17 Chapter 17

I stayed at the hospital overnight with Vic and his parents. Luckily they didn't grill me too much about anything like most parents would when you first meet them. I guess they also understood that Vic and I were exhausted and that there was a lot going on. I was thankful for that because I don't think I would have been able to handle an interrogation.

At about seven in the morning, there were doctors that came and said we could visit Mike and Justin. Vic and his parents went to see Mike, obviously, so I decided to see how Justin was doing. I was still upset with him, but I wanted to see that he was okay at least. I was mad, but I didn't want him to be hurt.

When I went in, I wasn't surprised to see that he was banged up pretty bad. He had a line of stitches on one side of his forehead and one of his arms was in a cast. He was awake, though, which was good. At least he was alive.

"Hey," I said, quietly. He just sort of stared at me as I slowly came into the room and sat down in one of the chairs. I wasn't quite sure how to act around him, to be honest. I didn't plan on staying for long.

"Hey," he said, in a tired voice. His eyes wandered over me, like he wasn't sure what to say to me. I wouldn't know what to say to me, either, I guess.

"Are you going to be all right?" I asked him. He sighed and nodded, albeit slowly. I bit the inside of my cheek.

"Yeah . . . Apparently my mom's on her way though. I should be fine," he insisted. "Are you-"

"I'm fine. I'm glad you're okay, but I can't talk to you anymore," I said, finally making up my mind. I stood again and made a move to exit the room. That was my final decision. He was going to be okay, and his parents were coming. I didn't need to be there anymore.

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"Kells, please don't go, okay? I'm so sorry about all of this," he said, and I could tell he was being serious. Even still, my eyes watered. "Please, there's got to be something I can do to make it up to you."

"I know you are I just - I'm sorry, I can't," I said, finally heading the rest of the way out of the room. He said my name again but I kept walking because I didn't know how to keep talking to him.

I walked down the white, glaring hallway to find a bathroom. The next thing to do was to catch up with Vic in Mike's room, but I didn't want them to know I was crying. I had to at least try to compose myself.

I found a bathroom and locked myself inside before turning to the sink to splash cold water over my face. The water was refreshing but it still didn't feel like enough. I stared into the mirror and suddenly got the overwhelming feeling that I needed to be clean, but I just didn't know how to get clean enough. I needed new skin.

I felt more awake, but I also felt more aware. It was like it suddenly hit me that I had been violated in a way that I never imagined would ever happen to me. **** was something I heard about happening to other people. It was stupid to have thought it would never happen to me.

I backed up slowly until I hit the wall, and then sank downwards until I was sitting. I winced because my body ached and the pain just reminded me of Zack and how Zack held me down like he enjoyed orchestrating it. I never knew people could be so awful. I didn't think people like that existed in my life.

That was when a new round of sobs broke through. I folded my arms and buried my head against them. Everything just felt so wrong and out of place and I had no idea how to handle it. Part of me wished this entire night was just some sort of sick, twisted nightmare, but I knew it wasn't. Everything was going wrong and I didn't even know who to turn to anymore.

Everything still hurt. I tried not to act too sore in front of any of the doctors or in front of Mr. and Mrs. Fuentes. I didn't want them asking me what happened or what was wrong with me. I didn't want to talk to anyone about it and I didn't want anyone making a big deal out of it. I just wanted it to go away and I never wanted to be reminded of it.

I was torn from my thoughts as someone knocked on the bathroom door. I gasped and sat up, quickly trying to wipe away my tears.

"I'm in here," I called, letting whoever was on the outside know that the bathroom was occupied. Oh god. Crying in a hospital bathroom, how embarrassing.

"Kells, is that you?" I heard Vic's voice say. I bit my lip. Crap. I scrambled to my feet and made another effort to dry my tears.

"No," I lied. But I should have known better than to lie about that to my boyfriend with sonic hearing. That was so lame of me.

"Babe, come on," he chuckled. I sighed and opened the door, for once being thankful that he couldn't see how red and tear-stained my face was. He probably heard it in my voice though. He was good with things like that.

"Sorry," I muttered, trying to scoot past him. "Wait, what's wrong?" he asked.

"Nothing . . . don't you have to go to the bathroom?" I asked, trying to flip the subject back on him. He let out a long sigh.

"Yeah, but . . . you're clearly upset," he said, softly. "I can wait, let's talk."

"I don't want to," I insisted. Vic sighed again and finally just grabbed my hand and I pulled back from him, stepping out of his reach. He felt the air for a minute, trying to gage where I had gone to, and I immediately felt guilty. I finally just bit the bullet and followed him back into the bathroom and closed the door behind us.

"What wrong? Is something bad with Justin?" he wanted to know. I shook my head as I blinked back tears. The silence reminded me to speak, and I felt bad all over again.

"No . . . I'm just . . . I don't know," I said, my throat tightening as I got choked up all over again. I hated that I was crying so much. I hated crying in general, honestly. I just wanted to be happy. Why couldn't people just let me be happy?

"Oh no," he cooed, moving closer and wrapping his arms around me. "Please don't be sad. Is there anything at all I can do? Do you want to go to the police? Hell, we're in a hospital, you could have them-"

"No!" I hissed, catching him off guard. He flinched a little, not expecting me to snap at him. "That's too much. I can't do that."

"But Kellin, what they did to you is totally illegal, you could get them sent to jail," he explained, trying to stay calm and rational. "They deserve hell for what they did to you, baby."

"I don't want to go through all of that, though. I just want it to go away. I want to forget about it," I said, sobbing into his shoulder as he held me tighter. I drew in a shaky breath, trying my hardest to compose myself, but it was difficult. I just felt so broken and beat down that I felt like I was never going to get out of this mindset. And that was terrifying.

"Okay," he said, quietly. "I won't make you do anything you don't want to do."

"Thank you," I whispered, holding onto him tight. He held me for a few more moments before finally letting go. I was torn between missing his warmth and being glad that I was in my own space again.

"Hey, wait outside for me, okay?" he asked, softly. I responded quietly and went outside to wait for him while he took care of his business. Whatever. I took that opportunity to calm myself down, and it mostly worked. By the time Vic came out, I was calmed down significantly. We headed towards Mike's room and I guess Vic had sort of figured out his way by running his fingers along the hallway walls. I didn't want to help him if he didn't need it, so I just kept an eye out to make sure he wasn't about to run into anything.

We arrived back at Mike's room without issue, but when we got there, Vic's mom met us at the door. I rubbed my hands together uncomfortably; ready to be done with so much confrontation already. Why couldn't they just let me go in with Vic and not talk to anyone?

"Oh, Vic, before you go back in, I need to talk to you about something," She said, in a serious tone. I took note of the way she spoke so slowly to Vic, and it ticked me off a little bit. Just because he couldn't see didn't mean she had to speak to him like he was a child.

"Um, okay, Kells, can you give us a minute?" he asked, forcing a smile. He was trying to be pleasant around his mother, probably knowing that everyone was stressed out.

"No, it's something he'll probably find out sooner or later, anyway," she sighed, and my stomach twisted. What now? Couldn't the world just like, stop turning for a few minutes and let me breathe?

"Uh- what's wrong, is Mike alright?" Vic asked, concerned.

"Yes, he'll be fine, but the thing is . . . he's going to be needing crutches and a cast and all that - and while you were out of the room, your father and I decided that we want you to come home," She explained. My heart dropped.

"Why do I have to come home? What does that have to do with me?" he asked, defensively, as I continued wringing my hands together to calm my own nerves.

"Well, honey, you need someone to be able to look out for you," She reminded him, and he groaned out loud. "Come on, don't be like that. Mike won't be out forever . . . you can go back to things in the spring semester. That's only a couple of months away."

I frowned at 'a couple of months' because that just wasn't fair. I needed Vic now more than ever, and the thought of him leaving campus after a night like this just made me so sad.

I reached over and slowly grabbed his hand, squeezing it tight to silently tell him I didn't want to see him go. He just laced his fingers with mine, and didn't say anything. And it sucked because I knew neither of us really had a say in the matter.

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