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The sun beat down on the back of my neck, as I sat talking with my friends around a picnic table during lunch. It was March and already it was beginning to feel like summer. I had my thick, black hair, tied up high on my head. I discarded my sweater earlier that day, and I quickly regretted not wearing shorts. I was left wearing jeans, and my older brother, Jayson’s royal blue, oversized, DC shirt. That was the problem with having an older brother instead of a sister. I got all his well-worn clothes that no longer fit him. Some I enjoyed wearing, like the shirt I was wearing that day, but other I didn’t.
My mom wouldn’t buy me any clothes, because she said I had enough, when half of them I had never even worn. If I had a job I would buy my own, but with soccer, basketball, and softball, my schedule was pretty busy all year round. Most of the kids in grade eleven had a job, but there were a few of us who didn’t.
My friends were arguing over which boy was cutest in our class. Personally, there was really no one worth thinking about, about half the grade was greasers anyway. I was too busy carving my name into the table with a penny, to pay much attention.
At first I thought I was hearing things. I heard a soft, buzzing like noise, but then it grew louder. Before I had much chance to decide what it was, a motorcycle flew around the corner down the road, and headed towards the school. A crowd of people had already gathered at the gate. Some were wondering who the mysterious driver was, and others had their phones out, taking pictures or videos as the driver clocked 80km/h in a school zone.
The bike pulled into the school driveway, and within seconds I could no longer see the bike or the driver. I felt Nikki, one of my friends, grab my arm begging me to go over and see who was driving the bike. I told her I didn’t want to look at a motorcycle. She corrected me and said it was a dirt bike. Honestly, what was the difference? I really wasn’t interested, but followed anyway. She ran up ahead, and I slowly made my way over. I had better things to do than stand there looking at a bike, and a potentially hot guy.
I lost Nikki in the crowd, and ended up standing next to a bunch of guys on the rugby team. They seemed mesmerized by the bike. They kept using words and numbers I didn’t understand, like, Kawasaki KX450F. But I’m pretty sure that was the name of the bike. They said a bunch of crazy stuff about the engine that meant nothing to me. How did they know all that anyway? It sounded more confusing than Physics class. I heard someone say it was off-road. Then why the he** was he driving it on the road? If bikes were a class, I’d clearly fail. I just didn’t understand what was so great about it anyway. If you were to ask me do describe it I would say it was big, loud, and black, white, and a bright green color almost identical to the nail polish I was wearing.
The driver slowly got off the bike, as if he were trying to show off. I had always hated people like that, people who acted like they were better than anyone else. It’s not like their lives could be that great anyway.
The mysterious guy pulled off his helmet. Thick, chocolate brown hair fell down around his shoulders. Sweat gleamed off his brow, but he quickly wiped it away with the back of his hand.
I recognized him from somewhere. He was probably one of the guys who sat in the back of one of my classes no one knew anything about. I was quickly proven wrong, when a bunch of guys ran up to him as soon as his helmet was off. Obviously he had some friends. But he didn’t seem interested in talking to them. He was too busy scraping the small specks of dirt off his bike. You could barely see them, so I don’t know why he felt the need to do that.
Someone pushed me from behind, probably someone wanting to get a better look, and I fell forward toward the bike. I tried to catch my balance, but it was no good, all I could see was green, white, and black coming at my face.
I suddenly found myself on my feet again, with no idea how I got there. Someone had their strong arms wrapped around me.
“Watch it, would ya?” I heard someone yell. I turned around to see who had a hold of me. It was the guy who was riding the bike. “You almost hit my bike! Do you have any idea how much this baby cost? Around $11 000, you wanna buy me a new one if ya scratch this one?”
I rolled my eyes. He had caught me, not because I almost fell flat on my face, but because he didn’t want me to get a tiny scratch on his “baby”. I mumbled a quick apology, which I didn’t really mean, and tried to release myself from his grasp. But he wouldn’t let go. I turned to glare at him.
“It’s Alina right?” he said.
I nodded, but I had no idea how he knew my name.
“I’m Alec. You dated my younger bro a few years back. Chad? Remember him?”
It all came rushing back to me. The one summer I dated the school’s starting point guard for the Jr. Boys Basketball team. That was in grade nine. Chad and I went to the beach almost every weekend together, sometimes alone and sometimes with a bunch of friends. That’s how I recognized Alec. He looked a lot different than he did two years ago. All his gross looking acne had gone away, giving you a chance to actually see his face. His deep blue eyes seemed brighter than ever. He had gained weight, no, muscle since then too. I remembered how tall and lanky he used to be. He was still tall, but more solidly built, almost like a football player.
Chad had told me how his brother got expelled from our school, and had to transfer. I guess now he was finally back, for his grade twelve year.
“I was always jealous of my bro fer dating ya. I always thought you was pretty cute,” he winked at me, and I wasn’t sure if he meant it or not, but I still felt my face get hot, and I was sure I was turning red. Suddenly I remembered all the people crowded around us, and I got even more embarrassed.
I didn’t know what to say. I found myself staring at his bike, and I guess he noticed, because before I knew it I was holding an extra helmet in my hands.
“Hop on,” Alec said to me, with a broad smile plastered across his flawless face.
I just stood there, wide eyed. If I got on that bike I was sure I would die. And even if I did survive, my mom would probably kill me as soon as she found out I got on a bike with an almost complete stranger. I tried to think of an excuse not to go. “I heard someone say it was an off road bike,” I stated.
“Doesn’t off road mean NOT on the road?” I said, plainly confused.
“Well yeah, but who’s here to stop me? So ya gonna get on or not? I’m sure any other girl would jump at the chance.”
I stood there and was about to say no, I hated arrogant people, but then I spotted Nikki in the crowd motioning for me to get on. She was giving me that ‘if you do what I’ll tell you, your life will be a living he**” look. She constantly reminded me how I never had any fun. I hesitated for a few seconds, but finally answered a quiet “Yes.”
I climbed on the back, but there wasn’t a lot of room. He must have noticed my discomfort because he said, “Technically it’s only for one person, but we’re gonna make an exception, just for you. Now hold on tight.”
My first reaction was to panic, but Nikki was smiling at me now. I told Alec I was settled in and he started the engine. I screamed. It was louder than I expected, but I could still here his laugh over the noise.
He shot off out of the parking lot, my heart started beating fast, and my nerves went through the roof.
Trees and houses flew by. I knew we weren’t going as fast as we would have in a car, but the open air made it seem so much faster. I held on tight to Alec’s waist. I could feel his abs through his thin white t-shirt, they were pretty impressive. I was mentally beating myself up for my moment of temporary insanity when I got on this bike.
We rounded the corner where I first saw him on the bike. Someone screamed, it could have been me, but I don’t remember.
I slowly open my eyes and study the pale yellow paint on my bedroom walls. Cabinets line the opposite wall, and I suddenly want to open them all and see what’s inside. I don’t remember having them in my room before, or the yellow walls. Last I remember my room was painted blue like my brother’s DC shirt that I’m wearing. Looking down, I notice I’m not wearing it. I’m pretty sure that was what I put on this morning. Instead I’m wearing a pale blue shirt. It’s not the most comfortable fabric, and I don’t remember owning it. I guess it could be one of those shirts that I never wear, and now I remember why I don’t. It itches. I try to pull in over my head but I can’t get it, I give up in frustration.
I’m still lying in my bed, which seems smaller than before. My clock’s missing and I don’t remember which wall my window is on. I’m just starting to climb out of my bed, when a strange man walks in the room. He’s wearing a long white shirt. I thought people only ever wore those in the stupid doctor shows on T.V. that my mom always watches.
He’s headed towards me, and my first reaction is to scream “RAPIST!” as I reach for my lamp on my night stand, but the table and lamp are both missing.
“It’s alright,” he said, “I’m going to help you,”
Help me with what? I don’t need any help, I’m absolutely fine. I try to tell him that but he keeps saying over and over for me to just lie down and everything will be alright. Everything is alright. Is this guy completely insane? He’s probably just some 40 year old virgin who wants to get in my pants. I’m not going to let that happen.
“Mom!” I scream, panicking. She’s just in the next room so she’ll be here in a few seconds, I’m pretty sure I can hold him off until then. If I was a ninja this would be so much easier!
I’m still screaming at him to get away and my mom hasn’t come yet. He turns around and presses some big button on the wall. I hear a beeping noise. It’s so loud that it hurts my ears. I cover them but it’s no use, the beeping is everywhere. I want to get away from it but there’s nowhere to go because he is blocking the door.
The floor is very cold, almost like I’m walking on ice. I never wear socks to bed, but now I think I should. I climb back onto my bed to get away from the ice. But what if my extra weight on the bed causes the ice to crack? Then I’d surely die. I don’t want to die, I’m way too young. The crazy man, on the other hand, deserves to die.
I’m still screaming for my mom but she doesn’t come. I decided to run by the strange man. I jump off the bed and run as fast as I can, making sure to stick my elbow out. My elbow hits his belly hard. He stumbles back and gasps for air. I bolt by him into my mother’s room. Her room looks just like mine, but she’s not there. I slowly make my way over to her bed. Someone is laying in it. A blanket is pulled up over their face and I pull it away.
“Alec!” I cry, “Thank God you’re here! There’s a strange man in my room and he won’t go away! Will you help me get rid of him? Alec? Please help me! Please!”
He doesn’t answer. I call his name louder, but still he ignores me. I’m getting frustrated, why won’t anyone listen to me?
I feel a soft hand on my back. I quickly turn around and mom is standing there, but she looks sad.
“He’s dead Alina,” is all she’s says.
“You killed him? The crazy man? Oh thank you!” I give her a big hug, but she pushes me away. That’s the first time she ever did that to me. I saw her push dad away when he left, but I don’t want to leave her. She takes care of me, she killed the crazy man for me.
“No, not the doctor dear. Alec, he died. I’m sorry dear, I know he was your friend but I’m glad you’re still alive,”
I don’t understand. How could Alec die? He was perfectly fine at lunch. He even took me for a bike ride.
I remember now, I remember all the pain, and the screaming, and the bright red lights. It’s all coming back. My head starts to hurt. The pain feels like it’s inside. I claw at my skull, trying to release it, but it won’t go away. Why won’t it go away? My mom reaches for my hands and tries to stop me, but I don’t let her. I want the pain to go away.
The crazy man comes back and he and mom take me back to my bedroom. I struggle at first but the pain is too much. Eventually I give up. Water is coming out of mom’s eyes and it falls on my ugly shirt. She’s holding me now, just like she did when I was little.
The pain is gone. It must soon be night, because the room is getting dark and I’m getting tired. I finally decide to go to sleep. Maybe Alec will take me on another bike ride tomorrow.