Mitchell left the house, heading right, on his way to pick up another packet of cigarettes. He walked quickly, pulling the collar of his jacket up to shield him from the wind. As he approached an alleyway he heard a whimper as flesh smacked against flesh. As he reached the opening of the alley he smelt blood. Anxious to continue staying 'clean', he took a step away from the direction of the scent.
He made it two steps before he heard her cry out.
He quickly turned back the way he came, running down the alley, tracking the scent. He needn't have bothered; after turning left once he saw them: the girl and her rapist.
I was afraid. I tried to fight back, but he was too strong. He took me by surprise and dragged me down here. You always hear about these things on the news, but never for one second do you think it'll be you.
My attacker pushed me forwards and I stumbled, and fell to the floor. In response, my ankle screamed in pain. I whimpered pathetically, begging for him to let me go. I couldn't believe myself. He'd taken what- two minutes?
Two minutes and I was broken.
He hit me again; his strikes hard and fast. I begged him to stop over and over, but he just silenced me with a swift slap to my cheek. He brought his face close to mine and tugged my hair to make me look at him.
"You will keep quiet bitc-"
He didn't finish his sentence; his head was knocked to the side by a strong force. My eyes darted upwards to see a man, his hands balled into fists. I tried to rearrange my ripped dress, and salvage what little dignity I had left.
"What do you want?" I asked him, afraid of what he might do to me.
"Well, I just saved you from being raped, so I think it's pretty obvious I don't want to hurt you." The words fell out of his mouth, encased in a blanket of Irish charm.
"Not nessicarily." I snapped. "What's to say you don't want to do exactly what he'd planned to do?"
It surprised me how quick I seemed to have recovered from this event- although it could just be that the shock hadn't sunken in yet.
"Surely if I'd planned on doing that, I would've let you fight him, allow him to finish with you, and then come and collect you afterwards, when you'd have little strength to resist."
I wasn't sure whether to be scared or relieved.
"For someone who's never thought about that before, you seem to have an awfully good plan."
"Who says I haven't thought about it before?" He winked.
He held out his hand. I took it and he pulled me up. I winced as I put weight on my ankle, before opting to stand only on my right leg.
"Are you okay?" He asked.
"Yeah, it's probably just a sprain. I didn't go willingly, you know."
"I gathered. Can you walk?"
"I'll be fine." I insisted, wanting to get away from him as soon as possible.
"Come on then." He turned around as if to leave.
"Wait!" I called. "What about him?" I protested, pointing at my attacker, laying a few feet behind me. Not checking to see if he'd acknowledged my request, I hobbled towards my attacker, very slowly, and lowered myself to the floor. His face was masked with black wool; crudely cut holes for his eyes and mouth. I grabbed it and pulled it off. Bradley?
I looked up to see the Irishman staring down at me questioningly.
"My brothers best friend."
Bradley. He practically lived round our house for Christ sakes. Bradley, who was like a brother to me, had tried to rape me.
The reality of the situation finally got to me; I burst into tears. I felt a hand on my shoulder, and he knelt down beside me. I don't know what it was, but I wasn't scared of him anymore.
"You might not want to watch this." He whispered. I looked at Bradley's face, his eyes just flickering open, and wasn't scared of anyone anymore.
"No." I told him. "I will watch."
He nodded, and grabbed Bradley's collar and shook him awake. He dragged Bradley, pushed him up against a wall, and I watched as his eyes turned from fear to pain. I felt no guilt.