I was crying so hard, I barely could drive. If Luke hadn't come in at that moment, I don't know what she would've done. My mind was racing just as fast as my car was...I know I shouldn't have been speeding, but it was like I couldn't help it.
My phone started buzzing in my pocket, and I looked down long enough to see who it was. My mom was calling me! I hit the 'ignore' button and shoved my phone back in my pocket.
I put my signal on and turned right onto a dark backroad. I wasn't even sure where I was at...I just wanted to get as far away from home as possible.
My phone started buzzing again and this time, it was Luke. Rolling my eyes, I answered the phone.
"Luke. I'm not coming home."
There was silence on the other end...probably because he was shocked I answered.
He replied, "Nicole...you're mother realizes she made a mistake. She just wants you home, safe.
"Home is not where it's safe...found that out the hard way."
Obviously, he didn't know what to say because it got silent again. I continued, "Thanks for saving me, Luke. I'm am so thankful you came when you did...but I'm not going back there...ever."
Luke finally replied back. "Alright, Nicole. That's your choice...would you feel more comfortable crashing at my place for awhile?"
It was 4 in the morning when my phone starting playing 'Don't Wake Me Up', by Chris Brown. Who was calling me at 4am?! After pitching a small tantrum, I picked up my phone.
"Who are you and why are you calling me so late?"
The voice that replied back was unfamiliar to me...until she said her name. "Josh. This is April, NIcole's mom, is she over at your house?"
I raised up out of bed and nearly dropped the phone. April sounded worried and so I began to worry. "...um...no. She's not here...why?"
"She ran away from home! I was thinking she would be there out of all other places..." April must've been driving, because I was hearing heavy background noises.
I immediately began changing out of my pajamas and putting on regular clothes. "Why would she run away?"
"I got kinda upset with her for leaving and...hit her."
Anger started boiling in me, but I tried to keep calm. I would've done the same thing, however. Nicole had no reason to face abuse from her mother.
"April, I'm going to help you look for her. Do you know what road she took?"
She didn't answer at first, but she replied, "No...I don't. Please find her Josh! I didn't mean to..
"I'll try, April."
I quickly gave the rundown to my grandparents, then grabbed my keys and went out the door. Where could Nicole be?
I put my brakes on and pulled off the side of the road. I had been traveling down the road for about a hour and decided it was time to stop. I looked over and saw a street sign that said: Rocky Road.
'How original' I thought to myself. I pulled out my phone and dialed Josh's number. He picked up on the first ring.
I loved hearing his voice. "I'm alright, Josh...will you come find me?"
"Of course. Where are you?"
Again, I looked at the sign and realized I wasn't even sure where I was at. "Um...some backroad called Rocky Road."
"How original." He half-laughed.
I started laughing softly and replied, "That's what I said. I don't know exactly where it's at..."
"It's ok. I'll find you, babe."
We said our goodbyes and I put my phone back in my pocket. All of a sudden, a car pulled in behind me and turned the headlights off. This seemed out of the ordinary for me, and I began to get worried.
A dark figure stepped out of the car and started walking towards my car. Instinct told me to lock my doors and I did right as the figure came to the window.
It was Luke.
"Nicole. Don't worry...it's just me. Please unlock the doors."
I did as he said, and he stepped into the passenger side. I didn't want to look his way because I didn't want to show the mark that was left from my mom's assault.
He realized I was hiding my face and said, "Nicole, honey, it's ok. I just want to see if you're alright."
"I'm fine. It's numb right now..."
He smirked and replied, "That doesn't necessarily mean it's fine."
Knowing he was right, I turned my face towards him and let him examine it. "I know I shouldn't have ran away...but I was scared."
"I know...Nicole, your face is swollen. Maybe I should take you to the ER."
I nodded but said, "Josh is coming to meet me...he can take me." Luke pulled out an icepack from his jacket pocket and handed to me.
"I thought you might need this...and if you want Josh to take you, instead, I'm fine with that...but can I atleast let your mom know you're ok?"
Just hearing of my mom made the anger come back inside me. "No...I'm not ready to see her. Don't even mention me to her, Luke, please."
Luke scratched his chin and thought about my comment for a moment. "Fine. I'll respect your wish...but she'll have to know soon."
Again, I nodded and saw that Josh's mustang pulled up beside me. "Thanks, Luke. I really appreciate this...after I go to the ER, I'll be staying at Josh's, ok?"
"Oh...so you don't want to stay at my place?"
I placed my hand on his arm and replied, "I really appreciate the offer, Luke...but I would feel more comfortable at Josh's." With that, I grabbed my purse and keys and stepped out of my car and walked over to Josh's.
Josh rolled down the passenger side's window and said, "Told you I would...."
He didn't finish because he noticed my purple swollen cheek. I replied, "Yeah...it's pretty bad. Do you mind taking me to the ER?"
"No...not at all. C'mon babe."
I turned to Luke, who was just now getting out of my car, and asked, "Can you call a tow truck and have them bring my car to Josh's house, please?"
He nodded and started dialing the number right away. I got in Josh's car and shut the door. He immediately pulled me into a hug and gently kissed me above my eye.
"Are you alright?"
I had been calm all this time, but I couldn't keep my composure any longer. I broke down.
Josh wrapped his arms around me tighter and sarcastically said, "I take that as a no."
"She hit me...w...with a wooden s...spoon!"
Josh let go of me and started his engine. "Well...we better getcha to a hospital then, huh?"
I rested my head against Josh's shoulder while he drove. "So is your family still having the cookout today?" Josh smirked and continued driving.
"I don't know. Do you feel like going, Button?"
Raising up, I looked over at Josh and replied, "Maybe after I get some pain killers."
Josh and I sat in a tiny hospital room and waited for the doctor to examine my x-rays. They wanted to make sure I didn't have any fractures or broken places in my face.
I sat on the examination table while Josh sat on the doctor stool. He tried cheering me up by spinning around on it, yelling "Wheee!"...for awhile it made me laugh, but it got old for awhile and he was getting dizzy.
The doctor finally came in and held my report in his hands. "Well, Miss Bishop, you are one lucky girl. You have no broken bones or fractures...but definitely have some bruising."
I thanked God, in my head, and continued listening to the doctor. "I'm writing you a prescription for a heavier dosage of ibuprofen and also giving a medical icepack. Any questions?"
Getting up from the table, I shook my head and said, "Thank you for everything, Doctor." I was about to walk out the door when the doctor said, "Wait...Nicole, can I speak to you? Alone."
Josh realized the doctor was talking about him and said, "Oh...my bad. I'll be out in the waiting room, baby."
I nodded and sat in the chair opposite the examining table. The doctor positioned himself on the stool and bent down to where he was eye-level with me.
"Nicole...will you tell me how you got that swollen cheek?"
When the doctor said he needed to speak with me privately, I knew this question would come up. What was I suppose to say?
"Um...do you really need to know?"
He shook his head, like he was disappointed in me. "No...but Nicole, if your being abused by that boy, you need to tell someone."
What?! He thought Josh was abusing me??
I almost started busting out laughing, in fact, I started lauging. "Oh my gosh! Josh doesn't abuse me! He wouldn't ever do that to me!!"
The doctor must have been taken aback because he couldn't find the right words. "Oh...well...um...sorry I accused him. Who did then?"
I thought long and hard about what to say back and finally I replied, "My mom."