‹ Prequel: Coffee Shop Soundtrack

Running From Lions


“Come on,” I said, opening the apartment door the rest of the way. I took a few steps to the right, making room for her to enter. I flipped a light switch on around us.

She adjusted the strap of a backpack hanging on her shoulder and stepped into my apartment, looking at the ground again. Her jeans were so wet that they were slightly shiny underneath the overhead light.

I leaned against a kitchen counter and watched as drops of water fell from her hair onto her navy zip up hoodie. I didn’t know what to do, what to say to her. She wouldn’t look at me again. She kept her eyes fixated on her feet.

“I’ll get you some dry clothes,” I finally said. “Come on.”

She kicked off her shoes before following behind into the bedroom.

I grabbed a white T-shirt off of the floor for myself and pulled in on over my head. I opened the top drawer and pulled out a Nirvana T-shirt from the top of a pile before moving on to the next drawer. I rummaged through piles of pajamas until I found an old pair of gym shorts with drawstrings that Makenna would be able to tighten around her waist.

I turned back towards her standing in the door frame. Her arms were crossed in front of her chest and she bit her lip as she looked at the ground.

“Here,” I said, stepping towards her and holding out the clothes.

She glanced up and took them, holding them away from her chest so they wouldn't get wet.

“There are towels in the bathroom if you need one,” I said.

She didn’t say anything as she turned away from me and went into the bathroom, shutting the door behind her.

I didn’t want to think right now, I wanted to just shut my brain off. But that was impossible. My thoughts were running crazy right now and I had so many questions. Did Derek do this to her? Why? Is this the first time it’s happened? Why did she come here? What the hell was going on? I couldn’t just come out and ask her this stuff though. I was in a delicate situation now.

More than anything, I was completely terrified myself. Terrified for her, that is.

I ran my hand through my hair and took a deep breath before stepping towards my closet and sliding the door open. I reached up to a shelf that held linens and grabbed a few blankets and a pillow. I made my way back into the family room and spread the first blanket onto the couch, making a place for me to sleep tonight.

“Is that for me?” I heard behind me a few minutes later.

I swung around and faced Makenna, now wearing a T-shirt and shorts that were way too big. She was finally looking up at me.

“No,” I said, quickly glancing at the couch. “It’s for me. You can have the bed.”

She didn’t say anything else. Her hair was still wet but at least it wasn’t dripping anymore.

“Ken,” I said, taking a few steps towards her. “How long were you in the rain?”

She shrugged and looked back down. “I uh,” she was quiet. I could hardly hear her over the rain hitting the building outside. “I walked from the Greyhound station.”

“What?” I said, shocked. The station was more than three miles away. She walked for three miles in the pouring rain. “Why didn’t you call me?”

She looked up at me again and shrugged, but she didn’t say anything. It looked like her eyes were starting to water though, and I didn’t want to make her feel any worse with anymore questions.

I glanced at a blue mark on her arm, another bruise.

She noticed me looking and crossed her arms in front of her chest, looking away.

“We’ll talk in the morning,” I said, “Okay?”

She nodded and I watched her slowly climb into bed before shutting the bedroom door and sliding into my makeshift bed on the couch.

I placed my hands under my head and looked up at the ceiling. What the hell was I supposed to do to help her?