Struck Me

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Chapter Eleven

I don't know how many times it's been this week that I have woken up on my couch, confused, trying to recollect what just happened to me and how I ended up here. I sit up and see a person sitting on the couch next to me but I can't make out who it is.

"Hey, Oli."

Justin.

I blink my eyes a few times so I can try to regain focus.

"What happened?" I ask.

"Well.. I heard screaming from down the street and I saw you on the ground and you seemed out of it so I brought you back here."

I nod my head and stand up, slightly embarrassed and make my way to my bedroom.

"You don't have to keep avoiding me. I know everyone is frustrating you lately but you know you can always talk to me," he says.

"Everyone is frustrating me. My grandma hates my mom and I didn't even know half the people at that funeral today. Leah never let me see my mom; she was the last person to see her before she died and it should have been me. And...and what am I supposed to do after this? When all of this sad shit ends and my grandmother flew back to wherever the hell she came from? I'll be alone. Who am I supposed to live with?"

"Well-" he begins.

"Heather is still missing. Did you know that? She didn't show up to my mom's funeral. What if she's dead too? I can't help but feel like I caused everything that's happening." I sit back on the couch and plant my face in my hands and cry into them.

Justin sighs and sits down next to me.

"Well what do you want?" He asks.

"I want my mom to be alive."

"I know. We can't change what has already happened, though. Instead of stressing yourself out over these endless possibilities about where you're going to live with Heather, think about what could happen realistically."

I sit up and wipe my tears from my face. I try to find an answer to what Justin is telling me but it seems like there's not an answer I'll be satisfied with.

"Well I don't want to live with my grandma. She doesn't even live in Washington and also I hate her. I think there's a possibility that my dad might be alive but my grandma told me he left Washington years ago, too. I wouldn't know how to find him."

I sigh and look at Justin, not caring anymore if he sees me in my vulnerable state. Tears continue to roll down my face as I talk but I don't want to try and stop them. anymore.

"What if we found your dad? Do you remember him from your childhood at all?

I shake my head, no.

"I don't," I say. "Even though I don't know him, I'd rather live with him and get to know him then live with my grandmother."

He nods his head and doesn't say anything. We both sit in silence for a while until my front door opens.

"Oliver, what the hell is wrong with you?" My grandmother yells as she throws her purse on the couch, hitting Justin. I look at him and then back at her.

"You are a terrible son for leaving your mother's funeral like that! She will never forgive you."

Justin shifts uncomfortably and I stand up and wipe the remainder of tears from my face.

"Get out," I respond flatly.

She laughs.

"You can't tell me to get out, I can leave whenever I want. I had to deal with everyone at that funeral alone because you wanted to be selfish and leave! Do you not think I'm hurting too? I don't even want to be here!"

"No, I don't think you're hurting because ever since you got here you have only said bad things about my mom and only expressed concerns about Heather!"

"You know what, Oliver? I felt bad for you at first because you're here all alone but I am done taking pity on you. You're just like your mother! You're spoiled and selfish and apparently you won't be alone in this house since you have your boyfriend with you!" She yells while gesturing to Justin.

She grabs her purse and suite case from the living room.

"I am going home tonight, Oliver. I was going to offer you to live with me but I take that invitation back. I don't care what happens to you."

"I didn't want to live with you anyways!" I yell as she slams the door.

I can't help but feel humiliated and embarrassed having to hear my grandmother say those things.

"Wow," Justin says.

"She's lovely, isn't she?" I say sarcastically.

"Is she always that angry?"

"Yes because she lacks empathy. She's a cold hearted bitch and hates my mom and won't tell me why."

"So what are you going to do now?" Justin asks.

"I don't know." I sit down on the couch and my anxieties start creeping in my mind.

How long am I going to be able to live here until someone finds out and takes me away? Will I have to live in a foster home?

"Do you want to stay at my house for a couple of days?"

That actually sounds like a good idea. Part of me wants to be alone so I can continue to mourn alone. Another part of me is terrified to be alone.

"Would your family mind?" I ask while more tears roll down my face, not knowing why this time.

"Not at all, man. We want to be here for you. Plus, it's not really a good idea for you to be alone right now," he says while looking down at my exposed wrist.

I nod.

"Well you can get some of your things together and we can walk to my house whenever you're ready."

Justin follows me upstairs and I grab my backpack and put a couple of shirts and pants along with my toothbrush in there. If I forget anything, I can just walk back.

-

-

"We are so glad to have you over, Oliver! I feel like I don't see you anymore," Justin's mom says as she embraces me.

I'm glad she didn't try to ask me how I'm doing or talk about my mom.

"I'm making lunch, it will be ready soon. You can stay in Justin's brothers room, he's spending the week with his dad."

We walk down the hallway and I put my stuff in the spare room.

"Do you mind if I just nap for a little bit? It's been a long morning."

"Whatever you want, man. Make yourself at home," he says as he leaves the bedroom.

I pull the unfamiliar blanket over my head and immediately fall asleep before I can think about my mother or how terrified I am of my future.

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