• She was lying on her bed crying. She could hear her dad yelling down stares as he had one of his drunken fits. Her mom was not home from work yet so she was trying to avoid him. Her door was locked so he could not get in. She heard the braking of glass which she was used to after so many years of her father’s anger and bad temper. She could not take it anymore because she knew once he was mad enough that he would get bored smashing glass and would come up and yell and hit her. She opened her window and looked outside at the rain pouring down from the dark night’s sky. She got out onto the roof and started to climb down the drain pipe. She slipped and fell onto the wet grass getting mud all over her clothes. She got up and looked to make sure her dad had not seen her. He was throwing things at the wall and had not notice her climb down and fall. She ran off into the cold night only thinking that she had to get to her friends house and talk to him, the tears still streaming down her face.
    She got to his house and looked up at his window. The lights were all off in his room except for the faint glow of the flashlight he always used to read when he was supposed to be sleeping. She picked up a small rock and chucked it at his window to try to get him to come to the window. He did not come so she threw another one and this time he came to the window and opened it.
    He was not expecting to see her standing there, her brown hair dripping with rain and mud. Her light blue shirt all smeared with dirt, and her jeans that had been perfectly clean earlier that day were now wet and a faint gray color. She had some rips in her clothes as well, near her shoulders and on the knees of her pants. “What happened to you?” He exclaimed.
    “I fell off the drain pipe,” she said with irritation in her voice. She brushed her hair from her eyes so the water would not drip into them.
    “Well hurry up and get up here out of the rain before you get pneumonia!” He got out onto the window ledge and holds his hand down to her.
    She climbs up there drain pipe and grabbed his hand as he pulled her up into the room. The warmth of the room felt good to her after being out in the cold for so long.
    He threw her a towel so she could dry herself off. “Make sure to be quiet ok, if my mom found out you in here she will literarily kill me.” He walked over and locked his door in case his mom found a reason to lecture him again. He walked over and sat on the bed and looked at her waiting for her to explain why she had come to his house so late at night. He knew she would not tell him unless he asked though so he got sick of waiting and finally spoke, “So why did you come all the way here in the pouring rain?”
    She looked sad as she glanced up at him and talked very softly so him mom would not hear her. “My dad was…in one of his fits again. I was scared that he would hit me.” Tears started to well in her eyes as she spoke. She looked down so he would not notice and tried to hold them back with all her might but could not keep them from falling to the floor. She trembled trying to not sob but she could not and started to sob softly.
    He walks over and wraps an arm around her to try to comfort her as he talked so softly it was hard to hear him, “Its ok…you are safe hear.” He was filling with anger as he thought of her father hurting her. It all made sense now though, like the time he and her were out late and she came into school the next day with bruises on her arms and side. She had told him she had fallen down the stairs but now he wondered if it had been a lie. How long had this gone on for…had it always happened? He helped her over to the bed and had her sit down with him. He kept his arm around her and hugged her trying to think of what he could do to help her. He finally said, “If you want…you can stay for the night…I won’t tell my mom know your here.
    She looked up at him and started to get herself back in control as her sobs lessened. “Thank you, I don’t want to go back…not now.” She hugged him and cried as she thought of what she was going to do. She had been so worried about going back that she was thinking about not going back. She was sick of the pain, and didn’t want to ever feel it again. After about ten minutes, she finally calmed down and stopped crying. Her eyes were red from crying and her face and clothes still had dried mud on them.
    He got up and grabbed the towel of the floor he had given her earlier and started to scrub the mud away from her face with it. He could tell it was annoying her but kept doing it so she would at least be comfortable and get a good sleep. He could not help but laugh when she stuck her tongue out at him. He finished cleaning her face the best he could and threw the towel in the laundry basket and was trying to think of an excuse for when him mom saw it. He laid down some blankets and a pillow on the floor and went to brush his teeth. “You can sleep on the bed and I will sleep on the floor ok.” He new she was going to protest about this so he gave her the look that said this is non negotiable.
    She smiles and nodded knowing perfectly well there was no trying to get him to reverse his decision. So, she lay down on the bed and drifted off to sleep very fast. She woke the next day to his mom knocking on the door trying to get into his room. She got up fast almost falling over and tried to wake Brent by shaking him. She shook him faster trying to wake him. She finally saw him open his eyes and look up at her.
    “Good morning Jenessa,” He spoke until he realized him mom was knocking at the door. He bolted up right throwing the blankets off himself and motioned for Jenessa to hide. He waited until she hid under his bed and he went over and opened the door for his mom. He had to jump back so the door did not hit him when his mother swung it open as fast as she could. He watched as she wandered the room trying to find out what her son had been doing with his door locked. He watched and realized he had forgotten to clean up the other bed he had made on the floor for himself. He watched as his mother looked at it and looked around and saw the muddy foot prints on the window ledge.
    She turned toward him and glared her parental glare which Brent new meant this was going to be a long talk and that she wanted answers immediately. She spoke in a very stern voice, “Sit now and I don’t want any ifs, ands, or buts from you ok.” She watched him sit and just looked at him trying to figure out how to approached this issue because she new he would not give her a straight answer. “Ok now explain to me why there is a bed on the floor, why your bed is messy from you or someone sleeping in it and why are there foot prints on the window sill?”
    His could not come up with an excuse for a question like this so fast. He stuttered as he spoke looking up at her, “I…well…snuck out last night… and got mud on my shoes because of the rain and when I came back in it got on the window.” He knew that she did not believe him from the look she gave him. “Mom I am series I snuck out to a party at a kid’s house.” He knew this was not going to work either as she narrowed her eyes to make the effect of her anger more intimidating.
    Jenessa could not let him get in trouble and was getting squished by how small the underside of the bed was so she wriggles out and stood up. He looked at Brent’s mom as she looked at her in disbelief that her son had actually done the worst and let a girl stay in his room over night.
    Jenessa spoke in a low voice knowing that a mother’s worry was a dangerous thing to make worse, “He…let me stay over night because I was having a few problems at home and needed a place to say.” She watched as his mother tried to talk but could not find the words because of her shock. Jenessa went and stood by Brent and just watched as his mom left the room. She was relieved to have her leave the room to calm down. Then she herd the dialing of a phone and his mom says her dad’s name. “She’s calling my dad!” She said franticly running toward the window and opening it.
    He ran over to her and grabbed her shoulder and she looked back at him with frantic questioning eyes. “I am coming with you,” he said low enough that his mom would not hear. He could tell she was going to say no so he gave her the look he gave when that was the end of it. She said nothing and nodded as she climbed down the drain pipe. He climbed down after her and they ran as fast as they could. He was thinking hard if this was what he should be doing and his mind came to yes, I said I would do what ever I could to help her and I meant it. They finally were out of breath and stopped ones they were far enough from the house. Brent looked down and looked a bit annoyed that he had forgot to grab some shoes and was now running around in wet socks.
    She noticed this to and sighed, “How come you did not grab some shoes or something…you are going to freeze?”
    “I was not thinking about it, I just wanted to help you.”
    She sighed but could not help but laugh because he made a funny face at her. “You should be more serious about this your feet could freeze or something!” She got a bit annoyed as he just laughed at her concern. “If I had done that then you would have yelled at me and lectured me!”
    “Yes, well I can’t help but worry about others,” He gave her a smile as they spoke. He could tell she was not giving but because she had that same look in her eyes as his mom when he did not ware his coat in the winter. “I am a forgetful person is all.”
    She new these things about Brent because he would forget homework and stuff at school and he would say the same thing to them and they would just give him a look. She tried to give him the look and new it worked when he kind of slumped and scooted back. She laughed because she hated the look also and she had actually learned to do it. She was thinking that she would have to teach it to him later and then they could do it back to the teachers when they did it to them. She was snapped out of this when a policeman pulled up next to them and rolled down his window and looked at a picture in his hand then he looked at her.
    “You are Jenessa right?” The police officer had a stern voice. They could both tell he was tall and well fit. They looked at each other and ran. The policeman was expecting it and got and ran after them. He was catching up to them fast because of his long legs. He was close enough to grab Jenessa and he did by the shoulder. He was holding on tight as she kicked and thrashed at him.
    Brent thought to himself, “My mom is going to kill me,” as he ran up and tackled the policeman’s legs and sent him falling over. He would not let go of Jenessa though and he saw her bite his hand. He yelled in pain and let go and she got free and ran as Brent got up and ran after her. He looked over his shoulder and saw that the cop was nowhere in sight and then they stopped running to let their hearts slow down.
    She looked at him and talked through gasps for breath, “You…assaulted…a cop!” She watched him trying to get some breath as he swayed a bit and fell over. She kneeled next to him and gasped, “What is the mater!”
    “Oh I am just a little dizzy is all,” he said as he took deep breaths. He knew this would happen after a while because he would get them when he did not feel good and he was definitely not feeling good after tackling a cop, running away from home, and finding out that his friend is being beat by her own father. He laid on his back on the wet ground trying to get everything to stop spinning. His feet felt frozen and his body was sore. He had a bruise swelling up on his leg from when he tackled the police man. He struggled to sit up without falling over again and rested his back against the building wall next to them.
    She watched and waited for his dizziness to stop. Once it did she helped him up to his feet. She saw his socks were getting holes in them and felt bad that he had no shoes with him. “Would you like to wear my shoes?” She asked still looking at his feet.
    He laughed and shook his head, “I would not fit in them. Besides I am fine so don’t worry.” He looked around and saw a general store. He told her to wait there and he ran over to the general store. He walked up to the shop keeper and asked if he could get some stuff and pay him back later. Normally, the shop keeper would say no but he knew Brent was good for his word. He told him yes. Brent went and got some food and water for Jenessa and himself. He ran back out after thanking the shop keeper and gave some of the food to her. He stated to eat a little of his food and drank some water.
    She also started to eat and drink being thankful for the food and nice cold water. They ate until they felt good then started to look for a place to sleep for the night. They found some pieces of wood and put them across a couple of metal trash cans. It was not much but it would keep the rain off them and stuff. They were tired from all the things that had gone on throughout the day and laid down in their shelter. They were both cold so they huddled together warming each other with there body heat. They fell asleep fairly fast and slept calmly next to each other. They awoke to the sound of a car getting very close. They looked up and saw that the car was her fathers. They both jumped up and were getting out of the shelter.
    Her father got out of the car. He ran over, knocked her down, and hit her across the face. He was screaming at her calling her all kinds of bad names. His breath smelled highly of alcohol as he yelled. His eyes were furious and he had no control. He felt a sharp pain in the back of his head as Brent hit him there.
    Brent helped Jenessa up as her father grabbed his head and let out a yell. They started running as fast as they could. He looked back to see her father get up and start chasing them. Brent gave Jenessa his cell phone as he ran and spoke, “Call the cops and hide!”
    She did as he said and hid behind a trash can and called 911. She told them the situation. She was talking fast and went quiet as her dad ran by after Brent. Her heart was racing from all the running and she had to stop talking to catch her breath. She hung up the phone and let her breathing slow. She was worried about Brent.
    Brent’s heart was racing. It felt like his heart was going to beat out of his chest. He looked back and saw her father catching up. All Brent could hear was his own heavy breathing. He ran forward and heard a horn honk and looked and just saw lights coming at him.
    She heard the screeching of breaks and the honking of a horn. She looked over the trash can and saw a car skid to a stop. She looked ahead of the car and saw to her horror Brent lying in the middle of the road. She screamed and ran from her hiding spot and ran over to him. The man got out of the car and looked at her and him. Her father was watching thinking that his daughter had been hit by the car.
    She could hear the sirens from the cop cars, her fathers yells as they hand cuffed him and put him in the cop car but she did not care, she only cared about Brent at the moment. Her tears fell onto his face as she sobbed over his body. She grabbed his hand gently and shook in fear.
    Brent felt something dripping down onto his face. Everything was dark and his mind was all hazy and it hurt worse then any headache he had ever had. His body felt like he had been hit by a car. It came back to him when he thought that. He opened his eyes and looked up at her. Her tears were still dripping onto his face and he smiled up at her. “I didn’t think anyone would ever cry over me,” he whispered so he would not chose him self more pain. His hand closed around hers.
    She looked down at him and sobbed harder. She held him close to her thinking this could be the last time she ever got to. She spoke in a trembling voice, “Why?” She could not think because of her shock from this experience. She could see the tears running down his eyes and which only made her cry more. The man that had hit him was asking if he was alright but his voice sounded far off to him. People were crowding around to see if he was alright and to see what happened.
    Brent could feel his body getting cold. His vision was getting blurry and dark. He just looked up at her and with the last of his strength he spoke so softly only she could hear him, “Don’t forget me, because I will be watching over you always.” His hand went limp in hers, the tears stopped flowing and his painful breathing stopped. The cops touched Jenessa’s arm gently to try to move her but she would not leave him, not yet.
    Jenessa’s mom came to get her from the accident site. Jenessa did not talk much for the next few days. She dressed all in black at the funeral. She watched as they started to bury the casket he was in. She wondered what would have happened if she had not gone to his house that night. Would they be talking on the phone now laughing about something funny that happened during there day? They might also be at the movies together waiting to talk about it with each other. She knew that she would never be able to do these things again with her friend and it only made her sadder.
    When she got home she went straight to her room and laid on the bed sobbing. She finally fell asleep after about an hour of crying. She could see him standing there looking at her. She just stood there staring at him unable to believe her eyes. He opened his arms as if to hug her and she ran over and hugged him thinking if she let go he would leave her again. She could feel his arms close around her and hug her tightly. “Why…why did you have to die?” Her tears fell onto his shirt as she cried into his chest.
    He whispered into her ear, “I am still watching over you.” She looked up at him wanting to see his face. He was smiling down at her like he did to cheer her up. Everything was getting bright and she opened her eyes to find herself where she had fallen asleep. She rolled onto her back and smiled looking out the window knowing were ever he was he was watching over her.