Lunar Skylar

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I'm not mad!!!

I woke up to the sun shining straight at me. I looked around confused for a moment. Then I got up and looked around. I took out my tooth brush and paste and started brushing my teeth using one of the water bottles I bought yesterday. Well, not bought but you know what I mean. After that I took my pills and swallowed them down with coke. I got up and started wondering around like a sicko. Everyone looked smart, there were school kids in uniform heading my way. I’m suggesting the school’s behind me. I kept walking while everyone looked at me...weirdly. I tried not to show my embarrassment but then I was stopped by a group of boys. Once again. “Excuse me.” I said as they stood in front of me, surrounding me.

“Have any money?” One of them asked. I’m guessing the leader.

“No. I’m broke. Don’t even have a penny.”

He walked up to me. “I don’t like to repeat myself. Do you have any money?!”

I took a step back. I realised he was just like Noah. An idiot. I started walking away slowly.

“Answer me.” He pulled me in. “Or do I have to search you?!”

“Let go off me first.” I muttered. He did as he was told and I reached inside my pocket. I looked around and saw all the guys looking at me. “You in sixth form?”

“Why do you care?!” He shouted. “Now fucking give it.”

“I only have a bit. I need it. I have nothing left. No one. Just please understand where I’m coming from.”

“I don’t give a damn.”

“Fred, leave it. You don’t even need it.”

“Who’s side are you on?!”

“I’m just saying. None of us need it. She does so back off her.”

“You realise who you’re talking to?!”

I took a step back and then another and then started running. They were running behind me. I ran into an alley way, it was a dead end...I quickly hid behind a dumpster.

I heard laughs. “Come out!” Fred said. I reached for my phone about to call someone, when Fred snatched it off me. “Nice phone.” He threw it on the floor. “How much money do you have?!”

“I’m not telling you. Come and search me. You really think I’d hide my money on me?” I scoffed. “You are a right idiot.”

“Don’t talk to me like that!” He pushed me to a wall. “Where is it?!”

“It’s a few streets from here.” I lied.

He held onto my neck tighter. “I don’t like liars you know.”

I started crying. “Please just let go. I’ve been in these situations too much. Just please...”

He held onto my neck tighter as I tried to gasp for air. "My boyfriend did the same, I'm trying to forget just let go!!" Then he punched me across the face and dropped me. He pulled my scarf off and threw it at my face. I burst out crying and felt around my neck.

One of the boys rushed up to me. “You okay?” He said lowering his gaze, not looking at my hair. He gave me my scarf back.

“Nathan move!” Fred pushed him.

“No, she’s clearly hurt. Fredrick what the fuck is wrong with you?!”

“Who the fuck are you talking to?!”

“You. You better move away from me. I will seriously hurt you. So move. Now!” Nathan shouted.

Fredrick rolled his eyes and he and the boys walked away from us.

“Don’t worry. He’s not an Islamophobic. Just an idiot. Sorry.” He said taking out a tissue and wiping my tears. "I'm sorry they saw your hair..."

"It's fine."

Nathan took my phone and checked if it was working. “Still works.” He smiled handing it back to me. “You okay?”

“I’m fine.” I smiled ignoring the fact that my neck was throbbing.

“You homeless?”

“Just going to my aunt’s.” I lied. He looked me in the eye. “Are you running away?”

I hesitated for a moment. “I don’t want to go back...”

“Why? What’s wrong?” He sat next to me.

“My boyfriend and his friends. My so called friends...”

“Damn...who did this to you?” He looked at my neck.

“Your friend.”

“No, your neck. This has happened multiple times. Not just now.”

“It was my boyfriend.”

“What?!”

“Hey, don’t worry. He’s locked away.” I lied.

“That’s good.” He exhaled. “Where are you going now?”

“I’m going...” I blushed. “I’ll find somewhere. Now go to school before you’re late.”

“How old are you?”

“Twenty.” I lied.

“You know I won’t tell social services. I know you’re younger.”

“Sixteen.”

“Same.”

“Just go school I’ll be fine.” I lied. Then my phone started ringing. I got up and walked away from Nathan and the alley. I hid behind a house and started to speak. “Hi Victoria.”

“Sky how are you?”

“I’m better than ever actually.”

“Your voice seems odd.”

“I know. I’m practicing how to speak Irish. Everyone here speaks perfect Irish.”

“Sky how’s Gregor and his sister?”

“They’re doing fine. We’re just having breakfast. You?”

“Same. The guys are really worried.”

“I don’t care about them. Anyways, what did you want?”

“How are you doing?”

“I just told you. I’m fine.”

“Tell me about the place.”

“Well...there’s fairy lights everywhere and the cottage is really small and warm. Just like the standard house although they’re already decorating for Christmas.”

“What are you eating?”

“Some sausage thing. I don’t know. It’s got gravy and stuff.”

“Medication?”

“I have a GP. They gave me more.”

“Great. Are you in a college?”

“They’ve signed me up and I’m starting...tomorrow.”

“That’s fast.”

“That’s because Gregor’s dad is a head teacher.”

“I heard head teachers are broke.”

“Actually they’re the opposite of that and I need to go now. He’s calling me. Bye Vic.” Then I cut the call. And started swearing for a long time until I heard a voice. “Nathan?”

“Would you like to stay with me? My sister wouldn’t mind and so would her--”

“No. I’m fine. Just going to book a train back home.” I lied.

“Don’t think so. Come on.”

“Nathan. I’m fine. Just go.” I said.

“If you ever need me, here’s my number.” He said putting it in my phone. I saved it and wrote his name. Then gave him my number. After that, he left. I sank to the floor and closed my eyes. After a while I woke up again. I walked around the place and then took a bus and got off at a random stop. I walked around everywhere until I reached a park. I sat on the grass and looked around. I felt so tired. But for some reason,I didn’t miss anyone from Riverspark.

I laid down on the grass and stared up at the sky. Boring. I got up and walked around. I sat on a bench and took out a Doritos packet. I ate half of it and put the rest back. I watched people enjoying their time. Only small babies with their parents as everyone was at school.

“Hi!” A kind man said as his daughter, I think, walked up to me. “Sorry about her.” He quickly picked her up. “You okay?”

“Yeah. I’m fine.”

“You need a tissue?” He asked as he looked at my empty tissue packet.

“I--”

He pulled one out of his pocket and gave it to me. Then pulled out a £15 note and also gave it to me. “Cough sweets, hand sanitizer and tissues. Buy them all. Don’t catch the virus.” He said walking away.

“Thank you!”

“No problem.”

I started walking out the park and after a while, I saw a pharmacy. I went in and bought a whole tissue packet 12 small packets inside, and a packet of cough sweet with hand sanitizers. £10 left I sighed.I came out later and started wondering around. I stumbled upon another homeless person. “Please help--”

“I’m sorry but...”

She looked at me and smiled sadly. “It’s fine.” Her voice quavered. She looked wet and her skin looked pale. She looked really cold, even the sun wasn’t helping. “You can go, it’s fine.”

I smiled at her and went into Primark which was only steps away from her. I walked in and bought a huge jacket, shoes, umbrella, socks, shoes and gloves. In total it was £40. Most of my money spent on good. I went out the shop with all my bags and gave them to her. “Take it.”

She looked at me as if I was an angel. “Are you sure?!”

“I am super sure. Now take this and be happy!!”

“Thank you!” She got up and immediately hugged me. “Are you homeless too?”

“No. I have my aunty which I’m going to see later until then, I’m just wondering around.” I lied. She seemed to believe me and burst out crying. She thanked me over and over again. Then I left her be. “Byee.” I walked around with only £10 left.

I kept wondering around until I felt tired enough that I just had to sit down. I sighed.

I sat for hours watching Hollyoaks until I’d almost ran out of episodes. I had fifteen left when the laptop ran out of charge. I tried not to throw a tantrum as there were people passing by. I quietly started to swear. I packed it away in my bag and took out my phone. After a while I saw it was 48%. I died at that point. I completely shut it and put it back inside my jacket pocket. I closed my eyes and started crying. Then the weather changed. It started raining again which just made everything ten times worse. People were rushing around while I was sitting in the rain with an umbrella above my head. I was really exhausted and cold...I just felt really ill. Anyone will mistake me as a person with the covid. I’m fucking sneezing and coughing continuously. Everyone that passed me looked at me like as if I was a freak.

“You okay?” A lady asked standing a few meters away.

“I’ve not got the covid. I have a cold because of yesterday and now.”

Then she walked up to me. “Are you homeless?”

“No.” I lied.

“Seriously?”

“Just go away. I’m fine.” I said coldly. She looked at me confused and then started walking away. I just felt guilty. I burst out crying and I kept crying regardless of the cold. I threw my umbrella and let the rain pour on me. I didn’t give a fucking damn. I just wanted to be happy. I kept coughing and sneezing and my tissues kept getting wet.

After a while, I took my umbrella and sat on the cold. The wind was freezing sharp. My fingers were now cold, my whole body was freezing. By now my teeth were clattering. I was in so much cold, I burst out crying. I kept crying for ages and I saw people pass by me as if I was...the virus...soon enough I couldn’t feel my fingers..

Then I saw the lady again. She was running and carrying a few bags when she accidentally spotted me she ran back to me. “It’s you. You’re still here!” She looked at me shocked.

“I’m...f..fine.” I shivered.

“You’re coming with me!” She grabbed onto my hand before I could object. “Your hand is freezing cold!”

We ran to a bus stop and waited for a bus. We went inside and sat down. “You’re so cold.” She felt my face. “You’re freezing.”

“I...I’m f...fine.”

“Good sake, you are so stubborn.” She shook her head. “Where are your parents?”

I looked at her uncomfortably.

“I’m sorry. Let me just take you home. Until you’re ready to go back.”

I shook my head. “I’m f--”

“Please don’t you say those two words again.” She said taking my hand as we left the bus. We ran for about a minute or so and reached a house. Then she quickly took out her keys and opened the door. I kept sneezing and coughing and as soon as she opened the door she exhaled. “You need to be warmed up. Take a shower first and then--”

“Sky?” Laila froze as she saw the state I was in. “Oh my goodness. What’s happened to you?”

“I'm f..fine.” I mumbled.

“Catalina, take her upstairs. She needs to shower.” Laila said.

Catalina walked me up the stairs and gave me a towel. Then showed me the shower. I went in and took a shower. I think I might’ve had frostbite. Not really. Exaggeration. Is perfection. New saying,

Exaggeration is perfection. Period.

Lunar Skylar. September 2020.

After I’d finished showering I went out and looked around. Then Laila saw me and froze again. She was looking at my bruises. “Did he do this?”

“Yeah.” I blushed. She gave me my clothes still looking shocked. After I put my hoodie and leggings on, she sat me down. “Did you get attacked again?” She lifted my chin up and looked at my neck. “Today did you get attacked?”

“I’m fine now.” I said avoiding her eyes.

“Catalina’s in her room. She’s waiting for you. Heads up, she’s going to interrogate you.”

“Super excited.” I said sarcastically. She laughed. “Down the hall.”

I knocked on the door which was next door. No answer. Then I knocked again. No answer. Then I opened the door and saw a guy. I quickly closed the door back. Then the door opened again. “You?” Nathan looked at me shocked.

“Nathan?”

“Yeah. You didn’t call me, how did you--”

“You know her?” Catalina asked him.

“Yeah. Fredrick attacked her.”

“That’s why I told you not to be friends--”

“No, he saved me.” I cut in.

“Did he?”

“Yeah. If it wasn’t for him...I’d have no money left.”

“Seriously?” He looked at me surprised.

“I had in total about over £80 I think.”

“You said £40.”

“Yeah. But then I started begging and earned money but then I saw this guy...he was homeless and looked like a cave man. Turns out he was homeless for five months and he had a job interview at nine this morning. I took out all the money I had and gave it all to him to get a trim and buy a new suit...and then I met this other homeless lady who was freezing in the cold. She was wet even though it was sunny before. I went to Primark and bought a huge jacket, shoes, umbrella, socks, shoes and gloves for her. It was £40...and then I sat on the rain in devastation. Then this girl came.” I pointed at Catalina. “And now, I need to go.”

Then she pulled me back. “Where will you go?”

“To my aunty’s.” I lied not looking her in the eye.

“Nope, she’s lying.” Laila said. “She’s ran away from everyone she knows and now is homeless and wondering around the dangerous streets.”

Catalina pulled Laila back into a room and I glanced at the stairs. I was about to sneakily go when Nathan pulled me back. “Not so fast. You can’t go out there without a family.”

“I’m not going to social services.” I slapped his hand away. “I am not homeless.”

“Yes you are. You are, just admit it.”

“I’m not homeless. I am just a girl without a place to go. Not homeless.”

“Technically homeless.”

“No.”

“You have no home. Home Less. Homeless.” He said. Then Laila and Catalina walked up to me. “You have anywhere to go?”

“Yes--”

“Your aunty’s right?” Catalina raised her eyebrows.

“Yeah.”

“Call her.”

I hesitated. “I...I...I lost my phone.”

“No problem. I got your number. Remember?” Nathan looked at me obviously knowing I was lying.

“Right...maybe I’ve got it.” I said trying not to sound so bait. “I’m going to go back home you know, go back to my family.” I lied.

“Don’t lie to us..just tell us if you have a home. We can’t send you back out there with dangerous people and bad weather. You need to be safe.”

“Are you going home for real?”

“Yes.” I lied.

“Phone your mum.” She said.

I looked at her hesitantly and burst out crying. “I’m never going back there again!”

“Where will you go?”

“I don’t know! I’ll find a job or something!!”

“You can’t stay out there.”

“Well I’m never ever going back home! Never!!” I shouted. “Now I’m going!!” I went back into the room and took my bag. I started running down the stairs. Then I tried to open the door but it was locked, then I saw the keys were in a bowl I was about to unlock it when Laila pulled me back.

“You can’t go out there.”

“I can and I will!”

“Sky, listen. I just want you to be safe.”

“I am and will be.” I shrugged her hands off my shoulder.

“Where will you go? If you tell me, I’ll let you go.”

I looked at the door and back at her. I saw Catalina and Nathan looking at me, waiting for me to say something. “I’ll manage to find somewhere. There are good people out there. I’ll maybe move in with them and find a job then get my own place--”

“Are you serious? You’re just going to go up to a STRANGER and move in with them until you get a job. Keep in mind you’re sixteen and can’t get a flat until you’re eighteen.” Nathan argued.

“I’ll build my own house.”

“Okay, that is ridiculous.”

“It’s not impossible is it?” I shouted. “Open this door before I tell the police.”

Laila looked at me anxiously and gave me the keys. “If anything goes wrong, you can stay with us.”

“I won’t need to.” I said opening the door and going out on the pouring rain. I ran around for ages until I reached an unfamiliar place. I kept walking around and found a corner shop. I went in and asked, “Where is the nearest park?”

“Literally not that far.” She said. “Just keep going straight and you’ll soon see a field. Are you homeless?”

“No, no.” I lied. She clearly didn’t believe me. “Have you got any money on you?”

“A tenner.”

“Here is some money but don’t do drugs.” She handed me a twenty pound note.

“Thank you.” I looked at her. “That’s really nice of you.”

“Take a drink.”

I took a coke and thanked her again as I left the shop. I started walking straight and after about three minutes, I saw grass and then swings. I was about to go in when I realised there were some people. Dangerous people. Actually let’s not judge but don’t act like that. Don’t shake your head at me. Who’d be in a park at night? Oh...me...oops...

I turned from the park and saw a bus. I sat on the warm seats and saw people talking into their phones. I knew my phone had a bit of charge left but...yeah. I searched in my bag for my charger but I saw the piece of paper the homeless guy had given me. I started reading it.

Thank you, if you ever need anything, call me. Then I took out my phone and dialed his number. It started ringing. Then I heard a voice. “Hello, who is this?”

“I’m the girl from today morning.”

“Oh, is something wrong?”

“No...”

He fell silent for a while. “I got the job...and it’s all because of you. Your act of kindness has made me have a successful future again. I’ve been hired. No one thought of even giving me a penny for the last 5 months...I’m really really grateful...”

“No problem.”

“How are you now?”

“I’m fine. Just happy you’re hired. I’ve actually met my old friend and I’m staying with her now.” I lied.

“That’s great.”

“I need to go, but...thanks...”

“I should be thanking you. If you ever need anything call me. I’m saving your number if that’s okay?”

“Yeah. I’ll save yours too. What’s your name?”

“David, you?”

“Skylar.” I said. “Sorry, I need to go right now.”

“Okay, bye.”

Then I cut the call and hung my head back. I saved his number and leaned back on the seat. After about twenty minutes, I got off the bus and wandered around while the rain poured over me. I was just sick...tired...and sick...I puked on the road out of nowhere. I was lucky no one saw me. I kept walking and saw a familiar park. I went in there and looked around. No one. It was only 3pm or something. The sky looked really grey and there wasn’t a lot of people there. I couldn’t sit anywhere, it was too wet. I leaned on a wall and fell asleep standing. I woke up to someone patting my back.

I looked behind me and saw it was. “Nathan?”

“I’ve been looking around for you.” He said.

“I’m fine. Now go.” I hissed going back to sleep. I was literally standing and sleeping. Nathan pulled me up right. “Sky you’re coming with me!”

“Let go off me before I really lose it.”

“It’s nine o’clock. You need to come with me.” He started pulling me.

“Let go. I’m fine!”

“You aren’t! You could’ve easily been kidnapped!!”

“I don’t care! I’ve been kidnapped a million times. I always make it out alive!!”

“You’ve been kidnapped?”

“Over three times. Oh, and the last one was a month ago. Now let go. I have survived.” I said pushing him away from me. I walked back to the place I was resting.

“Sky...Catalina and Laila don’t mind you staying with us...”

“Yeah, I really don’t care! It’s not like you’re going to keep me and take care of me for the next two years is it?!” I screamed.

“Yes. They can and they will. You don’t know them.”

I fell silent. “Just go. Please.”

He let go off my arm and started walking away. I sat on the grass and buried my hands in my face. I started crying. I can’t believe this is happening. I don’t care about anyone in Riverspark...I just need a place to stay...somewhere where I can call home...I have no one...nothing. My phone started ringing. “Sky!”

“Victoria. What do you want?”

“You sound sad.”

I cleared my throat. “The weather’s horrible.”

“Oh. Anyways, guess what?!”

“What?”

“I met a girl. She’s like super mad about me.”

“That’s great!”

“Yeah, it’s a shame we couldn’t work.”

“No.”

“Anyways, she asked me out. I told her maybe. She must be going crazy by now. I’ll call her at midnight, to see if she’s thinking about me.”

“And if she doesn’t answer?”

“It is what it is.”

“Victoria you’re not going to dump her because she’s sleeping and not busy thinking about you.”

“That’s right.” She sighed. “I’m so in love with her...”

“Send her a message.”

“What should I say?”

“Where would you want to meet?”

“Well the cafe--”

“Okay, Cafe 11 am sharp. Tomorrow.”

“That sounds cool.”

“Okay that’s really sloppy.”

“How are you though?”

“I’m fine.”

“You sound cold.”

“Do I?”

“Are you outside? You’re voice seems really off, it’s cold and different....”

“Vic you’re going mad now.” I laughed.

“No I mean, you sound off.”

“What?! Victoria I’m having the time of my life. I don’t know why you’d think that. You know what, you’re just like them all. You can’t accept the fact that I’m happy can you?!”

“Oh. So you are. Sorry.”

“It’s fine.” I exhaled. “I’m happier than ever.”

“That’s good...”

“I’ve got to go. I’m watching a movie. Bye.”

I laid down on the wet grass...waiting for nothing. I looked at my phone again...then around...I’m lonely...I burst out crying. “I’m so lonely.” I sobbed. I kept crying and crying. Until I heard a voice. “Sky?”

“Laila?”

“Yeah. Come on.” She helped me up. “Come home.”

“I am not living with you so there is no home. I’m home LESS.” I stormed away from her.

“Sky hold up.” Nathan stopped me. “You can live with us. Laila’s fine with it and so is Catalina.”

“I am not homeless!”

“Two seconds ago you just--”

“Let go off me. I am fine! I’m fine!!”

“But you’re not are you?! You’re not fine! You’re homeless. I may not know you but to me you sound like you need help.”

I froze. “Everyone thinks that isn’t it? I need help. I’m mad. I’m a psycho. My short temper. It all makes sense. So I am?” I took a few steps back. “I’m psycho. I’m psycho for helping everyone I know. I’m psycho for being selfless and giving everything I have to someone else just to see them smile. I’m psycho for giving everyone second chances! I’m psycho!”

“No, that’s not true. You’re a good person.”

“No, I’m psycho.” My lips started trembling. “Maybe I should’ve just died. Maybe it’s a sign from god saying that I should kill myself. I could’ve been killed over eight or ten times in these past five years...maybe it’s god telling me to...”

“Sky stop crying.” Nathan tried to calm me down. “You aren’t psycho.”

“Nathan’s right. You’re not psycho. You’re a kind person. A person who cares about people. You’re not normal. You’re an angel.”

“I’m pretty sure, I’m the opposite.”

“Hey, that’s not true.” Nathan said hugging me. “Come home with us.”

“I won’t.” I hesitated. “I’ll be an intruder--”

“No you’re not. You never will be--”

Then my phone started to ring. I answered it without seeing who it was.

“Sky?”

It was Mason. He sounded like he’d been crying for ages.

“I hate you. Get that around your head. Go on, beat another girl up. Maybe Gemma--”

“You know that was a mistake. You know I regret it--”

“Twice is a mistake--”

“You always push everyone to the limit don’t you. You never stop!”

“I hate you!” I screamed down the phone and cut the line. Then I broke down in tears. “I hate them all.”

“But they don’t.”

I pushed him away from me. “I hate them. For good.” Then I stormed off. They both caught up with me. Laila pulled me towards her and hugged me. “Come home with us.”

“Why are you so keen on taking a stupid epileptic son of a bitch with no hopes of becoming a successful pediatrician home?!!”

“You’re epileptic?”

“You know what. Just leave it.” I said and reached into my bag taking my pills. I drank it down with coke. “I cause so much stress don’t I? It was probably my fault Calvin jumped off the window. Maybe if I’d not had a seizure, he wouldn’t have done what he did to Xander.” I burst out crying. “They’re so kind to me and I hate them!”

“They sound kind. Give them a second chance--”

“They’re kind. But they can’t accept who I truly am. They can’t accept that I forgive everyone. Over fourteen people should be behind bars!!”

They both froze. “What?!”

“And I’ve forgiven nine of them oh and who else was it...Mason, right. My bestest best friend should be locked up with my current boyfriend for GBH!!”

“Stop crying. Just give them a second chance.”

“That’s the thing...I’m tired of that. I’m tired at the fact they think I’m crazy. My boyfriend is way more dangerous than me. But of course, he’s not psychologically mad. He’s just a sociopath. And I’m a psychopath. Both of us trouble. I’ve never hurt anyone physically and I’m mad. I’ve been kind to everyone even without them realising!! They don’t think! They all think I need to see a therapist when I’m helping people. I’ve saved nine people from spending over nine years in prison and guess what, they’ve changed. I haven’t seen them push anyone or beat anyone up have I? I haven’t seen them get in trouble. They’ve changed...hopefully. I believe they can change.”

“You’re so kind.” Laila hugged me. “They should understand that.”

“But they never do. Just bad mouth me and call me mad and just....I give up on them...”

“If that’s how you feel...you can stay with us...”

“I can’t. I’ll survive. People have done this millions of times. Just two years. I’ll be fine.”

“Two years on the streets?!”

“Trust me. I’ll be fine.”

“You’ll get kidnapped or die from the cold weather...I saw how cold you were. Your hands...you were really cold...I can’t believe no one even stopped to speak to you. You were cold...freezing...”

“This morning I told you my sister and her girlfriend...” He paused. They were both looking at me confused. Nathan spoke again. “Girlfriend....”

“I know, continue.”

“Aren’t you going to act surprised or--”

“I really don’t care if she’s gay or not. I don’t think there’s any need to act shocked.”

They both smiled at me. “You’re really kind...”

“But I have the shortest temper and the biggest tantrums.”

“I doubt--”

“When I was in hospital, my doctor suggested I use a wheelchair. Guess what happened?”

“You refused?”

“I threw a huge tantrum the whole floor knew my name and surname. So that was an embarrassing moment. Dr Lilith threatened to call my mum and keep me longer in hospital.”

“Jeez.”

“I know...I’m going to go.”

“Nono, stay...please...”

“I can’t--”

“Why do you look so agitated?”

“I can’t stay with you both for two years. I’ll find somewhere--”

“My mum kept someone in our house for five years, we both kept someone for three years. What’s the problem?”

“I...I...” I blushed. “You’ll get annoyed or bored of me. I know I’ll not be the best...I’ll be a huge weight on you--”

She grabbed me by the arm and started pulling me to the bus stop. I tried to get out of her grasp but Nathan took me by the arm. “You are coming with us. Get ready for two years of hell.”

“I...guys you don’t have to...”

We waited for a few seconds and found a bus. We took it and sat on the seats. I looked at them both nervously. “Why are you both so keen?”

She looked at Nathan. “Before our mum died..her last thing she taught us was to take care for the people who need most help. She told us kindness is the key to life. Even though my mum was busy, every time she sees someone homeless, she’d give them food, clothes and a couple of times, she saw teenagers homeless, and she’d take care of them in until they’re back with their families safe or until they’ve got a good place. She managed to help lives, hundreds of lives. Imagine giving money, food and clothes every time you see a homeless person...and it’s only right we continue--”

I hugged her tightly. “If I said that back home, they’d think I was crazy.”

“You’re not. Now come home with us.” She said getting up. We walked out the bus and I paused.

I hesitated for a moment. “But I don’t want to intrude--”

“You’re not intruding.”

“You can’t handle me especially for two years--”

“You don’t know my brother. He’s an idiot.”

“That’s not true.” He argued. “Now let’s just go. I’m cold.”

“What about Catalina? She probably hates me or--”

“Damn, what goes in your head--”

Then something popped up in my head. “I’m muslim. You know maybe I should go--”

“My mum’s Muslim. I’m Muslim...so is Nathan...”

I froze. “You are?” I blushed. “I just thought...being a Muslim would be...a disadvantage to your eyes...”

“Not all people are like that...”

“I know..I know...I just don’t know you guys and some times I just freak out and especially now...I just always make sure before anything people know I’m a Muslim....especially now more than ever...”

“Don’t worry.” Nathan hugged me. “We are not Islamophobic.”

“Your friend...”

“He’s a Muslim too. In Birmingham, you’ll meet a lot of Muslims. Especially in this area.”

We stood in front of the house and walked in.

Catalina smiled. “So you did change your mind?!”

“Yeah.”

“Okay, now you come here.” She said dragging me into the dining room. I froze as I saw three chairs opposite me and a chair opposite them. She sat me down on the opposite side of the three.

They all sat opposite me.

“Is this an interrogation?”

She put my finger on a lie detector. "Tell us about you. After all, you'll be spending the next two years with us."

"I'm purely innocent."

Then she looked at it. "Lie. Now tell us about you."

"Should I start from 2015?"

"Go ahead."

I started telling them about Ella and the lady, then the stair accident, and Jolkfolke Center, Noah and Mason's arguing and fights, hospital, kidnapping from Patrick and the syringe incident, the bomb and gas leak, Aiden and his sisters, my mum adopting them, escaping, the police chase, hospital, being jumped twice by Noah and his friends, stabbing and the fire incident in Jay's flat, then the hospital diary incident, then meeting Xander again, then Calvin putting all my medication in one coke bottle and me having an overdose, and having multiple seizures and Gemma trapping me in the boys changing room. Then Calvin jumping off the window and Xander having difficulty with his school work, me moving in. Alex having covid. Then Ella's brother. The drowning and Xander getting stabbed twice and shot. Then him being in hospital and me not leaving hospital and doing both my school work and Xander's. Then him telling me Noah's pure trouble and Noah strangling me about to punch me. Then him crying. Then Xander beating him up and strangling him until he passed out. Then Alex asking all my friends if I was mad. Then her asking for a therapist and my doctors agreeing.

"And that's when I met Laila."

"And then you met Nathan...where exactly?"

I told her about the bullies and then David and the homeless lady and hotel incident..

"Then you guys helped me."

"Sky you're not mad. You're the opposite." Catalina said. Then she checked the lie detector. "Truth..."

"You went through all that?!" Laila shrieked.

"That is so cool." Nathan said.

"Nathan!" Catalina slapped his head. "That is crazy...."

"And I'm crazy because I am in love with a guy who tried to kill me."

"No you're not." Then she paused. "Is that why you were hoodies and stuff?"

"Well I've always been like this...but...I've had to cover up."

"That's crazy. Can I see your stab?"

"I've got two."

"Okay, go on."

I pulled my leggings a bit down and showed them. They looked shocked. And once they saw the bruises around it they looked even more shocked. I pulled my leggings back up. "My whole body looks like that. Purple patches everywhere."

"That's..." Laila raised her eyebrows. "You're so....selfless and think about others...you are one in a billion..."

"But I'm madly in love with a sociopath--"

"But he cares about you right?"

"He does. Even if he almost killed me numerous times...."

"What is it? Why are you crying?"

"Well...he did say it was my fault Xander was in a coma and he got stabbed and shot and he was about to tell me it should've been me rather than him...."

"But he didn't mean it did he?"

I took my phone out. "Catalina can you give me your phone, I want to call him. Please."

"Sure." She said unlocking it. I took her phone and copied Noah's number and phoned him on Catalina's phone.

I rang a few times until he answered it. "Who is this?" Someone asked.

"Give the phone to Noah."

"Sky?" Noah shrilled. "Where are you?! I've been worried sick and so has everyone--"

"I don't care. What's happened to your voice?"

"I've been crying..."

"I just want you to ask a question...would you rather it had been me in that coma instead of Xander?"

He fell silent for a while. "How are you?"

"We're over. Hope you're happy now--"

"Sky, I love you from the bottom of my heart..."

"That's a shame because I hate you!!" I cut the call. Then burst out crying. "What the fuck is wrong with me?!"

"Nothing..." Laila said hugging me. "Nothing's wrong with you."

"I know he loves me..."

"But--"

"I know when he's lying. He can't lie! I know he loves me and I don't!!"

"Then that's that. Do you want some cheering up?"

"I just want to sleep." I said getting up. "Where exactly?"

"Good question." Catalina scratched

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