Who I Am (Sequel to How did I get Here?)

Reed couldn't take Jamestown anymore after she and her dad got into a fight about the boyfriend who hit her. So she went to New York to pursue her life long dream of becoming a dancer. The New York Ballet Academy has taken her under their wing and given her an apartment. She lives alone and spends nearly every waking hour dancing as she tries to drown out the guilt and longing she feels towards her all-time-best-friend-and-possibly-boyfriend Alex. She still has no contact to her father or half-sister and she tries desperately to become a new Reed. But at age seventeen is that poossible?


5. Truth about Leo

We agreed to meet up at a small café near the school for a coffee. So here I sit. Leo is just coming back from getting his drink and I am sitting with a mint-chocolate frappuchino. "I spoke to Lara. She said you and Kyle broke up. Are you ok?" I ask. My eyebrows are tight with worry and I speak in a gentle way. Leo nods. "Can I ask why?" he nods again. "You don't know this, but I'm not gay. It was sort of a phase and I got over it a while ago. I just didn't tell Kyle till now. I didn't tell anyone till now. When he found out he wasn't too happy about it. So he... lashed out." He says and pulls down his hood. I gasp in horror. The whole left side of his face is black and blue, and swollen as a motherf*cker. I know this sight all too well from back when my ex Tim's step dad was getting violent. "Leo... I'm so sorry. I really am. Is there anything at all I can do?" He shakes his head and winces at the pain. "No I don't think so. But what am I going to tell the school?" he asks me, despair clear in his voice. "I don't know. Maybe you should tell them the truth. They might be able to help." "How?" "I don't know. Do you need a place to stay? You know my couch is always free for you." I offer. "Thanks. I don't think I'll stay the night but spending the evening at your place might be nice." "Of course. We should probably head to school now." "Ok." He nods and we take our cups and go. On our way to the door Leo pulls up the hood again. I never thought Kyle would be one to hit his partner. But then again I never thought that about Tim either.

At rehearsals Leo and I are relieved to find out that our two classes will be put together for the afternoon. Leo is relieved because he doesn't want to be alone and I am beacuse I don't want him to be alone either. So we pair up at any chance we can have and I distract him the best I know how. But nothing is enough. He smiles but it doesn't reach his eyes. And his laugh is purely on the surface. Not at all froom the heart. I try everything but nothing seems to work. Leo is so out of it he even drops me. Twice. It is all so unlike him. Also I don't really know how to deal with this whole Leo being straight thing. I mean I have changed in front of him on several occasions. But I don't have any feelings towards him that aren't purely platonic and I'm pretty sure he feels the same way. So I shrug it off and focus on being here for him.

My head is spinning at the end of the day. Gina and Alex didn't show up and I'm sort of relieved. I'm exhausted, and so is Leo, so we go by a movie rental on our way to my apartment and get "The Matrix".

At home I shower first and then Leo does. We don't like to shower at school. I start popping the popcorn, and since I don't own a microwave it is done the oldfashioned way. By putting the corn in a pot with oil and shaking it over the stove. Leo comes out of the shower while I'm pouring the corn into a bowl. We sit down and watch the movie in silence. It's times like this I miss David the most. I miss our anual geek-a-thon on New Years mornings. But Leo has it worse than me and I stay strong and fight back the tears.

About halfway through the movie I miss David so bad I go call him.

"Hey bro." "Hey Reed. What's up? You usually don't call on school nights." "I was just watching The Matrix with Leo and I missed you. I just wanted to have a little chat." "Ok? How cute you are, walking around missing me in the big city." "Oh shut up." I laugh. "Why? It is cute." "Maybe. Thanksgiving break is coming up. I was thinking about coming home." I say. I have no idea where that came from. I haven't thought about coming home at all. "Really? That's great! But what about dad?" "I don't know. I still need that apology." "I know. I get it. I can talk to him tonight if you'd like." "Yeah that would be great." "Ok. Listen sis I have to go now. My dinner is ready." "Ok. Hey by the way what are you two eating these days? It must be junk." "Yeah it is. I am seriously craving your scrambled eggs. All we ever eat is microwave." "Oh poor thing. Go eat your microwave food. Love you." I say and hang up. When I get back Leo has fallen asleep on the couch. He said he didn't want to spend the night so I try to shake him awake. I even throw a glass of water in his face but nothing happens. He just snores louder. I guess he didn't sleep very well last night. After a few more failed attempts at waking him up I give in and just pull a blanket over him instead. 

My phone starts ringing and I immediately answer, afraid that it'll wake up Leo. Of course he is dead to the world, but still. Just to be safe I went to the bedroom and closed the door behind me.

"Hello?" "Reed?" 

I freeze on the spot. "Tim? Why are you calling me?" I ask. I have sworn to never talk to him again. Not after what he did to me. 

"Yes it's me. Reed this is destroying your family and it's destroying me. Please just come home to your dad. And Reed... I am so sorry for what I did. And you don't deserve this but I really want you back. I made a terrible mistake and I know that but I was drunk. Just... tell me if I still have just the smallest shot of us getting back together."

"Tim you blew your chance. Big time. Don't call me again. And by the way you have no right! No right at all to call me like this. You know how much I loved you and how much you hurt me! And how dare you tell me what to do about my father! That is my business not yours!"

"Please Reed just listen to me for a sec-" 

"Goodbye Tim!" I scream and throw my cell phone at a wall. Fortunately, it's a Nokia, so it is practically unbreakable. I fall to my knees and sob, like I haven't since I first arrived in New York and realized that I was on my own now.. All the memories of what I had lost when Tim raised his hand that night come back to me, and with those memories come the ones of Ben. Those two boys have been the biggest mistakes of my life. 

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