Chapter 12: I'm Sorry, Mama

A/N: Well, Here's another chapter! :) Thanks to all the reviewers for the last chapter. I really appreciate it! As I have said, I goofed. The dance is at the end of the year, so chapter wise it won't be for a while yet.

I couldn't get Micheal's death out of my head. The week went by fast. School was canceled Thursday and Friday so the school could attend his viewing and funeral. Kori, Rich, and Vik attended it. I couldn't. They all seemed to understand.

I walk through the graveyard with a half dozen lilies, which I was told was Mother's favorite flower. I reach her grave and set them in front of her tombstone. Her tombstone is small and gray with a picture of an angel on it. On it says:

Ariella Lucille Roth

Beloved wife and mother.

I sit next to her grave. "Hi, Mom."

"Mom, Did you love Dad? I wish you could answer...I'm sure you did. I love him too. It's just..I don't want to die." Tears begin to roll down my face. I wipe my face with my sleeve.

"Dad hurts me all the time, Mom. Did he ever..hurt you? I don't want you to be mad at me." Sobs escape my throat, I wipe my eyes again. "I..want out. I want to be free. I'm tired of this all. All of it! I don't want to be afraid all the time. I don't want to get hurt or end up..dead. I have friends now, Mom. They care for me. They worry. I.." I stand up, wiping my eyes again.

"I..deserve better. I don't want to throw him in jail, but I've got to live, Mama. And this isn't living."

I start walking home. It's starting to get colder now. My tears have all dried up and I'm feeling better. I'm not sure what to do now. All my life, I've been afraid of my Father, but to throw him in jail? He's the only family I have left. When I was little, there were more happy days. He wasn't so painstakingly drunk all the time. He wasn't the nicest, but the real pain didn't start until I was around 10. Now, It's hardly ever a calm moment. He's getting worse, but...I can still see the good man underneath all the rage.

As I walk up to my house, I notice a black car across the street. There's a man sitting behind the wheel with sunglasses on. He must be waiting for someone next door.

I walk into my house and close the door behind me. I walk into the kitchen and see mail sitting on the counter. I sort through it. Bills galore. Then, I notice a colorful postcard. On the cover was a picture of a maple leaf. I turn it over and read what it says:

Hey Rae!

How's it goin' in Jump City? It's boring here! I miss you guys. I hope you are all alright. See ya when I get back!

Love, Gar :3

I smile wide while I'm reading the note. I hurry and take it to my room. I hide it in one of my Poe books so Dad never finds it. He'd probably kill me for it. I hate to admit it but I really do miss Gar. I'm not exactly sure why. He can get super annoying. So, this should feel like a vacation from him. So then why does it feel like hell? 6 days to go.

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Everyone decided to go to the mall on Sunday. Rich said on Wednesday he had a surprise for me. I wonder what it could be. I sat outside on the porch waiting for them to drive up.

The door to the house next door opens up and a girl steps out. She has brown hair with a streak of pink on the side. She looks about my age. She looks towards me and our eyes meet. She was the girl I saw moving in a while ago.

"Hey." She said.

"Hi, welcome to our wonderful neighborhood." I said sarcastically.

She grins. "Thanks. My name's Jen. What's yours?"

"Raven."

She steps closer to the edge of her yard. She has on skinny jeans and a black and pink hoodie. Very similar to my outfit except the pink was purple. She must notice as well because she grins again.

"We're twins." She laughs. I laugh too.

"Yeah, head to toe." I said. "So, What grade you in?"

"11th. You?" She asked, pulling out a stick of gum from her pocket. "Same" I grin and she laughs.

"Awesome. You go to Jump High?" She asks. I nod. She offers me a stick of gum. I got up and walk over to her.

"Yup, I'm starting there on Monday. Took forever to get my transcript transferred here. So, what ya up to?" She asked.

"Waiting for my friends."

Just then, as if they waited for this moment, they pull up to the curb. Kori looks over and squeals.

"Jen!" She shouts as she jumps out of the car. Jen looks over and smiles. Kori runs over and hugs her tight.

"Wow! I did not know you were moving next to Raven!" She said releasing her. "And you two have met! How wonderful!"

The boys were out of the car now. They came over and stood by us.

"Oh, Jen you must meet my friends! This is Richard and this is Viktor!" She gestured to each boy.

"Hey, little lady." Vik said, shaking her hand.

"Nice to finally meet you, Jen. Kori's been talking about you non-stop." Rich said.

"You guys too. Kori emailed me all about you. Never would have guessed this was the same Raven." She laughs. We all laugh too. What a small world.

"So, Jen, We were going to the mall. Do you wanna come with us?" Rich asked.

"Oh, please come!" Kori begs. Jen laughs.

"I'll ask my Dads." She said. She looks at us unsure, then goes inside.

"Oh dear! I forgot to mention," Kori whispers. "Jen has two dads." She looks at each of us.

"Well, that's fine, Kori. It's not a big deal." Rich said.

"Yeah. We all have vastly different types of parents." I said. Kori smiles brightly, feeling relieved.

"You all are wonderful!" She said happily. "When we were little, people were not as accepting. Jenn was bullied a lot."

"Well, we got her back now." Vik said throwing punches into the air. Jen returns.

"They said ok. They are happy to be rid of me for a while." She grins. We laugh.

"Yay! Let us go!" Kori said. We all pile into Vik's car. Kori, Jen and I sit in the back. Vik pulls the car back onto the road.

"Guess Gar gets to ride in the trunk to school next week." Vik laughs.

Everyone laughs, even Jen. Wait until Gar returns and sees our group has grown. Only 5 days to go.

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As the day grew on, we learned more and more about Jen. She lives with her dads and little brother. She has a cat named Jinx. Before leaving her old school, she had joined the volleyball team. She likes horror movies and reading like me. I think she'll fit in fine.

We were about to leave when Rich remembered he has something to pick up for me. Everyone else went to the care to wait. Rich said it wouldn't take long.

I follow Rich through the mall, and he walks into the Verizon store.

"Hello, May I help you?" And older man asks when Rich got to the counter.

"Yeah, I'm here to pick up a phone. Name is under Bruce Wayne." Rich hands the man a slip. The man, whose name tag reads Luke, read it over and excuses himself to the back room.

"What's going on?" I asked. Rich smirks.

"You'll see."

The man returns with a small box. "Do you want me to set it you?" Luke asked. Rich nods.

Luke opens the box and takes out a purple cell phone. He powers it on and dials the number to link it to an account. After a few minutes, he hands the phone to Rich.

"There you are! It's all set up and ready to go!" Luke smiled.

"Thanks, Luke." Rich said. He then walked out of the shop. He walks towards the exit then he stops and turns towards me.

"Here, Rae." He hands me the phone.

"What? Why are you giving me this?" I ask.

"We want to be able to reach you. We know that we can't call your house phone. I had it programmed with all our cell phone numbers."

"Wow. I don't know what to say." I said taking the phone from him. Rich smiles.

"You don't have to say anything. How about a hug instead?" Rich stretches out his arms. I smile and wrap my arms around him.

"We all love you, Rae. Never forget that."

"Thanks, Rich. I love you all too."

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I sat on my bed playing with the new phone. Kori texted me a bunch of times. She was so fast; I couldn't keep up. I look through the contacts. I had already texted Rich, Vik, Kori and Jen; so they had the number. I decide to text Gar, too.

Rae- hey. got your post card. tnx

After a few minutes, Gar replied.

Gar- who is this?

Rae- who do u think? Idiot.

Gar- rae?

Rae- duh.

Gar-wow. when did u get a fone?

Rae- today. Rich gave it 2 me.

Gar- cool.

How do you respond to 'cool'? I didn't have anything else to say so I turn my light out. I lay on my bed and cover up. Soon my phone vibrates. I pick it up and check the message. It's from Gar.

Gar- I miss u.

Rae- me 2

Gar- u miss u 2? XD

Rae- No. I miss u 2. What's xd?

Gar- a face. D is the mouth

Rae-oh.

Rae- havin' fun there? :P

Gar- ur tongue :O Ya. Boring tho

Gar- havin fun too?

Rae- yah. we met kori's old friend, jen

Gar- I see. I miss everything :(

Rae- u'll be back soon

Gar- yup! 4 days

Gar- well night rae, it's late

Rae- night, gar

Gar- I'm glad ur ok

Rae- ..me too

Gar- you or me? :P

Rae- both :)

Gar- :)

I put my phone down. I lay there for a while with a smile creeping in on my face. I'm so happy Rich got me this phone. Now, I don't have to feel so alone here. I have a way out.

A/N: Sorry for the incredibly long text conversation. I wanted Gar in the chapter, I missed him! This chapter is also dedicated to my Mother, who lost her battle with cancer 3 years ago. Happy Mother's Day to all Mothers out there! :) Also, I named Viktor YEARS ago..when I was really into Harry Potter. I do realize it's Victor. XD But, I don't feel like changing it. Thanks for reading! Reviews are welcome.