Broken Crystals

When Crystal collapses in the middle of the road after another beating, headlights are the last thing she sees. She wakes up in a strange house, surrounded by five strange boys. She refuses to relax around them or be herself. But can the one Irish boy with the beautiful blue eyes show her what it means to be loved and fix her cracks?


6. You Have Me

“Where were you planning on going?” He asks, knowing what I was going to do.

“I.. I...” I start, a realization flowing over me. Where would I go? Back to my father? He would kill me. I had left the house for a start. I'd attracted attention to myself and him. I was staying with people who didn't want me here. Who just felt bad for me.

What was I thinking?

He doesn't say anything for a long time; his eyes roaming my face. Tears prick my eyes and shivers run up my arms. I fall to my knees and do exactly what I didn't want to do; let it seep out.

“Hey, hey.” Niall says, sitting beside me on the floor.

“I-I-I'm sorry,” I stutter between tears.

“It's alright,” He murmurs, rubbing my back.

“I can't go back there, Niall. Please don't m-make me g-go b-back.” I look at him through my glassy eyes and his own round out.

“I'm not making you go anyway, Crystal. In fact, I want you to stay here.” He whispers the last part, looking down with a small smile on his lips. I don't reply to his words. I was too shocked. I had never been wanted in my life.

“Can you tell me what happened?” Niall asks, meeting my eyes again.

“When?” I reply but I know what he means. He lifts my arm gently and pulls the sleeve of his shirt up. I grimace at the sight of the ugly scars and bruises on my wrists and arms.

“I...I...” I take a deep breath and pick at my nails. I don't know what made me do it. Maybe it was my hunger. Maybe it was my head. Maybe it was the pressure. Maybe it was his eyes. Or his encouraging smile. Maybe it was him.

“I... I used to live with my mother and father. We were happy. Then my mum got cancer. She was very ill and at the hospital constantly. I visited her constantly, I hated leaving her alone in that horrible place. It got better; she was even allowed home. I thought she was going to be okay. But one night she collapsed and she didn't last much longer. I spent her last night with her, holding her hand. I was more terrified than her. She told me that no matter how hard it got, I had to smile. I had to be strong. But it was her that needed to be strong. She died that night, holding my hand. It absoluetly crushed me. She was the only one I could talk to. The only one who made me feel loved and safe. I went home and my dad was waiting for me. He had the phone in his hand; it was the hospital. He had just found out about my mother and he looked red with rage. I asked him if he was okay but a punch was all I got. I screamed and cried; part for myself, part for my mum. It got worse over the next two years. He didn't stop until I was unconscious some nights. He would shout abuse at me; make me feel pathetic. He drummed it into my head that my mum's death was my fault. And before long, I believed it. I could have done something, Niall. I know I could have. But I didn't. He told me I was fat. I started seeing it. All that fat all over me, it was everywhere. No matter what I did, I couldn’t get rid of it. So I stopped eating. Before long the sight and even the talk of food made me feel sick. I was disgusted with myself whenever I ate. The only thing that ever kept me going was my mother's last words to me. It was the only thing I could cling to when I felt so low.” Tears flow slowly down my cheeks as I stare at the floor. I couldn't look up. We stay like that for several minutes. I meet his eyes finally and see the tears beginning to form.

Why have you never told anyone?” He asks, voice low. I look down again and bite my lip; chewing on the damp and sensitive skin.

I never had anyone to tell,” I reply, barely above a whisper. I sit for a few moments and wonder if he heard me.

You do now,” He murmurs and I look up at his face in the low light. I knit my eyebrows together in confusion and a ghost of a smile traces his lips.

I can’t go back there.” I state, looking at the closed door.

I won’t make you. You can stay here,” He offers, eyebrows raised.

I can’t,” I say softly and shake my head; my insides hurting.

Of course you can,” He traces a pattern in the carpet with his finger.

I can’t, Niall. You don’t want me here, none of them do. You’re scared of me; you look at me like I’m a stray dog. Like I’m going to freak out any second. I’m broken.” I look down again and close my eyes, waiting for his response.

Of course I want you here, Crystal. You’re the best thing that’s happened to me since… since…” He fights for words and I frown.

Since what?” I ask quietly and he shakes his head.


Listen,” He takes a deep breath.

When I found you in the street, I thought you were a toddler, Crystal. You were so small and frail and just… thin.” I frown at the use of the word. I was far from it.

I picked you up and carried you into our taxi. We brought you home and laid you down. That night, I didn’t sleep at all. I was sick with worry. It confused me because I’d only just met you. I didn’t even know your name. I hadn’t seen you conscious. But I worried. I was terrified.  Then, the next morning when you woke up… relief swept over me and I was happy. But then you looked petrified of us and kept shouting. So I left, even though that was the last thing I wanted to do. The doctor came out of the room five minutes later; her face pale. She asked me for some scales so I went and got them from the bathroom. I handed them to her and she disappeared into the room again. I waited and waited. It seemed like hours until she came out again. She shook her head and worry struck me. I pushed past her and dashed into the room, desperate to make sure you were alright.” I watch intently as he looks down at his hands.

When I saw you laying there, the worst thoughts rushed through my mind. Then, when I saw your cuts and bruises, your scars… I had to look away. Not because you disgusted me. The man who did those things to you disgusted me. I wanted nothing more than to make him experience what you went through, Crystal. I had to look away, it angered me too much. I don’t want you to leave, Crystal. Whether it’s because I feel responsible for you or whether I don’t want you to go back to that disgraceful excuse for a father. I don’t care. I just know that I want you, need you, to stay here.” He looks up, blue eyes blazing and begging me. I give a small nod, trying to understand how he could care so much about me.

Thank you,” I say, meeting his eyes. He smiles slightly and then he wraps his arms around me in an embrace. It was so strange. I hadn’t been hugged by anyone since my mother was alive. No one bothered to speak to me anymore, let alone hug me. I breathe in his musty smell and smile, feeling at home in his arms.


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