I ran down the stairs two at a time, sprinting through the living room and crashing into the front door so hard that I sent it slamming into the front of the house. I brushed past my friends, barely making it to the car before the sobs overtook me and I collapsed in a ball on the driveway.
"Bridget…?" I buried my face in my knees and leaned against the car as Tibby put her arms around me. "Bee…what happened? Is it Lena? Is she okay?"
Gasping for air, I wiped furiously at tears that were coming faster than I could erase them. Pushing Tibby away, I shook my head and continued to cry.
"Bee? Talk," Carmen commanded, leaning against the hood of the car.
I finally succeeded in escaping Tibby grasp, and I struggled to my feet, banging aimlessly on the door of the car. "I hate this!" I screamed angrily. "I hate all of this! I hate that I'm weak. I hate that I'm not the person that I used to be…before…I shouldn't have left her there, I wouldn't have left her, I…can't…" My hands shook as I struck the car again and again.
"Bee…?" Tibby asked.
"She's…a liar…" I whispered, the anger slowly leaking out of me and being replaced by something else entirely. "She lied to me."
"What did she lie about?"
I shook my head again, opening the car door as all of my energy seeped out of me so I could sink onto the seat. "Tibs…"
"He's…Paul…he's hurting her."
"What?" Tibby gasped.
Carmen came around the car and slipped into the driver's seat, shutting the door behind her. "That's ridiculous," she said. "Paul's always been a great guy, he would never…"
"He's hurting her," I interrupted Carmen. "I saw her. With my own eyes." I realized I was crying again, and absently swiped at my cheeks. "I saw her…but she lied to me. She told me it was nothing, that everything was fine."
Carmen's fingers tightened around the steering wheel as she took in what I was saying.
"I saw her, Carma…I…She's my best friend…and I…I just…know."
"Oh…wow…" Carmen whispered.
Tibby sank down on her butt right on the gravel of the driveway.
"I think she's really hurt…" I added. "And…she's pregnant."
Carmen's face turned sheet white and tears streamed down her cheeks as she laid her hands across her own pregnant belly. Ripping open the car door, she threw herself out and sank to her knees on the driveway, retching violently. When the heaving subsided, she wiped her mouth on her sleeve and rocked back so that she was leaning against the car. Tibby and I came and sat beside her.
"What do we do?" she whispered.
"Does she even know it's a….problem? She lied to me, to my face, when I could see the evidence, and I just…" My cell phone vibrated once in my pocket, and I pulled it out to view a new text message. "It's from Lena," I whispered, flipping open the phone so that Tibby and Carmen could see. 'I lied…Bee…I lied to you. Just now. I'm so sorry…"
"Answers that question…" Tibby muttered.
"I don't want to leave her here…with him," I whispered.
"We can't," Carmen agreed. "But what can we do? Call the police?"
"What if he hurts her?" I argued.
Tibby got to her feet, reaching back to dust off her butt. "I'm going to talk to her. I'm going to get her out."
Before Carmen and I could stop her, Tibby had crossed the driveway and climbed the front steps, and was already pounding on the front door.