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Chapter 14

Wednesday morning was hectic hell. We were going on an excursion to the city and had to be at the bus station by 9pm. You’d think it would be easy considering I had to get to school earlier every day, but there were a few problems.

My alarm didn’t go off. I thankfully woke up myself but it was half an hour after I was supposed to be up, meaning I had to choose between a shower and food. I didn’t have time to do both. I chose smelling nice and then went to Parker’s room to get her to see when she would be okay to leave, but she was coughing her lungs up and told me she wasn’t going.

That was problem number two. I was only seventeen, so I couldn’t drive. Well, I could but I didn’t have my licence to drive without supervision so I had to walk. Meaning I was going to be late.

It was about a half hour walk to the station and figured a walk might be good for me, good to get the blood pumping. I resolved a positive attitude by the first corner but then I ran into a problem. Almost literally.

Coming around the second corner at the same time was a girl from school called Flick. I had no idea what her real name was but that’s what everyone called her. I didn’t dislike many people, but she was the most difficult person to resist disliking. She was annoying as hell and unfortunately, recognised me.

“Kaia! Oh my god what a coincidence! Are you going on the excursion too? We could walk together, oh that sounds fun!”

I was so tempted to ditch and say I wasn’t going but I wanted to go to the city, so I reluctantly said yes.

She proceeded to chat my ear off about completely artificial things that I didn’t give a flying fruitloop about but I couldn’t do anything to get her to stop.

We were late and I really didn’t want to catch the second bus. It meant I would be stuck with Flick for that much longer, as she would catch the second bus. This early in the morning, I didn’t think I could handle all it for another hour and a half.

I rushed down the platform and out to the bus bays, where the first bus was sitting. It wasn’t about to leave, but I could tell from where I was running down the stairs that it was pretty full. I got to the door just in time and Jacob and the guys were sitting in the first seats, obviously the last people on.

Flick was whining in her annoying voice. “It’s so full. I wanted to get there early!” God, she was annoying. I looked to Jacob for help as we had the same opinions on her. He looked torn between wanting to laugh and looking sympathetic. If he laughed, I would have hit him like there was no tomorrow. Maybe if he laughed, there would be no tomorrow. For him.

“Try to get on!” He said to me, obviously taking the latter approach of being sympathetic. I went to step on the bus but the driver shook his head.

“No more allowed. Everyone has to have a seat. School rules.”

“Ugh,” I groaned, but then realised by the bus driver’s offended expression he thought I was talking to him. I backtracked. “No, not you! I understand. I just don’t like the school rules.”

He chuckled and nodded in understanding, but I still had to get off the bus. So I did.

“No one else?” Flick asked, and even though it was a fair enough question, I still rolled my eyes. She just bugged me to no end.

I shook my head and she started to complain again. I’d rather sit in the fieriest pits of hell getting burned to the bone than listen to this shit.

Apparently this is what the day had in store for me. Maybe it would help me practice my restraint. Maybe it’s what I had to learn today.

Then again, maybe I had to practice sitting in hell. For all I knew, I would end up there later.

“Excuse me, Flick?” Jacob’s voice came from behind me, standing in the doorway of the bus. What the hell was he doing?

“Hi, Jacob,” she giggled, like any other girl did in his presence. He was hot, I’d give him that. But giggling and batting eyelashes? What was she? Three?

“I heard you say you weren’t keen on waiting so I was wondering if you want to have my seat.”

Her cheeks went bright red even though his girlfriend was standing right next to her. Well, fake girlfriend, but she didn’t know that.

“You’re too kind,” she chuckled and awkwardly hit him on the arm. I think it was her way of flirting but it failed horrifically. Coming from a girl who can not flirt. “Thank you.”

He stepped aside and she got on, purposefully brushing up against him to the point where he scrunched up his face. I choked back laughter and x turned and scowled, before taking her seat happily next to Hayden, who looked like he was going to kill Jacob.

I would have too if I were him, but right now Jacob was in my good graces. He saved me a lengthy two hours to endure Flick.

“You are a life saver,” I told him as the bus doors closed. I could see her talking through the door and my grin grew. If he hadn’t done that, I would have been enduring that right now.

“I know right? I’m so great,” he said, doing a mock hair flip. I shoved him and he laughed, as the second bus came around the corner. “But you should know to always get here early.”

I groaned, not in the mood to recount my morning so I just said, “Parker is sick so I had to walk.” That was as good of an explanation as he was going to get.

“Awh poor baby,” he cooed, again mockingly, then laughed at himself. What a loser. A hot loser, but a loser none the less. “You could have just called me to get you.”

I wanted to hit myself for not having thought of that. Of course I could have called Jacob. Or Hayden or any of the guys. Why did I not think of that?? “Sorry to disappoint but you’re not the first person I think of in an emergency.”

“I’m hurt,” he deadpanned and then the bus pulled up in front of us.

I laughed and motioned for the opening door with my hand. “Ladies first.”

“Aw don’t call yourself a man!”

I rolled my eyes and shoved him through the door. “Do I really have to put up with this all weekend?” I groaned, sending the bus driver a smile before following Jacob up the back of the bus. I was about to sit in the seat in front but he grabbed my backpack and pulled me onto the seat beside him.

“Ow!” I exclaimed, shrugging my bag off and manoeuvring it so I could put it on the ground.

“Quit being a crybaby,” he teased. “And yes, you do have to put up with this all weekend. You have no choice.”

“I could-“


“But if I-“


“How abou-“

“You’re not getting out of it.”

I scrunched up my nose and shook my head. “I remember your dad as this tall man with a thick accent that made him kind of intimidating.” I was six when I first met him and looking at his dad was like looking at the moon. So high up. I don’t remember him being as scary later on but that’s probably because I got used to him.

This weekend would feel like grade one all over again.

Jacob laughed, and I smiled a little. I liked hearing his laugh. Actually, I just liked hearing him laugh. When we were little he wouldn’t laugh at much, whereas I was the opposite. So it used to be a rare and exciting thing when I heard that sound. I was pinning the fact that I liked his laugh on that. And only that.

“We’re only having dinner with him. On Sunday before we leave I’m taking you to my favourite place in the world.”

“Aw, your favourite place isn’t with me? That hurts,” I fake pouted, doing my best to not burst into laughter.

“You’ll just make it a thousand times better,” he winked, the corner of his lips turning up into a cute half smile. My tummy flipped for some reason and I frowned. Why did it flip? What was that? Maybe I was getting sick. Parker was, so maybe I was getting it from her.

The bus lurched to life and off we went, to see the big city.


One of the best things about Kaia was her sass, which was often mistaken for wit. Don’t get me wrong, she was incredibly witty, but the entire time from when I offered Flick my place on the bus to now she hadn’t stopped sassing me.

I got a kick out of it, that much was for sure.

That had me thinking of Flick, and how she was incessantly flirting with me before. Like, hello! My girlfriend is standing right next to you. I didn’t think it was that damned hard. At least Audrey wasn’t nearby. She would have had a fit.

As much as I didn’t like Flick – which she didn’t seem to understand - getting scolded by my ex was never a good thing to experience. I laughed out loud at the thought of Flick thinking I liked her. She was a pain in the ass. The only reason I gave up my seat was for Kaia. She didn’t deserve to be stuck with her. Besides, Hayden was annoying the shit out of me.

He’d rocked up to my place looking dead beat, his eyes just about ready to fall out of his head. I’d asked him what the hell he had been doing recently, considering he’d been looking pretty tired for a while, but he just waved the matter away.

I didn’t mind him keeping things from me but when it concerned his health, I did. So like the great friend I was I kept asking him about it but he wouldn’t budge. I figured torture would work. Or it would have the opposite effect but oh well. It didn’t look like he was spilling his guts any time soon anyway.

Kaia had just finished telling me how she remembered my father, saying that he was tall and scary. He wasn’t, at all. In fact, when we were younger Kaia loved him. She called him a teddy bear because he was big and soft on the inside. That was her eight year old self talking. She obviously didn’t remember that.

“We’re only having dinner with him,” I told her, trying to reassure her for some reason. Usually I would want to make her feel more uncomfortable just to get on her nerves. “On Sunday before we leave I’m taking you to my favourite place in the world.”

She jutted her bottom lip out in a pout, that I couldn’t tell if was real or not until she spoke. “Aw, your favourite place isn’t with me? That hurts.” Definitely fake.

“You’ll just make it a thousand times better,” I winked and my lips involuntarily pulled up into a smile, but a minute later turned upside down. The words were out of my mouth before I could think about them. Now I was thinking about them. It wasn’t a lie, but it was something I felt I should have kept to myself.

I glanced sideways at her and she had a minuscule smile on her lips, but her forehead was creased. She was thinking about something, and knowing her, overthinking. She didn’t seem to do it much now but when I was here last she was renowned for it. She was a bit like me, actually. Always zoning out. Except for her it was overthinking, she had a reason. For me it was just because I was spacey as anything.

“Awh, you two are so cute!” A girl cooed from across the aisle – Hannah, I think her name was – and her and her friend giggling at the two of us. I just smiled politely and thanked them before they went back to their conversation.

Kaia had rolled her eyes and was looking at me with a what the hell look. “Why does everyone keep saying that?” She groaned.

I just looked at her. She had to be kidding. We were pretending to be a couple. People often say things like that to couples. After a minute she still didn’t get it so I just shook my head.

“And you call me the idiot?” I asked, tsking her. “We’re dating, remember?”

The look of shock on her face made me slightly concerned about her mental state of being, but then it must have clicked and she facepalmed.


“Kartoffel,” I muttered.

“I heard that.”

“You were supposed to.”

The rest of the trip to the city was silent.

We were going to look around the museum and because it was applicable to a lot of subjects, the entire year level was invited to tag along. I didn’t do one of the subjects but the boys did, so I decided to come. Plus, what would I have done at home? Sat around all day and be bored? I don’t think so.

We gathered in front of the huge museum, the biggest one in the state, and the teachers herded us like we were sheep. Kaia and I met the guys where Hayden punched me in the arm and starting hissing profanities at me.

“Quit it, will you? It’s your fault!”

“How the fuck was that my fault? No one deserves an hour and a half of listening to Flick. She does not shut up.”

I shrugged and hid behind Kaia, using her as a shield so he would stop pounding my arm. Bruises were not fun and Mutti would ask if she saw and be concerned and I didn’t want that.

“No one deserves to be kept in the dark as to why his best friend is exhausted!”

He stopped trying to hit me and shoved his hands in his pockets. He muttered something but I didn’t quite catch it.

My attention turned to Kaia, and she was not so subtly observing Hayden, her eyes focussing on the bruise-like shadows beneath his. She had a frown etched onto her face and seemed like she was thinking hard about something.

Hayden realised and frowned, before his eyes widened a little. He looked seriously nervous, like Kaia would suddenly explode or something.

“No. Surely not.” She mumbled, shaking her head.

“Wait, what?” Zavier asked and I was right behind him. What the hell was she thinking?

Zavier’s, Landon’s and my eyes flicked between the two of them like we were watching a tennis match. Back and forth. Back and forth.

Kaia’s eyes met Hayden’s and her mouth popped open. Then she saw the three of us intently staring and slapped a hand over her mouth, before saying to Hayden; “I need to talk to you.”

“I’d rather not…” He trailed.

“Would you rather me talk about it right now? Right here?”

“Okay okay, calm down,” he said hurriedly, raising his hands in the universal sign of surrender. “Do you have to be here for anything?”

She shook her head.

He glanced up at the teachers, a plan evidently forming in his head.

“We have to leave before they count everyone, which they’ll do inside. So I say when they start leading the group in, we make a run for it. Stick tight to the building and ditch.”

Kaia nodded, looking as if she were trying to wrap her head around it. “Okay,” she finally said and then the teachers started to lead inside. My mind was playing catch up and I wasn’t about to go in there without figuring out what the hell was going on.

But then they ran, not giving me time to ask. I would have yelled after them but as much as I wanted to know, I didn’t want to blow their cover. They would probably get a detention for trying to ditch. That is, if they found out.

“What the hell just happened?” I asked the guys, who looked just as confused as I did.

“Want to find out?” It was Zavier, who was grinning and obviously thinking to follow them. I nodded with enthusiasm and Landon shrugged, impartial as usual.

“Hold up. I’m just going to grab Anna.” He jogged to the back of the group that was almost entirely in the museum and came back with Annaliese who joined the group of the confused.

“What’s happening?” She asked but I caught sight of a teacher making her way to the back of the group and cursed.


We ran as fast as we could, sprinting away from the teacher that could get us caught. From what I saw it was the scary art teacher. Those who think art teachers and chilled, peace-loving hippies they have another thing coming. I was yet to come across one who wasn’t a) scary and b) a pain in the ass.

I slid around the corner and hurried everyone else who were only seconds behind me.

“Did she see us?” Zavier’s girlfriend asked, her face worried. I’d taken a liking to Annaliese. She could be a bit of high maintenance from what Zavier had told us but she was cool.

I was still trying to get my breath back as I peeked my head around the corner. Scary art lady was looking around the empty courtyard, lingering for a moment before going back inside.

“Nah. We’re all good,” I said.

“Good.” Landon sounded relieved. I still didn’t really know how he fell into this group in the first place. He was the type of guy who dotted every ‘i’ and crossed every ‘t’, following rules and instructions to the letter. We were not. I don’t know how he fit but I’m glad he did.

“Next mission: find Hayden and Kaia,” Zavier said, taking a seat on one of the concrete steps. Annaliese sort of drifted over to where he sat as if unconsciously, like gravity was pulling her towards him. It was weird.

“You’d think that’d be easy but…” I trailed off, looking up. The city skyline was impressive, but from where we were it was daunting, especially when trying to find people. There were buildings everywhere and they were all massive. I wouldn’t even know where to start.

“I think we should get out of here first,” Landon muttered, his eyes darting around like a deer in headlights. I nodded and we started off along the building where we would be able to get away without being seen.

We kind of guessed they would head for a coffee shop considering we always met there so Zavier started leading us to the nearest one. He was the only one who knew the city really well.

“Hey Jacob,” Annaliese said, dropping back and letting the other two walk on ahead a bit. “I thought you said you and Kaia are only pretending to date.”

“We are?” I was confused.

“It didn’t look like it this morning,” she laughed, getting Zavier’s attention. She just shook her head and he smiled like a lovesick idiot and turned around.

“This morning?” I asked, scratching the back of my neck. Where did I see Annaliese this morning?

“The second bus?” She asked as if it were obvious. “You two seemed to be having a lot of fun.”

“I thought you were on the first bus.”

She shook her head. “You sure you don’t like her?”

I hadn’t really thought about it to be honest, but the thought of liking Kaia was almost more terrifying than all the art teachers combined. Not that I thought I wanted her to, but she’d never go for me. So if I did like her and got shut down, it would suck. Rejection was scary, as childish as that sounded. I know it was supposed to help you grow as a person or whatever, but it was still scary.

After that thought, I shook my head. Even if there was a slight inkling of a feeling, I wanted to shut it down. Turn it off. Make it stop. I didn’t want to, so I would convince everyone that, “I don’t. I’m sure.”

“Whatever you say,” she drawled, flicking her hair over her shoulder. “I think you have a chance with her.”

What? “You’re kidding, right?”

“No. I think she has liked you in the past she could like you again.”

“She liked me in the past? When?”

She rolled her eyes. “You can figure that one out for yourself. Anyway. It’s just something to think about.”

I’m sure I would.

We got to the coffee shop Zavier led us to no avail. They weren’t there.

“This is too hard,” Zavier groaned, already giving up. “I say we text Hayden, tell him that when they’re done to come meet us at the gardens.”

“Yeah alright,” I shrugged and Landon just nodded. I whipped my phone out and typed out the text.

Jacob: 1) Wtf????? 2) Seriously dude, wtf… 3) we ditched. Meet us at t gardens when done

Jacob: do I need to mention, WTF

Hayden: don’t get ur panties in a twist. Ur acting like im about 2 steal ur girl

Jacob: fuck u

Hayden: if I had to choose id pick ur gf but whatever

Jacob: ur an ass

Hayden: ik. Were done, anyway. See u in a few

“They’re coming,” I grumbled and we arrived in a couple of minutes.

The city gardens were in the centre of the city, filled with trees and plants and flowers. It was nice to sit on a warm day like today, but when I looked up there were clouds looming in the distance. It wasn’t going to stay warm for very long.

“What do you reckon they were talking about?” Zavier asked, sitting on the grass beside Annaliese. We followed his lead and sat down.

“I have no idea,” I said truthfully. I couldn’t come up with a single thing that Kaia must have figured out that involved Hayden. No fucking clue. It was kind of bugging me but I figured I’d just ask Kaia later.

Although something told me she wouldn’t tell me. She was a secretive person.

We didn’t get to guess for very long because they showed up, both with coffee in their hands. So they did go to a coffee shop!

The first thing I noticed was Kaia, and that she seemed very pleased with herself. She had a little smile on her face as she sipped her drink. It was probably a chai latte. Damn, I really wanted chai.

“Where were you guys?” Zavier asked as they joined the circle.

“A coffee shop,” Kaia nodded, taking another sip.

Ah, what the hell. I quickly leaned over and carefully but smoothly slid her coffee cup out of her hands and took a sip. She started punching me and I laughed, giving it back. It was worth it. Chai was basically heaven.

“And what did you do there?” Annaliese was prompting.

“Got coffee,” Hayden smirked. Apparently they were just going to be smart asses so I didn’t bother asking. Everyone else was though until the clouds came overhead, the cool change already upon us.

“We should go,” Landon suggested, everyone already getting to their feet.

“How about we get some lunch and then catch the train home?” Annaliese asked and everyone seemed to agree. We started to head out of the gardens, walking along the dirt track where everyone fell into pairs. I was up the back with Kaia, who was shivering like anything.

“Cold?” I asked and she nodded, crossing her arms over her chest. I wasn’t, so I slid my hoodie off and handed it to her.

She hesitated but took it and put it on. It was ten times too big for her with the sleeves hanging way past her hands, but she was still grateful. “Thanks.”

“Once again, I save the day,” I said in a superhero voice, puffing out my chest and lifting my chin. She cracked up laughing and it made me laugh too.

“You’re an idiot,” she said, already stopping shivering.

“I think I know that. You only point it out every two seconds.”

“True,” she nodded, and we went to lunch.


When I got home I realised I still had Jacob’s jumper. The last thing I could be stuffed doing was taking it back but I felt weird keeping it. Even though it smelled really good. And was super comfortable.

Did I really want to give this back? Like, ever? What was I thinking?

No. I had to. It would seem creepy if I kept it.

I mean, I could rock being creepy because I’m a girl and it wouldn’t seem at all stalkerish, but I needed to give it back.

I couldn’t be bothered walking so I went into the garage and dug up my old skateboard, the one I hadn’t touched in over two years. I brushed the cobwebs off it and took it out the front, testing its strength just in case before I got on.

I was a bit rusty but managed to get the hang of it shortly, halving the travel time to Jacob’s house. I hopped off and picked it up, putting it on the porch in front of the front door. I knocked but there was no answer.

But Jacob’s car was in the driveway.

I frowned. I hadn’t come all this way to turn around and go home without doing what I came here to do.

I remembered going in the side door – I think it was the laundry – on Valentine’s day after the party so I made my way around there, going through the gate and to the same door. Again, it was unlocked.

You’d think for a house with so many valuable items you’d lock the freaking doors! Oh well, it was working for me. I pushed through and instantly heard noise coming from the lounge room. It sounded like the tv.

Lazy prick! He was home and just didn’t bother to open the door. I followed the sounds of the tv until I got to the lounge room, where the doors were closed. I shrugged and burst through and sitting on the couch was… not who I expected.

Ada was lying on the couch, but that wasn’t what was surprising. No.

It was the guy next to her.

She jumped up with a squeal of surprise and looked from the guy to me to the guy and back to me. “I swear it’s not. I just. We’re watching tv and I-“

“Ada, chill,” he said, sliding into a seated position. “She knows.”

She slowly turned to face him, her eyes icy and glaring. “What the hell, Hayden? We promised not to tell anyone! You promised!” She started to hit him on the arm, which then turned to punching which despite her height, kinda seemed like it would hurt.

He grabbed her wrists and pulled her down on top of him, wrapping his arms around her arms and waist so that she couldn’t move. She kicked, trying to get out of his hold but he wouldn’t ease up.

“She figured it out, Ada.” he tried to explain but she wasn’t having any of it.


“I’m not kidding!” He tried to convince her, before his eyes flicked to me. “Can you help me out here Kaia?”

I shook my head, a huge grin on my face. “I’m kind of enjoying this to tell you the truth.”

“So it’s true?” She asked, her voice a bit quieter as she stopped thrashing. “You guessed?”

I chuckled and nodded, and Ada relaxed, making no move to get off Hayden which made me laugh even more.

“You two are cute, but I’m still kind of stumped. How did this happen?” Hayden didn’t explain it very well when we went for coffee so I didn’t really get it.

They looked at each other and Hayden just shook his head. “I already tried. You’ve got this.”

She elbowed him in the ribs but turned to me, with a shadow of a smile that made me want to awh. They were so cute! Even though there was a few years difference.

“It was the day after we moved back and I was at Coffee Bean after school for some homework. Then Hayden walked in and came over and we just started talking. We were there for a few hours and he gave me his number so that if I needed help I could ask him. I didn’t think much of it-“

“She’s lying,” Hayden cut in.

“I’m not. Anyway,” she said, shaking her head. “The next day I was struggling with some maths homework and then it just sort of happened.”

“Awh,” I cooed, taking a seat on one of the one seated couch-chair thingys. But then I had to be at least a little serious, for their sakes.

“I’m happy for you guys, I really am. But you may not want to hang out here. Jacob, or really any of your family-“ I looked to Ada “-would have flipped if they caught you two.”

Ada bit her lip and Hayden groaned. “The only other time we can hang out is at night and we’ve been doing that so much so that we’re tired and Jacob even noticed. He’s the most unobservant idiot on the planet.”

“I’m just saying.” I shrugged, then stood up, taking off Jacob’s jumper. “Anyway, I came here to give this back to Jacob but I’m guessing he’s not home.”

They shook their heads simultaneously. “You can just put it in his room,” Ada said, looking at me with weirdly.

“What?” I asked, feeling self-conscious.


“No, it’s something.” It was always something.

“It’s something that doesn’t matter,” she brushed off and I wanted to push it but I also kind of wanted to get home and nap.

I shrugged and headed towards the door, before quickly glancing back at them. “Be careful,” I warned and then shut the doors.

I was in the main entrance hall and felt like hitting my head against a brick wall. It would be less painful than the struggle of remembering where the hell Jacob’s room was. But I really didn’t want to not give it back so I did my best.

I knew it was up the big staircase and I got to a hallway of which I couldn’t remember if I turned left or right. It looked exactly the same. All I could remember was that his room was in this hallway somewhere, I thought, so I started in the middle and opened every door, working my way to my right.

What I found was interesting; coat closet, library – which I was dying to look at -, a small room filled with what must have been thousands of vinyls and cds, along with each of those players in the corner on a table, a huge bathroom, and finally, the room I was looking for.

It hadn’t changed since I was here last, with books scattered everywhere. It was a mess, but one I wasn’t going to clean up. I tiptoed around the books until I got to his couch, where I took off his jumper, folded it and put it on the armrest.

Then I realised I was in his room and actually could be a stalker and go through his stuff, look at the books he was reading, go through his drawers etcetera etcetera. The temptation was strong but I ignored it and just went home.

On my skate home, I just kept thinking about Hayden and Ada. I couldn’t believe they were together. I didn’t think I would ever see Hayden Porter head over heels for a girl, but there he was, totally in love.

And then there was Ada. I knew she was interested in someone but I wouldn’t have guessed in a million years it would be Hayden. I think part of that was because she was a day off being fifteen and he was seventeen, and I kind of felt the need to look out for her. Not that she couldn’t take care of herself, but I don’t know. I think seeing them then put me to ease a bit. Hayden obviously respected her and wouldn’t do anything wrong and Ada was strong willed. It would be fine.

I was dying to talk to someone about it, though, but I was under strict instructions from Hayden this morning not to tell anyone. Which I totally understood. I was freaking out this morning and I wasn’t one of Ada’s three big brothers.

I guess I just had to live in silence for now, knowing that there was nothing I could do.

Atlas was out tonight so I cooked for Parker and I, although when I went to bring her food she was sound asleep. I didn’t want to wake her; she’d have enough trouble sleeping with that cough.

So I took it downstairs and put it in a microwaveable container and in the fridge, before writing a note and taking mine to my room. It was pasta; the only dish I could cook that was edible. Actually, I was pretty good at it, but that was because Mum taught me and made me cook it over and over until I got it right.

The thought brought the familiar ache to my heart and I crawled into bed, putting a movie on to distract me. It was about a happy family who’s plane crashed and they ended up on a deserted island and then all of this shit happened. The moral of the story was something like you can get through anything as long as you have family. I was in tears until long after my laptop screen went black.

I don’t know how long I sat in the dark, but at some stage my ringtone pierced the darkness and I jumped. I picked it off the end of my bed and looked at the caller ID. It was Jacob.

I took a few deep breaths and wiped the tears off my cheeks, before pressing the green button and putting the phone to my ear.

“I hope you know you are a total stalker for sneaking into my room,” he said, not giving me the chance to say anything. Not that I really wanted to. “Also, you didn’t have to give my jumper back right away, but thanks.”

I forced myself to laugh but even I could hear it was pathetic. So did he.

“What’s wrong?”

“Nothing,” I said but my stupid voice broke. My eyes flicked to the clock beside my bed and my eyes widened. “Why are you calling at 2am?”

“What happened?” He asked, completely ignoring my questions. I didn’t want to answer that and he didn’t want to know, but he was stubborn and wouldn’t give it up. I hung up, only for him to call back a second later.

I shut my phone off, but not before I could look at the date.

Two days. It was two days until the anniversary.

I wasn’t going to get much sleep anyway, so I dug up my photo album from under my bed and flicked on my lamp.

It was one of those thick covered albums with the year as the title.

It read 2010.

I took a deep breath and opened it.

My breath caught.

My heart stopped.

I broke.

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