Precious Sins ✓

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Chapter Forty-Five

Adrien's POV

"Adrien, are you ready to go?"

I glanced up at the nurse as she stood at the door to my room, a soft smile on her face. I nodded my head hesitantly, and that's when I stood up from where I sat on the edge of the bed, while she walked over to grab my packed-up suitcase for me.

I was going to be heading home today. It was Monday morning, April 12th, and I had packed up all of my stuff the night prior with the help of a nurse. Even though I slowly started to be able to do more with my wrists, I still wasn't allowed to do anything that involved pulling or lifting anything heavy, so the nurse had to be the one to lug my suitcase out of my room.

"Your mom is just at the front desk signing your discharge papers," the nurse said, heading to the door with my suitcase in tow, "are you excited to be able to go back home?"

"Ah, yeah...I am," I nodded my head.

"Do you still have the prescription the doctor gave to you?" The nurse asked me. I nodded, pulling out the piece of paper from my pocket, and waved it at her.

"Yup, still have it."

"Perfect," the nurse smiled, "well, let's go then. Your mom is probably eager to take you home."

I hesitantly followed the nurse out of the room, but not without a glance back into the room, which was now bare and vacant of my stuff like it had been before I was assigned the room as if I never stayed here in the first place. With a heavy sigh, I turned my back to the room I had stayed in for the last ten days, and followed the nurse down the hallway, past all the other patient rooms, offices, and the common room until we reached the front desk and the large double entrance doors.

This wouldn't be my last time here; I would be back on Thursday for another therapy appointment with Katelin, and the following Tuesdays and Thursdays after that for however long she deemed fit. Plus, I would also be back at the hospital again on Friday to have my stitches removed.

At the front desk, Mom was signing the discharge papers as the nurse had said with the lady standing behind the desk. She had taken the day off work today so that she could pick me up, and spend the day with me considering we haven't really spent quality mother-son time together in a while even before my attempt. Part of me felt like she was doing this because she felt guilty, because when she came for visits I could see the look in her eyes, and I felt guilty for making her feel like it was her fault when it wasn't.

Just as the nurse and I approached Mom, she had finished signing the discharge papers, and she thanked the lady behind the desk before turning to look at me with a smile. The nurse set my suitcase down next to me, which Mom took into her own hands.

"You two have a safe trip home, yeah?" The nurse said to us. Mom smiled at her.

"Yes, thank you," Mom said. The nurse said a quick goodbye to me, and then, she was walking off. Mom then turned to face me.

"Are you ready to go?" Mom asked. I nodded.

"Yeah...I'm ready," I nodded, albeit hesitant. Mom smiled at me and leaned over so that she could kiss my cheek.

"It'll be nice to finally have you back home," She said, her eyes suddenly watering, "I've missed having you home. I'm sure the cats miss you too."

Tears threatened to blur my vision at the sight of Mom near tears, but I held them back as I nodded my head, saying nothing else. Then, I took a deep breath to calm myself down, and I followed Mom through the double doors and to the hospital elevators.

We stopped at the pharmacy on the way home to pick up my prescription of antidepressants, and once mom finally pulled up into the driveway of our home, I stared numbly up at our one-floor home. I was almost hesitant to get out of the car and waited until Mom got out of the car before I decided to get out as well. She grabbed my suitcase, and I followed her to the front door as she unlocked the door, and the two of us stepped inside.

It almost felt weird to be back home. As Mom flicked on the lights, I kicked off my shoes and coat before wandering around slightly, glancing around the wide-open space that was the living room and kitchen. Ruby and Shelby were by my feet in an instant, and I couldn't help but smile softly to myself, even if it was only for a brief second, as I knelt to let the both of them.

"See? I told you they missed you," Mom laughed softly. I hummed, rubbing behind Ruby's ear as Shelby rubbed up against my leg.

"Yeah, I guess so."

"Oh! That reminds me!" Mom quickly hurried over to the kitchen. I stood up from the floor and with a raised brow, watching as she hurried over to the fridge.

She opened the fridge and pulled out a red velvet cake, still freshly stored in its cake box, "I brought this home from work the other day for us to have later for dessert! We could eat dinner and dessert while watching our shows! Doesn't that sound fun?"

"Yeah, it does sound fun," I said, biting my lip, "thanks, mom."

"Oh, you don't need to thank me," She laughed cheerfully, putting the cake back into the fridge, "I felt like we haven't spent much time together in months, so I think it's time we have a day to ourselves."

It was true. Ever since we had moved in with Preston and his dad, Mom and I barely had any quality time together. If I wasn't at school, I was always hanging out with Preston, since we lived together and it was easy to hang out with him all the time. I felt like the only times we weren't together were if we didn't have a class together, or if he had football practice. Other than that, we spent every hour we could together, which meant I barely got to spend any time with my mom.

And then, when the bullying started, I just didn't want to interact with anyone anymore. But I still couldn't help but think that Mom threw all this together just because she felt guilty for my attempt, and I really didn't want her to think that way. She was even acting overly cheerier than usual. She was a great mom, and she didn't deserve me.

"Uhm, mom..." I said hesitantly, gaining her attention, "not that I don't want to spend time with you, because I do...but this seems a bit sudden. Like, as soon as I'm home from the hospital you suddenly have all this thrown together?"

Mom frowned, "what do you mean? I just want to spend time with my son, how is that sudden?"

"Because the first thing you do when I get home is getting me a cake?" I raised a brow, "look...you don't have to do all of this as some kind of way to make it up to me. I didn't attempt it because of you."

Mom fell silent. She bit her lip, tucking a strand of her hair behind her ear before she leaned against the kitchen counter, "even so, I can't help but feel guilty, Adrien. You may not have attempted because of me, but I still didn't recognize that you were struggling and needed help. I should have noticed, and I should have gotten you the help you needed before things spiralled! I have traumas, I've struggled with mental illnesses before, so why didn't I notice??"

I frowned and lowered my gaze, eyeing the floor in front of me. When I didn't reply, Mom continued.

"And...you're my son. I love you so much, you're my entire life and I would do anything for you, so knowing that I almost lost you? The one thing in my life that makes me so incredibly happy to be alive? My heart was ripped out of my chest when Preston called me. I couldn't breathe," She shook her head, eyes glossy with tears, "I just can't lose you. And because I'm just so glad that you're still here living and breathing...I just...want to spend more time with you."

I nodded my head slowly. Guilt twisted in my chest, and I wanted to cry, but the numbness I felt in my head prevented me from doing so. So instead, I walked over and hugged her tight. She hugged me back just as tight, and so we stood there in the middle of the kitchen in silence, embraced in each other's arms. All I could hear in the painfully silent house was Mom's sniffles as she held back her cries.

"I-I love you so much...okay?" Mom said tearfully, "so please if you're struggling, don't hide it from me."

"I-I will...I promise," I whispered shakily, biting my lip as it trembled, "a-and I love you too..."




***




Mom and I spent the evening of my first day home as she planned—had a Netflix marathon watching our current favourite show, and while we did that, we ate our dinner and snacked on the red velvet cake she got from work as a dessert. Red velvet flavour was one of my favourites next to the vanilla cupcakes from that one bakery I loved. Mom also told me that she and another baker she worked with were the ones who made the cake and decorated it.

Sleep that night didn't come so quickly, and I ended up falling asleep around three am in the morning, and slept in until 8 am. It was Asher's birthday, and so I texted him that morning wishing him a happy birthday, and then we ended up talking on the phone for a couple of hours.

It was nice to talk to him again. I hadn't seen him in over two weeks, so hearing his tearful voice as he expressed how grateful he was for me to still be alive, made my heart squeeze in my chest. Asher was such a great friend, I always wondered to myself how lucky I was to have an amazing friend like him. He had been there for me through a lot, and I was forever grateful to have him at my side when I had no one else. He deserved all the good in the world.

"Are you taking this week off school?" Asher's voice filled my ears. I laid on my back on my bed, eyes gazing at the ceiling as my phone sat next to my head on the bed, with Asher on speaker.

"Yeah...Mom talked to the principal and my teachers for me, and Preston picked up all the schoolwork I missed for me so that I could start working on it from home," I sighed, "I got so much to catch up on, and I'm glad my teachers are being lenient and my grade won't be affected because of this. I'll be going back on Monday though...and that terrifies me."

"Yeah, I understand your fear too well," Asher chuckled softly, "you can do this, though. You're strong, and Daniel and I will be here for you the entire way. We have your back, always."

"Thanks...Asher," I said, biting my lip.

"Of course. Even if you don't see it, you're an amazing person, and you didn't deserve what you went through," Asher said sincerely, "but anyway... How are you and Preston?"

"Ah, I think we're okay. I mean...it's still kind of awkward, but we talked it out, and he apologized to me and is actively trying to make it up to me. He's been helping me out as well which is nice...and he's supposed to be coming over every day this week for a few hours while Mom's at work to keep an eye on me."

Asher hummed, "good, I'm glad he's trying. Hopefully, you guys can get everything worked out. I mean...I know Preston isn't a bad person, and he wasn't intentionally trying to hurt you, but it's obvious that he has some insecurities going on that he needs to fix, you know? Like look what happened, it completely ripped you two apart."

"Yeah...I guess you're right," I nodded my head, and released a heavy sigh, "I also just...don't know what this means for our relationship, not just our friendship. What if he wants to get back together...? I don't think I'm ready to date again."

"You need to focus on yourself, Adrien," Asher explained, "I think Preston needs to do that too. You need to care for yourself first, and you should focus on rebuilding your trust with him before you even try to work out if you want a relationship again or not. You've been through a lot, and so you need the time to work yourself out. Self-love always comes first, and you should never do something that you aren't ready for."

"Yeah...I just hate how everything happened."

"Of course. You and Preston were everything to each other, and still are, just with some broken pieces now. You guys will find your way, but you should focus on yourself for now. You deserve love from yourself."

"Why are you such a great friend?" I laughed softly. Asher laughed in return.

"I don't know, I'm just great I guess," Asher teased, "but I gotta go—Daniel is taking me out for my birthday, and I gotta get ready. But I will talk to you again soon, okay? And text me if you need anything."

"I will, thanks Asher," I said, "and happy birthday, again. I hope your day goes well."

"Thanks! Love you, Adrien."

Asher hung up the phone after that, and so now I just laid on my bed in silence, staring up at the ceiling. Asher's words stuck with me and honestly helped me feel a little bit lighter. He was right, after all, I had to work on myself and work through my trauma first, and make sense of my life again. I just knew it wasn't going to be easy. It was never easy.

I pulled myself out of bed and headed out of my bedroom and to the kitchen where I could smell Mom making breakfast. It was ten am by then, and when I stepped into the kitchen I noticed that she was making French toast.

"Good morning sweetie!" Mom said with a smile, "you can grab some toast off the plate, those are done."

"Thanks, mom," I said and grabbed a plate from the cabinets. I put a couple of slices of French toast onto my plate and drizzled on whipped cream, maple syrup, and blueberries that I grabbed from the fridge on top of my toast. I then filled a glass of water and took my breakfast over to the island where I sat down and ate.

When Mom was finished cooking, she grabbed her own plate and eventually sat down next to me at the island, and we ate together in peaceful silence. I missed her cooking, and her French toast was an upgrade compared to the food I ate while inpatient. The food wasn't horrible, but it could never compare to my mom's cooking.

"So, Preston is going to be here in a few minutes, and then I'll be leaving for work," Mom spoke up, gaining my attention, "I'll be sure to check in and call you every hour or so, but you'll be okay while I'm gone, right?"

"Yes, I'll be fine, mom," I told her, "I'll mostly just be catching up with my schoolwork with Preston and then I'll probably nap for a few hours."

"And you'll call if you need anything, yeah?"

"Yea, I will call," I reassured her.

Mom hummed at that, and leaned over to kiss my cheek, "good."




***




When we finished breakfast, Preston had come over and Mom left for work. We spent the rest of the morning lounging in the living room, watching TV, and by the time noon came around, he helped me get started on my homework. Since we were in the same physics class, it was easy for him to help me catch up on the lessons I missed. Phoebe had given him her math notes and other extra stuff from our calculus teacher, so I had those to look at as well, and lastly, I had my literature assignments and readings to catch up on.

It was overwhelming. I didn't realize how much work I missed until now and realized I would be spending a lot of hours this week catching up, including the time I had in my spare and lunch period to catch up. I also had a couple of tests I missed that I would have to take once I went back. It was a lot, and I didn't know if I would be able to do it all. Especially since my wrists were still healing.

"Maybe we should take a lunch break. Are you hungry?" Preston asked from beside me. We were currently sitting at the kitchen table with my Physics textbook and homework sprawled in front of me. I glanced up at him, pausing in thought for a moment.

"Mmm...yeah. Could you make me some mac and cheese?" I asked him," I like it when you make your mac and cheese."

"Yeah, I can do that," Preston chuckled. He flashed me a smile before he got up from the chair beside me and headed over to the kitchen, grabbing all the ingredients and the pots he needed. I watched from where I sat at the table, rested my cheek against my hand with my elbow perched on the table. Preston didn't know how to cook much. He knew basic recipes, but if there was anything he could make, it was mac and cheese. When we had first started dating, he made me mac and cheese for the first time and it was the best thing I ever tasted besides Mom's cooking.

I turned my gaze away from Preston when I realized I was staring and went back to my Physics homework. I worked at it for another ten minutes, before I got tired and got up from the chair, and joined Preston in the kitchen. The smell of pasta filled the air. He was currently preparing the sauce in a saucepan, stirring it occasionally as he waited for it to thicken.

I came to stand beside him at the stove, leaning my hip against the counter, and took a big inhale, "mmm...that smells really good."

"Does it?" Preston chuckled, glancing up at me with a smile. I hummed and nodded.

"Mhm. It's making me hungry."

"It'll be ready soon. Around twenty minutes," Preston said. I watched mixed the pasta and shredded cheese in with the sauce once it thickened, and then, he put the Mac and cheese into a baking dish, mixed it around, added another thick layer of shredded cheese on top, and then slid it into the oven to have it cook for another 15-20 minutes.

"Well, while it's cooking...wanna watch the fourth season of Attack on Titan?" I asked him.

"Hell yeah, I do."

I laughed lightly, and the two of us headed into the living room and sat down on the couch, while I pulled up the anime show on the TV. That's how we spent the next twenty minutes. We watched the first episode, and just as the first episode ended, Preston brought over two bowls of steaming hot Mac and cheese. He held one of the bowls out to me, which already had a fork in it, and I thanked him as I took it from his hand. He smiled softly at me, setting down my container of meds, as well as a glass of water onto the coffee table before he sat down next to me.

"Ugh, just as I said earlier, this smells so good," I groaned just as Preston sat down, digging into his Mac and cheese as he got comfortable beside me, "it looks so good too."

"Come on, my Mac and cheese can't be that good," Preston said. I scoffed.

"Are you kidding? I might ask you to make me this every day this week," I said. I took a single pill out of the pill container, swallowing it down by taking a sip of water.

"If I did that, you'd probably get sick of it," He chuckled.

"Nope. Never."

I stabbed my fork into the pasta, before taking a bite out of the Mac and cheese. We spent the next little bit in comfortable silence as we watched our show while eating our lunch. Even after we finished our food, we left our empty bowls on the coffee table as we continued to watch the show, both of us now sitting underneath the large blanket I pulled off from the top of the couch, and splayed over us both.

My mind wandered off during one of the episodes, my gaze leaning over to Preston. He was sitting comfortably on the couch beside me, back resting against the corner of the couch with his legs laid out in front of him, arms crossed over his chest. He was focused intently on the TV, completely engrossed in the show.

I really wanted to make our friendship work again. Even if it wouldn't be the same as before everything, I still wanted Preston in my life in one way or another. But I knew I had to sort out myself and my life first before I did anything else.

I wanted my best friend back, but more importantly, I needed myself back.
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