Fighting back never entered my mind- any attempt would be futile and, in any case, it was easier just to grin and bear their attacks and pretend that nothing was wrong...
The end of the school day saw me limping the five minute walk home, an ungodly pain in my left wrist...I don't know if I'll be able to hide this...
I don't live with my parents -ha, they're not even worthy of that title- I live with my best friends and band-mates. My brothers...the only people who genuinely love me and care about me.
I'm the only one still in high school, the youngest. I want to be a graphic designer, and go to college, so I'm staying in school. Currently a junior. They all dropped out during summer vacation, meaning that I've spent the last three months alone, subject to the abuse of bullies who make my life hell daily, just for being me: Ashley Purdy. At least when my brothers were with me, it was bearable...but then again, I've been subjected to abuse my whole life, so by this point it's all routine.
I stop around the corner from our home, the house Andy's parents bought for him, for his eighteenth. Well, when I say 'bought' I mean put the deposit in for, now we all chip in to pay the mortgage, the Biersack's putting money here-and-there into Andy's bank account to help out. They're amazing, like parents to all of us...
Andy immediately let us all move into it, of course. Jinxx -real name: Jeremy Ferguson, but call him that and he'll kill you- has the basement, Jake -Pitts- and CC -Christian Coma/Mora'- who have been together since Middle School, share a room, while Andy of course gets the master bedroom. I have the smallest room which, props to the Biersack's, is actually big. Big enough to fit a double bed in and still have space to move around, anyway...
I take a moment to straighten up, hoist my rucksack up higher and plaster a fake smile on my face. I've become a good actor after all the shit I've been through, so that's easy enough. Arriving at the door, I can already hear the thrum of heavy metal blaring from CC's hi-fi.
'Get in there, go straight to your room and lock the door...avoid everyone...' I take a deep, shaky breath, and open the door.
"ASHY!" CC screams happily, bounding over to me, giving me a massive bear-hug that lifts me off the ground. My bruised body screams in protest, but I manage to grin. Sometimes, you'd think he was six years old, instead of coming up for nineteen...CC was the one who introduced me to the guys, two years ago he saw little freshman me crying in the toilets because of my home life and made me laugh without even trying. He's my closest friend...
"Hey CC!" I wiggle out of his arms, intending to rush past him and straight upstairs, but he stops me by grabbing my wrist, a frown on his face. I immediately scream in pain, and his eyes widen.
"Oh my god, Ash...what happened to you...?" He leads me into the kitchen, and sits me down, Jinxx and Jake appearing in the doorway, obviously having heard my scream.
I fixate my eyes to the floor, and wordlessly allow my bangs to slide off my face, revealing my bruised eye. Jake sucks in a breath, and sits beside me, Jinxx following. I don't look at them, not wanting to see the concern and worry I know is there...they always worry about me, I hate it. I'm not weak, regardless of what happened all those years ago.
"It's not as bad as it looks..." I offer, as CC tends to my wrist, announcing it twisted, and putting a support bandage on it.
Jake snorts. "Not as bad as it looks? Ashley, you look like-" He stops when he sees the look I'm shooting him, and his eyes soften. "What happened?"
I'm reluctant to say, but it all comes out anyway. "They...they punch me, kick me...try to make my life hell." I sniff, closing my eyes tightly. "Emo faggot...they know, I don't know how, but they know." I watch as their eyes widen.
"They...know?" Jinxx says softly, shock evident in his voice.
I nod, whisper,"I don't know how...b-but they do...about d-dad, about mom...t-told me to go running back to daddy with open legs..." A tear slips down at the last part, and CC makes a noise of anger, Jake's arms tighten protectively over me.
"I won't stand for this! I'm going straight to that school and getting this so-" I stand up, shaking my head.
"Leave it." I storm out of the room, running to my bedroom and locking the door behind me. I don't want them to be so over-protective...I just want to be alone right now.
'Go run back to daddy with open legs...' I grip my pillow, unwanted memories flooding back. Pinning me down, taking my virginity, taking everything, like I'm a cheap whore and not his own flesh and blood...tears slip down my cheeks, and I sob silently.
When CC found me, I told him everything. He immediately vowed to help me, and started taking care of me. Dropped an anonymous hint to the cops, and my dad was finally gone, my mother in rehab...life seemed worth living again. After the years of constant abuse, I was free.
I wake up hours later to a knock on my bedroom door. I'm about to tell them to fuck off, when the soft, deep voice of Andy reaches my ears. "Ash...open up..." My cheeks flush, and hesitantly do so, dragging my un-hurt wrist over my eyes to wipe away the tear-tracks on my tan face.
He takes one look at me, and immediately gathers me into his arms. I melt into him. His arms are like heaven, the faint smell of Andy -cologne, cigarette smoke, and vanilla- has become a comforting smell over the years, and I wrap my arms around his neck, relishing in the feeling of him holding me.
Okay so I might be...slightly...just a little bit...head over heels in love with Andy...
He murmurs into my hair, "I know who's doing this...I'm going to sort this...they're not going to hurt you anymore..." He pulls away to leave, and I grab his arm, eyes wide in terror. I don't want him to get hurt, especially not for me. I open my mouth to protest, but am silenced when he places his own lips over mine. I tense up, then kiss back tentatively, not really sure what to do. My hands are pressed against his chest, between us, while his hold my hips, kneading the soft flesh under his hands.
He pulls away after a long moment, his beautiful blue eyes meeting my own, and he smiles softly, before leaving. I hear the front door close, and sink back onto my bed, face beet read and a tiny smile on my face.
Andy. Kissed. Me.
CC pokes his head around the door and grins, what happened downstairs totally forgotten. "Spill."
He rolls his eyes, sitting next to me. "Your face is bright red, Ash. I know you like Andy, we all do...so what happened? Did he say he liked you back?" He watches me eagerly, and I gush,
"He kissed me." Then my face falls. "But he...he went to the bullies...CC, I'm worried." CC's triumphant expression fades to a look of worry, and he leads me downstairs, where he explains to the guys what happened.
We sit in silence waiting with baited breath for Andy to come home.
When he finally does, I stand up and run over to him, giving him a once-over. He's bruised, wincing as he walks. I feel so guilty, my eyes welling up with tears. I can't believe I let him get hurt over me...
He notices as my face falls. A smile finds its way onto his face, and he hugs me tightly, tucking my head under his chin and holding me close, placing a tender kiss on my forehead.
"They won't be hurting you anymore..."