The Red Dahlia

All Rights Reserved ©

Chapter 9-Closed wounds-


After wandering around our garden for what felt like forever, I finally found my way to my destination, the bridge. My whole talk with Jake had me overwhelmed, and I was desperate for an escape.

As I reached the bridge, I noticed a male figure sitting on it, with his legs hanging from the edge. “Sorry, I didn’t figure that anyone would be here at this time. I’ll be leaving now.” I said my voice slightly sore from crying my whole way here.

Before I could leave, the figure walked towards me grabbing my wrist softly, turning me around to face them. Only then, I noticed that he was Ryer and not some stranger.

Usually, I would be a little possessive over my space, but Ryer, I don’t know to explain this, for some reason I didn’t mind him being here. If anything, I wanted him to be here.

Wait. Wanted him here? Bloody hell.

Perhaps it was because I was vulnerable right now, but I just gave in and let Ryer pull me towards where he sat, without saying a word.

“You don’t have to leave, you can stay.” he said in a soft voice.

“River told me this is your space, so it would be rude to kick you out now right?” he continued with a small chuckle.

No matter the sadness and heartbreak consuming me, I couldn’t help but smile at his attempt to make me laugh. He was kind of cute doing that.

Cute? Are we crushing on Hamilton girl? my subconscious questioned inside my head.

I decided not to fight, and so I sat down beside him, letting my legs hang from the edge like his.

“I’m sorry about earlier. I didn’t mean to lash out on you. I was just pissed at everything and everyone.” I ranted to him, but he stopped me immediately saying, “Hey, Rayna it’s ok, no worries. I understand that you were pissed, and I shouldn’t have pushed you to tell me what was wrong. So, I’m sorry too from my behalf.” he apologized to me looking sincere.

He only met me a couple hours ago, but still he felt the need to apologize to me.

I was right about him. He truly was a great addition to our team, and I don’t regret it one bit. Probably the best decision I have ever made.

“No Ryer. You shouldn’t be apologizing for being worried for me. You just wanted to make sure I was ok, and I acted like a total bitch to you. I must have made a terrible first impression on you, and I totally get it if you won’t want to interact with me again.” I continued with my ranting, while he was looking at me amused jumping to conclusions.

He then suddenly, took my hands in his and stopped my ranting. “Rayna stop, please. First of all, your reaction was normal and any other person would have done the same. And second, you made an amazing first impression on me, and I would really love to get to know you better. You got to try harder than a little outburst to make me hate you.” he finished with a smile on his face, which portrayed his pearly white teeth. And he still held my hands in his grip.

“Thank you Ryer, it means the world to me. I think you are really nice and I would hate to miss the chance to spend time with you.” I spoke honestly giving him a smile.

“Same here Rayna.” he flashed me another smile which gave me butterflies.

We sat in silence for a while, until I heard his voice again.

“So, um, do you wanna talk about what happened earlier? What has you so angry and frustrated?” he asked me looking at me directly in the eyes.

“It’s kind of a long story, and I don’t want to bore you or anything.” I said.

“You’d be surprised. I’m known as a very good listener, so you don’t have to worry about boring me.” he said with a smile.

At that moment, I don’t know how to explain this, but I felt safe with him. Like, I could tell him anything about my awful past, without having to worry that he would judge or pity me.

And so I did. I started telling him my life story.

“Fine. You convinced me. But I have to warn you, it’s one hell of an emotional rollercoaster.” I said with a small chuckle.

“Well, miss Hill, I am more than willing to take the risk.” he said giving me a smile, motioning for me to continue.

Miss Hill though? We haven’t known each other for long, and yet he found the way to make me laugh.

“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 what exactly River has told you, but we lost him at my 8th birthday. I will never forget that day.” I said, trying to keep my tears from streaming down my face once again.

“I’m so sorry Rayna, I had no idea that it happened on your birthday. River had only told me that he had passed.” he said.

“Yeah, I kind of figured why he didn’t tell you about my birthday. Anyway, thank you for your concern. Just wanted to ask, since you know him for so long, has he told you anything about our mother? I’m asking because we don’t really talk about it with many people, only close friends and family.” I asked him.

“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?” he asked me, his eyes locked with mine.

“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 that 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 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 that she passed away. 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.”

I was ready to continue, but Ryer cut me off.

“Hey Rayna, listen to me. Never say that again, okay? I’m 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’ll tell you one thing Rayna, if things were different and your dad had chosen her over you, I’m sure that she wouldn’t be happy in a life without her baby girl. She loves you Rayna, and she will always. That’s why she gave up her life for you. So please, stop blaming yourself for something you clearly had no control over.” he said looking at me sadly, but with compassion at the same time.

Part of me knew that he was right. That my mother's death wasn't my fault, but one unfortunate situation. Still, I couldn't help but wonder, why her?

Again, I couldn't help but just sit there completely stunned at his words. We knew each other for just one day, yet, he just listened to my life story like it was the most important thing ever.

He was right though. He is indeed a good listener. I'll give him that.

So far, the only ones who know about my past are, River, Taylor, Jake, Millie, the girls and now Ryer. Yet, I haven't felt more familiar and comfortable telling my story to anyone else but Ryer.

He just has his own way of making the other person feel better no matter what. And it immediately made me feel better.

He made me feel at ease while talking with him. I wasn’t afraid that he would judge any of the things I had to say, and I was beyond thankful.

Soon, I heard his voice again breaking me from my thoughts.

“Rayna, are you alright? You kind of zoned out for a minute.” he asked softly.

“Sorry, what? Oh yeah, I’m fine I was thinking. Nothing special.” I replied.

“May I ask what about?” he asked again.

“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.” I said.

For a second, he looked at me confused but added, “Rayna, if this 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.” he said sincerely, while holding my hand.

I couldn’t believe what I was hearing. I was at a complete loss. What did I do to deserve all those kind and loving words from him? Not even River can compete with that.

That moment I decided, that Ryer was one of the people in my life that I will always protect no matter what happens in the future. It will be the least I can do, since he is willing to help me move on.

“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.” I told him with a smile.

“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, but me too. And I don’t plan on leaving you. Ever.” he said flashing me one of his smiles.

He then hugged me and we sat there for the rest of the night, looking at the stars and laughing at his jokes.

It was one of the best nights of my life.

Continue Reading Next Chapter

About Us

Inkitt is the world’s first reader-powered publisher, providing a platform to discover hidden talents and turn them into globally successful authors. Write captivating stories, read enchanting novels, and we’ll publish the books our readers love most on our sister app, GALATEA and other formats.