Chapter 17 Danni

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I tried the best I could not to limp around school. The weight of the books in my arm made my back ache. I was wearing Andy's jumper to cover the bruises and black tights with a red dress. My hair was out today and covered my face. I tried to put makeup on the bruises but it didn't work very well. You could only tell they were there if you looked closely. I took deep breaths, working through the pain in my back and walked into literature. I smiled at Miss Jones before taking my seat. I kept my head down, my back pounding against the hard wooden chair. I didn't know how to sit. I glanced up and noticed Andy walk into the room. She smirked at Miss Jones before walking past me. Her familiar pine scent filled my senses making me remember the night I spent with her.

"Today were going to do group analysis of The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath. I expect in partners to answer all the questions by the end of tomorrow's lesson. I have put your names randomly in the hat and will choose your partners,"

"Andy you're with Danni," I mentally groaned. If anyone is going to notice the bruise it's Andy. She saw that I wasn't moving so she got up from her desk and pulled a chair up to mine.

"Hey stranger," she smirked, letting her book fall onto my desk. I kept my head down so she couldn't see my face.

"Hi," I replied as normally as I could.

"If you need any help feel free to ask," Miss Jones called out. I flipped the question sheet over and opened the book. From the corner of my eye I could see Andy twirling the pencil between her fingers.

"I can answer the questions if you want?"

"Well I've already dons this," she laughed, letting her arms fall on the desk. I flinched slightly at the familiar sound. My memory going back to what happened with mum.

"You okay?"

"Yes," I whispered, writing the answer down to the first question. I was waiting for her to ask another question but she didn't. She opened the book and started answering the questions with me. We took it in turns. I did the odd numbers and she did the even numbers. I tried my best not to look up at her. But when she talked to me it was hard. She mesmerised me with the depth of knowledge she got from certain passages. On the last question, I peered up at her. Her eyes fell directly to mine. She squinted her eyes at me, her eyebrows furrowed. I quickly averted my gaze down. I closed my eyes when I felt her fingertips graze my jaw. She lifted my head up, her fingers brushed against my cheek. I tried not to wince but my face stung from the contact. Her eyes turned cold and dark. I watched her swallow. She was about to speak when the bell rang. I got up as quickly as I could, my back burning with every movement.

"Danni," she spoke but I ran out of the classroom. I was making my way down the hall when a body stood in front of me. I looked up and saw Johnothan.

"Danni, I'm sorry about what happened," I looked at him confused.

"Beatrice told me what he did. That's not cool," I felt tears welling in my eyes at the memory of him using me.

"Well he said you had sex at the party but I remembered him saying you weren't ready,"

"Ready for what?" Andy asked, standing next to me.

"Andy,"

"Johnothan,"

"I know it's none of my business but are you two like a thing?"

"No, we are acquaintances who happen to know the same people," Andy replied. For some reason my heart dropped and I felt a little hurt.

"So you left the party with her because?"

"Because you're fucking friend can't take no for an answer,"

"True and I showed him how I felt about what he did,"

"He told you?"

"He said he had sex with Danni, and I knew she wasn't ready so I hit him to make him realise that what he did wasn't right,"

"Where is he?" She asked, her fists going white.

"Beats me, but he's getting real angry Andy and I did what I did because I can't stand rape,"

"Fair enough,"

"I'll leave you too it. Please don't let him do that to you Danni," Johnothan sighed, walking away from us. I tried to walk away but Andy's hand fell into mine. She softly tugged me back. I couldn't look at her. She pulled me into the disabled toilet and locked the door.

"Was it him?" She asked, her hand still in mine. I didn't answer. She knelt down, looking into my eyes.

"Please talk to me Dannielle,"

"Why?" I whispered, holding the tears in my eyes. She let her hand fall under my chin.

"Because I care," I saw something flicker in her eye. I couldn't tell her. She'd end up like Erica. I can't let anyone else go because of my mother.

"Danni, who did this to you?"

"I-I can't say," I whispered, letting a tear fall from my eye. Andy was quick to wipe it with her thumb. She stood up and brought me into her arms. I let my arms wrap around her waist, my head against her chest.

"I know that we all have our secrets and sometimes we can't say things in case the people around us get hurt but Danni, I am willing to get hurt for you," I looked up into her eyes.

"I know we didn't get off on the right path and that I'm probably seen as a bitch and a horrible sister, but the way Beatrice treats you isn't right. I know it's hard to speak up Danni, I do, but please know that I've been through it too," I looked at her confused. Had she been abused? Had she been sexually harassed? Is that why she is so cold?

"Just know that I will do what it takes to make sure he and no one hurts you anymore," she placed a soft kiss on my forehead.

"Please get your back checked. I know it hurts from the way you were sitting," she opened the door with a soft smile and left me standing in the toilet. Why does she care all of a sudden? Why is she so cold? Why is she caring for me?

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