Chapter 2

“Did you guys see the bruises on that girl’s arms?” Jonathan Toews asked his teammates Patrick Kane and Duncan Keith as he sat across from them at a diner in the heart of Chicago.

“Yeah she was covered in ‘em,” Duncan replied, eyes widening as he thought back to the moment when she took off her jacket.

“And did you see the way her boyfriend grabbed her? What an asshole,” Patrick chimed in, disgusted by what he had seen take place just a few minutes ago.

Conversation tapered off as the food arrived, but Jonathan couldn’t help but wonder about her. He knew it wasn’t his problem, but he wished he had done something more anyway, in case she was being abused. He wanted to think that she had acquired the bruises in a different way, trying to assume the best in people, but he couldn’t get the thought out of his mind.


Jonathan’s microwave clock read 2:13, meaning he had enough time to go grocery shopping and get in a short nap before he had to be at the arena for that night’s game. Scrawling a note out for his girlfriend, Lindsey, who would arrive at the apartment before he was back, Jonathan grabbed his keys and took the elevator down to his car, soon pulling into the busy streets of Chicago. He didn’t expect it to be that busy in the middle of the day on a Tuesday, but it was Chicago after all. Arriving at the grocery store, Jonathan hopped out of his car and entered the store, grabbing a cart and beginning to wander the aisles, looking for everything he needed.

Jonathan was checking out when he heard a cashier threatening a woman who had her back to him. He listened closer to the conversation, intrigued by what was going on. Trying to get closer, he hopped in line behind the woman and instantly recognized her jacket from the day before. This was the girl from the diner, and she was arguing with a cashier about her card not working. Jonathan thought for a second before taking action and resting a hand on her shoulder, to which she jumped and spun around. Jonathan could feel his eyes widen at her actions and if she recognized him from the day before he couldn’t read it on her face.

“I’m sorry, I didn’t mean to scare you, I was just going to offer to pay for your groceries since your card isn’t working,” Jonathan offered with a small smile.

“You really don’t need to do that,” she said back, seemingly annoyed at his offer.

‘No, really, I want to,” he replied, moving to grab his wallet and swipe his card as she stood back and bit her lip, seeming to be lost in thought. The woman mumbled a thank you and shuffled to leave quickly with her groceries.

Jonathan wanted to follow her and ask her more questions, but he still had groceries to scan, so he tried to speed up the process as much as possible. When the cashier was done he grabbed his bags and walked briskly out to the parking lot, hoping to catch the woman.

“Shit,” she said very loudly, alerting Jonathan to her presence as she leaned down to pick up the fruit that had fallen out of and broken one of her bags. Jonathan rushed over to help her pick them up.

“I’m Jonathan,” he said while handing her the fruit. She nodded and said thank you again and was gone before Jonathan had a chance to get her name.

The last thing he saw of her was her climbing into the passenger side of a beat up pickup truck. The driver side was occupied by the same man that was with her yesterday, no doubt her boyfriend. Jonathan watched their exchange, curious as to what would happen. He couldn’t tell, but he thought the man was yelling at her and Jonathan instantly became furious, but couldn’t do anything because they were pulling out of the parking lot and he was still standing on the sidewalk by the store. He considered following them, but decided against it, trying to push the thought of them from his mind. Jonathan jogged across the parking lot and hopped into his car, starting off back toward his apartment.


Jonathan arrived home late that night after the game and was surprised to see Lindsey still awake, in bed reading a magazine.

“Hey babe,” she said when he entered their bedroom. Jonathan smiled in return and began taking off his suit, keeping only his boxers on and climbing into bed, wrapping his arm around his girlfriend. “Is everything okay?” she asked.

Jonathan thought for a moment about how to approach the topic. “What would you do if you thought someone was being abused?” he asked.

Lindsey stayed silent for a minute, trying to decide how to reply. “Well you obviously have to do something. Why do you ask?” she inquired.

Jonathan sighed and rubbed his hand over his face and through his hair, obviously stressed about the situation. “Kaner and Duncs and I were in the diner yesterday and we saw this girl and her boyfriend and something just seemed off. He was making her pay and she had bruises on her arms and it was just a little unsettling. Then he grabbed her by the wrist pretty tight and pulled her out after he paid. And then today I saw her in the grocery and I paid for her stuff and then when we left I saw her get in the car with him and he was yelling and she just seemed a little too calm. Like she was used to it,” Jonathan rambled, looking up to see the concerned look on his girlfriend’s face.

“What’s her name? You should probably report it to the police,” Lindsey said.

“That’s another thing, I have no idea who she is. She never gave me her name,” he said, making himself more anxious with every word he spoke.

“It’s late, babe, why don’t we talk more about it tomorrow,” Lindsey suggested. Jonathan nodded and turned off the lamp on the bedside table. Soon he heard Lindsey’s soft breathing regulate.

He turned on his back and stared up at the ceiling. Jonathan didn’t sleep that night, consumed by the curiosity and dread of what was going on at that woman’s house.