FIFTEENA Chapter by Maddox
“Adrian,” she called to the boy. Loud shuffling ensued, and suddenly he was standing behind her.
“Yes?” he said. He was close enough she could feel his hot breath on her neck. Spinning to face him she threw a washcloth at him and folded her arms.
“We, sir, are not going any farther. You cannot possibly think to submit your sister or me to that kind of task. So I declare that"“
“I do it,” he interrupted. Smiling, Jake nodded sheepishly. She had expected him to protest or at least argue. He took the washcloth and ran it, purposefully, in ice cold water. Striping Richard’s shirt off, he started wiping away at the grime and muck. Walking away, Jake took Richelle’s arm and led her back to the employee lounge.
“Let’s see if the employee’s showers are working,” Jack laughed. Richelle smiled and walked with her arm looped through Jake’s. Together they shoved through the heavy swinging doors to the employee lounge. To their disappointment, there was no locker room which meant no showers. Sighing they sat down at one of the round tables, staring at the disabled vending machines.
“So is Adrian finally being nicer to you?” asked Richelle. Jake looked up at her. Was she really that oblivious? Jake gave a small smile and nodded. “That’s good. It honestly wasn’t because he didn’t like you, it’s because he didn’t trust Cameron. Cameron was kind of a jerk to Adrian and he has kept the grudge. Also I think it’s because Adrian ended up having to shoot him.”
“I know. He told me the story.” Jake murmured. “I’m sorry. He said that you cared about him.”
“It’s fine. I mean, I’m over him now. He was just a really nice guy. Did you know that Adrian was abused by our dad? He doesn’t know that I heard it. All the times that daddy hit him. He thinks that I don’t see the scars on his back. But I do, I just don’t know what to say to him. Do you get it?”
“Yeah,” Jake sighed. “I do. I accidentally saw his scars one night. I didn’t mean to,” She rushed to add. “What happened?”
“Adrian dropped a stack of dishes after dinner. Daddy was playing a game in the room next to the kitchen and heard the crash. Daddy was angry at first, I heard him go into the kitchen and start yelling at Adrian. I think he picked up a shard of one of the broken plates. Well maybe he grabbed a knife. I was too afraid to look. Adrian didn’t even cry. I didn’t hear anything except dad’s screaming. I was so scared; I can’t imagine what Adrian would have felt.” She was quiet. Jake slowly nodded her head. Remembering the searing pain of the knife across her own flesh. She did know what it would have felt like for him in a way. Her pain had been inflicted by a man she didn’t know, he had been cut by his own father.
“I wish I knew how to tell him how sorry I am,” Richelle whimpered.
“Why are you sorry? It wasn’t your fault?”
“For not helping. Not only for not leaving my room and telling dad to stop. But for also not helping with the dishes. He asked me to. I told him I had school work that I had to do but I really just wanted to write my story.” Tears pricked at the corners of Richelle’s eyes. She shook her head and looked down at the small table.
“Richelle it wasn’t your fault. There was no way you could have stopped it.” Gently, Jake reached out and placed a hand on Richelle’s shaking shoulder. Richelle wasn’t crying but she was so very close to it. Jake could feel shadow pain shooting through the scar on her collarbone.
“I think that I know that somewhere. I still just feel bad.” Richelle nodded and smiled kindly smiled at Jake’s hand, which was still resting on her shoulder. “I think that Adrian’s done. Washing Richard, I mean,” she added when she saw the look on Jake’s face.
“Oh. Yeah, I think so.” Jake laughed and followed Richelle back into the restaurant. Neither of the girls was expecting what they walked in on. Adrian was standing above Richard, smashing his head against the counter. Richard’s arm was bent behind his back at an odd angle.
“Adrian! What are you doing?” cried Richelle.
“He attacked me,” growled Adrian. His muscles flexed in his arm, pressing Richard’s arm harder against his back. Quietly Jake moved across the room and crouched down, looking into Richard’s eyes. They were hollow. Their normal color was faded and empty.
“Richard?” she whispered. “Richard what are you doing?” Her voice was quiet; she wanted to know what was wrong with her old friend.
“Get off! Get off me! Get him off me,” roared Richard. His body shook with anger. He wasn’t the Richard she used to know.
“Not until you calm down. What is going on?” she murmured, trying to keep herself calm; from not slapping him.
“Nothing! I want him off me! I didn’t do nothin’!” he continued to roar. Adrian shook his head, mentally begging her to back away from Richard.
“Richard. Look at me. You need to stop fighting. Adrian isn’t going to hurt you. He is trying to stop you from hurting us.” Jake stared at him. Avoiding Adrian’s pleading eyes. She couldn’t understand why he was acting like this? This wasn’t her friend. This wasn’t her Richard.
“No!” was his only response. Jake shook her head and placed a hand on his free shoulder.
“Let him up but keep a hold on him,” she said to Adrian. He nodded and let Richard up. As soon as the pressure let up on him, Richard started struggling against Adrian’s loose grip on him. Jake gently led them towards the chair Richelle set out near one of the tables. Slowly Adrian struggled with Richard, sitting him down in the chair and held him while Jake tied him down. With his bonds secured, they stood back staring at the crazy man in front of them.
“Richard, what happened to you?” asked Jake.
“How do you know my name? I don’t know you people! Let me go!” as he talked, he struggled against the thick rope. He wasn’t as strong as Adrian but she could see the tight rope bending around his struggles.
“What?” she cried, her calm demeanor breaking. Her heart dropped to her stomach. He didn’t remember her. Her best friend doesn’t remember who she is. Tears she’d held back from Richelle’s story spilled down her cheeks. Adrian reached out, his arm around her shoulders, and hugged her to him. Her tears soaked into his t-shirt. He held her shaking body tight, comforting her with words whispered into her hair. She couldn’t understand what he was saying at all but she snuggled into the warmth of him. How could he not remember her? He was her best friend.
© 2012 Maddox
Added on January 29, 2012
Last Updated on January 29, 2012
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AboutWriting is one of the most important things in my life. It's a release. The way I think can't easily be explained to most people. I think in pictures, stories, and patterns. Writing stories is a way t.. more..