‹ Prequel: Coffee Shop Soundtrack

Running From Lions


The sun was beaming in through the window and quickly warming the apartment up. I kicked my blanket off and rubbed my eyes. Laying around in jeans all night definitely wasn’t great, but I didn’t want to make Makenna feel uncomfortable in any way.

It had stopped raining a few hours ago, just before the sun had risen. I didn’t sleep, there was too much on my mind.

I heard blankets rustling in the other room and figured that Makenna must be awake. I got up and went into the kitchen to start a pot of coffee. I leaned on the counter and watched the brown liquid drip into the pot. When it came to a stop, I pulled a mug out of a cabinet and filled it up. Just a little bit of sugar, that’s how Makenna likes it.

I held the warm morning drink close to me as I walked towards the bedroom door. I knocked once before slowly pushing the door open.

Makenna laid on the far end of the bed, her back towards me.

“Hey,” I said.

She didn’t say anything. She just sat up against the headboard and glanced at me before looking into her lap.

“I brought you coffee,” I said, making my way around the bed to her side. “Did you sleep at all?"

She shook her head as she reached up to grab the coffee from me. I watched as she slowly brought the drink up to her lips, taking little sips to make sure it didn’t burn her tongue. She set it down on the nightstand beside her.

I had to talk to her, but I didn’t know how to start. I felt like I was walking on eggshells, I didn’t want to say the wrong thing.

“Makenna,” I finally said, taking a seat in front of her on the bed. “I need you to talk to me.”

She didn’t say anything. She bit her lip and fumbled with the edge of the sheet beneath her.

“Kenna,” I said. I reached up and put my hand on her cheek, softly lifting her head to look at me.

Her brown eyes dug into mine, but they were filled with sadness. It was so different than I was used to. This girl in front of me, this wasn’t Makenna. At least not the one I knew. She looked the same, but she was so different. The Makenna I knew was happy. Even when I was breaking her heart, every single time I made her cry, her eyes still held this joyous glow. And now that glow was gone.

“Ken,” I said, “Did Derek do this to you?’

She swallowed hard, trying to keep herself from tearing up at all. It didn’t work. Her eyes were wet almost instantly. She let out a breath and took another one, her chest shaking as she inhaled. She slowly nodded.

I fucking knew it. I dropped my hand from her face and stood up, pulling my T-shirt off over my head. I grabbed a clean black shirt from the top drawer of my dresser and threw it on.

“Where is he?” I asked, moving quickly to the other nightstand where my wallet was sitting. “Makenna, where is he?"

My voice grew louder. I thought about him hitting her like that and I could feel my blood boiling. I was going to kill him for doing this to her.

“John, stop.” Makenna said, almost too soft for me to hear.

I shoved my wallet in my pocket and went into the kitchen to grab my car keys. I hoped my old beat up car would make the six hour trip without having to stop too often.

“John,” Makenna said, following me. “Stop.”

I turned to face her. “Just tell me where he is,” I said, “I’m going to make him pay for this."

A couple of tears had fallen down her face now. “Please, don’t,” she said, shaking her head.

“Ken,” I took a deep breath and tried to calm myself down for a minute.

She reached out and grabbed my arm. “If you try to find him, he’ll kill you,” she said, “And he’ll know where I am."

I shook my head. “I can’t sit here and do nothing.”

“Please,” she said, she was crying harder now. She was scared. Not only for herself, but for me too. She dropped her arm and it let it hang at her side. “Please stay here. I need you.”

Her voice was desperate. She genuinely thought that if I left something would happen to me. What the fuck did he do to make her this scared?

“Okay,” I nodded, dropping my keys back on the counter. “I’m here.” I reached forward and wrapped my arms around her. She gripped the back of my shirt and dug her face into my chest. “I’m not going to go anywhere. I’m here.”