"Dear brother, please calm down. I'm not angry with you"
"Y-you're not?" Noah managed to stammer, before looking at Cain for help. Loretta spoke before either of them.
"I figured as much. Today I saw the sign, the sign in front of the building, the one that says 'Albany Mental Institution.' Please, tell me what happened." Noah sighed, his taking a deep breath before speaking.
"Loretta, you live in America, in Albany New York. The year is 2007, not the 1800s. Our father was killed almost a year ago, in a war in Iraq. You were very close to him. Right after he died, you somehow created a life for yourself in 19th century London to escape the pain. At first I thought they were just dreams, you came and explained them to me. I thought it was your way of coping, but it was more than that. I could tell you didn't want to end up like this, and I'm sorry I didn't act sooner. Please, forgive me." After this he stared at the ground, not wanting to see his sister's face. Cain spoke in a quiet voice.
"I'm really a family friend; I've known you since you were born. My sister, Liza Bell, was one of your closest friends. Your brother is right about everything and I'm also sorry that I didn't notice or get you help sooner. Solomon really is our cousin; he's training to become a physiatrist. "Cain gave her a half smile before placing his hand casually on Noah's shoulder.
"I remember now. It's not your fault. I was going crazy, I really was. I felt like there were so many things I should have said to father, so"
"So many times we should have made different choices. Believe me, I know, Loretta." Noah's voice was quiet, his head still down. Loretta stood up, walked over to her brother, and put her thin arms around his neck.
"I'm not upset, Noah. Stop it. I somewhat remember what it was like right before I "moved to London". I kept having these dreams, and they got more and more real until I couldn't control it anymore. I was so scared I couldn't tell what was real and what was not. I guess my mind just picked the happier world, the one I created for myself." Noah kept his head down, staying completely still. It was his fault, she was wrong. She should hate him for lying to her for months. "I don't hate you, Noah." Loretta said quietly, almost reading his mind. "Well you should." Noah muttered weakly, his voice cracking. Before anyone could stop him, he stood up and bolted out of the room, running down the long hallway. Loretta started to stand up, but Cain stopped her.
"I'm sorry, Loretta, I think he needs some time alone…" Cain pulled her down on the bed next to him. Loretta shook her head, staring at the door for a minute before turning to Cain.
"I don't think he's ever coming back, Cain"
"I know." Cain whispered.
Noah ran through the almost deserted streets, paying no attention to where he was going. He just ran, never stopping to see where he was and who he passed. He ran from himself, the monster who had imprisoned his sister for 10 long months. He ran from the other half of himself too, the one that knew he had done nothing wrong. But that side was long forgotten, Noah could only see himself as a sinner. Talking to Cain had helped a bit, but not enough to keep him from thinking about how he should have tried harder to reach his sister. She missed so much school, and driving, she still never took the test. How would she make up a full school year? She'd have to redo it, all of it. But at least she's alive, said the part of him that still had decent thoughts. He shoved that part of him away; if He talked Noah wouldn't be able to do it. He walked into a store, and bought a pen and paper without knowing what he was doing. His hand moved across the paper, the words coming by themselves.
I'm sorry for everything, including this. I'm a terrible older brother, even though you may think I'm not. I didn't want to do this, I really didn't, but I have to. There's no way I'm going to be able to live with myself anymore. Listen to me; you are to go back to high school, then go off to college. Talk to Cain and Liza if anything bothers you, they're good for you, trust me. Don't give up on life like I did, I'm just your stupid older brother, the one who lived to fast. Noah Mom,
I'm sorry. I know with losing dad this is bound to be hard, but I know you'll get through it. I've always looked up to you, mom. You're so brave, so strong. Sadly I'm not. I'll miss you.
You are and forever will be the best friend I'll ever have, no matter where I go and where your life may take you. I'll really miss you, buddy. Please, take care of Loretta for me.
Noahfinished his suicide note, walking past his house and shoving the notebook in his mailbox, not looking at his house in fear he'd back out. Now it was time. He ran faster than he ever did, going to a place where he knew dyeing would be simple. He was almost to the park when a figure tackled him, knocking the wind out of him.
"Noah," said Cain's calm, steady voice, "I don't know what the hell you think you're going to do, but I'm not letting my best friend kill himself over this. Noah froze, wincing as "He" came back, now he thought clearly. Cain was right; his was being stupid and childish. He silently cursed himself for backing out. Cain had moved so he was sitting next to him. He saw right through him, same as always. "That was really stupid; you almost gave your poor mother a heart attack. Loretta and the rest of us were freaked out too. Thank God your mom saw you running otherwise I never would have stopped you in time." He broke off, giving me a disappointed smile. "Don't you ever try something like this again? God, Noah what were you thinking!" He broke off, and in the faint light the streetlight gave off I could tell he had been crying.
"I'm sorry Cain, it was just too much. I'm a terrible older brother, I can't believe I let that happen to her, and now I went and did this. I don't think I deserve to live…" After that we both stayed quiet for a long time, and Cain draped his arm around my shoulders. "It's getting kind of late; I told your mom I'd bring you back when I found you. Loretta's back at your house, too. They let her outta that place." Cain watched as his friend's face fell, if that was even possible at this point. "What's wrong"
"I don't think I could face mom and Loretta tonight"
"You can stay with me, my parents and Liza are in the city seeing a show; they won't be back until tomorrow evening." Cain said quickly, standing up and pulling Noah up with him. He thought it would be best for them to get back to his apartment before Noah broke down completely. Judging by how pale he was, Cain figured that it would happen soon enough. "You have to use your head, Noah… Honestly... I can only imagine what would have happened if I went with my family…terrible…" At those words a shiver went up both of their spines. "Thanks again, Cain"
A/N: Annnnd finished! I'm not sure whether or not to do a sequel, this time through Loretta's view and how she re-adjusts to life... Please review :D