Devin goes to Patricks. They swim and then confront Devin about her cutting.
"Hey, it's me." Devin called as I closed the door behind her.
"Devin!" a voice cried, and she was thrown over someone's shoulder and rushed into Patrick's living room. She screeched with glee as Joe dropped her onto the couch.
"Joe!" she laughed.
"We haven't seen you in forever!"
She smiled apologetically and looked over to the corner of the room, where Patrick sat in an ugly green armchair, strumming absently on his guitar. He looked up and smiled his adorable smile.
"Hey, Dev. Long time no see."
"Devin!" Andy exclaimed as he entered the room, clapping Devin playfully on the shoulder.
"How have things been at home?" Patrick asked, a look of concern causing his brow to furrow as he strummed the first few lines of "Grand left autumn".
Devin looked away.
"You have another bruise on your cheek."
"I said things are fine." She snapped.
Patrick, Joe and Andy all exchanged unconvinced looks. Devin suddenly wished she had covered up the bruise with some makeup.
"Devin, you made it!" Pete said happily, coming into the room and collapsing onto the couch next to her.
"Let's play gamecube!" Joe exclaimed gleefully. Him and Andy sat down on the floor and started up a game of Mario Cart.
Patrick was now playing "Homesick at space camp" and was humming along absently as he watched the game in progress. He didn't care for video games much, and his attention turned to Devin. She was laughing with Pete and Andy at Joe, who had just lost pathetically. It's good to see her laugh, he thought, what with all that goes on at home. Home. That word clicked in his head and he looked around his house. It wasn't very big, it had two tiny bedrooms, one bathroom, a kitchen and a living room. The living room was fairly big, perfect for parties. Even though his house was small, it was very modern and secure. The gates to the development he lived in were guarded 24/7, and that was perfect for keeping crazy fans out. But it was lonely. He hadn't had a girlfriend in ages. His mind wandered back to Devin. She was now sitting on the floor, playing Mario Cart herself. She sat so poised and tall. Her straight brown hair was blowing slightly in the breeze that was coming in from the open window. He smiled and began to play "Little less sixteen candle, little more 'touch me'" and he sang along. Devin looked up from the game and watched him. He pretended not to notice until he was done, and he looked her straight in the eye. She blushed and turned back to the game, which she was now losing horribly because of the diversion. When her character rolled across the finish line dead last, they all laughed and Joe scooped her up in his arms and spun her around the room. She was giggling her cute little giggle, and Patrick smiled happily. He set down his guitar and stood up.
"You guys wanna go swimming?" he asked, gesturing to the aboveground pool in his back yard that could be viewed clearly from the open living room window. They all exclaimed different forms of "yes" and ran out to the yard.
"I have no swimsuit..." Devin remembered as Joe set her down on the wooden pool deck that stretched halfway around the pool.
Patrick hesitated and blushed. Last time Devin had gone swimming, she had left her bathing suit hanging to dry in his bathroom, and he had found it after she left. It was a revealing black bikini.
"You left one in my bathroom." He mumbled.
"I'll go change." She said, and she turned and left.
The guys stripped down to their shorts and jumped in.
"She's wearing a wristband again." Andy pointed out.
"I noticed." Pete answered.
"Well, maybe she just like to wear them." Patrick argued naively.
"Well, lets see if she takes it off when she comes into the pool." Pete shot back.
Patrick looked away.
"She could be really hurting herself." He said softly.
Pete sighed, floating on his back and staring up at the late evening sun.
"I know. But we can't help her unless she wants help."
"We could have one of those intervention things," said Joe, "And mention Kevon, too."
"Nah. That kind of mushy confrontation makes me sick." Pete answered.
"Well, then what are we supposed to do?" Patrick demanded, a little too hysterically.
"Patrick, we don't even know if she's cutting. Don't get so worked up.
Patrick sighed and scratched absently at one of his sideburns.
"Well-" Patrick was cut off by the loud splash that filled their ears. Devin came up, laughing and splashing around.
"Hey!" Patrick yelled playfully. He swam over to her and dunked her underwater. He didn't see her comeback up; she was gone. He panicked and looked frantically at the water in front of him. Then he felt arms around his shoulder; Devin had jumped onto his back. Her laughter rang through his ears.
"Jeez, Patrick, drown her, why don't you!" called Pete with a laugh, his voice drenched in sarcasm.
Devin slid off his back and swam around to face him. Her eyes danced with laughter.
"Yeah, Patrick, drown me."
"I'll take that to heart." She swam away as fast as she could, but Patrick caught up and grabbed her around her waist. She laughed and spun around, her waist still tight in Patrick's arms. Suddenly they were close...too close. Her wet body was pressed up against his. She looked up into his eyes. Patrick felt three pairs of eyes burning into the backs of their heads and the two of them abruptly let go and laughed nervously.
"I'm cold." Announced Joe, obviously wanting the awkward silence to end.
The group all turned and climbed onto the deck, drying off. Patrick and Devin determinedly avoided eachother's eyes. Devin stood with her back to the rest of them, drying herself. Pete glanced at her wrist; sure enough, there was an orange terry cloth wristband, sopping wet, around her wrist. Pete sighed and turned to Andy. He tapped him on the shoulder and pointed to Devin's wrist. Andy tapped Joe, who tapped Patrick. The four young men exchanged concerned looks.
"I'll start a fire." Patrick announced. He crossed over the fire pit and lit a match, throwing onto the waiting pile of logs. Joe and Pete fetched five lawn chairs off the deck and arranged them around the fire. They all sat down around the warm glow of the fire. Dusk had taken its toll, and the sky was darkening every minute. Devin sat curled up in her towel at Patrick's feet, leaning against his legs. The friends were silent for a long time, simply watching the flames dance about.
"Devin," began Pete finally, summoning up some courage, "That wrist band will take a while to dry. Shouldn't you set it somewhere to dry?"
Devin sat up straight, suddenly very self-conscious. They know, she thought.
"No, it's ok."
"Devin..." Patrick leaned down and took her hand in his. He gently slipped the terry cloth off her wrist, and Devin watched in a teary eyed trance, not bothering to stop him. He looked at her wrist; there was a large gash running across her wrist, dried blood around it. Patrick dropped the terry cloth on the ground and fell back into his chair with a sigh. He put his head in his hands and sighed, not looking at them. Devin looked away, tears streaming down her face.
Pete stood up and sat down beside Devin and took her in his arms. He rocked her gently as she cried.
"Devin," Joe began, his usually loud voice barely above a whisper, "Why?"
"Because it hurts. Everything hurts and I want the pain to stop." She said into Pete's chest.
"But Devin, we can help you. We can get you away from Kevon." Andy answered.
"But he loves me. That's why he has to hit me."
"No, Devin, he doesn't love you. That's not love." Pete argued.
Devin pulled away from his arms and stood up.
"I'm changing." She snapped and stalked into the house. She quickly dressed and marched out the front door, not looking back