Finale Part 2
“What do you mean he broke up with you?” Wild shouted.
Ryder put his hands instinctively over her stomach, she huffed at him.
“I don’t want you to deafen our baby.” He said with genuine concern.
“Blaze doesn’t want me to go to Blackthorn with him, he says I won’t be able to cope. Can you believe it?”
I had spent my entire life getting abused and beaten up by my father, I could handle myself just fine at Blackthorn.
Wild suddenly looked uneasy.
“You were being serious about going to Blackthorn?” She said quietly.
Yes I was and I didn’t see the big deal about it. It was a school, just a normal school with a few kids who were a little bit naughty. It wasn’t jail or anything.
“Why is that so bad?” I asked.
“Chase,” Wild said gently which was an odd manner of speech for Wild, “Blackthorn’s rough, it’s really fucking rough. Blaze has a gun in his locker, most of the kids do. All the teachers there are paedophiles and even if you can run from them quick enough, even the other students are basically rapists. And if you think you can hold your own in a fight, you’re mistaken. But let’s say you can throw a good punch, it won’t matter because at Blackthorn you’ll get drugged and they’ll get you when you least expect it.”
There was something about the way she was speaking, the way she slowed down and picked each word carefully that made me suspicious. She was hiding something. Something about Blaze.
“Why doesn’t Blaze want me going there?” I asked firmly.
“I just told you…”
“What aren’t you telling me Wild?”
Her jaw tightened.
“Blaze’s mother went to Blackthorn; she was raped by a student a year younger than she was. He was 15, she was 16. Three years ago, I was attacked by three male teachers who tried to rape me, the only reason I’d made it out mostly unscathed was because they realised after a few minutes who my parents were and how dire the consequences for them would be. Then, two years ago, before Storm was born, Blaze was kidnapped after school, he was 14 at the time. I’m not sure if you boys knew this, but Blaze was always good-looking, unlike Ryder and I who had to have a glow-up, he was always cute. Even at that age, people were in love with him. The guys who kidnapped him went to our school, they were two years older than us, they thought it would be funny to keep Blaze tied up in the school basement for a week, they knocked him unconscious and when he woke up, he told me all he could taste was a weird salty substance that at the time he’d been too young to know what it was.”
No proper thoughts were forming in my head. It was one of those moments when your entire perspective shifted and now things didn’t feel the same .
“Blackthorn isn’t a joke Chase. Blaze is trying to protect you.”
But when would he realise that he didn’t have to protect me? When would Blaze realise that I didn’t care where I was as long as I was with him? Because I loved him. So fucking much.
“Blaze was kidnapped?” Ryder murmured.
Wild nodded slowly.
“There were six of them, the kidnappers. Six boys, ironic considering that last summer the same six boys were involved in a terrible accident in which their arms were all shattered into tiny pieces.” She said.
I was even more willing to bet at this point that Wild had started that fire at Blackthorn.
“I need to talk to Blaze.” I said
“Chase, give him some space.” Wild said, “Why don’t you and Ryder go pick up the party food, Blaze and I will head to the hall Mum booked us for the party and set things up.”
But I didn’t want to do that. I wanted to see Blaze. I wanted to tell him that I needed him and that I wasn’t going to let him go to Blackthorn alone and that I was going to love him forever.
“Finally, where were you two?” Ryder asked as Wild and Blaze finally walked in.
“This one took forever to get ready.” Blaze said glaring at Wild.
“It’s hard finding clothes when you’re pregnant.”
“You’re not even showing Wild.” Blaze sighed.
He was wearing black trousers and a blue shirt that made the turquoise flecks in his eyes even more bright. But he wasn’t happy like everyone else here was, not like all the other kids who were either tipsy or slightly high.
“Blaze can we talk?” I said.
“That depends on what you want to talk about.”
“Okay then, what do you want to say?”
“Wild told me about why you don’t want me going to Blackthorn, she told me that it’s dangerous and you’re worried...”
“Wild said what?”
I couldn’t tell if he was annoyed or surprised, but either way, suddenly I didn’t feel like we were on the same page at that moment.
“No, Chase, I know you can handle yourself, that’s not what I’m concerned about.”
“Then what is it?”
“Chase, can we not do this here? Please?”
“Fine.” I sighed.
I lasted about five seconds before I was picking Blaze up and hauling him out of the room so we were alone standing outside in the dark. There, now what could he say? Nobody else was here so we wouldn’t technically be causing a scene if that was what he was worried about.
“Why are you doing this to me Blaze?” I asked as the moonlight danced and shattered across his face.
“Chase, I can’t.” He whispered.
I tried to take his hand as I spoke, as though that small gesture could salvage the remains of what we had left of a relationship.
“You can’t what?”
“I can’t be with you.”
And with that, he turned away, letting go of my hand and starting down the stairs and out into the car park.
“Why not?” I shouted, “What’s so wrong with me?”
“It’s not you, it’s me.” He said gently.
“Don’t give me that excuse Lyric.”
“No but Chase it is.” Blaze replied stopping in his tracks.
I ran up to him very aware of the fact that it was starting to rain.
“I’m scared, okay? I’m like seriously fucked up and I know this won’t end well Chase.”
“But why Blaze? I love you, okay? I fucking love you.”
And just like that he was walking away again.
“Don’t you love me!”
The clichéness of the situation hit me at that moment, the pouring rain, the shouting, the desperation. Only I had the sinking feel this wouldn’t be a happy ending.
“Fine, walk away, but just know that I tried.” I shouted pushing back wet hair from my face, “Just know that you’re the one who’s giving up on us.”
He didn’t stop walking.
“Whatever.” I said, I stopped going after him and froze on the gravel.
This was the part when he was supposed to turn around and tell me that he loved me, and that we were going to make this work, and that he was scared, but wanted to at least try. Why was he doing this?
So, I went back into the hall where all the others were. They were all gathered around the timer Wild had put on the screen ahead. 1 minute until midnight.
47 seconds until midnight
What the fuck was wrong with me? Why was I doing this to Chase? To myself?
I loved him, why was I running away? But I couldn’t let Chase give up his future at Ravenwood for me, I wasn’t letting him fuck up his life because of me.
Mum gave up her education and life when I was born and for as long as I could remember, she resented me for it, for ruining her life, I wasn’t doing that to Chase. Walking away was the right thing to do.
32 seconds until midnight
“Where’s Blaze?” Wild asked looking at me.
“Thought he’d at least be here for the countdown.” Ryder said.
“It doesn’t matter anyways, we’re over, for real this time.” I sighed.
“He didn’t like your Mr-Darcy-dripping-wet-begging-for-love-in-the-rain look?” Wild said.
I shook my head, wiping my wet hands on my equally wet t-shirt. It was over, I’d lost him.
21 seconds until midnight
Keep walking Blaze. Don’t turn back. Keep fucking walking. You don’t deserve him.
15 seconds until midnight
Everyone else started counting down, I’d told Wild and Ryder to go enjoy themselves, I knew they’d been looking forwards to the New Year’s kiss and didn’t want my wreck of a love life to ruin it for them.
10 seconds till midnight
Keep walking. You’re doing the right thing. Stay away from him.