It was hard for him to believe that she would leave him. Just up and leave him in the middle of the set! He thought they were closer than that, that they could talk to each other about anything. And it hurt, to think that she'd just run off. So now he sat there, on his bed, listening to music, and just thinking. "Owen?" His sister bounded through the door.
"Have you seen my top? The one with Jenny Reef on it?" She was positively beaming, her face looking like it might crack at any moment.
He just looked at her blankly for a moment, "No."
"Oh. How come Annabel hasn't been around lately?" She asks, no change in her mood, and then winks, "Agatha said she saw the two of you kiss."
Owen coughs, nearly choking on his spit before pushing Mallory out of the room, locking the door behind her. He tries to clear his mind, taking deep steady breaths and twirling his rings, but it doesn't work. His mind keeps replaying over and over again the kiss, how her lips were so soft and warm against his, the way it felt to have her whole body leaning into him.
He stopped, letting the feeling of warmth and bliss take over. There was no use denying the fact that he was hopelessly in love with the girl, and she didn't even know it. He made a face before turning over and falling to sleep.
It was only a few weeks (very long ones granted) and then one day, when he was at the station, Annabel came. It was like suddenly he could breathe again, so he did, taking deep breaths, drinking her up. It was insane, the effect she had on him. But he turned to her never the less, looking her in the eye, and asked her, "Why couldn't you just tell me?"
She took a deep breath, her impossibly blue eyes shining, "I just couldn't, I wasn't ready."
"Annabel." Another deep breath, "You always tell me everything, you can tell me anything."
He can see her shake slightly, before she sits on the counter, pulling her legs up towards her, "You have this image of me, that I'm this impossibly strong person. But that's not me! I'm not like you Owen."
His name falling off her tongue gave him shivers but he pushed them aside, focusing on her for the moment, "You are strong. I know you Annabel. I know you."
"I just." She pauses and sucks in an impossibly large sigh, holding her breath before expelling it in a gust of air, "I don't want you to see me any different than you do. I don't want you to hate me."
His mind immediately turned to the worst, she'd lied tohime, she'd done something horrible, stolen, cheated. Pursing his lips he said, "So tell me, and I'll let you know what I think." And so she did, and all my previous thoughts when out the window.
She started off telling him about Clarke, and how Sophie had ruined their friendship, about the modeling and the parties, and her sisters, and then she got down to the part she'd been dreading and her voice started to shake, "Last May, Sophie, W-will and I went to this party. It was fun, we were dancing, and flirting, and just doing what you do at parties." Owen just looked at her, unsure of where she was going with this, "And then, I was looking for Sophie when I was-when I was yanked into this room. I didn't know what was happening at first and then I saw him, Will."
She spat out his name and Owen's blood ran cold. All of a sudden he didn't want to hear anymore, he didn't want to know the end to this story, because he already had a pretty good idea of what she was going to tell him. He thought he might explode if she said it, the tension building in his body was horrible but he let her go on, knowing that she needed to get it out.
"I asked him what he was doing, but he just shook his head, covering my mouth. Shh, Annabel, he said, it's just me." She dragged a heaving sigh, "And I struggled and struggled, but it didn't work. It didn't work! And then he raped me." The pressure in his head spiked but suddenly Owen wasn't thinking of his own problems, it was just Annabel, everything was Annabel right now. "And it hurt so bad. And then Sophie walked in, and there was so much screaming and I was so confused. And I didn't know what to do."
There's tears falling down her face as she looks at him, her whole body trembling. For a second the world is just suspended, the two of them staring at each other, and then she asks, her voice thick with tears, "What do I do Owen?"
It's no more than a whisper, but he hears, and he gets up from the chair, goes to sit next to her, and takes her in his arms. He would have been content to sit there forever, Annabel snuggled into his body, her head resting on his shoulder. But he knew that it couldn't last. She would need to go. But she would be back, and they would have many more conversations.
Annabel clings to him, her hands clutching his shirt as if he was going to leave her. So he smooth's her hair and let's her cry. Knowing that when she's done there will be time for talk. But right now she just needed to let it out, needed to know that someone was there for her. Finally, after what seems like forever and a day, Annabel stops crying and lifts her head of his shoulder.
They don't say anything at first, but stare into each others eyes. It takes a moment but finally, Annabel opens her mouth, "Thank you." She says, "For listening."
Owen just holds her, "Thank you for telling me."