The Red Dahlia

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Chapter 2-A new start-

After everything that had happened I was completely broken. I was quiet, pushed everyone away from me and most importantly I had become heartless. Kind of like turned my emotions switch off. To be honest, for a certain amount of time it worked, but then again I was hurting River. I know I was. I could see it in his eyes, how broken he was and internally it killed me too in the worst way possible. But I couldn't let myself care or feel because I know that if I did, I would be broken all over again and that I would suffer a hundred times worse than I was already.

Luckily for us we weren't alone. Like I have already mentioned, the gang was our second family and for those people I will always be grateful. When our father died, they didn't treat us any differently for instance, like the orphans we were. Instead of that they respected us even more and promised us that they would always protect us no matter what happens in the future.

So after my fathers death, his best friend Taylor took us in to raise us along with his own family. He also had a son my age Jake so I can't say I was alone, I had some company. It might sound a little weird to you but it was easy to grow up with the Lockwood family. They were so kind and they treated us like their own, which was all that I could ever want.

I have to admit though that after losing my parents I started to change. Not in a bad way of course. By changing, I mean that I started to take care of myself and mostly I worked on my personality. I started working out, changed my clothing, got a new look and activities and most importantly learned how to handle guns and different weapons. What kind of a leader would I make if I didn't know how to handle guns?

Right, I forgot to mention the most important thing so far. That when I was fifteen and River seventeen, we found out that my father on his will had left us the leadership of the Ravens, plus that we could become leaders whenever we were ready. So River and I decided that we would become leaders immediately, but with the guidance of Taylor since we were both under eighteen.

After getting these amazing news, we started immediately training to become the best leaders the Ravens have ever seen. We learned lots of things, starting with handing guns. Since we were leaders, self defense was also one of the parts of training, which made it extra important to us, since we always had to be ready to protect our own.

Soon enough we were ready to be leaders, and so we became. I was so happy that everyone in our gang was so supportive and helpful, it meant the world to us. Jake was one of the many people who were there for us and especially for me. Ever since we moved in with them, he was very welcoming and wanted to be friend right away.

We did everything together, he was like my second brother from another mother. He always comforted me when I was sad and he always tried to make me laugh with his actions.

Soon we became best friends and we were completely inseparable. Sometimes we even joked about dating at some point in the nearest future, but River wouldn't even let me think about it. He was very overprotective of me and I can't blame him because he was afraid of losing me too. Though I always assured him that it would never happen, regardless of believing me or not.

It's not that he didn't like him. If anything he loved him as much as I did, but you can imagine that he wasn't ready to let go of his baby sister yet, so that's pretty much why he had his own precautions about the matter. Anyways we always told him that we were only joking nothing more, so that would at least calm him down.

The years I spent with that family, were the best of my life. Just the thought of having someone to take care of me and protect me was pure happiness both to me and River.

Something else had happened too during those years with the Lockwood's. While we were training to become the best leaders of our gang, me and Jake grew even closer together. We were hanging out a lot doing all kinds of things. For instance, despite the fact that we were boy and girl, that didn't stop us from having all kinds of sleepovers and hanging spots. Our favorite holiday was definitely Halloween.

Every year we would dress up with matching outfits going around our neighborhood and pranking the other members. Though our favorite person to prank was River. He was so gullible and easy to prank, that we just couldn't stay without scaring him. His reactions were the funniest and seeing him shit his pants made me happy.

A year later, when my 16th birthday came things between me and Jake took a different turn. That year I had made clear to River and the rest of our family that, I wouldn't celebrate my birthday with them but rather alone. It wasn't the first time I would be doing this.

The last couple of years when my birthday would arrive, I would pack some candles, a blanket, my mothers picture, my phone and some red dahlias, her favorite flower. I would go to the wooden bridge above the lake a few meters away from our house, to honor my mother. Usually, I would spread the candles all around the bridge and light them up, then I would place her picture between the red dahlias and lastly I would sit on the blanket listening to her favorite song which is now mine while looking at the stars, praying that wherever she is she will be okay and safe.

That was my way of grieving for her and also celebrating my birthday. River and Jake knew what the night meant for me, so they made sure to give me space to do what I had to do. I was happy when they didn't ask me questions like "Are you ok?" or "Is everything alright?'' perhaps because they knew that I wasn't and they wanted to give me space.

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