See me when you look at me

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A blank canvas

Samantha's POV

''What do you think, dear?''

I don't know what to think or say. It finally made sense why aunt Laurel wanted me and Tyler out of the house for the entire weekend. Aunt Laurel decided that Mia and Emma were going to share a room, which meant that all my stuff was moved to Tyler's room. Something we both were not thrilled about at all!

I'm now standing in Mia's room with my aunt who is beaming with excitement.

What do I think?

Mia's room is empty. All the furniture, the toys, the posters of horses are gone. The pink walls are gone and even the grey carpet is gone. All I see are white walls and a floor that is covered in white sheets.

''This is going to be your room, so you can do whatever you want with it. You can paint it or you can put up wallpaper. I know some great interior design places we could check out! Or we could go to some thrift stores! You never know what you will find there!''

I don't hear what else my aunt is saying. I feel ambushed and overwhelmed. I don't know what to think about anything anymore. I thought I would come home, take a shower, spend some time with the others and then I would finish my homework.

How am I going to finish my homework if I don't even have a desk or a quiet place to work? My old room is a mess. Tyler's room is a war zone with most of my stuff there and Tyler playing on the PlayStation. The living room is also not an option since Mia had some of her friends over.

''Just take it all in, dear. You don't have to make any decisions right now. It's like I said, this is your room and you can make it completely yours. So go take your shower and then come downstairs, I ordered pizza!''

I smile and my aunt leaves.

What do I think?


Alexander's POV

''Well, I like what you did with your room. I never thought you would go for the minimalist style, but I like it!''
''Samantha!'' Tyler yells. ''What the hell did you do to my room?!''
There is no answer, so Tyler storms into Samantha's new room.
''She put all my stuff in here! What the hell is wrong with her?''
I look at the white walls and the sheets on the floor. Nothing has changed since the last time I came to see her room and that was like three weeks ago. The only thing that changed was that Samantha put all of Tyler's things in her room. The bed was made up neatly and she even put up all of Tyler posters.
''I guess she didn't want to share a room with you anymore and I guess decorating is really not her thing.''
''It's not funny, Alex! I now have to bring all my stuff back to my room, before my mom sees this. She is going to go nuts if she finds out what Sam did. They are already not in a good place with each other and this will be the final drop!''
''Really? What happened between them, they always got along so well.''
Tyler gestures around him and he lets out a deep sigh.
''I think it has to do with all of this. My mom gets so excited about designing and she suggested a million things to Sam. She just let my mom go on, although I could tell it was really starting to get on her nerves. That's probably why she did this.''
''Probably,'' I agree.
We startle when we hear the front door slam open.
''Laurel!'' Mr. Reed shouts.
''Thomas, what are you doing home? I thought you had to stay at the base for the entire month.'' Mrs. Reed responds worried.
Tyler opens the door a little more, so we can hear better what his parents are saying.
''That doesn't matter!'' Mr. Reed snaps. ''Why didn't you tell me about surprising Samantha with her own room?''
''Because you never care about anything that has to do with design and I don't like your tone, Thomas!''
''You should have told me, Laurel. Especially your plan on springing this on her!''
''It was a surprise, Thomas. We talked about this before and you said it was a good idea. Samantha needs a room that is just hers and I told her that. She can do whatever she wants with it!''
''Well, your little 'surprise' made her check in at the center!''
''Why on earth would she do that?''
''Because of what you did! All her life people made decisions for her and they never asked her what she wanted. You did exactly the same thing. Springing this on her, not giving her a say in the matter or give her any time to process. That's why she checked in and it's a good thing she did, she had a complete meltdown!''
It stays quiet after that, but soon we hear Mrs. Reed sobbing.
''But she never said anything, Thomas!''
''Because she couldn't, love.'' Mr. Reed says in a much more softer tone. ''Samantha shuts down when she is triggered by things that remind her of her past. She either snaps and loses her temper or she just goes completely blank. Only this time it was a combination of the two.''
Tyler opens the door and he walks to the staircase.
''Is Sam going to be okay, dad?''
I follow Tyler and I see that Mrs. Reed is in tears, while Mr. Reed looks mostly worried.
''Dad?'' Tyler asks again. ''Is she going to be okay?''
''She will be fine, Tyler. She was triggered and trying to deal with everything, while not sleeping for weeks. For now she needs rest and she will get that at the center.''
''But isn't the center like juvie? She doesn't belong in a place like that, dad!''
''The center is for troubled youth who need help, Tyler. Most of the kids there act out because of the bad things that happened to them. Things that were not their fault, but they still have to deal with it every day. Samantha is one of those kids and that's why the center is now the best place for her to be.''
''For how long?'' I ask. ''For how long does she has to stay there?''
''I don't know that, Alexander. I wish I could say that it's only for a few days, but I really don't know. Samantha said that she would reach out to us when she is ready. What reminds me of something, Samantha recorded a message for Emma.''
''Emma is at a play date, but I expect her soon,'' Mrs. Reeds says in a trembling voice.
''Then I will urge everyone here to act normal. Samantha doesn't want Emma to worry about her and we will make sure of that, understood?''
We all nod. Mr. and Mrs. Reed go into the living room, while Tyler and I go back into Samantha's room.
''Shit!'' Tyler groans and he plops down in his beanbag chair. ''How the hell could she keep all of this from us? Didn't she said anything to you?''
I shake my head as I sit down on the neatly made bed.
''I've noticed she looked tired and that she was irritated easily, but with everything that was going on here. Sharing a room with you, living out of that duffel bag and this room. It made sense, so I didn't ask any further. I thought she would be fine when she figured out what she wanted to do with this room.''
''Well, she did figured that one out. Apparently this is now my room,'' Tyler says with a little smile on his face. ''No, I will ask her what she wants to do when she is back. She can have my room is she can't deal with all of this.''
I nod and let out a deep sigh. Part of me wished that Samantha confided in me. She knew she could tell me anything, but she decided not to tell me. Not even when I asked her about it and that stung. Didn't she trust me?
The doorbell rings and soon we hear Emma's voice, followed by muffled voices. I feel bad for Emma, she and Samantha were so close. It must be hard for her to hear that her sister had to go away for a little while.
Tyler turns the TV on and he starts flipping through the channels. I know he is distracted, because he doesn't even realise there is a Champions League game going on.
The door opens and Emma walks in.
''He, Em. Did you had fun at your play date?'' Tyler asks.
Emma jumps on Tyler's lap and she nods.
''We made muffins and we jumped on the trampoline!''
''That sounds awesome!''
''It was and I wish I could tell Sammy about it, but she is not here right now.''
''That's right,'' Tyler mumbles and he lets Emma change the channel.
''Dora the explorer!'' Emma squeals and she smiles at us.
''Don't look so sad, Sammy will be back soon. She told me herself, just like she told me to tell you that you two shouldn't blame yourselves. It wasn't your snoring, Tyler and she does trust you, Alex. Sammy said that she just needed to do this, but soon she would be back to annoy the two of you again!''
Tyler looks at me in shock. ''That's exactly what I was wondering!''
''Same here,'' I smile.
''Tyler?'' Emma asks.
''Yes, Em.''
''You really should do something about your snoring, it is really loud!''
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