I wanted to do nothing more than run to the bathroom and vomit. My stomach churned. I couldn’t believe what was in front of me. I leaned down towards Rosie and begin to pick her up. She was so fragile, barely the girl I saw on campus at the bookstore with her snarky remarks and comebacks; the girl that knew the answer to every question in our Art History class; the one who enjoys the Peanut Butter cup swirl milkshake just like as much as I do.
I lift her up as best as I could into my house, closing the front door behind me.
“Rosie? Hey? Can you hear me?” she didn’t answer me back. I didn’t expect her to. She was fucked up; I didn’t even know if she was conscious at that point. I carried her up the stairs to the apartment on the second floor. Once we got up there, I immediately took her to the bathroom. I turned her on the toilet as I ran the bathwater in hopes to clean her up. She immediately kneeled toward the ground and puked into the toilet bowl. I quickly held her hair back. I was so confused about what happened to Rosie tonight. It broke my heart to see her in this condition. She was unrecognizable.
“Rosie?” I try to look at her, but she drops her head low. I lift her from the ground and help her get into the bathtub. She sits there, still in her dress and matted hair. I went under the sink cabinet to grab washcloths to clean Rosie up. Her nose was covered in dry blood. Her upper lip was cut. Her eye was swollen shut. I look at the rest of her body and notice the new bruises. I also notice the old ones I’ve noticed on her weeks before. My gut feeling was right and I felt so fucking stupid for not helping her when I had the chance.
I gently placed the washcloth on the cuts that were on her face. She winced in pain and panicked once she realized I was sitting there.
“Hey, hey. It’s me, Micah. You’re safe, I promise,” I tell Rosie, trying to calm her down. Fuck, man; what really happened to you? She takes deep breaths and looks around. She holds her head in her hands, which I immediately prevent from happening. “Let’s keep your head up, Roe.” God forbid she passes out from a concussion or something. I run the faucet and take the empty glass from the sink to fill it up with water so she can drink something.
“Here, drink some water.” I hand the glass of water to Rosie, which she begins to drink. I can see the trace of blood on the glass when she stops. She looks at me and begins to shiver. I yank the towel from the shower rod and place it on the sink as I help Rosie up from the tub. I wrap the towel around her and walk her to my room where she could change into something warmer. I sit her down on my desk chair as I go through my dresser for some clothes. I take out a sweatshirt and sweatpants and turn around towards Rosie.
“Here, you can wear these and get out of those clothes,” I said as I hand her the clothes. She doesn’t take them. “Rosie?” I call out for her. She slowly lifts her head up. She’s not gonna be able to get dressed by herself.
“Hey, Rosie… Is it okay if I help you put these clothes on you?” I asked politely. She doesn’t answer even if she’s shivering intensely now. “Come on,” I slowly stand her up to unzip her dress from the back. “I’m going to take off your wet dress, okay?” She doesn’t answer. I unzip her dress slowly and gently slide the straps down her arms. The dress drops to the floor and I look back up towards Rosie. My eyes widen. What the actual fuck happened to you? She was covered in various colors of bruises. Her hips were bruised the worst; I squeezed my eyes shut at the sight. They open when she screams. I panic at the noise.
“Stay away! Stay away, please!” Rosie cries out, backing away from me.
“Shh, Rosie; it’s okay, you’re safe–“
It was too late. She was panicking and I tried to calm her down. When I tried to cover her body with the towel at least, she scratched my face with her nails. I immediately reacted to the pain, holding my face.
“Fuck! Roe, please calm down, you need to put some clothes on,” I pleaded. She grabbed her wet dress from the floor and ran out of my room. I was afraid she was going to hurt herself; she was barely able to move on her own in the first place. I ran after her, trying to calm her down until I heard her scream in the living room. I ran toward the living room and stop as soon as I see Rosie. She’s on the floor, hands over her head, sobbing.
My mom and dad stand near the front door, shocked to see her there, and me holding my face.