Hello! Does anyone even remember this story? I'm so so sorry that I kind of abandoned my writing and you gorgeous, lovely readers. College is just so intense and I know you don't want excuses and I'm sorry, so here is part of a chapter! It's only the first half of this chapter because I felt like where I ended was a good enough stopping place and if I had continued the chapter would have been forever long. So I'll just post the second half of this chapter as soon as I can!
Thanks so much to Milu, Livi, and Disney is Hardcore! I love you all so much.
The first thing I noticed when I woke up, besides my splitting headache, was that I was warm. This was unusual because I always wake up nearly frozen to death, even if I'd stayed the night at Kohl's house. Kohl was the kind of person who always got up early, and even if by chance he hadn't woken up before me we'd always be separated by morning.
The second thing I noticed was that my bed was moving, slowly but steadily.
What the hell?
I'd been snuggling for a while in that perfect half awake half asleep state, but upon these two disturbing realizations my eyes shot open. I was greeted by the sight of tanned skin and dark brown hair and for a moment I was completely disoriented.
'I am on top of a person,' I finally concluded. 'What the fuck.'
Ever so slowly, so as not to wake the person, I lifted my head up from the crook of their neck to peek at them. When I realized who it was I almost choked and the breath got caught in my throat. I was face to face with none other than a sleeping Nate.
I stared wide-eyed at him for a moment, unable to breath or even move, and tried to think back to how I got into this position. Last night was a complete blur and I couldn't remember anything.
I know I'd come to Arie's after school yesterday, but beyond that… Wait, I remember doing something with Luke.
Nate heaved a deep, content sigh right then bringing me out of my thoughts for the moment. The most important thing right now was how I was going to get out of here without waking Nate up.
My heart was already hammering, but when I silently looked back up at him, it nearly stopped. I know its lame and cliché to say he looked peaceful, but looking at him… he did look happy.
My heart started working overtime and I could feel a blush creeping up my face. Thank fucking god he was asleep right now. He was probably just having a good dream.
Looking away, I tried to assess the situation. It didn't look good. I was completely on top of him, straddling his sides and we had a blanket over us. How the fuck was I supposed to get up without waking him? How the fuck had I even gotten like this?
Holding my breath I decided to just go for it, and carefully started to lift myself up. However, I was stopped by something around my waist. I looked back to see that Nate had wrapped his arms around me, and was unconsciously tightening them as I moved away from him.
I mentally rammed my head against a wall. There was no way out of this without waking him up, but I'd be damned if I wasn't going to at least try to avoid that.
I mean, was Nate going to be mad when he woke up and saw me on top of him? How had I even gotten here in the first place? Was Nate also drunk and that's how we had ended up like this?
I leaned over to casually sniff him, but he didn't smell like alcohol at all. In fact, I practically melted right on top of him because he smelled so good, in a unique manly kind of way. I leaned over to sniff him again, unable to resist.
"Umm, good morning." Came a groggy voice from below me.
I froze, caught in the act, and slowly shifted my gaze up to meet his. His eyebrow was cocked, but he had a sleepy, goofy grin on his face. I could barely breathe, let alone speak. Nate's dark brown hair had gone into a sort of curly mess and him smiling at me was the most adorable thing. I was also now acutely aware of his arms around me now that we were awake. I'd not noticed before because he'd been wearing a jacket, but they were definitely lean and muscular and strong. Kind of like his chest that I was currently on top of.
I swallowed. This boy was utterly fuckable and making me nervous as hell.
After a few moments of embarrassing blatant staring, Nate reached his hand up to brush my bangs out of my eyes. I think he was about to say something but instead of sticking around to find out what that was I shot backwards off of him like a panicked cat, landing on my ass on the other side of the room.
"ImsorryImsorryImsorry," I said in a panic, scooting back along the floor until I ran into a wall behind me with a loud thud. The sudden appearance of said wall surprised me so much that I whipped around and then promptly fell over and got tangled up on the floor in the blanket that me and Nate had been sharing.
I stared at the blanket. HOLY SHIT.
As fast as I could and tripping all the way, I untangled from the blanket and raced up the stairs. Nate was left behind on the couch looking very confused.
Bursting through the basement door, I slammed it behind me and leaned against it looking around like a wild raccoon. I spotted Arie and Kohl at the kitchen island, they had looked up from what they were doing and were staring at me.
"Uh… what the hell is going on?" I asked quietly. "How did I, uh… with Nate… in the basement." I spoke confusedly, pointing from myself to the basement door.
Arie's face was currently going through a mix of emotions, from surprise to smiling then anger. She looked at me with a pointed gaze, her eyes narrowed as she walked around the kitchen island and stood in front of me.
I looked down at her, not sure what to do or why she looked so angry.
"How could you?" She asked, suddenly reaching out her hand and smacking me hard against the face.
It stung and I recoiled into the door, unsure of what I'd done to make Arie so upset. I quickly looked around for Kohl for help, but he already had Arie tightly wrapped up in his arms from behind.
She was still looking at me, but this time with tears in her eyes. I swallowed. What the hell happened last night?
"I'm making you breakfast and you're going to fucking eat every goddamn last bit of it, do you hear me?" Arie forced out, her voice quivering as she wiped away a tear.
My heart sank and I nodded slowly.
"Good," she replied, pushing out of Kohl's arms and walking back over to the stove sniffling.
I stared after her, feeling utterly distressed and helpless and so fucking clueless as to what was going on. I looked back at Kohl and he looked at me. Wordlessly he took my hand and led me from the kitchen and up the stairs. We walked through Arie's bedroom and then into her bathroom, before Kohl shut the door quietly behind him.
In a daze, I went over to the counter and slipped to sit on top of it.
"What the hell happened last night?" Kohl began, in a firm yet gentle voice. When I didn't respond he walked over and stood in front of me, placing a hand on my thigh and another on my chin, forcing me to look at him. "What do you remember?"
I stared at him for a moment before I broke, tears coming to my eyes. "I don't know," I said, my voice cracking.
Kohl's eyes softened and he wrapped me up in a tight hug; I buried my face in his chest and clung to him for dear life.
"I remember I was here, and then I left… with Nate and we met Luke." I began, wracking my memory for anything. It was all so fuzzy and god damn my head hurt right now.
Kohl tensed at the mention of Luke's name, but he started rubbing my back to encourage me to keep going.
"There was a party at Ashley's house," I murmured. "And me and… Luke… and then…" I trailed off, unable to remember anything past me and Luke talking to Ashley in her kitchen.
Kohl sighed and wrapped his arms around me tighter. "I shouldn't have let you go last night," he said in a quiet, pained voice.
"Why not?" I whispered, scared shitless of the answer because of the way Arie and Kohl were both acting. It must have been something really bad. Had I passed out or collapsed again? Did they think I'd relapsed and that's why they were freaking out and Arie was making me food? I internally sighed, already working out various ways to convince them I was fine and that they didn't need to worry about me. I'd eat Arie's food to appease her, but then sneak down to the basement to get rid of it…
"Cyr you got really drunk last night," Kohl started, and I breathed a sigh of relief. That was all? I'd just gotten drunk and passed out? That would be a lot easier to explain away. "And you wandered outside." Huh, I'd never done that before. "And fell into Ashley's hot tub." Oh. "And drowned."
I pulled away from Kohl and stared up at him, unable to speak or even process what he'd just said. I what?
Kohl ran a hand through my hair and looked at me sadly. "Cyr, you died last night."
I could only blankly stare at him, completely unable to understand what he was telling me. It just didn't make any sense. I mean, I was sitting right here. Alive. I had died?
"How am I…" I started, unable to finish as I stared off into space, wishing I could remember something anything from last night.
"Nate found you and pulled you out. You'd stopped breathing but he was able to save you." Kohl said, a small smile returning to his voice as he hugged me against him. "Nate saved your life, Cyr."
Nate had saved me? He brought me back to life after I'd drowned in Ashley's hot tub? This sounded too weird to be true. In fact, they had to be making it up. This was just some elaborate plot against me. Well, fuck you, I wasn't falling for it. Kohl and Arie may think I've relapsed but they're wrong and if they think they're going to drag Nate into this…
"No, you're lying, I was just at Ashley's with Luke, you can as-" but I was roughly cut off by Kohl taking my chin and forcing me to look at him.
"It's not a lie, it's the truth. You drowned last night and Nate saved you. You're fucking spiraling out of control again Cyr, and I'm not going to stand by and let it happen this time." Kohl stated blatantly, a sharp and serious look in his eyes.
"No, I'm not-"
"Yes, you are. You might try to hide it, but I can see how tired you are, how much thinner you've gotten." Kohl said, his eyes fierce.
"Kohl, I-" my voice cracked, as I quivered under his gaze.
"No. No more lies. We're not going to let you do this again." He said, placing a hand softly against my face where Arie had slapped me earlier. "In fact, we need to weigh you. I need to know how bad it is."
"No." I choked, trying not to let the tears that had appeared fall. I pushed weakly against Kohl's chest but he wouldn't move away from me. Helplessly I looked up at him, silently pleading for him to drop the issue. God, I felt so weak. I was shaking all over now and a few tears fell as I tried to calm my breathing.
"Cyr, I love you." Kohl frowned, his resolute features softening as he leaned in to hug me again. "That's why I'm doing this. If I don't then no one else will, and I can't… I won't watch you destroy yourself again."
Breathe. Breathe, breathe, breathe. Just do it to appease Kohl and then he'll leave you alone once he sees there is nothing wrong.
I nodded slowly, staring at the floor, my blood running cold in fear.
"Good." Kohl smiled, grabbing my hand and pulling me off the counter. "Now get on the scale."
I stared at it lying menacingly in the corner of the bathroom, and suddenly my heart rate shot up. I pulled against Kohl's hand as I tried to back away, but he held steadfast and lead me over to it.
"Come on," Kohl murmured, nudging me to stand on it. "You don't even have to look, just get it over with."
Well, I couldn't not look. I swallowed nervously and stepped onto the cold scale. The electronic face blinked a few times before a number finally flashed up, staring at me.
I sighed in relief. It wasn't that bad. Kohl and Arie were worrying for nothing. I turned to grin up at Kohl but he looked distressed and frowned at me. "You're under by eight pounds. We set you a limit, Cyr. You're supposed to be maintaining at least one-fifteen minimum."
My smile dimmed a few watts and I stared down at the fucking numbers. "It's not that bad." I concluded. So what was eight pounds? It's still far better than where I was. I hadn't relapsed or anything.
"A few more pounds and it will be that bad." Kohl said, taking my hand and looking at me earnestly. "Now will you at least promise to go downstairs and eat what Arie's made for you? She's really upset right now."
I nodded, still relieved by my good weight. Looks like I was going to be getting off easy, just eat Arie's breakfast and head home to get rid of it. That way everyone is happy. Smiling, I hugged Kohl and turned to leave the bathroom.
"Hey, I don't want you hanging around Luke either. At the very least don't drink anymore, okay?" Kohl said, knocking his elbow on mine.
"Yes, moooom." I sighed. I added drinking and time with Luke to the list of things to keep secret from Kohl and Arie. Also, dying. That should be on the list as well.
Had I really drowned last night? Had Nate really saved my life?
Oh, shit, Nate. I really hope he hasn't come upstairs yet. Maybe I can just eat breakfast and then quickly leave…
As we rounded the corner to enter the kitchen Arie was just finishing up making something on the stove. Nate sat at the kitchen island, looking more awake now but still sporting some sexy bedhead- no, wait, fuck.
Nate was awake and upstairs and at the island and I was supposed to sit there and eat? After I'd just slept with him? What happened last night? Did I say anything embarrassing to him? How had he saved me? Belatedly, I realized with a pang of horror that I was not in my clothes from yesterday. Had he seen my body? Did he know about me?
Kohl sat down on a stool at the far end of the island leaving the middle one for me, which was right next to Nate. As I sat down I could already feel the nervousness taking over my body, making my hands shake and my stomach ache. How was I supposed to eat with Nate sitting right next to me?
Finally I couldn't take it anymore and looked up from the table to surreptitiously peek at Nate. He was looking right at me, and when he saw that I was looking at him, a small smile formed on his lips. "How are you feeling?"
I almost died. "I'm fine." I said quickly, looking back down at the table. Fuck, fuck, fuck.
"Well good," Arie said, reappearing next to the island with plates filled high with breakfast food. Her expression told me we would be talking later and that I wasn't out of trouble yet. "Now you've got to eat all of this!" She said, smiling and placing the plates down in front of me, Kohl, and Nate.
"Arie, I really don't think I can…" I started, but stopped once I saw her deadly look. Arie can be scary sometimes. She claimed she had to be in order to get me to ever cooperate, but I had told her that was a lie. She was right of course. I'd have much rather just chucked this plate in the garbage, but instead I reluctantly grabbed my fork and picked at some eggs.
It was quiet while we ate, no one saying anything and it was making me feel even more awkward. I just wanted to get out of there.
Finally Arie asked, "So, how are you this morning, Nate?"
Nate looked up from his almost finished plate of food and smiled, "I'm great. Thanks for making breakfast, I was starving."
"I could say the same for some other people here." She replied, cutting a look to me sharply, not even bothering to be discreet.
I looked down at my plate and the mess I'd made playing with my food, noting sheepishly the scrambled eggs I'd flicked off the side and onto the counter. Arie's eyes narrowed in warning, so I swallowed and picked up a piece of toast with a huge pat of butter on it. I looked at it for a moment, really not wanting it and turned it sideways so that the butter slid off and plopped onto the plate with a splat.
When I looked up everyone was staring at me.
"Arie, I-" I began before she cut me off.
"I don't care, Cyr." She said flatly.
My hands were shaking and I felt like crying all of a sudden so I lowered my head in embarrassment and took a bite of the toast. It felt dry and scratchy in my mouth so I took a sip of water to make it at least bearable and after chewing for forever finally swallowed.
Arie seemed to approve and looked away from me and started talking with Nate and Kohl but I wasn't paying attention, instead focusing all my efforts and making the food before me disappear.
Slowly I took a few more bites of toast and eggs but pushed the bacon off onto my napkin because the grease was making me sick just looking at it, let alone smelling it.
Time crawled by as I stared at the food.
It wasn't that I didn't want it. Okay, I didn't want it at all, but beyond that I just couldn't eat it. It's not something I can explain exactly except that my body would just outright reject anything I gave it. I couldn't help it, it wasn't my fault. I'd been like this for years.
Except it wasn't normally this bad. Usually I could control it and would be able to manage to eat enough to get by. But lately… Maybe Arie and Kohl were right. Maybe I was slipping again.
I resolved to eat what was left, no matter how long it took.
Everyone was done eating by now and was just sitting around talking and sipping orange juice.
I watched the clock on the stove tick over a minute. I pushed some of the remaining eggs in a wide arc on my plate. The toast was gone but not forgotten in my stomach. Churning, swirling, breaking down into usable molecules for my body.
That's a good thing, I reminded myself. But it felt awful. I could feel it lurking down there waiting for the opportune moment to come make its grand reappearance. I prayed it would be at home and not here.
As I scooped up the last of the eggs and placed them in my mouth I chewed slowly and set my fork down in victory. I'd done it.
"Hey, cool, you're done." Nate said from beside me, making me almost jerk out of my chair.
With wide eyes I looked up from the empty plate to look around. Arie and Kohl were missing and Nate was watching me, a smile on his face. I tried to push the panic down but felt it rising in my chest. Where did they go? Why was I alone with Nate? Why was he watching me eat? I felt mortified as the color drained from my face and I stared at him, unable to control my nervous shaking.
"Are you alright?" His smile was gone now, replaced by a concerned frown. He placed a hand on my arm and I tried to back away.
"Where did Arie and Kohl go?" I asked, trying to keep calm. I was afraid to be alone with Nate. What really happened last night? Did he know about my eating? Thinking about waking up this morning with him terrified me. I could not let myself get close to Nate. It would be detrimental for us both.
"Kohl snorted orange juice through his nose and was screaming, so he ran to the bathroom and Arie went to get him a new shirt. She said I was supposed to make sure you finished eating." He said, the frown giving way to a crooked smile.
I'd been so zoned out I'd missed Kohl snorting orange juice through his nose?
"It was pretty great." Nate was grinning now.
I managed a weak smile back, but had a hard time unfocusing from his hand still on my arm. It was warm and strong and a little bit rough and I liked it resting there.
"So how are you feeling this morning? You look a little sick." Nate removed his hand and I could finally breathe again. "Last night…" He trailed off, looking at me.
Jesus fucking Christ I was going to be sick. I could feel it, my stomach moving and my head going so light I thought I'd maybe pass out. As quickly as I could I got up from the bar stool and stumbled over to the trashcan at the end of the island and started puking.
My eyes watered as I watched all I'd worked so hard to get down this morning come right back up. It wasn't fucking fair, I'd finally managed to eat something and it should stay there damnit.
When I was finished I was crying, sobs wracking my entire body as I huddled over the trashcan feeling too weak to even move away from the smell.
Nate had his hand on my back and was saying something in my ear but I was hysteric. Arie and Kohl came running but one look at their disappointed faces and I was crushed. Humiliated and mortified, I pushed through the circle they'd made around me and stumbled for the front door. Kohl grabbed me and brought me to his chest and I stayed there for a moment, but I couldn't stop sobbing or even get my breath. Eventually I made it out of his arms and through the front door.
I first noticed I wasn't wearing shoes when I was over half of the way back to my house. I stared numbly down at my frozen feet which were now an angry red in the snow. I couldn't feel them and walking was sort of a chore. I wondered where my shoes were.
I tried not to think about what'd just happened and Arie's disappointed face and Kohl sadly telling me it'd be alright. It wouldn't fucking be alright. I couldn't bear to face them. My best friends. I'd let them down because I couldn't keep my fucking breakfast down.
I choked back a sob. It's not my fucking fault.
Please, please believe me.
I could hear the screaming two houses down from mine. I stood there staring blankly in the falling snow before I was up and running and bursting through the front door.
Ella was sitting on the bottom step of the staircase, my mom standing over her threateningly. She was curled into herself and sobbing and shaking and gasping. My mom was yelling and screaming and throwing around a large glass bottle. My grandma stood behind her, tightly grasping my mom's elbow in a vain attempt to distract her from Ella.
"Leave my grandbaby alone!" Grandma cried, though hardly deterring my mother in her drunken state.
Feeling intense anger and dread begin to roll over me I quickly moved in between Ella and my mom. Her face was directly in mine now and I could smell the stench of alcohol on her breath. It took her a moment to register that it was me standing there, but when she did she screamed, "Where the fuck have you been?"
I could feel Ella's small hand clutching the calf of my leg as she realized her big brother was here to protect her. Ignoring my mom's question I turned around to smile down at her and whispered, "Go on up to your room and get your coat. I'll be right there." Ella wiped her cheek and nodded before quietly rushing up the stairs to her room.
"Hey, where the hell do you think you're going?" My mom called after her angrily, placing a hand on my arm to shove me out of the way. However, I may have been a fucking bean pole but I was taller than my mother and there was no way in hell I was letting her near Ella so I deflected her shove and instead glared down angrily at her.
"What the hell are you doing?" I demanded, forcefully ripping the bottle of liquor from her hand and handing it to my grandma.
The sting of my mother's slap was sharp but I stood my ground. "How dare you talk to me like that," she spat. "Where have you been?"
"Like it matters to you." I countered. "Just leave Ella alone, if you touch her or hurt her I swear to Go-"
"I am your MOTHER," she screamed so loud I knew the neighbors could hear. A barrage of fists came flying at my chest but I gripped my mother's wrists easily to stop her.
"You're fucking drunk, mom!" I yelled back just as loudly, my voice cracking. As angry as I was at my mom for terrifying Ella, anguish and misery festered in my chest at what my mother had become. A sorry, sad, angry, vicious monster.
My mom kept screaming until her voice was gone and she weakly sank to her knees muttering quietly to herself. I let go of her wrists, satisfied that she was no longer a threat, and looked to my grandma in the kitchen doorway. Her weary eyes glistened with tears as she watched us.
Silently, I turned away from the two of them and climbed the stairs, entered the hallway bathroom and shut the door. The strong façade I'd worn to confront my mom fell away and I was left shaking, trying my damnedest to choke back the sobs that burned in my chest.
I can't be here. I can't be in this fucking house.
Ella. Ella needed me. Ella was in her room terrified of our mother and needed me.
I swallowed back a sob and tried to calm my nerves by turning on the cold water to wash my hands. The view in the mirror when I looked up was grim and I had to blink a few times in order to confirm that the boy in the mirror was, in fact, me.
Deep, dark circles almost like bruises lay under my tired eyes standing out sharply against my too pale skin. My cheekbones were prominent where my face was thinning and my lips were beginning to crack and bleed. Dark hair fell into my eyes, a haircut long overdue.
I looked like hell. It was no fucking wonder Kohl was bothering me so much. I was starting to look like I had back then before it got really bad.
No. I wasn't slipping again. I'm in control.
You're not going back there, Cyr.
Taking a deep breath I stepped away from the mirror and towards the shower. I smelled horrible and decided I should take a shower before taking Ella out.
Slipping out of my clothes, I again had the disturbing realization that they were not mine. As I held the red jacket that had been the only thing to keep me warm this morning, I stared at it and wondered where it had come from. It looked familiar but I couldn't quite place who I'd seen wearing it.
It was an awesome jacket though, the bright red being one of my favorite colors and the sleeves slightly too long so that they hung over my hands. Surreptitiously, I brought the jacket up to my nose to smell it and almost melted. It smelled warm and deep and safe.
"What the hell," I grumbled at my dumb thoughts.
Well, whoever this jacket belonged to, they weren't getting it back anytime soon.
Okay, lovelies, I hope you liked it. Please, please review and tell me what your thoughts on this story are. I'm going to try and reply to people in the next chapter so yeah please review! Thanks for reading!