I felt the harshness of yet another of Seth’s blows to my side. I swallowed hard as I mustered my last bit of strength to drag myself towards the shiny silver pole.
My plan was to grab it and whack Seth in the head with it until he died, but apparently the plan was better off in my head than in reality; because Seth grabbed the pole before I could even reach it.
“Nice try, Biebs.” he snickered before hitting me on the side of the head with it.
I literally saw stars before I blacked out.
I sat inside of the hard chair in the empty, plain room of the police station. I squirmed slightly as I felt my heart pound in my chest.
I was terrified.
I felt a warm hand placed on top of mine. My eyes landed on the tan hand and made their way up the muscular arm and toned chest until they reached the warm eyes that rested softly on me.
“Are you sure he won’t find out?” I whispered worriedly.
“I’m positive,” he replied as he gently tucked a loose strand of hair behind my ear.
I sucked in a deep breath, “Adam, I don’t know if I can do this.” Several tears filled my eyes as I spoke.
“I’ll be right here,” he assured me as he gave my hand a gentle squeeze. “I’m not going anywhere.” He gently brushed away a tear that had slid down my cheek.
I swallowed hard as the footsteps of an officer sounded.
He was a tall bulky man with coffee stains on his shirt and a hardened, almost scalded expression on his aged visage.
“I’m Officer Granger. And you’re Miss Beadles, I presume?” came his gruff voice.
I nodded meekly as I sank into my chair.
He scribbled a few notes in his folder. “And you’re here to make a statement regarding an alleged assault that Seth McIntosh supposedly made against you?”
I nodded again as I felt my throat become dry.
Adam rubbed my back softly.
“Who are you?” the officer asked Adam in a skeptical tone.
“Adam McIntosh. I’m here as a—” he paused for a moment as he glanced at me sweetly. “friend and support for Caitlin.”
“I’m not sure that you can—”
“The lady at the desk said that it would be alright as long as I don’t interfere.”
“I suppose it’s alright then, you’d just better not interfere.” Granger grunted as he sat down with a ‘plop’.
“Just so you know this session is going to be recorded and may be used in the court of law, you understand that, right?” he asked as he sat a recorder on the table.
Once again, I helplessly nodded.
“Do you swear to tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing, but the truth so help you God?” he asked.
I began to nod my head, but he stopped me.
“You’re s’posed to say ‘I do’.”
“I do.” I said.
“Alright,” he sighed. “Let’s get this ball rolling.”
“So, you claim that Mr. Seth McIntosh supposedly physically abused, sexually assaulted, and abducted you, correct?”
“Yes.” I answered quietly.
“Can you elaborate on what you mean when you say he physically abused you?”
“Well, um he hit me.” I bit my lip.
“Elaborate.” he repeated.
“Um, uh, well he’d kick me, slap me, yank my hair, shove me.” I answered as tears filled my eyes again.
“Can you give me an example of when that happened? Like the last time perhaps?”
“I—I don’t really remember what happened the last time.”
“What do you mean?” he asked skeptically.
“Well, when I came-to I couldn’t remember what had happened. I don’t know if I hit my head or what, but I can’t remember.”
“Uh-huh.” the officer scribbled in his folder again.
“What about the first time? Do you remember THAT?” he asked.
“Yes.” I nodded. “It was after school. Seth had seen me talking to my lab partner and he started questioning me about him. I told Seth that it was no big deal and that he was just a friend, but he didn’t believe me. He got mad and started shaking me. He was going on and on about how I was lying. When I told him that I wasn’t....” I tried hard to keep my composure as I started again. “He slammed me against the brick wall.”
“Were there bruises?”
“Okay. What about the sexual assault?” he questioned.
“Wh–what do you want to know?” I stuttered. Out of everything that I had to tell, Seth raping me was by far the hardest.
“Just like the physical abuse; I need an example.”
I gulped. “He, uh, he would grab me and just he, he would force himself on me.” Tears streamed down my face as I stuttered the words.
“Miss Beadles, I’m going to need you to give me more details than that.” Officer Granger huffed.
“What more can she tell you?” Adam shot back. “She told you he forced himself on her, we all know what that means! What do you need? A play-by-play?”
“Mr. McIntosh, I will not have you interrupting my job, do you understand?” he asked.
Adam glared at the old man. “I’m not interrupting. I just want to know why you’re intent on torturing the poor girl. She had to live through the experience and now you’re forcing her to narrate it to you, how is that helping anyone?”
“We have to have her statement for court, it’s as simple as that.”
“I–It’s okay, Adam.” I said weakly.
“You sure?” he asked as he looked me in the eyes. “You don’t have to do this until you’re ready, you know that right?”
I bit my lip. I’d gotten so used to just giving into Seth, that I’d started to forget how to do what I wanted to do.
“Look,” Officer Granger snapped. “I don’t have all day.”
“Well you should,” Adam scowled at him.
The officer rolled his eyes. “You know what, maybe I’m not the right officer for this. Why don’t you guys come back and tell your ‘story’ later.” He made bunny ears with his fingers as he said story. Almost as if he didn’t believe me.
I watched as he walked away and I dropped my face in my hands as I began to sob.
“They won’t believe me, this is pointless!”
“No, no, that’s not true,” Adam said as he pulled me into his chest for a hug. “That guy is just a jerk.” he tried to soothe me my rubbing my back again gently.
“I just want to leave,” I sniffed.
“Alright, let’s go.”
I sat in the passenger seat of Adam’s black 2000 Toyota Camry as he drove through the downtown area of the small town.
“Would you like an ICEE?” he asked me. “Believe it or not, they have some really good Cherry and Blue Raspberry ones at the gas station on the outskirts of town.”
“That sounds good to me,” I smiled. “Thanks.”
I allowed myself to sink into the seat, allow a guy to treat me like a princess, and just relax. I couldn’t remember the last time I’d done that.
“So,” Adam spoke. “You wanna play Interview?”
“Sure.” I shrugged. “What is it, though?”
“It’s a game my Sunday school teacher likes to play at the beginning of each school year. We take turns asking each other random questions so that we can learn more about each other.”
“Okay, cool.” I nodded.
“Do you want me to ask the question first or do you want to?” he asked.
“You can.” I said.
“What’s your favorite color?” he asked.
“Pink.” I grinned. “What’s yours?”
“Okay, um, what’s your favorite song?” I asked.
“Man in the Mirror by Michael Jackson. You?”
“Probably the original We Are the World.”
“You don’t like the new one?” he inquired.
“No, I do, but the first one just had so many legends.”
“True, true.” he agreed. “What do you want to be when you grow up?”
I shrugged. “I don’t know, it changes everyday, I can’t make up my mind.”
“I want to be a school counselor.”
I smiled. It would suit him. He had a kind, like-able personality and he certainly knew how to help people in need.
We continued to ask random questions until we reached the gas station.
Immediately a vacant black Range Rover caught my eye. I began to look around for who could possibly be the driver, but I didn’t see anyone.
“Adam,” I said. “Look. There’s no one in that car.”
“They’re probably inside.” Adam shrugged as he gestured to the building.
I nodded as I realized that his reasoning was logical.
“You wanna wait here?” he asked. “So you don’t have to worry about having to maneveur your crutches and everything, I can just grab the ICEEs for us.”
“Do you want Cherry or Blue Raspberry?”
“Cherry please.” I smiled.
“Okay, I’ll be right back.” he said. “Lock the car.”
I nodded and did as I was told. I watched him enter the little shop, but my attention was quickly re-drawn to the Range Rover as I heard a crash.
I looked around, but I couldn’t find where the noise was coming from. I decided that it was really none of my business and I settled myself in my seat.
I reached over and turned on the CD player. Michael Jackson’s PYT filled the air and I began to bounce in my seat to the beat as I pulled out my cell phone and began to play a game on one of the various apps, completely oblivious to the world around me.
I heard a knock on the driver’s door. I figured that Adam was back and he simply needed me to unlock the car, so I did— without looking up.
Immediately, the music stopped.
Startled, I looked up to see Seth’s cold eyes glaring at me.