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Chapter 14


Pain. Pain. All I feel is pain. I want it to stop. I want to be happy. I want to laugh. I want my friends back. All I could do was sit curled up in a ball against the wall. For months, I stayed like that.

For the first few months, my phone would ring and buzz incessantly -- which was annoying and I couldn't bring myself to get up and turn the phone off or answer. Eventually, it died. I didn't even text my friends. What would I say? At this point, it's too late. All I did was stare at it on the nightstand. The black screen. So lifeless. Motionless.

On the days when everyone would go to school, Mrs. Carte would come in and talk to me. Or try to get me up and moving.

"Come on Luc. Just try to make it to the steps." Mrs. Carte said.

She was always kind and patient with me. Makes me wonder how long that will last.

All I could will myself to do was make it to the railing.

"You don't want to try to come downstairs?" She asked.

I shook my head and backed away. My anxiety was high. I couldn't leave the room without the feeling of throwing up.

At one point, she took me to a café. We sat at a table drinking coffee and eating. I sat all hunched over and hidden under my hood. I could never stop the trembling.

"Luc, I know you're feeling vulnerable, but with time you'll get your confidence back." Mrs. Carte assured me.

"Why not take off your hood? You don't have to move your hair if you don't want to." She said.

My hand shook as I brought it to my head. I gripped my hood and my heart started racing. My breathing became heavy. I dropped my hand and shook my head.

"That's okay. You can take it off when you're ready." Mrs. Carte said.

I sat in my corner again.


"...I'll kill you all!"

These words echo in my head. The gasps in the audience hurt me. Why is it, I can never stop crying?

"...deemed unfit..."

I violently shook my head. I just want them to stop!


I had quite the day; my teacher was being rude for absolutely no reason, someone spilled chocolate milk on me, the worst part is that I'm wearing a white shirt, and my grade in English has gone down. I can't fail English!

To clear my mind, I walked around the house. "I study like hell. What's the point if I always end up failing?" I muttered to myself as I kicked a pebble as I walked.

I kicked it again and it bounced off the sole of someone's shoe.

"Ah, hey. What are you up to?" I assumed it was Jackson until I looked up.

"Nice to see you up and moving." I said.

Luc was standing with his back to me, staring at the big tree behind the house. Still hiding under his hood.

"What are you doing?" I inquired.

No answer.

I looked up at the sky. It was gray and the wind was starting to pick up.

"We should go inside." I urged him.

Luc lowered his head and turned around. He let me lead him back inside. Once we were in the room, he retreated to his corner.

I sat on my bed. "I'm glad that you were out and moving."

A few hours passed and a loud storm blew in. Luc had a noticeable reaction to it; he even woke me up.

There are many storms in Seattle...I wonder if it was different from where he came from.

I stood up from my bed when I saw him rocking back and forth. He was mumbling something. I've never seen him like this.

"Hey? Are you okay?" I whispered and slowly walked toward him.

"He's coming for me," I could barely understand what he said.

I climbed onto his bed and sat on my knees in front of him.

"No. No one's coming for you. You're safe here." I assured him.

Luc repeated what he said once again.

"Don't worry. I won't let anyone hurt you." How damaged is this kid?

"You're safe." I assured him again.

In the morning, Mrs. Carte came into the room. I thought she'd want me to leave, but she insisted I stay.

"Luc, I enrolled you in school. I can't keep you out anymore." She said.

Then she made a face, "Cause I'll literally go to jail."

"You understand?" She asked him.

Luc sadly nodded his head. Mrs. Carte turned to me.

"Now you," She had this look in her eyes; she was dead serious, like "I'll skin you alive" serious.

"Take care of Luc." She said sternly.

"Yes ma'am!" I panicked. No issue. I'll look out for him.

"Now start getting ready." Mrs. Carte said before leaving.

I looked at Luc. He hung his head. Deep down, I knew he was scared.

"Don't worry... I'll look out for you. I promise." I stated.

"Come on. Get dressed." I said as I got off my bed.

While we walked to schoool, I walked beside Luc. He walked with his head down. The school doesn't allow hoods up, I wondered if I should tell him. His hood seems to be his safeguard. Or something like that.

Once we got to the school, Rachel and I had to coax him into the building. He wouldn't let go of a pillar in front of the school.

"You'll be fine." I said to him once we finally got him inside. I handed him his backpack, we had an extra.

"Let me see your schedule." I said. His hand shook as he handed it to me.

"Ok. We don't have classes together, but we do have lunch together. So if you want, you can come sit with Rachel and me." I told him.

His first block is on the third floor.

"Do you mind if I walk you to your first class?" I asked.

Luc shook his head.

I walked him to his class. When we got there the door was still open.

Luc looked at me with fear. The right side of his face was covered by his hair. He has some...interesting eyes. It was green-blue hazel with a brown ring around the pupil.

I handed him his schedule.

He looked into the classroom, then back at me.

"Don't make me push you." I told him.

He stiffly walked into the classroom.

I'm happy to see he's back in the swing of things, but I can't help but feel it was forced. Hopefully he'll be okay.

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