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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36. News

Keller's P.O.V

"How's this one?" Ellis asks, holding up a light, chiffon blouse. I rub the material between my fingers.

"It's okay," I shrug, losing intrest quickly. The small boutique we're in, the one called Stacy's, is usually jam-packed with customers but it's surprisingly empty today. The only people currently inside are Ellis, Lorena and I. Right now we're just picking out outfits.

The polished wood floorboards creak under me as I walk to the accessory display by the front window. I finger a small charm with a tiny guitar on it and attached it around my neck. It glints in the sunlight but I immediately take it off and put it back, it's much too bright for me.

"That was cute, why'd you put it back?" Lorena asks, coming up behind me. She picks it back up and swiftly tries it on herself. After several poses in front of the mirror she sets it down.

"You should have it, it looks way nicer on you," I say truthfully. She has a personality that fits the necklace; it's bright and cheery, just like her. I, on the other hand, am as bright as a starless night.

"Nah, take it," she says, shoving it in my hands, "I like this one anyways." She plucks a neckalce with a intricate butterfly pattern on it and wraps it around her neck.

"You guys done playing 'Who Wore it Better'? I wanna catch the other shops before the sunsets," Ellis snaps. Lorena and I share a smile before hurrying to pay for the stuff.

After the cashier opens the cash register and hands me my change, Ellis yanks my arm and pulls be back.

"What happened?" she asks, still gripping my arm. I pull my arm back, rubbing the raw skin and frown. Am I that easy to read?

"I don't know what you're talking about," I say keeping my eyes focused on the window and the amber sun, blowing itself out. Lorena spends time at the register, no wonder as she bought literally half the store.

"Oh, you know what I'm talking about. You," she says, nudging me, "and James." I swallow the lump in my throat and force my face into a blank stare.

"We're fine," I lie. Ellis doesn't question me, thank goodness, but just cocks an eyebrow.

"Okay, but I'm just warning you, that boy is gonna hurt you someday," she says and gives me a little pat on the back. I give her a weak smile and walk out the store with them, hitting up all the other shops that the two can lay their eyes on.

He's not gonna hurt me someday, I think while picking up some jeans from another store, he's hurting me today.

---

I throw down my many bags of clothes that Lorena and Ellis convinced me to buy and pack them into some suitcases. I kept the tattered things in case I planned on running away from my dad, the opportunity never came around but I still kept the suitcases. I sigh as I throw the things back under my bed, only a couple more days. The question still stood in my head: should I stay?

---

James' P.O.V

Another text messges pops onto my phone as I struggle to flip over the egg frying in the pan. The corners start to turn brown and I skillfully flip it over onto my plate.

"Who wants another one?" I ask, seeing the expectant eyes of Ian, Al, Ed and Will. They all raise their hands at once and I chuckle, throwing the plate down on the table and expecting them to fight over it. I frown, looking at the text, and quickly reply. I hit "send" and plop down onto my chair, seeing that Ian won the egg battle.

"What's up mate?" Ian asks with a mouth full of egg. Al tries to swipe a piece of egg off his plate but he deflects the hand just quickly.

"Ouch man," Al whines whle rubbing his hand, "That hurt you know."

"Not so tough," scoffs Ian. While they bicker Will comes from behind and takes a large portion of his pizza from his plate.

"That's mine," says Ian, standing up. Wil laughs and licks the bottom.

"That's gross," shudders Ed.

"Still want it?" taunts Will.

"Keep it sanitary please," beggs Al, protecting his plate.

"Guys please," I beg. A pounding forms in the backs of my eyes and it thumps in my head. I rub my fingers on my eyes and set my head down. The thumping magnifies and I feel the urge to scream out.

"You okay mate?" Will asks, patting my back. His touch intensifies the feeling and I think I do actually scream out.

"I'll take that as a no," Ian whispers  to Will.

"I'm sorry," I say after the poundings die down a little. I rest my head on top of  my hand and think the only thing I can since last year: Keller.

Only one word can describe her: irresistible. Whenever she's in a room full of people with me I can't tear my eyes away from her. Whenever she talks I hang onto her every word. She simply makes a fool out of me.

"Now we know there's something wrong," says Ed. He takes a seat next to me and occasionally takes peaks at his phone, checking for a name. If he finally picked a girl he's serious enought about, he should go see her in person not text her through the phone. I tell him this.

"Thanks, man," he smiles, "I'll tell you guys later if it works out between me and Ashley."

"So her name's Ashley," muses Will, "Go make her love you." Ed gives us a toothy grin before breezing out the door. I'm glad someone's life is going well, I think, while mine is about to fall apart.

"So," says Al, "what's up with you." I swallow my pride before answering.

"I'm going to break Keller's heart."

 

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