Outbound Lane An Unspoken Truth Novella (Unspoken Truth Series)

 

Outbound Lane
             

An
Unspoken Truth Novella
                                                       
By Renea Porter

Dedications

I would not even be here typing this is it wasn’t for you readers, and your love for it. So here’s to you!

 

 

             
                           
Acknowledgements

First of all I want to acknowledge my husband, who listens to me ta
lk about my characters on a constant basis. His support means the world to me and he is my biggest fan!

Also would like to thank my cover designer Kari at Cover to Cover Designs
. And my editor who is awesome.

I’d also like to thank my beta readers who have been with me since the beginning as they continue to support me.

I’d also like to shout out to several bloggers who have supported me and who have begged for more as I continued to write this series. The Pink Bookshelf, Amazeballs Book Addicts, Book Cracker Caroline, Ramblings of a Book Lunatic and finally The Book Fairy. I apologize if I left anyone out.

And finally to Alisa B. for listening t
o my crazy ideas on a daily basis and always has my back on my decisions. And I’m so thankful for our friendship.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Table of Contents

Contents

Prologue

Chapter One

Chapter Two

Chapter Three

Chapter Four

Chapter Five

Chapter Six

Chapter Seven

Chapter Eight

Chapter Nine

Chapter Ten

Epilogue

 

 

 

 

 

 

Prologue

 

Ten
Years Earlier

“Come here
, you little bitch!” He yanks on me. “If you even as much as scream, I will kill your family, every last one of them, and make you suffer,” he said with gritted teeth. This has been going on for a month now. The neighbor that my parents envy, and even consider a family friend, has been repeatedly raping me. And I have been keeping it a secret. I just try to block it out as much as possible. My brain takes me far away while he has his filthy disgusting hands groping all over me. I’ve shed enough tears, that I’m just numb to it now.

He’s ruined me from the inside out. I shouldn’t have to endure this. No one should. He forces my head down there, and I gag on it every time he makes me do it. He makes me feel ugly and dirty, like I brought this on myself. I know he is just a sick bastard. When he finishes
, he pushes me aside, which is my queue to get out of his sight, like I’m a disgusting animal.

It all started when my parents were in a pinch and needed a sitter; they didn’t like to leave me by myself, even at
ten years old, but they trusted a monster. So he started doing things to me almost right away. At first, he would complement on how pretty I was. Then he would touch my legs, every time his hands would move a little higher until he reached the point where he just did what he wanted. I want to scream and beg him to stop but he won’t. He has threatened to kill my family if I say anything. Something in his eyes makes me believe him.

Not long after that I started making myself thro
w up afterward. Maybe because I thought I could get rid of him and the feel of him on me. Then it just progressed to more frequent trips to throw up. I’d do it after eating, after he had his hands on me, and whenever I felt the need to. I needed control, control over something since it felt like my world was turned upside down. He took my virginity away from me, ruined me for the man I would wait for. Ruined me from having a first crush, and ruined my personality. I used to be outgoing and happy; I had a good childhood up to that point.

As I got older, he wouldn’t do it as frequent
ly, but it would still happen. It was like he would know when my parents were away or out of town. I started wearing baggy clothes to hide my frail frame. My health was deteriorating and no one noticed. I couldn’t even stay home from school sick for fear he would come over, or drag me over to his place. He would give me weird looks whenever my parents would invite him over, like he was taunting me.

So eventually I learned to keep my head down, my heart guarded and prayed a college would accept me, one that was far away from here
. I would never return, given the chance. Once I was accepted in OSU, I had noticed him doing it to another girl, I felt sick, like I needed to throw up. Finally, I spoke up and let it all out in the open and he was arrested. My parents weren’t too happy with me about not telling them right away. He sneered at me when I watched the policemen putting him the back of their car. What he did to me and that other neighborhood girl can never be undone, but it won’t be happening again. He couldn’t hurt me anymore. But the damage was done, after so many years of enduring it. Even with him being away, I still kept to myself. It worked; no one noticed me and people left me alone for the most part. I can’t even stand to be touched; I will have a total meltdown, like I will totally freak the hell out. This is the damage and it’s so much worse than I can even explain. I’ve never even kissed a boy, or made out with one. I shudder at the thought. Yeah, I check guys out; I’m not completely dead. But I never got to experience those things, because he took those away from me. I was a victim of my own body. The nightmares lingered long after he was arrested, but my shattered soul would never recover from it. I only just existed for the sake of my parents. They did everything they could to comfort me as I cried myself to sleep. The world beat me down, and it was colorless. The world was a cruel place.

Chapter One

 

BEING IN
COLLEGE HAS BEEN an escape. During my sophomore year, I’ve finally taken matters into my hands and I’m trying to get the help I need. It also helps to be rooming with my best friend, Renee. I never knew I would let my heart open up to accept someone into my life. But she has been helping me along the way. We met in the support group I attend at the college; something in her eyes told me she was good, and needed a friend just as bad as I did. We clicked from then on and have been friends since. She keeps after me, making sure that I eat the right things and taking care of my health.

I
envy her, and how quick she started to accept the changes she made. She looks great. I want that, too. And then I met
him
and I really wanted to make a change in myself, not only for myself. If I even want a shot at love, I need to make the changes necessary to move on with my life and quit being stuck in the past. However, that is easier said than done.

My best friend and I just moved into an apartment together
; we got it just off campus. But now that school is out for the summer, she is traveling with Layne as he starts his pro racing career. So I have the place to myself for the whole summer, and I refuse to go home, back to my own personal hell. My parents put the house up for sale, but with today’s market it might be hard. I still talk to them often and I don’t blame them for what happened to me. I just don’t want to go back there, and they respect my wishes. I think they feel guilty for what happened, for not seeing the signs, so now they help me pay for college and I don’t really need the part time job at the pizzeria, but I do it so I have some responsibility and extra money. I don’t like depending on them for everything.

I still go
to my weekly support group meeting for eating disorders. Of course, it is not the same without Renee there. Just as I am leaving from the support group, I exit the room and bump right into Cole.

“Whoa there
, Blondie.”

“Oh my god, I’m so sorry. I wasn’t paying attention,” I say nervously. 

I met Cole about six months ago through Renee, and we have been tip toeing around each other ever since. I watch as he adjusts the strap of his bag on his shoulder.

“Where are you headed?” h
e asks, showing off his wicked smile.

“Home. You?” We stand in the hall, and it feels like we are the only ones there, even when students are brushing past us.

“I just got done working out. I was going to get a bite to eat. Would you want to join me?”


No. Yes. I don’t know,” The words fail me as I stutter, not beginning to even make a decision. Cole chuckles. Even though I know Cole, and he is a nice guy, he doesn’t know the secrets I carry around with me, the ones that are buried deep down. Only Renee knows, being in the same support group and then I told her all of it when we went out for coffee one day after the meeting. I knew she could relate to my story since we have similar stories. Maybe that’s why we became good friends.

“It’s only dinner. I just want to get to know you better. If you’re not comfortable
, you never have to see me again.”

He doesn’t know how serious my problem is. If I were him
, I would run the opposite direction. He loops his thumb under the strap of his bag, while I contemplate my decision. My heartbeat kicks up as I silently weigh the pros and cons. And the pros outweigh the cons.

“Okay, fine.”
I brush my long bangs aside, meeting his pool of blues.

“Alright, I’d really like to shower since I’m all sweaty. Can I pick you up at seven?”

“Sure, that’s fine. I’ll see you later then,” I say nervously, walking in the opposite direction. Hurriedly, I walk to my apartment. Once inside, I start to panic, pacing back and forth. I said yes to Cole without thinking it through and this will be the first time we’ve ever been alone. Normally, Renee or Layne have around been around. I will be alone with Cole. Oh. God.

I take a shower and try to ease my mind. Once he knows about my past and how damaged I really am
, he’ll run the opposite direction. I have too much baggage I carry around. And once he finds out I don’t like to be touched, he’ll probably think I’m a freak. I am not normal.
So much for trying to ease my mind.

Once I’m out of the shower
, I blow dry my blonde hair and curl the ends. I line my brown eyes with a little eye liner and I put thick mascara over my eyelashes; then I finish the look by adding a light tinted lip gloss. I throw on a pair of skinny jeans and a dressy tank top and a pair of flats. I should cancel the date; actually, I didn’t expect this to be a date. I thought he was asking to go right then. If it is a date, it’s the first one I’ve ever been on. I’ve never dated, kissed, or even held hands with a guy. It’s hard for me to trust people, given my experience years ago. A knock on the door interrupts my thoughts.

Once I answer it, I see Cole on the other side of
the door. “Hello,” I say shyly offering a smile.

“You ready to go?”

“I am.”

I grab my keys off the key hook and my purse from the table by the door, pulling the door shut behind me. We walk side by side down the stairs to his truck.
My nerves kick in and the butterflies flutter inside my stomach. He opens the passenger door and helps me in, then shuts it for me. I’ll admit, I’m a nervous wreck. What if there is an awkward silence between us? What if we have nothing in common other than our friends? He walks around the truck and positions himself behind the wheel, throwing a smile my way. His truck is nice, not new but I could tell he takes good care of it. 

“You look nice.” H
e smiles as he starts up the truck.

“Thank you. I wasn’t sure what to wear. You look like nice
, too.” He has on a pair of dark colored jeans, a green polo shirt and topped it off with a baseball cap his signature look. I don’t mind that he wears a baseball cap, but it’s a shame to hide such nice hair. I watch as we pass the pizza shop that I work at.

“I work there,” I point.

“Maybe I’ll have to stop in one night and try it out. Do you work certain days?”

“I work Tuesdays and Wednesday
s,” I tell him.

“Have you even been to a Japanese restaurant?”

“I have, but it’s been such a long time.”

“That’s where I am taking you. They cook in front of you on a flat grill.”

I smile. “Sounds fun.”

We arrive at the restaurant,
and as we walk inside Cole puts his hand on the small of my back and I immediately clench up. He takes charge and lets the hostess know that we are a party of two. She grabs two menus and leads us to a big square table with a grill in the center. I see a few folks seated across from us and they smile at us.

“Smells
good in here.” I try to take in the smell and what’s going on around me.

“Did you want to get something for two and watch them cook it in front of us?” Cole turns to me.

“Yes; you can order for us. But I’m not a fan of seafood.”

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