Everywhere I looked in the room there was scene to crack my heart open further than the last. John bled by Nathan on the wall, Astera and Jax lie on the floor not that far apart, lifeless. Uncle held a gun in his hands, lower as he faced me.
"Proserpina!! Get down!" I ordered when I entered the room, trying not to step on the ones on the floor and not to do something to earn a bullet from Uncle. Proserpina turned to meet my eyes. If eyes could reflect everything about you, Proserpina's reflected her pain from the past year and exactly how she saw me.
"Proserpina!!" I shouted again when I realized I distracted her from her captor, who was taking this as an opening. He bashed the cane into the back into her skull with so much force she went crashing to the ground. From there he kicked her in her exposed spine and ribs, thrilled with the power and her cries. Then Proserpina stopped screaming like she stopped registering the physical pain and acknowledged another, with her tearful eyes on the bodies on the floor.
"Kaden," Proserpina whimpered my name. The others fell away and I just saw her. Her eyes filling up with tears that spilled down her face. She met my gaze pale with terror and grief, "Did I do this?" It was just us. It was me and a very scared Proserpina.
"No...you didn't do this." I whispered though I knew what she meant. She meant did they die for her, was she the reason they lost their lives. I couldn't tell her that, I couldn't let her absorb more of the darkness she was already in.
"But I am why." She already knew the answer and it took her right back where she was with her captor beating her.
All of it hurt; the pain, the grief, the anger, and the blame. I wanted Kaden to help me, to shield me from the horror of what my actions led to. I was so occupied with confronting Gavin I didn't even know everyone dying behind me. Everyone may have played me but I was the only to blame. After all I was the one who fell for it all though I couldn't figure out why I still cared so deeply for them.
"That's right you cannot help them!! You only kill them!" Gavin chuckled at me when he saw where I was gazing.
"I did." I rested my arms on my knees from my seated position, gazing up at him. He was not going to use anything else to hurt me.
"You never should've run away." Suspicion flashed in his eyes as he registered me. Suddenly my body felt heavy and weak. The bruises burned and stung when I moved or twitched a muscle. Nothing sounded better than sleep; this was taking too much energy than I could give.
"Can we go home?"
"Yes I believe you, my dear, have had too much fun for one day." With a small smile, he reached down with his cane and pulled me to my feet.
"Proserpina? What are you doing?" Kaden stiffened.
"Going home of course," Gavin replied cheerfully stepping around the bodies towards the door.
"That's not your home," he said his eyes brows furrowed together.
"It will always be her home boy!" Gavin snapped.
"I thought you remembered. Proserpina, you live in a small town on the other side of the country."
"Not anymore Kaden. My new home is with Gavin, that small town stopped being my home when you nearly killed me in it."
"What about your family?"
"I'm sure they'll be fine without me, I will write to them from now on."
"What about the rest of us?" For the first time since I met him, Kaden softened putting his guards down and let his eyes fill up to the rim with tears.
"Kaden you didn't want me with you anyhow. You'll get on without me."
"What about us?!" Nathan and John stumbled to their feet, "We just got you away from him!"
"What about Thia, Jax, and Astera?!! They died for you!" Donny demanded angry tears dripping on his dead best friend on the floor in front of him.
"I can't help their fate Donny. They were good people. That's all I can say."
"That's all you can say!!!! They died for you!! It wasn't their time!!" Donny screamed consumed in his grief. "What is wrong with you?!!"
"No!! Get out!! Don't come back!! You will never be welcome!!!! I hate you!!" Nodding I walked the rest of the way to Gavin in the threshold. Donny was a good friend to me before though I knew that my friendships were over with them. I would miss him but I understood his hurting heart. I would hate me too for I felt cold, dimmed, and so very tired.
"But I promised to be your friend," Nathan cried wanting to reach out for me but couldn't let John go to do so.
"You were Nathan, John but we both know it would be best if I left. I caused more trouble than I am worth. Go run like the old times. Maybe in time we'll race again." Accepting the promise I couldn't tell was in our future, his protests ceased with John's. There was only one more I need to make an amends to.
"And me?" Kaden spoke up. "What about us?"
"Kaden you never even liked me anyway."
"Don't lie Proserpina, you were never good at it. I may not know when but I care for you a lot more than I care to admit."
"I still have to go, I'm not safe here."
"I know but....I just wanted to say I fell in love with you and out of it more times I can count. Just come back when you're ready."
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