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The elevator was spacious, but I still felt cramped. He was standing in front of me against the wall of the elevator. His eyes were locked on me, and for those forty five seconds there was no way I could get away from it. He hadn’t asked me about it yet, but I knew it was coming.
The elevator doors opened to a long hallway, with doors on each side. He led me to house 911 and twisted his key into the doorknob.
“After you-“He said.
I readjusted my backpack and made my way into his apartment.
To say that I was surprised at the decor was a complete and utter understatement.
It was built in such a grand manner that I almost wiped my eyes to make sure it wasn’t just a blur in my vision. It was a type of place that you’d see a grilled rapper bragging about on MTV Cribs.
I walked into the living room, and stood in amazement at the glorious view of NYC. The lights never looked so bright, mesmerizing.
“There’s an extra towel and washcloth in the bathroom if you want to take a shower, dry off, and what not.” He took my backpack from me, and motioned for me to follow him. He brought me into a bedroom, and placed my backpack on the bed “I hope you don’t mind sleeping here; I wanted to make sure you’d be comfortable…”
The room was equipped with a queen sized bed with red satin sheets, and cable.
I was going to be more than comfortable.
A smile sprung on my face “This is amazing. Thank you Justin, for everything.” I didn’t know what got into me at that moment, but I hugged him. I rested my head on his shoulder, and clenched onto him for dear life. It was a long time since I found stable shelter; it was all that I could ever want. I longed for a place to go home at night, where the horrors of life wouldn’t cling to my soul.
“It’s no prob’ Val; I’d do anything to protect you...” Justin whispered into my ear. I could feel myself falling, like I was stuck inside one of my recurring dreams. My inhibitions released into the world for everyone to see and take note of.
I was getting too comfortable.
I pushed off of him softly, and averted my gaze to the glossy hardwood floors. “Um, where’s the bathroom…?”
“Right…” He left the room and went to its “It’s two doors left of your bedroom.”
I peeked my head out of my room and got a clear view of where it was. “Alright, I guess I’ll go take a shower now, get this gross rain water off of me.”
“I’ll go order some Chinese food while you’re in there.” He disappeared quick.
I went into the bathroom with my backpack, and practically banged myself into the wall. When am I ever going to learn how to react the right way?
I turned on the water, stripped off my clothes, and got into the shower. The sudden splash of warmth blanked my mind, leaving it clear and content.
For some reason, I had forgotten to bring clothes with me. So I proclaimed my problem to Justin, who gave me a shirt and a pair of his sweatpants. They were comfortably oversized, but I had to tie the waist in the pants twice for them to fit considerably well.
I could already smell the glorious over-salted, over-saturated food down the hall. I’m practically feigning for it.
I threw my backpack onto my bed, and walked into the living room where I saw Justin with the Chinese food.
“I got you Shrimp Loin Mein. I hoped your favorite hasn’t changed all these years.” He handed the box of food to me, as I sat next to him on the couch.
“It hasn’t.” It amazed me how nice he was being to me. I forgot how this felt like, positive human interaction. I grabbed a fork off of the coffee table and went to town on that food.
“So, Val, what’s going on? You’ve got to tell me…”
My heart dropped into my stomach. I swallowed the food into my throat, and took a deep breath. “I know…I know I do…it’s just…” The words weren’t coming out of my mouth clearly. So…I figured that I would show him the damage. I placed the food down and rolled up my shirt, to reveal the black and blue that’s embedded in my skin. His face softened once I was put on exhibit. He touched one of my bruises, and the sting shot up through my body.
“Who…who the hell did this to you? I swear..Val…I will beat their ass to a pulp, just tell me who the hell they ar-“ He got up from the couch and started to pace around the room. The anger made his eyes glow in the worst way. I hated seeing him like this. I had to make it stop; he couldn’t do anything.
“My dad…he…this is what he’s done to me.”
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