"What did you just throw at me?" Garrett asked, puzzled. I was in the difficult position where I was trying to look so dreadfully innocent, whilst trying to hold in my giggles. The giggle won. "Aila?" He asked again, trying not to smile, and failing.
"An orange...." I mumbled, giggling again.
"An orange!" I burst, cluthching my now painful stomach. His eyebrows went up, as he took the orange that had narrowly missed his head and looked at it. It was split, and some was on the walls. He inpected it, before looking at me.
"Now... why would you throw an orange at my head?"
"Because it seemed like a good idea at the time..." I answered. I could see the glint in his eyes.
"Oh did it now?" He asked, slowly walking towards me. I was totally trapped in the kitchen, and decided to make a run for it out of the living room door. He was quicker though, and pulled me towards him. I was squealing and giggling, and he was also laughing as he squeezed the juice into my hair and splattered the orange all over me. I managed to grab a big chunk of it and plant some on his chest and on his face. His hair looked all spiked and silly, but I don't suppose I looked any better! Soon we were a giggling heap on the floor.
"God, Felix isn't gonna be happy..." I managed to say. at that moment, Felix and Seth walked in. Seth was laughing silently behind Felix.
"What the hell??" Felix asked. We scrambled to our feet, still laughing a little.
"We're so sorry, Felix! We'll clean it up!" I promised. Garrett nodded beside me. We were like two naughty school children caught drawing on the walls. I looked at Felix's face, and was surprised that it wasn't annoyance or even anger on his face; it was pure hurt.
"Don't bother." Felix said, leaving the room. Seth came in and looked at us.
"You two look ridiculous. Why didn't you tell me we were having a food fight! I wish I could've joined in!" He said, laughing.
"Well, it wasn't planned. Aila decided to throw an orange at my head, and I merely retaliated." He said, trying to be serious. I was also still giggling as we told Seth about it, but in the back of my mind I was thinkning about how strangely Felix had been acting recently. Ever since he'd told me about his life, he'd been acting strangely around me.
I looked down at my self; my dark brown hair was greasy with juice, I was sticky all over and my face was probably flushed. Very attractive. I looked at the time on the clock. 8:30. I was tired from the excitement of the food fight, so excused myself for the night. I had a blissful shower, removing the orange from my body. I was content to snuggle down in my warm bed, and drift off to a peaceful sleep...
But I woke up, terrified. I felt hands on my and I tried to beat them off me. I realised that I was being spoken to, and found Garrett's voice in the darkness. I stopped and a switch was turned on. As my eyes adjusted, I saw Garrett standing by my bed, my wrists in his hand. I looked into his face, and he looked so worried. My face was wet with tears, and my throat burned.
"If I let your arms go, will you stop attacking me?" He asked me calmly. I nodded. He let go and I burst into tears, wrapping my arms around him. At first he froze, but he then put his arms around me, stroking my hair and my back. I sobbed as he said comforting things to me. "It's alright guys, I'll handle this. Go back to bed." I turned my head to see Seth and Felix leave, Seth looking worried and Felix looking at me, with what I could only describe as longing. This didn't matter to me then. I slowly calmed down, breathing in Garrett's smell, with his strong arms around me. My sobs turned into the odd sniff, and Garrett released me. He held my shoulders and looked into my eyes. I saw that his shirt was soaking, and I could just see the his defined muscles underneath it, not that I particularly carerd about that at that moment in time. "What's wrong, Aila? You were screaming and I came to see what was wrong. When I tried to wake you, you started fighting me and hurting yourself." He told me. "What were you dreaming about?" I sniffed.
"My Father." I whispered. He sat me down on the bed, and sat beside me. I took a deep breath. "My mother died when I was very little. I was 5. I can't really remember her. I was left with my Father and Great Aunt. I look like my Mother, and I think that he blamed me for her death somehow. He attacked me with words and fists. I was always told that I was ugly, wrong, disgusting... and I knew that everything he was telling me was true. With every blow of his fists, I knew that I was as worthless as he said. I would go to school, work as hard as I could, prayed that no-one would notice me and hope that I would make him proud enough to stop the hurt.
Oh, but now I was a show off. A liar. A cheat. I couldn't stop the abuse, and when I was thirteen, he invited a friend to our home. To my bed." Garrett looked at me in horror, and he looked like he was going to be sick. "Luckily, I hadn't quite given up. Abuse from my Father and Aunt I could take, but I fought the man, I bit him and scratched and kicked. When he ran away, leaving me unharmed, I was sure that, finally, my Father would kill me. He came at me with a knife, saying that if I wasn't going to be useful, he might as well 'finish it'." I took a deep breath, so calm despite the horrible memories that came flooding back."He had a heart attack after he said the words, and fell to the floor. And you know what I did? I treid to help the bastard. I did, but when I knew that there was nothing I could do, I sat on my bed, heartless, unfeeling, cold, and watched him die.
It didn't end though. My Aunt couldn't physically bully me, she made up for it with words. You see, that's why I love living here. It's so safe. and I'm so happy; I've never been as happy as I am now. But the nightmares are so real, I thought that I was back there, but I couldn't fight them..." I closed my eyes and a tear escaped my eye and ran like a river down my cheek. Garrett, wiped it away, and I flinched a little. He noticed and sighed.
"Oh Aila." He said, I looked at him, expecting to see that look of hate again, that my story had made him realise that I really was nothing, useless, worthless. Unabled to be loved. "How could anyone do such a thing to you?" He whispered. I looked up at him, and saw only sympathy, sadness and something I couldn't quite figure out. He lied down, and I did too. He put his arms around me and I shut my eyes, finally at peace after so long.
"No-one will ever hurt me while I'm here, alright? I'll keep you safe, Aila. I'm always gonna be there for you. Don't you dare think otherwise." I smiled, and started to doze off. I don't know how long we lay there but I stirred as he got up, and I realised that I was alone, and panicked.
"Don't leave me!" I begged, grabbing his hand.
"I won't." He said, pulling the armchair over by the bed and sitting down in it. I hung on to his hand again as I slowly fell into a dreamless sleep. He never left my side, just stayed and watched me sleep between naps in the chair. I had never felt so safe and content, although the hurt was nowhere near gone.