"Sometimes the bad things that happen in our lives put us directly on the path to the best things that will ever happen to us."

~ Nicole Reed, Author of "Ruining You"

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Warning: Some of the stuff in this chapter may be a trigger warning to people. Please don't read if you think you could be one of those people. There will also be some swearing in this chapter, and even in future chapters as well.

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She screamed, slamming the palm of her hand against the wall. Feeling a stinging sensation in her hand, she switched to using her fist. The wall felt her wrath as she pounded against it, yelling in agony. She hated life. Hated it with a passion.

When her adrenaline high ceased, her senses kicked back in, and so did the pain. She looked down at her bloody knuckles, but didn't bother to clean them up.

It's what you deserve, she thought to herself bitterly. For being the coward that you are.

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He wiped the sweat from his brow before zeroing in on the punching bag again. His fists pummeled against it, but he didn't let up until the bag feel from its chain with a loud bang.

He panted heavily before glancing down at his hands, a familiar stinging feeling in them. He shook his head, not feeling the energy to re-wrap them.

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Deciding that she didn't want to stay trapped in her house any longer, she marched down the stairs. Without a second thought, she flung the door open and slammed it shut behind her, releasing her true emotions. One of the perks of being home alone.

She knew exactly where she wanted to go.

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He walked briskly through a short-cut in the park, occasionally glancing up towards the sky. It was due to rain soon, and he didn't want to be a sopping mess when he came home. A loud rumble came from the sky above and he groaned. Looking up once again, he noticed the clouds covering the little sun there was entirely.

They were both caught up in their own thoughts, and then, like star-crossed lovers, their paths crossed.

Literally.

The collided into each other, an "oomph" sound leaving both of their lips at the impact.

She rubbed her nose, which had somehow gotten hurt from the impact of his chest. Seriously, his chest was as hard as a rock. He, however, was unscathed.

"Sorry," the girl said quietly before continuing on her mission. What was awkward, though, was that her mission was to sit on the bench that was just a few feet away from him.

Deciding that she couldn't care less, she fumbled through pockets for her stress-reliever. The one thing that could take the pain away. She couldn't feel guilty as she did so, but this was the only way out.

She sighed in relief when she realized that she had a few to spare, then brought a lighter to the cigarette and took a long drag, releasing a puff of smoke into the air.

The boy, who was still standing there, looked at her, feeling glad that he had found someone who understood the comfort a cigarette brought.

"You know what?" he said, more to himself than to anyone else. He sat down next to the girl and extended his arm out towards her. "Lay one on me."

The girl raised her eyebrows in surprise that a boy as young as herself would want to have a smoke. Nevertheless, she handed one to him, and he gladly took it, sighing as he felt the familiar feeling on his lips. He looked up and blew out the smoke.

They sat in the tranquility of the park for a while, her with her knees tucked into her chest, him with his legs spread out in front of them, taking a smoke in a comfortable silence.

"So tell me," the boy said, switching his gaze from the sky to the girl. "What's your story?"

"What do you mean?" The girl replied, throwing the cigarette on the ground and smashing it with her foot.

"Well," the boy said, following suit by crushing his own cigarette. "Only a person with a fucked up life would smoke at such a young age."

The girl sighed looking at him. "And I'm guessing you speak form experience?"

The boy only gave her a smile in response. She realized that the shit that her therapist says to her all the time about not being alone was actually coming true.

So maybe it was this fact, or maybe it was the fact that the two of them were just strangers, or maybe even a combination of both, but in the end she decided to tell him what brought her to her state today.

"It was two years ago today." She began. "It was my little sisters birthday... and she was turning four. She was so excited because my parents had promised her that we would all go out for dinner at her favorite restaurant."

The girl wrings her hands in front of her, and the boy notices how her knuckles are bloody like his. She sighs before continuing, "But on the same day, there was a party. And being the f-ing selfish thirteen year old that I am, I decided that the party was more important than my own sister." The girl rest her head on her knees as the boy rubbed her back soothingly. She made no attempt to remove it.

"My sister was devastated. But it was the first time I had been invited to such an event - by the populars. So that night, I said 'bye' to my entire family, urging them out the door so that I could get dressed."

She inhaled sharply before saying, "That was the last time I would see them."

As if on cue, the sky rumbled and buckets of rain began pouring on them. The boy sucked in a breath, but allowed the girl to continue, as she had made no attempt to move.

"Things only went downhill from there. I acted OK on the outside, but my soul was crushed on the inside. I started smoking, and my grades were dropping. I was forced into foster care... but I was lucky enough to find a mom who didn't - well, she loves me."

Tears began pooling in the girls eyes. "Then last year, on her birthday, I felt... I felt plain awful. The guilt was consuming me, every second of every day, but I tried to hide it. I didn't want anyone to worry about me."

An unwanted tear leaked from her eye, but she did nothing to remove it. One of the reasons she loved it when it rained was because she could cry without anyone noticing.

But the boy noticed, because he had gone through the same thing.

"But on that day, I thought, 'She was so young, and I killed her. I killed them'. So in repayment I-" Her breath got caught in her throat and she glanced at the boy again, who was staring at her intently. He had a sick idea of what she was about to say.

"I attempted." She let out all in one breath. More tears fell from her face as she said, "I tried overdosing on pills. But my foster mom caught me before anything could happen. I was so angry at myself, I was just beyond pissed that things could never go my way, that things always ended up being shitty."

"My mom decided it would be a good idea to move, to give us a 'fresh start', as she likes to call it. And I'm always on a strict watch - if I ever lash out, like a normal teenager would, she immediately thinks the worst. And she sends me to some stupid therapist who feeds off of my misery." She sighs again, her story nearing the end.

"But none of it helps. The guilt still eats away at me." She shakes her head in disgust with herself.

They sit still for a few moments, before the girl finally bursts. "She was so young, it was her goddamn birthday!" She screams in agony. Her whole body shakes as sobs wrack through her body.

He pulled her close to him, feeling like his life was a whole lot better than hers. The girl crawled into his lap, needing to feel some sort of comfort after being alone all this time. She clung onto his chest as her rubbed her back.

"Shh..." The boy soothed her, and eventually she calmed down.

In that moment, there was no judging, just pure acceptance and understanding. She looked up at the boy, feeling relieved that she could finally tell how she was feeling to someone without lying.

"Now you tell me," she said with a whisper, not trusting her voice entirely.

The boy hadn't planed on telling anything to the girl when they began, but somehow, he felt entitled to.

"You know those movies where there's a family and everyone is just so fucking happy with each other? Like, there's no rivalry or grudges between anyone, and love is in the air?" The boy began. "Well, that was my life. My mom, my dad, and me. We weren't the richest family, but we were happy with just each other."

"Then, my dad noticed that my mom was getting really sick. So we went to the doctor and the doctor said that she had cancer - stage 3." The girl closed her eyes, trying to imagine how it must have felt for their family.

"The doctors tried everything that they could, but in the end, the cancer won out. My mom died when I was five." His eyes glazed over, remembering the happy times he shared with his mom.

"Dad was a wreck. The two of them were extremely close, and the death really took a toll on him. He tried raising me, and that worked for about a year." He chuckled humorlessly. "But eventually it was too much for him, I guess, because he committed suicide."

The girl gasped and her eyes fluttered open, not believing what she heard. Her problems seemed minuscule compared to hers - she couldn't imagine having her parents die on her at such a young age.

The boy gave her a weak smile at her reaction and continued on.

"And so, just like you, I was put into the foster care system. But I wasn't so fortunate. Everyone wanted a cute little baby boy, but as soon as they realized that I had some serious issues, they left me alone. They didn't want to deal with my problems."

"In the end, I was placed into fifteen different homes before I found a more permanent one. But I'd rather go through that cycle again than live where I am now."

The boy glanced up towards the sky, trying to keep his emotions in check. The rain poured down on him, and his tears mixed with the rain.

"Why?" The girl whispered, on edge by the boy's horrifying story.

"Because they abuse me." The boy said in a voice so low that she could barely hear him.

The sound of the rain pattering was the only sound present for a while, until the boy decided to continue.

"It's been five fucking years. I don't know how I've survived. It's hard... but I manage. Luckily enough I'm living with my aunt for summer vacation, but eventually it'll be back to the grind. But I know that if I get into a good college I can finally be free from that hell hole once and for all."

She wrapped her arms tightly around him as his emotions go the better of him. He returned the embrace immediately, though he didn't know why he felt this sudden attraction towards this girl that he didn't even know the name of.

But they understood each other. And that was really all that mattered.

They didn't release their hold on each other until the rain passed a few minutes later. When they finally did, they both blurted, "It's not your fault."

They frowned upon hearing the other person say that.

"What do you mean?" They both asked again. The girl chuckled a little at this, despite her state, and motioned for him to continue.

"It's not your fault she died," he started, pushing the wet hair out of her face. "You couldn't have controlled it. It could have happened anyways, even with you in the car."

The girl shook her head vigorously. That statement went against everything that she thought. "Maybe I could have seen the car coming... I could have warned them. And maybe if I died with them I wouldn't feel so guilty all the time."

The boy gave her a weak smile. "Maybe. Maybe is a big 'if'. You didn't know. You can't. But it's still not your fault."

The girl sighed, thinking about what he said before she replied, "Fine. I'll agree that it's not my fault only if you agree that being abused isn't your fault either."

The boy chuckled humorlessly at that. "I must have fucked up at something to be receiving the treatment that I get. I really do deserve it. And my real Dad must have found me a burden to have committed suicide."

It was as if the girl could look straight through them, because she said in a soft voice, "That's what they tell you, don't they?"

He looked at her with heavy eyes, and that was all the answer she needed.

The girl took his face in her hands, and their hearts raced. They had never thought they would be doing what they are right now, but they both welcomed the closeness. They both needed to be, and wanted to feel, loved again.

"It's not your fault. It's not. You're a good person, I just now it," the girl pleaded with him, looking directly into his ocean-blue eyes.

Hearing the sincerity in her voice, the boy looked at the sweet girl and said, "Okay."

The girl was surprised at first. "Okay? Really?"

The boy nodded. "It's not my fault, and it isn't your either."

It's not my fault. It's not my fault. She repeated over and over again in her head, getting used to the new phrase. She found it surprising that this one boy was healing her better than any therapist could.

She felt lighter as she began to accept these words. And although she knew that at times she would really feel like it was her fault, she found herself thanking the boy for his attempt to try.

"I don't know if I fully believe that yet," she told him honestly, "but I'm trying to."

The boy smiled at her. "Good."

They sat in silence for a few minutes later, realizing that their conversation had come to a close. However, they felt the need to stay there forever, as if their fears could just vanish when they were together.

When the sky turned darker, they realized that they should really get be getting home. The girl climbed off the boys lap and stood, realizing that her pants were still soaking wet.

They stood awkwardly for a few minutes, until the boy said, "Thank you for talking to me."

The girl looked up at him before replying, "Of course. And thank you for listening to me."

"Don't mention it." He said, kicking the gravel under his foot. "Well, I best be going." He said, waving in goodbye.

"Wait!" The girl said as the boy was walking off. The boy turned around curiously as the girl ran to catch up with him.

"Promise me something." She said, holding up her pinky finger. Childish, she knew, but that was her first instinct.

He arched his eyebrow. "What?"

"Promise me," she said before thinking, "that you'll leave them."

His eyes widened like saucers. "What? How?"

"Oh, come on. You don't deserve this, I know you don't and so do you. It's time that you did something about it."

He scoffs. "It's not that easy."

"Oh... um, fine." She said, realizing how stupid that actually sounded. "Then promise me that you'll at least try to do something about it."

"And how will you know if I've actually done something about it?" He asks. "I don't even know your name."

The girl paused, thinking about this loop hole in her plan. "We'll meet here. In a year. And if you don't come, then I know that you didn't try. But if you did, then we'll talk."

The boy thought about this for a second, and didn't mind seeing the girl again. He felt a certain inclination towards her after everything that happened today. Plus, this way he would have an extra incentive to be free from his 'parents'.

The boy then raised his pinky finger as well, and just as the girl was about to hook their pinkies together, the boy said, "Wait."

The girl frowned, looking at him. "What?"

"It's a promise for a promise." The boy replied, smiling mischievously. "You have to promise me..." The boy thought about it for a second before telling her. "Promise me that you'll find out better ways to take out your anger."

The girl raises her eyebrows in surprise and consciously pulled the sleeve of her shirt so that if covered her hand. "What do you mean?"

"Oh, don't tell me that you don't hurt yourself. I've already seen your knuckles." He said, nodding towards the covered hand. "Usually the best ways to take out your anger are through calming exercises. Find yours." However, he failed to mention that his own ways to take out his anger were actually unlike this. But that was different.

The girl thought about this for a while, then brought up her pinky again. "Deal." And with that, they promised each other to meet up in a year, while possibly mending themselves.

And so began the realization that the real key to picking up their broken pieces started with each other.


Author's Note: Hello all, and welcome to my new story. I hope you enjoyed reading the prologue, and if you did, be sure to stick around for the next chapter. I can't say when I will be able to update next- I want to know if people are actually interested in reading this before I invest my time in it. So don't forget to review when you get the chance.