"Mia, listen to me. I have to get you to a hospital," Billie says gently as Mike and Tré open the car doors.
I start crying again.
Billie wraps the blanket a little tighter around me as Mike climbs into the driver seat, Tré managing to get in the passenger seat just as Mike drives off. Each one of them looks frightened and tired. I wonder how long they’ve been out looking for me.
We get the hospital about ten, fifteen minutes later. Tré and Mike go inside to get a doctor, leaving Billie in the car with me. I don’t think he wanted to leave me alone. “It’ll be okay. They’ll be able to fix you here,” he whispers.
People in white bring out a stretcher, lifting me onto it. Despite the pain I reach out for Billie’s hand needing something real to tell me I’m okay now, that the nightmare from last night is really over.
They put me into a room and within a few seconds I’m out, too worn down from crying to keep my eyes open any longer.
Later that night
I wake up in a different hospital room, needles stuck into me, tubes running here and there. The lights are off.
There is a big window to my left looking out to the main part of the city. It’s one of those windows that doctors never really expect people to open up but would never let a suicidal person have in their room for fear they might get the idea to jump. Windows are dangerous.
Billie has said dangerous window wide open, sitting on the ledge. He’s a brave kid, always has been. Even though we’re high up and if he where to fall out of the window he would die, he still sits there looking out at the city blankly with his legs over the ledge smoking a cigarette. A smile spreads over my lips but it hurts and I can’t hold it too long.
Tré is standing next to Billie. Even though it is pitch black in here except from the lights outside which kind of gives the room a glow, I can see Mike, asleep, in a chair over in a darkish corner.
"Billie," I whisper, weakly.
Billie throws his cigarette out the window, gets off the ledge and kicks Mike in the leg before coming over to me. His fingers intertwine with mine almost instantly. I relax a bit knowing he’s going to be here.
"Mia, can you tell me what happened?" Billie questions, his other hand stroking my hair.
Tré and Mike look on eagerly, curious to hear what happened.
"Tell me what the doctors did first," I remark eyes on Billie’s face. He won’t lie to me.
"They stitched your sides and legs, the fucker who did this to you cut you up,” answers Tré
“They cleaned up your face. You have a black eye. They were gonna stitch you're lip but Billie wouldn’t let them,” Mike cuts in, laughing a little.
“Then they wrapped up the bruises and cuts on you're arms," Tré interjects, motioning to the white bandages on my arms.
"Tell us what happened," Mike demands.
There are too many people talking, too many faces swimming before my eyes so I shut them out, wanting to be alone. My breathing speeds up and I begin to mumble simple things to myself, something the doctors told me to do after the car accident that took my sister from me.
“My name is Maria. I am eighteen years old. I am the youngest of three children. My best friends are Billie Joe, Mike, and Tré….” I repeat this over and over to myself.
“Tell me, Mia,” Billie’s voice cuts through my babbling; he’s got a hand on both sides of my face. “It’s just me. Can you tell me?”
"I was raped. Okay?" I answer, starting to cry ashamed of what happened.
I rub my eye that isn't messed up as Billie gently catches the tears that fall from my screwed up one with his finger tip.
"Do you remember what the person looked like?" Tré questions from over Billie’s shoulder.
“Do you remember anything for that night?” Mike asks.
I shut my eyes again.
“Guys stop!” Billie demands, voice rising. “You’re upsetting her! Back off!”
He receives snickers from the guys but they don’t push me any further.
"It was dark," I answer. “I was stoned, I can’t remember.”
After a while Mike and Tré get sleepy…go figure. They decide they'd just sleep in the chairs, not wanting to leave. I think it’s really sweet and this act makes me feel bad for getting them yelled at by Billie.
Anyway, Billie and I stay up and talk. He always knows how to cheer me up and I could use some happiness. Right now though I trace Billie’s cheek bone’s, his jaw, his slightly parted lips, running my fingers over his closed eye lids, marveling in how perfect he is. I like him more than I let on I guess. I pull my hand away when he opens his eyes, looking out the open door.
There are a couple of people sitting out in the hall by my room. We don't know them. To get a laugh out of me Billie decides to make fun of them.
"You see that guy right there?" Billie says pointing to a fat bald guy that is on his phone.
"Yeah," I answer wondering where he is going with this.
"He was used to be a male stripper when he was twenty – one.”
I cover my mouth as I start to laugh so I won’t wake Tré and Mike, “Bullshit.”
"Naw,” answers Billie with a smile. “The thing is... when he was five... the eighty year old man down the street paid him to suck his dick every Friday. Fifty bucks a pop.”
I laugh even harder.
"No shit," Billie says trying to act serious and keep a straight face. He fails miserably.
"You got any drugs on you, my big, bad, drug dealing, very best friend?" I question, running my finger tips down the right side of his face trying to sound as sweet and innocent as possible; Billie’s a sucker for that. I just want something to take the pain away and not the hospital drugs, I need something stronger.
“I’m not supposed to give you anything like that, boo,” Billie answers with a pouty face that mirrors mine before handing me two of the tiny white pain pill capsules the doctor left for me.
Looking down at them I scrunch up my nose, “I don’t know why you’re offering me those. I won’t take them.”
Billie laughs, placing them back on the table, “I can’t give you anything but that.”
“If you really felt bad for me you would.”
Billie pulls the covers of the hospital bed up around me, “I do feel bad for you but I want you better. Drugs, my kind of drugs, won’t help you.”
“No,” I answer, rolling over a bit so I’m kind of on my side. This hurts, “I guess not.”
With that I press my cracked lips to Billie’s smooth cheek before lying back down on my back, closing my eyes. Yeah I like him a lot more than I let on.