Mistakes are always forgivable,
If one has the courage to accept them.
“Okay. That’s all.”
“You got to help me.”
“Roman! Seriously?!” I wailed.
“What?!” He snapped back, the ice cream half out of his mouth. “Can’t you help me pick one out of vanilla, chocolate dough-”
“Urgh!” I groaned, getting up and snatching the ice creams away from him.
“Baby girl, you can’t wake me up in the middle of the night and not give me ice-”
“Are you for real?! I just told you the whole problem-”
“Did Ryder ever hurt you?”
“No.” Sure, he had just stood there and saw me getting hurt but he had himself never hurt me. Hell, he even helped me when Adrian beat me that day.
“Do you think he was lying?”
“No.” He wasn’t. I, along with Marcus and Roman, had gone under a special two year course in facial expressions and what they mean. I was good enough through it to know immediately whether he was lying or not.
“Do you think you can forgive them?” He asked, sitting in front of me, on his bed.
“That’s what I need to ask you, Rome.” I said, shaking my head. “I really want to forgive them but.. I am scared that it’ll fall back and that-”
“Stop.” He got up and walked to his door. After a minute or so, he returned, closing the door behind him. “Now listen to me, carefully.” He continued, leaning down. “There is a reason we planned to move thousands of miles away to East Coast, yea? We are here for a reason. I know these three were unexpected but..” He trailed.
“I know it’s difficult for you, Scar. Forgiving them, living with them and everything. But ever since I met them here, I was angry as well and then I talked to Dad and Mason about it.”
“W-what did they say?” Do I have to move away now? I don’t want to leave just because of them.
“They said, whether you like it or not, you need to forgive them. You have to realise, Scar that we are not here to deal with them and you know better. You cannot have your mind distracted because of them.” I took in what he had just said. Between all of this, I had forgotten that we had a purpose for staying here and moving to the University. I was distracted from it all along, concentrating on them.
“Forgive and forget?”
“Forgive and forget, love.” He nodded. “I know how much they hurt you but if Ryder is being honest, they paid for it as well.” He held my face in his hands, his eyes dead serious. “You must know that I am not being selfish here, Scarlet. None of us are. This is for your own good. As much as I also hate them, I will try to be friends with them and so will you. Let the past be in the past.”
“You’re right.” I nodded, my mind back on track now. “We can’t afford to mess this up, Roman. I’ll let it go.”
“I am just here to get you back on track, baby girl. We’ll talk to them in the morning, okay?”
“Okay.” I laid down on the bed, snuggling into the familiar scent of Roman as he lay beside me. “It’ll all be okay, right?” I asked in a low whisper.
“I promise, Scar. Sleep now. Our lectures start tomorrow and don’t you dare think you’re skipping gym.” He said with a chuckle.
“Oh, shit!” Roman yelled as my fist collided with his chest. Apart from his painful screech, my hand started to throb as well. Pain? Nah. “Woman, what the hell?!” He snapped at me, getting up.
“I told you to duck... ” I trailed with a shrug. “It’s not my fault that you’re a little-” Before I could complete my sentence, Roman threw a punch on my stomach but hey, not so fast, stupid.
I blocked his punch with my hands first and then twisted it enough to make him squirm in pain. “I told you. Never, ever lose focus.” I spoke, imitating Mason.
“Sure as hell.” He spit on the beach sand before standing up. “We aren’t done, yet.” He smirked, kicking my legs and making me fall down, face first on the sand.
“Asshole.” I muttered, spitting the beach sand which had entered my mouth, away. I grabbed his feet, kicking on his calf muscle. He staggered above me, but soon stood up at the same time I did.
“Come on, baby girl. Tired?” He asked with a little smile dancing on his lips.
“Never.” I snapped, kicking his shoulder but he knew enough to block it, throwing my leg back.
“Again.” He said, shaking his head. I caught him off guard in between, taking a circle and then punching his stomach. After that as he recovered, I pushed him back, making him fall down, yet again.
Three cheers for girl power, peeps. Smirking down at him, I picked up my jogging suit’s jacket, pulling it over me and zipping it. “Meet you at home, slugger.” I said with a laugh, running away from him.
“Oh yeah?” He yelled back, wearing his own jacket. I laughed, running by the beach side. Our house was almost a mile away from here, putting a good difference between our neighborhoods. The last thing you want on a Monday morning is your housemates asking you why you were punching your other housemate on the beach at six in the morning. But that’s what Roman and I always do before starting our days. Half an hour of gym, half an hour of fighting each other. It’s a routine for us and I was just off track for a few days in order to settle down. Roman soon caught up with me, running beside me as we reached our street. “I’ll make us coffee. Why don’t you get changed by then?” I nodded at Roman’s suggestion as he walked to the kitchen.
Coffee was the only thing he could successfully make without burning the kitchen up.
A few letters were kept on the door which he didn’t notice but I picked them up either way.
Ryder and Rihanna Hunt
36, Orion Avenue
64th Rolland Street
The first letter read our address but was for Ryder and Rihanna from what I presumed their closely related relative. Ryder and Rihanna are from Florida?
The other letters were either our car papers which Mason thought would be better if sent by post or a few Polaroids, I had asked Maddie to send me by post which I had left behind in her room. I decided to put this letter by Ryder’s room and if he was awake, I could tell him about my decision as well. So I walked across the hall to the staircase and then climbed to reach the first floor where the other three rooms were. As I stood in front of his room, his door was half open and I could hear someone vomiting in his bathroom. The girl wailed and vomited again and again, but I could only see the long t-shirt she wore as I heard her cry in disgust.
“Morning sickness.” I turned back to face Ryder who stood behind me with a bottle of water. His eyes screamed low emotions even though he gave me a small smile. With his hair disheveled in various places, he wore a simple grey V-neck with black sweatpants. “She’s having morning sickness because of the..” He suggested not saying that his twin was pregnant with my cousin’s baby and was now lying sick in his bathroom.
“Is there something I can help her with?” I asked and Ryder’s sad eyes immediately shot up to mine. He thought for a minute and then nodded.
“Go ahead, if you want to.” He shrugged. As I turned away from him, taking the bottle of water, he stopped me by holding my hand. “Scar. I am sorry.” He said with sheer honesty. My mind raced with second thoughts about forgetting all of them but then I remembered what Roman had reminded me this morning. I had to forgive them in order to move on and concentrate on the things I was really here for.
“It’s okay, Ryder.” I said with a small smile. “I have decided to forgive all of you and specially, you. I should be thankful to you for not telling anyone, anything about that night but.. Its okay.”
Unexpectedly, he gave me a wide smile and nodded, leaving my hand. “Thank you, Scarlet. You don’t know how guilty I have been, I mean, all of us have been ever since you left and Adrian was the one who suffered the most-”
“Ryder!” I swiftly turned to Rihanna who was clutching her stomach as she vomited again.
“I’ll help her and then talk to her about.. Yeah.” I told him, awkwardly, as he simply nodded in reply.
“If you need any help-”
“We’ll be fine.” I told him, closing his door behind me. I walked to the bathroom when Rihanna had just flushed the toilet and she now sat beside it on a stool, utterly exhausted. “Here, I got you some water.” I told her, passing her the bottle.
She readily took it, gulping the water down her throat. “So, my brother told you about my pregnancy.” She said, shaking her head.
“Last night. Yes.” I nodded, sitting on the chair beside the door. Silence followed between the both of us as she drank more water.
“I am sorry.” She said after a while, catching me off guard. But… I thought Ryder hadn’t told her anything. “I wasn’t myself when I met you for the first time. I am… Not really rude, you know? Even though I might look like a total bitch.”
“It’s okay.” I told her, waving her off.
“No, its not. I have really been trying to change this bitchy attitude a lot but thanks to the pregnancy, I just flip sometimes even though I don’t mean to.” She said, holding her head in her hands.
“Hey, it’s okay. Really. Don’t stress it out. It’s not good in your condition.” I told her, patting her head. She looked up at me with a little smile.
“Where’s Adrian?” I asked her.
“His mother is in town so he went to meet up with her last night. I don’t think he’ll be back for another two or three days.”
“But I saw both of you leave last night.” I urged.
“He dropped me back after dinner.” She said with a shrug. I nodded, sitting beside her once again. We remained silent for a while but it wasn’t an uncomfortable sort of silence. I could sense her slipping into a deep thought as I just sat there, waiting for the right moment to talk to her. “Scarlet.” she said after a while.
“If you weren’t dead, then where were you?” She asked me, making me laugh a little at her.
A part of me always suspected that she knew I was the same Scarlet Winters. The girl who ran away would be terribly shocked if someone asked her something like this. But me? No. These three and them knowing about me was the last thing that was going to scare or startle me.
I have learnt to excpect the unexpected.
“Knew it was you.” She muttered shaking her head. “Only Adrian is stupid enough to not know it is you because he really believes that you are dead. I told Ryder as well but he just shrugged me off, saying I was seeing things because of pregnancy. I guess he realized I was right later on and talked to you.” She snorted.
“So what if it’s me? What will you do?” I asked in a cold tone.
She turned to me, shocked this time. “I didn’t mean it like that, Scarlet. I just.. I want to apologize to you, okay? Even though it looks very stupid that I should say something like this after torturing you for years.. But.. I do mean it. I really thought you were dead and I blamed myself and, I was wrong.” She went on to blabber, the pregnancy hormones making a few tears drop here and there.
“Rihanna, it’s okay. I have forgiven Ryder. I do forgive you and trust me, I will forgive Adrian as well. Ryder told me about what happened after I left, last night. I know-”
“No!” She shouted through her tears, clutching my hands in her moist ones. “You don’t know why I did it. I want to explain myself as well. Do you know the reason why Adrian did it?” She asked me and I nodded in reply.
“My aunt forced him to and if he didn’t, she would threaten him to.”
“Threaten?” She let out an emotionless laugh. “That’s an understatement, honey.”
“What?” I asked confused. “She did more than that?” I gulped.
“When he initially refused to hit you, she would hit him. She didn’t only threaten him and refuse to agree to the things he said, but she broke him. She would lock him in his room; she would threaten to hit him more than he would hit you. You never saw the scars on his backs, did you?”
“N-no.” I replied, my voice thick with emotions and hate for that woman. What was her problem with me?!
“Well. Let’s just say I had the same reason.” She shrugged. “My father told me to befriend Adrian and once Ryder and I did, to help him bully you. I didn’t agree at first, nor did Ryder but then after a few months, my father really pressurized us and he told me to create rumors and everything about you-”
“Why would your father ask that of you? I don’t even know him.”
“My Father and your aunt were dating at that time so I presume they both wanted your money.” I knew there was something going on between both of them from a really long time ever since I had caught them kissing the night he had come home for dinner when I was thirteen. Thankfully, no one ever learned that I knew about my aunt’s little secret.
Their father remained a faint memory in the back of my head, his face and features hazy as I had only met him that night. “Oh.” I nodded, asking her to continue.
“Slowly, I fell in love with Adrian and trust me, not puppy love, real love which still hasn’t faded even though he insists on us being friends because of the child. I admit I used to sleep around a lot, yea, but that was all to take.. I don’t know, the frustration out because of being rejected by Adrian again and again .” She said, shaking her head as more tears came out. “I.. I didn’t realise how but I started blaming you for it. He would be so scared of being beaten by his mother so he would hurt you, and then be more guilty. I blamed you for all of it and I know now that I was so so so wrong. I wanted to be like Ryder. He won’t hurt you, but see you get hurt. He made me lie to our father that he was hitting you as well but he never ever meant to hurt you. I just wish I could be like him.”
“I.. Don’t know what to say.” I shrugged. “I do get it, Rihanna. I mean, of course it would be painful to be demanded such a thing out of your own parents and threatened by them but.. I am happy with the fact that you changed yourself after all of it.” I told her with a smile.
“So..can we be friends?” She asked, nervously biting her lips.
“I can’t tell you right now.” The little smile left her, as she nodded slowly. “But, I am willing to give us a try.” Her eyes shot up to mine, as she tackled me in a hug, waves of smells hitting me. First her perfume, then medicines and then the smell of vomiting. I pulled her a little back as she realized and soon apologized.
“You’re really good, Scar. I mean, if I was in your place, it would have been really difficult for me to forgive anyone who did-”
“What can I say? I believe in moving forward.” I said with a chuckle, getting up from the stool. “I’ll leave you to clean up.” I told her.
“Hey, wait.” She said, getting up. “I forgot to ask you before but what’s your major?”
“English Literature.” I told her, turning back to her as she and I got out of the bathroom.
“OMG! ME TOO! WE HAVE ALL CLASSES TOGETHER!”