A Reason To Live

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Chapter Eight

Trigger Warning in this chapter, proceed with caution!

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I walk into the office Monday morning to find I made it in before Zander. I place his coffee on his desk, before pulling some of the files he will need this morning.

Twenty minutes later, Zander finally shows up, late, he is never late. He doesn’t look at me as he passes, he looks tired and flat out miserable.

I turn around and watch him walk into his office. I quickly get up and follow him inside, “is everything okay?” I watch as he digs around his desk drawers, mumbling to himself.

He sighs and moves towards another one, “I need you to cancel my appointments for today, I’m going to be out of the office.” He still hasn’t found what he is looking for and I watch the frustration grow on his face.

“Do you need help, maybe if you tell me-”

“It’s fine, Freya,” Zander says as he continues to dig through his drawers.

“But maybe if you tell me-”

“I don’t need help,” He snaps at me as he slams a drawer shut before moving to the file cabinet.

I open my mouth to apologize but close it just as fast before turning and walking quickly out of his office.

I pick up the phone to move his appointments around and he comes out of the office, walks right past me, and leaves. My heart drops to my stomach and all I want to do is cry. I must have done something wrong, but I’m not sure what it is, what I could have done.

I shove my thoughts aside and I reschedule Zander’s entire day, focusing on the tasks at hand trying to get through it all.

I walk into my apartment and toss my keys on the table next to the front door before locking it. It is then, and only then, that I allow the evil and vial thoughts and voices to consume me.

Learning this skill took time, lots of time. Learning how to shove the voices down while I work, only allowing them to consume my mind at home. It’s been years since they were this bad.

You are worthless, nothing, nobody. Cassandra really believes someone like Zander could love someone as broken and stupid as you, must have been a joke. You are so stupid to think it could even be true. He doesn’t love you, he doesn’t even like you, he tolerates you. You’re lucky he hasn’t fired you, you are a horrible assistant, he couldn’t even find what he was looking for. Worthless. Nothing. A nobody. Broken. Tainted. Trash.

As I snap out of the trance I am in I notice pieces of my shaving razor litter the floor and the small blade in my hand has blood on it.

Blinking I look down, three large cuts are on my upper thigh, bleeding, I’m not even wearing pants. Not fully processing what is going on, I stand up off the bathroom floor and look in the mirror, tears stain my face, and reality comes crashing down around me.

I quickly clean up the mess on the floor and then focus on myself. Splashing water on my face quickly before cleaning up and bandaging the cuts made on my thigh.

I change my clothes, throwing on a pair of old sweatpants, and a shirt before climbing into bed. It may not even be lunchtime but I’m exhausted and sleep comes over me quickly.

The next day I walk into Zander’s office, coffee in hand. He is not there again, the coffee from yesterday is still sitting where I left it. A sigh escapes my lips as I switch the coffee cups out.

I sit at my desk, a mixture of feelings running through my body but mainly worry about Zander. I run my fingers through my hair as I sigh and glance at the clock. 8:10.

Zander walks past my desk, wearing the same suit as yesterday and looking overwhelmed. He doesn’t look at me or acknowledge me once again and I have a sinking feeling in my gut that I did something wrong. I can’t figure out what I did wrong if I did anything wrong but it doesn’t stop the voices in my head from telling me I did.

The only time I see Zander is in between appointments when he walks past my desk to head back into his office or to go to the conference room. Neither one of us speaks to the other and every time I see him he looks exhausted and lost in thought.

An email arrives in Zander’s work account before the end of the day, reminding him about his out of town meeting this weekend. Zander told me about this weeks ago and I completely forgot. I sigh as I remember I am supposed to be going, but the thought stresses me out. I have to spend time with Zander on a plane and then for an entire weekend. I’m not sure I will cope if the way Zander is acting now is how our business weekend will go.

The rest of the week goes by the same, we don’t speak to each other and it’s weighing heavily on me. Ever since Monday I started cutting again, the stress between Zander and me is too much for me to handle and I am my own worst enemy.

I follow Zander inside the penthouse that has been rented out for the weekend. I walk deeper inside the penthouse, ignoring the phone call he is on. I walk to the large window and an amazing view of New York City at night is laid out in front of me. I grab my luggage and walk into the smaller room out of the two, placing my bag on the floor and laying back onto the bed.

It’s been a long day emotionally and all I want to do is sleep, sleep until I feel better, sleep until I feel better, sleep till everything is back to normal. We spent the plane ride ignoring each other, neither one of us saying anything. I wore my headphone in my ears, playing music, and reading a book to drown out the silence. It worked well if you don’t count the fact that that entire time all I wanted was for him to tap me on the shoulder and talk to me.

My eyes fly open at the sound of a small knock on the bedroom door, “Freya are you awake?” I can barely make out Zander’s voice through the door, it’s like he’s whispering.

I carefully get up and walk towards my door, wondering if he is going to say or do anything else.

“I’m sorry for being so distant, for snapping at you this week, for ignoring you.” I can hear a sigh leave his mouth, “Nick was trying to steal a huge client and I was a wreck, I shouldn’t have taken it out on you... The good news is I got it fixed, the bad news is my attitude towards you pushed you away from me. There is no excuse for how I treated you but I promise to do better.”

I don’t move for a few minutes, wondering if he is going to say anything else but nothing happens. He probably walked away minutes ago and I’m just standing at the door like an idiot.

I sit on the edge of the bed and sigh before changing into my makeshift pajamas - an old shirt and sweats - and going back to sleep for a few more hours.

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