"Thanks for walking me back." I whispered to Jared. He kissed me on the cheek, then sighed and left. I quietly entered the tent. Father and Danny were both already sitting in it, talking quietly in the light of a lantern. I turned my head away from them, so they wouldn’t see I was crying. Danny had quite a temper, too. I didn’t want to upset him either. é. Maybe I should take his advice, and get a boyfriend. There was a neighborhood nearby.
"Hey Rachael, where have you been?" Father asked.
"I was just taking a walk." I replied. I had pretty good practice at keeping my voice steady after crying. So father didn’t notice.
"Well, aren’t you going to say hi?" he asked.
"If I do I’ll never get to bed, I’m just going to sleep." I forced out a fake laugh. They laughed along.
"Well, I suppose she’s right. I’m going to use the toilet before getting to sleep." Father said. He exited a moment later. I lay down, still facing away.
"I guess I’d better get to sleep too." Danny said. I heard him stand and stretch. He walked over to me and kissed my cheek.
"Goodnight." He whispered.
"Night." I whispered back. After I heard the zipper I sighed then sat up. I put my head in my hands. I sniffed. I then felt a hand on my shoulder. I knew right away it was Danny. He’d tricked me.
"What happened tonight?" he asked angrily.
"I had to get out of the tent. I was missing her again." I replied. His grip tightened, hurting.
"Tell me the truth." He commanded.
"That is the truth."
"The hell it is." He snapped. "Was it Shaun or one of the others?"
"No! I told you, I was just missing my mom."
"Then why was Jared walking you back?"
"He saw I was crying and he felt bad for me. He’s a softie."
"Okay, fine. If that’s it, then that’s it. I believe you."
"You’re just going to ask him aren’t you?"
"Because you won’t tell me."
"Maybe it’s none of your business, damn it!" I yelled. He took a hold of my jaw and turned my faced so I was looking at him.
"Watch your mouth!" he ordered. I jerked away from him and lay back down, holding back tears. He sighed.
"I’m sorry, but this is getting old. It was pretty bad tonight wasn’t it?"
"Yeah." I admitted.
"Too close." I breathed.
"All eight of them?"
"Damn it." He murmured.
"Don’t worry, nothing happened. I’m fine." I whispered.
"Yeah, you look great."
"Just go away."
"Sit up, I need to give you something." He pulled me up and turned me to face him. Then he paused, and softly ran his hand across my face, sending shivers down my spine.
"Why is your face red?" he asked. I looked away. "Did they hit you?"
"Yeah, because I tried to scream. I really tried to get away, I swear. I kneed Shaun."
"And you still didn’t get away?"
"There were eight of them." I reminded.
"Oh. Well, here…" He opened his bag and pulled out a round plastic case. It was white. I already knew what it was. "I don’t want to hear it, Rachael. At least if you get raped, you won’t have to worry about getting pregnant. Or if you finally get a boyfriend. Who you love…" he didn’t finish the sentence. He just shoved the birth control into my hands. "Don’t let your father find them." He warned. I nodded, and hid them under my pillow.
"This isn’t saying that I’m giving up. I promise I will never give up." He whispered. "But, just in case…"
"I know. I understand. Thank you so much."
"You look tired, get to sleep."
"You don’t look so great yourself."
"You already said that."
"I know, but you’re still beautiful, even after crying."
"Thanks. Goodnight, Danny."
"Goodnight Rachael." He leaned forward and kissed my forehead. Then stood and left. I had a feeling he wouldn’t be doing much sleeping. He was probably going to look for Shaun and the others. He would have never known about any of this if he hadn’t been at the right place at the wrong time. I was being harassed again. It was actually the first time Shaun was considering going as far as raping me.
But Danny unluckily was there, and saved my butt, but I didn’t want him to see. It was embarrassing, and I didn’t want him to worry about me. It was nice that he cared, but it would only hurt that much more knowing that when he got a girlfriend, or fianc
If I could find a good, strong boyfriend to love and take care of me, Danny wouldn’t have to worry about me anymore; and if I kept up the birth control. Then he’d have nothing to worry about, and it would be easier for me to accept him finding someone else. Someone his age, and who’s right for him. So that was my plan for now, stay out of Shaun’s way, and find someone else.