Brian went to go see Nick the next day, which was Saturday….but Nick wasn’t there anymore. He’d been taken home. Hurrying as fast as he could, Brian went to find Amanda.
“What’s wrong, Brian?”
“That bitch took him out….Nick’s not at the hospital anymore.” he said bitterly through his teeth.
“Oh god. Brian, she’s gonna kill him. I think she meant what she said in his room. We need to tell someone.” Amanda whispered. She kept thinking of how scared Nick looked and couldn’t bear to think of anything happening to him.
“I think you’re right, but she’s lied to the hospital about Nick already. We need proof she’s hurting him.”
“How are we gonna do that?” Amanda asked. Brian took her by the hand and they ran towards his house.
“Come on, I got an idea but we also need to talk to my dad after, he’s a police officer.”
Nick knew it was all over when his mother had shown up to collect him from the hospital. He’d been silent and so had she until they got home, his arm in a sling, a cast protecting it.
“Did you think you would get away with this, you piece of shit?” she screamed, throwing a chair out of her way as she advanced on a trembling Nick in front of her. He backed away and tripped, falling down. She took the opportunity to grab him by his hair, pulling violently as he cried out.
“Mom….please…” he begged, his face twisted in pain.
“WHAT DID YOU TELL THEM?” she yelled. Her hand came across his face swiftly.
“Nothing! I swear, I said-”
She kicked him in the side and dragged him across the floor as he struggled. Nick begged for her to stop but she quickly silenced him. He knew his lip was bleeding but couldn’t do anything about it. He managed to get away from her and crawled towards the door, but another kick in his side rendered him helpless.
“You’re going downstairs.” she growled, dragging him again. Nick was trying not to hurt his broken arm any further. He begged again for her to stop, but once more he was ignored.
Amanda and Brian watched as Nick was dragged across the kitchen. When she began to hit him again, Brian set the camera down to wipe his eyes.
“Brian, we got enough. GO!” she yelled. Brian took off running and found his dad in the driveway at home. Harold was the police captain.
“Where’s the fire, son?”
“Dad, Nick’s in trouble. Come on!”
Amanda watched helplessly as Nick was struck again and again…until she heard sirens. Nick’s mother didn’t let it faze her. From where Amanda was sitting she could see his nose bleeding, at least she thought it was from his nose.
“Hang on, Nick. Just a little longer.”
The police arrived not long after and took Jane out of the house, her kicking and screaming to be released as an officer stayed with Nick until paramedics arrived. Amanda was allowed to go in and he lay crumpled on the floor, drowning in his sobs.
“Shhh. Come here…” Amanda said. At first he hesitated, but Nick allowed her to hold him and he buried his face in her shirt, sobbing.
“What’s going to happen to me?” he whispered, his tear filled eyes staring into hers. She just held him and didn’t answer, as the paramedics arrived and took him to the hospital. Brian’s father drove them over and she could see Brian near tears himself.
“Buck up, Brian. If you’re going to be an officer like me, you need to get used to this. We don’t cry…..that shows weakness.”
Brian was silent, he just looked down at his feet. Nick was finally in his room after a few hours, the hospital keeping him for observation. He didn’t have any major injuries, just a lot of bruising and cuts.
“Hey, buddy. Looking better already.” Brian said as they went into the room. Nick still looked quite pale but he smiled when he saw his friends. There was a tray of food left unattended like before. Amanda felt bad for him, even though he wasn’t with her anymore…Nick was so used to eating very little. There was only half a sandwich on the plate but everything else was left.
“Where am I going to go?” Nick asked, breaking the silence. Brian and Amanda looked at each other, trying to think of something to say.
“What do you mean, Nick?”
“I have nowhere to go. I can’t go back home….I have no other family that I know of. I don’t want to go to a orphanage.” Nick whispered shakily. Amanda wished her aunt would take him in, but Brian spoke up.
“My dad will take care of it, Nick. Don’t worry. I’m sure he’s looking into it right now.” he said.
“You should eat something. Get your strength back.” Amanda suggested with a smile.
“I’m not hungry right now. Just tired.” Nick said. Amanda and Brian left Nick even though she didn’t want to, she wanted to stay with him.
“I’m used to being alone, it’s okay.” Nick assured them.
“Brian, is your dad really looking into finding somewhere for Nick to go?” Amanda asked when they went out to his father’s car.
“He’s talking to my mom, but Nick might come stay with us so he can still go to our school. We’ll know by the time Nick is ready to come home from the hospital.”
Amanda got into Harold’s car, hoping things would turn out for the best. She didn’t know why….but part of her would be heartbroken if Nick went to a foster home. Amanda wasn’t sure of this feeling but she cared for Nick more than she would a normal friend.
She guessed more would come to light as time went by.