From Wesson’s office and straight back to the Cabin, she ran. She made sure no one heard her as she went up stairs, fighting the urge to stomp up instead.
She glowered at her reflection. For months she tried. She tried to fit in; she tried to manage this life. She had had enough. Tonight, more than ever, the voice in her head seemed louder than anything else in the world.
Run. It screamed. You have to run.
She put on her boots and her jacket and knelt down to peek under her bed. The bag was still there. She dragged it out and opened it, eyes running over the contents twice before she grabbed her phone and wallet from the side table.
Rachel blinked away the tears and spotted her own journal at the foot of the bed. She snuck out, slinging the bag over her shoulder and slipped her journal through the slit under Joey’s room door.
Rachel slipped out the cabin but she heard a small voice, “Raich?”
It was Jake, rubbing his eyes from under his lopsided glasses, “Where are you going?”
Damn it, Fayne!
“Umm – I’m just gonna go for a walk. Listen, what’re you doing up this late?”
“I just needed” he yawned, “A glass of water.”
“Alright, sweetie, don’t stay up too late. Okay?”
“Okay, Raich. Good night” he whispered, turning back around – completely forgetting that he had to drink water, stumbling back to his room.
She inched the door closed and began her trek to her favorite place thus far. She reached the clearing soon enough and looked around.
Rachel sighed again and plunked down on the grass, sobbing. She held her head in her hands and cried. The tears started flowing, fast and hot, making their way down her face and dripping to the ground.
Rachel cried even harder than when Nate told her about Nanna. Her lips quivered and she began to shake, Rachel didn’t even have to blink for the tears to flow, crouching in vain attempt to stem the flow of tears. Rachel fought to regain control but her throat closed up and she slammed her fists into the ground because she couldn’t stop feeling pathetic for not being able to do something as simple as breathing.
Rachel looked at her reflection in the lake and wiped her face.
Rachel shook her head, tears still streaming, and looked up at the starry sky. She closed her eyes for a moment, bit her lip as if to stop herself from sobbing and clenched her fists until her knuckles turned white.
Get MOVINGyou, idiot!
Rachel stood up, dusting off her jeans.
Rachel turned around at the sound of the nickname. Joey stood there, arms crossed to keep the chill out; bewilderment clouding her face, Rachel’s journal clutched in her arms.
Rachel’s lips quivered, “What?”
“Rachel … your face…” Joey tilted her head as if to see better, her voice uncertain, her expression horrified.
Rachel glanced in the lake. There was blood smeared all over her face.
She dumped her bag, dipped her hands in the water and splashed it on her face. She wiped it with her arm and turned to look at Joey.
Joey walked towards Rachel and knelt down next to her. Joey’s eyes searching for the blood source.
Her gaze landed on Rachel’s hands. Her left hand was bleeding. The blood was dripping again. She had driven her nails into her skin.
Joey snatched up her hand and looked at the blood caked fingernails. She shook her head, “Rachel Fayne, WHAT THE HELL?”
She didn’t sound angry, she didn’t sound surprised.
She just sounded disappointed, a mixture of disappointment and sympathy.
Rachel sobbed again and hugged Joey.
“Raich, you’re an idiot.” She said plainly and Rachel sniffed, “You mind telling me what’s going on?”
Rachel thought for a minute.
She let out a breath and pulled away, “I’m leaving, Joey.”
“You’re not. I’m dragging you to Wesson’s right now, we’re getting you some help.”
Rachel didn’t even blink.
“Rachel, No.” was all she managed to say before Rachel got up and flung the bag over her shoulder again.
Rachel was about to disappear into the trees again, knowing Joey’s gaze was fixed on her, willing her to turn back.
Avoid the eyes. You know she’ll make you stay. And that is the last thing you want.
“Rachel…” She pleaded, “Hold up.”
Rachel turned around, slowly, keeping her eyes on the ground. Joey pulled out a piece of cloth from her pocket.
She took Rachel’s bleeding hand and wiped it with the cloth, then tied it around the wound. She patted her on the back, “Don’t do this, please. I know what you’re thinking and I know that you won’t turn back no matter how hard I try.” She looked into her eyes, “I’ve been here, and I’ve had the urge to run, Rachel, but trust me. You don’t wanna do this!”
Rachel just grunted and turned around.
“The minute you realize what you did was wrong, remember that we’re here. Okay?”
Rachel disappeared into the trees again; heading to what she hoped was the very edge of the institute.
And she started running yet again.
Joey chased her through the foliage until she could tackle Rachel to the ground, “I will drag you back, unconscious if I have to.”
Rachel writhed and squirmed pushed Joey off, flinging some dirt in her face before disappearing through the trees.
Twenty minutes later, Rachel stood in front of a wall of barbed wire.
She knelt down, pulling out a blade from her backpack and began sawing away at the wire.
She threw the square of wire behind her and crawled through the space.