Seasons Are Changing and Waves Are Crashing
The skin around Rachel’s nails was being scratched off by the time Juliet sat her down in the lounge room of her and Andy’s home. She looked somewhat presentable with her hair now brushed and he clothes replaced. Rachel was regretting everything she’d done and everything she’d told Juliet. She wanted to take it all back. She didn’t blame Juliet or Andy or anyone else but she knew that if she weren’t friends with Juliet, Callum wouldn’t have gotten angry. Not this time. She just wanted everything to stop. She wanted everything to go back to the way it was. She felt she’d lost control and something was about to go horribly wrong; she didn’t want anyone else to get hurt.
The amount of adrenaline, cortisol and noradrenalin being secreted by her body was higher than ever although they were almost always in her system now. Like the others could, Juliet could see Rachel wasn’t coping with the situation very well. She was panicking and trying to suppress it. These were dangerous and unknown waters. Juliet got up and managed to get Andy to leave CC and Rach alone.
“Are you sure you’re really okay?” CC asked her. Rachel didn’t even have to think about her response.
“Yes,” she retorted, a little annoyed he wasn’t letting it go. She shouldn’t have been and she knew it. She should be grateful.
“If you need to go to the hospital,” Rachel cringed, “I can take you. It’s no trouble,” CC offered. Rach sighed, becoming a little more comfortable. She shook her head and looked down at the coffee table.
“No trouble at all,” he repeated softly. Rachel again shook her head quietly. Lines of worry were still etched on her face and CC wondered how long they’d been there.
“I promise you I won’t say anything,” Rachel looked up at him with a look in her eyes he didn’t completely understand.
“Thank... thank you,” she gave him a small and cute smile. Stop thinking that’s cute, CC thought.
“Really, if there’s anything...” Another cute smile. Another self-scolding thought.
There was a moment of silence after that but it wasn’t very uncomfortable. Rachel could feel CC sitting next to her and found his breathing soothing. It reminded her of life.
Rachel lay on her stomach on the sofa, wrapped up with the soft mink blanket Juliet had given her. She faced the window panes and watched silently through the curtains. She was waiting for the car – the two headlights – to come up the street. It would be any time now.
Rachel felt the blanket move near her legs, a figure beside her and she jumped out of her skin. She jumped to her knees and swung her head around, petrified it was Callum.
“Hey, calm down,” CC gave her his signature smile, “it’s me,” he said, putting a hand on her bare shoulder.
“Oh!” Rachel put her hand on her chest below her neck out of shock. “You really did scare me then!” she tried to hide her nervousness with laughter.
CC placed down a blanket on the rug beside the couch and got comfortable, making himself a temporary bed. “I thought you might like some company,” he said, plumping his pillow. Rachel didn’t really know what to say or how she felt about him saying that.
“Well, thank you. That would be nice,” she replied with another smile, resulting in another mental telling off. CC was trying to get the mental images of her bruises and broken body out of his head as he lay it down on his pillow. The rest of the house was quiet as they lay there.
“How are you feeling?” CC whispered.
“I’ve been better,” Rachel whispered jokingly adding a little giggle. Her somewhat smiling face fell when CC stared blankly at her, not impressed with her joking attitude. It scared Rachel how easy a simple look from him could make her feel. She was only trying to lighten the mood and release her stress a bit.
“I’m okay, better than before,” she said seriously. CC nodded in response. With CC near her, Rachel slept easily that night, forgetting her burdens.
“Maybe we should go check on her?” Juliet suggested for the 50th time. She was seriously stressed about Rachel. The street had been unnaturally quiet since she eventually went home.
“She was going to have to go home some time,” I told her softly. Juliet paid no attention and stared out the window again.
All of next door’s windows were shut and the curtains closed. There wasn’t any movement seen or heard over the last few days. All we had seen was Callum come and go. It didn’t matter how much comfort I tried to give or reasoning I provided, Juliet was constantly worried. The last we saw of her was when she reluctantly wondered over there late morning after that night. We haven’t seen even a glimpse of her since.
I gazed down at my phone vibrating in my hand. It was CC again. He gave me his number to call ‘if I needed anything at all’. Those were his words. I had to keep him under a different contact name because Callum had always checked my phone but now more than ever. He knew that ‘Susan from the local cafe’ wasn’t anybody named Susan but man named Christian that I couldn’t stop looking at. Callum just hadn’t done anything yet. He hadn’t retaliated yet. I was a scared lady in waiting. I knew it was coming. It was getting dark and cloudy and the storm was about to begin.
I was getting too attached to whatever was bubbling up inside. Looking at the history on my phone, I had called Rachel so many times. I was beginning to think it was too many times. I wanted to know how she was doing every hour of every day. I didn’t know whether or not Callum was such a pathetic and callous person to intrude on someone’s privacy but seeing as he has the nerve to harm a vulnerable human being, I wouldn’t shock me if he did. I wanted to know how she was but I couldn’t bear the thought that because of my calls she could be getting hurt. Hence, I stopped calling so much. I was praying she didn’t think it was because I was losing interest. That was so far from the truth.
I was interested so much. I wanted to know so much. I wanted to know what her hair smelt like and how her lips felt. I wanted to feel the curves of her palm against my own and twirl my fingers around her locks and then glide them down to touch her neck. I wanted to know her favourite TV show and what her talents were. I wanted to know everything and not everything at the same time. I wanted to know her but always be wondering what I would discover. I wanted to cook her her favourite food and travel alongside her and explore the places she’d always dreamed of seeing.
Thinking all this, I wanted to tell her I liked her in every language I could. French, English, Italian, Arabic, Chinese. Spanish, Danish, German, Korean. That includes body language. I wanted to know about her childhood and where she grew up. I wanted to know everything about her. But, most of all, I wanted her free.
I didn’t know what to do. I wanted to go to Andy’s and hang because of the smallest chance of seeing her. I didn’t want to do to Andy’s and hang because of the chance I might see her battered and bruised. I wanted to go and see if she’s okay. I didn’t want to do, see her hurt and not be able to save her. Did she want me to save her? Would she ever go back to him if something happened between us? I knew that's what many women in abusive relationships did and I do not judge them. The innocent do not deserve to be hurt and innocence means vulnerability.
Rachel, do you miss me like I miss you? Do you want to hold me like I want to hold you?
I screamed louder and louder. There was a time where I didn’t have the energy or the headspace to attempt to fight back or even object but now I do. I have life and its killing me. I whimpered as Callum began to squeeze my neck. The pressure mounted and I could no longer make a sound. His eyes were stony, full of hatred. I disgusted him so much that he was strangling me. I was disgusting.
My ‘betrayal’ was vile according to him. I knew I had done nothing wrong and this time he would not belittle and intimidate me to believe otherwise. Not this time.
As I gasped when I got the chance, all that filled my head were those eyes that did not blink but glared at my soul. Hey petrified me. My nails were scratching at his coiled hands. I didn’t want to die. Please lord, if you really exist and are really there, why do you have him do this? His grip tightened harder and I saw stars for a split second before he let go. Air rushed into my lungs and I fell against the wall. His statue stood over me, tall, wide and powerful.
“Please just stop,” I whispered. A gross sound his mouth made before he spat at me like I was dirt. The gob splattered on my neck.
“You seem to think I’m stupid,” he said casually, not like he was beating his partner at all. I mewled as he kicked my stomach and I was smashed against the tiled wall with each blow.
“No, I know you’re not. Please just stop,” I pleaded before he hoisted me up with his hands around my neck. “P-Please! It hu-urts!” I choked out.
He hissed at me to shut up and squeezed harder than he ever had before. Panic pulsed through my body before he wasn’t letting go so I grabbed at anything I could, without taking my eyes off his resentful orbs. Tiny yelps vibrates under his fingers which didn’t let up. Blackness fell around me.
“Baby!” Sammi called out to me. I was in the music room. Usually we were in here together but ever since the pregnancy, Sammi’s been spending time elsewhere. I didn’t mind my own company. Besides, she was happy with how things were changing. She said she needed time to herself and bond with the baby, just the two of them. Don’t get me wrong, this was the most intimate and deep time between us. I wouldn’t change a thing about my life if I was given the opportunity.
I left the room and entered the lounge. She was resting on the sofa “Yes beautiful?” I asked, sitting on he arm of the sofa. She blushed like she always does and my heart skipped a beat like it always does in response.
“I’ve a craving for Jello and we’re all out. Would you mind getting some?”
“Anything,” I grinned at her and grabbed the car keys. Before I left, I went over to her and kissed her lips between putting her head on her round belly to listen and feel. I smiled again knowing our love could be so beautiful to produce something as amazing as life in the form of a baby.
When I came to, things were hazy when I figured out I was still in the bathroom. Things were blurry but I could tell Callum had his back to me doing something. I heard a stream of water turn off as my feet tried to have me lose balance when I got up. I grabbed the sink to steady myself and looking away from the mirror as my reflection made me dizzy.
Suddenly I was off my feet and there was pan etched around my torso and hands grabbing at tender broken ribs. I screamed as my vision blurred as he swung me off the ground and my hip hit something solid – a ledge. There was a splash and my scream was replaced with a gargle before my entire head was emerged in the water. I was panic stricken again as I was held down fact first in a bath full of water. I was completely in now, kicking and trying to scream.
Callum was yelling something at me, probably telling me to shut up. I wouldn’t let u and gasped at air whenever possible. I would not stop screaming. His grip got firmer and he shoved my broken nose against the bottom of the tub. I was trapped and couldn’t breathe and it wasn’t very long before darkness joined me again.
I got to the aisle with the Jello quickly because no one really shopped this time of night. A lady as the checkout greeted me, having seen me here a number of times as she worked night shift. Why were all of Sammi’s cravings at night? I wasn’t complaining but curious.
I grabbed a few things off the shelf, including Jello, being the only one in that aisle it seemed. I exited that aisle and walked past a few and saw the personal hygiene section. This time I wasn’t alone with another person at the other end of the passage. I grabbed some deodorant and shaving foam knowing I was running low and walked down between the shelves.
As I got closer to the other person, I noticed they were a woman and she was at the medical section. She was piling antiseptic and other creams along with pain killers and bandages into her basket. All though it was none of my business, something was telling me to slow my pace and I stopped before the woman, huddling against the shelf, trying to hide what she was doing. She was trying not to draw attention to herself and kept looking down the aisle for anyone coming, not seeing me behind her. Was she planning on shop lifting?
She finally turned around to notice me and her whole body jolted at my presence. We both froze and stared at each other for a moment with me looking into her scare, red and bloodshot eyes and her staring into my gut wrenched ones. The massive violet and crimson plastered on her face couldn’t be forgotten as she tried to hide her face between her shoulder and hair, ducking her head and kneeling down carefully and slowly. She reached her completely covered arms and hands to pick up all the items she had dropped when she jumped seeing me which I hadn’t even noticed.
In utter shock, I put my basket down and began to help retrieve them, speechless. Her nose had to be broken and s did both her eye sockets. It was like someone had not flicked red and purple paint at her but shot great gobs of it at her. She didn’t breathe a word as I noted the 12 pots of matte foundation and 15 concealers. I helped until all was in the basket. She got up, refusing to look at me she whispered thanks, briskly walking to the registers.
Description credit: Bulletproof Love - Pierce the Veil.
This is a repost, was looking back through my stuff and realised I had posted this chapter short for some reason, hope you like the rest of it. Not promising an update soon, sorry!