The Ghost (Ghost #1)

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Chapter 22


“MOM!!!” I yell out in panic after breaking down the door to my bathroom and turning off the shower with my eyes closed. I try not to look at Lia’s naked body, knowing she wouldn’t want me to ogle at her.

My mom barges into my room with my dad in tow, but I stop him.

“Mom, I need your help. Can you put some clothes on Lia? She’s completely broken down! But she would kill me if I saw her naked.” I rush, panicked.

“What happened?” My mom asks worriedly, going towards the en suite.

“Not now, mom, please. Just help her.” I plead, worried about Lia.

“Okay, okay. Wait outside.” She orders before heading inside.

As dad and I wait in the hallway, I keep pacing in front of my bedroom door biting my nails. What the hell happened? She was fine hours ago.

“What happened Blake?” My dad breaks the tense silence.

“I don’t know. I took her to my room after you left. She went to take a shower, but after few minutes I heard her crying inside. – I slide down the wall to sit on the floor as my dad leans on the wall in front of me – She sounded so hurt – I hear my voice break – so pained. I got worried. But when I knocked on the door to check on her, she didn’t respond, she just kept crying. So I broke the door down and called mom.”

I see that my dad is as lost as I am. He says nothing as we wait for my mom. I lean my elbows on my bent knees, running my fingers through my hair constantly. Lia’s cries resound in my head. The anguish in her voice made my blood run cold. I had to get to her.

I tried not to look at her naked body, but I noticed the blood on her sides. Did she hurt herself?

I’m pulled from my thoughts by my mom.

“Blake, I need you to come in. I dressed Lia, but she’s completely unresponsive. And I need to take a look at her sides. It looks like she dug her fingers in her sides then dragged them through her skin. She needs stitches, but I couldn’t pick her up myself.” My mom is crying as she explains. I knew she's hurt! Fuck, what the hell is going on?!

I nod at her as I go to the bathroom. Lia’s sitting on the floor in my shirt and shorts, leaning against the wall. My poor sweetheart. I carefully pick her up bridal style and take her to my bedroom. She’s cold and limp in my arms and if it weren’t for her soft breaths I would think she’s dead. I sit on the edge of my bed and settle Lia’s body so that she straddles my thighs as I cradle her to my chest. She looks so fragile and vulnerable right now it makes my heart ache. It's my first time seeing her this... weak. She's usually really strong, calm and confident, so it's a shock to see her this way.

My mom comes back to the room with her medical kit. Her being a surgeon is really helpful right now. She sets everything on the bed next to me then slowly lifts Lia's shirt.

“Can I cut your shirt, honey?” I’m confused as to why mom wants to cut my shirt, but I just nod at her. She hands me a pair of scissors and stands in front of me, putting her hands on Lia's shoulders.

“Cut the front then tie it up. I need a clear look at her sides and you’ll have to hold her while I stitch her up.”

I slowly cut up my shirt vertically, almost all the way to Lia’s chest while my mom stabilizes her by holding her shoulders. Then I tie a knot just below Lia’s breasts, making sure I don’t touch them. My little spitfire would break my fingers if I did. Once I’m done I take Lia’s hands and put them between us, pulling her lifeless form back into my chest, not missing the blood-soaked towel wrapped around her midriff. How deep are her wounds exactly? I press a firm kiss on the top of Lia’s head as my mom takes the towel off.

I almost gasp is shock at the sight. There are deep gashes on both her sides, bleeding profusely. She really ripped through her skin with her own hands!

“Keep her still, she might snap out of the shock while I work.” My mom is in the surgeon mode now. She carefully cleans the wounds before taking out her stitching kit. Oh god, this is going to take a while to heal. Lia really hurt herself.

I hug Lia tightly around her shoulders, her arms locked between our bodies so my mom has clear view of the damage.

“Does Lia, – my mom pauses, sounding hesitant – does she self-harm?” I feel my eyes widen.

“What? No! Mom, why would you even think that?!” I’m absolutely appalled at the mere idea. Impossible! Lia wouldn't hurt herself on purpose, right?

“She did this to herself, Blake. You need to talk to her about that, it’s not normal behavior. I really like her, honey, I do. That’s why I’m worried. Look at her, she’s completely listless, even though I’m putting a needle through her skin without anything to numb the pain!” I see my mom close to tears again. She must really like Lia to be so concerned.

“I know. – my voice breaks again as I look down at Lia’s blank face pressed against my chest – I think all this has something to do with what she told dad earlier. She stood up to him for me, but ended up crying.” I explain, trying to figure out what caused her to break down so bad. I keep one of my hands on Lia's head, stroking her hair softly, while the other keeps her body pressed against mine.

“Something must’ve triggered this. She’s completely shut down. I can’t even tell you when will she snap out of it, or if she will.” Mom finishes up treating Lia’s wounds, placing some transparent dressing on them before wrapping a bandage around her ribcage. It's kinda awkward with me in the way, but there's no way I'm letting go of Lia. “I used a waterproof dressing, so she won’t have to worry about it soaking through.” She explains and I nod.

“Mom, can you put a clean shirt on her?” I ask before my mom can leave.

“Of course.” She smiles warmly, going to my closet, while I stay on the bed with Lia in my lap, stroking her head gently.

I turn my head away with my eyes closed, causing my mom to chuckle as she changes Lia’s shirt.

“Don’t laugh at me, mom. She would have my head if she found that I was the one dressing her.” I say seriously.

“I really like her, Blake. She’s good for you.” Mom tells me.

“I know.” Lia is the best for me.

“Holler if you need me, honey.” Mom presses a kiss to the top of my head after she packs up her stuff then exits my room, leaving me and Lia alone.

I continue to sit with Lia in my lap, not moving a muscle. Hearing her cry out in agony, seeing her break down so badly was devastating. I don't want to witness that ever again.

As I stroke her hair, keeping her cradled in my arms, a shocking revelation hits me like a damn lightning.

I’ve fallen for Lia. Hard.

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