Chapter8

Spinner finally convinced Marco to go home around six o' clock. It wasn't quite dark yet, but it definitely would be soon, and Spinner didn't think Marco would want to be walking all over the city all alone at night. He had reminded Marco that he was supposed to be going to Craig's house to pick up his bag about an hour before six, but it took Marco a while of putting it off before he agreed to finally meet up with Craig. While Marco was actually avoiding his meeting with Craig on purpose, he knew Craig would probably be pretty angry if he showed up any more late than he already would be.

Marco thanked Spinner for taking time to hang out with him, and headed over to Joey's house. Spinner had offered to give him a ride, but Marco actually wanted time to think before getting there, so he declined the offer and walked instead. The entire time he was walking, he tried to think of a convincing lie to tell Craig about what had happened. He couldn't think of anything that didn't seem too far-fetched, but it made him think that he probably should just tell Craig the truth. While he didn't want word to get around Degrassi and possibly back to his parents, he knew he could trust Craig not to tell anyone. Craig was his loyal friend; Marco didn't have to worry about him spreading gossip.

Marco walked up the front stairs of Joey's house and knocked on the door. After only a few seconds Joey opened the door and smiled at him, "oh, hey, Marco," he greeted him, "Craig's up in his room."

"Thank you," Marco smiled back. He walked passed Joey and up the stairs leading to Craig's room.

Craig's door was open, but Marco saw that his friend was presently sitting on his bed writing in a notebook. He wasn't paying attention, and didn't see Marco. Marco didn't want to simply walk in, so he knocked on the door frame to catch Craig's attention.

"Marco!" Craig smiled, "I thought you were going to bail on me," he stood up and walked over to his desk, where Marco's bag lay. He picked it up and handed it to Marco, "do you want to stay for a while? I was just writing a song."

Marco nodded. He sat down on Craig's desk chair and looked at Craig who sat back down on his bed. For a moment the two were silent. Marco sighed, "Craig?"

"Yeah?" Craig looked up from his notebook where he had resumed writing.

"I think I should tell you what happened... just so you'll know and not make any incorrect assumptions," Marco told him, "you are my friend... so I can trust you not to tell anyone."

"Of course!" Craig exclaimed, "but listen, Marco... Don't feel like I'm forcing you to tell me, okay? If you don't want to tell me yet, I'll understand. I shouldn't have tried to force it out of you earlier."

"It's okay, Craig," Marco assured him, "you should know. You already know something happened, so you might as well know what it was."

"Alright," Craig agreed, standing and walking over to the door and shutting it, "I promise I won't tell a soul."

Marco smiled slightly. He inhaled deeply and then began his story, "Okay... at the party the other night... you know that Dylan was seeing other guys, and I was really mad, right?"

"Yeah," Craig said.

"Well, I was mad, so I told him to stop seeing other people. He wouldn't agree to that and he told me I should see other people too. I was so mad, Craig... and I wanted to make him feel as bad as I did- I wanted to make him jealous... So I found a guy standing in the corner," Marco closed his eyes and breathed in and then continued, "I started talking to him and I decided I would go back to his room to make Dylan jealous... I only wanted Dylan to see us leave together. I didn't even really want to be there. I just wanted Dylan to be jealous..."

Craig's eyes were wide as his full attention was focused on Marco's story. His eyes showed that he wanted to ask an assortment of questions all at once, but he didn't interrupt.

"So he started kissing me... which I didn't really like, but I was going to just let him, so he wouldn't be mad that I led him to believe I was interested when I really wasn't... but he started getting too rough, so I told him that I wanted to leave... but he wouldn't let me go. I told him 'No,' but he held me down and hit me when I tried to get away," Marco told him.

Craig fully intended on keeping his own mouth shut until Marco was finished with the explanation, but now Marco had stopped his story before it seemed finished. Craig saw that his friend's lip was quivering as he tried to keep his composure, "Marco... did he..." Craig hesitated, "Did he rape you?" Craig didn't want to say it, but he had to know.

Marco shook his head. Tears were now silently flowing down his cheeks, "No... but I really think he would have... Dylan found me... I was yelling for help, but Derek hit me every time I said anything... I guess Dylan heard me... and he found me just in time."

"But the guy got arrested, right?" Craig asked, sounding extremely concerned for his friend.

"Yeah," Marco told him, "but not immediately. I went to the police the next day, with Dylan, and I guess they never arrested him... maybe they couldn't find him-I don't know... Because later that night when I was in the common room at Dylan's dorm he found me. He said he wanted to talk to me and was trying to force me to go to his room... I didn't know what he would do, so I ran to Dylan's room and we called the police. They arrested him... but Craig?" Marco paused as though he wasn't sure of what to say.

"Yeah?" Craig looked at him.

Marco sighed, "I still feel scared... I mean, I know he's in jail... or in police custody or wherever they took him... but I still feel afraid for some reason."

"That's perfectly normal," Craig told him, "you know... I never told you this, but when my dad was alive, he used to beat me. He'd get angry really easily if I did something he didn't like, and he'd hit me. That's why I lived here with Joey even before my dad died. I'm sure you may have heard through rumours at school..."

"I did hear rumours," Marco's quiet voice informed him, "I just didn't think they were true."

"Well... even when I got away from him and moved in with Joey, I still felt nervous sometimes... I knew he couldn't do anything. He wasn't even anywhere near me, but I still felt afraid sometimes and I didn't even have a reason to be. So you aren't alone... It'll get better though," Craig told him, "he can't hurt you anymore, Marco, but it's okay to still feel a little uneasy sometimes. You just have to try to get your life back to normal and show yourself that one guy isn't a proper representation of everyone. There are so many people in your life who would never do something like that to you, so you don't have to always feel nervous."

Marco smiled as he reached up and wiped the tears off of his own cheeks, "I know, Craig. Thank you for talking to me... I didn't want to tell you at first, but now I'm glad I did. I guess I was afraid you would think the whole thing was my fault for being stupid enough to go up to a strange guy's room. I was so stupid... but you are really understanding and I'm glad I talked to you. You're a really good friend."

"So are you, Marco," Craig agreed, "and I'll let you know, I don't talk to just anyone about my dad. I just want you to know that I sort of know how you feel, in a way, and that everything is going to be fine. You'll get through this. And you aren't stupid, Marco. Maybe it was a bad decision, but look who you are talking to. I've made more bad decisions than anyone I've ever met," he smiled.

Marco laughed, "you have made some pretty bad choices," he agreed.

Craig laughed as well, "so you'll be back at school tomorrow?" he asked, "no more skipping class to go hang out with Spinner?"

Marco nodded, "yeah. I'll be in class. I just hope no one else asks me what happened. I'm sure Ellie will. She can never leave anything alone. I know it's just because she gets worried about people, but I really don't want to talk to her about this."

"Maybe she won't notice," Craig said.

Marco laughed, "yeah... sure. It's pretty noticeable, Craig. I'm surprised no one asked before you did. I got a lot of curious looks, but I guess most people were afraid to ask."

"You could always just tell her what you told me in gym class, about moving boxes," Craig suggested, "try to be a little more convincing though. Of course, I wouldn't recommend that you lie to your friends," he added, "just if you aren't ready to tell her yet, you could hold off on the truth for the time being."

"Well put, Craig," Marco smiled, "hold off on the truth..." Marco sighed and looked over at Craig's alarm clock by his bed, "Well, I guess I should be going," Marco told him.

"Alright," Craig responded.

Marco picked up his bag and walked down stairs, followed by Craig. Marco opened the door and walked outside while Craig stood in the doorway.

"I'll see you tomorrow," Craig told him.

Marco nodded. He looked down the sidewalk. There weren't many people walking about in this neighbourhood. It was quite dark by now, and honestly Marco was extremely nervous. It wasn't even just about Derek though. He knew Derek was in police custody, and even if he wasn't, he didn't know where Marco or Craig lived. There would be no way that he could even happen to run into him. Marco just simply didn't like walking around by himself at night. Especially not after the incident in the park.

"Craig... Um... this is going to sound stupid... but do you think you could give me a ride?" Marco asked, looking nervously up at Craig, "I'll pay for the gas."

"Of course!" Craig exclaimed, "you don't have to pay for the gas though. It's not that far. I'll go get my keys and tell Joey I'm leaving."

Marco smiled and Craig went inside to get his car keys. He was glad Craig accepted his request without making a big deal of it. Marco knew that Craig could probably see that he was unusually nervous, but instead of pointing it out, Craig had remained casual in his speech and actions.

Craig drove him home and reminded him that he expected to see him in class the next day. Marco agreed to his request and thanked him again for the talk and the ride, then went inside his house. He had been so nervous to tell anyone what had happened, but he was actually very glad he had told Craig. He hadn't known Craig would be so understanding and kind to him. Marco smiled as he walked into his house. Tomorrow he would go to school and try to get his life back to normal. For the first time in a few days, he really did feel like he was going to make it through this and back to normality.

xxxxxx

I really don't know where to go from here. That's why I stopped posting last time... I have a part of the next chapter written, but I don't know what I'm trying to do... If anyone has any suggestions, let me know. Maybe I can work with them...

What I'm thinking now, is that I might just write one or two more chapters with Marco and Dylan, showing that Marco is getting over this and that he and Dylan will "live happily ever after," so to speak... Just to let you know though, so there will be no disappointment, I don't write sex scenes, so there will be none of that. I think a couple people may have asked about that in reviews. I just don't like writing about actual sex... We can just assume it happens sometime in there... O_O