Fear Me (Broken Love #1)(3)


by B.B. Reid

“Lake!” she exclaimed as she bounded forward to grab me in a hug. “What happened, why did you faint? Are you okay? Let me look at you. Hold still!”

I never moved an inch but my aunt was far from rational right now. She would make an incredible mother, but she never had children or a man in her life despite the fact that she was beautiful in every way.

She looked a lot like my mom, her sister – blonde with blue eyes, long legs, great body and personality. She was also one of those Star Trek geeks who liked anything sci-fi. I guess that's why she is a best-selling fantasy fiction author. I was proud.

We’ve grown close after the disappearance of my parents ten years ago after…well it happened during that summer. I don’t know if they are dead or if they abandoned me. My aunt is adamant that my parents would never leave me willingly. It hurt either way. They were gone. Just like that, out of thin air. I found out a month after the playground incident. It had been my birthday and we’d just left the doctor’s office after an X-ray for my arm.

I had been unconscious for two days and suffered a broken arm after he pushed me off the monkey bars. It was pretty harsh stuff for an eight-year old. I never said a word and neither did anyone else. The adults pretty much assumed I fell off trying to help Buddy. I wonder even now how he could hold so much power at a tender age, but I’ve learned over time and after years of torture that there was nothing tender about him.

Focus.

“Honey, they want you to speak to the school counselor,” my aunt said but it was more of a question than a statement. Despite our closeness, I never told my aunt anything about what happens to me within these halls, outside these halls, in my nightmares, in my dreams. Knowing my aunt she would move us away and I couldn't do that. My aunt loves Six Forks. She says it inspires her. Whatever that means. I just know I couldn't take that away.

So I endured.

Ten long years of endurance and then it would be over and I could finally breathe and finally live, without fear, without control, without desire for the dark and unobtainable.

Yeah, not going there.

Mrs. Gilmore had arrived and immediately introduced herself to my aunt and me. I already knew who she was but we had never crossed paths before. Like I said, I’ve endured.

“Why don’t you two follow me to my office so we can talk privately?” I wasn't ready for this but what could I do? I needed to know what I said while I was unconscious.

“Willow, why don't you go ahead home? Thank you for staying with her but I’m sure you parents are worried by now,” my aunt suggested. I’d forgotten Willow was here. She nodded and smiled nervously at me. I smiled back but didn't have anything to say, at least not with present party involved.

Mrs. Gilmore led the way to her office as we followed silently behind. You can do this. We reached her office and went inside. I took a moment to look around. Her office was homey although a bit messy with papers and files strewn everywhere. My hands were itching to straighten up her office or point her in the direction of the nearest office supply store for a better filing system.

We each sat down and just looked at one another, not sure how to proceed. My aunt was the first to speak after a few moments of tense silence. “Principal Lawrence said she talked while she was becoming conscious?”

“Right! Yes, people sometimes do as they regain consciousness, but in this case it was the nature of what was said.” It took everything in me not to scream for her to spit it out when she fell silent again. “You said…” The more her cheeks colored the more dread built in the pit of my stomach. I swallowed deeply and waited. “Well you said,” she continued, “Master can’t come back.”

Silence.

Complete and utter silence filled the room once more and only I could hear the deafening roar of mortification and feel the room spin. It had grown so quiet you could hear a pin drop…down the hall. This can’t be happening. I must have repeated that a million times in my head and few times out loud.

But it happened. I knew it did. My body was wound tight, so tight I thought it might break. Not if my mind did first, I admitted. My aunt’s gaze was locked on the counselor. I knew it wasn’t what she was expecting the counselor to say. Neither did I. Mrs. Gilmore clapped a hand over her mouth as if she couldn't believe she said it either. Join the club.

“Are you…are you sure that’s what she said?” my aunt asked.

“Ms. Anderson I understand your doubt as the situation is a tad disturbing,” she responded. Yeah, no kidding. “But Coach Lyons was quite sure that was what he heard her say.”

Coach Lyons was the male team’s basketball coach and one of the school’s gym teachers. He was also a fan of my tormentor who also happened to be the team captain until he left last year. I’ve never had any issues with the man, but he never cared about anything except making sure his star player stayed happy.

“I have to ask…is there any trouble in the home?” My aunt’s back straightened at the counselor’s question and implication. I guess she didn't know that my aunt had a temper when riled, which wasn't often but when provoked, even I ducked for cover.

“Excuse me? Are you implying that I would actually hurt my niece? Are you insane?” she yelled. “Let’s go Lake, my right hand is twitching.”  She stood up to go and Mrs. Gilmore quickly tried to recover the situation.

“Ms. Anderson, please. It is only a routine question we have to ask. This doesn't have any personal bearing on your ability as a guardian. Please, sit down,” she pleaded.

Aunt Carissa still looked as if she might jump the poor counselor so I decided to speak up. “Mrs. Gilmore, my aunt is the best parent I could have asked for. There isn’t anything she wouldn't do for me. I am completely safe with her.” My aunt’s expression softened from my reassurance.

Situation saved.

“I didn’t think so,” the counselor replied. She gave Aunt Carissa an apologetic smile and we turned to go, but her next question stopped me in my tracks. “One more thing…”

I turned back around to face her again. “Yes?”

“Does this have anything to do with Keiran Masters returning next year?”

Chapter Two

“I swear I didn't say anything,” she told me for the hundredth time. I wasn’t home long before Willow arrived at my house for details. I wasn’t eager to relive the humiliation but my inquisitive friend wouldn't let me die alone. Dramatic much?