Fear Me (Broken Love #1)(2)


by B.B. Reid

I immediately realized I made a mistake. But no, it wasn’t the shocked sounds from the other kids surrounding us that made me realize my error. It was his hand that tightened and the anger growing in his eyes turning them black.

I looked around and saw Willow in the same spot where I left her. She was chewing on her lip with a worried expression on her face. I assumed it was for her brother, who had stopped crying and instead watched us with wide eyes.

Still, I yanked my leg free and continued my climb, quickly reaching the top of the monkey bars. I started to move closer to the younger boy waiting for help.

Don't look down.

I should have looked down.

The split second warning as I reached out my hand to Buddy, when his eyes widened in a terror, unlike what I witnessed below, didn’t prepare me for what would happen.

Something shoved me and then I was falling.

Pain unlike anything I’ve ever known rushed through me, almost blinding me after I hit the concrete below on my left side.

I managed to roll over onto my back and look up. Once again I met his eyes as they watched my tears fall.  He no longer seemed so beautiful to me. He looked like the monster I never knew I needed to be afraid of.

“I told you I couldn't go up there.” It was Willow speaking from somewhere far away. “Keiran wouldn’t like it.”

Chapter One

Ten years later…

“Lake!” I snapped out of my daydream as the last bell of the day rung, signaling the end of school and junior year.

I survived.

I knew why, although I didn't dare speak it aloud foolishly, believing that reason would appear suddenly in front me like a dark cloud.

Be for real, Lake.

I looked over at my best friend who was looking at me with questions in her eyes. I said nothing, gathered my books and stood by the door. Willow finished collecting the many colorful pens she used to take notes in class. That's just Willow. She’s flamboyant in everything she does—no exceptions. The rest of the class along with the teacher had already disappeared. Everyone was equally eager for the start of the summer.  Willow stood and approached the door with the same mischief in her eyes that was present from the very first day we met.

I closed my eyes briefly. Don't think about that.

We silently walked to Willow’s purple Eclipse in the parking lot. Of course it was purple or it wouldn't be Willow. I cut my eye at her waiting for whatever was on her mind to spill out. I knew I wouldn't have to wait long because Willow was a talker.

“So did you hear?” she asked as she stopped just outside the driver’s side. I waited patiently, but she hesitated to unlock her door as if she didn't want to let me in.

No, I pleaded silently. There was only one thing Willow was cautious about with me or rather one person. Don't bring him up. Don't bring him up. She continued on, completely missing the change in my body language. One would think after ten years we could read each other better or maybe we were just too comfortable to care.

“No, what?” It slowly became harder to breathe.  Sometimes I think I enjoy pain, physically and mentally. Sick right?

“The Dark Lord of Bainbridge High returns next year.” I met her worried gaze. I guess she isn’t as oblivious as I thought. She’s warning me.

Breathe.

I used controlled, breathing exercises to keep myself from hyperventilating whenever he was brought up. Ironically the habit developed after he left last year. After years of allowing him to control me out of fear, you would think I would be skipping with joy after he left. I finally controlled my breathing and looked up to find her on my side now rubbing my back soothingly.

“I’m fine,” I said only after I was confident my sanity was intact. “Besides I have all summer to prepare myself and your slightly illegal antics to distract me,” I stated, attempting humor to lighten the mood. Willow looked away and began chewing her lip. Okay…

My heart was beating fast now—too fast. My breathing was out of control again as I waited for the final blow to my sanity. “My parents are sending me away this summer…and he’s already here.”

I died.

* * *

No, I didn't die but it was a close second.

I woke up to find the school nurse standing over me, pressing a cool cloth to my forehead. The principal and gym teacher were sitting with a crying Willow in the corner, attempting to console her. “It’s all my fault,” she kept repeating as Principal Lawrence hugged her.

“She’s awake,” Nurse Kelly announced.

Willow rushed forward as everyone turned to me. “I’m sorry Lake, I shouldn't have said anything!” I gave her a shaky smile but didn’t respond. I couldn’t in front of them. Principal Lawrence interrupted to say that my aunt had been called and was on her way.

She’s going to ask questions. I quickly sat up, thinking there might have been time to escape. She would want answers I wasn't ready and never would be ready to give.  I might have escaped if the nurse hadn’t nudged me back with a stern look. “I’m fine, really. Willow can drive me home.” I gave her what I hoped was a healthy smile.

“Miss Monroe, our policy requires us to notify parents or guardians when incidents such as these occur. We chose not to call an ambulance because you had a strong pulse and began to come around quickly…and then you started talking.

I was talking? Oh no, what did I say? Was it bad?

Principal Lawrence continued speaking, but I’d tuned her out as I wondered what I could have possibly said in near unconsciousness. My mind went through many scenarios in a small space of time. “Miss Monroe did you hear me?” she asked impatiently.

“I’m sorry, what did you say?” She huffed as if I was wasting her time. I fought the grin tugging at my lips from her mini tantrum. The staff at school sucked and I didn't care for any of them but that was mostly due to the fact that they turned a blind eye to my tormentor and the reign he had over the school. It was too fucked up for words. “I said we think you should speak to Mrs. Gilmore.” I immediately looked at Willow, wondering if she told anything to make them want to involve the counselor. She immediately shook her head, knowing what I was asking.

So it was bad.

I was saved from answering, however, by my Aunt rushing into the nurse’s office, followed by the flustered school secretary. My aunt could be a worrier.