Somewhere in Neverland


Saturday, August 24th. 1pm.

“You need to lose some weight, you’re gaining a few pounds.” I looked up at Jared apologetically.

“I’ll go to the gym after work.”

He nodded and went back to watching his Tv show. I went to the bathroom to change into my uniform from the coffee shop that I work at. I carefully packed my gym clothes in a bag, along with my sneakers and went back into the living room, to find him still watching TV and drinking his whiskey.

“I’m leaving now. Since im going to the gym I’ll be back around 9” Tom shut off the Tv and got off the couch, grabbing his keys.

“Hold on, I’ll drive you.” I frowned.

“You’ve been drinking, are you sure you’re-”

“I’m fine. Let’s go.”

He grabbed my wrist roughly and started dragging me out of the house and to his car. He was gripping it so hard, I could feel a bruise starting to form so I tugged my sleeve down further. He started up the engine, pulled out of my driveway, and then started speeding down the road while I clutched onto the edge of my seat, slightly afraid. Ten minutes later, he parked the car a little bit crooked in front of my work, and leaned over to kiss me. All I could smell was the foul stench of whiskey on his clothing and breath so I turned my head sideways, causing him to kiss my cheek.

“What you don’t want to kiss me?” I just stared at my hands nervously in my lap. I should know better.

“I’m sorry.” He smirked.

“Yeah, you better be.”

I reached to open the car door, but he grabbed my wrist and pulled on it, making me jerk backwards to face him.

“Don’t be late.”

He held his firm grip on my already bruised wrist, until I nodded and got out of the car, noticing two boys standing just outside. One was smoking, the other was just standing there; both of them watching the scene unravel before them. I recognized them from school but they probably didn’t recognize me. I shut the door, and almost instantly, Jared was backing out and speeding down the road, to his house that I was currently staying at for the weekend. I had to pass the two boys to get inside but I didn’t want to make conversation and I still had twenty minutes before my shift anyways, so I pulled out my pack of cigarettes and lit one up, breathing in the relaxing, toxic fumes.

I waited until they had gone back inside, before finishing it and chucking it on the ground at my feet. Running a hand through my blonde hair, I made my way to the coffee shop, and went behind the counter where my best friend Taylor was. She grinned when she saw me, but her smile dropped when she smelled the smoke on me. I only smoked when Jared was being a dick, so she instantly knew what was wrong, and pulled me into a hug.

“Fighting again?”

I nodded and punched in, taking a deep sigh and scanning the dining room. The two boys were sitting by the window with some other boys, laughing about something. Taylor went around to clean tables so I stayed behind the counter, making fresh pots of coffee. One of the boys, the one who wasn’t smoking, walked up to the counter, fishing around his wallet for some money.

“Hi what can I get for you?” I flashed him a fake smile.

“Um, I’ll just have a medium latte and a blueberry muffin please.” I put the muffin in a bag and rang up his order.

“Name?” I held the cup in one hand, pen in the other, waiting for his response.

“Uh, Alex.”

I scribbled his name on the cup, and started making his latte. When I turned around to give it to him, he had his hands in his pockets and was staring at me intently.

“Alex?” I handed him the cup and he smiled when he took it, a genuine smile.

“ look kind of familiar.” I shifted nervously on my feet.

“I go to your school.”

My voice was monotone, cold, and almost a whisper. I knew who he was, even if he didn’t know me. He used to date Taylor before we were friends. He was the popular guy that was in a band, on the football team and paid no attention to people like me. He nodded, smiled again and walked back to his booth. The rest of the day was pretty slow, Alex and his friends had stayed the entire time. I started talking to Taylor once things had slowed down completely.

“Do you wanna hang out after shift?” I shook my head no, and leaned against the counter.

“I have to go to the gym.” Taylor frowned, staring at my figure.

“You’re stick thin Wendy. What do you even weigh? Ninety pounds?” I sighed and served another customer before resuming the conversation.

“Whatever I’m still going.” I could see out of the corner of my eye, the guys getting ready to go out for another smoke.

“Is it because of Jared? Did he tell you to go?” I bit my lip and nodded, staring at my feet. “Okay seriously, you need to ditch his ass. He’s no good for you. All he does is put you down.”

“I can’t.”

“Why not?” Her tone sounded like she was actually pissed off with me.

“He’s all I have.” She went silent for a few moments.

“What about me?”

“It’s not the same. I mean, he’s the only guy who would ever be with a girl like me. Sometimes I dont even know why he is. I don’t deserve him.”

The next thing I knew, I was clutching my cheek, where Taylor had slapped me. She actually slapped me. Today really wasn’t my day. I looked up at her in shock, and she was fuming. Alex had stopped walking and was now staring at us while his friend went outside.

“You know that’s not true Wendy. Those are HIS words, not yours. If anything, he doesn’t deserve YOU. Your life could be so much better without him.”

I realized Alex was staring now so I tried pleading with her.

“Taylor please...people are staring.”

Wordlessly, she walked away and left me at the counter, dumbfounded. I heard the bell chime, so I looked up and realized it was just Alex going outside. I went through the rest of my shift without speaking to Taylor and when it was over, I left without saying goodbye. Starting my fifteen minute walk to the gym, I lit up a cigarette and put my headphones in. Once I got there, I made my way to the treadmill and started my run, only expecting to be doing it for an hour. I got so carried away thinking about Taylor and how angry I was at her for slapping me that i hadn’t realized I had been running for two hours and it was almost 9. I got off the treadmill, decided against a shower since I was already late, got my stuff from the locker room and started walking back to the house.

When I opened the door, Jared was there with a glass of whiskey, and he frowned when he saw me.

“It’s 9:30, you’re late. And you look disgusting.”

“I lost track of time, sorry. I didnt take a shower because I didn’t want to be later than I already was.” He set his glass on the table and came closer.

“I told you not to be late.”

“I said I’m sorry.”

“Don’t use that tone with me either.”

I started to go up the stairs, but once again, he grabbed onto the same wrist as before, making me wince in pain. I could tell he was wasted by the way he was stumbling and by how aggressive he was being. Still grasping my wrist, he lifted his other hand and struck my face with his fist, leaving me with a black eye.

“Go upstairs to shower and don’t be late again.”

Frightened, I ran up the stairs and headed for the shower where I stripped out of my clothes and let the hot water relax my tense muscles. When I was finished, I went downstairs to find him passed out on the couch. Sighing, I went back upstairs, and locked the door to the bedroom; it was the only way I would be able to fall asleep peacefully, but not without dreaming of a better life.