That day it had to be different - and so many things happened on that day. It was a Sunday and I had picked Linds from her apartment in my car. Yes, Andrew had helped me get a car, not that he gifted me, but he put half of the money and I put whatever was saved from my salary. Then I got this second hand Corolla, which I really liked so much.
The aroma of baked coffee filled the whole café and reached the corner where we sat.
"I like the coffee here." Linds said while sipping her coffee, she said it almost every time we came here.
"Because they make the heart shape on this." I completed the sentence for her.
"Yes." She laughed and I joined her.
"Hey, isn't that Lindsay?" We both turned towards from where the loud voice came. There were four boys sitting at a table and by their looks I could tell they were some people who just didn't care about anybody. Somehow I was getting some bad vibes from them. And when I looked back at Linds, she was completely pale.
"Are you okay?" She was looking so uncomfortable and scared as if she had seen a ghost. She was fidgeting with her hands.
"What happened? Why are you scared?"
Before she could answer, the boys had reached at our table. Even if it was not intentional, I knew I was giving them death glares. I just could not understand why I was angry at them, even if they did not do anything.
"If I'm not mistaken, isn't it Miss Voice?" One boy with dirty blond hair and dark complex eyes spoke. He looked like a womanizer, like someone who had got everything, the looks, the money, and the status - everything. Only if he knew that he lacked in attitude. Suddenly the urge of protecting Linds had increased, even if no danger was nearby.
"Hi Josh." Linds replied nervously and tried best to avoid his eyes.
"Well, you have grown up more beautiful, I must say." Another young man spoke coming to the front. He had stubble beard and grave eyes, deep green color.
"Um..." Linds could not find any words to answer him. Now, I could not take it anymore. All I wanted to do was to smack those guys face, but not wanting to make a scene. I asked Linds if we could go, to which she nodded, almost pleading with her eyes.
"Excuse me Guys, but we need to go." I said getting up from my seat, with Linds already standing and ready to leave. We started leaving almost immediately making path in between those guys, but they followed us calling Linds with different names. I controlled my anger for five seconds till we came out of the café, but could not hold any longer once that guy stopped us by placing his hand on Linds' shoulder.
I turned back with fury in my eyes. The guy put his hands in surrender when he saw the look on my face; it was the same "Josh" guy.
"Linds, wouldn't you introduce us to your little friend here?" Josh said eying me and Linds alternatively.
I grabbed him by his collar and said, "Here is her boyfriend, who is not as little as you think." With that I punched the guy really hard. But it seemed like someone punched me in the head, whether in reality no one had attacked me. The Josh guy was growling in pain and already on the ground, while the other two guys ran near him.
Suddenly, the pain in my head started increasing and a scene merely started playing behind my eyes. The scene felt like I was hitting somebody just like I hit Josh. But it was not Josh, there was one more guy and a girl too. The girl looked almost like Linds, but not exactly. I could not put my finger properly on the whole scene. Things were not clear, I tried hard to concentrate and find out what these all meant, but all I could do was see some more fighting between the two boys and me.
Things slowly were starting to fade away, the vision was going away, but before I could come back to my senses fully, someone hit me in the jaw real hard. I fell backwards from the force and now the pain in my jaw was much more than the pain in my head. It took me some seconds to realize that the fourth guy had hit me and Linds was shocked to death, and crying hysterically as the fourth guy was now approaching her with a smirk on his face.
I dragged myself on my feet and launched towards him, grabbed his neck from behind and within some seconds, he seemed like he was struggling to breathe. Seeing this, probably another boy from the group came towards me to hit me, but as if on instinct, I moved my leg back in an attempt to kick him. I could not kick him, but it helped him falling on the floor really hard as my shoes exactly hit his knees.
I was unaware of the little audience we had gathered, until some volunteers came forward and dragged the guy out of my grasp. Some were holding me and some were holding him, while both were trying hard to get out of their hold.
"Will you guys go away or we are calling the police?" One of those people said loud enough for both of us to hear. I relaxed immediately and I could see the other guy also had stopped fighting, while Josh and his other two friends were all gathered near him. All men released their hold on us but none of us moved, until we heard the police van sirens in the distance.
Immediately the boys flew from the site, leaving us with no choice than running away. I immediately grabbed Linds' hand and we ran towards our car. We got into the car long before the police could reach and drove away as soon as possible. Linds was still sobbing, but I could not stop until we were at a safer distance.
I had no idea which direction I had driven, however after driving at an considerable higher speed for around 20 minutes, I had reached some place I did know nothing about. It was long... long roads with fields with long dry grasses on each side of the road. I stopped the car in the middle of nowhere. Linds was still sobbing, but not that bad.
Taking a deep breath, I glanced towards her, there was definitely a story behind all this and she could probably tell me, only if I asked.
"Linds?" The jaw muscles gave me a pain of nightmare while speaking. She looked up to me with tear-soaked eyes, with fresh tears starting to spill. But she gasped seeing my face, I was sure there was a big purple bruise coming up. She had stopped crying all of a sudden. Taking out her napkin from the little purse she was holding, she started to clean up the blood that came out of my lower lip.
I winced at the pain, adjusting the rear view mirror; I could see a swollen red lip with a string of blood attached to my lower lip. A big purple, almost growing black bruise reaching all the way from my lower jaw to my cheek. It suddenly reminded me of something, but I could not remember exactly. It felt like I had already seen myself in a mirror like this, the familiar pain was starting to make a comeback, when Linds' worried voice brought me back to present.
"Do you have a first aid kit here?"
There was a first aid kit in my car. It was never my idea; it was Andrew who put it in there, considering how bad of a driver I was when I started driving here. Guess, he could foresee today's date. Linds took out some cotton and cleaned my wound, it was painful, but I tried hard not to show the pain on my face and closed my eyes.
"Too much pain?" She asked very concerned. I opened my eyes to see Linds' face very close to mine. Despite the pain in my whole head, I could not resist the temptation to kiss her. She replied almost immediately but then I could realize how painful it was to move the mouth muscles and I winced in pain again.
"I am sorry, I am sorry." Linds looked at me once and continued cleaning all the dirt from my face, occasionally blowing air from her mouth to keep the burn aside. Suddenly the question popped up in my mind, which I could have asked long time before.
"Who are they Linds?" She stopped dead for a moment, but then composed herself and tried to ignore the question.
"Would you like to wash your face?" She asked searching for the water bottle. When she got it, I was still looking at her waiting for my answer. In response, she just opened the bottle cap and handed it to me. Opening the driver's door carefully, I came out and washed my face making sure not to touch where it pained. She came to me and cleaned my face and applied the ointment. She was about to turn away, when I held her back.
"Linds, you can tell me." She ran back to me and hugged me tightly. Fresh tears started soaking my shirt, but I held her tight. After some time when she was sober I asked her again if she was okay to tell and she nodded.
"They are friends of my ex-boyfriend. Considering boyfriend, he was my last boyfriend which was 3 years ago. While I was in college, Nick and these four were a group and I fell in love with Nick. We started dating and I tried to spend more time with him, but not with his friends, because I never liked them. I had no idea what kind of a person Nick was, but I knew about Josh and others all along. They were the biggest jerks in the college, rich, spoiled and bad in all possible ways. Nick was not as rich as them, but nevertheless he was their friend."
Her lips started to quiver and I knew she was going to speak something unpleasant, I moved closer to her and held her in my arms. We were sitting right on the road leaning against the car. How dirty!
"Nick had soon shown physical interest while I was still taking everything slowly. Not that I was a virgin, but I actually loved him and didn't want to rush thing. But anyway, my ideas didn't work and we had sex several times. I was unaware of what I was getting myself into until I... found my photos in Josh's mobile accidentally, while he was trying to show that to his other friends. No wonder, Nick had taken my pictures and didn't care if others shared those. It was the last year of college and out of embarrassment; I changed college in the last year and came here."
We were silent for a long time, until it started getting dark.
"Any idea why they are here?"
"No." She shook her head left to right. "Probably on a trip or something. Nick always wanted to go new places."
I could recognize the fear in her voice.
"Don't panic Linds. They can't do anything until I am here."
She nodded and we came back the same way we had gone. After having dinner, I dropped her at her home and came back to my house. Andrew had already slept, so I took out my keys and marched straight to my room.
The pain was still there, but what kept me awake till late night was - what was the memory that came after the little fighting we had today. I could clearly remember two guys, one I had hit a guy just like Josh, the other went to help him and then came charging towards me and we had a fighting. A girl like Linds, a little thinner than her, stood beside me crying just like Linds. It was all too painful trying to remember everything, but it was worth the try.
Somewhere in the middle of the night, sleep took over all my senses, my pain, my agony, but returned some of my memory. Dreams invaded my harmony and gave out a lot of clue, clues connecting to different segments of my memory. The unclear vision which I had earlier became clearer in my dream. A dream which helped me remember a big part of my past, the better part of my past. Though I liked almost everything that my dream showed me, but I still panicked for what more was there in store for me.
@Honey - I haven't found any pic for Carson, I wonder how to post his pic. But I will try. Hope you like this chapter.
@Smilesss - Well, his past is a bad one, I can assure you that. Hope you still like this story when his past comes out.
@Anne - Me too.
@Maggie Cyrus - You will start to know about his past in chapter 14 probably, I will keep giving clues.
@Tushar - It does and will stay for some time, after all that's the story.
@Rohan - I am so glad you are liking this story. Please keep reading and commenting.