He was suicidal when i met him, so I can't really blame myself for much. Running into him was an accident; it was merely by chance. But honest to God, it was the best chance I've ever gotten.


10. ~10~

     I hid myself in the closet behind all of his old, moth-eaten church coats. The dusty sleeves dangled in front of my face and I forced myself to hold in a threatening sneeze.


I don't want him to find me.


"Get out here, Shae!" I could hear him through the closet walls. The floor shuddered under the stomps if his feet in the hall.

I wiped my eyes with my sleeve; they were still tired from crying into my fuzzy pillow.

"Damn it, Shae!" he roared again.

I sunk back deeper and deeper into the closet until my spine was flush against the wall. I held my age-old stuffed bunny against my chest trying to still my trembling. When I finally managed to quit shaking, I realized that I could no longer hear my father.

I strained my ears, listening for any sign of him walking about. The hair on the back of my neck stood on end, fear causing sweat to trickle down the small of my back. I suddenly felt a sharp pain behind my eyes as my head hit the floor. There was a vice grip around my ankles as I was being dragged from my hiding place. I grabbed for the trim of the door, attempting to pull myself away from my father.

"Let go of that door you stupid little twat," he pulled harder at my legs.

My leg muscles began to burn in protest to the abnormal contortion. My fingernails had begun to bleed and ache as I dug the further into the door. Removing one hand from my ankle, he grabbed at my forearm and tore it-- along with four of my fingernails-- from the door. The last thing I saw was the malice on his face.


I awoke, panting and sweaty, entangled in firm and heavy arms. Tears were involuntarily falling down my face. Looking up, I saw the early morning sun glinting off of blonde stubble that graciously covered Evan's jaw. His eyes fluttered dreamily, his cheeks slightly flushed. My palms were pressed against his chest and I could feel nothing but his body mingling with mine. Warmth engulfed my body in the most peculiar and intimate way.


What is this feeling?


I suddenly felt this overwhelming power telling me to touch him; to pull him closer to me, bring his face to mine and...and...

A shudder coursed through my as I deftly separated myself from Evan. My skin was crawling, still savouring his lingering feel. I stood at the foot of the bed hugging my arms to my chest, gazing down at a still peacefully sleeping blonde boy.


He does look much more like a boy when his expression is so easily at rest. How old is he anyways?


My eyes grazed the room around me and upon seeing my reflection, I inwardly cringed. My hair was a matted mess, face flushed, and I was a sticky, sweaty mess.

"Good grief," I whispered to myself.

Hesitantly, I used the hem of Evan's black shirt to wipe my forehead. My upper lip curled at the amount of perspiration. I turned my gaze back to the mirror, taking in the colour of my scars and bruises. Most were a yellow-like brown with the exception of a few fresh, dark purple ones. All of the scars had turned white and faded overtime except for one pink, three-inch laceration from where my father had once shoved me into a lamp and it broke under my fall. I spent weeks tending to that cut, the continual abuse that tore it open time after time.

"Shae..." I hear Evan's raspy voice calling my name from the bed, his eyes still closed and dreaming. I put a hand to my cheek.


Why am I blushing?


"Shae?" he called again, this time his eyes were half open and heavy. His hand stretched across the wrinkled sheets to my side of the bed.


And when exactly did I make it my side of the bed?


"Shae!" he sat up more alert now, his eyes quickly noticing my presence. He just sat there-- bare chested and wrapped in sheets-- watching me, worry lines between his eyes.

"What are you doing?" he finally spoke, gesturing at my hands still holding my shirt just below my bust.

"Nothing," I hurriedly let the shirt fall to cover my marks, "I mean, I had a nightmare. It was very..." I paused, remembering one of my worst childhood memories, "...vivid."

"Can't say that I'm surprised," he extended his arms toward the ceiling, his muscles contracting in fine, hard lines.

I looked away embarrassingly. "What makes you say that?"

"You were tossing and turning all night. Thrashing even. You eventually just curled up next to me, shivering. You were cold, so I kinda just...held you for awhile."


He held me?


I could feel my face burning up to my ears. "Oh," was the only word I could salvage.

"So," he said after a moment, "what were you dreaming about?"


Oh no, I bit the corner of my bottom lip, this is what I've been afraid of.


"Where did you go last night?" I blurted without thinking. A deep frown took over his features immediately.

"That's personal," his voice was low.

"Well so was my nightmare," I retaliated.

He only stared at me, an analytic expression upon his facer.


I can't handle when he looks at me. It makes me feel so...


"Why do you want to know?"

"Know about what?" Evan's voice pulled me from my thoughts.

"Why do you want to know where I was?"

"Because I was worried about you," I said without hesitation.


How humiliating, my immediate, whole-hearted honesty, I blush.


"Why?" he was looking down at his hands, "Why even bother wasting your time worrying about a waste of space stranger like me? I make you cry. I break things. I yell too much. Why do you bother?"

I was speechless.


How can someone think so low of themself?


"I worry because I care about you, Evan."

"You what?" he finally met my eyes, his boring into mine with a fiery longing. They looked so desperate, so pleading.

"I care about you," I glance away, unable to handle the intensity of his stare, "a lot."





"Okay?" my eyes dart back to his face.

"Yes, okay. I'll tell you where I went last night."

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