Together

Chapter 9

Why was I still alive?

I was finally going to pay for everything that I've done, so why, Leo? Why can't you let me go?

Something was not quite right with his actions. I knew they wanted me to pay. I knew they hated my guts to the core. So why won't they let me go?

I want them to stop lying to me! I don't want them to hurt me, I don't...I don't want to live with that fear anymore.

Leo, I fought back. I really did! But I...I don't know what you want me to do. I can't continue to fight and cry and live in fear everyday.

I know I can't bring him back. I can't bring Splinter back, I can't get you guys back. I get it.

I'm sorry, everyone. I really am. But what else do you want from me?

The first person I saw when I came around was Leo. I kinda knew he'd be there for some reason.

"Mikey, are you alright?"

I felt like I had to say it. I don't know what Leo wants with me, but it was automatic.

"I'm sorry."

In my mind, I thought 'What now? What do they want from me now?'

I wondered if he read those journals. I hope he did. They know I won't talk. Or rather, I can't.

I don't know when I'll ever tell them. If I tell them.

Really of a fact, I was questioning my brothers, their actions.

I want to know why I keep getting woken up. I want to know when they plan on letting me go so I can stop feeling this heavy pain on my heart.

I can't face these demons. I can barely face my own family!

Leo was walking closer to me, and I wished that I hadn't spoken. He saw me tense a little, but he didn't say anything for a long minute. I think he knew why.

"Do you feel okay?" I nodded.

It is the strangest feeling in the world when you can't trust your own flesh and blood. Well, maybe not flesh and blood, but...just people you knew and loved, you can't trust them.

I'm still shaken of them all. I truly am. And I can't let my barricade down because the next time, they might really kill me. Maybe I didn't fear Death before, but I sure as shell do now.

I didn't get why they were playing nice. I was too weak to attempt to fight, so why not finish me off? You could do what you wanted to do for so long now, so why not finish it?

I wasn't expecting Leo or even Donny to do that, so I thought Raph would be here, his sais aimed at my neck again.

I was so close to it all...but something else must be unfinished here. It has to be it. They don't want me here, but what do I have to do now?

Out of the blue, I saw his hand reaching out toward my face, and I whimpered, pulling back.

He was going to do it all over again. Oh God...I'm not ready for this. I knew it was going to happen, but I'm not ready.

"Don't worry, Mikey. I won't hurt you." he said gently. I shook my head, not really listening, the words I wanted to say still not coming out.

'Leo, what do you want from me? What else do I have to endure? I can't fight, I can't scream, I can't...I can't.'

I felt my heart racing out of control. I must've started with the waterworks again, too, because I saw Leo freeze.

"Mikey, I won't hurt you." he kept saying. I kept shaking my head.

'I don't believe you, Leo. You're lying. Stop lying to me.'

My head was starting to hurt again. I wanted to be left alone, but I was too scared that he would yell at me or something if I said that. I know he would.

So I kept my mouth shut, closed my eyes tight and curled up on my bed, waiting for him to finish it.

For about five minutes, I realized that Leo hadn't hit me. I was about to open my eyes and see if he left when I felt arms wrap around me. I had no time to prepare myself. My eyes snapped open, and I tried to get away from him. Like that would do me any good. I couldn't go anywhere.

"Mikey, it's okay. It's alright." he said quietly.

Why is he lying to me? Why is he telling me this?

I don't know what I said in response to that. I don't think I said anything at all. My body was still very tired, and my mind wasn't fully awake. So I just sat there, shaking my head, completely vulnerable to whatever he had in store for me.

All I was hoping for was that I would black out. I don't want to feel anything else now.

For a reason I couldn't fathom at the current moment, he didn't let me go for a long time. In fact, he was holding me even tighter than before, trying to calm me down.

He kept talking to me, kept telling me that same lie.

I don't understand what's going on. I don't know what he wants from me, I don't...I don't know anymore.

I'm tired, I'm confused, and I want the truth.

Why can't anyone just tell me that? First I was told to go die, so I did. Now I'm being brought back for what? Why do they want me to live if they wanted me to die?

All this thinking made my already drowsy mind even more so. I guess Leo thought I had fallen asleep, so he let me go after he felt I was calm enough. I welcomed the feel of a pillow, and while sleep was the best idea ever, I glanced up at Leo, trying to see what it was he was going to do next.

He didn't hit me...is that good? Am I going to be left alone tonight?

He turned around for a few moments, then turned back, placed something on the bed, and took my face in his hands. Gently, he cupped my cheek in his hand, tilting my head to the right.

At the moment, all I thought about was how warm and familiar his hand felt being there.

I still remember how he always did that...take my face in his hands and make me face him when I couldn't do it on my own.

I felt him peeling the bandage off my face. While I knew what he wanted, I was still tense and scared.

"Stay still, Mikey." I heard him say firmly, holding my face still after I hissed. Whatever he was using, it burns!

But almost immediately, I stopped. He didn't have to tell me twice.

Just like with Donny...I stay still, I don't make a sound, and I won't get hit. I know how it works.

I sat still, forgetting about everything here for awhile. My eyes closed on their own, and I just...I was drifting.

It's nice to do that, you know. Kinda like running.

I could go anywhere my feet took me and not care. As long as I was moving, as long as the wind was caressing me...I felt completely free. I forgot about anything that troubled me, forgot about the world in general. I did nothing but run.

When I felt a weight get off my bed, I opened my eyes and watched Leo putting something away.

I sighed a little when I saw Leo heading for the door. I love him dearly, but not now. I can't deal with them right now. I want some time alone, some time to grasp what just happened.

I was sure that no one would miss me around here. I was so sure of it.

So why did they want me back? What could I possibly be needed for around here?

If I'm a screw-up, if I'm a killer, I'm sure I should be dead.

So why are they lying to me? What more can they take from me?

"Mikey?"

I was snapped out of that thought, and I noticed Leo was standing by my bedside again. He seemed...worried.

Okay, what's going on? What kind of meds have I been taking?

"Mikey, are you sure you're okay?" he asked. I nodded.

"Then what's wrong?"

I just shook my head. I felt physically fine. I can't really tell him what I want to tell him yet.

Leo didn't seem too satisfied with my answer. He pressed the back of his hand to my forehead, and his expression turned serious.

What did I do now?

"You feel warm, Mikey." he said, a little concerned.

Huh. Was that the reason I was tired?

"Donny, get in here! I think Mikey's catching a fever!" he was yelling.

I had a panic attack of sorts when I saw Donny came in. I know what's about to happen. But I can't...no. I can't!

I saw him rushing in here and gathering things. I was scared, but I made sure to keep quiet. Leo and him went to the far corner of the room, Leo telling Donny what was happening and Donny nodding and glancing at me.

As they began to walk near me again, I curled up a bit under the sheets. My head was pounding, I was so darn tired, and I was hoping that if they were going to do this, that they made it quick. I don't want to be here.

"Mikey? Mikey, wake up. Can you hear me?" Donny asked, worry in his voice. He rested his hand on my shoulder, and I quietly whimpered, trying to look at him and not scream my lungs out.

"Don't hurt me, please." I whispered, not sure who I was talking to.

I was really too tired to pay attention to anything right now. Everything was becoming a fog, and I just...I want to close my eyes...let it all go away...

"Mikey, stay awake for a minute, okay?" I think that was Donny again.

I cannot stay awake, Donny. My eyelids feel really heavy...I'm tired...I'm so tired of trying...

Donny, please...hurry up and end it...please let it stop...

"Leo! Hey, where the hell is everyone?"

"Raph, in here!"

No...not him!

The minute Raph came in here, I lost it.

I sat up so fast, I got dizzy. I was looking at him, and I think I hit Donny as well, but I'm not sure.

I couldn't scream at the moment, but I wanted to so much. I wanted to scream at them to go away, to let me sleep for a few hours. But I couldn't find my voice.

Leo was trying to calm me down. I blocked everything around me out, everything except for Raph. I watched him take another step.

"Mike?"

I kept seeing flashbacks of him, his laugh, his fists, his anger flaring. Him cussing me out, belittling me, making sure I knew my place. Him laughing with Casey as they hit me, one at a time, until I thankfully fell unconscious.

He wanted to kill me many times, and I would wait until he would finally go too far and finish this. But he always let me live-barely.

There was no way I was going through that with him. I have no strength left to fight him, to fight Leo, to deal with anyone.

I just want to forget about it all. I don't want to feel this anymore.

"Mikey? Mikey, you okay?" Leo asked. I didn't answer.

I don't understand. Why do they do this to me?

It's done and over with. I did what you wanted me to do, felt what you wanted me to feel.

It's over. You all won.

Let me go...please.

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