How did I get here?

Over the course of the last year, Reed Johnson's life has made some interesting twists and turns, and sadly, very few of them were for the better. Now, to get her away from the scenes that provoked her post-traumatic stress, her father has chosen to move the family back home to Nazareth in Pennsylvania. Both old and new friends quickly start to make an impact on her life, and pretty soon, Reed is caught up in a web of drama while dealing with a lot of stuff herself. With an already fragile mental health, who knows how she'll end up?

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18. The new roommate...

(Tim's POV)

What just happened? I stood there dumbfounded and watched him walk away. The strange thing is I wasn't even having flashbacks from the beating yesterday or anything. There was only the throbbing pain on my jaw. That guy threw a decent punch. I knew his name. Alex Wright. I also knew that he and Reed were friends. And my reputation at this school wasn't exactly spotless. So maybe that was why. People were staring at me. I turned around and finished my business in my locker, then walked to class.

That day at lunch I found Reed alone by the salad bar. "Come sit with me?" I asked her. She jumped. Apparently she hadn't seen me coming. She turned around to me and said "Sure!" with a bright smile. God I loved that smile. She dumped some olives in her salad and followed me to a table. When we sat down her face turned grave and she asked "Tim what happened? That bruise is new. Is it still going on?" "Yes." I whispered. "Well why aren't you staying with that friend anymore?" "We had an argument." I lied. I couldn't tell her that there was no friend. Carl had chased them all away. "But you can't stay at home!" She said with a shocked expression. "Well I can't very well stay at your place now can I? He will be looking for me and he wouldn't hesitate to hurt you! How would I live with myself if something happened to you or your family because of me?" "Tim this is not open for discussion! I hate to be like this but you are staying with me wether you like it or not." "Reed don't make me do that" I said. My voice cracked at the end. The whole time we had been leaning closer to each other. Now our faces were only centimeters apart. She reached up to my face and put her hand gently on my cheek. "If situations were reversed Tim? What would you do?" She asked me.

"You can borrow Davids clothes and stuff. And we have an extra bed in the attic next to my atelier. You can sleep there." She said in a firm yet gentle voice. I realized that there was no way she was giving this up. I gave in and said "Ok." under my breath. I instantly felt horrible about bringing her in danger but I also felt a selfish little pang in the chest of relief. At least I wasn't alone anymore. "Tim have you thought about talking to the police about this?" Reed said while studying my facial expression. "I don't want to get my mom in trouble. She might be weak but I know that she is just scared. And I know that's selfish of her but she is my mom." She slowly nodded. "I understand." she said but her voice was muffled by the bell ringing. I walked her to her next class and told her that I would meet her by her locker after school. Then we would go talk to her dad at his work. Today at lunch hadn't been the right time to ask her about that Alex kid but I promised myself that I would bring it up tonight.

(Reed's POV)

I stood in the doorway and watched Tim move around the room very carefully. We had just gotten back from talking to my dad. He took some convincing but we got him  in on the idea and agreed that he would tell David. Now Tim was getting settled in the room in the attic. "It's not much but it'll have to do." I said. He snapped back to reality and turned around. "It's perfect. It really is." He said while putting his hand on the crooked wall. The room was all the way up under the roof but it was well isolated. "I'll leave you to get settled. I'm gonna be next door if you need me." I said and walked into my atelier. I loved this place. There was no paint on the walls and no tiles or carpet on the floor. It was all wood. There was a big window at the end of the room facing the back yard. In front of that window was an easel with my almost done painting of me and my gramps at pipestem. beside the easel there was an old writing desk that had been here when we moved in. It was filled with jars of brushes and coal pencils and wipe cloths. Under the desk there were boxes with paint and in front of the easel was a painting chair that David had given me for my last birthday. It was a high folding chair and I loved it. I was putting the finishing touches on the trees when I heard a knock on the door. Tim stuck his head in. "I think your brother is home.". "Ok thanks." I said and wiped my hands on a rag while walking out the door. When I passed him I kissed him swiftly on the lips and then rushed downstairs. David was hanging up his coat when I got down. "Hey." He said and hugged me. "Hey. So did dad talk to you?" I asked looking at my feet. "No why?" He asked me now cautious. "Oh crap." I whispered under my breath. " Reed what's going on?" He said now worried. "Come sit down." I said and led him to the kitchen table. He sat down in one of the white chairs. I explained everything to him and by the time I was done he was just staring at the table. "So he is upstairs? Right now?" He asked and looked up. "Yes." I answered. "Ok... Ok..." He said to himself and got up. He headed for the stairs but before he was out of the room I ran over and grabbed his hand. "David be nice. He's been through a lot." I said. He nodded and shrugged my hand away.

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