I pulled the blankets up over me, my whole body shaking. I heard the door creak open, and watched a shadowy figure reach for the light switch. All I could picture was my dad standing at the door. I tried to silence the sobs that started to escape my lips.
The lights came on, and there Jace was standing. His dirty blonde hair was standing up in all directions and he looked half awake.
"What's wrong?" He asked, his voice full of sleep.
I was embarrassed for waking him up in such a rude manner. When I calmed down, I looked at him. I took a deep breath.
"I am so sorry, it was a nightmare." I whispered.
He nodded understandingly. "Can I get you anything? Warm milk? A glass of tea?"
I shook my head, "No thank you."
He nodded and shut out my light, closing the door behind him.
I laid awake the rest of the night, every time I closed my eyes, I saw the brutal image of my father.
There was a knock on the guest room door around 8:30, 9:00. I slowly got out of bed, and opened the door. I put on a face that I was okay.
"Good morning," I said softly and looked up at Mr. Carlile.
His green eyes poured into mine, as if he was trying to read me. Maybe my 'I'm okay' game was too obvious that it was fake.
"Morning Chelsi, did you sleep alright?" His voice was filled with concern.
"I slept fine," I gave him a small smile, "Thank you for letting me stay here last night."
Mr. Carlile nodded, "Jace and I think it would be wise for you to stay here until you're in a much better shape to go home. I'll give you some money so you can go buy yourself some clothes for your stay."
They were so kind to me, I was beyond thankful. I gave him a real smile and nodded.
"Thank you so much, this means so much to me."
I had always seen Mr. Carlile as a father figure, he had been there for me when my mother died, when my father wasn't.
"You're very welcome. Would you like to join us for breakfast?"
I nodded and went downstairs with him. The aroma pancakes and bacon filled the air as we reached the landing. My stomach grumbled hungrily, begging me to indulge. I saw Jace in the kitchen and soon joined him.
"Can I help with something?" I asked him.
"You can help by sitting down." He grinned at me.
I nodded and sat down, I wasn't going to question him. I was the guest and I knew better than to disobey. Bad things happened when you disobeyed someone.
When the pancakes were done, he brought them to the table, along with syrup and berries and the bacon. I smiled up at him.
"It smells delicious, thank you for breakfast."
Jace grinned at me, flashing me his pearly white teeth. He tipped his head down into a nod and started to dish himself. I looked down at the food, even though I was famished, I felt sick. My anorexic tendencies were coming out.
Despite the nauseous feeling buried deep in my stomach, I dished myself a small plate. We ate in silence.
After we all finished, I got up to put my dishes away. I was stopped by Jace grabbing my wrist. I flinched and stepped back from him, my heart rate picking up.
"Sorry, but you don't need to do your dishes. I'll do them."
I nodded slowly and sat back down.
"Can I ask you some questions, Chelsi? I just want to better understand your situation." Mr. Carlile asked in a soft tone.
I looked at him and have him a nod, "Yes, of course."
"What's life at home like?"
"It's quiet, it's just me and my dad, as you know. But it's-" I paused, "It's fine."
He nodded, "Just fine? Alright, has your dad ever physically abused you?"
I shook my head, "No, he hasn't."
My teeth her clenched, my muscles tightening up. I wanted to tell him the truth, but I couldn't. They would get the police involved and it would bring me more pain. There would be no escaping what I was going through. It would be eternal.
"How did you get so beat up?" He questioned, raising his eyebrows.
"I was in a car accident." I lied.