Chapter 1

19/06/2011 12:26

“Where am I?” Rainie walked the streets of Portland completely distraught. Rainie could not believe what just happened to her. How could someone do that? Did it even actually happen? Rainie pushed the images out of her mind. She looked at her surroundings. The street was completely empty and the street lights were dim. It was raining. Her body ached as the cold air whipped against her skin. Rainie pulled her little jacket tighter around her arms. She tried to remember why she was in Portland. Party. That’s all she could get out of her scrambled memories. Her hair was completely soaked and was sticking to her forehead. Who was she here with? Why was she at a party? She just figured she had to wait until her memory returned. She walked the sidewalk, listening to her heels hitting the pavement. Finally, the sound got too loud so Rainie took off her shoes and carried them in her hands. There were buildings on either side of her but no one was coming in or going out. Rainie heard a noise behind her. It was a car or something so she didn’t bother turning around or stopping. She didn’t even stop when she heard it slow down to her pace. The vehicle came to a stop and someone got out.

        “Hey, do you need help?” Rainie winced at the man’s voice. It reminded her of what had just happened and left a ringing in her ears. She just kept walking but she could hear his footsteps behind her. The man stepped in front of her and made her stop. “Do you need a ride?” Rainie looked back at the car and it was a tour bus. Who was this guy? He had this dark skin and was wearing a hat. He looked legitimately concerned. Rainie didn’t remember agreeing to a ride with him but before she knew it he was leading her to the bus. Why was she going with him? Maybe she was just too sore to care.

        She got on the bus and the man followed her. She felt the bus start up again. Rainie looked around at the people staring at her. There were about five other guys on the bus. They were all staring at her with worried expressions. The guy who had brought her on the bus told one of the other guys with dread locks to get  T-shirt and shorts out of his bag. Then he lead her to the couch and got her some water. He sat down next to her and draped a blanket over her shoulders.

        “What’s your name?” He asked. She took a sip of her water while she tried find her voice.

        “Rainie.” It came out barely a whisper but apparently they heard it. They seemed happy that they got a response out of her.

        “Rainie, where are you from?” The guy with dread locks asked. She racked her brain for the answer to the question.

        “M-Miami.” Was all she could come up with. She was pretty sure that was right.

        “Well, what are you doing in Portland?” Asked the first guy. As she thought about her answer, Rainie looked around and saw a bunch of guitars and papers lying around.

        “I- I don’t remember.” She thought about it for a little while longer then realized something. “I have to find my sister.” She stood up and ran for the bus doors.

        “Rainie, wait.” It was the first guy again. “We can help you find your sister. But first, you need to take a shower and put something warm on.” He lead her to the bathroom then laid a pair of clothes and a comb on the toilet seat. “There are towels under the sink. Just come out when you’re done.” He left and closed the door behind him.

        Rainie pulled off her jacket and threw it on the floor. Her jeans were soaked and hard to get off. She didn’t even realize that she was no longer wearing underwear. She turned on the water and let it roll over her shoulders. The warm water felt good on her neck and back. She washed her arms and eyed the finger-shaped bruises on her wrists. She washed the blood off of her thighs. She felt the stiffness form in her neck and shut the water off. She got out and wrapped herself in a plush towel from under the sink. Rainie carefully wiped the water from her body then dried her hair. She put on the oversized shorts and shirt the and ran a comb through her knotted brown hair. Her hair was so knotted and so long that she finally just gave up and looked at herself in the mirror. She had a faint bruise along her jawline but nothing else was visible. Her light blue eyes seemed a little darker to her. She sighed and left the bathroom. All the guys were sitting around and talking then stood up when they saw her. She laughed at their courteousness.

“Hey, there’s a smile!” Said this really tall guy wearing hat and glasses. He walked over to her and handed her a sweatshirt. Rainie pulled the sweatshirt on and looked awkwardly around at them.

“I don’t know who you all are.” She admitted. They looked pleasantly surprised.

“Well, let me introduce ourselves.” Said the first guy. “I’m Bruno. This is Phil, Eric, Jamereo, Kenji and Phred. We’re in a band.” Said Bruno. They all seemed really nice so Rainie started to feel more comfortable. They were all being really sweet and making her laugh. Then she remembered her sister.

“What about Caroline?” Rainie asked.

“Who?” Asked Bruno. “Oh, your sister. Well do you know where she is?” She tried to think about what had happened.

“We... she took me to some party. She lived nearby. I...” She didn’t want to talk anymore. She didn’t want them to know what had happened to her. She just wanted to go home. “I just want to find my sister.”

“Do you have a cell phone?” Phred asked her.

“I do. It’s in my back pocket.” Her clothes were still in the bathroom.

“I’ll get it.” Offered Jamareo and he left. He came back holding her whit concert tee that was stained with blood. Rainie blushed and looked away.

“You all weren’t supposed to see that.” The jacket had covered the cuts she had gotten on her back. There wasn’t a significant amount of blood but it was enough.

“How did you get that?” Bruno looked so worried. He touched her back and Rainie winced. “Come with me.” Bruno stood up and grabbed her hands and pulled her into the room at the back of the bus. Then he closed the door. “I need you to take off your shirt.” Rainie looked at him like he was crazy. What was happening? Bruno saw Rainie’s eyes flash toward the door. “I promise I’m not a perv and I’m not going to hurt you. I just want to make sure you’re okay.” She was hesitant at first but then she turned and pulled off her shirt and sweat shirt. Her back was facing him as she pulled her hair over her shoulder so he could get a better look. She held her shirt in front of her chest. She felt his fingers run along her back and she winced as he got too close to the cuts. “Sorry.” He murmured. “Lay down on the bed. I’m going to go get the first aid kit. These could get infected.” He then left her alone in the bedroom. Rainie looked around. The room was full of suitcases and other stuff but didn’t look used. The bed was made so she laid down gently on top of it. She rested her head on a pillow and closed her eyes, thinking about her family.

She heard the door open and jolted up. “It’s okay, it’s just me.” Said Bruno. He had his hands in front of him and was holding a first aid kit. Rainie swallowed and laid back down so he could doctor her. Bruno slowly sat on the edge of the bed and openend the first aid kit. “This is gonna sting a little.” Then he dabbed rubbing alcohol on her injuries. She squinted her eyes and waited for it to be over. “So, tell me about yourself.” Rainie thought about it as she listened to him tear open the band-aid wrappers.

“I’m a student.” She recalled. “I’m a psychology major at Florida University. I’m visiting my sister for the summer.”

“That’s so cool!” He said as he stuck the bandages to her skin. “Do you minor in anything?” Rainie sighed, struggling with the memory. She knew there was a purpose for her answer but she didn’t know what it was. “Music. I don’t remember anything else.” He was done so she sat up and put her shirt back on.

“Well, that’s an interesting combo. Bruno said. Rainie turned and smiled at him then tried to stifle a yawn. Bruno chuckled. “How about you get some sleep. The guys and I will sleep out in the other room.” He stood up and looked down at her.

“Are you sure? I don’t want to be in the way or anything...”

“Are you kidding me? Nahh, you sleep. We’ll talk more and see if you remember anything in the morning. Good night.”

“Good night. And Bruno?”

“Yeah?” He turned right as he was about to leave.

“Thank you.” She gave him a half smile. He smiled back then left. Rainie laid back on the pillows trying to push the images away. She listened to the voices of the guys coming from the other part of the bus and then she listened to them sing. She immediately picked Bruno’s voice out of the two voices that were singing. Someone was playing the guitar then someone started beat boxing and they all laughed. Rainie smiled at their playfulness. She turned on her side and shut her eyed. She felt herself drift to sleep with the sound of Bruno’s voice surrounding her.