After brushing her teeth, ridding her body of the horrid smell, Givanni climbed into her large, queen-size bed. Blankets enveloped her almost immediately, as she caught sight of the sleeping Tapanga, her partner in crime. Lying across the room atop an air mattress, Tapanga was the spitting image of the girls in the magazine clippings. The clippings that were now buried deep within her underwear drawer, a place no one would surely look.
Moonlight cast shadows along the walls all night' she lay on her bed, submersed in old quilts, listening to the gentle hum of her best friend sleeping. The last thing Givanni could remember, was swallowing a pill that Tapanga had given her earlier in the day. Her body went limp as a dark cloud swept through her mind; she clutched the jersey --Dash's jersey-- tightly to her chest as fear crept into her heart.
Soon, she gave way to the darkness, her body falling into a deep slumber. Too deep a slumber.
"You're worthless Mar, you know that? Worthless."
Standing in the center of her bedroom, wearing old flannel shorts and a tanktop, Mara Lange forces herself not to look into his cold, hard eyes. She knows what would happen if she did: she'd let go of all control, she'd fall for him all over again. His past and all.
Instead, she focuses her gaze on a figurine across the room, sitting atop a worn dresser. A unicorn, white glass glzed with a shiny, clear coat of paint; its blue eyes, wide and surprised, stared back at the girl, who was currently bracing herself against the words of her tormented boyfriend.
"Dad keeps telling me you're trash..." The mane was black and long, braided, trailing down the creature's slightly arched back; it's body was raised, bucking, a crazy look in its eyes. Freedom.
"Look at me," He shouted, grabbing her jaw with his thumb and index finger. As he yanked her face towards him, tears escaped Mara's eyes.
Taking in his appearance, she exhaled lightly. His smoldering dark eyes, which she used to find irresistable, had a crazy look in them. Unlike the unicorn's freedom, it was power. Power and slight drunkenness.
His lips parted for a moment, dropping his hand from her face. Mara didn't dare move, she didn't wish to. Clinging to his left hand with both of hers, Mara leaned into him, laying her head against his chest. She felt his chest move swiftly as gasped slightly, his arms instinctively wrapping around her thin frame.
As she pulled back, Mara smiled. Stretching onto her toes, she kissed him lightly upon his lips. He smiled then, squeezing her. "I'm sorry, Mara. I didn't mean--"
Touching her index finger to his lips, she nodded, "I know. You never do."
Running a hand through his dark, wavy locks, Mara noticed the purple rings circling his eyes. He hadn't slept in days, she remembered. Mara knew this for sure, considering he'd been spending his nights in the corner of Mara's bedroom. Buried beneath three blankets, he spent his nights lying on the cool, wooden floor.
His parents beat him, they alawys have. Perhaps that's what brought them together years ago: their pasts. When mara was a child, her father beat her, only her. Mara never understood why she was the center of so much hatred, before her father up and left one day. That was the best day of her life.
Mind retreating back to reality, Mara noticed the faint reminder of why her boyfriend came knocking on her window a few nights ago. Touching the raised, swollen, flesh below his left eye, she ran her fingers across the yellowing skin. Reaching upward, she touched her lips to the skin beneath his eye; his dark eyelashes grazed her heek, she felt the wetness of a tear slipping onto her.
"I love you Will Connor." She finally said, eyes swelling with tears as she retreated to her bed, lying facedown. Standing in the center of the room alone, Will sighed, a cry escaping his chest. "And I love you."
His name as Will Connor, son of the local sheriff. The irony, a sheriff beating his own son. After his father began to beat him again, for he'd stopped for a few years, Will began retreating to the comfort of Mara's home.
One night, around midnight, Mara heard a gentle tap upon her window. She hadn't been asleep for very long, maybe a few minutes, so she heard it immediately. Not bothering to switch on the light, Mara shoved open the old, worn window above her bed, not exactly sure what to expect.