The Truth Lies Within

-Lindsay's POV-

The day had dragged on forever. I just wanted to go home and sleep. Exhaustion took over my entire body. I don't know how I even managed to drive home. I still couldn't believe I lost the Cooper case. Such a long trial for what, a guilty verdict. The DA had no case! Maybe I was just slipping. Maybe I needed time off. Yeah right, like that would ever happen. I guess there is always the possibility that kid was actually guilty. No… he was innocent. I know when they're innocent. I needed to get an appeal. But how could I?! I had so much stress and so many cases to work on. It seemed like there just weren't enough hours in a day anymore.

Lucky Bobby…won his case early afternoon and decided he owed it to himself to take the rest of the day off. Not in his character at all, but no one tried stopping him. Ah well what was I complaining for? Knowing Bobby he'd probably been sitting home working on at least five other cases. That's Bobby for you.

Home at last. I thought of my bed, and how nice it would be to get a full seven hours of sleep. Right. Keep dreaming. I had plenty of work still ahead of me. I walked up the stairs, and opened the door. What I saw next surprised me. Helen and Bobby on the couch. They weren't doing much, but Bobby did have his arms around her. My God. What the hell is this. My husband and my best friend, are you joking!?

"Ahem." I said, "Am I interrupting something here?"

Bobby just looked at me. He seemed tired which made no sense since he had most of the day to rest. I heard Helen mumble something but I couldn't make it out. She had her back toward me, and Bobby still had his arm protectively around her. I decided it was best to just stand there dramatically until someone said something. Awkward silence. I've been surrounded by it one too many times, and I know it's never good. "Is…everything okay?" I asked, now a little concerned.

"He hit her." Bobby 's voice was soft but firm. I'd been getting that tone from him a lot. Helen mumbled something again. A little louder this time but I still couldn't make it out. Unfortunately all I thought I heard was "she'll hate me". But that couldn't be right. Why would I hate her? What was going on here? She sounded upset, but I still hadn't absorbed what exactly was going on. "Excuse me?" I managed to mutter.

"David. He hit her." he paused "hard."

My brain was fried, so it took a second to process what Bobby just said. Suddenly it hit me like a ton of bricks. My best friend's boyfriend abused her. "Oh my God! A..are you okay? What happened?!" a million questions ran through my mind as I ran to Helen's side. She wouldn't look at me. What was she hiding? "Helen it's okay, just tell me what happened." I didn't sound very sympathetic considering how worked up I was at this point. Slowly she turned toward me, but didn't say a word. She didn't have to. Her face was red, her eyes puffy from crying, but that's not what drew my attention. All around her left eye was black, and I could see traces of dried blood.

"He did this to you." My voice was monotone. Time seemed to be standing still. "That son of a bitch did this to you." my anger was growing. "Lindsay…"I heard from Bobby. I chose to ignore him. He had no place to be telling me how to act right now. He had no idea what I was feeling. It's not that I was angry with Helen, I just felt so much rage toward David, and it was coming out all wrong. "I told you. I told you from the first day you met him that he was no good. I told you he was scum. And, and…you said you knew what you were doing, and that you put enough creeps in jail to know one when you see one! You said you knew what you were doing, Helen!!! And…and now look at you!!!.." I heard myself screaming. I didn't mean to lose my temper, but there was no way I could hold back. I was fuming. I felt like I was 'Plan B-ing' my best friend. I wouldn't have stopped either, but Bobby interrupted by literally screaming my name. I'm glad he did. I looked down, and Helen just stared at me. She looked so weak…so hurt. I felt guilty, but what was I supposed to say? I was ready for her to yell back at me, and I would take it. I knew what she was made of…she wouldn't let me off easy. Even a simple "go to hell" would have done the trick. However, not a single word escaped from her mouth, just a blank stare. Awkward silence for the second time that night. "I'm sorry" she managed to finally mumble. Sorry? This is not my best friend. Definitely not. God, what's going on here. Helen got up and walked to the corner with her back facing me. From the way her shoulders were shaking it was clear she was attempting to hold in a sob.

I put my hand on my forehead and looked down. "No, no. You don't need to apologize. I'm sorry…I didn't mean it that way. I just--" I was at a loss for words. No response from Helen. Bobby just stared at me. I approached my best friend calmly, feeling guilt-ridden. "Helen…" I said softly, my voice sympathetic. "What did he do to you?" she was still standing with her back toward me.

"He…he hit me…really hard. And I tried to fight back, you know I wouldn't just let him do this to me." a little bit of the Helen I knew was beginning to shine through. "But I couldn't. He--he knocked me down. There was nothing I could do. He kicked me while I was down, Lindsay…and said…and he said-" it was getting hard for her to speak, and much harder for her to keep her sobs in. I didn't want to hear anymore. I was sure she went through the interrogation with Bobby already, and she didn't need it from me too.

I walked over so I was facing Helen, and just looked at her for a second. She was in a state I'd never seen her in before; broken. Completely broken. I just wrapped my arms around her. She literally fell into my embrace and sobbed. She'd never cried this hard in front of me. Come to think of it, I don't think anyone has. I didn't know how to act. It was a situation I wouldn't wish upon anyone. "Shh, it's okay". I kept saying it was okay, over and over again, even though I knew everything was far from being 'okay'. I find that sometimes the only way to comfort someone is to just tell that person that everything's just fine; everything's okay. They know its not true, and more than likely you know you're lying as well, but you say it anyway. "It's all gonna be okay, Helen". I kept repeating myself. I sounded like a broken record. Repetition must be the key, because I swear for a few seconds I actually believed myself.

I don't know how long we were standing like that, Helen sobbing into my arms, but by the time I looked up Bobby was gone, and everything fell back into place. Nothing was okay. Nothing would be okay. What was I going to do. So much for a peaceful evening.

-Bobby's POV-

I couldn't believe David. Did actually think he could hurt her and get away with it? Never in my life had I seen Helen Gamble like I saw her earlier. She didn't deserve that crap from anyone. It takes a lot to bring her down, but David managed to do a great job of it.

I pulled up to his apartment complex. I'd been there before on better terms in the past, so I knew exactly where I was going. I ran up two flights of stairs until I reached apartment 6B. I pounded on the door. "It's Bobby, I need to talk to you." I said firmly.

"Uh…kinda busy now, Bobby-" he sounded confused. I didn't really care.

"NOW" I hate when I sound that way, but this was urgent.

He slowly opened the door, and when I first saw his face I felt disgusted. He had a beer in one hand, and wasn't looking too good, as usual. He was wearing an oversized sweatshirt and boxers…just lounging around. I don't know what came over me just then, but I had to hurt him. It was like I went on autopilot. Everything I was feeling took over my judgment. He was just looking at me like nothing went wrong. I couldn't stand it. How dare he. Rage took over my actions, as I slammed my body into his and pushed him up against the wall. I guess I don't know my own strength. "You think you can just beat on one of my BEST FRIENDS and get away with it?!?!" I was screaming at him. I knew I was, and I meant to be. "YOU THINK IT'S OKAY, TO HURT ANOTHER PERSON?! LET ALONE YOUR GIRLFRIEND". I had him pinned up to the wall, and I could see he was struggling. I let go of my grip just enough so he could speak.

"Wh..what are you talkin' bout man?!". I deal with these kinds of people everyday, but this was just taking it too far.

"Oh cut the crap David you know damn well what I'm talking about!!!!" my anger wasn't lessening.

"David are you okay? What's goin' on out here, ya gettin' me worried" I heard a woman's voice as she approached from the bedroom. It was now clear to me why David had been too 'busy to talk'. The woman screamed when she saw me. I hate it when they scream. "What's goin on here!!!!! Oh my God!!! Who…who is this man!?!" I actually found her panic to be pretty humorous. Nonetheless I felt sorry for her. She wasn't involved in this mess, and didn't need to be dealing with it. I let David go. He looked fearful. I liked that. I was glad I made him feel a portion of what Helen felt.

"Unbelievable" I said. "You work quickly, don't you"

"What are you talking about?!?!" this guy just wasn't taking a hint. I needed to give it to him straight, and that's what I was going to do. A million thoughts raced through my mind. I couldn't even comprehend my thought process. I always feel like that when I'm angry. It's like I try to understand what's going on inside my head, but I can't. I think it adds to my anger, but I'm not even sure. I had no idea what exactly what I was feeling, and I don't think I ever will. All I felt was determination. I was determined to give this man exactly what he deserved. There are very few times I can recall

Helen needing someone to fight for her….but now she needed me. Justice would be served.

-Lindsay's POV-

I brought a damp cloth into the living room, and kneeled down in front of Helen. "Okay, this might sting a little bit" She grimaced as I held the cloth up to her eye. "Just hold it there for a minute or two. It'll help, I promise." She nodded. Helen hadn't really said much, but I didn't expect her to. A minute passed by in total silence. It seemed like an hour. Time seems to stand still when you feel it needs to be moving at its fastest. "Here, let me see" I tried breaking the silence. She slowly removed the cloth from her eye. It still looked bad, but it took off some of the dried blood and a the swelling went down a little. I gave her a weak smile, I knew she needed me now more than ever. All I wanted to do was run. I didn't want to deal with things like this. Not now. I wanted to get away. But I wouldn't leave Helen. Of course not. I would never.

I took the cloth from her and brought it back to the kitchen. "You want a drink or anything? Tea maybe?" She shook her head. "No…thank you." Her voice was almost inaudible. I came back with two glasses of water. "Just in case you change your mind." Another lame attempt at a smile. She nodded. For the first time in my life I felt incredibly uncomfortable around my best friend. I hated the silence, but realized that small talk was not what Helen needed, she needed support. I sat down next to her, and took her hand. From the way she gripped, I knew I was helping her more than I could have imagined. She was definitely fighting back tears. I could tell. I can always tell with her. Her eyes well up, followed by reddening in her face, and sometimes she'll even scream at me, and blame all her problems on something I did. Didn't think there would be any screaming this time. Didn't she know she has the right to be upset? What was I missing? I'd had enough of this. She needed to know I was there for her. I think she was still a little nervous from my tantrum earlier on. "Hey..." I said softly. No response, big surprise. She just glanced over at me. I knew I didn't need to say much. Words were not what mattered. "I'm here". Two little words, but I know they help. Just knowing there's someone there for you can change a situation for the better.

For the first time all night I actually saw her attempt a smile. It wasn't much, and most probably wouldn't even notice it. She squeezed my hand "I know." She leaned on my shoulder, as a few tears ran down her cheeks. I wasn't going to let her go. I just stayed with her. I wiped her tears until they temporarily stopped falling. Nothing else mattered. The silence didn't seem so horrible now; it seemed appropriate. I no longer worried about myself having to get to sleep. I was taking the day off tomorrow. My work would be done in time. Some things would just have to be put on hold.

As we sat in silence, my mind began to wander. Where was Bobby? He left about an hour ago. I brushed it off. He must be out with the guys or something. I understood. Long day, he probably just needed a break from it all. A little relief. That's all he needed.

-Bobby's POV-

"Why'd you hurt her." I stammered.

"I don't--" oh please not another excuse.

"you DO know. Now tell me David, why'd you hurt her?! What, was she not good enough for you? Not fulfilling your damn needs?!" I glared at him.

"Wait, are you talking about Helen?" he asked, trying to make himself sound innocent and naïve. Who was he kidding anyway?

"Don't play dumb with me, David." I was clearly disgusted.

"What's he talkin' bout hon?!" the woman clearly seemed to be getting upset. Before David could even answer I just lay it all out for him.

"Oh, nothing too important. He just beat his girlfriend for no apparent reason. He doesn't think it's a big deal, why should anyone else?"

"His girlfriend?!?!" She glared at him. She didn't even care about the beating part, just that he was possibly cheating on her.

"Wait…you think I beat on Helen?" There was no winning with this guy.

"I know you did."

"Hey man, I haven't seen her in over a week now." He must have been lying. Why would I expect the truth from a guy like David anyway?

"You think you're real smart, don't you. You think you can just think up something clever like, 'oh I havent seen her' and I'll believe you?! Do you think I'm a complete idiot?!" My anger was rising again. This guy was pushing all the wrong buttons.

"Listen Bobby. Helen broke up with me about a week and a half ago and I haven't seen her since." I just glared back at him. "but you gotta know, I'd never hurt her. I loved Helen, and I thought she loved me too." There were traces of sincerity in his voice, and for a second I actually believed him. I snapped out of that stage pretty quickly.

"Why'd she break up with you" I needed the facts.

"Typical excuse. 'Things just weren't working out'. Right. Gimme a break! Things were going great! I don't know if she cheated on me or whatever, but she was desperate to get out of our relationship. She made it pretty damn clear that she couldn't be with me…that she wouldn't be with me." I was clueless on what to say next. "Bobby, is she okay? What happened?" He sounded so concerned. I needed to get out of there. I couldn't listen to this. I didn't say a word, just stormed out of his apartment and slammed the door. I treaded down the hallway, and from the distance I heard him yell my name. He wanted to talk to me now. Now he was willing to give me the time of day. There would be no talking to him. He wasn't worth my time.

I can see right through people. I can see when they're lying, or at least I try to. It's a skill I've developed through time I suppose. Or maybe I've just inherited the instinct from Lindsay. Either way, it seemed like David could possibly be telling the truth. But he couldn't be. No way. Helen lies to witnesses and victims all the time, but not her best friends. She wouldn't lie to me like this. She wouldn't lie to Lindsay…especially not to Lindsay. Why would she even make up a story like that? She can't be making it up. If she knew anything about me, she'd have known I'd confront David. She knows I have an unbearable conscience. She isn't lying…she can't be.



-Helen's POV-

They say life goes on…that time heals all wounds but I don't believe it. Sure, the days will pass. Nothing can stop time from moving forward, but I believe you can stop life from progressing. Physically you'll get older, but mentally things don't have to change. I know my life won't go on. Bobby and Lindsay don't even know the half of it. They've both been so amazing, but they have no idea. Not that it's their fault.

Lindsay is the only one who I feel completely safe around. She's not physically strong, but I feel protected. It's like nothing can hurt me. I wish I didn't feel so helpless. I wish had control over my life…but I don't. I can't even control my own tears. I can't stay with Bobby and Lindsay forever. They'll say I can stay as long as I want, and I know at first they'll mean it. But things will change. They'll begin to move on, and expect me to do the same. I can't move on. I won't move on.

-Bobby's POV-

It must have been around midnight when I finally came home. I drove around for a while…just thinking. I was so confused. My heart told me I had to believe Helen, but my gut told me to believe David. I quietly opened the door, figuring Lindsay and Helen were both probably asleep. I was partially correct, Helen was knocked out on the couch, but Lindsay was still up. She was sitting in an armchair next to Helen. She looked tired, and I figured she had probably been forcing herself to stay awake until I got home.

As soon as I shut the door, Lindsay came over to me.

"Hey…how's she doing?" I asked.

"Okay I guess, she finally fell asleep." she looked back toward Helen. "where have you been?" She wasn't angry, just curious.

"Actually, I uh, stopped by David's…"

"Oh God" her facial expression immediately changed. "You didn't…did you hurt him? Bobby, you didn't kill him did you?!" Clearly she was exhausted. I didn't mean to laugh, but I couldn't help myself. "What?" She asked accusingly, as she playfully hit my chest.

I rubbed her shoulders as if I were trying to warm her up. "As a matter of fact, body's in the hallway. I figured we'd keep him in the fridge until the cops find him."

Her face softened, as she smiled. "Oh shut up…but you did go to his apartment?"

"Yeah, I gave him a piece of my mind."

"Well, what'd he say?" She was very inquisitive. I was debating with myself whether or not to tell her the truth or not. The last thing Lindsay needed was to feel distrust toward Helen, and I didn't want her caught up in the middle. However, I decided I needed to tell her what was going on. She would have found out anyway, and it would probably be best if it came from me.

"Actually, he didn't act like I expected him to." she gave me a look. "He denies ever laying a hand on Helen first of all."

"How unusual. Now why would he ever say something like that? " she had a very sarcastic tone as she rolled her eyes.

"Well, that's what I thought…"

"You mean you believe this creep?!" Her anger was building. She never lets me finish my thoughts when she's angry. That's Lindsay for you.

"Just hear me out, okay? David claims Helen broke up with him about a week and a half ago, and that he hasn't seen her since. Normally I wouldn't believe it but something about him…I don't know it just seemed like he might actually be telling the truth. He said she was desperate to get out the relationship."

She just shook her head. "You're probably just tired. You and I both know what happened to Helen. She doesn't just act this way. Please just tell me you believe her." I could see in her eyes that she needed me to believe Helen. She needed something to hold on to. I nodded, "Of course I still believe her." Was that what Lindsay wanted? For me to admit that I believed Helen's boyfriend beat her?

"I mean, it's not that I want it to be true that David hurt her. It's just…well, someone did. And it just makes so much sense, you know? He's definitely the type. And besides, who else would want to do this to her? And, and why would she lie like that? I just don't understand-" I sensed her confusion. She didn't need this. I probably shouldn't have told her the whole truth after all. "Lin…" I interrupted her. She looked at me with wide eyes. "I believe her." She just nodded.

"You look exhausted, why don't you get to bed?" She needed to sleep. Lindsay was clearly exhausted.

"I still have things to do…"

"Lindsay…"

"Besides, I promised Helen I'd stay with her."

"Aright then, I'll just stay with you while you stay with her." obviously I was pretty tired too. My words made no sense. I could barely understand my own thoughts. She smiled. It was a great relief to see her smile. I led her to the armchair she had been sitting on before I came home, and sat down. She cuddled into me. She had been pretty tense, but began to loosen up within a few minutes. She'd had enough of being so strong for one day. I knew that, and she knew it too. I wrapped my arms around her, holding her close. I felt so protective at that moment. I guess seeing Helen in the state that she was in really shook me up too. I kissed Lindsay's head. "I love you". I whispered. No response. She must have been asleep already.

It took me a good hour to fall asleep that night. I had a lot on my mind. Finally around one I drifted off, only to be woken up by Lindsay who was very restless. She awoke, startled.

"Hey, you okay?" I asked her.

"Fine, I uh.." she was disoriented, and seemed slightly out of breath. "I had the uh…the nun dream…the one where um, the one with the knife and everything. I haven't, I haven't had that one in a while." She was clearly shaken up. Obviously the evening with Helen had an effect on her. I sighed, and held her closer to me. She brushed me off. "I'm fine it was just a dream, I just haven't had it in a while so I was um, surprised." and with that, she got up and walked to the kitchen. Of course, I followed her. "Bobby, you don't have to follow me around okay, I'm just getting a drink." She was starting to resent my concern.

"How do you know I'm not thirsty too?" I asked, while grabbing a glass. She moved away from the fridge. "Okay then, all yours." she seemed frustrated as she sat down at the table. I looked over at her. "Lindsay, I know you want to be the 'strong one', for Helen's sake, but there's only so much you can do. You're only one person. Obviously this whole thing is already starting to hurt you. Just do what you can do, okay?" she nodded.

"Linds…"

"Bobby…I know" she smiled, and gave a little laugh to herself.

"What's so funny" I asked, coming over to her. She stood up to face me.

"You're so cute when you worry" she smiled.

"I aim to please." I smiled back. I began to comb my fingers through her hair, and then I kissed her head as I had done earlier that night.

She looked back at me and smiled again. "Will you stay up with me for a few?" her smile faded for a second.

"Of course".

Lindsay could smile all she wanted, but I knew she needed someone who would be there for her now more than ever. She would deny it. She would think she was okay, but whatever happens to Helen indirectly effects her too. It's a domino effect come to think of it. Everyone needs to lean on someone, and as soon as they do, the person who they're leaning on will need someone else to catch them as they fall. In this situation, Helen was leaning on Lindsay, and Lindsay was leaning on me. I had no one to fall back on. I knew that soon enough pressure would build up and my 'domino' would collapse, but for now I wasn't worried. I would give up everything just to see Lindsay smile. And in a way, every smile I got out of her alleviated some of the pressure.

-Helen's POV-

Could those two have "whispered" any louder?! Why didn't they just wake me up and explain to my face how they didn't believe me. I told Bobby to stay away from David, but I was not all that surprised that he went to the apartment anyway. Not that I cared. David wouldn't dare come near me. He knew how powerful I was…in the legal sense at least.

How dare Bobby have taken David's word over mine. Lindsay still had some faith, but not enough. She's my best friend, I thought. She's supposed to believe me. It's almost like an unwritten law. Though my mixed thoughts were taking control over my mind, I heard a few of Lindsay's words. "I'm just so scared for her, you know? I mean if David didn't do this someone else did, and that could be worse. What are we getting ourselves into, Bobby? I just…I don't know what to do…" A sensation took over my entire body: guilt. Here I was thinking about how disloyal Lindsay was being, while she was sitting up in her kitchen at 3 am explaining to Bobby how she was scared for me. I didn't want this. I didn't want her to feel this way. I shouldn't have come here. Lindsay and Bobby couldn't handle this, there was too much going on in their lives. I would go home. I would have to. David would stay away from me. I told him I'd file charges if he touched me ever again, and I was serious.

All I could think about was lying on the floor helpless, while David overpowered me: he had full control. I remember believing that I was going to die, that this would end it all. I couldn't get the vision out of my mind as hard as I tried. I felt like I was on the other side of the witness stand now, and as if Bobby and Lindsay were my jurors; they decided my fate. Of course this wasn't true, but it's the way I envisioned it. I had a story to tell, but I wouldn't give the details…it was too hard. Unfortunately there was no lawyer to be had. I didn't have someone counseling me on what to say, and I was completely clueless. I didn't know it would be so hard. I had no case. It was my word against David's, and I knew I couldn't win. He may be crude, but he has a look of sincerity in his eyes that could entrance anyone. On the other hand, if looks could kill, he'd have you at first glance. It all depended on the part he wanted to play. David could be anything he wanted to be. He could easily alternate between the parts of innocent and guilty. His sincerity and innocence locked me into our relationship, while the evils within finally struck me down.

I told him I had legal power, and that I could have him arrested and imprisoned if I just snapped my fingers. Who was I kidding? Maybe he believed me, considering I even believed myself at the time, but he's smarter than many give him credit for. I wasn't going to be afraid of David, I wouldn't let myself. I've dealt with too many victims, and I promised myself that I would never turn into one, and I wouldn't. However, I knew I couldn't face him. I had to avoid him. The fear I kept telling myself was nonexistent was apparent.

The issue concerning Bobby and Lindsay arose in my mind once again. I had to leave tomorrow. How could I stay with people who didn't understand or believe me. Earlier I felt so protected by these people, and now I felt betrayed. Of course they cared, I knew that. I just didn't think that they could be fooled so easily. My manipulations and lies in the courtroom must have taken a toll on their ability to trust me. I felt trapped inside my own mind. There was no way out.

Silence emanated from the kitchen. I looked up, and Lindsay was asleep in Bobby's arms. For just a moment, I forgot about my world of problems, and just envied my best friend. She had found the perfect man. He cared so much for her, and I was jealous. Here I was, broken and bruised while she was safe in a loving man's arms. I never thought it would end up this way, but I was glad it did. Lindsay had been through enough already and is definitely not as strong of a person as she may think.

-Lindsay's POV-

The vivid sunlight woke me up around 6:30: much earlier than I had planned on getting up. I was in the armchair by the couch…Bobby must have taken me back there earlier that morning. I was glad to see that Helen remained to be asleep; she needed the rest. I smelled something coming from the kitchen. I slowly got up, making sure not to disturb Helen, and found my husband standing over the stove. "You're cooking." This was certainly a change of pace, not that I minded. I must have been looking at him like he had three heads, though considering how tired I was, it looked as if he might have.

"Wouldn't kill you to be appreciative, Lindsay".

I shook my head. "Sorry, it's just…I didn't expect this. When was the last time you cooked?"

"I always cook"

"Oh please, you do not!"

"I do…just not for you." he smiled.

"And why is this"

"Because you don't appreciate it!"

Was he trying to be funny? I wasn't in the mood. "Shut up Bobby, it's early."

He smiled again, and came toward me. As soon as he looked at me I was locked in his eyes. My face softened as he leaned down and gave me a soft kiss. "Good morning to you too".

We separated, as I went to pour myself a cup of coffee. "What are you making, anyway?"

"Pancakes…from scratch may I add" He was clearly proud of the deformed globs of batter lying on the stove. "By the way, I'm not going to work today either-".

"Bobby-" I cut in. He hates being behind on his work, and I didn't want him staying home just because he was worried that I couldn't handle Helen. I didn't know why he thought that, anyway. Of course I could handle her.

"It's no big deal. I'll be able to get some paperwork done. I don't have to be in court until Thursday."

"Okay, as long as you're not too back-logged. You and I both know how you get when you're behind schedule--".

"Shut up Lindsay, it's early" He joked. He always knows how to bring a smile to my face. He usually wouldn't act so upbeat at such an early hour, but I knew he was just concerned, and wanted to help out. I was grateful for his sense of humor. "Fresh pancakes, just for you." He was so cute. I love how Bobby acts when he isn't under a lot of pressure.

I smiled, and began to eat my breakfast. Not too bad, actually. Bobby and I talked for a few minutes. We must have been making more noise then we realized, because in came Helen. She looked run down and groggy. Her eye looked a little better. It wasn't as swollen, and the bruise wasn't quite as dark. "I didn't expect you to be up so early" I said.

She scratched her head. "Yeah…me either". Once again I felt uncomfortable. Bobby sensed it, and took over the conversation.

"Why don't you sit down, Helen? I made my famous pancakes." I rolled my eyes.

"He cooks?" Helen asked as she sat down. As soon as she saw my plate, her question answered itself. "Never mind". I gave a little laugh. Things seemed to be looking up but I didn't want to be too hopeful.

"How you doing?" I asked gently.

"Fine" She forced a smile. "I uh, I think I'm gonna head home today. I don't need to bother you guys."

"Helen, you're not bothering us at all. Stay as long as you need to. Bobby's even taking the day off just to be here with you--"

"See that's what I mean." she interrupted. "You're both missing work…putting your lives on hold…for what? For me? It's not necessary, really. I'm okay. Yesterday I just lost it but now I'm fine. I'll head out later this afternoon."

"Look me in the eye and tell me your fine." I was speaking in all seriousness.

"Lindsay…" Bobby cut in, just as he had done yesterday. Once again, I ignored his remark.

"It's not much to ask really." I knew she couldn't do it. She could look a judge in the eye and tell a lie if she wanted to, but she couldn't fool me. I knew her too well.

"God, Lindsay I can't believe you! I think I know how I feel a little better than you do." Her anger was rising.

"Than this really shouldn't be a big deal. Just look me in the eye and tell me your fine." I just stared at her. I looked her deep in the eye. I could see straight through her, and she knew that.

"I don't need this from you." she said, as she stormed out of the kitchen. Good. Let her run. As long as she understood that I could see through her lies, I didn't really care what she thought of me.

-Bobby's POV-

Lindsay has always been a strong believer of 'tough love'. She wanted so badly to help Helen, but she didn't realize she was actually hurting her. Helen needs to be in control all the time. She doesn't like depending on others, and usually won't ask for help. Being similar in that sense, I could easily relate to her. Lindsay on the other hand is a little bit better at sharing what's on her mind. She is still relatively secretive about her emotions, but she always sends out warning signs. She has trouble directly asking for help, but it's not too difficult to tell with her when she needs someone.

At this point I figured that Helen didn't feel like she had control over anything in her life. Lindsay was treating her as if she was a client. Of course it wasn't right, but Lindsay was just angry, and didn't know how to handle the situation. There was so much tension building between Lindsay and Helen. Nonetheless, I too could tell that Helen was not as 'fine' as she said she was. How could she be? I looked up and saw that the door to the extra bedroom was closed. Helen must be in there, I thought. I went over and knocked on the door. "Leave me alone Lindsay." she replied. She wasn't fuming, but there was a touch of anger in her tone.

"Helen, it's me" I answered calmly. Within a few seconds the door swung open.

"She has no right to treat me like I'm one of her clients, Bobby!" She was clearly upset. I know she wasn't actually angry with Lindsay, she was angry with the situation she was in. She spoke again before I could even attempt to get a word in. " 'Look me in the eye and tell me your fine'" she mimicked "I mean honestly!"

"Lindsay's just worried about you, that's all. She tends to get a little on edge."

"You're telling me! Well I'm still leaving."

"You can do whatever you want, you're not in prison."

"Damn right I'm not!!" I was actually relieved she was yelling. The Helen I knew was coming back. "Look…if you don't mind I just want to be alone right now, okay?"

"Sure". I nodded, and walked out of her room. Lindsay was standing right by the door, she had probably been eavesdropping on our conversation.

"Was I really that hard on her?!"

I shook my head. "No…she's just vulnerable right now. Lighten up a bit. I'm going out for a little while, just have to check in with Jimmy about one thing." She nodded. "Do me a favor, Linds. Try not to kill each other until I get back, okay?"

-Lindsay's POV-

I knew Helen wanted nothing to do with me. Considering I had stayed with her the night before, I didn't think she would be so angry. I was actually offended, but I wasn't planning on starting anything. I sat down and worked on a few upcoming cases. I got pretty wrapped up in my work, but when I saw Helen heading for the door I was immediately distracted.

"Are you going home?" I asked, innocently.

"Yep."

I nodded. "Okay…" I got up and walked over to her. "You have everything?"

"I didn't really bring all that much"

"Right…um, listen…Helen, I'm sorry about this morning. I didn't mean to snap at you. If you say you're okay then you must be okay. Like you said, you would know." I couldn't believe how sincere I sounded. I was disgusting myself, Helen was far from 'okay'.

"I know, I'm sorry too." It was a relief to hear her say that. I really didn't want us to be on bad terms. "I'm just tired. You know better than anyone how cranky I get when I lose sleep."

"All too well" I laughed. "Now, as your best friend I just have to help you out with one more thing before you go."

She looked thankful that I was stalling, but I knew she was trying to give the appearance that she was annoyed. "And what would that be…"

"You're makeup! You have nothing on, and you know I can't just let you go out like this!" Helen smiled. Even though I sounded like her, which I don't take pride in, I was glad I could still help out a little bit. It was obvious she was keeping a lot inside at this point, I just didn't know what. That was why she blew up at me in the morning. She was angry…very angry.

After I covered up her bruises I knew I had to let her go. I wanted so badly for Helen to stay. I knew she still needed me. "Listen…if you need anything…anything at all…please call, okay?"

"Sure…"

"Helen, I'm serious! If you're lonely, or need to talk to someone…or even if you just need someone to help with the dishes…"

She made a slight attempt at a laugh. "Can I quote you on that?" She hesitated to walk out the door. I knew she didn't want to leave. "Lindsay, thank you so much for everything. I know I don't seem grateful, but I am. Really…I couldn't have…" Tears welled up in her pale blue eyes. "Just…thank you."

I was so worried. "Of course." I forced a smile. "Are you sure you don't want to stay a little while longer?" I delicately put a hand on her shoulder.

She just nodded and walked out the door. She was on her own now. Everything was out of my hands, but I was still involved. Helen brought me into this mess for a reason: she needed me.

-Helen's POV-

I can't stay with people who don't believe me, I kept telling myself. I hated how stubborn I had become. I was so afraid to be alone. Bobby and Lindsay would have believed me if I told them everything...but there was no way that I could do that. I never once regretted my secrecy.

David must still think I'm with Bobby, I thought. He's not going to come near me. The air was so cold as I made my way through the streets of Boston. I was just trying to focus on walking, when something caught my eye. Across the street it looked as if someone was pointing at me. Of course I couldn't be sure, there were tons of people around, but it just looked as if this person was focusing directly on me. I just kept on walking… I didn't want it to seem obvious that I was petrified.

Once I got home, time seemed to lag on forever. It must have been the longest day of my entire life. I just sat around in fear, waiting for something…anything to happen. Lindsay must have called at least six times, but she had to leave messages since I refused to answer the phone. I despised the fear that ran through my body. Around 8:00 that night the phone was ringing again. Lindsay was beginning to sound worried in her numerous messages, so I figured I'd just answer this once. "Lindsay, I'm fine." I said as I picked up.

"So you are home…" A familiar voice.

My heart pounded in my chest. "David."

"I figured you'd come home. I know you Helen, you can't depend on people. It kills you inside. You feel like you're a burden. I knew you wouldn't last." He sounded frighteningly calm. I needed to act fast.

"I'm not home. I mean, I'm not staying…I was just picking up a few things."

He laughed. "Listen to yourself Helen, you're petrified. Not that I blame you." I knew I had to get out of my apartment. I would go back to Bobby's. I wouldn't care if they suspected me of murder at this point. I was so afraid.

"I…I have to go."

"I got your little friend Bobby pretty good. He thinks I'm as innocent as they come."

"That's not true."

"Whatever you say. By the way, do you know where I'm calling from?"

"A phone". Was he serious? I just needed to get out of there.

"Very good. Do you know what kind of phone?"

"I could honestly care less"

"Well maybe you should care, Helen. You know why?…it's a cell phone. That means I could be anywhere. I could be at home, at the supermarket…even right outside your door."

-Helen's POV-

I dropped the phone as soon as I heard David speak those last few words. He was outside my door. A million thoughts raced through my mind, but I had no idea what to do. My feet felt as if they were nailed to the floor. My only sense of security was that the door was locked. The room was completely silent. All I could hear was the sound of my own heart pounding until suddenly the knob creaked; he was unlocking my door. How could he possibly be getting in through a locked door? The next thing I knew he was in my apartment, staring straight at me with sharp eyes. The eyes I fell in love with, the eyes I once trusted, the eyes I once found to be so beautiful now looked so grotesque that they instantly robbed me from all feelings of comfort and safety. Just one glance and my body became numb with terror.

"How'd you get in here…" I managed to ask. He dangled a set of keys. "…but I took your extra keys back when we broke up, David."

"I had another set made just in case I needed them." And with that, he shut the door behind him and came toward me. I noticed he didn't lock the door, which was my last glimpse of hope.

"D…don't come any closer." I was beginning to shake.

"I told you not to tell anyone our little secret."

"I didn't tell--"

He cut me off. "You did tell, Helen. Bobby came to my apartment, which I'm sure you already know. I thought the guy was gonna strangle me thanks to you."

"I didn't tell Bobby everything. I didn't tell..." I was repeating myself. I tend to do that when I get nervous.

"Oh, really." He had a chill in his voice.

"I told him…I told him you beat me…not the rest."

A smile came upon his face. The kind of smile that not even a mother could love. "Well that's a good girl, I'll remember that." He paced back and forth. "But you still did tell him something. We had a deal you know." He came even closer. "But hey, I shoulda known better. You're a DA...you break promises all the time."

"I didn't tell him how you forced me to have sex with three of your friends, doesn't that count for something?" My fear began to subside for a few minutes as anger overtook my entire body. For the first time in days I actually sounded like myself. I blocked out most of the memories besides the beating but they were all coming back now. Four men, David included, laughing…each having their way with me. Blood. Pain. Horror. I couldn't have told Lindsay and Bobby this. It wasn't that I was keeping a promise to David, but I feared the disappointment I would have to face. Lindsay would never look at me the same again…she would hate me. Besides, I would never willingly classify myself as a rape victim. I hated the way it sounded. As long as I had a breath left in my body, no one would ever know about the rape.

"It should count for something shouldn't it.." He came closer. "Too bad I don't give a damn."



-Lindsay's POV-

I called Helen six times throughout the day. She didn't even bother to answer her phone once. I became very worried, but I tried to brush it off. Bobby told me I needed to stop being so overprotective of Helen, she could take care of herself. I knew he was right, but I couldn't help it…she was my best friend. It wasn't that I felt obligated to help her, it's just that I wanted so badly to be there for her. I needed to be there. Sitting around worrying all day wasn't helping anyone.

I was walking around trying to pass the time when I nearly tripped over something lying on the floor: a lipstick. I knew I didn't have that color…that hideous red. I would never wear something like that, but Helen would. I decided that it must have dropped out of her bag. Great, I thought. Now I had an excuse to go to her apartment, and knowing Helen she would be grateful to get her lipstick back.

I drove to her apartment in record time. I knew that even if she didn't realize it, she needed me there with her. I walked up to her doorstep, and knocked once. No response. It seemed quiet inside. I knocked again. "Helen!" I called out. "You left your lipstick and I if I know you, you'd want it back."

"Lindsay…not now…I'm…I'm busy" Her voice was shaky. Something was wrong.

"Helen? Are you okay? What's going on in there? Let me in for a sec…" I pleaded.

"I can't, just go away" She was determined to get me to leave. Unfortunately she would have no such luck. I tried to open the door, and fortunately, it wasn't locked. It was at that moment when I realized that someone had to be inside with Helen. There was no way she would have purposely left her door unlocked. I opened the door, and as soon as I looked inside I was overwhelmed with shock. Helen was down on the floor, and David was standing over her. There were traces of blood trickling down her cheek. It wasn't much, but it was clearly noticeable. I assumed that David reopened the bruises around her eye. I shut the door behind me. "Get away from her, David…Now." I sounded so firm, I didn't even recognize my own voice.

"Ah, so we have company." He squinted. "You look familiar. Lindsay is it?" I just stared at him. "Well, Lindsay, I've heard a lot about you…had a real nice visit with your husband the other night. What a guy…very protective. In fact, I'm surprised he even lets you out of the house by yourself!" He laughed "Anyway, It's so nice of you to come join us. Unfortunately Helen's a little busy right now, why don't you just stop by at a better time".

"Get away from her or there will be consequences." For a second I actually thought David may possibly have been listening to me as he stepped away from Helen. She wasn't even attempting to move.

"See, that's what she said also." David motioned toward Helen "doesn't look to me like there were too many consequences, eh? So tell me Lindsay, why should I believe you anymore than I believed her?"

"Because, I--"

"Let me guess" he cut me off "You have legal power? That seems to be a pretty popular way to threaten someone with you lawyers nowadays."

I was speechless. I couldn't believe it. I had nothing to say. I tried to speak but the word wouldn't come out. What was wrong with me? I led cross examinations all the time! I should have been able to answer back to a man like David.

David nodded. "Yep, that's what I thought." He appeared to be quite satisfied as he walked back over to Helen. "You know what I love? I love the way Helen sounds when she's in pain…gives me a rush or something."

"Please David, don't…it hurts so much" Helen cried. It looked as if she was referring to her stomach, but I wasn't positive.

"Check this out" I was frozen. He then proceeded to kick her in the stomach. She screamed out in agony as tears fell down her cheek. That did it. I snapped back to reality. I was no longer speechless, David's actions just set me free. Adrenaline pumped through my body. "I will kill you. I will, I swear, David. Get away from her…I'll kill you, I'LL KILL YOU!" I screamed. I couldn't believe what I was saying.

He just laughed. Why would he laugh? I couldn't believe that Bobby believed that this creep was innocent. He must have been out of his right mind. "Now come on, just beating on your friend shouldn't be enough for you to just kill me. Doesn't that seem a little harsh? But hey, since you're here maybe you wanna know the rest? Aren't you interested?"

"The rest of what?" I was so confused. What was David talking about?

"David!!!!!!" Helen screamed. It was the loudest I'd ever heard her shout. What the hell was going on here?!

"Your little friend here…yeah she's a slut. I caught her in the sack with some random guy. Can you believe that? It was our anniversary and everything! But no, I just wasn't good enough for her." His anger was clearly rising. I feared he would resort to violence again.

"That's not true" she whimpered.

"OF COURSE IT'S TRUE!!" he screamed.

It took him a minute to regain his senses. "Anyway, so I figured…ya know, if she could do it with some other guy, it shouldn't be a problem for her to help out a few of my buddies who couldn't get a girl, right?."

"You didn't.."

"Oh I did. Three of em' actually. I think she enjoyed it too." he laughed. "I'm thinking possible career change."

"You son of a bitch" I muttered.

"What was that?" he asked.

I shook my head. I was filled with pure rage. Without even thinking, I grabbed a glass vase on the coffee table that I was standing next to and smashed it over his head. He didn't even see me coming. Helen screamed again. He was immediately knocked unconscious. Blood ran down his face. "You heard me…" I mumbled.

I had to re-assess my surroundings. What just happened? I looked down at Helen, she was uncontrollably bawling…I had no idea what to do. I went to help her stand up and I couldn't even do that because she screamed every time I tried to move her. "Okay, okay Helen…listen to me you have to calm down. Just breathe for a second okay?" I could see her unsuccessfully trying to settle down.

"It hurts, Lindsay" she managed to mutter through her sobs.

"What hurts?" No response. "Okay…when I touch where it hurts just tell me." I gently pressed along her stomach. She screamed out in pain as soon as I reached the left side of her rib cage. "Your ribs. He must have broken a rib or something…here come on, you just have to move a little bit this way…" I gently tried to move Helen so that she was in a position where the pressure wouldn't be completely on her left side. I was attempting to stay as calm and collected as possible. The situation seemed so unreal to me. I looked down at my best friend…she had dried blood on her face and broken ribs. She looked so helpless, I couldn't stand it. I supported her weight up against me as best I could and tried to calm her down. "I'm so sorry I didn't get here sooner. Oh god, I'm so sorry." I felt tears beginning to well up in my eyes but I forced them back. I had to be strong. "Just…just hold on, I'll get help. It's gonna be okay…I mean it this time." I called three numbers: 911, the police, and Bobby. All I had to now was wait for help to arrive. I didn't leave Helen's side. I held onto her and wouldn't let go. She wouldn't stop sobbing and there was nothing I could do. I just had to wait this out. "I'm so sorry" I kept repeating. Over and over again I kept apologizing.

-Bobby's POV-

When Lindsay explained the situation with David, I couldn't believe it. Up until she called, there was no doubt in my mind that he was a fairly good guy. How could I have thought such a thing? I hated myself for even considering that Helen made up her story. I should have known her better than that. How could I have been so stupid?! My wife and one of my best friends were in danger while I was busy convincing myself of David's innocence. I wasn't there to protect them when they needed me the most. I was disgusted with myself.

When I arrived at the hospital I tried to clear my mind from the range of intense emotions that I was experiencing. All feelings had to go aside and I needed to be strong once again. I didn't know how much strength I had left, but I would not allow myself to break down in front of Lindsay. I walked into the waiting room and spotted my wife instantly. She was sitting down with her head in her hands. I sat down next to her. "Hey…" she looked up at me. I noticed a strip of gauze around her hand. "What happened?"

"Oh, um…glass got in when I…you know" she sounded very disoriented, which was not a big surprise.

I nodded and took a breath. "Lindsay I'm so sorry. I should have came with you, I should have--" I wanted her to know how badly I felt about what happened.

She shook her head. "Bobby stop. It's fine. I'm okay, it's really no big deal. I mean, Helen's the one you should be worrying about." she paused "He…he broke her ribs. He could have killed her, and he.." Lindsay turned her head away so she wouldn't have to look at me.

She was forcing back tears and I could tell it was killing her. "Come here" I said as I took her into my arms. I was hoping that she would loosen up but I had no such luck. Lindsay was putting on a strong front. She would keep this up as long as she could both physically and emotionally handle it. She didn't want to let go yet, and I wasn't planning on forcing her. I pulled back so I could look her in the eye. "Any news on Helen?"

"Not yet…but it's only been a little while."

"What about David?" I was curious.

"Why do you care?"

"I don't…I'm just you know, wondering how much damage you've done." I tried to lighten the mood a little bit. Obviously that wasn't a good idea.

"You think that's funny? What, you think I had a choice?! He would have killed her if I wasn't there. You kept telling me how I didn't need to worry about her…" She stood up as her voice rose. "'Oh Lindsay, Helen's fine you're too overprotective' …well she's NOT FINE, BOBBY. She could have DIED if I wasn't there. Do you understand that?! He could have KILLED HER! And the only reason that I didn't get there sooner was because you told me not to go! You held me back…this is YOUR FAULT!!! You told me she was LYING. You said she made everything up, and I believed you! You made me believe you!!" By this point she was screaming at me. I didn't know if she would break down or just run away. Practically everyone in the waiting room was staring at her, but she didn't care. She needed to get her point across.

I knew Lindsay's anger was speaking so I wasn't going to take her too seriously. However, what she said still hurt. I couldn't stop thinking about how in some respects her harsh words were truthful. I was so wrapped up in convincing myself that David was innocent that I completely ruled out the possibility that Helen was telling the truth. Obviously I learned my lesson. One thing I knew for sure was that David wouldn't have killed Helen. Lindsay thought he would have, but he wouldn't want that. The reason he hurt her must have been because she hurt him first. I wasn't going to defend David, but I knew he loved her. If he didn't, why would he have cared if she was unfaithful? One thing I've learned from being a criminal defense attorney is that revenge is not a random decision; it is very well thought out. David would not have wasted his time on Helen if he didn't truly care for her at one point. He would have just forgotten about her and moved on. She hurt him, and he didn't know how to handle the pain and anger he felt so he resorted to violence. He saw it as the easy way out. Although my mind was full of thoughts, none of them were practical responses to Lindsay's anger. I had no idea what to say to her and luckily I didn't have to reply because within a few seconds a doctor approached both of us.

"Excuse me, were you the woman who came in with Helen Gamble?" he asked Lindsay.

She spun around to face the doctor. "How is she?"

"Three broken ribs and some swelling underneath her left eye. All in all I'd say she lucked out considering these injuries were a result of domestic violence. There isn't much to do for broken ribs, she'll just need to take it easy for a while and they'll heal on their own in time."

"So she's okay?" Lindsay asked again.

"I suppose you could say that. However, I'm planning on giving you the numbers for a few recommended local therapists. These injuries may not be severe and the physical recovery will go fine but the emotional--"

"Okay, I get it. Can I see her yet?" My wife was very bitter and in no mood to waste any time with this doctor.

"Sure, but before you go, I also have the status on the man who checked in with her if you're interested." I thought for sure Lindsay would have stormed out at the slightest mention of David's condition, but she stayed. She was probably fearing for her own safety. After all, he could easily file a complaint against her. The last thing Lindsay and I needed was to be sued by Helen's abusive boyfriend.

"What happened with him" I could sense the anxiety in her voice.

"He suffered from a concussion and had to get stitches on the right side of his forehead. He'll have to stay overnight unlike Helen, but he seems to be alright. "

"Oh well thank God for that" Lindsay's attitude was returning. "Hope he has a nice and speedy recovery. After all, the sooner he gets out of the doctors' hands, the sooner he's in custody." She was putting the doctor in a very uncomfortable position. He was just looking down at his file, unsure of how to react.

"Uh, can we just have Helen's room number." I asked. I needed to change the subject.

"Of course. Room 239...up the hall, to the left."

Lindsay then stormed off. I decided not to follow her. She needed a little time alone with Helen. She was obviously feeling a tremendous amount of guilt. It was causing her to lash out. All she wanted to do was protect Helen, and she felt like she failed. I didn't understand why she would think that. After all, if she didn't get there when she did, Helen's injuries would have been a lot worse. I was the one who sat back and let it all happen. Although I felt an enormous amount of sympathy towards Lindsay in the sense that she shouldn't have had to experience such a trauma, I also thought that she could have been a little more sensitive towards me. I was overwhelmed with feelings of guilt. I neglected to protect both her and Helen. Lindsay couldn't see how awful I felt. She was blinded by the intensity of her own emotions.

-Helen's POV-

The unbearable pain I had felt earlier was finally ending. I wouldn't have expected anything less considering the amount of drugs the doctors had given me. The nurses kept saying how lucky I was, but what did they know? I wasn't lucky at all. In fact while they were all busy explaining how I should be grateful to be alive I was wishing that I were dead.

One very insistent nurse must have asked at least ten times if I had ever been 'sexually assaulted', as she so nicely put it. She claimed it was standard procedure but I knew she was just curious. Maybe she was new and wanted to meet her first victim. I refused to be that victim.

I had sworn to myself that no one would ever find out about the rape, and now Lindsay knew. Our whole relationship was going to change and I wasn't ready…it was too big of a step. What if she already told Bobby, I thought. I could never deal with that.

My mind was playing tricks on me. I couldn't focus on a single thought for more than a few seconds. I kept replaying how Lindsay knocked David out. I didn't know she had that in her. I was thankful for her quick thinking. After all, what would have happened if she never stopped by? On the other hand, as much as I tried to keep the feelings out, part of me still wished that David locked the door behind him, and she was never able to get inside. I hated how she saw me down on the floor; defenseless. What would she think of me?

I was so caught up in my own thoughts that I didn't even notice Lindsay had walked into my room.

"How are you doing?" Her voice couldn't have been more sympathetic.

"Okay…only three ribs are broken. Could be a lot worse." I tried to make the situation seem lighter.

"I guess so…by the way, I'm um, sorry about the vase."

Was she actually apologizing over a broken vase?…unbelievable. "I didn't like that one anyway." Once again I tried to lighten the mood. I've never quite mastered the concept of comic relief, but I was willing to do anything to change the subject. It was useless. She just sat there staring blankly. I couldn't stand it. "Lindsay…what you did. I can't thank you enough. I mean, I don't know what would have happened if.."

"Don't think about the 'ifs' now, Helen. It's over."

"I feel like its only just begun."

"You'll get through this, I know you will." She tried to sound optimistic but I could see the uncertainty lurking in her eyes.

"I hope so…uh, what happened to David anyway?" Part of me worried about him though I had no idea why.

"He just had a mild concussion and needed a few stitches. The doctor didn't seem too concerned."

"Oh…" I looked up at Lindsay. She was staring straight back at me again. My mind began to trail off. Before I could even transition between thoughts, I was focused on the fact that she knew about the rape. "How are you even looking at me right now?" I didn't mean to bring up the subject, but my mind was overflowing and I needed to try and let a few thoughts go.

"What do you mean?"

"David told you everything, Lindsay."

She took a breath. "It doesn't make me think any less of you. In fact, I envy your courage."

"What courage? I did nothing to try and stop David. I let everything happen."

"Just the idea that you were willing to go back home on your own. I know that I couldn't have done that."

I didn't want her complimenting me. I had to change the subject. "You didn't tell Bobby about the uh…" I couldn't even bare to say the word rape in front of her, it was too difficult.

She shook her head. "I figured I would check with you before I said a word."

"I don't want him to know. No one was ever supposed to know. I swore to myself no one would ever…"

"You couldn't have kept it inside forever." I was in no mood to hear this from her. She had no idea.

"I could have…but if anyone were to find out, I'm glad it's you."

"Yea, me too." It was a relief to see Lindsay attempt a smile. Unfortunately her grin soon faded. "I'm so sorry, Helen." I just gave her a look. What in the world did she have to be sorry for? "I should have gotten there sooner…if I did…none of this would have happened."

"Lindsay, look at me." Her eyes looked exhausted. "Didn't you just tell me to stop thinking about the 'ifs'? Don't you realize that if you showed up any earlier you would have walked in on David and I having a conversation. There wouldn't have been any reason for the police to even consider him as anything more than an annoying ex-boyfriend. He would have just missed his chance to take revenge and he'd wait until a better opportunity." I was telling her the truth…whether she chose to believe it was up to her.

We sat in silence for a few seconds. "Are you going to press charges?" I knew Lindsay would ask sooner or later. I would have pressed charges for assault…but most definitely not for rape.

"No." Short, simple, and right to the point.

"Helen--"

"It would ruin me and it's not worth it. So, no."

"Don't you want these guys to go away? They violated--"

I cut her off. "I don't want to press charges, okay?" I wasn't angry with her, I just wanted to end the conversation.

She nodded and looked down at the floor. "Fine".

I could tell by her voice that she was beginning to get upset. "Hey, are you okay?" I was concerned. She had been through way too many traumatic experiences. At first I figured that this would just be another one added to the list. I didn't realize how hard it would be for her to cope.

"Yeah. Um listen, Bobby wants to see you too. I have to go get him before visiting hours are over, okay?"

"I don't have to stay overnight, you know that right?"

"Well, yeah but you know." she wasn't making much sense. She headed out the door, but before she left, Lindsay turned around one more time. "and Helen…your secrets safe with me…I promise."

I was so relieved to hear her speak those last few words. There are not many people in this world who I can really trust. It was comforting to know that Lindsay would bring my secret to the grave with her. She has always supported me no matter how childish or serious the situation may be. I guess I'm pretty lucky after all. I knew she didn't want to keep quiet about the rape. She wanted those jerks to get locked up and pay for what they had done. Lindsay would wrap herself up in a fantasy that she could get all four men in jail for at least five years. I, on the other hand, knew that the evidence was lacking…I never even reported a rape! They would never get convicted. It wouldn't be worth the time and money to even bother trying. It's not that I didn't want those men to pay for what they had done, I just had more of a realistic outlook than Lindsay did. Besides, if I hoped to even attempt to move on, I would first have to learn to let go.

-Lindsay's POV-

I took a few moments to assess my surroundings. To the right, there was a couple in each others arms. To the left, a man holding a baby. It seemed like everyone around me had someone there…someone to hold. I, on the other hand, was alone. Sure, Bobby was with me, but it was different. First of all, I couldn't completely open up to him. I swore to Helen I wouldn't speak a word about the rape, and I had every intention of keeping my word…it was just going to be so hard. Secondly, Bobby wanted to make all of my problems disappear. He thought with just a few words everything would be fine again. He expected too much out of me and I didn't want to let him down when his 'magical methods of healing' didn't work.

There was so much going on inside of me, yet all I felt was emptiness. I had to keep reminding myself that I had just experienced a trauma. It's kind of like hearing a great joke. When you hear this joke for the first time it makes you laugh. You know you're laughing because this joke is funny, because it triggered something in your mind. However, after you keep hearing this same joke over and over again you gradually stop finding it so hilarious. You begin to wonder why it's even considered humorous, but you can't bring yourself to forget how it once made you feel. In your gut you know this joke is funny, so you laugh anyway. You force it to trigger your mind like it had done in the past. You feel as if you almost have no choice.

It was the same idea with me. I actually forgot why I needed to feel traumatized, but I knew it was appropriate for the situation. It came to the point where I was feeling so much that I began to feel nothing at all. It was like my emotions completely abandoned me, like they thought I was a waste of time. I can't describe the numbness I experienced, but I wouldn't wish it on my worst enemies. I was lost within my own mind. I wanted to crawl up inside myself and break away from reality. I needed to get away from all the drama, all the pain, all the trauma. There were so many tears I couldn't cry. So much pain I couldn't feel. I couldn't take it. I didn't feel guilt anymore, but I certainly wasn't relieved. I didn't feel anxiety, but I wasn't calm. I didn't even feel remorse, but all wasn't forgiven.

I wondered what was going on with Bobby and Helen. Knowing Bobby he was probably sitting there holding her hand, explaining how everything would work out; that she had nothing to worry about. She'd probably believe him. One look into those blue eyes and you'd believe just about anything he told you. I thought about what was going to happen to David. I never wanted to become involved in something like this, and Helen knew it. She would end up paying for a fancy dinner or something to make it up to me. I knew in time that she would move on. She'd pick herself up, and everything would be okay, just like Bobby would tell her.

I focused down on my hands, which were now shaking, in order to try and escape from those surrounding me. I placed my hands firmly on my lap and held them there, but they still shook. I tried to fold them together but I couldn't get them to stop trembling. It was then I noticed that my knees were shaking too. I tried to lock them, but of course it was no use. Here I was, rattling in my seat, and I couldn't even make it stop.

The world was spinning around me to the point where I had to close my eyes. I expected vivid mental images from the encounter I had with David, but I saw nothing…only black. I tried to force a picture into my head to take away from the complete darkness, but I couldn't. Why was I feeling this way? I had been through so much already, you would think I could handle my own emotions. I kept telling myself how strong I was, yet the shaking never subsided. Helen's the one who should be suffering, I thought. After all, she was the victim…not me. I hated myself for thinking that way, but I couldn't help it.

Out of the corner of my eye I saw Bobby walking towards me. For some reason my body began to tense up as he sat down. I looked down at my hands which were still trembling. "I can't get them to stop…they won't stop shaking, I can't-" My voice was almost unrecognizable. Bobby didn't say anything, he just took my hands in his. "Bobby, I'm so sorry about before…it was just…I just…" Completing a sentence was definitely out of the question. "I know". His voice barely a whisper as he brushed the side of my face with his palm. He tucked the loose hairs behind my ears and looked straight at me. It burned my eyes to even look at him. The pressure building up was too intense. I tried to resist but I wasn't strong enough. A single drop rolled down my cheek. Bobby gently guided me into his arms. Within a few seconds the tears started pouring out. Everything that had been locked inside finally had the chance to escape. Bobby never said a word. He knew he didn't have to. He realized he couldn't make everything go away with a few words. He was beginning to understand.