A/N: Three cheers for the extra time that Winter Break gives you! Hip hip, hooray! Hip hip, hooray! Hip hip, HOORAY. ….okay, enough celebrating. Let’s get on with this show. Oh, and on a quick side note, content in this chapter may be unsettling to some readers. Reader discretion is advised….
I should have known that no rules exist without exceptions. How could I have been so dumb as to think I’d never let myself get distracted by a stupid boy? I mean, it was sure to happen eventually. That’s just what happens. ….right? Well, it did in this case anyhow. And of course, while I’m thinking all of this, I am totally 100% staring at this guy like a creeper. But he’s just so…pretty. I mean, he looks like a caramel macchiato…a humanized, masculine, perfect caramel macchiato.
It was then though that caramel- I mean, the boy looked in my direction, at first looking slightly perplexed, but then slowly breaking into a grin that turned my brain into mush and rendered me completely incapable of doing or thinking anything rational. Or at least, that’s what I had to figure, because I stupidly didn’t look away and pretend that I hadn’t been staring at him like a lovesick puppy. My cheeks turned pink instead as he bit his lip, glancing to the side of him as if to make sure I wasn’t looking anywhere else and then…oh my god. He’s walking toward me. Crap!!
“Hey…” he said awkwardly as he came up to me, before breaking out into another one of his grins. “I noticed you looking in my direction…and um…” his cheeks flushed at this point. “Well, I was looking your direction earlier so I figure…may as well introduce myself,” he finished with a laugh. “I’m Trey.”
“T-Tamara,” I managed to get out, taking a breath and returning his smile as I held out my hand for him to shake. He laughed and took it, giving me a warm handshake that nearly melted my very core. What was wrong with me?!
“I like your face paint,” he complimented suddenly, reaching up to just touch right below my meticulous painting. I flushed crimson as he let his hand fall slowly, fingertips boldly, but briefly, grazing my cheek. Marry me?
“I like your hair,” I breathed. He smiled—a smile so gorgeous that I immediately felt emboldened to take this one step forward. “Would you be interested in-”
“Seeing a movie?” he cut in, his grin widening once more as he caught on to my idea.
“Make it 6. Curfew.”
“Done. I’ll meet you there.”
“I’d never dream of missing it.”
And that was how we began. Tamara Winters and Trey Forest—dream couple of the school. Girls both hated and envied me, a fact that I didn’t really know how to react to, simply trying to continue my life normally and keep from drawing too much attention. Of course, when your boyfriend is Trey Forest and he has a certain habit of pushing you up against the wall and kissing you into a whimpering puddle, it’s difficult to not draw attention. As for the boys, well, where before they just saw me as one of the guys because I did so many sports, now their looks changed entirely. They turned hungry—predatory. To be honest, I hated it, but I just tried to keep my attention on Trey as much as possible, trying not to notice the way their eyes traveled over my hips and danced at the edge of my skirt. If I thought about it too much, it made me feel sick.
It was funny how much context mattered though, because whenever Trey did the same thing to me, I felt nothing but sexy and desirable, giggling and swatting at him as his hands would attempt to wander further than I currently felt comfortable with. So all in all, to be completely honest, I was happy with my life, despite the weird attention at school. Trey made me feel like a woman, whereas before I had always felt like I was in a weird kind of limbo since I was stronger than half of the guys at my school.
That was why my world was completely upended when it happened. The moment that ripped me of my spirit, made tatters of my confidence, and made me feel each and every day that I was something wholly lesser.
But I’m getting ahead of myself. As far as you’re aware, nothing has happened yet. So let me catch you up to speed. I’ll warn you though- it’s not exactly a happy story.
“Quit doing that,” I hissed, pushing Trey’s hands away from my shirt for the 18th time.
“Doing what?” Trey mumbled, moving his hands to my legs instead.
“Overstepping your boundaries!” I said, pushing him away now and feeling annoyed.
“Overstepping my what?” Trey asked incredulously, staring at me as if I were insane. “What the hell?”
“You heard me! If I’ve told you once I’ve told you a hundred times, I’m not ready to take that step,” I said steadily, firm in my position. Something flashed in Trey’s eyes, but then he sighed, leaning back.
“I’m sorry. I just love you so much….” He mumbled, his voice trailing off as he looked away sheepishly.
“I do t-”
“Really? Because I’m beginning to doubt that, Tamara,” Trey cut across my words, meeting my eyes with a bitter glare. I couldn’t help it. His tone of voice and the look on his face took me aback- I lost my ground.
“I’ m s-sorry,” I said hastily. “I do love you, I do. I just-” He interrupted my words again though by giving me a soft look and taking me into his arms. I let him.
“It’s fine,” he murmured into my hair. “I know, babe. I know.” I opened my mouth to say something else, but he put a finger on my lips and smiled a warm, comforting smile that made me lose my words. “Really, it’s fine. I’m sorry.” Despite how warm I felt in his arms though, I couldn’t help but feel confused. What the hell had that been about? “Oh hey, random, but have you every thought about straightening your hair and wearing it down? I think you’d look beautiful,” he murmured, wrapping my curls around his finger. “I’d really like that.”
“I’d really like that.” The words rang in my ears as I stared at my reflection in the mirror, absentmindedly reaching up to touch my curly pigtails. I loved my curly hair. I was told I got it from my grandmother- which meant even more to me since I never really got to know her. It was also one of the only things my twin and I actually shared.
“I think you’d look beautiful.”
So did that mean I didn’t look beautiful now? No, that was stupid. He always told me I was gorgeous, but…. The way he said it….how angry he had been earlier…perhaps…perhaps I owed it to him. Wait, no! That was even more stupid! And yet….
Well, my hairstyle had been a bit childish.
“I even got them custom made for you,” Trey added as I looked at my reflection in the mirror, examining the seemingly expensive earrings he had gotten for me.
“Beautiful, like you?”
“Err…different,” I finished. Trey laughed, a huge smile on his face as he admired his gift for me. He got distracted then as a girl walked by, glancing at her and then looking pointedly at me.
“You’d look good in something like that.”
“What? No, I wouldn’t! She looks trashy!”
“Only because she’s ugly. On you it would look divine.” Divine? “I’d really like that.”
I’d really like that.
“It’s so cute!” I squealed, snuggling a little chipmunk up to my face. He was the most recent rescue at the animal shelter and had immediately caught my eye once I walked in.
“Do you want it?” Trey asked, smiling as I kissed the wriggling little fur-ball in my hands.
“Oh no, I’d have to ask my parents first,” I admitted, laughing then as the chipmunk put his little paws on my face paint and began to sniff. “He likes it!” I giggled.
“As do I. But don’t you think it’s getting a little old? It kind of makes you look like a little kid,” he said with a laugh, giving me a playful poke in the side. “Think how that makes me feel!”
Maybe it was time for a change…?
It wasn’t long after that that I was snapped out of the dream world I had been living in.
I had just come home from hanging out with Trey when my mom suddenly dropped the plate of spaghetti she had been carrying to the table and doubled over, letting out a cry of pain. For a moment I stood completely frozen, my face sheet-white as my mom cried out again, clutching her stomach. What was going on?! What was happening?! It had only been, what? 8 months? Not even? She couldn’t be in labor…could she?
“Reed!” my mom cried out then. “Honey, find your father,” she said with a wince, one of her hands now firmly gripping the table as she tried not to collapse. I forced myself to move then, running through the house like a maniac and yelling for dad. I ran into him on the stairs, which he was already barreling down.
“I know,” he answered without hesitation.
As soon as Dad saw Mom doubled over though he panicked, crying out while I shakily pulled out my phone and called our chauffeur (Dad’s company assigned us one). It wasn’t long before a limo came shooting down our street, screeching to a halt as Dad and I helped Mom out. She was crying at this point, and I thought she might have gotten me wet too while she was leaning on me, but I quickly realized that it wasn’t her tears, but mine.
This was not good. This was not good at all.
It was an extremely long night at the hospital. For awhile we didn’t even hear anything from them, but at about 3 AM the phone rang and Catherine immediately picked up.
“Hello? ….mmhmm…what? Why? Mmhmm. Is she going to be okay? …oh. Yeah. Yeah I’ll tell them. …okay. Bye. I love you, too.” Catherine slowly hung up the phone, her face unreadable.
“Well?” I demanded, looking at her expectantly.
“We have a new baby sister,” Catherine said with a slow smile. “Her name is Lynn.” I let out a breath of relief, but then she spoke again. “She has to stay in the hospital for observation though. She’s really small and not fully breathing on her own.”
It was another week before they allowed Mom and Dad to bring home Lynn, and even then we had to be really careful with her. Still though…she was about the sweetest thing I’d ever seen. For once, my life wasn’t revolving solely around Trey. It seemed ridiculous all of a sudden that I had let myself become so absorbed by a boy—something I had promised myself that I would never do. After all, there were so many more important things in life….like this tiny baby in our home.
Our precious baby sister….Lynn.
Of course, Trey didn’t exactly take this well, cornering me after school one day.
“My place,” he said firmly, not even a trace of a question in his words. I looked up at him worriedly for a second and then slowly nodded, relief coming over me when he relaxed. “Good. Finally! You haven’t been over in forever. It used to be our routine.”
“I know, it’s just-”
“Yeah, yeah, I know, baby sister, yadda yadda yadda. Aren’t your parents ever going to stop breeding? Overpopulation is a big issue you know.” Liquid rage ran through my veins at his words and I opened my mouth to yell at him, but he laughed, throwing me off. “Hey, I’m kidding. I’m just jealous. I miss you,” he murmured now, giving me a sweet smile. I returned the smile half-heartedly, feeling uneasy.
I couldn’t really explain why, but I had a bad feeling about this night.
I apparently had no regard for feelings though, as I wrote them off as nothing and went to Trey’s house anyway. After all, I hadn’t been giving him as much attention lately and I realized that wasn’t exactly fair. The least I could do was agree to hang out at the guy’s house.
And so we leisurely walked back to his place, my hand held firmly in his, almost possessively.
“I love you,” Trey said, turning to me and smiling as we walked. “You know that, right?”
“Of course,” I smiled softly. “I love you, too.” And as he stopped to smile down at me, I really couldn’t help but smile back and feel wholeheartedly that my words were true. Sure he could be a bit demanding at times, but that didn’t matter. This was Trey and I loved him.
When we got to his house we decided to get our homework done, another part of our routine believe it or not. My mind completely relaxed as we worked together like always, the bad feeling even going away as the minutes ticked by. It took us nearly three hours to finish all of our homework that night. By the end of it we were flopped onto his bed, exhausted and ticked off to no end that 10 problems actually meant 19 when you took into account every part each question had. Ughhhhhh. And so we lounged and complained, happy we got it done, but still annoyed that it had eaten up almost our whole night.
“We’re such dorks,” I proclaimed suddenly then, laughing. “We just spent 3 hours doing math problems and now we’re STILL talking about school!”
“What the fuck is wrong with us?” Trey asked, a look of disgust on his face.
“No idea,” I said seriously. We looked at each other for a moment and then broke out into smiles again as he pounced on me, smothering me with kisses. I giggled uncontrollably, kissing him back frantically before our kisses grew a lot less playful and a lot more…purposeful.
Purpose meant that I could taste the butterscotch candy he had eaten as we trudged through the last of our homework. Purpose meant that his hands slid over my breasts, causing my breath to come out in short little gasps. Purpose, meant fire.
“We should slow down,” I finally breathed, sitting up some to catch my breath. Trey nodded slightly, his eyes still closed as he kissed down my neck, one of his hands now making its way up my skirt. I laughed, pulling away a little now. “Treyyyy,” I admonished playfully.
“Come on, this is where we always stop,” he said pleadingly, practically giving me puppy dog eyes as he then bowed his head to kiss my collar bone.
“For good reas–” I tried to remind him before his lips stifled my words. I let the kiss last for a brief second and then moved to pull away, but his lips followed mine, still with great purpose. I went with it…until his hands grazed the edge of my panties. “Stop,” I hissed, slightly more seriously now as I brushed his hands away—or at least tried to, but they were firmly under my skirt as he moved to place more of his body weight on me. He’d done this before though. Trey was just difficult, and I knew that. So I was almost unfazed—until his lips captured mine so bruisingly hard that I no longer found the fun within our game.
“Trey!” I snapped just as soon as I managed to free my mouth from his.
This was where the moment began—with one small phrase, spoken so sharply it could have cut diamond. Those words signified the moment where I knew that everything, absolutely everything that I knew about our relationship, that I knew about Trey, that I knew about how he treated me, the things that he did—came into perspective all at once, leaving me with nothing but the feeling of fear, running ice-cold within my veins.
I tried to scream, but his hand immediately slammed onto my mouth, stifling my cry. I tried to struggle, but he trapped me under his weight and easily overpowered me, his grip unyielding. I tried to kick, but his legs were tightly entwined with my own as he forced his hand under my shirt, shoving my bra up in the process. I tried again to yell, but my sounds were muffled as he continued his assault, my eyes filling up with hot tears that escaped without his care or notice. This can’t be happening. Not Trey. Not me.
It was when he began trying to force down my skirt that I truly panicked—flipping out as I desperately thrashed every which way, and though I could barely move, I got lucky. During all my struggles my knee must have made contact with his groin, because he suddenly cried out and doubled-over, and in that split second when he loosened his grip on me, I ripped my hands free—and then began to hit, scream, and punch as much as I could.
I don’t know how, since he was so much stronger than me, and because by this point all I was running off of was pure adrenaline and fear, but somehow, somehow I slipped loose, falling to the ground and then immediately jumping to get up. It was then that I ran.
I ran without ever looking back. I could hear Trey fumbling after me. I could hear him calling me a good for nothing dirty whore; hear him screaming how worthless I was, but I just kept running, sobbing so hard that I nearly fell over on several occasions.
Even after I no longer heard anyone behind me, I continued to run. I was too afraid to stop. It was too dangerous to stop.
I didn’t stop running until I got to my house, crashing into my dad as I burst through the front door.
“THERE you are! Tamara, you missed your brother’s birthday! I reminded you of this-” my dad started, but then was immediately cut off as I let out a particularly loud cry and collapsed into his arms. “Tamara, what happened?!” my dad asked in alarm then as I clung to him desperately.
My entire body was shaking as I sobbed. I was so afraid. I tried to answer his questions, but I just couldn’t speak. All I could do was make these strange, panicky noises as Dad tried his hardest to calm me down. He tried to lead me over to the couch, but I think I was holding onto him too tightly for him to move.
“Tamara, what happened?” my dad repeated, this time in a softer tone.
“I don- I-I-“ I managed to choke out, but then fell into silence, my throat tightening as I lost it again.
“What’s wrong?” my mom’s voice suddenly sounded from right beside me, her hand settling softly onto my back.
“I don’t know. She won’t stop crying.” There was a long moment of silence then, during which I vaguely suspected they were exchanging worried glances and mouthing things to each other, but the world was becoming increasingly blurred to me. In fact, I would even say that it was getting dark. My…head…felt so-