One Hundred & Thirty-Six Scars (The Devil's Own, #1) (8 page)

BOOK: One Hundred & Thirty-Six Scars (The Devil's Own, #1)
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Seven Years After The Meet
 

Walking down the busy streets of downtown Manhattan after training, I was thankful for everything that had pulled me through my sleepless nights. Since I’d been in New York, I’d been doing archery. It’d given me the strength that I needed to get me through, to remind myself that I was in control now. No-one knew about my past. I wasn’t ready to share that with anyone yet, but when I was, my best friend Phoebe would be the first person I would confide in. She’s everything a girl could want in a best friend, despite the fact that she was raised within a motorcycle club. She’s extremely compassionate, loyal and loving. I wanted to tell her a little about my past because I knew it killed her every time I shut myself off. The vibration of my phone in my pocket pulled me out of my thoughts. I answered it with a smile, knowing that it was Phoebe. She and I have been inseparable since she saved me from getting my handbag taken by a homeless man on the side of the street. It was my first week in NYC, and I was trying to find an apartment in my price range to rent that was around NYU when she stopped the whole ordeal. She was a tough little cookie. I later found out that she was raised within a motorcycle club which explained a lot.

“Hey, what do you want for dinner?” I asked, bringing my sunglasses down over my eyes and trying not to bump into the large amount of bodies that were hurrying about their daily duties.

“Um… homemade burgers?”

“Fine,” I rolled my eyes. “But we’re eating whole-wheat buns, no mayo, and no ground beef patties. Steak or chicken breast burgers. Pick…”

“You take the fun out of homemade burgers, Meads. Steak. Get extra. Melissa is coming down.” Melissa is Phoebe’s best friend from Westbeach. She was around five foot three, long blonde hair with sun-kissed skin. We got on well, but I’d only been around her when Phoebe was around.

“Can’t help it. I’ll see you soon.” I hung up my phone and continued my way back to our apartment that sat right in the center of midtown Manhattan. It was a modest, small, two bedroom apartment that overlooked the town.
It was perfect.

After the man who killed my father didn’t come back for me, I stayed there, searching his room for clues as to where he may have gone because I wanted to thank him. I
needed
to thank him. He saved my life. He had no idea how close I came to ending myself that day. So I stayed, he never came back, though. I stayed for two whole weeks before I went back into the room Donald and I stayed in and began searching through Donald’s belongings. He didn’t have much, but I knew he kept a small shoe box hidden under his bed. I was unsure what it contained.

Walking into his room, I slid the box out and popped it open. It had papers, bills, and some photographs of him and a young woman. I guessed that was my mother. She looked like me. Long brown hair, big blue eyes, heart-shaped baby face. She looked so much like me it was eerie. I ripped the photograph in half, scrunching up Donald’s side and placing the one of my mother in my pocket. I continued on with my sneaking until I found a letter that was written to Donald dated a few years earlier. It was signed from a Penelope Smith. Smith was Donald’s and my last name, so I assumed she was one of his relations. I scanned the letter that wrote about how much she wanted to get to know Donald. She stamped her address on the bottom of the letter. I folded it back up and placed that in my pocket along with my mother’s photograph before sliding everything back to where it was before packing a bag and leaving that pit of bad memories for the last time.

It turned out Penelope was my aunt, but she was nothing like Donald. I showed up on her doorstep, handed her the letter and I’d stayed with her since that day. She enrolled me in high school, and then when I was accepted into NYU, she paid for that too. She fell sick a few months after I arrived. She told me she’d been fighting cancer for years. I was heartbroken. I had just found family, someone that loved me, and now she was going to die. She fought hard. The cancer didn’t take her until last year. So I have dear memories of her at my graduation, starting my first job, and all the little things that mattered. It was just her, so I left after she passed and to my surprise I was left with her estate. She had a ton of cash and I still had her home. She ordered in her will that I was to sell her house and travel, fall in love, and learn what it was like to have your heart beat and flutter for one man—or many, as she put it. I reluctantly did as she asked and sold the house. A few days later was when I met Phoebe, and we hit it off instantly. She was like the sister I’d never had.

Walking into our apartment, I shut the door and wiggled out of my jacket, hanging it behind the front door.

“Phoebs, you home?” I shouted out, placing my handbag on the kitchen counter and taking a bottled water out of the fridge.

“Here,” she answered, yelling from her bedroom.

I laughed, closing the refrigerator door and making my way down the little hallway and into her room.

Laughing around the rim of my bottle, I pointed to her. “What are you doing?” She’s jumping around the room, trying to pull her pants up, knocking the bottled perfume off her dresser.

“Fuck, I think I’ve gained weight,” she exhaled, yelling out in frustration as she attempted to pull the tight dark denim jeans past her ass again.

“So… thank you for making dinner healthy tonight, then?” I teased. She stopped what she was doing, huffing out, which made her hair fluff up that had fallen around her face.

“Not funny, Meads. I’ve never had an issue with weight gain in the past.” Phoebe was stunning and small. It was obviously all in her head.

“Hmmm, lucky for some then. I’ll get started on dinner. When will Melissa be here?” I stepped around her pile of clothes, picking up my V-necked shirt that was lodged deep with her clothes while rolling my eyes at her.

See… sisters.

“She’s already here. She had to pick up some appliances from the city. Something about it being hard to come by,” she added, taking the top back out of my hands. “I’m not finished with this.” She smiled, walking into her closet.

“Well, be sure to put it back when you’ve finished then.” That’s the best I could hope for. I loved Phoebe, I wouldn’t be the person I was today if it wasn’t for her. There had been times where she had to be the strong one for both of us even though I had never told her about my past, I intended to, though. But regardless of her lack of knowing, she stood by me. Through it all.

 

 

“Oh my fucking God,” Melissa moaned, biting into the whole-wheat burgers I’d made. “Jesus, how’d you learn to cook like this?”

I shrugged. “I don’t know. I guess it just came to me.”

Shaking her head around another bite, she answered with a full mouth of food. “Nope, no way. You must get it off your mom or something.”

My jaw paused. I swallowed down what was in my mouth and took a drink of my water. Melissa glared at Phoebe, who was shooting daggers at her.

“Oh shit, did I say something dumb?” she asked, wiping her mouth with a napkin.

“It’s okay. I wouldn’t know if I did get it from my mom. I didn’t know her.”

Melissa glanced at Phoebe before bringing her eyes back to mine. “I’m sorry, I shouldn’t have assumed.”

I shook my head, clearing my throat and waving her comment away. “It’s fine, let’s just eat.”

After dinner, I excused myself from the table and walked into my bedroom. It was average. A white metal queen bed, green and white bedspread with autumn leaves spread over it. Everything in my room was light. I opened my white drawers and took out my pajamas before heading into the bathroom to take a shower.

Turning the faucet on, the room became filled with steam. Wiping the mirror to clear it, I looked at myself in the reflective glass, noticing how much I have changed since growing up. The comment about my mother had evidently surfaced some memories for me. If I thought I looked like my mother as a fifteen-year-old, then I could pass as her doppelgänger now. I slid my thumb over my plump red lips and bit down on the tip of my thumb. I was often told how beautiful I was from my friends and some men. And it was not that I didn’t believe them, it was that I didn’t want to be appealing. I didn’t want to attract attention to myself. I hadn’t had sex willingly before. I refused to. I didn’t think there would be a day where I’d find pleasure in something that had been forced upon me for so many years from such a young age. Phoebe and Melissa would talk about how great sex was, but all it did was test my gag reflex. Sex was a dirty word for me, and I hated Donald for stealing such a huge part of what should’ve been an amazing part of my life. I’d tried touching myself, it never happened. No spark, nothing. Even when I thought over the hottest guy I’d ever laid eyes on, I was reminded about the circumstances as to why he was there and the memories that came with him. He killed Donald though, and for that I was thankful.

Stepping into the shower, I let the hot water cascade off my slender back. Pushing my long brown hair to one shoulder, I squeezed a large amount of body wash into the palm of my hand before rubbing it vigorously all over my body, trying to rub away the dirtiness that sits within me. Showers are probably the closest thing I had come to feeling something pleasurable. And that’s because I felt clean when I was in the shower. But my memories would forever infect my view of myself. When I looked into the mirror, I would always see the dirty little girl who would get raped by her father glaring back at me. Sliding my hands down over my inner thighs, the lumps from my scars bore into the palm of my hands, like a reminder of why I was not loveable. Why no-one would love someone so dirty like me. I squeezed my eyes shut as a single tear dropped and goose bumps broke out over my skin. The shower being the only place where I could let myself go.

I would let it all out in the twenty-five minutes I had in there, but once I stepped out, I left it in the bathroom. It was where I closed my emotions, leaving them in there until the next night.

Turning off the faucet, I stepped out of the shower and wrapped my towel around myself, the fluffy plush material bringing me comfort. I pulled open the drawer and took out my night cream before I massaged it into my smooth white skin. My cheeks were blood red from crying along with my eyes. Placing the cream back into the drawer, I quickly threw on my pajamas, turned the light out and headed to bed.

 

Opening my eyes, I stretched out my stiff limbs. I must have slept on my left side all night again, still and not moving.

Walking out to the kitchen I caught Phoebe in a conversation with Melissa.

“What’s the plan?” Melissa asked Phoebe.

“We need to head back to Westbeach. Blake’s piece of shit accountant at his nightclub decided to walk her ass out of there. I have to go and pick up the papers, and run the books for him until he finds someone else.” Blake’s Phoebe’s brother who is a part of the Sinful Souls Motorcycle Club in Westbeach, California.

“Need to, or want to?” Melissa asked with an arched eyebrow.

“Both. He comes first. Also, I may be finding every excuse to get out of here for a while.”

I walked in, leaning up to take down a bowl from the kitchen cupboard. “You’re leaving?” I asked, pouring the granola I’d made from scratch into a white ceramic bowl.

“Just for a few weeks.”

“Oh yeah?” I spooned a mouthful of granola into my mouth. “Can I come?”

Phoebe’s spoon paused mid-air. “Of course, but don’t you have to work?”

“I quit last night,” I answered, not wanting to go any deeper into the conversation. I loved my old boss and I loved being a software architect for my firm, and I studied hard in computer science to have this life, but my new boss was a wanker.

“You quit? You loved your job!”

“I did, yes. But the new boss was a little… intrusive,” I answered, thinking back to his inappropriate behavior last night. After our ten o’clock meeting, I was sitting back at my desk when he approached me. Aside from the fact that he couldn’t keep his eyes off my breasts didn’t help, but then he had to go and do something inappropriate. I stood from my seat after he was asking me questions, with my papers in hand ready to take myself to the copy room, when he slid his hand over my ass. That was enough to make me snap. I turned in my heels and threw the papers at his face, with the words, “I quit,” and “you pig,” thrown in there somewhere amongst that. If that wasn’t bad enough, he looked shocked, like how dare I stand up to him. I was all too familiar with what goes on in an abuser’s mind, though, that’s what was dangerous about it. They actually thought they were doing nothing wrong.

“Intrusive?” Phoebe asked, eyes slanting and her ‘protect-a-friend’ barrier coming up. I love her and her strength. I could only hope that one day I can be as strong as her.

I shook my head. “It’s okay, Phoebe. I’ll find another.”

“Okay, well, you can come with! I have to warn you, though…” she began.

Only to be cut off by a laughing Melissa. “Ha, warn her? Oh honey, you can’t just warn people about your family. They would need at least a year just to warm up to the idea of them.”

“Thanks for that, Mel. Seriously,” Phoebe said, narrowing her stare on Melissa. “As I was saying, my family are a little… different.”

“They’re in a motorcycle club, yeah?”

She nodded her head. “Yes, they are. They’re a little rough around the edges, and may hit on you here and there. I’ll stop that the best I can, though.”

“It’s okay. I know all about pushy men. I’ll be fine. I’m coming.”

Her eyes faltered, her mouth opening for a split second like she was pondering on whether she should ask me to enlighten her about that statement, but in true Phoebe fashion, she didn’t dig. It was exactly why I felt so comfortable with her and why when I did finally feel like opening my clam shell, she would be the first person to see my stained pearls.

“All right! Let’s go.”

BOOK: One Hundred & Thirty-Six Scars (The Devil's Own, #1)
2.45Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
ads

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