1 The Night is Long

The night, unlike the one from yesterday, sears with ceaseless heat. Sweat drips down my forehead, stinging my eyes every so often. I look over towards my chatterbox of a friend as she continues her story of the guy she slept with the night before and how he left without saying "goodbye."

"Damn! What a night we had, Paige!" "He's the best I've had yet." She elaborated as she spoke of her exes, John, Philip, Randy, and so on. "Those guys were a drag, but they were great in bed!" She brags. "When you've done as much as I have, you will understand the thrill." She said breathlessly, in between laughs.

Upon those words, she draws in a couple of deep breaths, later releasing a sigh. "You know, I didn't want to end up like this." "Right. I used to hate people like me. BUT LOOK AT ME NOW!" She yelled, throwing her hand up, specifying her growing disgust with herself. I could tell she meant every word.

"Fuck! I've talked too much!" "I'm going to go piss in that corner. When I come back, I want to hear about your sexless life." She laughs while walking towards the large trees that rested silently behind us.

It's always been the same thing with her. She goes after guys, yet she still ends up complaining about how they don't treat her right. In times like these, I really can't stand being around her when she's like this. But, what can I do? She's my only friend because of how reserved I am. I fucking blame my parents for the way that I am. I wasn't able to start going to the movies with people who tried being my friends until I was twenty, and at that point, I had given up on wanting other people around me. So I guess that I will most likely end up with her as my friend until the day I die- or better yet, she dies.

Other than being here with her, the night is perfect. The stars look like billions of glitters waiting to fall onto this abyss called earth. I wonder how it would be like if that happened. Everyone would have their ball of fire to keep their bodies entertained as they breathed or sung the last words to their favorite song before they start screaming in pain. I hope that I go first so that I don't hear all of that noise. If only I could go first.

"~~~~~~~ here."

Damn! She can't even stay quiet while she does her business. Although she's the one who wanted to come here and it was a great idea. I'll most likely come here again by myself one day and enjoy everything in silence. I lay my head down on the soft earth and stare up at the sky as she continues to blab away what I would give to be here completely alone.

"I~~~~~~ not alone."

"Don't fucking touch me!"

I could hear her scream this time. Her piercing voice shrilled through the hushed breeze escaping from the forest which surrounded us. I sat up and looked towards where she was now emerging. In quick paces, following closely behind her heels were figures cloaked in the darkness; it wasn't just her. The four figures seem to appear one after the other, and she was less than excited about that. The one figure closest to her grabs a hand full of her hair and forcefully drags her; he was angry. I jump to my feet, much more alert of the situation now. My hands, which now rests by my sides, slightly begin to sweat with anticipation.

"What the fuck are you doing? I said not to fucking touch me!" She screams out her demands, pounding her fists against his chest. One of them managed to come into contact with his face and caught him by surprise, and he let her go, staggering back. She began to run towards me, but she didn't, no, she couldn't get far. A second figure now grabs her arm and throws her against a nearby tree. I could hear the sound of something break in her as she collided with it, letting an unnatural sound escape from her lips. He was much bigger than the other guy. He had muscles everywhere and not an ounce of flab soft.

"You couldn't even hold on to this?" He says now as he grabs and shakes her like a leaf. "Didn't we tell you earlier not to make so much noise? I have a fucking headache now because of you." He winds his arm back and slaps her across the face with his gigantic palms. He does this over and over again until her lips slip open, releasing blood. She laid there quietly on the ground, lost somewhere between the grass and the insects. "Now look at how silent you've gotten. If you had been like that from the start, I wouldn't have had to treat you this way." He explained calmly while wiping his sullied hands onto his denim jeans.

The other three guys surrounding him all start to laugh as if he had told a joke. They exchange remarks

I've been standing in the same spot since this commotion began, and I have no idea if I should be running away or stay quiet and hope that they've forgotten about me. I know that I can't stay where I am right now.

"Yeah, yeah. Whatever. The other one over there sure looks good, though." His eyes shift from my face to my body, and his mouth widens, exposing a toothy grin. "Hopefully, she's not as loud as that one." He brings his index finger up to his lips, motioning for me to stay quiet while he struts toward me.

My legs remain frozen in place, and I resumed sweating ferociously. I could feel my skin burning with anticipation and worry. Why didn't I notice how hot it has gotten? What should I do? I look down at her as she seems to be repeatedly screaming something, her eyes locking with mine. The beasty-looking guy who had slapped her starts stomping and kicking her. Her eyes stay on mine, glazed with distress. Once again, blood oozes out of her mouth and head; she looked rough. This must be the worst she has ever looked in her life. I manage to stagger back but not long enough; my legs gave up, and my knees slam against the rock-covered ground. A rush of pain washed over me in waves.

"Paige! I said to run! Get out of here!"