Do you ever just see a beautiful stranger? Not just a stranger that looks nice, but a really beautiful stranger who just captures you with the way they look and the way they act and makes you think about them at 2 am. A beautiful stranger that leaves you wonder struck and makes you somehow want to see them again and be with them forever yet at the same time, make you want to stay away from them so they remain this mysterious beautiful person that's in the world that would never hurt you.
I should have gone with the latter.


23. 23

Rose's point of view

It's three am and they're still shouting at each other. I got home from the dance, storming in and my dad told me to act normal in front of the kids. I could have slapped him. We walked into the living room and he sighed, sitting down. My mum frowned at me and I tilted my head, asking for her to meet me upstairs so I could talk to her. 

"Why's your makeup all over your face?" Rain frowned.

I managed a laugh. "It was a zombie dance."

His eyes widened. "Woah."

I smiled and went upstairs, waiting for my mum to come up. She came into my room two minutes later, only turning the fairy lights so we wouldn't wake Noah up. She wrapped her arms around me tightly as I cried on her shoulder. 

"What happened?" she asked, rubbing circles on my back soothingly. 

"There was a guy being kinda weird with me and Ethan hit him and Dad saw and now there's no way I'm going to be able to see him!"

She didn't hush me or anything, she just kissed my forehead and went to speak to dad. Speaking turned to shouting when Rain went to bed and it's still going on now. I get a text from Ethan which I feel like I should be scared of but I realise my dad won't know and I feel relieved that he's there in some form. 

Rosy, your dad left his wallet at school and I've got it, I just realised. I thought it was mine. I'm gonna drive over and drop it outside of the door, can you come get it? I don't want to make him mad by him seeing me. x

I feel disappointed that he'll be so close but I won't be able to see him. I reply:

Yes of course, thank you E x 

About twenty minutes later he texts me again telling me it's there. I get out of bed to go and get it and I realise that it's quiet. That should make me feel better but it doesn't. I get down the stairs and see that my dad has noticed Ethan walking back to his car.

"Dad." I hiss. "No, he was just dropping off your wallet, I wasn't going to speak to him!"

He turns around, a rage in his eyes. "How do you know that, huh? You must have been speaking to him!"

The blood rushes from my face. I feel sick. 

"Leave the poor boy alone, for heaven's sake." my mum says in a low voice but my dad is already storming out of the door.

"Hey!" he yells at Ethan. "You get back here!"

Ethan frowns, staying by his car. "Sir, I was just dropping your wallet off."

"Here!" he shouts. 

I see Ethan walk over to my dad and I feel so protective all of a sudden. I get between the both of them just as my dad is raising his fist. I thought that would stop him but he pushes me out of the way. He pushes me hard and I fall to the floor. My mum yelps something at him and helps me up and that's when my dad hits Ethan. 

I know it's something you see on films and you think nothing of it, it's just one of those typical moments but it's horrific to see. Your dad is the person who teaches you not to do these things, not to act this way, but here he is doing it. All of a sudden, you realise he's a real person, not some hero and you feel unsafe. Unsure. And he just hurt the person you love and that person is stood there looking shocked and hurt and guilty when they didn't even do anything wrong and you watch them walk away and everything's ruined because of your dad, because of the person you're meant to trust to make everything okay.

"Go." my mum whispers to me. "Go with Ethan."

I look at her desperately. "Mum, no, I can't-"

"Go!" she pushes me up. That's the difference between them. My mum pushed me to help me up so that I could go with Ethan. My dad pushed me down to the ground, hurting me so that he could hurt the person I love. I don't think he's doing this to protect me anymore. He's doing this for his own ego. 

I run to catch up with Ethan but he's already driving away. I run harder and faster, desperately trying to catch up with him. I just keep imagining the moment where I realise I can't catch up with him and I'm left there stranded and it spurs me on. I've caught up with him but he hasn't realised me. I run faster ahead of him and jump in front of the car. I knew I wouldn't get hurt. He stops so suddenly he jerks forwards. 

He puts his hands up in a shrug, asking me what the hell I'm doing. I jump into the car beside him, gasping from running too much and from crying too much. 

"Rosy!" he exclaims. "What the hell are you-"

"I have to trust this." I look at him, wiping my eyes. "I have to. I don't trust my mum and dad's relationship, I don't trust my home, I don't trust my father, I don't trust that things are going to be okay so I have to trust this, okay? I have to believe that this connection we have that has no reason behind it is worth the fight. I have to know that we can just look at each other and know that we're meant to be together because if that's true, then things must be okay, right? Things can't be that bad with the world if you can fall in love at first sight and that means... that means this can't hurt as much." I'm sobbing the words now and he's cradling me, stroking my hair. "It won't hurt as badly to lose everything else."

"Shhh." he hushes me, kissing my head. "I trust it. I trust it more than anything."

I sigh, leaning into him more, wrapping my arms tighter around him. "If you do, I do."

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