Scars, Pain, & Despair

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Chapter Twenty-One


When morning came a different woman came to fetch me from the hospital. This one was quieter but seemed very welcoming when she first arrived. I could tell the woman wanted to say something to me but refused to and chose a different path of conversation.

"Hello. I'm Astera," The woman chirped sticking her hand out for me to shake. "Kaden told us, you don't have your memory. That's okay; I hope we can be friends."

"Oh good, I hope we can be friends too. Did you know me before I lost my memory? Most people back at the house seem to."

"Well yeah, I guess you could say. We weren't very close; we barely even spoke to each other."

"Oh," I said scratching my head in confusion. Like back at the house something in the back of my mind felt familiar with this girl but it didn't feel threatening instead something good.

"Come on I know Owen is dying to see you again." Astera snatched up my hand and began to skip ahead, pulling me along.



Nathan and I stood side by side facing my uncle, his back to us as he faced the dirty window. My back ached from being so stiff that I didn't seem to be accustomed to anymore since I left. All my muscles were tense on reflex and prepared to be hit after their long break.

"Where were you?" He demanded his voice not least bit softened.

"We were in the next town over, a few miles from here sir."

"I have been told this by John but why!!"

"We were looking for Proserpina sir, and we found her."

"You all went looking for a stupid girl against my orders!! Boy, are you that stupid!! Do you think I wouldn't know someone a part of my team left?!!"

"Of course n--!" I tried to get out but he wasn't finished.

"I ordered it, you stupid boy!! She did not go missing; the girl was sent for her attitude readjustment!!"

"Uncle that is prosperous, she doesn't have a memory anymore because of this!!" I argued, hoping he was just toying with me again.

"And that just makes it all the better!! Now your friend won't be a problem anymore; she won't be openly rebelling against me! If you were half as smart as you should be, you would know no one leaves without my knowing or my permission! You are just like your mother, soft and weak."

"Don't talk about my mother like that!! She wasn't weak; my mother was a better person than you are and I'm done hearing your bullshit about her!! My mother was the strongest woman I would ever know, she had you as family!" I forced my legs to take a step back instead of forward before he could turn to beat me.

"What did you just say boy?! I am your uncle!" Uncle swung around, his fist white and an angry vein popping out of his skull.

"A lousy one!" Nathan took a step back with me.

"You ungrateful boy! Who took care of you all these years?!! I have been trying to make you into a strong man but you only seem to stay a baby in need of his mother!! You are just as helpless as her!"

"Shut your mouth!" I screamed back, trying to get to the door faster but keeping his attention off of Nathan. "You've done nothing for me all these years!!"

"We need to go; Now!" Nathan gripped my arm and began dragging me with him at a faster pace. "Come on! We'll come back later when Kaden can hold his tongue sir."

"You will not walk away from this boy!!" Uncle charged towards us; a storm of anger whirling around him in still, silent winds.



"What are we going to do about this?" I asked seriously to Donny and Jax. We were standing in the kitchen, talking quietly, as we kept an eye on Proserpina hanging out with Astera and Owen in the other room.

"Thia what do you want us to do? She has no memory of anything. The best we can do is keep an eye on her," Jax had his arms crossed over his torso and was leaning on the counter.

"Then we'll take shifts, Proserpina shouldn't be taken anywhere without one of us knowing at all times. We don't want her taken advantage of right now not in this state," Donny nodded as he explained it. "I'll take the first shift, Thia the second, and Jax the third."

"Alright but we have to notify each other if she is heading anywhere that is suspicious. Remember we don't know who she is anymore; this memory damage could've changed her personality. Can you do that Don?" I pointed towards Donny whom had a pained expression in his eyes.

"Yeah I can. It just hurts more since she doesn't know me anymore; it would be easier if she knew who I was and why she was mad at me. I don't want a clean slate if it costs her memory."

"I know how you feel buddy," I padded him on the back then turned with Jax to leave Donny to his shift.



"Are you going to tell her?" Owen whispered to me barely over a whisper while Proserpina told us about her time in the town I left her in.

The three of us were lounging in the living room sharing stories of our past. Proserpina was curled up like a cat on the olive green chair. I was stretched out on the floor, my muscles relaxing from the days of stress. Owen was lying on the couch behind me looking the same but wasn't relenting when it came to our secret conversation.

"Can you just let me have this? Just this once, I admit I regret what I did but please. This is the only time she may talk to me casually if I tell her now." I pleaded with him but refused to meet his eyes instead I kept them trained on Proserpina.

"Astera, I'm your friend but this is crossing a line and it's selfish. I understand you want her to forgive you but this is not the way. I am her friend too and trust me; if you don't tell her and she gets her memory back then you'll lose her."

"Owen I'm going to tell her."

"I hope you do; no one likes watching a friendship fall apart."

"Yes and being in it, is so easy?" I snapped at him, my temper rising.

I knew Owen had good intentions but he wasn't considering the factors making me hesitate. Proserpina probably would tell me if our stations were switched but I doubt she would put herself in this situation. No she wouldn't have left me there.

"Is there something wrong?" Proserpina cut in making me tense up.

"Astera is there something wrong?" Owen joined in sitting up to look me in the eye. His eyes were dark and filled with warning but I moved my gaze elsewhere.

"No there is nothing wrong. I think I'm just a little tired."

"Oh okay then you can go rest if you would like. I don't think Owen and I would mind, along as I'm not boring you, Owen?"

"Of course you're not. Actually I'm having a blast; I don't see why Astera is so distracted. Unless she has something to say?"

"Don't you dare!" I scolded him under my breath then spoke aloud. "Like I said Owen, I'm fine. There's nothing I want to say right now."

"Interesting, I could've sworn you told me earlier..." Owen raised his eyebrow in questioning, his eyes narrowed on me.

"Owen this is not the time. Hey let's play a board game!"

"Okay....are you guys okay?" Proserpina got up to get the games but stopped at the doorway. Her brow was furrowed in concern as she looked us over.

"Yeah we're good. You can pick the game, we don't mind, we love them all." I spoke up before Owen tried again then Proserpina left the room. "You'll stay out of this Owen. I'll tell her real soon."

"You better. If you don't then I will and I won't be so settle the next time. I'll do it like ripping off a band aid."

"I'll tell her soon but not now; please. I want at least one moment with her before it all changes again." Owen nodded once but I could tell he wasn't going to forget this.



Astera tugged on my arm restlessly, anxious to get me to go faster. My leg throbbed where I was bit but I refused to complain when she was this happy. We had been hanging out together for a while though her phone kept buzzing in her pocket.

"Come on!!" she whined.

"What are we going to do anyway?" I asked hoping for her to lessen her tugging if I asked about the activity.

"There's a carnival in town and I have never been to one! Since you don't remember anyway, we should try it together! I finally have time to go this year so please!!"

"We can go but shouldn't you answer your phone? It sounds urgent," I pointed at her pocket. Disappointed I mentioned it; Astera slipped her phone out and stared at her screen.

"Well? Who is it?"

" one," she shook as she put her phone away. "We should get to the carnival early so we can spend as much time there as possible before they have to close. Let's go!" Astera shouted more urgently than before, this time jumping and running ahead to beckon me onward.

Shrugging I followed her. There felt like something looming over her like a dark cloud but I wasn't going to be the one to ruin our fun. Even without a memory I couldn't help but feel happy with Astera though I have no memories of her in my past.



I stood inside Kaden's Uncle's motel room. Kaden and Nathan lay in a corner watching in fear and defiance. Their clothes were ruffled and torn to exposed, bruised skin. His uncle stood with his face bulging red with veins and fists white from clenching them and crusted with red from the boys in the corner.

"Where is Astera?!" He shouted at me.

"I do not know sir."

"She is not answering her phone from either Thia or me so where is she?!!"

"I said I do not know sir!" I answered shrinking a bit from his tone.

"Where is that girl? Are they together?"

"I do not know their whereabouts sir."

"How can you not know boy?! You went looking for the girl in the first place!! How could you lose her when you had only gotten her back?!!" His hand whipped from his side to grip my arm hard in an iron fist.

"Where did they go?!!" His veins seemed ready to pop out of his brain and explode his disgusting blood everywhere.

"Please let go sir!" I screamed back, my body trying to recoil from the bruising pain.

"Find them!!" I fell back, shoulder first into the doorknob as he released my arm with force. "Now!!" he screamed at the other boys meaning for them to follow me. All three of us injured and afraid ran from the room, the building, and the property.

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