Stuck In Fire 2 - Justin Bieber

Justin is finally reunited with Katie.. and that's awesome. I don't know what to write, 'cause i haven't read the story o.o IT'S NOT MIIIINE. I JUST POST IT TO READ IT :P


46. kapitel 36 del 1



The drive home was a lot more fun than I thought it would be. We actually talked about so many things…her parents, her old friends, her school…there was even a boyfriend back home that she told me about. He sounded like a very nice kid, who really cared about her and wasn't only after sex. They had never even done anything except kissing. She talked about him a lot. His name was Julian.

"It sounds like a very nice life you had there, Kerri.", I said warmly, looking at the smile on her face now. It wasn't like the one before. This was the real one and I just wished it wasn't covered up with all that cheap makeup. Her eyes resembled those of a raccoon and her lips were all messy. I'm sure there's a very cute girl under there somewhere.

"It was.", she stretched, now locked into her seatbelt, as I refused to move until she put it on. That was a fun ten minutes before we left the diner parking lot. She could be a real brat but that was every sixteen year old, wasn't it?

"I just didn't know it at the time.", she said with a sad voice and her eyes stared out into the black highway, only green and white signs there to distract her.

"I hear that.", I said, staring out there, too, "I had everything…and I didn't appreciate it. I walked away from it and thought I could just come back later. I got no later. It was all gone before I drove myself home. Sometimes, we don't get to come back and try again. You're lucky. You can."

"I'm NOT going home, justin!", she got a bit loud and I winced, then she corrected herself and said, "I mean, Anthony."

"Forget the justin, Kerri, please.", I said without any anger, "Anthony. You can't slip once we get to Casper."

"I know, I know…I won't…my bad.", she said, trying to make her seat lean back a bit.

"I'm not forcing you to go home.", I said, getting back to the topic, "When you're ready…if you're ready, it's up to you. You let me know and I'll get you there."

"They hate me.", she said coldly, not sounding upset, "And now, they'll hate me even more. I've done so many bad things."

"That's horseshit.", I said, "I'm a father of a girl and I know there's nothing she can do that would make me hate her. If she came home to me, and told me what terrible things she'd been through…I would blame myself. I would hurt. But I would hold her and try to make it right. I would try to do everything I could to make her happy. I'm sure your parents feel the same way. You're just being stubborn and not giving them a chance. It's okay, though, it's what girls do I guess."

"Whatever.", she looked away and didn't say much else then.

I turned on the radio and tried to find something good to listen to. The ice was broken again later as we sang together, along with Bon Jovi, hollering, "You give love…a bad name!"

It was perfect for both of us, that song.

Later, I found myself telling her my own watered down story….leaving out all the private details that the marshals would kill me for if I told anyone…and I was talking about Casper now, and all our new friends. Just then, I realized how many new friends we have. It was not so long ago that selena and I toasted each other on the cliff at our special spot, for having one friend, Marcus. Life is weird.

I turned to her and she was snuggled up on her side, her hands propped under her face as she slept, a little smile on her lips. In the dim light, I could almost see that she was a little girl, the make up almost invisible to me now. I had listened to her talk for the last two and a half hours and I had to admit, she was a cute little thing. She could talk and talk and talk once she got going…she loved everything dark – vampires, zombies, ghosts….they all fascinated her. I think she just knows now that they aren't the real monsters – people are.

I carefully climbed out of the car and booked a hotel room for her for this week. If she wanted to stay longer, I'd pay the rest later. The owner of the one little hotel in town was one of the towns people I'd met when Katie got lost, so he was fine with that. There was no one else really staying here anyway, and I was glad no other people were around to see it when I got to the car and tried to wake her up.

"Kerri…", I gently said her name and shook her, "Kerri! Earth to Kerri."

"Five more minutes, Mom.", she whined a little and rolled towards me, cuddling up inside my jacket that I'd laid over her as a blanket.

I guess I'm Mom now.

I remember how well I had slept in selena's bed when I first met her, I felt so safe. It felt as if I hadn't slept for over a hundred years then. I understood how she could've fallen into this deep, dark sleep.

I could've roused her awake with more force, but I didn't want to scare her. It looked like this was the first good sleep she'd gotten in awhile so I just said, "Fuck it." And scooped her up into my arms, carrying her to her little red cabin in the corner of the other cabins here.

I got the door open and walked into the dark room, the moonlight showing me where the bed was. I laid her down, taken a blanket from the sofa and covered her up and then turned to the desk to switch the lamp on, looking at the little digital alarm clock sitting there. 11:23pm it said.

selena and Peter would be here soon. I had called them when I got into town and asked them to meet me here, to look for the car so they'd know which cabin I was in. I told them I found someone who needed their help, and that I would like selena to speak to Kerri first, without seeing Peter right away. I didn't want to alarm her by another strange man coming into this room, she had enough trust issues with just ME, let alone bringing Peter into it. I thought selena would help more, being a few years older, and being a female…and I knew firsthand about selena's soft, warm way of helping…of talking. I knew Kerri would respond to her. Katie was blessedly at Ben and Angela's for the night so there was nothing keeping selena there, and Peter would pick her up and bring her over here.

I was snapping my fingers near Kerri's face a moment later, knowing this girl needed a little toughlove sprayed upon her before my selena arrived. I knew how easy it could be for someone like Kerri to change her mind and go back to that loser, out of fear or out of need…I wanted to be kind to her but I couldn't coddle her. I didn't want her to think she was just going to lay around for a few weeks while we took care of everything.

I wanted her to call home…and have her parents come get her. That was my big hope for her now, to return to her life and finish school, maybe go to college…and from what she told me, her parents were good people. She should be with them.

"Uhhhh….", Kerri complained, trying to roll over, "Noooo…."

"Yes.", I didn't allow her to roll away from me, and I snatched the blanket off her body as she gasped out, not liking the loss of the warm fleece blanket she was cocooned in a moment ago.

"Wake up, Princess.", I said sternly, helping her get to her feet as she groaned.

I walked her to the bathroom and pointed out where the soap and washcloths were.

"Wash all the shit off your face.", I ordered, shoving my sneaker against the door, "And the door stays open. I've got my eye on you."

"What do you think I'm gonna do?", she frowned at me, resembling Heath Ledger's joker from Batman, "Steal the soap?"

"Ha ha.", I squinted at her, pulling the wooden chair from the desk a few feet away and sitting in it, waiting for her to tidy herself up a bit.

What I was really afraid of was her doing something to hurt herself. I don't know where this girl's head is at right now and I have seen more than one new whore kill herself when she'd realize what she had become and that she couldn't get out of it. I wasn't sure that this would be Kerri's situation, but still, I wasn't taking that chance. She wouldn't be hurt or die on MY watch.

A minute later, I began to hear the sobs coming out of the open bathroom. I jerked my head towards the sound and saw that she was staring at her half washed face in the mirror, crying, her body shaking as she wept, the water running uselessly into the sink.

"Kerri, what's the matter?", I felt my chest tighten as I moved to the doorway, looking at her closely.

She just cried and sunk to the floor as the steam rose up out of the sink…I squatted down next to her, a human ball crumbled up before me, quivering and making the most heartbreaking sounds. A girl this age shouldn't be able to cry this deep. Before I knew it, I was holding her and she was clinging onto my arms, her head resting against my chest as she tried to form words, but they came out more like loud gasps.

"I'm SO ugly!", she sobbed again as I softly stroked her hair, the one innocent spot on her that I COULD touch.

"No you're not.", I said tenderly, hoping she could hear me in there, "You're a beautiful, young girl…"

"I'm not fucking talking about my FACE, ANTHONY!", she cried harder.

Oh. I get it.

"I know.", I said, taking another stupid chance and revealing more of my secret, "After the first time I…sold myself…I didn't even recognize ME anymore…in the mirror. I hated my face, I hated myself. I knew I was changed forever…that I'd never really be…ME…that me…ever again. I had crossed that line…a line you can never go back across…I felt like I betrayed everything I was…spit on all I held dear. I know how it feels. And I can't promise that there's some cure…but things can get better. If you work at it, every day. You will start to see yourself in the reflection again. I promise."

She looked at me and for a moment she was quiet…but then she burst out crying again. I tried to comfort her but I didn't know what else to do.

Finally, she began to settle down again, and when she looked up at me, she squinted and asked, "Why are you being so nice to me? What do you WANT?"

"Nothing.", I furrowed my brow as I replied, and I recognized this too – this paranoid feeling I used to get when someone was kind to me…I even had it when selena began showing her love to me. Only I was much, much worse than Kerri was being now.

"Kerri…", I began with a kind voice, "I know it's hard for you to trust me…or anyone. I know you've been taught to only trust Kurt. But you can trust me. I don't want anything. I won't hurt you. I just know the road you were about to travel…and something in me just said NO. I'm glad I got lost tonight. Actually, I guess I really didn't get lost at all. Someone drove me right to you. Some angel. Maybe the same one that sent my selena to ME."

"I don't believe in angels!", she sneered, filled with fear and anger and rightfully so.

"You will.", I just smiled back at her, knowing selena would be here soon.

Then, a knock tapped on the door and I heard selena call, "justin?"

Kerri jumped and looked at me with fright in her eyes.

"It's okay, it's okay.", I assured her as I slowly stood up and brought her with me, "Come here, sit down a minute."

I sat her down on the bed and she watched me as I ran to the bathroom, turning the water off and then darting to the door, unlocking it and letting my baby inside.

I pulled her right into a giant hug, moaning as my heart grew three sizes just from being up against hers. She hugged me, too, digging her little fingernails into my shoulder blades as she kissed my shirt, over the circle where my heart laid. I love it when she does that.

"Are you alright?", selena began bombarding me with questions, "Is something wrong? Did they find us?"

Peter was standing in the doorway behind selena, staring at me, wondering what the hell was happening, but he didn't come inside, as I had asked.

"Shhh…", I rubbed my nose against hers, closing my eyes for a moment, "I'm fine now. God, you smell SO amazing. How do you do that?"

"Soap and water.", she cracked back, sounding confused, "justin, what's going on—"

selena stopped in mid sentence and went dead silent. I looked into her eyes and saw she was looking over my right shoulder and she was frowning a little.

I turned and looked at Kerri, who looked like death warmed over, the black lines of eyeliner running down both cheeks as she stared at selena and I like we were two fucking child molesters about to take her down.

"I get it.", Kerri looked defeated as she looked down, just like I still do sometimes, and she added, "You want to do a threesome…or a foursome."

"What?", selena's head whipped around so she could glare at me, in utter shock.

"NO!", I felt my own eyes gape open, looking at selena and Peter and then I spun my head towards Kerri, adding, "NO! Kerri's that's NOT what this IS, TRUST ME!"

"KERRI?", selena's hands went into fists at her sides as her eyes burned a hole into my face.

"If you want a threesome, Anthony, or group sex…it's gonna cost you even more than before.", Kerri said, still looking dejected.

"MORE THAN BEFORE?", selena shouted, "WHAT THE FUCK IS THIS ANTHONY? It better be your idea of a really SICK JOKE! And even if it IS, you're still going triple time with Dr. Peter!"

"Yea!", Peter chimed in, and I shot him a quick glare.

I held selena's arms and began to try and explain but then selena gasped, looking behind me.

I spun around and saw Kerri slipped off her little half tank top, no bra underneath it, and moving to unzip the little skirt she was wearing now.

"WOAH, WOAH!", I used the horse talk on Kerri now, as if it would make her stop what she was doing. Kerri just shot her eyes up at me, looking pissed off as I picked up her top and shoved it at her, saying, "STOP taking your clothes off! No one wants a threesome! Or group SEX! Especially NOT us! I told you, we're going to help you. No one wants SEX here, NO one!"

Peter made a strange little face and a very slight shrug but I think I was the only one to see it.

"Good cause you're not getting any until you're 109!", selena sneered behind me, still ready to pounce upon me.

It wasn't easy but somehow I got it all explained out to all of them. Kerri quit taking her clothes off and got re-dressed and selena stopped making my funeral arrangements. Peter was so proud of me he gave me a HUG! And when selena glared at him, he excused himself and said he'd be back in a few minutes. Woos.

Before I knew it, selena was sitting on the bed across from Kerri's, asking her some questions about Kurt.

They weren't interrogator questions…they were friend questions. Like when selena first began to ask about MY life. When she first asked about Victoria…it was just like this. She got me to tell her what I liked about Victoria, instead of just telling me to hate her. She let me talk and discover the answers and the truth for myself.

I sat back, away from them, letting them bond and get to know each other while I just watched, amazed by Dr. selena's talents. Peter was nice enough to wait outside, and I think he was chatting with the guy who owned the cabins, taking another chance to get to know someone in town and clean up his shattered image a bit. I would've gone with him, but Kerri wanted me to stay. I guess she had a little trust in me after all.

Peter told us to come get him if we needed him, but selena made it look so fucking easy. As I watched her work her magic on Kerri, I realized that I'd never had a chance. When I met selena, I think, even though I didn't know it…and selena hadn't planned on it…I fell in love with her in the first five minutes of our couch therapy. Most of all, I felt selena's CARE right from the start. She does care. And now I can see, she doesn't just care about ME…but about EVERYONE. It's her way.

I fell in love with her 500 times more as she gently became Kerri's new friend. She didn't come on like a psychologist…not at all. She was just another girl, a few years older, hanging out with Kerri, first finding out Kurt's so called 'good qualities' or at least what Kerri thought they were…instead of calling Kurt a scumbag from the start, which we all knew he was. She was a genius.

"How long were you and Kurt together?", selena asked some time later, smiling like an angel at Kerri, seeing through the makeup and the tight clothes…and seeing a little girl in desperate need of help. That's what I had seen too, but I had no idea how to put things right. I knew selena would have the skill to ease the pain.

"About a year.", Kerri said with shame, looking at me all of a sudden, as if she was afraid for me to hear this. I showed no reaction or disgust, I just gave her a warm smile, not saying a word.

Very subtly, selena moved away from Kurt and gently eased into talking about her family. I was proud that I had thought to ask about them too, in the car, and felt such a rush of – I don't know – just something so great…that I had been on the same page with selena…that my instincts weren't total shit. It felt so good.

"I can't say I understand what you're going through, Kerri.", selena said later, "But I do know that the past is the past. And now is now. If you don't like what your life was, then all you have to do is change it, as simple as that. All you have to do is start over again."

"I don't have…anything.", Kerri said, her voice breaking a bit as she looked at me and then to selena.

"You're wrong.", selena said right away, "You have YOU. That's everything. And besides, when you have nothing, you have nothing to lose, right?"

Kerri rolled her eyes and fought the instinct to trust again, and scowled, "Got any more cute little sayings for me?"

I almost leapt up and shouted at her, but selena had this.

"Sit down, Anthony.", selena glanced at me and looked at Kerri with determination, "You're right, you don't need clichés and quaint little ideas from ME. So let me tell it to you straight. You're not a hooker anymore. You're not Kurt's bitch anymore. You're not alone anymore. You've done some sleazy things, that's no lie, and I know you'll have to do lots of therapy to be able to look at yourself in the mirror again…not to mention to be able to look your family and friends in the eye after you've told them what you've done.

It's gonna suck and it's gonna hurt you so much….especially if they reject you again. It's going to be damn hard. But it's either facing that and having a life…or going back…and being dead…or worse.

When I met Anthony, he was so used to his life that he actually looked like he was HAPPY with it all…or unaffected. That's the first thing I noticed about him, was how great he seemed with it all. Under that hard shell was a lot of fucking pain…pain he's probably always going to feel, for the rest of his life. He wants to spare you that pain, that struggle. He's been through so much agony and been so abused…and yet today he still wants to be kind and help people. He wants to help YOU. He believes in you. He has kept his heart, despite the fucked up attempts by some sick assholes to destroy it.

And he thinks because I saved him, that I can save YOU. But he's wrong. Only YOU can save yourself. Just like he saved HIMSELF. Only you can free yourself. It's your choice. No one can force you to do anything. So, what's it gonna be? Are you staying? Or do we drive you back to Kurt right now?"

Oh God, I LOVE my selena!

She took a long time to answer, looking at me again and then downwards…finally, she looked up at selena and almost whispered, as if Kurt could hear, "I don't wanna go back there again. Please don't make me go."

"No one wants you to go, Kerri.", selena said right away, with such heart that I got a little misty eyed myself. Kerri gave a very relieved smile and a small tear escaped her right eye.

Within a couple hours, we had made some plans for Kerri. Even Peter helped us out with that. In the morning, I came to the hotel room again to pick Kerri up for her first day of work, wearing my black cowboy hat and usual work attire.

She had given a little laugh at seeing me in my hat, but I didn't pay any attention to that. I thought I had the wrong room for a second. Kerri's face was all clean, free of any makeup, and her hair was straight and pulled back into a very neat ponytail behind her head. She was wearing a pair of selena's jeans and one of her very comfortable flannel shirts, a black and white one. And also, a pair of selena's sneakers sat happily on her feet.

"Wow Kerri.", I said with a genuine smile, "You're very lovely when you're all cleaned up. When you're…yourself."

She blushed a little at the tip of her small nose and looked down with a smirk, exactly the way I usually receive a compliment.

"No, I look hideous…", she began to put herself down, another trait of mine.

"You look great!", I argued, "Besides, it doesn't even matter. The horses aren't very particular. They just want to be fed, washed, and watered. Let's go."

Kerri rode in the back of the truck with us to get to the stables. I introduced her to everyone, including Bob, and she even had a little coffee with us, after she was sure Bob was only joking when he called it cow piss again.

"Do you do that joke on everyone?", I asked him as she sipped a little of it, glad to have a warm drink in this cold. I gave her one of my jackets so she didn't get pneumonia.

I was in charge of Kerri at the stables, Sharon had told me, so I began with a very sentimental favorite from my past.

"Move it, girl.", I said strictly once we arrived at work, "You've gotta move a lot faster than that around here."

"Sorry, Anthony.", she said timidly, catching up with me.

"See all these bowls?", I pointed at the plastic bowls in the shed, "Everyone of them has a name on it. We're going to put the horse's food in there and then YOU'RE gonna deliver each one to its owner. Got it?"

"Got it.", she stared at all of those little bowls, totally unaware that a very rough trick was being played on her by me…one that was played on me on my first day here. But tradition is a beautiful thing…and I, like the others, wanted to see just how tough and committed the dark princess was to doing an honest day's work…and staying clean here.

"Move it, girl!", I snapped again, "No room around HERE for a princess, not even a dark one! Hurry it up! We've got a lot of hard work to do."

She dove right in and began piling up the bowls, trying to carry as many as she could to bring them over to the pens and horses.

It wasn't very long before all the bowls were full and Kerri was on her way to each stall, gently opening the door and trying to enter with the ridiculous bowl. I tried not to laugh when she let out her first scream, in the clutches of Temper, one of the horses I loathed most. Psycho watched from his pen in glorious anticipation, almost salivating that he would get his turn with the new human today.

"DON'T BITE ME, you FUCK!", she screeched and I lost my restraint, turning my back to the stall and laughing out loud, covering my face with my hat.

Then, I got myself together and turned to her, my stern face on.

"Kerri!", I shouted at her from outside the pen she was in, "Be kind to the horses. You work for them."

"TELL THEM NOT TO BITE ME THEN!", she hollered back.

I raised my brow at her and didn't say a word.

"Yes, Anthony.", she said quietly now, trying to move out of the corner she was trapped in, and she put the bowl down, hurrying out of the stall.

She was taking forever with the bowls, and I wondered if I was this slow when I began. I was just so proud of her for not giving up, for doing it, for taking a deep new breath with each bowl and each new horse. She has potential. She's got guts, that's for sure.

All day long I was ordering her around, not particularly enjoying that, or used to being in charge, but it was great the way she always did what I asked, no matter how heavy the lifting, or how disgusting the job, she was there and tried her very best.

"KERRI!", I shouted, "More hay! Move it!"

"Okay Anthony."


"Yes, Anthony?", she asked meekly.

"More grain, bring two of the big bags!", I demanded, "Move it!"

And she did. She even RAN to get it! Those fucking bags weigh a TON! And I got them both…pretty damn quickly! She's good!

Yoyo had let himself out of his pen again and again today…I think just so Kerri would chase him and bring him back over and over. He had a little boy horse crush!

"KERRI!", I called her later, "What are you doing? Sitting down on the job?"

"I didn't sit, I FELL!", she climbed upon her feet, wiping the horse manure off her ass, "Psycho PUSHED me!"

"Psycho?", I furrowed my brow, "Sweet, innocent little Psycho? That horse is a LAMB! I don't know why he would do that, you must've scared him! Go put him back in his pen."

I looked for him and saw him out in the fenced in field, making a beeline right towards my Dancer again!

"FUCKRAG!", I shouted, racing out there, "GET AWAY FROM MY BABY!"

I hadn't meant to, but I had given Kerri a little laugh at my expense then. I guess she had earned it so I didn't mind.

By lunchtime, Kerri looked half dead. Sweaty, smelly, covered with mud and manure stains. In short, just like I always looked after a day with these evil horses.

It was pretty cold outside so I just put a horse blanket down in between the two walls of horse stalls and we sat on it, ready to feed ourselves for a change.

"Time to feed the humans.", I smirked at her, watching her sit across from me, looking a little embarrassed.

"I didn't bring anything to eat.", she shrugged, about to say it was fine, that she wasn't hungry, or some other huge lie.

I opened my lunchbox and almost rolled my eyes, tossing her a very thick sandwich, a little post it note said KERRI on it. And then this wonderful smile spread across her face at me.

"Thanks.", she said, peeling the note off the sandwich, and she turned it over.

We're all so proud of you, Kerri. Keep up the great work. Love Anthony, Marie, and Katie

Kerri smiled at that and I grinned at her as I handed her a can of coke to go with her sandwich.

"Who's Katie?", she asked, not letting it show, how much that had touched her…but I saw her face in that first three seconds.

"My daughter.", I informed, muttering, "Nine years old going on thirty."

"You told your daughter about me?", she asked, confused.

"Not all the adult details…", I said, taking a bite of my sandwich now, a nice collection of steak pieces and a little gravy enveloped in a nice, long hoagie roll. I guess Kerri had the exact same thing.

"But yea, I told her that I found you…that you'd run away from home…and that you're working here now.", I stated, "She is already bugging me to bring you home so she could play wii with you."

Kerri smiled and then suddenly acted all indifferent about this.

"What did you say?", she asked skeptically, taking a big bite of the sandwich, making a MMMM sound.

"You don't get near my home or my daughter until you show me you can be trusted.", I said flatly, not willing to take any chances at all when it came to my daughter's safety, "So earn the trust…and someday, I will bring you home with me for dinner."

Kerri nodded, understanding that and we ate for a couple minutes in silence.

"You can….trust me, you know.", she said very timidly, "I would never…never tell her or anyone anything about you. You didn't have to help me…but you did. I won't forget that, you know…ever."

I just grinned back at her, seeing a whole new side to her today, a side I really liked.

"I just wanted you to know that…", she looked down, opening her soda can, "I'm not like those people who…did those things to you. So…"

"I know you're not.", I said without any hesitation, feeling the trust for her already budding in my heart. I trust too easily. I care too fast. I love too much. Is that a good thing…or a bad one?

"Eat up, princess.", I said, pinning a little nickname onto her the last few times I'd called her during work, "We get to wash the horses next…and groom them…and you're just gonna LOVE that."

Kerri made a face that summed it up perfectly and I gave a little chuckle in spite of my mean guy routine.

Every day I worked Kerri's ass off at the stables. And every night I would ask her, "Ready to call home yet?"

She would always politely say, "Not yet."

She really did surprise me. Everything I told her to do, she did. When I told her about the horse feeding bowl practical joke on the second day, she started chasing me with a pitchfork! The other guys just loved that and I was sure to never hear the end of it.

But, besides that little slip, she did so well.

One night, a couple weeks after she had started working with me, she was about ready to leave when she came looking for me to get on the truck to go home. But I wasn't there. She found me with Dancer.

Dancer was going through a very rough time lately. She had to have a surgery on her legs and she was laying on her side again, in that special isolated pen where we first had her in the beginning. She was under sedation but still, I could see she was hurting…and there was nothing more I could give her for the pain. I just sat next to her, watching her half opened eyes looking at me as if to ask, "WHY? Why are you making me suffer this way? I wish you would just let me go…let me die…"

The nice veterinarian, Dr. Carter, had told me that he would do all he could, but that her legs may never be fully operational. She might not even be able to walk again, let alone run…and that would mean they'd have to put her out of her misery then.

I was sitting there, thinking of all of this, and how far Dancer had come these last months…and then I heard Kerri's voice behind me, softly ask, "Aren't you going home, Tony?"

She called me Tony because Bob told her how it would urk me. She got a great deal of pleasure out of it.

"Not tonight.", I heard my voice say, only it was so weak and fragile even to my own ears, "See you tomorrow, Kerri. Good job today."

I didn't look at her because I knew my eyes were full of tears and my voice must've given me away because she didn't leave.

Dancer's breathing was very heavy and labored…it looked like every breath she took was excruciating…and for the first time, I was considering letting my Dancer go…where she wouldn't feel any more pain. She had fought so bravely…and endured so much…I was starting to think that she should go onto a better world than this shitty one. She deserved better.

Kerri slowly moved inside here, standing behind me as I tried to put up a brave front for her, not wanting her to see me acting like a fucking woos.

"She had the surgery, huh?", Kerri asked, peeking at Dancer from over my shoulder.

I nodded, afraid my voice was too fucked up to use right now.

"She's your horse?", Kerri asked just as sweetly, and I gave a slower nod, whispering, "Yes."

"She's the prettiest one.", Kerri informed, but I already knew that.

I kept stroking her mane, then moving my fingers down the contours of her horse face, watching some of her muscles relax a bit at my touch. That made me so happy but still, I heard a couple sobs come out of me…knowing I'd probably scare Kerri off but I couldn't help it.

"justin…", she whispered my real name and sat next to me, uninvited, putting her arm around me, patting my back, "It's okay. Don't be scared. She'll be alright. She's strong. And she loves YOU, it's sickening. She wouldn't leave you."

I felt myself smile a little at the way she said, 'it's sickening'…that was funny. But the hurt was still tearing at me.

"She's in so much pain.", I said, my voice breaking all over the place, but I didn't give a fuck, "She's just supposed to be a sweet little horse…she's supposed to run and play and eat apples…she shouldn't be feeling THIS!"

"I know.", Kerri agreed, "It sucks. Life sucks. But she's still HERE…she's fighting. I know she'll be cool…once she gets through the hard stuff."

I turned to her and let her see the tears that had spilled over and run down my face. She didn't turn away or even LOOK away.

"Don't give up on her, please, justin.", Kerri said to me, but it seemed that she was not only talking about Dancer…but herself as well. I heard the meaning in her words…and saw the look in her ice blue eyes.


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