Of Confidence


"Haley, it'll all be okay, I'm all right I promise."

The girl stared back at her, tears rolling down her cheeks. "It is not okay Melanie! You need to turn him in or something."

Melanie shook her head, trying to calm the girl that was shaking in front of her. "I don't know who he was."

She felt like a broken record, telling the same story over and over again and frankly she was getting sick of it. She was tired of the boys staring at her like she was going to break down any second. She was bored of having to tell everyone that she really was going to be okay because each time she said it, it became harder and harder to believe it.

Her nightmares were more vivid. The people she trusted walked on eggshells when around her, and her friends talked to her as if she was a five year old. The last time she felt like an adult was when Kennedy rejected her, making the experience somewhat bittersweet.

Haley sat there, her lips slightly parted, a dumbfound expression on her mouth. "I don't even know what to say."

Melanie sat up off of her sister's bed and headed for the entry of the door, "Good. Don't say anything."

In the past month Melanie had become a new person. She no longer saw the world as an array of colors all blending together to make a beautiful portrait. Everything was now black and white. There was good and there was evil, no hope for anything in between the two. She had lost her trust in anyone, and she had lost the need to try to please people. She had lost control.

Melanie lay in her bed, silence all around her. She could hear quiet whispers from the boys down stairs, probably scheming of some way to get her out of the house, but what they didn't understand was that she didn't want to go do things because they told her to. If she was going to do something it would be because she wanted to.

She listened as she heard her phone vibrate next to her on her desk only looking slightly at the name, assuming it was her parents whom she really didn't want to talk to. She was surprised when she read the name: Bryan Cook.

She pressed the phone to her ear, intrigued. She hadn't talked to Bryan since the party and it never really dawned on her that he probably thought she had ditched him. "Hello?"

"Uh, hey Melanie," Bryan replied, uneasy.

"Hey," she said back softly, "I-uh, what's up?"

She wasn't prepared for the awkwardness though she should've expected it. "I just wanted to make sure you were okay...I haven't seen you since you blew me off at that party."

Melanie felt guilty, she couldn't tell him why she left but he deserved an explanation. "I was really drunk, I'm so sorry Bryan. I wasn't trying to ditch you I promise. I would've had a lot of a better time if I was with you that night I guarantee it."

"I guarantee it too, I'm a cool guy," he replied shortly.

Melanie bit her lips wondering if she should even ask her next question. "Do you want to go get some coffee?" She asked at last.

The line was silent for a moment. "Yeah, I do. I'll be there in ten."

And with that there was a click. Melanie scurried around her room pulling on some jeans shorts and a long sleeve t-shirt that wouldn't expose her wrists. She quickly brushed her teeth and hair, putting on light makeup. Just as he said Melanie received a text message exactly ten minutes after their phone call announcing Bryan was there.

Melanie jogged down her stairs, pulling on her Toms on the way down. She ignored Kennedy and John's calls about "where the hell she was going" and walked straight to Bryan's car sitting in the front seat.

She gave Bryan a simple, "Go," as she sat down in his car and when he saw John running out of the house he stepped on the gas pedal and his BMW started smoothly rolling down the pavement.

They sat in silence on the short drive to the coffee shop and Melanie realized the tension between them. They stayed quiet even on the way inside, and she thanked God for the short line because now she wouldn't have to make small talk.

Melanie ordered her frappachino and went to sit on a small leather chair in the corner of the lounge. She waited patiently for Bryan to receive his order and nervously sipped her drink ignoring the texts that she was receiving on her phone that were no doubt from the boys back home.

Bryan sat in the chair across from her sipping on his iced tea. "So, how have you been?" He asked after a few seconds.

Melanie shrugged, "You know. Just busy," she lied. "You?"

Bryan nodded his head, "Yeah, me too."

They were met with the familiar lack of words.

"Melanie," Bryan started.

She looked at him, his eyebrows pinching in as if he was confused. He ran a hand through his short blonde hair. "Yeah, Bry?"

"Were you really just drunk or were you blowing me off? Just be honest with me..."

Melanie sighed and placed her hand on his knee. "I was hammered."

He nodded his head. "Okay, I just wanted to make sure I didn't scare you away or something."

"Of course not! Bryan I wish I wouldn't have gotten's my biggest regret," she said, knowing he didn't understand the truth behind her words.

She saw him smile even though he was trying to hide it. "Okay, well I'm glad it wasn't me."

She tried to hide the sadness in her voice, "Of course."

"So the boys are back huh?" Bryan asked, and the tension had seemed t have disappeared between them. They talked for hours. They talked about what they wanted to do, they talked about the possibilities of colleges.

The talked about life, they talked about love, they talked about everything and for the first time in a while Melanie felt normal again. She enjoyed that Bryan didn't know about that night. She was glad that he treated her like the adult she was, but it upset her that she knew that if he knew the truth he'd be acting just like everyone else.

"So, University of Washington then, yeah?" Bryan asked, a smile on his lips.

Melanie smiled too as she thought of the clouds in the sky, pouring rain down on her, damping her skin. She liked the thought of the sun playing peek a boo behind the clouds, teasing everyone who lived there with his shine. "I'd love to go there, and I got in, but who knows."

Just as Bryan was about to reply he was interrupted.

Melanie turned at the voice as goose bumps appeared involuntarily along the plains of her skin. "Bryan!" The voice yelled, echoing throughout the shop.

The hairs on Melanie's neck stood up on her skin and she felt scared. She knew that voice without even having to turn around. With each step closer to the pair she could feel her bruises begin to pulse as an instant reminder of the pain she had endured. She looked at Bryan quickly, her mouth frozen to form words.

"I-I have to go," she mumbled at once grabbing her purse off the table and turning away, but not before running into the man that was approaching them. Her purse fell to the floor and her and the man both bent down to pick up her things.

She tried to avoid touching his hands at all costs, scared of what they could do to her.

"Jeremy!" Bryan said from behind her, "what are you doing here man?"

Melanie kept her eyes down, shuffling on the floor as Bryan and 'Jeremy' picked up her belongings and eventually her up off of the floor.

"Melanie, this is my cousin Jeremy," Bryan said gesturing to the man in front of her.

She gathered every ounce of courage she had in her body up as she turned to him. She looked into his eyes, and as soon as she did she fought the tears that formed in her own. They were the brightest green she had seen; they were the green eyes that she saw every night when she closed hers. They were the green eyes that made her scream at night; they were the green eyes that had made her fearful and untrusting of everyone around her.

"Nice to meet you," was all she could say before she ran out the door to get lost in the busy streets of people outside.


Melanie couldn't place the emotions that ran through her body. She was nervous, fearful, lost, and confused. How had he found her? Was he following her? Did he even remember who she was?

She ran into her house quickly, sweat dripping down her skin, her t-shirt soaked with the liquid. She ran upstairs quickly ignoring the angry boys that were waiting for her. John was yelling at her and she could hear him through the door that she had just slammed behind her.

She walked into her room, instantly peeling off her clothes and turning on the faucet in her bathtub. It was loud enough so that she knew those downstairs could hear it and would possibly leave her alone.

She stood naked in front of the mirror her bare skin seemed to be rebuilding the bruises that were no longer there. She knew it was all in her mind now.

She grabbed a razor blade from her counter's drawer and roughly put it to her wrist, pushing against the skin hard. Blood spewed from the cut, running down her arm, and she gasped from the sting. She brought the blade to her hips, and cut them on her bones, fighting every urge to cry out with pain.

She dropped the blade that was drenched in her blood on the floor at her feet before climbing into the bathtub that was filled with steaming hot water. She sat in the water quickly, letting the hot water burn her skin. The water soaked into her wounds, a stinging feeling that she had never felt before.

The only reason she didn't get out was because the physical pain was taking her mind off of how she was feeling inside. Melanie held her breath before ducking her head under the hot water. It burned her cheeks and her eyelids, but she couldn't come up. The burning felt better than how she normally did.

She was counting seconds, seeing how long she could hold her breath. She was at forty five before she became light headed, and just as she hit fifty she felt a pair of arms wrap around her waist, pulling her out of the water.

"Melanie, what the hell are you doing!?" John exclaimed, taking her bare body into his arms. He wrapped a towel around her before he looked at her wrists. "Oh my God..."

She looked into his blue-green eyes that seemed to be dancing with worry in front of her, and opened her mouth to speak. No words came from her lips, and her thoughts seemed to only mumble together. She looked at her wrists again and when she saw the blood she became dizzy, letting John hold her tight against his chest as she passed out.
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Did anyone see that coming!?