Damon's Story
Author: Lacey Raine

Chapter 3
It Could Be Worse.

 I'll be honest- I was kinda mad by the end of lesson. Mad at Logan and Asif and Jonathan for teasing me about Heidi. Mad at Yasmeena for not denying it with me. And also a little bit mad at Heidi, for not being there to defend me. She couldn't help it of course. She must have seen that I was pissed when I met her at break. "What's up?" She asked. I sighed.

"Will you please tell your friends?" I said. "They all keep saying you're my girlfriend." I shot them a look across the corridor. Heidi followed my look and wrinkled her nose.

"They are not my friends," She said. "Logan's a sleaze, Jonathan's a weirdo... okay, Asif's not bad. And Yasmeena... well, we don't hate each other, but we don't swap diaries. Anyway, if I know we're not going out and if you know we're not going out, who's it gonna hurt?"

Me, if Richard finds out... "I guess you're right." I shrugged, sighing. I wished I could tell her- but I couldn't.

***

I was reluctant to go home. I always was- Mum may or may not be back. It didn't make a difference. She didn't care what he did to me anymore. I dumped my bag and listened; the house was silent. Maybe Richard wasn't in. I breathed a sigh of relief, and went up to my bedroom. I lay flat on my back, staring at the ceiling. I remembered the words on a badge Heidi always wore on her blazer lapel; Smile. It confuses people. I knew it wasn't meant for people in my situation, but I tried to live me life by that.

I don't know when I fell asleep. I just missed out on so much over night, recently, that I found myself dropping off at awkward moments. But it was dark in my room when I woke up. I stood up. Wait, didn't I have my pants on when I went to bed? And wasn't I wearing my school blazer? And tie? And my shoes and socks, for that matter? If Richard had been in, surely he'd have woken me up? Mum wouldn't have- she didn't stop Richard from doing whatever the hell he wanted to me, but she'd never hurt me herself. Maybe she'd done it. Whatever. I walked over to the door and tried to open it. It was locked. Well, Richard had been along the landing, at least.

Of course, I wasn't allowed a key to my own room. Don't be ridiculous! If I did, it'd be all too easy for me to lock the door and stop Richard coming into our room for our weekly (sometimes it was more than that) rendevouz. The window was always locked. It had been for as long as I could remember, and I didn't know if even Richard and Mum had a key for it. If Richard locked my bedroom door, there was no way I could get out. Worst luck for me.

My bedroom was tiny, barely bigger than a cupboard. My wardrobe was shoved in the corner and my bed was under the window. In between them there was barely any room to breathe. And, depending on what mood Richard was in, it was either like a meat locker or like an oven; sometimes he'd turn the two radiators in my room off, and it was freezing cold. That wasn't so bad, becuase I could curl up in a ball and wrap the duvet around me. Sometimes he'd turn both heaters right up and it'd be boiling. There was nothing I could do in that situation. Tonight it was cold. Very cold. I took off my school shirt, lay back down on the bed, then brought my knees right up to my chest, hugged myself tightly, and tucked the duvet around me. I sighed and closed my eyes.

It could be worse.

At least I was alone tonight.

What's the difference? What's in a name?

All that matters is never ever losing faith- Your Not Alone Tonight, Keith Urban

 

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