Chapter Thirteen


"You need your sleep." Amy said opening the door to Raiken's room. "I cleaned up a little if you don't mind. Don't worry, I didn't remove anything but the clothes on the floor. And I changed your sheets as well."

Raiken stood in the doorway of his room. Everything felt so out of place, like a piece of him was missing. But he couldn't exactly point out what it was. He remembered his mom, his girlfriend, everything exact to what he had for breakfast a week ago. Of course he wasn't supposed to be home, especially only a day after his injury. The doctor strongly opposed his going home, "He needs time to heal."

They told him that his outer physical injuries were minor. Just a few scratches and bruises. The airbag had saved him from any major injuries. He had some burns on his arms from the dashboard catching on fire that they had covered with bandages. They said he had a concussion and his memory would return to him in time. But the amount of impact had caused his last thoughts and related ones to be temporarily forgotten, hidden from view. All he needed was a little push.

He hadn't said a word on the car ride home, or even when he stepped foot in the house. It was just a silence, not an awkward one, but no one knew exactly what to say.

"Don't worry." Amy continued. "I put your journal that you hid under your pillow over on your desk, I didn't read it or anything." She smiled and patted his back before leaving his room. "I recommend a better hiding place though." She laughed before closing the door softly behind her.

A journal? Raiken couldn't recall ever keeping a journal. He didn't find this out of the ordinary since he couldn't remember some things. Like what he'd been doing the past couple of days, who he was with, or even ten years ago what he did over the summer. Maybe that journal was one of his most recent thoughts.

He made his way over to his bed and carefully laid down on it trying not to ruin his bandages or hurt himself in the process. The sheets smelled like Downy and crunched as his body made contact with them. He loved the feel of clean sheets.

To the left of his bed his saw his mom had taken his cell phone, wallet, and other things and laid them out in an orderly fashion on his bedside table. He smiled to himself, silently thanking his mom for being so careful.

Raiken grabbed his cell phone off the desk, unsure if he was ready for what was to come. He wasn't sure he wanted to deal with anything yet, all his friends fussing over him, especially his girlfriend.

He had a few texts, plenty of voicemails and many missed calls. He held down one on his speed dial and put it on speaker.

"Why'd you just leave me!?" The voice was practically a scream. Raiken jumped at the noise rubbing his bandages against his burnt skin causing him to wince in pain. It was Stephanie, of course it was Stephanie. "It's because of her isn't it? That stupid trashy girl you've been hanging out with. Ryleigh whatever her face is. You know what it's over! We are over!" Then there was an additional screech in anger before a the click of her snapping her phone shut.

The automated voice played in the background of his thoughts. "To delete this message press..."

Who exactly was Ryleigh? Another girl obviously. A girl he had been thinking about before the accident. There wasn't much left to go off of that. Had he cheated on Stephanie? He thought long and hard. So hard his head began to hurt.

The automated voice came again, "Are you there? To delete this message press one now..." Raiken deleted it and moved on to the next.

"Baby?" Stephanie again. "I'm sorry." Her voice was cracking. "I take it back. It's not over. Is it? No it's not. No. Please call me back. Tell me it's not. I love you." She sounded like she'd been crying. Stephanie obviously hadn't heard about the accident yet. Why hadn't his mom contacted her? She called that other girl...

Raiken sat up in his bed. The other girl. Before she came into the room he could hear her and his mom speaking. The girl had sounded worried, short of breath, and crying. Just like his mom had when she came in. He remembered his mom kept saying, "He needs you. I'll explain later. He needs you."

He didn't open his eyes. He couldn't recognize her voice even though he knew he should be able to if he needed her so badly. Raiken remembered the cold feel of her fingers as the laced with his, and the heat of her breath as she apologized to him. Why was she apologizing? Who was she?

There it was again. That feeling as if something was missing. Something huge. Raiken clenched his stomach and pressed one on the keypad deleting the message on his phone. The next couple were still of Stephanie, breaking up with him, then making up with him, having conversations and arguments with herself. Raiken deleted them all. He was slightly amused, and a bit confused. Stephanie still didn't know of the crash.

To his relief, none of his text messages were from her though. Most were from Josh asking him where he was. Raiken opened the most recent. "Yo. Heard what happened. Not gonna to tell Steph. She'll freak. Hit me up." Josh could never really form full sentences, it was almost as if he was typing like he couldn't breathe.

Raiken typed in a reply, but a message popped up on the screen. "Outbox full. Save to drafts?" He rolled his eyes. He needed to remind himself to put his settings on auto-delete.

Opening up his outbox he found tons of messages sent to the same person. "Rye Maxim." Raiken scrunched his face in confusion. He opened each message reading them one by one.

"I'm sorry." "Where are you?" "Text me back." "Come on, I didn't mean it."

It didn't seem like he had gotten a reply to any of them. He guessed that "Rye" and "Ryleigh" were the same person. A person he desperately wished to remember. But he didn't delete any of them. He needed answers to his questions. He guessed that Ryleigh was the girl in the hospital that night. Why was he apologizing now? What exactly happened?

His eyes turned the the journal that lay upon his desk. Unopened, unread. It looked battered and aged. It definately wasn't his. He knew that his mom wasn't stupid enought to even consider it being his own. He had a feeling she wanted him to read it. Curiousity got the better of him, and he scooted off the bed towards his desk. The answers could be right in front of him.

On the cover he read sloppy scrawl that declared the owner: Ryleigh Maxim.

There was that name again. Haunting him. He opened it and read the first page. It was just like another diary, another seven year old going on and on about her summer and boys. Well not boys, just a boy. His name was never written down on the page. She kept referring to him as "him" or "he."

"I won't forget today. The rain, the rainbow, everything, and him. He told me he loved me." There was a small heart next to where she signed her name.

Raiken smiled at this. It was cute how infatuated she was with this boy.There wasn't such a thing as love at the age of seven. She didn't understand. Of course he wasn't this stupid when he was younger, Raiken couldn't recall even being friends with a girl when he was that age.

The next few entries were about not seeing "him," wondering where "he" was, and her dad not letting out of the house. It was amazing how much she wrote about "him," how this boy had consumed her life. It almost got Raiken thinking, maybe it is love.

His stomach growled loudly. Raiken noticed he hadn't eaten anything all day besides the chocolate pudding the nurses set in front of him this morning. Maybe this was the emptiness that he had been feeling, not some girl.

Raiken reached for a kit kat bar from across the desk thinking it would make a good snack while he read. The journal shifted on his lap as he reached and fell to the floor with a loud thump. Distracted, Raiken forgot about the food. The journal lay open on the floor and next to it a piece of paper that had fallen out laying face down.

Raiken reached to pick it up, pressing on the bruises on his ribcage. He picked the paper off the ground along with the journal and flipped it over. He gasped in surprise. He found himself staring at himself. A younger version, unhurt, and smiling. His arm propped around a girl around his age, with blonde hair that hung loosely at her side. A heart had been drawn around his face and at the bottom of the page was written, "Me and him."

Disappointment flooded him, along with the memories. Only a few though, memories of the blonde haired girl spending the night at his house and otterpops, followed by rain, rainbows, and "I love you." But that was all. For all he knew that's the last time he had seen her. And now he was back at square one.

There was no way possible that the girl in the hospital was the same one as the girl in this picture. They were two completely different people. The girl in the hospital was deathly pale, jet black hair clung to her face from sweat, and a beautiful smile could never be pictured on a face so broken. In the picture, they girl was smiling, blonde, full of color and happiness. Two completely different people.

Raiken dropped the journal on this desk. He had given up on it. Given up on that girl in the hospital, that girl that he needed so badly.


"So... What are we supposed to do now?" Ryeigh asked as she watched the monkey pick at it's toes. "It's not like we can just bring it back. And I don't think Lei will be happy to let it live here."

They had been sitting in her new bedroom for awhile now. Just watching it prance around the room, climb stuff, and rip stuff. They even managed to get one of Talon's As Blood Runs Black shirts over it's head. For awhile, all they heard was Talon running around bouncing around yelling "It's just like me!" He even began to go on about making it mini-pants, mini-shoes, and mini-socks to go with it. But when Ryleigh pointed out that Talon couldn't even sew, he dropped it. He gave up too easily.

Of course it was cute, too cute actually, but it seemed that once they had all gotten over the excitement of stealing it, they all realized none of them had any idea what to do. No one knew exactly how they were going to manage to take care of a monkey.

"Well, I vote it stays at Talon's house, eats Talon's food, and poops on Talon's floor." Leiland said. Everyone in the room was completely drained of their energy besides the monkey, who was still picking at it's toes.

Talon jumped up in horror. "Why me?!" He practically screamed though he only put about half his effort into it.

"Because it was your idea." Leiland poked Talon's shoulder to make a point. "You stole it." Poke. "You forced us to go to the zoo." Poke. "And I said so." Poke.

Talon rolled his eyes and pouted. There wasn't really a point in fighting with him. "Well I think he's cute anyways." He watched, bemused, as it watched itself in the mirror, confused. "I'll call him Mowgli off that bear in the Jungle Book."

"That was the boy." Leiland pointed out.

"Whatever. I like it." Talon then went over and began making "coochie coochie coo" noises and tickling Mowgli under his armpits.

Leiland turned to Ryleigh and sat down next to her, leaning back and using the side of the bed for something to lean on. He played with his fingers as he spoke, as if he was nervous to even be in her presence. "So how long are you planning on staying here?" He drew out the sentence almost like he was afraid to finish it.

Ryleigh laughed, "Forever if you don't mind."

Leiland smiled slightly then shrugged. "There isn't much to do here but.. Hey watch it!" Leiland jumped up and pointed towards the open door. Mowgli screamed, frightened by his own reflection, and ran out the door and down the hallway.

"I'll get him." Ryleigh sighed and followed him out the door. She wasn't in any hurry, it's not like it could get very far.

The hall looked longer than usual, as if it would go on forever like in scary dreams. All the doors were closed except for the one at the end, the door that Leiland had told her was "forbidden." But she could here Mowgli bouncing around inside, and she didn't want to bother Leiland just to ask permission to retrieve a dumb monkey. Plus she hadn't really felt like talking to anyone anyways since last night.

The lights in the room were off, but she could see a silhouette of Mowgli gazing at himself in the mirror again. Ryleigh pressed her hand against the wall, searching for a lightswitch, but it didn't seem to work anyways. Instead, she walked to the opposite side of the room to a window where the blinds had been tightly closed and opened them.

It looked like an ordinary guest bedroom, except without the bed. There was a desk, a drawer, and a small television opposite it. On the desk there was a mug filled with pencils, and pens and a book lay on top that was so thick it reminded her of her journal that went missing at Raiken's house.

Ryleigh knew she shouldn't be snooping around in Leiland's personal belongings, but it couldn't be that bad. The cover didn't have anything on the front, not even his name or a "Keep Out" sign on it. Just a blank piece of hardbound cover. The first page was much like the front: blank. It continued like that for five pages or so, but then Ryleigh saw herself staring at herself. It was a picture taken four years ago when Leiland first moved the summer of freshman year. Of course it wasn't just her, Talon, Destiny and Leiland were all in the picture as well, but what struck her as odd was the fact that she was the only one looking into the camara.

Ryleigh knew that there was a picture of all of them posing, she had a copy of it in her own journal. Why would Leiland choose this one out of the many that they'd taken? She flipped to the next page, the next, and the next and they all seemed to be pictures of her. Pictures that she remembered, and pictures she didn't even know were being taken. Pictures from birthday parties, school events, yearbook pictures, concerts. Pictures of nothing, nothing but her. There were even drawings, and little things that Leiland would write.

The pages began to go buy faster and faster. It wasn't until the end that Ryleigh began to become more than creeped out, but horrified. It was the night that she had awoken naked at the party. It seemed like they were in chronological order. Getting out of the car, going up the stairs, passing out. Pictures of her sleeping. Naked. Ryleigh dropped the book, and brought her hands up to her mouth to fight off the scream that was making its way up her throat.

How could he have done this? Was it an infatuation? An obsession? No matter what, it was sick, sick and perverted.

"Ryleigh?" A voice from down the hall awakened her from her thoughts. It was Leiland. She snapped the book shut, and set it down so that it looked untouched, unread, and unseen. Mowgli hadn't moved from his postition across the mirror. He seemed to be having a staring contest with his own reflection. Ryleigh rushed to him and scooped him up in her arms.

"Ryleigh?" He was at the door now, staring at her quizzically. "What's taking your so long?" He looked uneasy, his eyes often darting to the book that lay upon his desk as if to ask her if she'd seen anything.

Her head snapped up, surprised. "Oh, nothing. It's nothing." She laughed nervously, easing an awkward silence that wasn't really there. "The little bugger just wouldn't stay in one place that's all." She smiled, still not looking at him. "Let's get back now." Ryleigh moved to one side, but Leiland moved with her, blocking her from leaving.

"Wait." His voice was calm. Too calm.

"Huh?" Ryleigh tried to play it off cool, laughing again.

There was a silence. She could feel him looking at her, staring at her, invading her privacy, and peering into her thoughts. "It's nothing." He said in barely a whisper. He was looking past her now, his eyes on the book laying on his desk. "Let's go." He moved to the side to let her past.

Ryleigh moved past him, but stopped when their backs were facing each other. "Leiland?" She almost regretted saying anything. She wasn't even supposed to be in this room. Why make it worse than it already was?


"Why exactly is this room forbidden?" Ryleigh said. She felt as though it was too blunt so she added, "There's nothing in here but pencils, glue and a book." She laughed nervously.

"That's exactly why." His voice was calm again, a mere whisper. "There is nothing here."


Author's Note:


I'm back.
After a year. I highly doubt anyone is interested in this anymore, it's been so long. /
I've just been so busy.

This is a little short but at least it's something right?

I re-read this, and I'm thinking of rewriting the first two chapters or so.
But don't worry, nothing big will change, I just want them to be a tad more exciting, less boring.
Again, sorry for any mistakes. Its summer and I don't really look out for things like that (:

Hahah. And I know concussions can rarely get that bad, but just work with me on this.

Please review! Thank you (: