I sat on the sand watching Andrew walk away. He got up to the water’s edge and stripped down to nothing before wading into the water. I could see all the bruises on his sides, the slight burns from the ash, and he winced in pain when his body hit the salt water. I watched him for a while, looking through the water for fish. I had to regain my composure, wipe away the tears, and breathe deeply. Andrew had almost figured me out. It was odd, to see him caring about me. He didn’t inflict pain on me, even after what I had done to him last night.
I tried to stand up, but the pressure on my ankle just made me collapse into the sand again. Andrew must have seen me fall and he kept his eyes on me. I looked out at him with narrow eyes, don’t think this means I’m weak you prick. I tried again, first getting on all fours, and then standing on one foot and then the next. I bent forward in pain and fell into the sand, tears forming in my eyes. This had done hit; I couldn’t walk on this ankle today. I crawled into a ball and groaned in frustration, I was thirsty, hungry, dirty, and now helpless.
“Let me help you, Kim.” I heard his voice and looked up to see Andrew standing there above me. He had put on shorts, I guess to make things less awkward. “I don’t want your help…” I whispered stubbornly, although I knew I needed his help. He frowned down at me. “What do you want me to say? That I’m sorry? I’m sorry I brought you here. I’m sorry I… attacked you. I’m sorry that I didn’t think this through.” He pointed around us. He let out a big sigh and reached down to pick me up. I couldn’t believe he said that… I hope he didn’t expect a sorry in return because he was not getting one. He reached his hands underneath my bottom and back and lifted me up. I was pressed against his muscular chest and his head just inches from mine. I felt gross, being this close to him. I laid my head against his chest and relaxed into him. My ankle throbbed with each one of his steps. I noticed him looking at my face and I turned it away from him. He sat me down onto the sand again near the fire and I laid my head down onto the backpack as a pillow. “I’ll be back later.” He whispered and walked off into the jungle.
I laid there for what seemed like hours, watching the ocean, listening for him to return, and searching for my rescue ship out in the waves. It never came. It was so hot on the island during the day, because the sun sat directing above me. I drank another bottle of water and drifted in and out of dreams, rather nightmares.
It was my 15th birthday and all my friends were at our house. Having root beer floats and laughing about boys. My best friend Lexy sat next to me. “Kim, tell us another story about Italy! What about the guys there, are they hot?” She asked me, and the rest nodded in excitement. They all looked up to me and thought I was perfect. I told them dozens of stories, about kissing boys, being felt up, but only half of it was real. I saw my bedroom door crack open and instantly my stomach tightened. I waited to see who it was; whoever they were they were listening to everything. I held my breath when the door opened further and my father appeared in the doorway. He was dressed in a nice suit, just getting home from business. “Kim, Happy Birthday. How old is my little girl now?” I said through a smile. All my friends thought the world of him because he was so charismatic and fun. He motioned for me to come outside. “I only need you for a minute sweetheart, I promise.” He looked me dead in the eye and I want to run away. However, I knew I had to keep up this act, I needed to act like everything was fine, and that I had the perfect family. Once I stepped outside, he pulled me into a hallway closet. “Please, please, all my friends are here…” I begged him, but he was already going for his zipper. “If you don’t cry, they’ll never know sweetheart.” He said as he pulled it out. I closed my eyes to keep the tears at bay. I had done this a million times, every time he came home from business it seemed like. I felt his hands part my lips and he slipped inside of my mouth. He grabbed the back of my head and eased into my mouth until there was nothing left. He forced my head back and forth on his penis, and I wanted to throw up. I wanted to die, just like all the other times. Why doesn’t god just take me now, take me away from this misery.
“Kim…Kim…” I felt gentle nudges on my shoulder before my eyes shot open and I found Andrew standing above me with cooked fish. “Here you need to eat something.” He handed me fish, and although there still some scales on it, I ate every last bite. Normally I would have picked the scales off, examined the food, and turned my nose up at it. But today I was starving and anything looked appetizing. When I was done eating I looked over at him chowing down. “Do you want more?” He gestured one of his pieces forward and I shook my head. “If I give you this, you have to tell me something.” He grinned and without thinking I said, “Yeah sure.” I started eating the fish when Andrew asked me his question. “I just want to know…who did that to you.” He said and moved closer to me. My cheeks went red again. Why does he care so much? Why can’t he just drop it? “A man.” I said and he sighed. “What man?” I looked out at the ocean. I really didn’t want him to know, no one knew besides myself and my parents. They had taught me to be a chronic liar. “Someone who… who” I started to talk but my words kept catching in my throat. They had coached to never tell anyone, and when I moved out of their house I intended on creating a new life for myself. I wanted to forget that ever happened to me. I turned to Andrew and he put his hands on the sides of my face. “Never mind. I can see how it’s tearing you up to say it so just forget about it.” For a moment I felt relief, but then the reality set in. Since I never told anyone, all the guilt sat on my shoulders, all the pain was in my heart, all the hatred I turned in on myself. “My father.” I spit out and his eyes widened. I took in a sharp breath, I felt like I could die from the rush of adrenaline. My secret was out; all those demons I kept locked inside were flushing through me. I was about to fall over into the sand but Andrew caught me in his arms. “I’m sorry, Kim. I wouldn’t have done that to you if I had known. I’m sorry.” I took several deep breaths before the tears came out of me like a river. I sobbed into his bare chest and he just wrapped his big arms around me. “I thought you were… well… now I understand why you acted the way you did.” Now he understands why I was such a spoiled, entitled, bitch. He shifted back onto his elbows and my body followed. The sun was setting once again on the beach and for the first time in days I felt safe.