Goodbye Means Gone

After being beaten within an inch of her life by her Uncle, Sapphire leaves everything behind. A few years later she has made it into the Canadian wilderness. She survives with the help of her friends Reid, Cole, and Thomas. Sapphire thinks she has escaped until she finds out her aunt has died, leaving her baby cousin at the hands of a monster. She heads back with her friends to try to help her cousin. Will she be able to save her in time? Or will her Uncle kill her first?

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2. Love has its Ways

When I left I was eight years old. I didn't have much strength, and I had no way to fight back. Now I'm fifteen. My new lifestyle needs me to be strong and healthy. My body is made of solid muscle. When I go back, I will be strong, and I will have Thomas. I won't feel fear. I won't back down. I will kill if I must. No one will hurt my cousin. She has no one. Except me. I will not fail her. I cannot fail her.

I wrote some more down and closed my binder. Cole was sitting beside me, absorbed in trying to think of a way to get the honey out of the beehive we'd found earlier today. He shifted the dirt back over the plans he'd been drawing in the ground for the fourth time since we sat down. I took the stick from him and said,

"What about this?"

I started scribbling my idea in the dirt. When I finished I explained it to him. He listened closely, asking questions along the way. 

"You know if we pull this off Thomas would be so happy. He loves honey.", I said.

"Yeah. It might help with everything he's going through.", Cole said.

Thomas had been working extra hours, trying to get us the money we need to buy some new clothes. It had been years since we bought new clothes. This year Cole had a huge growth spurt and now he wore his pants leg above his ankles. Reid had to keep patching his overalls, and I had rags for clothes. Thomas' clothes had been in rough shape for a while now, but he didn't care. He said it could wait for a few years; we came first. What he didn't know was that I had been sewing blankets and selling them for a good amount of money. I almost had enough to get all the clothes he needed replaced. I didn't have to pay for the yarn; that helped a lot.

Mrs. Holly had been giving me yarn for free. She couldn't sew anymore, and she loved watching me. We would talk for hours on end. I would show her the progress I'd made since I'd last seen her. Then we would talk about her husband. She told me stories about some of the things they did as kids. I always listened, even if I had heard it before. I knew she missed him. He had died in his sleep two years ago. She was waiting for her time to join him now. At least, thats what she told me.

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Cole and I returned sucessful. We processed it, so we could actually eat it, and had it ready in a few days. Reid had caught some fish and made some maple glaze to put on it. Thomas was going to be very suprised. I had sold the last blanket I needed to get the clothes and I'd went and got them earlier today, and we had an amazing meal planned.

Thomas came home a few hours later. I could see his exhaustion as he sank down onto the couch. I sat down opposite him and helped get his boots off his swollen feet.

"I'm sorry guys. I don't think I can cook tonight. Can you guys do it? Please?", he asked.

"Don't worry about it. We took care of it.", Reid said as he brought our plates in.

"This is for everything you do for us. We love you, bro.", Cole said.

Thomas looked at the food in front of him. I could tell he was trying not to cry. When we brought the honey in he said,

"Oh no. You got honey! Aw, I love you guys too! Group hug!"

We hugged and then ate our delicious food. When we all finished Cole took off to take a shower and Reid went to bed. That's when I pulled a box out from under the couch. I handed it to Thomas.

"What is this?", he asked.

"Open it. It's a present.", I answered.

He took the lid off and lifted up the outfits I'd chosen for him.

"How did you pay for these?"

"I've been making blankets and selling them. I saved a lot since Mrs. Holly gave me yarn if I let her watch me make them and talked to her."

He hugged me and kissed my forehead.

"Sometimes you amaze me.", he said.

"Thanks."

After a few moments of silence he asked,

"When are we leaving?"

"The day after tomorrow."

He nodded and yawned. He set the box in the floor and streched out on the couch. I waited until he was snoring and had Cole and Reid help me get him to my room. Then I sat down on the couch. 

I knew he would be angry, but I didn't care. I pulled out my writing binder and  went through some of Thomas' letters he'd written me. I found the one I was looking for and read it over and over.

Dear Sapphire,

 I can't believe that I am going to tell you this. I love you. We've know each other for what feels like forever. I've looked into your beautiful eyes everyday since we met, and I feel like we were meant to be. I want to know if you feel the same way. I understand if you don't. There's nothing special about me. At least you'll know how I feel.

                                                                      -Thomas

I smiled. Thomas and I have been best friends since we were kids. Before my parents died we spent every moment together. When I told him I had to leave to live with Uncle he cried. He gave me this and I told him I loved him too. Then I left. When I ran away I came and found him. His father always beat him too, so we escaped together. We found Reid and Cole a few weeks later. After that we stayed together. I still loved him, but we had bigger things to worry about. We had to take care of ourselves. I didn't think we would make it, but we did. Now we're here. 

I never guessed that I would find the love of my life at six years old, but I guess love has its ways.

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