Rainie watched as they rehearsed for their show. The stadium was huge! How had she never heard of them before? Then she heard one of their songs. She had heard his music before and always thought it was god but never actually knew the artist. She watches as Bruno sang his heart out and laughed at her and the band joked around with each other. Bruno smiled down at her a few times and she smiled back. He’s a really good guy, Rainie thought to herself. When rehearsal was over, it was time to get ready for the show. They were performing with this woman named Janelle. She was really sweet when Bruno introduced them. “I hope you enjoy the show!” she said before she was wisked away to make up. Bruno and the band were also escorted away to get ready for the show and Rainie was left lone with Bruno’s bodyguard. He took her to a seat that was closest to the stage. She watched as all the crazed girls piled into their seats.
The show started and there was so much screaming and yelling. It was so loud and Rainie could barely hear herself think. She got through the opening act and Janelle’s set. Then, Bruno came onstage. Everyone was screaming at the top of their lungs and Rainie lost control of her thoughts. Images of the night flashed through her mind. That wall she had put up keeping then back shattered and pictures of her being pushed on top of a broken beer bottle as he climbed on top of her invaded her brain. She couldn’t take the noise. She needed to get out of there. She ran as fast as she could through the closest exit. She was running so fast she barely heard someone yell her name through the loud speakers.
Rainie reached the parking lot and felt the cold air hit her face. She slumped down against the wall and pulled her legs up against her chest. She cried as she laid her head against her knees. Why did he do that to her? Why didn’t she scream louder? Why didn’t she open her eyes to get a better look at the son of a bitch? These were all questions that she plagued herself with as she sat and cried in the parking lot.
A few minutes later, she heard the door beside her open. She looked down and saw the black converse that Bruno had put on that morning. He sat down next to her and pulled her into his arms. He stroked the side of her face and just let her cry. Then she sat up. “What about your show?” she asked as she wiped her tears away.
“I told them we were gonna take a break for a few minutes.” he said. “What happened, Rainie?” he searched her eyes and she finally gave in and told him.
“I remembered.” she said. She moved away from him and faced him so she could speak.
“I remembered all the things that happened to me last night. I could only remember parts but now... I remember. Last night I went to a party with my sister. She had gotten into some weird stuff since I had last seen her. The whole party was full of alcohol and drugs and I’m not into all that. So, I told her I was going to to sit outside for a while. I walked outside and saw a man standing there against the apartment. He asked if my name was Caroline Winchester and I said that that was my sister. Then this stupid little smile spread across his stupid face and he lunged at me. I tried screaming but he had his hand around my throat. He pulled me behind the apartment building and pushed me to the ground. He raped me. Rainie’s eyes welled up with tears but she swallowed and kept going. “After he was...done, he left me there after telling me that I need to pass this message along to my bitch sister and to remind her that she owes him money. Then, I blacked out. I guess I woke up a few hours later and just started walking. I couldn’t remember anything. Then you came in.” she looked at him and smiled but he just looked concerned. Then angry.
“How could someone do that?” You need to report this to the police.”
“I can’t. This guy obviously has something to do with my sister and if I report him then she could get in trouble, too.” Rainie just wanted to find Caroline and go on with her normal life. Bruno was fuming! He was so pissed at the guy who did this. But then, Rainie started to remember other things. He immediately stopped being angry and went back to being concerned. ‘I know her address.” said Rainie. She sighed with relief. “I remember Caroline’s address.” Bruno hugged her and she buried her face in his shoulder. Then Bruno pulled away.
“Come back inside and sit in my dressing room. The show is almost over.” she followed Bruno into his dressing room which was basically an oversized closet and he sat her down on a chair. “I’ll be right back. Do not leave.” he kissed her on the forehead and ran back to the stage.
The next day, Bruno told the guys that he and Rainie were going to rent a car and go see her sister in Portland. He said that there was no need or all her stuff because she may not need it quite yet. Rainie was happy that it seemed Bruno didn’t want her to leave.
They rented a black SUV and set off to Portland. It was a long drive but they got there that night. They arrived a the address and went up the stairs to Caroline’s apartment. When they got to the door, they saw that it was semi-open. Rainie looked at Bruno who pushed her behind him protectively and went inside. They walked in slowly and looked around. The place was trashed. The couch was ripped up, the TV was smashed in, there were broken plated and glasses everywhere, and all the kitchen chairs were flipped over. Everything had been strewn across the apartment.
“Caroline?” Rainie called out. Her voice pierced the absolute silence in the apartment. No one answered. “CAROLINE??” Rainie yelled again. She and Bruno checked all the rooms in the apartment but there was no sign of her. Then, Rainie found her sister’s phone sitting to a small pool of blood that had seeped into the carpet of her Caroline’s room. Rainie checked the phone, trying to avoid contact with the blood as much as possible and saw that the last phone call made was 911. “She’s at the hospital.” said Rainie. She and Bruno rushed as quickly as they could to Portland General.
They got there and the nurse at the front desk directed them to Caroline’s room. Rainie opened the door and saw her sister lying in the bed with bandages on her face, a cast on her leg, and an IV through her arm. Caroline looked over and laid eyes on her sister. “Rainie!” Rainie ran to her and hugged her as Bruno took a seat in one of the chairs at the back of the room. Rainie sat next to her sister and held her hand.
“What happened to you?” Rainie asked quietly. Caroline sighed.
“I’ve gotten involved in a lot of fucked up stuff, Rainie. I spent a lot of money on shit that I shouldn’t have spent it on. This guy, Anthony, was supposed to help me out. He loaned me some money to pay off some of my debts. I told him I’d pay him back. Apparently, he wanted the money a little sooner then when I could get it. He threatened me, called me, killed my damn cat... I didn’t know what to do. I was sitting in my apartment last night worried to death about you when I heard a knock on the door. Thinking it was you, I swung it open really quickly and then... it wasn’t you. Caroline took a deep breath. “A few of his guys started tearing up my place while Anthony beat the shit out of me.” Then she gave Rainie a curious look. “He kept telling me that my bitch sister should have told me what was going to happen to me... What did he do to you, Rainie?” She searched Rainie’s face for some sort of telling sign of what had happened but Rainie averted her gaze. “Rainie, what did he do to you?” Caroline’s voice got louder.
“He raped me.” Rainie said quietly. “Outside of the party.” Caroline started crying and pulled her sister into her arms. Rainie hugged her back as her sister cried and apologized over and over. Then Caroline pulled away.
“You have to get out of here, Rainie. Once he finds out that I’m still alive, he’s going to go after both of us.”
“I can’t just leave you here!” Rainie yelled.
“You won’t be. As soon as I’m discharged, I’m leaving town.”
“Then let me come with you!”
“You don’t want to live that life, Rainie and I won’t let you.” Caroline sweeped her short blonde hair out of her eyes. “You have to get out of here.”
“I don’t have anywhere to go.”
“Stay with me.” Bruno jumped to his feet. Caroline raised her eyebrows at the young man in front of her. Rainie walked over to Bruno.
“I would love to, but I can’t impose on you and the others for any longer.” she stroked Bruno’s cheek with her hand. He grabbed her hand and kissed her palm.
“Yes, you can. We love having you with us. Please stay.” How could she say no? Rainie smiled and nodded. They hugged then Rainie looked at her sister who was giving her a thumbs up. Bruno laughed and Rainie rolled her eyes. They stayed at the hospital for a little longer then Rainie and her sister said their good byes.
“We’ll see each other again, someday. I promise.” Caroline said. Then she kissed her sister’s cheek and Bruno and Rainie left the hospital.