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[7] Aiden

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Aiden!

You turn around in the parking lot,

Towards the grocery store.

The girl from the dance runs towards you,

And you can already see the bruises.

They cover her face,

Her neck,

And probably everywhere else that you can’t see.

You tell her hi,

And that you never got her name.

Paige,

She says,

And you feel Mother’s eyes on your back.

This was not good.

You shouldn’t be talking to Paige,

But you know,

She needs someone to talk to.

I know we don’t know each other that well,

But can you do me a huge favour?

Her words are rushed,

And her eyes threaten tears.

Can you drive me home?

You ask her if something’s wrong,

And she nods.

I’ll tell you later.

I just need to get out of here.

She keeps looking behind her,

And you tell her sure.

But first,

You’re taking her to your house.

You tell her to get in the car,

And ignore your mother’s objections.

Once the doors closed,

She freaks out through clenched teeth.
Couldn’t make a scene,

In front of the neighbours.

Aiden,

What the hell is going on?

You tell her you have a school project,

And you have to get it done outside of school.

We are not taking that whore home!

Just look at her, Aiden!

She’s as worthless as you!

What will the neighbours think?

You bite your tongue,

And tell her it’s a quarter of your final mark.

You say you’ll drive her home later,

And you get in the backseat beside Paige.

Mother climbs in the front,

And glares at Paige in the mirror.

You would pay for this later.

In the safety of your room,

You turn to the bruised,

Broken,

Crying girl.

You ask her what’s going on,

And she spills.

Dan,

Abuses her,

Hurts her,

Breaks her.

Dan,

Won’t let her leave,

Escape,

Go home.

Dan,

Sells her,

Uses her,

Controls her.

I’m going home,

To my Mom.

She smiles sadly,

Knowing she was making the right choice.

You ask her how she got away.

I told him I forgot to grab something,

Then made a break for it.

You finish talking,

And drive her to her mom.

When you get home,

Your mom is waiting for you.

Let me see this project,

You dig in your backpack,

And pull out something you’ve already finished.

I only see your writing.

You tell her Paige researched,

And you wrote.

Mother slaps you.

Bullshit.

She grabs your arm,

And drags you towards your room.

She throws you inside,

And slams the door behind you.

Then she gets the chair,

And blocks you from escaping.

When you’re alone,

You pull out a razor.

You are breaking your and Katie’s deal,

But,

You,

Needed,

Sanity.

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