Ru knew the world was cruel; she learned that the hard way. She thought that she was the only one, but when she met Luke Hemmings and then Calum Hood, everything changed.


2. 1.

Chapter 1


Month 15. Day 15.


My week goes by as per usual: sleep, eat, repeat. Plus the occasional talks from my mother about how I need to work on getting ‘better’. After two months of fighting with her about how I wasn’t sick, I had given up, and now I just tune her out.


“Ru, have you been listening to a word I’ve been saying?” my mother asks and I look up, shrugging. She rolls her eyes at me. “I don’t remember when you started acting so disrespectful.” I ignore her comment, though it annoyed me, and shrug again.


“As I was saying,” she continues, “June and I thought it was a good idea if you attend a session or two of group therapy.” I choke on the green bean that I’m eating, and shake my head furiously. There’s no way I’m going to sit in a room of people and listen to their sob stories; I have my own sob story to deal with.


“It’s either this or the psych ward,” she threatens and I narrow my eyes at her. She knows damn well that I don’t want to go to the psych ward. “Be ready by eight; the session starts at 8:30, and you are NOT going to be late.” With that, she takes my plate away from me and walks to the kitchen.


I look at the clock, seven o’clock, and grumble to myself. I would rather go to the hospital and get poked and prodded at than go to this dumb group session. I’m not exactly sure what my mother and June think they’re going to accomplish by forcing me to go; it’s not like I’m going to say anything.


I walk up to my room, laying on my bed. There’s no point in closing the door, well, because there is no door. My mother took it off the hinges a few months ago. She claimed at the time that I wasn’t going to get the door back until I returned to ‘normal’. So, I’ve learned to accept that I will never be getting my door back.


It’s been a year and three months since the last time I’ve actually had a conversation with someone. A year and three months since I’ve said anything besides, “I’m not sick.” My mother didn’t understand, she never would; I had gone through things that I’d never be able to explain to her, to anybody. So instead of accepting the new me, she’s decided that she’s just going to fight me, and in her mind, she’s going to win. But she’s not going to win, she’ll never win this battle. She can send me to therapy, hell, she can send me to the psych ward, and I will never tell anybody what happened those fourteen days, a year and three months ago.


“Ruthanne, let’s go!” my mother yells up the stairs. I sigh and look at my clock, not shocked at all that I just wasted an hour laying here. I stand up, shove a beanie on my head, grab my flannel, and head downstairs.

My mother’s eye rake up and down my body, a look of disgust covering her face. “That’s what you’re wearing?” I nod, used to her comments about my clothes. She sighs but leads me out to the car. I slide into the front seat and immediately turn my head to stare out the window.


The drive is awkward, as always, as my mother tries to make small talk with me, and of course, gets no response. I can’t help but wonder: when is she just going to give up on me? Everyone else did.


When we get to the office, I climb out, ignoring my mother’s “be nice and say something” speech, walking into the building. The heat hits me immediately, and I already feel myself sweating. The secretary, Karen, directs me where to go and I follow her directions, even though I just want to turn around and run out the front door.


When I walk into the room, I’m met with quiet chatter, and the smell of someone’s cologne. No one looks at me as I plop down in an empty chair, my eyes glaring towards June. She was the reason I was here, after all. She probably suggested this group session thing to my mother.


At eight thirty, June motions for everyone to quiet down, and they do, everyone turning their attention to her. She motions for me to stand up, but I shake my head. Not today, Satan.


She sighs, but turns to the group. “We have someone new with us tonight.” she looks back to me. “Why don’t you introduce yourself.” I roll my eyes; she already knows my name, why would she make me introduce myself? But I remember my mother’s threats of the psych ward, and decide to play along to her little game.


I’m nervous as I stand up, fiddling with my fingers. I look around the circle, look around at the people whose names I didn’t even know, and open my mouth to speak.


“I-” Suddenly, the door to the room flies open, and a blonde boy stumbles into the room. He blushes at his clumsiness and regains his posture, shutting the door.


“Sorry for being late...again.” he says, smiling a cheesy smile. Thankful for the distraction, I quickly sit back down, hoping his tardiness would take June’s mind off of my introduction.


“What’s your excuse this time, Luke?” June asks as Luke takes the empty seat next to me.


“Bus ran late.” he says coolly, nodding his head once at me as if to say hello. I nod my head back, though I probably look like an idiot, and secretly study this boy.


Luke, the boy who saved me from breaking my talking streak.

After a year of therapy, I’m actually relieved to be around another human being.

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