Quietly Beautiful
Kelsey, Age 15, Sewell, NJ

Kelsey ran from the old faded shack of a house in tears. She held her breath as she dashed down the street trying to hold herself together. The red imprint of a hand molded to her cheek. She questioned herself through her cries, why did she have to go through with her mad father? Why couldn't she really escape? Her feet carried her on through the woods and the trees. It was dark and the only thing she could see was the gloomy reflection of the full moon lingering overhead.

"Why can't someone save me?" she whispered." Why can't someone care?" There was a rustle in the trees, and she flinched backing towards an old stump. "Who's there?"
Only there was no answer, just a shadow coming out of the darkness. "I would like to ask the same question." The young man said as his dark black hair glittered in the moonlight. Kelsey grabbed the first thing she could, a long thick branch, as a defense if the man were to try to harm her. He held up his hand, putting on a calm face. "Hey, Hey, I'm not here to hurt you. I just heard you running, I came to investigate." Kelsey panicked face tried to settle, and he raised a thick brow. "You're not from around here are you?"

"No, but what business is that of yours," she snapped.

"Calm down, I am only starting conversation, I am sorry if I scared you. I didn't mean it."

Kelsey loosened her grip on the stick, looking deep into his gorgeous neon green eyes. They were so unusual she had never seen eyes so green. "I'm sorry." She plumped herself down to sit.

"No problem, my name is Sage by the way." He grinned.

"Kelsey." She said plainly, brushing back a strand of reddish brown hair out of her view.

"Pretty name." He smiled.

"What do you want?" She wiped away her tears.

"Nothing, just looking at the stars." He sat down and looked up at the sky. It was like the sky was a dark navy blue blanket with pin holes, poking threw it revealing the stars.

She wiped away another tear. "I guess it's quietly beautiful." She glared up to see them.

"Yes, among other things." When she went down to exchange glances with him his eyes never seemed to move. He seemed to direct his words to her. His thin lips went up in a grin. "I'm sorry, I forgot to mention, we go to school together. I see you all the time, you always seem to need a little help getting around."

"R-Really." She said in an embarrassed tone.

He nodded. "So I guess that means I will escort you home, little lady." He joked with a clever grin.

"I'm not sure if I want to go back." In the trees behind them there was a deep hollow, one that boomed over the ground, making it feel like it was to fall from under them.

"Kelsey Anne!" Her father's voice booked from afar.

Kelsey gulped. "I'm sorry...I have to go." She went to rush off and an arm entangled hers locking it in place. She froze awkwardly.

"Don't worry, he won't hurt you this time."

"How do you know that?"

"Because, if he does then I will have to teach him a lesson." He threatened with the same clever grin.

"This is no joke, I'm afraid." She teared.

"Don't worry..." Sage looked at her and wiped it away. "I will watch over you."

As they quietly walked back to the house, Kelsey felt the arm that was linked to hers break. The fiery hot fingertips brushing her cold arm, he backed away. "I will protect you." He whispered in her ear, making her spin crawl. Then the next second he was gone, like before there was nothing he was only a vision, a dream... She walked inside and her father's booming had stopped.

The next morning she woke up to hear a knock at the creaky old front door. She opened it and there stood Sage, that smirk back on his face, books in hand. "I told you he wouldn't do it again."

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