When it rains, p.2
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       When It Rains, p.2

         Part #1 of Rain series by Lisa De Jong  
Page 2

  Author: Lisa De Jong

  He pressed into me so quickly that pain erupted through my whole body, sending a deafening scream into the darkness of the room. I squeezed my eyes shut, feeling like I was drowning with no way to get to the surface. I’ve never felt such intense physical and emotional pain all at once. It was the absolute worst moment of my life.

  It still is.

  He didn’t stop. Not when I screamed. Not when I cried. He kept invading my body with each and every thrust, killing me a little more inside each time. It hurt more to fight it so I remained still, continuing to stare numbly at the droplets that rolled down the window. He grunted as he continued to shred my soul to pieces but I tried my best to block it out. I didn’t need to have his words locked into my memory forever when I already had to live with the feel of him inside of me. I knew I’d never be the same after what he did to me.

  I’m not sure how long I was in the room, but it felt like an eternity. My whole life flashed before me as I was overcome with grief. For the rest of my life, I would always regret going up to that room with Drew Heston. I could never get that day back or any of the other things he took from me.

  The most important thing I lost was my sense of self. It took seventeen years to build my foundation and it took mere minutes to tear it down.

  I hate him.

  The old Kate is gone . . . and she’s never coming back.

  And I’ll always hate when it rains.

  Chapter 1

  2 Years Later

  I NEVER IMAGINED A DAY WITHOUT LIGHT. A day without hope. A day where I had nothing to look forward to. I used to be a star on the track team, but now I’m only running from myself. I used to dream about becoming a lawyer one day, but now I can’t even bring myself to go to college. I used to have lots of friends, but now all I have is Beau . . . and he’s leaving for college tomorrow.

  Some days I don’t even want to go on anymore. What’s the point? For a while, people would ask what was wrong with me, but I wouldn’t tell them. I wouldn’t tell anyone. Why? Who would believe that the town hero raped me? I’m Kate Alexander, the daughter of the never-been-married waitress. The girl who doesn’t even know who her father is.

  Drew’s family has money, so everyone in town thinks they walk on water. They would have turned it all around on me anyway, saying I’d asked for it. I don’t know . . . maybe I did. Maybe I did something that made him believe I’d wanted to have sex with him that night. It replays over and over in my head, but I can’t make any sense of it.

  Nothing makes sense to me anymore.

  Living in a small town, and seeing the person who took everything from me walking the halls of our high school, driving down my street, or walking into the diner where I work, had almost killed me. I couldn’t eat. I couldn’t sleep. I didn’t leave my house unless I’d had to, and I’d had more sick days my junior year than I had every other year combined. I was barely living.

  I was scared to be alone. I was scared that he would do it again. My once picture perfect view of the world was gone, and all that remained were a bunch of broken pieces that I couldn’t glue back together.

  When Drew left for college the following summer, I’d taken my first deep breath in almost a year. I started hanging out with Beau again and slowly put on some of the weight I’d lost.

  I’m still stuck in that moment two years ago, though. I haven’t quite figured out how to move forward. How am I supposed to move on with my life? Am I supposed to pretend that everything is okay when it’s not?

  I prefer to be alone in my room, listening to music while staring at the ceiling. I can point you to every crack, bump or water stain. I’ve spent more time staring at it than I have sleeping. I don’t like to sleep because when I do I can’t control where my mind takes me, and the nightmares are always the same. The flashbacks grip me around the arms and hold me down just like Drew did that night. I want to be free of them. I want them to let me go, but they won’t and I can’t make them.

  I also hate when people ask me if I’m okay. I hate when they ask me what’s wrong, or what they can do to make it better. Honestly, I don’t think anyone can fix me. I wish they would just stop trying.

  My mom is a different story. I think she knows something isn’t right, but she doesn’t stay at home long enough to learn the truth. I can’t blame her, though. She has to work two different jobs to make ends meet; she’s working to take care of me just like she has been the last nineteen years, all by herself.

  When my grades started to suffer, she’d confronted me about it, but I’d told her that things were getting harder for me and she had let it go. She’d asked why she hadn’t seen Morgan around the house lately, and I’d told her that Morgan had a new boyfriend who she spent all her time with. She’d believed that too.

  When she asks if I want to go shopping, I say no. When she asks if I want to go out to dinner, I say no. I’m scared that I’ll see someone I don’t want to see.

  It is easier to hide.

  And the painful realization that Beau Bennett is moving five hours away from me tomorrow makes me want to curl into a ball and cry until there are no more tears to shed. I’ve seen him almost every day since we became neighbors when I was five years old, and even though things haven’t been the same between us lately, I can’t imagine not having him in my life. He means everything to me, even if I can’t say it. He’s the one person in the world I trust not to hurt me.

  He was my dream for so many years.

  We played together every day after school throughout elementary. He was just my friend then, of course, because I was going through the whole boys are gross stage, but something changed in middle school. I started to notice things like his beautiful blue eyes, his strong jaw . . . I would sit in class and stare at the back of his head, fantasizing about running my fingers through his shaggy brown hair.

  I was going to marry Beau Bennett someday but nothing ever happened between us. I was too scared to make the first move, and he was too busy chasing the pretty girls at school. I used to hope that maybe someday he’d see me like I saw him, but when he finally did, it was too late.

  I’m not the same girl anymore. I’ll never be her again.

  We’ve had our share of good and bad moments. In fact, the last time Beau and I went anywhere together was our senior prom. Just thinking about it makes me nervous about what today will bring.

  Tonight is my Senior Prom. I didn’t want to go, but Beau practically begged me to, saying it was something I’d always regret if I didn’t. I wanted to tell him there were lots of things I’d regret, but not going to Senior Prom wouldn’t be one of them.

  In the end, though, Beau’s persistence paid off and I agreed to go with him because I know if I don’t go, he won’t go. I spent some of the money I’ve earned at the diner on a new dress because I want to look good for Beau. I don’t want him to regret choosing me as his date.

  When Beau knocks on my door, I’m nervous but a little excited. For one night, I’m going to pretend to be just a normal, happy teenage girl. I take one last look at my long auburn hair in the hallway mirror and smooth down my knee length sapphire blue dress before opening the door. Beau stares down at me with his lips parted, and for a brief moment I wonder if this is really a good idea.

  But then he smiles, and all doubt leaves me.

  “Are you ready to go?” he asks, holding his hand out to me. He looks amazing in his black suit with a blue tie to match my dress. “Oh wait, I almost forgot. ” He holds up a small box and opens it to reveal a small corsage made from white lilies, my favorite flower. He carefully slides it over my hand, making sure the flowers are aligned perfectly on my wrist.

  “Thank you,” I say, slipping my hand in his.

  The night is going better than I expected. We spend most of our time on the dance floor, and when we take a break, Beau never leaves my side. A few people stare at me; I assume they’re surpr
ised to see me here, but I don’t let it get to me. I used to be just another student, but now I feel like I’m constantly on the outside looking in. Tonight, a little piece of me feels as if I’m a part of the world again.

  “Do you want to go to the after party?” Beau asks as the lights come on and the principal announces that the last song is playing.

  I shake my head. I’ve already stepped way outside my comfort zone for the night, and I don’t want to face all my old friends. I always feel like people are judging me and I hate it.

  “Do you want to go hang out by the lake?” he asks, wrapping his arm around my shoulders.

  Do I? This is the happiest I’ve been in almost two years, and I know it won’t continue forever. Once I have time to think again, the momentary escape with Beau will be over. Reality always has a way of sucking me in again.

  I nod as we get into his truck and roll down the windows. We ride in silence while the wind whips through my hair and country music plays softly on the radio. I wish all moments in life could be like this one. I feel free, safe, and more than anything, I feel a part of the old me creeping into the present.

  We pull up by the beach and Beau grabs a fleece blanket from the backseat before jumping out of the truck and coming around to open my door for me. We head toward the lake, placing the blanket down a few feet from the water’s edge. It’s only May and the air is chilly as we sit next to each other. I inhale the wonderful damp smell the lake provides and enjoy the tranquility it gives me. The breeze blows past us and I begin to shiver.

  “Are you cold?” Beau asks.

  “Yeah, it’s not as warm as I thought it was,” I say, wrapping my arms around my folded knees. Beau slips off his suit jacket and places it around my shoulders. It’s one of the things I like most about him; he’s always thinking about others before he thinks about himself.

  We continue to look over the water’s horizon, listening to the leaves rustle with the wind and the soft sounds of the small waves crashing against the beach. It’s peaceful here. If life allowed, I would have stayed locked up in this moment forever, especially if it meant I could erase all the others.
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