Author: Raven's Hymn PM
Part 1 of 3: Helen has been a cutter for two years. She believes she will have to wait until she graduates to leave her old life behind, until she is given a choice:to leave her old life for the summer with a mysterious stranger.Rated: Fiction T - English - Spiritual/Suspense - Chapters: 32 - Words: 24,671 - Reviews: 31 - Favs: 10 - Follows: 7 - Updated: 12-03-10 - Published: 04-30-10 - Status: Complete - id: 2802241
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
There is only one thing that I know was the moment I will always remember. Not my birthday, when Scarlet and I stayed in and had our own little party while Don was gone, not any of the moments that I spent alone with Don while Scarlet was away, not even the time Don looked at me and it seemed like he was about to tell me he loved me. There was something far more memorable than any of that. It didn't last very long, but everything in that one moment was enough for me to realize how much had changed. How much I had changed.
I don't even remember where we were, I just couldn't focus at that time. We had left England about a week ago, yet something had changed. Don wasn't speaking to either Scarlet or me, he seemed to be gone for more that he usually was, never even including me in his outings, and he began to grow more distant, like he didn't want anything to do with me anymore. I was conflicted; nothing seemed to make any sense.
Then everything changed.
It was dark outside, the moon shining like a beacon in the sky. I was looking out my window, feeling so alone. When I went back, there would be nothing for me. My parents would most likely ship me off to boarding school as soon as I walk through the front door. I would be forced to conform, killing every last bit of myself as they could. I couldn't survive in a place like that, or even my own home. I would be suffocated.
I heard footsteps down below. I wondered if it was Don; he had been gone for most of the day. That moment I decided that I needed to talk to him about what we were doing. I needed to know what was going on; I had to find out the truth. There were too many secrets between us. I wanted him to understand that I couldn't go back to my old life; I wanted to stay with him and finish this. I would never tell him.
When I reached the end of the stairs, I could see him, but he was not alone. There was a girl with him. The look on his face showed that he didn't expect to see her.
"What are you doing here?"
"I was going to ask you the same thing." She had a British accent; Don must have met her while we were in England. But what was she doing here?
The Don, it seemed, didn't want to continue with the conversation. "It doesn't matter."
"Really. You're in the same state, the same city, the same hotel, and you say it doesn't matter?"
"Amy, it's not what you think."
"Then what is it?"
"It's…nothing that you would understand."
He turned to leave, but she wasn't finished with him. She stepped in front of him, blocking him from leaving. She tried to look strong, but I could see the beginning of tears and the look of hurt in her eyes
"Why do you keep doing this!? You constantly pushing me away when all I want is for you to see that I-"
"How could you do this!? This is insane!"
"And what you are doing is different?"
"It's completely different, and it has nothing to do with this."
"Yes it does, because whatever it is, it's keeping you away from me."
She was on the verge of crying by then. "We spent so much time together, getting closer every day, and then you just leave without so much as a goodbye. It's like you don't even care about me. How could you do this to yourself, to me?"
Don didn't look sympathetic, more like he was irritated, like this was something he didn't want to get involved in and not a girl pouring her heart out to him. It was like he just didn't care. What he said next sent ice straight to my heart.
"I didn't do anything, that's the point. Amy, you have to understand; I can't let this go on any longer. You have to go back."
"But I want to stay with you! Don't you understand that I-"
"Look, I don't know what made you think there was anything going on between us; I just needed you to help me, and I never wanted anything more than that. I never had feelings for you that were anything more than just that. You have to understand that whatever you thought was going on was never real; it was all in your head; nothing that you can say or do will ever change any of it."
It felt like my heart had been ripped out of my chest. Right in front of my eyes I watched as the same thing had happened to me was happening to another. He never loved me; he never even liked me, at least not in that way. I was just someone he needed for whatever it was he was doing. He never even told me what was going on.
I could hear her crying, another victim of his charm. The both of us were hurt in the same way. I was about to confront Don and tell him that I was leaving for good, and that I never wanted to see him again, just take me back; I didn't even care about going to boarding school at that point. I was done with his lies.
Then she said something that made everything just a little bit clearer, and that much more complicated.
"Hailey was right about you: you're nothing but a heartless trickster; you never care about whom gets hurt just so long as you get what you want. And you won't' realize what you've done until it's too late, not until you see that whatever it is that you want will never be yours."
I heard her footsteps as she walked away. So Don knew Hailey. Was that what he was doing all this time, looking for her? But why? It seemed as if she hated him as much as Scarlet. Was it for the same reason?
Scarlet! She would know. She could explain everything! Why didn't I think of that before? I rushed to her room; this time we had separate rooms. I was so excited that I paid no attention to what was around me. I finally had the chance to figure out what was going on. When I opened her door, my excitement turned cold. She was gone.
"She left about an hour ago."
I turned around. Don was standing there, like what happened with Amy never happened.
"Left? Why? Where did she go?"
"It doesn't matter." Just like when he was speaking to Amy. No emotion, just empty.
"C'mon, there's something we need to do tonight."
I was too confused to protest. At around nine at night, only an hour had passed since I had realized the truth; I was next to Don, who was driving to a place that I was oblivious to. Where were we going, and why?
We stopped at a large house. I had no idea what was going on. Nothing seemed to make sense. I was about to ask him where we were, but then I saw him take my belongings out of the back.
Summer was over. It was time for me to go back.
He took everything that I had brought with me to the porch of the house, leaving me to walk towards him. It seemed to take me hours to get to him instead of just a few minutes. When we reached the door, he turned to face me.
"You can stay here for as long you want. You can call you parents to pick you up. Tell them whatever you want, even the truth. You can go back, just like I promised."
"So this is it then?"
"Like I told you before, I never break a promise. Unless…" he stepped closer to me, "you want to stay."
That was the moment that I was faced with the chance of a lifetime. I could go back to my old life, or stay with Don.
We could be together. He would finally tell me the truth of what he was doing; we would be together, growing more and more in love each day, nothing keeping us apart. All I had to do was say yes.
That's when everything seemed to finally come into focus. It was like I had been in the dark for so long and light had finally reached me. I didn't have just two paths to take anymore, there were thousands of ways I could go. No one could control me anymore; I was my own person now. If I decide to go back, there was nothing holding me to, my parents; they had no power over me anymore. I had a voice this time, and no one could silence me.
I took my first step on my own and chose my path.
"No, I can't."
He leaned in to me, our faces only inches from each other. Instead of the kiss that I had longed for what seemed like an eternity, his lips gently brushed against my cheek. It lasted only a minute.
I watched as he walked towards his car. He looked at me one last time, maybe waiting for me to take it back and go with him. But I stood firm. This was my choice, and I wasn't going to change my mind. He got into his car, driving off into the night. That was the last I saw of Don Stillwater.
It's a week until summer now; almost a year since I chose to leave my old life behind, when my life changed forever.
Today I decided to go to the lake. The water is crystal clear. Somehow they reminded me of the blue eyes that looked at me so long ago. I look down at what I am holding. It is a simple shoebox, nothing special about it. Unless you look inside. There you could see shards of broken glass, collected over several months. Some have been used, some have not. I have made more scars; all innocent-looking enough by itself. Unless you look at the whole of it, you would not suspect a thing.
The face I see in the water is different than it was only a year ago. Back then, there was this half-glazed look in my eyes, like I was only half-alive. Now it's gone, replaced with light.
I had been hiding in the shadows for so long, taking broken shards of cold glass as my lover, pushing everyone else away. Then I was given a chance to escape, a chance to be set free. Now I am stronger because of it. Despite the pain that I had to face, I came out of it alive.
I lift the lid, letting the sun catch the broken pieces, so much like my soul. I take one and throw it up into the air. As it moves toward the sky, the sun catches it for a moment, and then it falls, disturbing the stillness as it lands in the water. As each and every shard of glass meets its new home, so does the broken girl that I used to be.
Thanks for sticking with me this long. Sorry about the length, I guess it got longer that I expected. Unfortunately, I wasn't sure about the way the story was going, so I had failed to mention that this was only the first part of a project that I have been working on. I will submit the second part as soon as I figure out how the rest of the story will progress. Just so you know the project will be 3-parts (which is a condensed version of the original, that's why I never mentioned the others). The next 2 parts will most likely be lengthy (sorry) because it will be told in 2 POV. You don't have to read the rest if you don't want to but if you do, I hope I can answer any questions that you might still have. C.R.