astrid had always felt like an outcast, her name, Astrid Lokisdottir, was the cause of part of her problems, but, the biggest part, she was blind.
it was the last day of her senior year when true trouble struck.
"hey! princess!" came the voice of Sheron, one of the bullies at her school.
astrid tried to walk faster, but Sheron caught up to her.
"hey! I'm talking to you, you entitled bitch!" Sheron said, shoving her into the lockers. "what's the matter princess? daddy leave you all alone?" Sheron teased. "I wonder why he hasn't come back? oh, that's right, He's dead!"
astrid began to cry.
"awe! did I hurt the little princess's feelings? here, let me make it better." Sheron said, punching astrid in the face, then laughing when she doubled over in pain. but Sheron didn't stop there, no, she shoved astrid down, and began kicking her ruthlessly.
when it finally stopped, astrid was all but unconscious, several bruised and broken ribs evident.
she limped home, thankful that her cane hadn't been broken in the encounter.
when she got home, her mother, Torrin, placed something in her hand.
"a one way ticket to London, you'll be safer there." torrin said, wrapping her arms around her sobbing daughter.
"is dad really dead?" astrid asked.
"I don't know baby, I don't know. but I've already got you packed. come on, we need to get you to the airport." torrin said, shedding a few tears of her own.
at the airport, Torrin said her goodbyes, then left.
the plane ride was long and relatively boring, Astrid slept most of the way.
after she got off the plane she made her way through the airport, when suddenly, she ran into someone. "I'm so sorry." she squeaked.
"it's quite alright, it's my fault, I wasn't paying attention." a kind voice responded. "what's a beautiful young woman like yourself doing all alone?"
"my mom sent me away, to protect me. bullies, quite intense actually, I think they may have bruised a few ribs." Astrid explained.
after the words left her mouth, Astrid could practically feel the anger coming off the man in waves. "why?" was his only response.
"my name... and, i'm blind." Astrid replied.
she heard a gasp from the man, then felt a soft hand on her shoulder.
"come on, let's go somewhere more comfortable to talk." the man said, leading her patiently and gently over to a chair.
"you really don't have to sir." Astrid said, taken aback by the man's kindness.
"you're right, I don't." the man replied, but then added, "I want to."