Ch. 7 - Walk Away
“I have to go now, thank you for comforting me, Mr. Moreau.“, I said, pulling away from his shoulder. “And I’m sorry for wetting your shirt with my tears.”
“Don’t apologize for that, but the main thing is that I can’t let you go back to that house anymore, Xia.”
“B-But I have to go, I don’t have a choice. Where else would I go?”
“You’re eighteen, correct?“, he asked, making me hum as a yes. “Then go home and tell them you’re moving out. Leave that house and the people in it, it’ll be hard at first but you’ll be better off without them.”
“How though? They’ll just hurt me until I can’t move anymore, and then lock me up in my room. And besides, I don’t have money to get my own place right now, I just got accepted for a job yesterday and didn’t even go yet.”
“I’ll go and wait outside of your house for you to come out safely, they won’t be laying their hands on you again.“, he said, his voice serious.
“But still, where would I go?”
“If it doesn’t make you feel uncomfortable, you can stay at my house for tonight, it has two spare bedrooms, both far away from my own. We can figure out the rest later, how does that sound?”
“But you’re my teacher.”
“So? I get that it can be seen as unprofessional, but what matters more: maintaining my professionalism, or your safety? Have you seen the condition you’re in?“, he asked in frustration.
“I’ve had worse moments, this isn’t much compared to those.“, I admitted, feeling my knees buck when I started to recall harsh memories of the past.
“You’ll literally die if you continue living there, Xia. I’ve only seen part of your torso, and I can only imagine how bad it is on the rest of your body.”
“But I’m scared.“, I said while looking down, my voice barely a whisper.
“I know you are, and I get it. But you can’t let that fear weigh you down and hurt you even more. Leave what hurts you, or else you’ll one day regret not doing so earlier.“, he pressed gently.
“Why are you doing this?“, I questioned in exasperation, not understanding why he was trying so hard.
“Trying to help me so badly. Yes I’m being vulnerable right now, but I might regret it tomorrow morning. And how are you so sure that I won’t go back to being the cold and bitchy me I always am, once I walk out of this building today?”
“You asking me that makes me think that you won’t. And even if you do, I won’t hate you for it. Because it’s still worth it if you can get away from the people who pushed you until you started behaving this way to begin with. Now tell me, will you leave them and come to my place?”
“I-I don’t know.“, I stuttered, feeling nervous about the whole situation.
“Xia.“, my name fell from his lips sternly.
“Okay...fine, I’ll do it. But you promise to be waiting outside the house?”
“Mhm, and if they try anything funny, yell my name so I can come stop them. So, let’s go?”
“Wait, you mean like right now?”
“You didn’t think I’d let you go back to that house and actually continue staying there, right? I wasn’t joking when I said I wasn’t letting you back there.”
Based off of his attitude towards the whole situation, I could tell there was no winning this argument so I just agreed with him and got into his car, giving him my address.
After an anxious ten minutes, we were at the driveway of my house, and I was fiddling with my fingers in nervousness.
“Seems like your family is really well off.“, Mr. Moreau pointed out, making me scoff.
“I know. To them money and reputation are the only things that matter in life, but I could care less.”
“That’s because you have something they could never buy with their money.”
“A good heart.”
“Ahaha.“, I laughed sarcastically. “I’m probably one of the rudest people out there, I wouldn’t say I have a good heart.”
“That’s the image you give off on the outside. But inside you’re a lot more fragile and soft than you show, otherwise you wouldn’t be hesitating so much to go inside there, like you are right now. Being rude to others is your protective mechanism, isn’t it?
“I really wish you weren’t right.“, I sighed, rolling my eyes and looking away.
“Okay, enough of the rambling. Go inside now and tell them, I’ll be out here.”
I closed my eyes and took a deep breath in, before opening them up and walking to the front door.
“Oh, would you look at that?“, my father exclaimed, faking amusement. “She actually decided to shamelessly come home with that face of hers, after the stunt she pulled today.”
“What did we tell you yesterday, Xia?“, my mother questioned, her eyes squinting in fury as they stared through mine, making me unintentionally take a step back.
No Xia, you have to do this.
“I-I actually came home to tell you that I’m leaving the house.”
“You what?! So you’re telling me that you’re going to leave us, after everything we did for you? And you’re doing that after ruining your family’s reputation too?”
I didn’t know where my sudden burst of anger or courage came from, but before I knew what I was doing, I let out all of the words that I’ve kept within me all these years.
“Did you just say my family? Don’t you think that’s hypocritical of you since you religiously remind me every single day that this family was never mine to begin with?! Why is it that it automatically becomes my family too whenever you want to make me out as the bad person? And everything you did for me? What exactly did you do for me besides making me feel like I’m a disappointment that doesn’t deserve to ever be loved?”
“How dare you speak to us that way?“, mother questioned in a low voice, her body shaking in anger. “You’re nothing without us, Xia.”
“See, but that’s the thing. It doesn’t matter if I’m with or without you guys, because I’ll always be nothing in your eyes. You only showed care for me when I provided you with the satisfaction of having what you wanted.”
“What the hell do you mean?“, father asked.
“The satisfaction of having a kid, the satisfaction of being parents.“, I pointed out, feeling my breathing get heavier, which led me to wince due to the pain it caused in my stomach. “The second Blaine came into your lives, I became nothing but a waste of space to you, and he became the light of your life. No matter what I did to please you, all you ever thought of me was a disappointment that should’ve never came into your lives in the first place. You didn’t need me anymore, you had Blaine after all; your true biological child.”
When I saw that they were silent, not knowing what to say back, it made me even angrier.
“If you truly hated me that much, then why the FUCK did you bring me to this so called home to begin with, huh? Fucking answer me!!”
“I-It’s because we love you of course.“, mother stuttered, holding onto any last thread to defend herself. “We only distanced you so much from us because we wanted you to grow up to be strong and independent. Because we care about you! But here you are, being selfish and spouting nonsense.”
“Because you care about me and wanted me to grow up to be strong? I didn’t know that caring about your daughter meant to beat her up and physically torture her over every little thing you deemed to be wrong in your eyes. Just admit it, you enjoyed it didn’t you? Seeing the blood drip from my mouth, seeing the blackened spots on my body from where you repeatedly hit me until I couldn’t even scream out anymore. How dare you call yourself caring parents, when you only care about Blaine and not give a damn about me? You should consider yourselves lucky that even after everything you’ve done to me, I’ve never once told Blaine about it. That way, at least one of us can grow up while looking at their parents as loving role models. Be glad I didn’t ruin your image in front of him, even though that asshole probably doesn’t even deserve it from me. I hope you’re happier without me, mother and father, and I’m sorry that I wasn’t what you wanted.”
After I finished talking, I heard a hiccup come from upstairs, making me look up and see that Blaine was standing above, his eyes glistening.
Oh no, I think he heard everything.
I gave him one last look filled with pity and sorrow, before turning around and walking away.
I made it out the doors and was walking down the path of our lawn, when I felt my father’s hand yank me back so I was facing him.
“Who the fuck do you think you are? Do you think you’d be here as Xia Hart if it wasn’t for us, huh? You’d probably still be at the orphanage because no one would want someone like you. We made you who you are today.”
“Yeah, you made me into a cold hearted bitch. Also, I’d rather have been alone than to grow up like this.”
He raised his hand to slap me, making me close my eyes and turn my head to the side. I was waiting for the sting on my cheek, but didn’t feel anything. Opening my eyes, I turned around to see that Mr. Moreau held my father’s hand back, his grip so strong that you could see the veins popping out of his arm.
“I wouldn’t do that if I were you, sir. Keep your hands off of her.“, Mr. Moreau said darkly, grabbing my hand and pulling me away into his car.
"Are you okay, Xia?"
"No, but it's okay. Just drive.", I breathed out.
He drove us to a pretty apartment complex and with shaky legs, I took a step out, walking behind him as he led me to his specific apartment.
"Here's a spare bedroom you can stay in, it has an attached bathroom too so you can go shower if you want. I'll bring some of my clothes for you to temporarily use, give me a minute.", he said, walking away.
Shortly after, he returned with a white tee shirt and black sweatpants in one hand, while the other hand had medications and ointments for my wounds.
"Thank you, Mr. Moreau. Really, I'm so grateful for you helping me like this."
"You don't have to thank me Xia, go get some rest and I'll call you for dinner later, okay? Also, don't call me Mr. Moreau outside of school, it makes me feel old to be honest. I'm only twenty-three."
"Then what should I call you?"