Chapter 17 - Inner Demons

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Sean arrived with David in the front and Andrew in the back. I had thought that it would be Henry that freaked out at the sight of the car, but it was me that panicked at the sight of it; of the rear seat passenger.

Sean and David both bolted from the car; David to Henry, Sean to me.

I could feel my heart beating in my bones, could feel my chest constricting; I was suffocating on air, reliving every petrifying second of that memory. I wanted to throw up, I wanted to purge myself of every vile remnant of him, but there was nothing left of him but the twisted event in my head. I could see him and only him, a nasty purple bruise already beginning to line his jaw. Those green eyes looked a hellish yellow as he grinned at me through the glass. My stomach knotted itself so tightly I thought I'd never eat ever again. My legs went slack but Sean's arms were like a vice around me, keeping me stood up. My heart was pounding so loudly behind my eardrums that I could scarcely hear Sean whispering in my ear. In my mind, all I could see was that sickening grin, those demon eyes watching me, scheming against me.

I had even realised I was hyperventilating until I passed out, still held firmly against Sean's torso, and, as the world vanished into nothing, I heard only one thing; my name. It sounded like I'd had my head shoved under water, the word twisted and muffled.

I looked at myself in the full-length mirror attached to the back of the bathroom door. The sight of my own body made me feel violently sick. My wrists were ringed with bruises, that were so clearly made by hands that had gripped them too tight, and in my head, I could still see his face so close to mine as phantom hands held my wrists. Then there was the deep purple mark under my ribs, from where his mouth had taken it's time to pop all the blood vessels beneath the skin, it was tender to the touch and unsightly on the eyes. It had been four days, the bruises on my wrists were fading, but the purple mark on my ribs...

"A love bite, sweetheart," I felt sick even remembering the sultry tone to his voice, "as proof of what happened here." I wanted to throw up... and I did.

There was a thudding at the bathroom door and William's voice announced that If I didn't get out of the bathroom and get ready for school immediately, he'd break down the door and dress me himself. I swore at him response, but wrapped the towel around myself and left nonetheless.

But the bruises turned out to be the least of my troubles.

On arrival at school, my entire year was ushered into the main hall and there, at the head of the assembly, were two police officers; Officer W. Sykes and... Officer A. Blackman. My heart raced and my head span, all over again. I was going to be sick again.

I bolted from the hall, ignoring the protests from every teacher I passed. I ran for the toilets, and locked myself inside. I fell to my knees and emptied the contents of my stomach into the toilet, again and again, until there was nothing left to bring up. I sat there, on that cold, dirty floor, with my head against the tiled wall, and closed my eyes. I steadied my breathing and tried to stop my head from spinning.

There was a light knock on the door and a soft female voice spoke through the wood.

"Nikki? Are you okay? Do we need to call home?" I knew that voice, but for some reason I couldn't place it. I didn't respond, terrified that if I even attempted to speak, I throw up all over again.

"Nikki, are you unwell?" I took a deep breath and stood up. I walked over to the door and opened it. On the other side, stood my history teacher, Miss Frankfurt. I shook my head; was I unwell?

"I don't know Miss, but don't call home, no one Is there to pick up anyway." She nodded, a sad smile adorning her delicately made up face. Thick, loose curls on blonde hair fell over her shoulders.

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