– 8 –

   It had almost been 3 hours since Lea had been in the library. She had many missed calls and texts from her friends. It’s not like she purposely ignored them, she just liked to turn her phone on silent when she studied. This semester so far was tough. She had wished she took the harder classes first then her senior year would be a breeze. Either way she was determined and driven.

    Bzzzz, Bzzzz

    This was the 3rd missed call from Bri. She decided to finally call her back and see what was up.

    “Hello?”

    “Lea, where are you? I need you.” Bri said in a shakey voice. It sounded as if she was crying, or about to.

     “I’m at school, What’s going on? Are you crying?”

     “Can you come get me from work right now. I just got fired!”

     Lea knew this had something to do with James. He was hated the most amoungst all the friends and every one knew Bri could do a hundred times better. Lea was a little upset cuz she didn’t plan on leaving the libray any time soon but her friend needed her and she rushed to be there for her.

      Lea pulled in front of the hospital and Bri entered the car.

     “I could kill James! I told him this was my last chance. And what does he do. He stays out all night, oversleeps and forgets to bring me to work”

      Lea rubbed her friends back. She just let her vent.

     “Why do you continue to let him do this to you. What it is about him, Bri?”

     “I try and try to be independent. But without this job, I’ll still need him to help with the bills.”

      Lea noticed bruising on her arm.

      “What is this!?” Lea grabbed Bri arm “Do he do this to you?”

      Bri yanked her arm away. “It’s nothing, okay.”

      Lea pulled over the car so she could really speak to her friend. “You don’t see what he’s doing. He’s trying to control you. What will it take for you to leave him.”

     Bri was quiet and didn’t speak. She knew Lea was right. She heard the same thing from her friends from years. She didn’t know what it would take. James had a hold on her and she was too weak to let go.

       The girls just took a drive and rode around for while. Bri just needed some air and a clear mind. Meanwhile, James was blowing up her phone. Lea could tell Bri wanted to answer, as if she knew the consequences were going to bad if she didn’t.

      “I need to get home,” Bri opened her phone and showed Lea. “30 missed calls, do you see this?”

      “You want me to come in with you?” Lea suggested. At least if things got bad, James wouldn’t make in scene with her being there, at least she hoped.

      Yes, is what she wanted to say but she decided to go in by herself. She didn’t want to bring Lea in the middle of anything,

      James was on the couch sipping some Henny, watching tv. He turned around when he heard the door open.

      “The fuck you been at?”

      “Well, I got fired today. Does that even matter to you?”

       “I don’t give a damn about your job, I already told you. You need to keep you ass home anyways. Clean up around here. No food in the fridge. What kind of woman are you.”

         That struck a nerve in Bri. He was so degrading, so mean. She was the one going through it and he had the nerve to kick her even more while she was down.

         Bri waved him off “I’m going to take a shower. I can’t do this with you anymore. I really can’t.

         “And what’s that supposed to mean”

          “It means, fuck you!” Lea went into the bedroom and slammed the door

          “Fuck me?!”

          James rushed in after her. Bri tried to shut the door but James was too powerful and busted through.

           “After all I do for you, you bitch!” James smacked Bri and she fell on the bed. He climbed on top of her and held her down. Bri was no match for James powerful body on top of her.

          “Please James! I’m sorry. I’m sorry. I didn’t mean it. I love you.” Bri cried. She tried to break lose but it was no good. “You’re hurting me!”

          James started aggressively kissing Bri. Unbottoning her pants while still holding her down. 

          “You love me? Then prove it.”

           He took of his boxers and entered inside her.

          “Ahh! James! No, Please!” 

          James stroked hard and rough, sweat formed on his forehead.  Bri just laid there, no energy to fight back. If was if he was sexing a corpse. Tears filled her eyes as she let him continue.

           “I love you girl. You’re mines. Remember that. And If I can’t have you, no one will” James whispering in Bri ears just before dumping off his load. He laid on top of her and caught his breath. He rolled over and immediately went to sleep.

           Raped and face swollen, Bri waited to hear James snore as she slowly got up and went into the bathroom. She looked in the mirror and she was instantly disgusted with herself. She gently touched her busted lip. She carrassed her bruised arms. She felt nasty and degraded. That person in their wasn’t her baby father, wasn’t her boyfriend or the man she loved. The look in his eye was pure evil.

            She ran some warm bath water and slowly, foot by foot got in and laid out in the tub. So many thoughts ran through her mind. She needed to get away, far away. But who knows what James would do then. Her baby couldn’t see her like this. And she couldn’t bare to face her friends. She needed to come up with a plan, and come up with one quick. 

             Bri completely submerged herself under the water. The warmth of the water soothed her cuts and bruises. She had wished she had a brick to lay on top of her anything, to keep her under the water. She didn’t want to come back up. She didn’t want to live.

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