a book out of my bag and opened it to the bookmarked page , pushing the ear buds of my earphones cautiously in my ears and played the music on my phone, turning it up loudly until it was blaring into my ears, allowing me to escape into my own world. It played automatically on Don't Deserve You by Plumb. I read through my book while my music continues to blare until somehow my ears manage Rob hear the laughter which sounded behind me, I turn slowly and see the jocks of my year come out in a gang all laughing as one punches the other in the arm, hard. One of their eyes meet mine. It was Josh, my loud obnoxious neighbour. He was hot I'd give him that, perfect blue eyes, gorgeous lips, perfect hair perfect cheekbones, he was tall, pale skinned, muscled but not over muscled and had one of those really cute, sexy, perfect voices all in the one, I saw curiosity and confusion flicker in his eyes, I also hear rather than see the other boys stop realising I was there as my eyes were fixated upon Josh, whowas the first to speak up.
"Hey sorry we didn't know anyone hung out here?" he stated but it sounded like an inquiry rather than a simple statement.
"Yeah well I do sincce when do you guys move from the central area, I always thought you all wanted to be in the centre of everything." I asked not bothering to prevent the sarcasm which drowned my tone but he laughs rather than taking it offensively. The other boys were looking at both of us in turn, few laughing and the others frowning wondering whether to take it as a joke or as an insult.
"Yeah well people always like change, now why don't I ever see you in the "central area" then?" he raises his eyebrows and I was the one who laughs this time. His eyes glimmer with humour momentarily, catching the vibrant blue colour of his eyes awingly.
"Well overcrowded places aren't my preferred places." I smirk in turn, he shook his head laughing.
"Big words for such a quiet mysterious girl." he comments carrying on the conversation as if he had to get the last word in.
"Okay well we are gonna head inside while you two carry on with your little flirt fiasco thank you very much." Derek- Josh's best friend- said. I guess he understood this would carry on for a while as I do not give in easily. I was stubborn and also had to get the last word in.
"It is not flirting." I direct towards him while still looking in Josh's eyes but yet again he smirks.
"Okay I'll be in in five, see you guys." he moves towards my bench lightly, his movements seemed cautious yet natural simultaneously which made no sense, yet both the ideas clash, without a second thought as the guys head in continuing with their loud laughter and immature jokes and games..
"Mysterious?" I raise my eyebrows but he only shrugs. "I am not mysterious." I mutter, I wasn't, I was they typical teenager just a lot more awkward and more weird.
"Have you eaten?" I frown at the change of subject but shake my head anyway.
"No I don't eat." I say simply, tucking a long lock of dark ebony hair behind my pale ear, and old nervous habit which would never die.
"At all?" he frowns and I couldn't help but laugh as his eyebrow wrinkles in profound confusion yet again this confusion enters his eyes.
"Of course I eat dinner sometimes and snacks when I'm watching a movie." Then again I watched movies a lot so yeah.
"No wonder your so skinny." he shakes his head, this results in another frown to place itself upon my face but he only sits there, staring into my eyes as if he had said nothing incorrect.
"Debateable and peculiar." I mutter under my breath, his face remains unfazed as if he was in his own world.
"Big words again for the mysterious girl." I groaned loudly yet again at the mention of "mysterious" it was not whereas a word to describe me abnornal, weird or unusual would be the perfect description for myself.
"Josh." I say his name sounding familiar on my tongue and leaving my mouth just like a lovers name would if I even remotely liked him but of well. That wouldn't happened even if I did like him. We were in completely different places in this school, he was a jock and I was well I was in my own little unnamable group.
"Yes Anna?" he knew my name? Now I had to frown upon that. He laughs genuinely at my reaction and I stick my tongue out at him childishly, his reply being a quick shake of his head laughing, great.
"Can I please hit you."
"Now why on earth would you want to do that?" his facial expression was a mix of confusion and humor. I move so that I was kneeling on the bench, leaningvover close to his face, he frowns , I have to hold in my laughter as I whisper in a hushed tone.
"Can I tell you a secret?" I see his frown deepen but still he nods. "I am not mysterious." and with that I go back to my previous sitting position and go on as if I never did anything and he just laughs gently while shaking his head. But something behind me thieves his attention causing me to turn. Tammy stood clipping her false nails together, flipping her bleach blonde hair over her shoulder, a look of impatience was glued to her make up caked face. Ugh. Slut. I mean it in the nicest way possible believe me I am not the judgemental type but she is a bully, slut, two faced clown in heels. She is mean. She sleeps around with everyone and anyone. She'll act friendly with a girl while talking about her behind her back and is caked in make up and accessories and she would hurt or send anybody home crying their eyes out careless of their feelings. She had no soul or personality. It was the physical embodiment of the devil himself.
"Josh baby are you coming or not?" she says in that horrible thick envioue voice all the while grimacing at me.
"Yeah sorry, I'll see you later mysterious." he winks as he rises.
"I will punch you, you realise that don't you? I'll see you later Josh." I laugh and ignore the holes which were being glared in my back.
Before I had a chance to even return my earphone back in my ears I heard her horse heels clipping in the direction of me. I rolle my eyes and turn to face the clown of the century. "Is there something I can help you with?" I ask irritatedly, annoyance creeping into my tone, and I couldn't filter it from seeping through.
"Yes, keep your filthy mitts off of other people's boyfriends you slut." she sneered and I rose from my place on the bench to stand before her and thankfully I was a few inches taller than her and her heels, giving me an advantage.
"You have the cheek to talk don't you. Oh I give you my deepest apologies I didn't realise you still call them boyfriends I thought after the first million or two you would have a new word for them but I guess whores don't have that much of a mind span. Now can you do me a favour and walk away because I ain't trying to steal your boyfriend honey believe me and you can not keep people on a lead they can wander where ever they please, just don't get hurt when it's not to your oh so grateful presence. Oh and note the sarcasm. Now it would be very beneficial for me if you could please go back to your herd thank you very much." I watch happily as her face turns from shock and rage in a repeated string.
"Just you wait "honey" you'll regret that." she threatens but I couldn't give a crap, she could try what ever she wanted I couldn't care.
"I highly doubt that "honey" bye", I wave and go back to my bench plugging my earphones back in my ears and settling into my book and escaping into my own world.
Burrying my hands deeper into the pockets of my zipper, I shiver from the cold, bitter frosty weather. It was now nearing Christmas and the weather was only worsening. I wouldn't be surprised if there was a fall of snow next week. I was close to my home thankfully, just a mere five minute left of my frozen journey and I could enter my home cuddle up in my bed and transfer into my own world. Just get in have a cup of coffee and jump in for a bath and that will be me for tonight since I didn't have any homework. Sleep sounded perfect just now exactly what I was in desperate need of.
"No because either you pay us just now or we take your fucking daughter!" A voice screams. A voice I knew too well. I sprint the rest of the way to my home and took in the scene that lay before me. My mum was shielding Max away from the three men, one of which had a knife in hand. My mum inches further towards the door but Tony, the one with the knife notices this and takes a step closer knife raised and pointing towards my mum. The light glints of off the sharp tip perfectly.
"Hey get off my God damn lawn. We don't owe you any money my dad does so take it up with him!" I yell outraged that he couldn't just leave my family alone, couldn't let go off click on to the fact that we had nothing to do in this matter. This wasn't the first time this had happened due to my dad being an ex con and costing people a lot of money this had happened several times. I stalk up to the man with the knife until I stood directly before the pointed weapon.
"Well princess we can't find your daddy," he smiles sickingly.
"Like I have said before not my problem. You find him you get your money. We don't have it and we are in no inclination to give it. He has nothing to do with us anymore and neither does his past." I say strongly hoping he might listen this time round but I knew I had no such luck.
"Oh it will be your problem. You see if I don't get the money from your mummy then I will be taking your sweet ass home with me." He grins, wrinkling his skin further than what they already were, his sickening yellow and black teeth all on show, at least the ones that weren't missing.
"Mum take Max in the house and stay there," I call to her without moving my eyes from Tony. I knew he would take any movement as an opportunity.
"But-" she starts
"I will be fine just you keep you and Max safe, lock the doors and don't open them not even for me I will use the password if it's safe," I say cutting her off. I knew the drill. I hear the door close and triple lock behind me, leaving me alone in a state of fear and isolation against three murderous fiends that could kill me in an instance with no care for the carcus they left behind.
"You are a brave one," he smirks twirling my hair with the sharp edge of the knife. The light gleams off of the sharp steel cold tip, glinting in my eye.
"Yeah well they are family." I say simply, rather reluctant to talk to a murderer. A murderer whom for years had been terrorising my family, relentlessly and poi endlessly. Who had been here from the day my dad had took the hint and left. He was the reason for our endangerment, the reason I never allowed myself to get close to anyone. I knew they would only be used as a pawn in his sadistic game.
"Would you die for them?" he inquires, a dark eyebrow arched cause further wrinkling in his face, something I had thought of as impossible mere seconds ago but now I was proved to be the one in the wrong.
"If it would protect them I would even sign my soul to Satan without hesitation." It was true as long as those two were safe, I was content with any form of my ending.whether it was that of a brutalistic one or a simplistic one.
"Good, tell him I said hey," he grins sickeningly as he kicks my stomach full force sending me sprawling to the ground. My breath catches from the sudden force which had acted upon my body. I only allow myself to stay down for mere seconds maximum before I rise to my feet, recovering from the sudden blow. I remove the strands of hair which had fallen in my eyes during the impact and fall.
"You can tell Satan yourself." I smile as he charges to me flashing the knife through the air wildly attempting to cut my skin and shed blood. He doesn't get a chance to though as I dart to the side all too familiar of his tactics due to the amount of times he had sent me to the hospital with countless of broken bones and scars which will never heal.
"You little bitch. Fuck it I'll just let your mum find your dead body on the garden who cares about hospitality." He moves towards me again and I step back only to be clasped by both his buddies. Their tough grips grasp both my arms leaving me defenceless. He grins and points the knife towards me, threatingly. Let him get one cut and then give him what for. I had learned this quite a few times.
"Too bad about your face, I rather liked it." He says as he flicks his wrist causing the knife to cut my cheek diagonally, blood fell from the gaping scar instantly and white hot pain surfaces. I bite back the scream which demands to escape my lips. He laughs, humour plain on his face, I smile back to him before I plant my foot in his groin, I then kick and punch the groins of those who held me causing both of them to fall to the grass, groans of agony sounding from their lips. I attempt to dart for the knife but before I am able to, Tony jumps on me sending me sprawling to the grass with him on top of me.
"You cow. You are gonna regret the day you were ever born when I am through with you." He says before punching the scarred cheek repetitively. His fist coming down again and again, brutally. I thrash quickly under him trying to get him off me but it was a task I could not accomplish.
"HEY!!! Get of her right now or I'm gonna blow your brains out. I've already phoned the cops," a familiar voice threats, anger drowning his voice. Tony ceases his punches thankfully, looking up to whom ever stood before him.
"Wait a minute son, think about this, be smart her. You shoot me, you'll have murderer stamped on your forwhead for the rest of your life. You ready to risk that all for this piece of trash," Tony speaks carefully, attempting to sound logical, moves off of me. He stands, gripping a handful of my long ebony hair yanking me to my knees adjacent to him. "This piece of trash ain't worth it believe me son." Tears fill my eyes as the pain flames through my body. I look to see who stood before us and was surprised to see who it was. Before me stood Josh with a loaded shotgun aimed at Tony 's head.
"Oh no she's worth it all right, believe me. Now let go of her or I will pull this God damn trigger." Josh threats grimly, his eyes filled with a frightening serious anger. Those vibrant blue eyes that only mere hours before held such a potent humour now held a profound anger. Tony releases my hair and I move to Josh's side instantly not willing to risk another clash with anyone else, fear coursed through my body but now that I was so close to Josh a foundation of safety store under me holding me up.
"Tony, just take your guys and leave before the cops show up." I say to him tierdly, Tony takes a few steps back, kickng his companions, signalling to them it was time for them to surrender and run. They both rise, all three retreating to the car. Once I was sure they had left and weren't coming back, I face Josh.
"Thank you. But why did you help?" I ask him trying to ignore the pain that flamed through my body at this moment in time, and focus on my saviour.
"You looked like you could use it. Nice moves but you need to brush up a little," he smiles kindly. His tone gentle and soft as if he was looking upon a baby fondly.
"Thanks but I ain't going to fighting class. I would rather not have a stranger kicking my face in," I laugh and regret it instantly as pain surfaces momentarily . A groan of pain escapes my lips despite my efforts to prevent it from sounding.
"Yeah it looks painful, come on I'll get you stitched up for you. Do you have a first aid kit in your house?" He asks, sorrow anger in his eyes. Hmm weird
"You know how to do stitches?" I ask surprise audible in my voice. I hadn't expected that paricular skill to belong to him.
"Yeah well I need to if I want to be a doctor." He laughs, as if it was obvious.
"I didn't know, sorry" I say sincerely.
"Let me guess you think all jocks want to go into the life of sports? And you girl's say men are stereotypical," he laughs. "Lets just get you cleaned up" he ushers me to my front door. I knock twice, then stop and knock three times. Stop. Then once. I hear the door slowly unlocking. A tear filled Max looks up to me, his face filled with sorrow and fear.
"Hey Mr everything's okay, they're gone. You're okay. Everyone is fine" I say reassuringly as I pick him up in my arms not caring about the pain it caused. He burrie his head into my shoulder, I feel his small body quake in fear.
"But your face," he says between sobs. His sorrowful voice sending knives to my heart.
"My good friend Josh here is going to fix me up so I will be all better." I say reassuringly. He pulls away from me and I nod in the direction if Josh.
"As good as new?" He asks, hope flickering in his soft grey eyes.
"Even better" I smile. "Now how about you and mummy go watch Spongebob and then when I am all better I will go and buy you some ice cream," his face lights up at the sound of Spongebob and ice cream in the same sentence. I put him down, he goes and runs to mum grabbing her hand and dragging her into the living room. I hear spongebob almost instantly.
"He's a great kid" Josh smiles looking at me.
"Yeah he is." I say still looking in the direction of the living room.
"How old his he?" He inquires curiously.
"He's six. But he feels so much older with his ability to cope with all this shit." I run my hands through my long hair frustratingly.
"How long has this been going on for?" He steps closer to me and I laugh.
"Since my dad left. Since he was six months, so that would be five and a half years. He's strong so he is, this is all he's ever known." I say as I head to the kitchen opening the cupboard under the sink grabbing the first aid kit. I stand up straight and turn only to gasp as Josh stands extremely close to me. He grins at my reaction.
"Did I scare you?" He laughs and I shove his shoulder gently.
"No I'm just a bit surprised at your close proximity. You are invading my personal space," I laugh and he just shrugs calmly, once again unfazed.
"Okay well tough," he says as I raise an eyebrow at him. "Okay sit." He points to the chairs that sat beside the kitchen work top. I comply and sit at the corner stool with the first aid kit in hand. He sits in the stool next to me. I turn and face him looking into his warm brown eyes. "Where do you keep vodka?" He asks. I reach into the cabinet above my head only to find I couldn't reach, I move my legs so that I was on my knees, stretching my arm until I could place my finger tips on the bottle. I move my hands to clasp it but the stool shakes as I strain. I feel it start to tip and I gasp but suddenly Josh's hands grab me balancing me, one on my knees and the other on my ass. Of all places seriously?
"Thank you," I say as I grab the bottle of vodka. I jump of off the stool ignighting the pain but I didn't care. I open the cupboard above the sink and take out two tumblers I pour to glasses "Please don't let me be a lonely drinker," I laugh and he smiles.
"I didn't know good girls liked to drink," he mocks, jockingly.
"Okay in the past hour you have seen me stalk up to a man with a knife and get beat up pretty bad, what makes you think I am a good girl," I repute, smiling despite myself.
"No I think you are a strong one you just need better fighting skills," he smiles and I fake an insulted facial expression.
"Now I am hurt. And like I said before I don't want a stranger kicking my face in," I take a swig of the vodka and then sit back down giving him the bottle.
"It doesn't have to be a stranger you know," he says watching me carefully.
"I highly doubt my mum can fight and Max is a bit young. I don't really know anyone else well enough to ask them to teach me how to fight," I say as I take another few swigs and then pour myself another.
"What about me?" He continues to inspect me as if I were a guinea pig in a science lab.
"You've already save me today I couldn't ask you to waste any more time on me." I say, looking into how warm eyes, he ha already saved me and i was grateful for it, he didn't need to do anything else for me.
"It's not a waste, I want to." He says, honesty audible in his voice.
"Why?" I ask confused.
"Cause you seem like a good person to know and help."
"No I am a good person to run from." I say trying to be humorous but I heard the note of truth and sadness in it.
"No you are a good person to stand by," he says looking into my eyes, searching them, all I do is laugh knowing it wasn't true. I avert my eyes and gulp the vodka and pour myself a third. I wasn't an alcoholic believe me it's just that it eases me after any of Tony's visits. "This might hurt a bit," he warns, I nod preparing myself for the pain. He takes a dry piece of cotton wool and presses it to the rim of the glass vodka bottle. He tips the bottle allowing it to be soaked. Slowly he dabs the scar on my cheek, cupping my other cheek with his soft hands. I bite my lip trying to suppress the scream which wills to escape my lips. "I'm sorry, almost done," he whispers. It continues for another two minutes and I squeeze my eyes shut. "Okay it's done now I just need to do the stitches." He tells me and I groan. "But you need to drink a lot more if you don't want to feel pain. Like literally until you are numb." He raises his eyebrows.
"No I can't I need to go get Max ice cream and I really don't think I am in the mood for the cops pulling me up." I say and he nods.
"He means a lot to you doesn't he," Josh comments his voice filled with warmth.
"People say I seem like his mother at times," I laugh, I feel like it sometimes too. He nods in agreement and laughs.
"This will hurt a lot unless you have morphine?"He asks.
"Yeah in the kit," I sigh. He takes the morphine and the syringe withdrawing the liquid slowly and carefully. His warm hands move to my arm and takes it carefully putting it wrist side up. Something catches his eyes. He puts down the syringe and moves his thumb to my wrists tracing the horizontal lines that marked it. He looks from the wrist and into my eyes and there's something in them, I don't know what it is nor do I want to in case it's something bad. "Please just focus of the morphine that doesn't matter." I whisper.
"It does matter. It matters to me." He says quietly and I dismiss the honesty in his voice.
"No it doesn't. Just do the morphine." I whisper. He didn't know me he wouldn't want to. I was a whole pile of waste and shit in a bag.
"I beg to differ Anna," he says but picks the syringe up and traces a vein. Once he finds the right point he injects the dose of morphine piercing my skin causing a little quick pain but it was gone in a mere second. The morphine kicks in quickly, my whole body feels numb. Like when you have pins and needles except it covered the whole body and was slightly different. I see Josh 's eyes as they set in concentration in order to do the stitches. Once done I see him lift me rather than feel it. I think I drift to sleep I wasn't sure though.