I stop dead in my tracks. I try to keep my feet moving but I can’t, they’re glued to the cement beneath them.
"You didn’t hear anything, just keep walking" I mutter to myself. A puff of steam emits from my lips into the cold, crisp air.
"Fuck you!” a man’s voice echoes through the empty streets. I jump slightly at the noise and suck in my breath before cautiously continuing forward. A loud thump sends shivers down my spine. It’s probably nothing. I can’t help myself to look down the alley to the right though. As soon as I do my eyes go wide with fear. The sight in front of me has my body trembling. I can’t help but be shocked as two men stand only feet away from me, bloody and cussing, still in the midst of the battle. However, it seems one has the upper hand. His body tense, muscles prominent, as he holds the other man to the wall. He has a fist full of the man’s t-shirt balled up in his hands, pinning him to the concrete wall behind them.
"If you come near me again I promise you I’ll do much worse than this." the blonde one snarls to his losing opponent.
I can faintly hear the brown haired boy rebuttal, and my guess is it wasn’t good. The blonde one growls before pulling him off the wall and shoving him to the ground. He raises his arm in the air and begins to pound his fist into the man repeatedly, showing no mercy. Crap. I know I should do something to help but I don’t know how. Before I can finish my thoughts, my body takes over, causing me to swiftly make my way down the alley. I can’t quite register what I’m doing but I muster up some courage.
"Stop!” I yell at the top of my lungs, hoping that I will at least be a distraction and give the man a chance to survive. It works.
"What the hell did you just say?!?” the blonde one spits.
"I….I..you were going to kill him.", my words come out as a stutter and I stumble backwards. The boy gets off of the unconscious man and walks towards me. His fists are clenched and at his side, his knuckles are white and his hands covered in blood. I don’t know why but I’m frozen, I don’t move, I can’t move. The blonde boy’s body is now barely a foot away from me, his breath is coming out in pants and his eyes are staring daggers at me. He raises his hand and I flinch. He merely runs his hand through his hair, making it stick straight up from the sweat collected on his body.
“I don’t hit girls.” he mumbles. I can’t think of anything to say so I stay quiet.
"Although" his voice trails off and all I comprehend is that his body has come in contact with mine. I feel a sharp pain shoot through my back and I wince. My eyes are shut tight but I know where I am. My backs against the wall, the same wall that this blonde stranger was pinning another man to not minutes ago. I open my eyes; our bodies are closer than expected.
"You’re quite a pretty girl to be wandering the streets, at night, alone" he finishes his sentence, emphasizing on the word ‘alone’. His fingertips graze my jawline. I squirm in his grip, trying to escape. He doesn’t flinch, just continues his motions.
"Stop, please" I whimper, wanting to be released, to go home, and to silently curse myself for taking a ‘short cut’ home.
"Shut up!” his voice bellows throughout the alley. I flinch again, diverting my gaze away from him, to the man he just assaulted. He’s struggling to get up but somehow manages. The boy in front of me follows my gaze just in time to see the man run away.
"That’s your fault" the boy growls. I must look confused because he repeats himself.
"That’s your fault that he got away" he clarifies. His voice is so calm; it puts me at an even more uneasy state. To my surprise, he takes a step away from me. I take the opportunity and dart past him. Just as I am about to turn out of the alley I hear something that makes me physically shudder.
"I’ll see you around", his words are slow, haunting me to the bone.