Take Me Away (For Laila's BETTER challenge)

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Romance  |  House: Booksie Classic
(For Laila's BETTER challenge)

A story about a young girl, Ada, invisible to the world, until she meets next door neighbor Justin, a beautiful man, with a big heart and a thing for Ada.

Submitted: March 23, 2009

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Submitted: March 23, 2009

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I never quite understood how I could belong to the family I was in. I have never been the one to be in the center of attention, I tend to keep to myself. I was the invisible one. They hardly knew I existed, but a strange part of me liked it that way. If I never let them close to me, I could never get hurt again. Nothing to gain, nothing left to lose.

I could hear my father arguing with my sister downstairs. He was drunk, and she was stoned. I didn’t have to see them to know why they were fighting. It was always like this, ever since mom got sent away. How I missed the days when she was home. I missed her face, her soothing voice, but more than anything I missed her love.

It was getting worse. I could hear plates being thrown against the wall, and their voices were getting louder. I tried to ignore them as I watched the sun set behind my neighbor’s house out my bedroom window but it was getting nearly impossible to block them out.I rolled my eyes, listening to dad scream at Drew for taking too many drugs. I glanced out my window and saw HIM. He was perfectly imperfect in the most beautiful kind of way. Suddenly I forgot about the fight, I forgot about mom, I nearly forgot everything but his face as I watched him walk up the sidewalk to our door. He was going to complain about the fighting, it always kept the neighbors up. I ran to the door to get to it before they did.

I answered as he had just started knocking. “Justin, hi. Sorry about the noise, my father and sister got into it again.” I said, embarrassed by their behavior.

“It’s alright. You’re Ada right? Ada Ferne? Actually I saw you through your window, and I was wondering if you wanted to come with me. My mom asked me to take Lightening, my kitten, to the vet. Would you like to join me?” He asked, and I couldn’t refuse.

“Sure, let me go grab my jacket.” I replied, and I could feel my face turning red.

I ran to my room, searching for my jean jacket, and glanced in the mirror on the way out. My pale brown glossy hair and blue grey eyes were less than beautiful. I didn’t have much of a figure, and my nose was flat, but at that moment, I felt like there might be something about me that makes me more. Maybe I’m not invisible after all.

It was getting dark, and I noticed by the time I had got back to Justin he no longer had the dog. “Weren’t we supposed to be taking Lightening to the vet?” I asked.

“My brother decided to take him instead, but if you’d like to go for a walk that would be nice. I’m sure you wouldn’t mind getting away from the noise for a while.” He asked, with a half smile lighting up his face.

We walked in silence to the park down the street, and we sat on the swings together. I didn’t know what to say. What do you talk about when you can’t find words? I looked at him, and could feel my heart racing. He truly was beautiful, in a handsome sort of way. His long brown hair fell to his shoulders, and his brown eyes seemed to glow. He was thin, and tall. After a few minutes of silence, he looked at me, grabbed my hand and led me to the benches overlooking the river.

“You don’t have to be shy around me Ada. I do think it is sweet though.” He said with a smile, taking his free hand and gently moving a strand of hair away from my eyes. “Have you ever met someone that in a moment seemed to change your life in more ways than you could ever imagine?” His face grew slightly more serious and his eyes seemed to be holding mine.

“What do you mean?” I replied.

“When I saw you today, through your window I saw something about you. It seemed like I was drawn to you for a reason, like I needed to know you. I got all the way to my door before I turned around and came back up to yours. I don’t know what it is, but you’ve pulled me in, and I don’t think I can let go now.” He pulled me closer, and held his face against mine. He smelled like motor oil and peppermint, from working on his car and from his gum, I was sure.

“I’ve been drawn to you for some time now. I just didn’t know how to talk to you. Thank you, for taking me away from my crazy family.” I said, sighing.

“I’ll take you anytime, anywhere.” He replied, letting go of me so I could see the seriousness in his face.

“I had better get back though. My father will be angry if I come home late. He doesn’t know I’m even gone.” I stood up and he followed.

We walked home, in silence again. We didn’t need to talk, he knew me better in a couple hours than anyone else had known in a lifetime. I didn’t know everything about him, but there was always time for that later. When we got to my door, the lights were all off, it was after nine. I assumed my father was in bed, and judging from the fact that Drew’s car was gone, she must have taken off.

“If you need anything, I’m right next door. Your room is across from mine, so when you get to your room wave at me so I know you aren’t in trouble for being late. I know how your father is, and I want to be sure you’re safe.

I got inside and could barely see because all the lights were off. I felt for the hall light, and ran directly into my father. I could smell the alcohol on his breath, and I cringed.

“Drew you have been late one too many times. Its time you learned your lesson,” He said in a drunken tone, barely making the words out.

“Daddy is Ada. I went to the park for a little while with Justin from next door. Sorry I am late. I’m just going to go to bed now, ok?” I said, and I could hear the fear in my voice.

“And what the hell do you think you were doing out late with that piece of trash? I don’t allow whores in my home, I got your momma away and Drew won’t be comin’ back either. Its time you learned your lesson girl, I’m gonna make you wish you never see another man as long as you live.” He yelled, throwing his belt and grabbing my shirt.

“Daddy, please. I won’t go out again I promise.” I said, tears streaming down my face. I struggled to get loose, and couldn’t escape his grasp. He dragged me down the hall to my room and threw me in. I thought, hoped, that would be it. He would leave and pass out on the couch like he always did. I got up and ran to the window. I begged God to let Justin be watching for me. Sure enough, there he was.

He could see the tears, and his face went from a dreamy smile to a serious angry look. He knew something was wrong, and then he was gone. Why would he leave when I needed him most? Then I realized what he must have seen. I smelled the liquor and suddenly felt my father’s presence behind me.

“I thought I told you to stay the hell away from him. I gave you a warning, how dare you disobey me you insolent child. I’ll show you.” He yelled, throwing me across the room like a rag doll.

I hit my head on my wooden headboard, and I nearly passed out. I was in a daze but all the while I knew exactly what was going on. See this has all happened before, first with Drew and now with me. It would be quick and painful but then it would be over. I kept repeating in my head ‘Tomorrow I’ll get away from here, far away. Tomorrow I will get away, far away from here” I heard him undo his zipper, and stomp across the room toward me. I couldn’t see, I couldn’t feel, all I could do was lay there and hope for a miracle. I felt his cold, sweaty hands against my throat and felt him trying to rip my clothes from me. Then there was another voice, a softer voice. It sounded so familiar, like an angel coming to take me away. The world went black.

I woke up in an unknown room. It was dark, and smelled like oil and mint. “Justin?” I asked, hoping he would be there. “Justin? Are you there? Please be there.” I cried out, suddenly remembering what happened earlier.

“Shh, it’s ok sweetheart. I’m right here, and I’m never leaving you again. Your father is gone, the police took him away. I saw him behind you and called them before I rushed over to make sure you were ok. It wasn’t easy pulling you away from him” He said, and I noticed his arm, wrapped up and stained red.

“Oh Justin, I was so scared.” I said through tears, and he came over to hold me.

“You don’t ever have to worry about him again. Drew stopped by to see you. She said she’s sorry, but she couldn’t stay with you. Her lifestyle wouldn’t be good for a 17 year old girl, and she’s right. If you’d like, you can stay here. My mom agreed, and I’ll be getting an apartment in the near future. Ada, I don’t ever want to leave you again.” He said softly, whispering in my ear.

“I don’t ever want you to leave. I love you, Justin.” I said, smiling for the first time because I knew I would be safe now.

“I love you too Ada.” He replied, lightly kissing me.

I missed my mother, and part of me missed my father as well. I missed Drew. Loving people, even family, always sets you up for heartbreak, but with Justin here I knew I wouldn’t hurt for long. For the first time in my life I was happy. Life became more beautiful with every passing moment. I was no longer invisible, and I like it this way.


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