The Red Dahlia

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Chapter 10- A new friend-


I was now sitting with Rayna at the bridge, waiting for her to tell me the problem that was occupying her mind and had her so frustrated. Never in a million years, would I had ever expected what came out of her mouth.
"Fine you convinced me. I'll tell you. But consider yourself warned." she gave me a a smile. She then started and all I could do, was to listen to her, as she was narrating her story.
"Okay, so as you know, our father passed away when me and River were very young. I was eight at the time and River was ten. I don't know exactly what River has told you, but we lost him at my 8th birthday. I will never forget that day." she said, and I could tell that her voice was shaken and tears threatened to fall down her face.
After hearing that, I was shocked. Not because of her father's passing, but because of the fact that it happened on her birthday. Her 8th birthday, which is supposed to be a happy day for her and a good memory of her childhood. Instead, she was scarred in the worst way possible. I felt awful and bad for her. She didn't deserve this.
A beautiful and loving girl like her, shouldn't have to go through that kind of suffering. "I'm so sorry Rayna, I had no idea it happened on your birthday. River had only told me that he passed." I told her sympathetically.
"Yeah, I kind of figured why he didn't tell you about my birthday. Anyway, thank you for your concern and condolences. Just wanted to ask, since you have known him for so long, has he told you anything about our mother? I'm asking because we do not really talk about it with many people, only close friends and family." she asked me.
When she asked me about her mother, it kind of took me by surprise. She was quite vulnerable talking about her father just a few minutes ago, so I didn't expect her to jump immediately to her mother's story.
Surely, I was a little curious to know what had happened, considering that River was so defensive and secretive about it, but I also had a feeling it was something bad, so I didn't want to pressure and overwhelm her more.
"You're welcome Rayna. No need to thank me. Now that you ask, every time I would ask about your mother, he would always dodge the question or change the subject. One time though, when I asked him, he told me that it was another persons' story to tell and not his. My guess is, that he was talking about you. Right?" I asked her, my eyes now locking with hers.
"Thank you again Ryer. River is very closed off when it comes to our mother. He doesn't really like talking about her with me, or with anyone else for the matter. As for what you said, you guessed right. He was actually referring to me. The reason being, that I never got to meet our mother unlike him. You see, the reason that I never got to meet her, is that she died when I was born. She had some kind of a malfunction, which caused her death after my birth. It was either her or me. I remember my poor dad was devastated. He didn't want to choose between his two girls, although he was forced to. My mother had told him that no matter what, he would choose me and to never forget that she loves us both with her life. As you can probably imagine, I hated growing up. Why? Because I always thought that it was my fault she died. That, if my dad had chosen her instead of me, things would be different, and she would be living the life she always wished for." she finished.
If I thought that her losing her father was bad, well, this was a hundred times worse. I was left complete dumbfounded at her words. She had lost her mother too? Like, seriously. How many things has this wonderful girl been through?
And here I was, thinking that my childhood was a complete freak show. If my past was bad enough, then how could Rayna's past be described as? Yet, I can't help but admire the fact that after all the shit life has put her through, she has remained strong and have moved on with her life doing things that make her feel good. I haven't admired another person this much, like I admire Rayna.
Though, when I heard that last sentence come out of her mouth, something inside me got upset. Why would she ever blame herself for what happened to her mother? I can understand her point of view, but still, I hated the fact that she was beating herself up for this. It killed me internally.
I can't imagine what Rayna must feel like knowing, that none of her parents will be attending the most beautiful day of her life. Her wedding. She won't have her father walk her down the aisle, delivering her to her future love, nor her mother beside her admiring how beautiful her baby girl is and how she raised such an amazing person.
She was about to continue, but I had to cut her off. She needed someone to show her that it wasn't her fault and I was willing to do it at any cost.
"Hey Rayna, listen to me. Never say that again, okay? I am so sorry that your mother is no longer with you, but please don't beat yourself up for it. It wasn't your fault, and you couldn't have known. Also, you said it yourself. Your mother requested for you to be chosen instead of her. She did it because she loved and will always love you. I will tell you one thing Rayna, if things were different and your dad had chosen her over you, I am sure that she wouldn't be happy in a world without her baby girl. She loves you Rayna, and she will always. That is why she gave up her life you. So please, stop blaming yourself for something you clearly had no control over."
I have no idea as to what came over me that moment, but I had to say this. She had no right to blame herself for this, and I hated the fact that she did. And so I decided, that this girl would have me on her side no matter what.
Even though it's been 22 years which is a lot, it's pretty obvious that she is hurting and I am willing to close all of her wounds. Whatever it takes.
We sat in silence for a little while, until I broke her train of thoughts, "Rayna, are you alright? You kind of zoned out for a moment." I asked her softly.
"Sorry, what? Oh yeah, I'm fine. I was just thinking. Nothing special." she replied.
"May I ask what about?" I asked her.
"Nothing in particular. Just about life in general, you know. Just that, how some people live their lives completely differently from others. And their happiness." she said motionless.
For a few moments I just sat there looking at her. She still was thinking that she didn't deserve to be happy and that, she had sacrificed another person's happiness for her own. In her case her mother's.
It really hurt me seeing her like this. Why couldn't she understand and come to terms with the fact, that it wasn't her fault and that she deserves happiness as much as her mother. Someone had to lead her to the right way, and that would be me.
"Rayna, if this is about your mother and you beating yourself up over it, please stop. We talked about this. And if it's any consolation, from the little that I have known you, you are an amazing person. Beautiful, young, smart, cunning, loving and many more things. You deserve the world Rayna, you just don't see it yet, but I'm willing to help you see it." I told her, holding her hand tightly.
I could see that she was stunned by my words. Only if she knew that I meant every single word.
She then broke the silence once again.
"Ryer, I-I don't know what to say. Do you have any idea what these words mean to me? And especially coming from a person that doesn't know me well enough. You are amazing Ryer, and I love the fact that you are a part of my life." she told me flashing me a smile.
I instantly felt better knowing that my words made her feel better. Besides, that's what I was aiming for. It made me really happy that she was pleased by having me in her life. I couldn't help but smile back at her. The feeling was definitely mutual.
"My pleasure Rayna. I would like nothing more than to keep being a part of your life. Also, I will do whatever it takes to show you that you are worth it. From now on, you don't only have the girls on your side, but me too. I don't plan on leaving you. Ever." I told her with a smile.
I then proceeded to hug her, and we just sat there for the rest of the night looking at the stars.

The next morning, I woke up feeling exhilarated and relaxed. My talk with Ryer last night had gone extremely well, and I was in a way better state than the one I was before I saw him.
Every time I would talk about my past, the next day I would usually be both mentally and physically drained from crying, but with Ryer, there was no such thing at all. If anything, I felt the exact opposite. Happy and relieved.
As much as I would like to stay in bed all day daydreaming about Ryer, (yes I really said that), I needed to get up because I had a very busy day ahead of me. I had to attend two different meetings with River and Taylor, then, I had to go practice my skills in shooting and lastly I had tennis practice because I was training for a big game next week. Among all of that, I had to meet my girls for a women day and then go job hunting. Although, being in a gang had it's pros and income, I wanted to do something with my own knowledge and degree in tourism.
Enough talking now and more action. I was hungry as hell right now, so I headed towards the main hall where our huge dining room was located. Time to get this day started.
Walking into our dining room I noticed it was empty. Probably everyone was still asleep. I was known to be an early bird rather than a night owl, so I was always up bright and early. Since I was alone, I decided to take a seat next to the large glass window wall which let the morning light to illuminate through it, giving a feeling of peace.
I settled for some blueberry waffles, a vanilla milkshake, and took my seat next to the glass window wall. Good thing about me was, that I could eat anything I wanted without being afraid that I would gain pounds, or mess up my figure. Taking care of my mental and physical health, was my main priority, so I made sure I was healthy, while still enjoying life.
About an hour later, I was finished and had moved myself to the living room reading a book. Other gang families had started to pile into the dining hall, but it was still quiet enough. That was, until I heard a familiar voice interrupting my reading session.
"Morning Hill. What are you reading there?" Ryer asked me amusedly.
I looked up from my chair, to see Ryer standing above me with a huge smile on his face.
Well, someone woke up rather excited today.
"Morning to you too Hamilton. I'm reading Jane Austen's novel Pride and Prejudice. What are you doing here at this time? I didn't take you for a morning person." I said with a small chuckle.
"Well, you should never a judge a book by it's cover miss Hill. I am also an early bird like you. Jane Austen huh? Interesting book choice. You continue to surprise me miss." he said with a smirk before letting out a chuckle.
"Okay, seriously what's with the last names? Are we gonna call each other that till the day we part? As for the book, I am indeed full of surprises." I told him returning the smirk.
"Don't put this on me Rayna. You started it." he fake pouted.
Dear lord, how will I put up with this one? I know I said that I am happy to have him in my life, but, now I'm doubting. Of course I'm joking. I need his remarks and jokes more than anything.
"Fine. Anything else you want me to confess of Mr. Hamilton? And by the way, how do you like the idea of making this last name thing our thing? You know, something only we do?" I suggested.
"No miss. That will be all. And I am a fan of your idea. Why not?" he said with a huge smile.
"Cool. So it's settled. Hate to break this commotion up, but I have to go. I have a very long day ahead of me. See you later?" I asked him.
"Yes of course. I'll leave you. Can't wait to hangout later." he flashed me a smile.
"Hey, wanna tag along? I have a meeting with River now, but I doubt he will mind. Plus, you are one of us now. So what do you say? These meetings can get boring so I will need your stupid jokes to humor me." I asked him with a smile.
"Sure. I would love to. Anything for my leader. And hey, my jokes are not stupid." he pouted.
"Yeah, yeah. Now come on you big baby, before River kicks my ass for being late." I said while dragging him down the hall.

A/N: Hey fellow readers. First of all I wanna thank you for giving my story a chance. It's my 1st book so I have been trying a lot and I highly appreciate every one of you. Hopefully I'll get more readers. Just wanted to apologize for the length of this chapter, but Ryer's pov is important for the plot. Anyway hope you enjoyed so far and more chapters coming soon.
xx take care.

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