Letting Go

After being brutally abused by her father and outcasted by her classmates, seventeen year old Keller Alvidas is glad and even relieved to spend her last year at Edge-of-The-World, the sleepy small town she grew up in. Everything changes when the Gabriels, a group of orphaned teenage boys arrives. They break all her rules about meeting new people but they too have secrets and when the truth comes out Keller has to decide wether to let go and save herself or to continue to be dragged through everything she wanted to run away from, all for one chance she might never get.

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12. Destroying You

Keller's P.O.V

I finally make it through all my homework at around 11:30 at night. I feel tired and the backs of my eyes ache. I flick off my small lamp and the room is engulfed with darkness as I rip my glasses off my face. I lay down on my sqeaky bed and snap my eyes shut. The extensive laughter and loud voices from the main living space dies down to hushed whispering and then stops altogether. I guess the Gabriels have left.  My reeling mind won't stop replaying my fight with Sonia, then teasing Ed,  and finally my eyes locking with James. I think about the last one the most. What do I feel for that guy? Do I like him? No, you can't like someone you can't trust. Do I trust him? He hasn't given me a reason not to. Do you like him? I don't know! 

I roll onto my side and run my fingers through my hair. I won't think of it now, I'll think about it tomorrow when I'm not so tried. I roll and then get up then lay down and roll around again but I can't fall asleep. In the end I get up and sit on my desk turning my laptop on. I go into my documents and pull out the story I'm currently working on. I haven't added to it in ages. I set my fingers to the keyboard expecting them to find the keys and start typing like they ususally do but my fingers stay stubbornly immobile. After what I believe is an hour the only words I type are, how do you trust somone you just met? I delete it instantly and snap the laptop shut in pure frustration. I'm insanely tired yet I can't fall asleep. And on top of all that I have writer's block. I close my eyes and try to relax but when I open them again I see the flash of blue eyes before me. I'm losing it. I pull on my ratty old gray sweater and shuffle down to the kitchen to get a glass of milk. Just as I thought the lights are all turned off and everyone's asleep.

I walk over and fling the fridge door open. I grab a mug and pour chocolate milk  in and sip the the contents and sigh. The syrup thick milk has a calming affect on me and I take the mug and everything to my room. I see one of the only working lamps in the living room on and I check to see who's up this late at night. Surprisingly I see Al hunched over a book looking quite immersed. I walk up to him and sit at the chair opposite him.

"Hey you," I whisper not wanting to be too loud. He looks up and a slight smile plays on his face. His hair is messy and he has a light stubble.

"Hey to you too," he says huskliy. He covers the book cover with his arm and folds over a corner of the page.

"What's up?" I ask.

"Nothing, I can't sleep is all," he responds while shrugging his shoulders. I nod in agreement.

"Me too. What are you reading there?" I say peaking over the cover.

"Nothing," he says and shoves the book into the cushion. I raise an eyebrow and get up.

"You'll think I'm a nerd," he says while handing the book over to me reluctantly. I take it and look at the title. Harry Potter and The Half Blood Prince. I almost gasp.

"You read these books?" I question. He looks at me with pleading eyes.

"I like Harry Potter, okay! I get teased enough for it aleady by Will so I don't need to hear it," he says embarassed.

"Al, I could almost hug you! I practically memorized every line in this book! And I got teased for liking Harry Potter too you know," I shout and hand the book back to him. He beams back at me and and we talk about the series and and the amazing writing.

"I practically role modeled J.K Rowling when I was little, she got me into english and writing," I mention, proud to be a potterhead.

"I've always been good at English, I kind of want to be an english professer when I'm older," he says excitedly. I could tell he hasn't mentioned this to the boys yet because he says it like it's whispered secret.

"Really, that's great! I didn't know that you're the english type though," I say shrugging my shoulders. Al nods his head violently.

"I was taught to read at an early age and I haven't stop since," he mentions with a slight  blush creeping up his cheeks. I smile at his shyness. The counter beside him has a stack of cards and I tentatively grab them.

"You know how to play Speed?" I ask.

"No, how'd you play?" he answers. I separate the deck and teach him the rules. Halfway through the game, I can tell that Al has played this before. His hands speed over the two piles in the same time it takes me to place one of my cards.

"How are you so fast?" I ask stuggling to keep up with him.

"I played this game before, my sister taught it to me. I just didn't know the name of it," he replies.

"You have sister? What's she like?" I wonder, no one told me he has a sister.

"She's, she's dead. She took care of me when our parents died. She died last year. Her name was Alice," he utters quietly. A small tear splashes onto the cards and Al wipes it off quickly. Something inside me shatters, how can I be so insensitive? My hearts breaks for Al, even if I hardly know him.

"She was like the mom and dad we never had. She was the only one who truly cared for me besides the rest of the Gabriels and I know she would've given up everyting for me to have a future. I can never say how grateful I am for that," he adds. His voice cracks on the last word and my hearts breaks a little more.

"I'm so sorry, that was bad of me," I respond. I don't know how to react in situations like these so I hesitantly grab his hand and squeeze it. He give me a weak smile and lets go of my hand. 

"It's fine, you wouldn't have known," he answers. We continue playing in silence for quite a while. I catch him staring at my scar and I cover it with my hand, does he think it's hideous?

"How'd you deal with it, the pain of your mother dying and and your father beating you?" questions Al bluntly and suddenly. I blink at the suddeness of the question and choose my words carefully.

"It's not a matter of dealing with it, you never really deal with it because in the end it's always there. It's a matter of if your going to let the pain destroy you or not. I didn't let it destroy me," I reply after a while, "What about you, how are you dealing with your sister?"

"I'm not sure, but I'm not letting it destroy me," he says. I can't help but notice that he said it more like promise than as a statement. The game is over with Al winning by a large margin of cards.

"You're a strong person Al, the pain won't destroy you. I guarantee it," I try to say encouragingly. I shuffle the cards and start over.

"You're a lot like Ian you know. You know all the right words to say. But it's nice to have a friend that's a girl for a change," he mentions with a grin. My heart flutters, he thinks of me as a friend!

"It's nice to have friends for a change,"I say jokingly though it's not really a joke, "But do you guys really think of me as a friend?"

"Of course, you're all James and the other guys talk about lately, you made quite an inpression," he assures me. We continue playing speed and other card games until we get tired.

"I should go now," I yawn," what about you, are you staying?"

"I'm going to stay here for a while, okay," he says weakly. The pain in his eyes are evident I squeeze his shoulder. He must be thinking about Alice still. I climb the stairs and flop down onto my bed tiredly. "You're all James talks about" echoes through my head but I barely have time to register it before I fall into unconsciousness.

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