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.


4. 3.

Chapter 3


Month 15. Day 15. (Yes, still)


When I walk out of the building, my mother is sitting in her usual parking spot, waiting for me to get done. I walk to the car, getting in silently, Luke’s notebook still in my hand. My mother eyes it, but doesn’t say anything as she puts the car into gear and maneuvers the car out of the parking lot.


“So how was it?” she asks when we’re on the main road. I shrug, but feel a slight smile spread across my lips. Thankfully, she can’t see this smile. “Still not talking?” I shake my head, slightly annoyed that she would even ask that.


“Well, did you meet anybody nice while you were there?” I nod my head at this question, and she looks at me in surprise. “Did you talk to them?” I shake my head and hold up the notebook. “Oh! You’ll have to show that to me when we get home. I can’t drive and read at the same time, especially in the dark.”


I roll my eyes at her statement; obviously I know this, and I really didn’t want to show her the notebook anyways. I was just answering her questions: no, I didn’t talk to Luke, I wrote down everything I wanted to say.

And to make this clear, I am not going to use this notebook to communicate with everyone. Luke was brave enough to tell me his story, without even knowing my name, and had tried to communicate with me without pushing me to actually talk. This notebook is to talk to Luke and Luke only. I don’t plan on showing anybody else what I write to Luke; that’s between him and I.


When we pull up to the house, I quickly get out, shoving the notebook into my sweatshirt pocket. Ignoring the fact that was mother is talking to me, I walk inside and up to my room. I plop onto my bed, pulling both my phone and my notebook out of my pocket. I program Luke’s number into my phone, and then I mentally debate on whether or not I want to actually text him. After a few minutes of thinking, I decide to be brave, and text him.


“Hey, it’s Ru.” I don’t expect a reply, so I put my phone on the charger and lay back on my bed, closing my eyes.


I start to think about everything that has happened today, and how nice it felt to actually converse with someone my own age. Not that I converse with anyone else, but still. All of my friends had given up on me, not that I blame them because I did push them all away, but it was still nice to have somebody look at me and not judge me.


Everyone had treated me different after I was abducted, which was strange, because nobody knew what had actually happened. I had just gone mute and felt tired all the time, but I didn’t think it was that big of a deal. A lot of people were tired and quiet, so what?


But even after two months of being back in school, people were still pointing, talking about me, and making up rumors. Some people said I had gotten pregnant and had taken two weeks off to have an abortion. Others said that I ran away with some guy and the reason I wasn’t talking was because I was pissed that we had gotten caught. I was failing most of my classes because I refused to participate in any class discussion. I was sent to the counselor's office several times a day so we could “talk about my feelings”, but of course, I never even muttered a word to him.


The police had come to our house; apparently somebody at school called them and said my mother was abusing me at home. When we had worked things out and made it clear to the police that no, my mother did not abuse me, protective services forced my mother into taking me to a doctor.


The beginning of my third month back, I dropped out of school, not wanting to deal with anybody’s shit anymore. I signed myself up for online school and had been doing it ever since. One night, about a week into me being “home” schooled, my mother and I got into a fight. She yelled at me for causing such a scene and said countless things that I never want to think about again, let alone repeat them.


Four months and nine days of being back home, I started having nightmares. They weren’t the kind I usually had: running from a tiger in slow motion, or falling off the top of very, very high monkey bars. These nightmares were different: when I awoke from them, I was always sweating, gasping to catch my breath, and very panicked. They were also different because they weren’t unrealistic things that would never happen, they were memories. And still to this day, those nightmares are the only things I remember when I wake up in the morning.


Month 5, day 16, was the first time I tried to commit suicide. I repeated this on month 6, day 3; month 7, day 19; and month 15, day 5. I don’t remember much about any of these days, just that I had never felt so ready to die than I had in those moments. But every time, my mother caught me while I was in the middle of my act, and rushed me straight to the hospital. All in all, I had been in the hospital on suicide watch for twelve whole days; twelve whole days in which I sat there, wishing I had done things different: a minute sooner, a different way, somewhere that wasn’t at home. But as much as I wished that all of that were true, it wasn’t, and I couldn’t go back and change the past.


Now, month 15, day 15, I’m not sure how I feel. Do I want to die? Not at this moment. Will this feeling change? Probably. Once Luke realizes that I’m just a big waste of time, I’ll go back to being lonely, and wishing that I was dead.


After a year in therapy, my feelings are still the same.

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