A Reason To Live

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Chapter Twelve

Sounds hit my ears and memories from a short while ago flood into my head. The scissors, the blood, Zander, the paramedics.

My arms are strapped down to the bed and the smell of ammonia hits my nostrils as I breathe in, the smell of a hospital filling my senses. I wiggle against the straps wrapped around my wrist.

“Freya, stop,” a warm hand wraps around mine and my eyes flash open to see Miya standing beside me.

No, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, this isn’t happening, tears fall from my eyes as I close them tightly, wishing all of this would just go away, but it doesn’t.

My eyes flash open at the sound of the door opening and Zander walks inside, a man in a white coat following behind. I say nothing as the doctor addresses me, informing me that I’ll be stuck here for a 72-hour psych hold, his words fade in my head as I close my eyes and wish for death once again.

The sound of the door closing brings me back to reality, Zander and Miya stand in the room and all I want to do is bury my head in a pillow but my hands are still strapped to my side and the only option I have is to once again close my eyes.

“Where is my daughter?!” a woman screams from the hallway, my mother’s southern voice hitting my ears.

My eyes fly open just as the door does and she comes strolling into my room, dressed in her nice suit and pair of pearls across her chest. “Freya!” My mom calls out as she spots me laying on the hospital bed.

I sigh, wishing even more that I wasn’t strapped down to this bed so I could run away.

Her floral perfume fills my nose as she wraps her arms around me as best as she can in a hug, “how are you feeling baby?” Her thick southern accent comes out clearly as she speaks.

“I’m fine,” a lie, a blatant lie; I don’t want to be here, don’t want to live anymore but I know better than to say my most intimate thoughts. “It was just a slip-up.” Another lie but if I want to be able to walk out of her in 72 hours lying will help.

I ignore the look Zander is giving me, the words I spoke to him on the roof ring clear in my head.

“Well, you are going to come home with me once you are released.”

“No,” I say stubbornly. “I’m not going back momma, I’m staying here.” I can hear my own accent slowly leaking through as I talk to my mom. “You can’t make me go back, momma.”

“The hell I can’t! You are my daughter and I’m taking you home Freya. Someone is going to have to agree to watch you if you want to leave here.”

“She has someone to watch her.” Zander’s voice rings out and it’s like my mother didn’t even realize the other two people in the room as her eyes widen and she looks towards Zander.

“O? And who are you?”

“I’m..” Zander pauses and I know he’s unsure of what to say but his next words shock me to my core, “I’m her boyfriend.”

My eyes widen along with the other two people in the room. Zander is far from my boyfriend, far from anything other than my boss. “Boyfriend?” My mother questions him, a perfectly plucked and shaped eyebrow raised. “Freya hasn’t told me about a boyfriend.”

“It’s new,” there’s a sureness to his voice and if I didn’t know any better I would believe him, but I do know better and this is all falling apart so fast.

“Hm,” she hums as her eyes scan the room and find Miya, “and you are?”

“I’m just a friend,” Miya answers her, her voice falters just slightly. My mother can be scary when she wants to be and I can only imagine the look she is giving Miya at that moment.

“Momma, I’m staying here, in my own place,” I say stubbornly and pointedly, the ending of that sentence directed more towards Zander.

My mother’s head wipes around back to me, “I think not, you have two choices Freya, you come home with me or you stay with your boyfriend.” I could hear the strain in her voice as she talked, she doesn’t like giving me an option and if Zander and Miya were gone, there would be no choice.

I sigh and close my eyes, ignoring her words and saying nothing to anyone. I was done for the day.

Eventually, after many failed attempts at getting me to talk, the three of them left my room and I was finally alone just like I wanted. The problem, once they were gone I didn’t want to be alone anymore.

24 hours in, the restraints holding me down were finally gone, I told the staff I didn’t want to see anyone during the rest of my hold. Instead, I slept on and off the rest of my time there. I lied through my teeth at every single therapist meeting, acting like I was fine, that the attempt was just a small slip up due to a medication mishap, thankfully no one actually checked to see if that was true.

My mom and Zander stand in my hospital room now that the hold is over, arguing over me and I can’t take it anymore. “I’m staying with Zander,” I finally speak up, causing them both to quiet down and look at me.

Their facial expressions are shocked by my sudden outburst and words, but I am done and the thought of going back with my mother is the option I don’t want.

Zander quickly signs the release forms the doctor holds out before anyone can say anything else and my heart drops into my stomach as he does so.

I sit in Zander’s car after somehow convincing my mom to go home, I’m still not sure how exactly I did that and I can’t help but think that she has something more important back at home than making sure I am really okay.

“Take me home Zander,” my words are quiet as we sit in the parking lot of the hospital.

“No,” he says simply as he starts the car.

“Dammit Zander, fucking take me home,” I say louder and more demanding.

Zander hits the steering wheel of his car, “Fuck Freya,” He almost yells before he turns to look at me, “you fucking tried to kill yourself, in front of me. Do you have any idea what you have put me through?!”

“None of this is about you,” I retort back.

“So when you told me that you being dead is better for me, that was about you?”

I fight back the tears at his words, “I’m broken Zander, I will always be broken, it’s better for everyone if I’m not here.”

“You can’t really believe that Freya.”

“Look at what me being here has done to you, IS doing to you. I have hurt you over and over again, I’m toxic. I’m toxic to you, to Miya. I’ve seen y’all talking, even heard it. I’m not worth your time, your feelings, I’m not worth anything!” I’m screaming by the time I’m done, tears streaming down my face.

“You are worth more than you know, Freya.” Zander turns back in his seat and backs the car out of the spot, driving out of the hospital lot, and towards his house.

****

When I walk inside Zander’s house, Miya is sitting on the couch in the living room. “This isn’t happening,” I mumble to myself.

Since I have been to Zander’s house a few times for work reasons I know where the spare bedroom is. I quickly turn and make my way towards the spare room, closing the door when I step inside.

I lay on the bed, wishing sleep would take over, but I have slept so much the last two days that I can’t get myself to.

There’s a small knock on the door before it opens and Miya sticks her head inside. I groan, rolling my eyes before I roll over, facing the other way.

The feeling of the bed dipping behind pisses me off, don’t these people realize how wrong all of this is? How wrong it is for me to be around?

“Freya,” Miya’s voice is soft as she says my name, and I hate it.

I stand up quickly and face her, “don’t you people have anything better to do? Can’t you just leave me alone?”

“Freya, don’t act like this.”

“You just don’t want another death on your conscience.” I spit the venomous words out, knowing just how hard they would strike Miya.

I can see the hurt and anger on her face at my words causing her to remember her sister’s own suicide. It is the lowest thing I could say, the worst thing I could say to her and I spit it out like nothing.

“No, I just don’t want to lose another person that I care about.”

“You don’t even know me.”

“I know enough to know I care about you.”

“We have barely talked or seen each other in the last two months, you don’t know me. We hang out at work and you think that gives you the right to lock me up and throw away the key.”

Miya’s eyes widen at my words, the same words Zander said to her just days ago, ones she pretty much agreed to, “if that’s what I have to do to protect you, then that is what I will do.” I watch as she stands up and walks out of the room, closing the door behind her.

Anger flows through me as the closed-door stares in my face and all I can do is scream.

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