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Authors: Adalynn Rafe

Ripple Effect: A Novel (8 page)

BOOK: Ripple Effect: A Novel
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Chapter 12


Now back in my colorful paradise/holding cell, I headed away from the purple grove of trees—the color making me sick due to its association with royalty—and towards the glacial ponds, the water smooth as glass, a mirror of sunset and vibrant trees. Up close, the turquoise waters were refreshing and simplistic. Combine that with the white rocky shore and specks of magic dust—it became just breathtaking. It helped ease my worries of seeing my world being ripped apart, if just for a moment.

Kelly knew I had to walk alone. I had to think—to—to spend precious energy fretting about the mortal world and the fact I could do nothing to stop the pain and anguish of the ones I loved!

Once there, I picked a white stone from the shore and held it in my hand. It felt warm from the heat of the suns in the east and west, and soft in my palm. My thumb rubbed the shiny surface. Glancing out over the glassy water my arm dropped, my wrist flicked, and the rock was sent skidding across the surface. With each skip my stomach lurched, knowing that my death had created ripples like that in the world had I left behind.

With each ripple of that still water were correlations to the people in my life: Hazel punching her stomach, Adie dying ever so slowly and miserably, my mother losing all hope, even Sabrina begging her father for help.

The rock stopped skipping, the surface tension broke, and the rock sank. Trying my hardest not to cry I bit my lip hard, but there was no fooling anyone. That resembled death to me, the rock sinking to the bottom and disappearing forever. It was how it would all end. Everyone would die because of me.

Kelly stood far behind me. I could feel his eyes watching everything I did.

Confusion swept through me, just like the ripples that still spread through the water. Hazel and Sabrina were comrades and absolutely terrified by some power-hungry man. My sister was going to die, who knew what my mother thought, my name degraded and destroyed by some disgusting teacher. I knew, without a doubt, that I did not seduce him. Cecily wouldn’t do that.

And Hazel . . . was considering an abortion. Just last year she saw horrible pictures of aborted fetuses and she swore then and there, even if she were raped, that she would have the child and give it up for adoption. “Everyone deserves a chance at life,” she’d said.

Heart almost entirely sunk now, I looked back at Kelly. His hands were resting at his sides, tensed against the white clothing he wore. Blue eyes were squinting and his lips pursed. “Cecily,” he said, almost a warning. “You’re disappearing.”

I noticed that he was fading, just as everything else around me. Panic filled me, knowing that I’d jump to another scene in my life. I was terrified to go without Kelly. “Don’t leave me—” My mouth just gaped open. It was too late. We had separated.

World map posters hung on the walls of the classroom, one huge one in particular on the wall with the door with a slim vertical window to the side. Desks filled the room—old plastic surfaces, scribbled and scratched up, with attached seats with baskets underneath. The whiteboard held the ghost markings of earlier lessons and discussions.

I held my face, realizing now where I stood. The World Civ classroom.

Talking sounded; very quiet, but not soft—not one bit. The tone reminded me of dirty businessmen up to no good. It came from the back, the place of darkness and shadows that I didn’t want to turn toward, but had to. Instantly I felt sick and shaky.

There stood Cecily and . . . Mr. Leison—tall, dark, dangerously looming.

Mr. Leison was a man of intelligence. His charming looks and youth made most high school girls swoon over him—and he was only “thirty”. Yes, it is very wrong, but unfortunately very true. It didn’t matter if you were royal, middle class, or bottom feeder.

It reminded me of a rumor that went around about Mrs. Clark once assaulting a male student after fourth period one day. Clearly these creeps roamed free through our halls and no one was safe. This male student was on the football team and Mrs. Clark was the dance instructor. Rumor also had it they continued a love affair together, behind the backs of everyone.

Back to the current problem: Mr. Leison was a predator, a very sick and twisted man, and had somehow gotten his footing in a high school filled with young and susceptible women.

With great reluctance, I began moving towards them. There stood Mr. Leison, smoothing back his dark hair with his hand, smiling arrogantly down at Cecily—curled into a ball on his desk. Everything that once sat on his desk now scattered across the ground. I wanted to throw up.

His charm and flirtatious manner had always disgusted me. I could see straight through him to the true monster, but perhaps, only because I had died. The veil of life had a way of masking the horrors that lurked beside you.

Cecily sniffled, her eyes still filled with fresh tears. Mr. Leison tilted his head in curiosity, clearly evaluating what would come next for his young victim. His dark eyes were lit with an insatiable fire, yet were darker than night.

“I sometimes think about how fragile your sister is. Adie, right?” he asked Cecily.

She whimpered. “Don’t,” she begged.

Leison’s face filled with dark satisfaction. “It’s unfortunate, leukemia is. With one little tweak of the ankle she could shatter like a porcelain doll. That would be just horrible . . . don’t you think, Cecily?”

Cecily stood up and tried her hardest to ignore that sick, vile freak. She adjusted her clothing, first by smoothing her black skirt down—a little short for my taste—then clasping the straps of her bright red bra back together. Lastly, she straightened her tight, lacy, black shirt.

A bad feeling entered me, a feeling that perhaps she had asked for it.

She refused to make eye contact with him. Uncontrollable fear and sorrow streamed down her cheeks as she brushed her fingers through her snarled auburn hair. Silent regrets whispered on her lips, only audible for her to hear.

Leison stepped toward her, his eyes planted on her baby face. His hand traced slowly from her neck down to her chest and stopped in the middle, just where he could feel her racing heart vibrate.

Terrified, Cecily watched his hand, trembling from his touch. She flinched away from him. Another plea filled her lips as she started to crumble. A smile of arrogance appeared on Leison, enthralled with her fear.

“Who protects you, Cecily?” he asked quietly, pushing his palm against her chest and grasping tightly. She gasped. “Your Papa? Oh, that’s right . . . he’s not around, is he?” His hand dropped and he circled around to his desk, ignoring her sobs. “I know everything about you.”

Vomit burned my throat—hers as well. White washed across her face and I feared she’d pass out from the trauma. Red, blotchy spots marked her fair skin, surely holding the early formations of bruises. She felt beaten down, violated, and assaulted. I felt violated and assaulted! It pained me to say this, but Cecily knew exactly what this was . . . molestation, maybe even

Mr. Leison stood before her now, holding her shoulders firmly as he spoke, looking directly into her eyes. “Fear is what fuels humanity, Cecily. And the one that holds the fear––controls humanity.”

The lone light in the classroom beamed just above the door. It gave enough light to show the fear that flashed across her face. The tears on her rosy cheeks were like silver streams of horror.

“I––why––I don’t?” she stammered.

Earlier he had said, “Cecily Wolf, see me after class.” Why? She was always an honors student, so it clearly wasn’t her grades he wanted to discuss. She met with him and within minutes he was attacking her. Well, Cecily had no idea why. It couldn’t be the fact that too much thigh showed when she crossed her legs, or the way that her auburn hair cascaded down her back would drive any man crazy. Something was wrong with Cecily, something dark, and it showed in the way her eyes were dimming.

That’s when the aching pain of being abandoned had intensified within her. It was then that Cecily knew that the nightmares would continue and they would never end. With all of that on her plate, it only made sense as to why she would go on a downward spiral of despair.

Cecily refused to look at him. “You won’t get away with this,” she muttered.

“Well, aren’t you the brave one?” Mr. Leison’s face contorted into a wicked grin. “You surely don’t act like a hero, do you?”

Red stained her pale cheeks. She lashed out at him. “I hate you! You hurt me!”

Mr. Leison grabbed her arms, shaking her once. He smiled, enticed by her anger. Leaning forward he said, “Interesting . . . it was you who seduced me to begin with.”

“I did not!” She tried to squirm away from him. “You are lying!”

He grabbed her chin in his hand violently, causing Cecily to yelp. “Of course you did. That little skirt that shows too much of your alabaster thigh, the curve hugging shirts, and the hair . . .” Leison took a long strand of tangled hair in his hand and looked down at it. “You know that it was you that seduced me.” He yanked it violently and she bit her cheek until it bled, holding back the scream that would get her murdered.

“It’s not true,” she hissed, tempted to spit her blood into his face.

Fascinated by her, he stroked her cheek slowly, up to her temple. “Sweet, little, innocent Cecily, filled with so much hatred––so much darkness. What is it that has you so distraught?” He barely traced her soft lips with the cold pad of his fingertip. Her lips quivered and she looked away. “You like my touch, don’t you?”

Closing her eyes, she fought vomit. “Don’t touch me.”

“You like this, Cecily,” Leison said, his eyes lit with satisfaction. Grazing her arm, his hands followed the contours of her shoulders and he stood behind her now. “You asked for it, remember?”

Cecily’s eyes opened wide, filled with panic.
Not again,
she surely thought.

“I heard the psychologist say that you were going through minor psychosis, the nightmares gave it away.” His body pressed tightly against the length of her back, his arms wrapping tightly around her middle.

Her eyes squeezed shut, her face tensed in dreadful anticipation.

“Do you dream of dying? Even Iles has seen a painting suggesting you are suicidal.” He moved away from her, suddenly leaving her alone.

Breathing became a chore for her. She wondered where he went . . . where he perched.

“I’m afraid to say that no one will believe a brat who just wants attention.” Cold hands returned to her shoulders and he breathed on her neck, the warm exhale traveling down her exposed cleavage. “Not when they have me, the advocate for truth.”

Leison’s feet were planted firmly in the community, so firmly that he seemed like an ally to all. They’d never think him a rapist. He was right, just as he wanted to be. She truly was alone in this––all alone.

She knew she could go to no one. The last thing she wanted was to be mocked and laughed at because no one believed her over getting molested by the sick man. She was alone. We were alone.

“I hate you,” she whispered, her jaw tensed.

“Hatred is just a warped form of love.” Leison swept the hair behind her back to expose her neck. “And you love feeling victimized.”

“Why didn’t you just rape me when you had the chance!? Get it over with!” A whine escaped her and she cried, showing her fragility. “And let me be––”

Leison leaned closer—the musky smell of him making her even sicker, his breath hot on her clammy skin. “Only the virgin can be used in initiation.” He nuzzled into her neck and took a long breath, savoring the fear that tainted her sweat. A satisfied smile crossed his dark face.

“Cecily!” I screamed. “Just fight him!” I couldn’t stand it! “Fight him!”

“Your time is far from over, Cecily,” he whispered in her ear. Her eyes filled with horror as his mouth met her skin. After one small kiss, he reeled back before sinking his teeth in, puncturing the flesh. “Shh,” he motioned, covering her mouth to stifle her screams.

I smacked my neck, feeling the burning of the bite on my own skin. Cecily crumbled down, screaming and sobbing as he held her up. My blood boiled. How dare he do that to me!

I charged for the sick freak, but fell straight through him, leaving me defeated and letdown. This wasn’t fair.

Once she went from screaming to whimpering, he set her on the floor. Leison knelt down and met his dark, glowering eyes to hers. Her blood barely spotted his lips. “Bad things will happen if you tell, far worse than initiation.” He stood up and turned his back to her—her cue to leave.


The bell rang. Time for school to end. Time for her to run.

Cecily stumbled toward the door in such a pathetic manner that my heart ached.

Upon releasing the metal handle, the door opened and she fell into the hallway onto the linoleum floor. Everyone stared at her and started laughing. Her hair was a mess with her makeup smeared everywhere. Ew, this looked bad––really bad! She looked slutty, more so than even Sabrina. Mr. Leison stood in the doorway, watching her with an amused smile. The top two buttons of his shirt were unbuttoned and his sleeves were rolled up, as if he’d been doing some
manual labor
. This was most certainly bad.

That’s when the rumors began. “
Cecily Wolf seduced a teacher, what a skank

BOOK: Ripple Effect: A Novel
7.67Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub

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