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You change your life, by changing your heart.

~Max Lucado



“I like the red one too.”

“I don’t know, I am stuck on black.”

“Why don’t you try the red one?” Roman asked from our shared bathroom, leaning on the doorframe.

Rihanna and I have exactly an hour to go before our first lecture on Shakespeare starts at Fordham University, which is 15 minutes away from our house, giving me forty five minutes to dress up and take a bath. It’s been ten minutes since Roman and I have been going through my closet, deciding on a wearable outfit for college. My current wardrobe is filled with blues and blacks except a few reds and whites that Maddie and Cara got me from their shopping trips. There is a huge bag which I haven’t opened, yet, full of beach and party wear and.. Well.. A few other essentials.

“Girl, you so need light colored clothes.” Roman and I both turned back to see Rihanna standing on the doorframe of my closet.

“Exactly.” Roman muttered, closing the door behind him. “Pick your clothes, I’ll take five minutes more in the washroom.” He yelled behind the door.

“Leave him.” I told Rihanna, who was closely looking at my clothes.

“You know.. If you allow me, I see the perfect outfit-”

“Go ahead.” I shrugged. No matter how bitchy she had been, Rihanna wasn’t one of those who dressed in short clothes in winters or autumn so I find it okay to trust her with this.

“I am going to pick out something okayish for college and then a shopping trip.” She told me as a matter-of-factly.

“We are going on a shopping trip?” I asked, confused.

“Well, yes, look at your wardrobe. You need lighter clothes! Plus, I need to get maternity wear.” She said, lightly patting her stomach.

“Oh yea, of course.” I nodded.

“Scarlet, are you okay with me?” She asked, pouting a little.

“Trust me, Rihanna. What’s in the past, is in the past.” I shrugged. I wasn’t going to waste my time blaming and punishing those who were forced to hurt me. I wasn’t stooping that low, knowing I had other things to deal with right now. She smiled at me first, then clapping her hands, turned to my closet. Her expert hands took out a few clothes, too fast for my eyes to see. She placed them on the little couch by the end of the closet and then asked me to look at it.

“So. What do you think?” She asked me, her eyebrows cocking. I glanced at the outfit she had laid for me on the couch. Unexpectedly, she had kept it simple with the darkest blue jeans I had and a dark blue informal blazer with a white lace top under it, perfect for the autumn weather invading New York. As I turned to face her, she was standing on the other side where I had placed all my shoes which consisted of a few essential black, red, nude heels, three pair of vans, two converse, two black combat boots and three boots. Trust me, this is less according to Maddie.

“I.. I can’t bend.” Rihanna muttered. “Can you help me? I am not supposed to..” She continued in a low voice. I walked up to her and took out the brown boots and belt she was pointing at.

“Here. Is this what you wanted?” I asked her to which she simply nodded in reply, her eyes a little moist. “Hey, are you okay?” I asked her, slowly placing my hands on her cheeks.

“I.. No..” She shook her head. “I don’t know, Scarlet.” A lone tear escaped her eyes as I caught her, taking her to my bedroom and making her sit on one of the sofas. I took the seat in front of her and turned to her.

“Talk to me about it. I am not really good with emotional girls but, hey, I’ll try.” I said with a small smile as more tears escaped her eyes.

“I don’t know. Sometimes these.. Violent emotions take over me. It’s the pregnancy, I guess but..” She shook her head and wiped her tears before continuing. “You know what Adrian said when I told him about the baby? He said it was our mistake.” I gasped. Adrian called his own doing a mistake?!

“How could he? It’s his own doing! You’re the one suffering for it.”

“I really love him, Scarlet. I don’t care if he called our child a mistake. I know.. I know he doesn’t love me the way I love him. It’s difficult for him to love anyone because.. He has always been guilty of what he did to you.” She fully turned to me this time. “I don’t care if he wants to take care of this child, Scarlet. I will. I will manage this and I know my brother and father will support me even if Adrian doesn’t.”

“I really thought he liked you. I mean, he’s living with you during your pregnancy and helping you.. So..”

“He is helping, alright. But I know he’s scared to hurt our child, Scarlet. He’s scared that he may end up hurting him the way he hurt you. He never touches my stomach. He never even comes near it as if scared he’ll spoil it.” She said, getting up.

“We need to do something about this, Rihanna. He cannot live like this. I will tell him about me being alive, don’t you worry.” I told her.

“Well, right now, we need to do something about our lecture.” She said, pointing at the clock. It was only then that I noticed that she was ready in a pair of black leggings and a loose white t-shirt along with black leather jacket.

And then she says I need lighter clothes.

“Wait for me downstairs. I’ll be there is ten.” I told her, running into the closet. “Don’t leave without me!” I had exactly half an hour before lecture would start, giving me fifteen minutes to leave this house.

Thankfully, Roman was done with his shower. For an average eighteen year old, he’s cleaner than I am so I didn’t hesitate to share washroom with him. He keeps his stuff neatly-okay, shut up now. I quickly closed both the doors and began to wash my hair, even though I hardly had time. But, hey, short hair dry up easily!

In a record time of seven minutes I stood in front of the big mirror in my closet, opening the bag which I hadn’t opened before to set things up. I took out my makeup bag and an ointment for my bruises. Yes, bruises still exist on my pale body. Pale because sun in scarce in Port Angeles and I really need a good tan in Miami. Coming back to the bruises, that haven’t changed for me in the three years. The only difference now is that before, Adrian used to hit me and give me bruises, without me ever standing up against him and now, I make sure the person who trains with me gets more bruises than I do.

Right now, I have three major ones on my body. First one, is on my stomach which I got about a week ago when I couldn’t block a punch from Roman.

Second one, is on my thigh which this big, scary guy who works for Jonathans and Winters, killing local enemies, managed to give me while practicing hand to hand combat with me. Trust me, he got two in response.

Third one.. Well.. Is my own stupidity. I fell on my bum while trying to walk in six inch heels. Don’t even ask. I applied the ointment on the major bruises, lightly managing to cover them up because you see, I refuse to believe that Rihanna won’t make me try dresses which won’t cover these if we shopped later. After that, I quickly slipped into my jeans and then the top. Swiftly wearing everything else, I picked my duffel bag up and raced downstairs where Ryder was serving Rihanna pancakes on the couch of the living room. Sitting on a couch is better than a bar stool cause she’s pregnant.. Blah blah.

“We’re late.” I told her as she swiftly stuffed a huge bite of pancake in her mouth.

“Good Morning, baby girl.” I turned around to face the kitchen where... OMFG.

“ROMAN!” I yelled, running to him. I switched turned off the stove above which he stood, smiling goofily.

“What? I was making nice pancakes!” He wailed as I pulled him away.

“You will do no such thing! Ryder!” I yelled as Ryder entered the kitchen, a little confused. “Please don’t let him inside the kitchen.” I told him and he nodded and turned away, walking as if a little confused at what he was doing.

“You.. Ugh. Here.” Roman shrugged, passing me a plate filled with two pancakes and chocolate sauce.

“Thank you, but you aren’t going to cook anymore.” I told him, walking up to Rihanna with my plate.

“I got a message saying the class is delayed by fifteen minutes. Chill.” Rihanna told me, stuffing the pancake in her mouth. I internally laughed at this scene because there was a time when Rihanna was on a lifelong diet, eating everything in minimal quantity to help herself maintain her body. Right now, she didn’t are. She was just stuffing.

I guess people do change for good sometimes.

“What’s wrong with Roman cooking-” I cut Ryder in between as he sat beside me on couch.

“See. Roman knows how to cook. He cooks well enough to feed a family but you see, he’s very clumsy when it comes to cooking.” I told him. “Last time he tried to bake a cake, he set the timer wrong and the whole thing exploded. The other time, his gloves caught fire and then-”

“Okay, he got it, Hon.” Roman snapped, sitting in front of us.

“Are you sure you guys aren’t dating?” Rihanna asked, eyeing both of us as Ryder snorted in disgust.

What’s his problem, now?

“Yes.” Roman and I said in a unison.

“Come along.” I said as she kept her plate down. She got up and followed me to my car which was standing beside Ryder’s silver convertible.

Damn, their father is surely loaded.

Look at your own bank account, honey.


“Comfortable?” I asked her as she sat on the shotgun of my black SUV.

“Yup.” She nodded. I pulled away from our driveway and began to drive along our street, when Rihanna spoke up again. “You never answered me.”


“I asked you this morning about where you went? We all know you never reached New York.”

“I... Umm...” I faked reluctance even though it was completely safe to tell her my whereabouts after I left. I am over eighteen; no one can do anything about it now.

“I just... Want to know what happened to you, Scarlet. Whether you were kidnapped or hurt or -”

“No... I’ll tell you.” I told her as she turned to face me. I, however, kept my eyes on the road as I answered to her. “I was meant to leave for New York initially that night but... I got a call from Marcus, Roman’s father and my godfather that he was in Summerville and that he wanted to meet me.”

“So, Roman’s parents are your godparents? But we never saw them...” She mused but I knew that my lie was convincing her somewhere.

“I had met them only once before and Amanda reported to them constantly. That night when I met him, he had come on a business trip along with Roman. I... I don’t what got to me, but.. I told him everything and how I was going to New York.”

“About the.. Hitting also?” I nodded so she squirmed a little in her seat.

“Don’t worry. Roman doesn’t hate any of you. In fact, he wanted me to let this go so we could move on with life.” I said, patting her arm. She visibly let her uneasiness go.

“So I presume they asked you to go to Port Angeles with them and you have been there from the past three years?” She’s a witty blonde, I see.

“Yes.” I nodded as we pulled in the campus and I found a place to park my car in.

I came out of the car, taking my bag along with me and then helped Rihanna with her bag.

“How long will you be taking classes?” I asked her. Now, you don’t expect an 8 month pregnant woman around the campus, do you? This is a little weird for me as well, yea.

“Adrian suggested that I take this whole term at home or skip it, but no, I am going to continue to attend classes because they have this program which will allow me to take 9 months’ worth classes online.”

“9 months? That’s nice. So when do you start these online classes?”

“I am quite comfortable with attending normal classes. I think from my second trimester that will give me three months of online classes after birth as well.” She said with a shrug.

“Let’s deal with Shakespeare first.”

“Oh, I just hope the teacher isn’t boring.”

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