I woke up the sound of birds chirping, sun shining through my window and my dad singing in the shower. It was a beautiful day outside, yet the darkness in my soul wouldn’t let me appreciate it. I knew that once I left the comfort of my bed that there would be pain. Not physical pain that will heal within time, but the emotional pain that is forever carved into my heart; always reminding me of what once was, and what will be again.
I used to be strong, I used to be brave. But now… now I am weak. I am afraid. I am afraid of my own shadow and the ones that lurk close behind it. There is a never ending darkness inside of me that I have quit trying to get away from. I learned a long time ago that it’s inevitable. My life was just meant to be like this; dark, cold, and alone.
So now I just go through the motions. Get up, smile so everyone thinks I’m okay, go to school, and go to bed. It’s the same repetitive routine every day. But I’m okay.
“Rachel, you’re going to be late!” My dad is the type of man who likes to be on time. He’s always organized and will have a panic attack if something gets left behind.
“Can’t I just stay home? It’s my last day here anyway.” If you couldn’t tell, I’m not the biggest morning person. I have to have at least an hour to lay in bed before I even think about moving.
“Oh come on, I know you want to see Hannah. So up-n-at-em’ girly” My dad said while ripping the covers off of me.
“You know, I could’ve been naked.”
“I’m your father; I was there when you were born. I’m pretty sure didn’t have clothes on then.”
“I wasn’t… developed then. I have reached womanhood, dad.” Reaching down, I grab my covers and wrap myself back into my cocoon.
Scoffing, my dad replied “Oh please, the minute you got your period you ran to me crying because you thought you were dying.”
Flustered, I attempt to pull a comeback out of rear. “I-I was 12! If you started leaking blood in the shower, you’d freak out too!”
“Of course I’d freak out! Men have penises, we don’t do that!”
“DAD! You can’t say those words to me!” In a futile attempt to bloke out what he’s saying, I stick my fingers in my ears and start humming.
“I thought we already had this talk. Boys have a penis while girls have a-“
“LA-LA-LA, I CAN’T HEAR YOU!”
I have got to get out of here, I thought.
I attempted to drag my legs out from underneath the covers but I only managed to fall flat on my face. “Um, why are you in the floor? I was trying to give you a life lesson.”
Peaking up through the strands of hair that had fallen in my face, I see my dad standing there; eyebrow raised and arms crossed on his chest.
For a 36 year old, my dad is pretty attractive; dark brown hair, that was passed down to me, while I missed out on his dark chocolate eyes. His hair is in a style that was way too young for him, longer in the front so it swept just above his eyes and shorter in the back, but it didn’t look necessarily bad on him. “Oh, you know, just looking for my contacts,” I replied.
“Honey, you don’t even wear contacts.”
“Did I say contacts? I meant my sanity.”
“You’ve got that right. You’re just as crazy as your mother was.” Hearing him talk about her made me freeze on the spot. Every time he would talk about her I used to only feel sadness that I never got to meet her. But now I only feel anger. Angry that someone could be heartless enough to leave their newborn baby behind, angry that someone could possibly leave an amazing guy like my dad. No, not anger, I feel fury. I’m infuriated that she has taken my birthday and tainted it with her heartlessness. Each birthday my dad will smile and make it the best day for me, because that’s just how he is. He hides his pain, but he can only hold back for so long. After he’s tucked me in and wished me one final happy birthday, I can hear his sobs that wrack through his body late at night and I know that he is thinking of her. Of the women that left her baby, just a day old, and her loving husband at the hospital.
Looking up at my dad, my hero, I force a smile when I see the pain that swims in his eyes and pretend not to notice.
Standing up I brush off the imaginary dust that gathered on my clothes, cleared my throat, and muttered a quick “I’m going to shower,” before swiftly brushing past him.
I’ve always hated showers; they give me way too much time to think. And once I begin thinking, it’s never good. I always think of him; how he made my life hell, how he made me hate myself.
These thoughts bring on fear and anger. Fear because I’m just waiting for the day for him to return, and anger because I know that my mom isn’t the only reason my dad cries late at night.
When he found out what had been going on just under his nose, he was sickened. At first I thought he was disgusted with me, because I was too, but he was infuriated with himself. Angry that he let that go on for so long without him knowing, pissed that a man dared to touch his precious daughter in that way.
And no matter how many times I tell him it wasn’t his fault, or that I should’ve stepped up and said something, his answer is always the same: “I am your father, fathers protect their daughters from the evil of the world and I failed to do that.”
But he is not a failure, he could never be; he is my hero. He is the one who was there when no one else was. He was the one who held me at night as I cried while he tried to hide his own tears. Never once did he give up, never did he become inpatient; he’s my tiny light at the end of the tunnel as I stumble through this dark abyss.
Sighing, I realize that my water has already run cold. Without another thought I shut off the water and step out into the steamy bathroom.
Looks like I forgot to turn on the fan… again.
Wrapping my towel around my slender yet hideous body, I step out of my in-sweet and into my room. Opening my closet I push away all of my dressy clothes and reach for a tank top and skinny jeans.
Looking in the mirror I stare at my body that looks good at first glance, but with closer inspection I can see all of my flaws. The way my grey elephant tank shows off my too pointy shoulders, causing me to slip on a denim jacket. I hate how my red skinnies show off my wide hips and man-calves. Even if I did dress up, it’d be a futile attempt.
I seriously don’t know why my dad buys me nice clothes because I never wear them. Honestly I’m just too lazy to get up early enough to make myself look less ugly. I sleep in so I have just enough time to shower, eat, and be in class on time.
It’s not like I have any friends to hang out with anyway. Actually, I do have one friend, Hannah. Hannah is the personification of beauty. With her olive colored skin, striking cobalt eyes, and sense of style she has boys lined up around the block. She’s not one of those stereotypical popular people either; even though she does have a lot of friends. Her personality is just as attractive as her outwards appearance.
If this room was burnin’
I wouldn’t even notice cus’
You’ve been taking up my mind
With your, little white lies
Little white lies
The ringing of my phone snapped me out of my thoughts. Looking down at the caller ID, I rolled my eyes. Speak of the devil and he shall come.
“What is Hannah doing on this awful morning? I would say ‘fine morning’ but, well, we have school.” I shrugged even though she can’t see me.
“Oh come on! It’s your last day here, surely you can survive. I mean you’re moving to London. I’ve never even left the state, let alone America!”
“Well, if I had a choice I wouldn’t be moving. It was my dad’s idea after that whole fiasco last summer.” Realizing I said that last part out loud, I tightened my grip on the phone so much that I’m surprised that it didn’t break.
“Rachel, he’s just trying to help.” Hannah said softly.
“Yeah, well I have to go put my contacts in so…”
“You don’t even wear contacts.”
“I have to go find my sanity then, by!”
Okay, maybe I really should search for my sanity. Who uses the same excuse twice in the same day? Correction, who uses an excuse that doesn’t eben apply to them? Me, that’s who.
As I stepped out of my room I could smell bacon and biscuits cooking below me. My mouth watered as ran down the stairs to satisfy my roaring stomach. I nearly fell attempting to run across the tile in my kitchen to reach the bacon. I grabbed a hand full of the greasy pork and two biscuits while pouring myself a big glass of milk. "Can't forget the A1 sauce," my dad said as he poured some onto my plate.
"I can't believe I forgot," I gasped in fake shock. "No biscuit should be eaten without A1 sauce." I said, chuckling a little to myself.
"I don't see how you eat that, it’s disgusting!" Dad said while pretending to gag. I just laughed and gave him a look. Once I was done devouring my food I brushed my teeth and was out the door. Since my house was only a few blocks from school Hannah and I walked to school. I waited about 5 minutes outside her house until she finally came outside. She took one glance at me and rolled her eyes.
“You could have at least attempted to dress up. Let me guess, you just put your hair in a bun without brushing it.” Shrugging, I gave her a ‘what-did-you-expect?’ look.
“Well, at least it’s not sweatpants, so I can’t complain too much."
“Damn right you can’t.”
I was that girl who wore sweatpants and a hoodie every day to school. I didn't care what I looked like, as long I was comfortable and presentable. I figured if I kept my clothes simple then no one would take a second glance at me and see how ugly I really am.
We arrived at school and as soon as I walked in the doors I could feel eyes burning holes in the back of my head. Everyone was staring at me. When this first started, my cheeks would get red and my heart would race inside my chest. But now I’m used to it. Used to all the whispers, all the pitying looks I receive. It’s nothing new.
As hand and I walked to class we didn’t say a word to each other. I didn't mind though, it gave me time to think. A million questions ran through my head; will I make new friend in London? What will it be like? Will everyone hate me? And worst of all, would anyone remind me of him? I came back reality when I felt a tear run down my check and realized what I was thinking about. I quickly blinked back the tears before anyone could see me crying.
The day went per usual. Go to classes, sit alone at lunch sense Hannah and I have different breaks, head back to class, then meat Hannah at the school gates.
On our way back home, I turned to Hannah and whispered “I’m really going to miss you.”
She’s the only friend I’ve ever had. Sure, I have my dad but you can only tell your parents so much. She was there when I had to tell someone the gory details about my experience with abusive relationships, even though I know it hurt her to hear some things she never told me to stop.
"I'm really going to miss you too. But lets live for now, while your still here." she said with a smile. She was always so positive. I loved that about her.
"Do you want to stay with me since it’s my last day here?" I asked as we reached her house.
"You bet-cha! Come in and I'll back a bag!" she sang as she ran into her with me following right behind her.
"Crap, I forgot I have to pack my stuff. I can call you when I'm done so you won't be bored out of your mind." I informed her.
"We're both packing up your stuff." She packed her bag and we raced to my house. When we arrived my dad was still at work, like always. So I fixed us up a quick snack before we sat down to watch the Ellen Show. That was Hannah's favorite show, I thought it was okay; it’s not as near as good as Dr. Phil in my opinion. But since she's the guest I let her watch what she wanted to. The episode slowly came to a close around 5 and we both shot up and went up stairs to pack my things.
"This is going to take for ever" I complained. I got out 5 big suitcases, one for shoes, one for breakable things, another for keepsake, and 2 of them were for my clothes. "Hannah will you go down stairs and get me a trash bag, please?" She nodded and went down stairs.
I was sorting through my shoes putting them neatly into the box, when I realize Hannah had been gone for a while. I walked down stairs to see her and my dad talking on the couch. I just laughed and grabbed the trash bag from her.
"Rach, you dads here" she yelled as I stood in front of her.
"Thank you captain obvious" I laughed. "Well I’m going back upstairs to pack my stuff; you can stay here if you want Hannah."
"Nah, I'll go help. The more the merrier." Hannah said, before she ran up to my room. Before I could follow her, my dad stopped me.
"Rach, our flight is at 12 so you’re going to have to get up early." I groaned at the news while heading to my room. I am not a morning person.
"Hannah, our flight leaves at 12 tomorrow so I'll have to get up around 10. You can come with me to the airport if you like."
"I'd love to go to the airport! I'll text my mom what time we're leaving and she can take us all down there." It was mostly silent while we were packing my things together. We were so tired when we were finished we went straight to bed without eating dinner.
Run, all I can do is run. I cannot hide, I have to run. Run from my best friend, run from the only person that ever cared about me. What am I doing? How could I leave him to die like that? But no matter how much I wanted to turn back, my feet wouldn’t were relentless and continued to push forward.
Stop! Go back! He’ll kill him!
A sob tour through my body at the through my body at the thought of the love of my life dying; him closing his beautiful eyes forever. It was enough to get my feet to turn around and run towards him. Towards danger, but towards safety.
No, no, no!
I screamed in agony when I walked upon the scene. “Nooo!!” I let out a heart wrenching sob as I fell to my knees in front of his limp, lifeless body. How could I have let this happen?
It should’ve been me
“Rachel!” I heard my name as I sat there cradling his head in my lap, my tears of sorrow dropping onto his olive colored skin. “Dammit, Rachel, wake up!”
Jolting up, I pushed the hands on my shoulders off and fell onto the floor in an attempt to get away.
I can’t do this anymore.
OKAY so this chapter isn't much different than the other one. But I'm not making a lot of changes to the beggining because, personally, I think it's fine. HOWEVER; the end will have MAJOR changes. I do not like how i ended things AT ALL in the last book.