Chapter 10

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Chapter 10

I woke up in my own bed. I panicked at first because I didn’t recognize where I was. Then I realized I knew exactly where I was. I was back home, safe at home. I don’t remember getting up and coming home. It can only mean that Michael brought me home at some point in the night. The door slammed open and my mom glared at me.

“Good to see you’re still here. Now we have a guest so be nice.” A guest? My mom never considers her one night stands as “guests”.

Slipping out from underneath the covers I walked to my dresser. I closed the door with my foot and searched through my clothes and found some pajamas. I was still in my clothes from yesterday. I gave another yawn and started to change.

My mom and sisters were sitting in the kitchen. There was food on the table and a half eaten plate with no owner. I walked to the stove and grabbed a piece of bacon from the frying pan. They talked as if I never walked in the room and I pretended I wasn’t listening. I heard the downstairs toilet flush and then the door opened. I waited patiently as the person walked back in. I almost choked on my bacon when I saw who it was. Drew. Drew was the guest at our house.

“Wait a minute,” he said. Yeah, we’re both in shock.

“What is he doing here?” I asked in disbelief.

“I was out yesterday and well I noticed Drew here. You know Hailey’s been single for awhile now. I thought they’d be great together,” my mom said in a cheery voice.

“Yeah, they’re both bitches,” I sneered.

“Excuse me,” both Drew and Hailey said at the same time.

“Brenna, I don’t think you can say anything about Drew. As for Hailey, she’s your sister.”

“Trust me, I know all about Drew. As for my sister, screw her!” I yelled. My mom got out of her seat and walked over to me. I braced for the slap as she raised her hand. The room was eerily silent and the air felt electric. The slap hit with a sound that pierced the silence.

It didn’t hurt at first and then the tears started to well in my eyes. It stung like crazy. I pushed my mom back and watched as she stumbled over her own feet. I stomped past my sisters at the table and past a shocked Drew. I walked right out my front door. I barely noticed the rain as it poured down. I walked in any direction but back in my house.

The farther I walked the colder I got. My fuzzy pajama pants were soaked, as was my thin tank top. A faint wind started to blow in. It made things much worse. I passed the grocery store almost half an hour ago and I don't really know where I'm going. My mind kept telling me to go back to my house. My heart told me to keep walking.

There was a raging battle in me. I could tell I was going to get sick at this point. No one walks in the pouring rain in the middle of winter and not get sick. I didn’t have much energy either. My mind was racing but it couldn’t land on anything specific. Even though I knew I was thinking, I just kept coming back with nothing. It was like my feet were acting on impulse. I guess I knew that there’d always be one day I’d just walk away. The day when I couldn't take it anymore.

As the sign for the ice skating rink came into view I knew where I was going. Even when I didn’t have control over my emotions I still knew where to go. I still knew where there was safety and love. The friendly love Dan and I shared, and the love I had for ice skating. It seems that even when you’re a mess your heart still knows what it wants; what it’s comfortable with.

I looked like a mess as I stumbled through the doors. The hockey team was having a meeting as I walked in. Fever was starting to get to me. I fell to the ground and I could hear people moving around me. Doors opened and closed. My vision was blurry and I couldn’t make out the figures that surrounded me. All the voices seemed far off.

“Bree, are you okay? What happened?” Dan’s voice.

I woke up on a bench. There was a blanket wrapped around me and something was used as a pillow. I felt weak, tired, and worn. Most of the hockey players left but a few were still here. Dan came into the lobby holding a steaming cup. His walk quickened as he saw that I was feeling better.

“Brenna, you had us all scared back there,” Dan said as he placed a cup of hot chocolate in my hands. It felt nice in my hands and I sneezed.

“Bless you,” he said

“Thanks.”

I took a sip and the warm liquid slid down my throat. Someone moved and two people came into sight. Tod and Will. “Glad to see you’re feeling better,” Tod said.

“A bit,” I admitted.

“What possessed you to walk out in the pouring rain dressed like that?” Will asked.

“I uh.” I looked at Dan begging for help. “It’s complicated?”

“Is that a question or a statement?” Will asked.

“It was supposed to be a statement," I kind of snapped.

“Sure sounded like a question,” Tod agreed.

I heard someone burst though the door. They practically ran to where I was. Pushing Tod and Will out of the way I saw Michael’s worried face. I kind of wanted to poke him so he would lighten up.

“Are you okay?” Michael sounded frantic.

“I’ll be fine, a small cold at the most.”

“Yeah but are you going to be fine?” He asked again.

“I can deal with colds.” Michael looked annoyed with me. Then he poked me in the cheek and I winced.

“That’s what I meant. Nice black and blue you got going there.” Mom must’ve hit me harder than I thought she did.

“Just because there’s a bruise doesn’t mean you get to poke it.”

“You’re avoiding the question.”

“Yes, I’ll be fine. It was my fault,” I said.

There was pain in Michael’s eyes.

He opened his mouth to say something when Dan cut him off. “Michael I think you should bring her to your mom’s. She needs a place to rest and my lobby is not that place.”

Michael swept me up and walked towards the door. I snuggled into him and fought back another sneeze. Tod and Will were watching us closely. I saw the same emotion from yesterday rip through Will. It must be about Michael, or is it about me?

Will opened his mouth to say something but firmly closed it again. I looked up at Michael, he had a stern look on his face. I feel like I’m missing something. “You’re Michael Tiller, youou were on the greatest hockey team that Wetchtale has ever seen.” Michael’s played hockey before?

“That was a couple of years ago. I don’t play anymore.”

“Why not?” Tod asked.

Michael shrugged, “Things change.”

“Michael, leave now!” Dan said.

Michael sighed and walked towards the doors again. I gave a content sigh and closed my eyes. I drifted in and out of sleep as he brought me somewhere. My memory is fuzzy; is he bringing me to his mom’s? I guess I don’t really care at this point. I’m sick, a mess, and I have this lovely black-and-blue on my cheek.

“Don’t worry, we’ll be there soon,” Michael whispered. He rubbed the back of my hand with his thumb and I fell asleep again.

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