OK, so after being stuck half way through this chapter, I finally got it done. The song is Animal I Have Become by Three Days Grace. Thanks for reading I appreciate the reviews.

Disclaimer: I totally own National Treasure! Wakes from Dream:: Darn! I also do not own the song.

Riley's POV


I can't escape this hell. So many times I've tried, but I'm still caged inside.

I could have died, right there on my bathroom floor, bled to death because I'm an idiot. I didn't though, because Ben the Great arrived just in time to save me. I've felt many things around Ben, but before that happened I was never truly embarrassed to see him. He saw me at the weakest point in my life. If I were him I would have been angry, but Ben never gets angry. After seeing how pathetic I really am he didn't leave me, he actually wanted to help. Someone does care about me; great now I feel even more like an ass.

Ben openly invited me into his home, wishing to help me. At the time I wanted to be helped, but once I moved in I wasn't so sure. Cutting is the only thing that allowed me to feel human, to feel real. When the razor slid across my skin it was like heaven, right there I was in control and no one could take that control away from me. Well no one could, until I got caught.

Somebody get me through this nightmare, I can't control myself.

I've been living with Abigail and Ben for what seems like forever. I stay locked up in my room though, its my own little safe haven. In my room I can do what I want to, and I don't have their sympathetic looks shot at me every ten seconds. I know I have some problems, but they look at me as if I'm going to kill myself right there if they stop looking at me for even a minute. Sure they have my best intentions at heart, but I can handle this myself, I don't need their help.

Soon after Ben discovered my secret and he decided to adopt me, I was sent to a shrink. Now I have to spend all my money paying for some guy to stare at me and ask "how do you feel about that" for an hour. I don't have to talk to him; I don't want to talk to him. I don't have to talk to anyone. Dr. Morris, the weird old quack just sits there asking me prying questions, I don't think the guy ever blinks. He's worse than Ian, and the guy pointed a gun at me about ten times. Dr. Morris is supposed to be helping me, but all he has done is turn my best friends into baby sitters.

So what if you can see the darkest side of me? No one will ever change this animal that I have become.

Days pass and people are still trying to help me, even Ben's dad has tried. My shrink told Ben that every night he had to check me for new scars and fresh scabs. If I thought I felt like a kid before, its nothing compared to now. The looks they give me when they find my recent works of art is almost unbearable. Sometimes Abigail can't stand to look at me and quickly leaves the room, Ben never does though; he just stands there looking at me with hurt eyes. Their looks cut through me, but not through my flesh like I desire, but through my soul. If it means they'll stop looking at me with their sad, disappointed eyes I might try to stop.

After another week passes I begin to talk to the Morris guy, I guess he's not so bad. I still think it's kind of creepy telling this stranger all of my secrets and all about my past, but I might as well put my money to good use. The guy makes some valid points, and although I do not really want to, I try to convince myself to stop relying on sharp objects to relieve my pain. How hard can it be to stop? It's my body and if I started to do something to it I should easily be able to stop.

Turns out it is really not that simple.

Help me believe its not the real me. Somebody help me tame this animal.

I tried to stop, honestly I did, but it didn't really work out so well. Every time I wake from a dream about my family, or of when Ben found me, my first reaction is to grab the nearest sharp object and smoothly glide it across my skin. When I do it now I don't even stop to think, it's just an impulse. On some occasions I can catch myself before I pick up whatever tool I happen upon first. Cutting is no longer a desire, it has become an addiction. I feel like a druggie waiting for his next hit, sometimes I go days without doing anything. Those days catch up to me though, and my body shakes, my hand flying to the nearest cut, pressing down on it trying to achieve sweet release.

Sometimes when I cannot catch myself, other people do. Several times Ben and Abby have caught me in the act. Oh god, when Abigail first stumbled upon me she screamed loud enough to wake half the country. Now when she finds me she quickly runs off and sends Ben in, of anyone I think I cause her the most pain. I do not even understand how Abby can stand to have me in her house if I hurt her so much, but she's stronger than that, stronger than me. I really do hate myself.

I can't escape myself; so many times I've lied.

I'm sick of this, sick of what I have become. I don't think I even deserve to live if I just hurt everyone around me, but I'm not about to off myself. Living has become a struggle, I can't even remember the last time I ate which is totally not like the old me, every now and then I have to force myself to eat something, but food just looks so unappetizing. I rarely leave my room now, and even with all the time sitting on my bed I cannot sleep, I can't take the nightmares any more.

Abigail and Ben are getting more concerned; its impossible to be by myself when I leave my room. I keep lying to them and to myself, and I hate it. When they ask me if I have eaten anything lately I tell them I'm on my way down to the kitchen, I don't even understand why I lie about stuff like that. When they find new cuts I tell them I'm sorry, and that I won't do it again, I tell myself that too but I know it's a lie. My whole life has become a lie and because of it I'm falling apart, I don't know how much longer I can go on living like this.

But there's still rage inside.

That's it; I'm stopping right now. I never want to look at another knife in my life, ever since my last run in with Ben. I can't believe what he did, it just caused me to hate myself more, I felt like he was mocking me but I know I'm wrong. I want to help myself, but I hate me too much to do anything.

It happened a couple of days ago: I had gone too long without doing anything, all the pain and self loathing was building up and it had to be released. The lock on my door was still there so I was careful to make sure no one could stumble upon me. I rolled up my sleeve and pulled out the scissors that I had successfully hidden in my room from Abby and Ben. Pressing the cool metal down on my arm I gracefully slide it across my flesh, sighing in the relief it brings. I happily watched the blood poor down my arm and moved to make another incision, but I stopped when Ben started to bang on the door. Shit! I was not about to get caught. Again.

Quickly, I cleaned myself up and hid the scissors; pulling down my sleeve I answered the door. Ben gave me a suspicious look; he knew exactly what I had been doing. Before I could think of what to say Ben pushed me back onto my bed, saying I was scared is an understatement, not once has Ben ever laid a finger on me. He frantically searched my room, and I was terrified about what he was going to do next. He soon found what he was desperately searching for. My eyes grew wide as Ben rolled up his sleeve and pressed the blade of the scissor against his skin. He wouldn't! I knew he was mad, but he would never do that just to prove a point. He did it.

As I watched the crimson liquid slide down his arm I couldn't take it, I leapt at him with a cry. I quickly grab the scissors from him and throw them as hard as I can across the room. How could he do that? Did he think it was funny to make fun of me, because neither of us were laughing. All the hurt and rage towards Ben came out through tears, and as they began to drip down my face I desperately clung to him.

"What the hell do you think you're doing?" I screamed at him as I punched him hard in the chest. How could he do that to me? How could he do that to himself? And then it began to click in my stupid head; this is what I have been doing. I didn't think it was possible, but I hated myself more than before, I hated myself more than anything.

"Every time you hurt yourself, this is what you're doing to me. Doing to Abigail. When you think about doing this to yourself again, picture yourself doing it to us, because it's exactly how it feels." Was his growled reply. I just stood there, hugging him, begging him to not hate me as much as I did. Abigail walked in a minute later and gasped at the sight of us.

Ben quickly left the room and Abby came over to me. By that time I had fallen to my knees, I didn't even know it until she came over to help me to my feet. She hugged me, telling me it would be OK, that none of this was my fault. That was a huge lie, how could she say that with a straight face? Abigail helped me down to the kitchen, if she had not been there, I don't think I would have made it that far. She sat me down in front of a plate of spaghetti. The last thing I wanted to do was eat, but I knew I had to. There were a lot of things I did not want to do that I had to, and I would do them if it meant Ben would never do that again.

Somebody get me through this nightmare, I can't control myself.

After that whole incident, at my next appointment with Dr. Morris, Ben was invited to join us. Dr. Morris and I had been talking for a while, and he asked how I would feel if Ben were to join us, eventually I caved in and said it was fine. Ben agreed to come in after a minute of thought, and I was happy and scared all at once. Walking into his office, I glance over at Ben, he looks like he wants to leave, but is determined to stay.

We all take a seat and Ben looks nervous, almost like a caged animal. Morris and Ben begin to talk and I watch on in silence, staring at the floor the whole time, with slight glances in Ben's direction. I begin to relax after a while and so does Ben. When the session ends I breathe a sigh of relief, having Ben there was not so bad, but not something I would like to do every day.

So what if you can see the darkest side of me? No one will ever change this animal I have become

After Ben joined the session between Dr. Morris and I, he removed the lock on my door with the help of his dad. I knew that it should have been removed a long time ago, but I enjoyed the privacy. As I watch them remove the lock I have a staring contest with the floor, I know they just want to help but I feel like a little kid; I'm ashamed to look anyone in the eye.

They finish up and Ben's dad pats me on the shoulder saying his usual "it'll be OK kiddo" and proceeds to walk down the hall to the kitchen. Left alone with Ben, I know I have to say something I have needed to say for a long time now.

"Thanks," I say in a hoarse voice as I look up at him.

He gives me an odd look, asking "What for?"

I hate him for making me say it, "For everything. For putting up with me this long, I know that I have been a pain in the ass the whole time I've been here and that I've only been a burden to you and Abs." I glance at the floor in utter embarrassment, but quickly lock eye contact with him again; I need him to know that I mean this. "When you came in last week to my meeting with Morris, I realized that you really do care about me. I know that it was uncomfortable for you, but I really appreciate you being there."

Ben gives me a warm, genuine smile and steps forward to hug me. "We're always here for you kid, and you're not a burden. I won't lie, you are a handful, but not a pain in the ass." I let out a snort of laughter as I hug him back.

Help me believe its not the real me. Somebody help me tame this animal I have become.

I've been taking more care of myself now, making sure to eat more than once a day. I'll never forget the way Abby's face lit up when I whined about there being no food in the house. I wasn't lying when I told her she never made anything good for dinner, I mean come on, how much pasta could one person eat? She argues back but I can see the joy and relief on her face.

Sleep has not been so bad lately either, the nightmares do not come as often any more. I've been clean for a while too, only cutting once or twice a week. In all things have been getting a lot better.

Help me believe it's not the real me. Somebody help me tame this animal.

Correction: things had been getting a lot better. I thought I was actually starting to recover, even talking to Ben and Abigail wasn't so bad any more. I got another call from my mother; she had no reason to call me, no real one at least. She had called to remind me how terrible of a person I am, and how much of a disgrace I was to the family. Her call had brought back memories of the family I had buried down deep, and it reminded me of Dylan's death.

I knew no one was home at the time so I was able to search the house for any type of sharp metal I could use to relieve the pain that was building up inside of me. I found nothing; turns out Ben had found the rest of sharp objects in my room and removed them all. If I couldn't cut I had to find another method. As I tried to think of a new plan, I spotted it. Sitting there innocently on the kitchen counter was my new best friend: the clothing iron.

I know that I shouldn't have done it, but I couldn't help myself. I started to use to use the clothing iron whenever no one was around, I also discovered the amazing little thing installed in every car called a cigarette lighter. The burns didn't bring the same exact rush as cutting did, but sometimes it was easier to hide the burns, not having to worry about any kind of veins.

Unfortunately, like all good things, they never last, and Ben and Abigail discovered what I had been doing. That moment will always be stuck in my mind, I will never forget hoe Abby collapsed into a near by chair and let out a heart wrenching sob and how Ben stood there frozen, eyes glued to the burns on my stomach. I had always apologized, but never as much as I had right there. I had become an animal, I could no longer control myself, and as a result I hurt my friends even more.

Somebody help me through this nightmare, I can't control myself.

Shortly after that I realized that I couldn't help myself and neither could Abby or Ben. This had to stop it really had to. So many times I wish that I had never made the first mark on my skin, that I had just found time to complain to my friends. I knew that something really had to be done, and in the end I decided to do something that should have been done a long, long time ago. I worked up the courage, swallowed my pride and called the nearest clinic that could help me with my problem.

I think the hardest part was telling Ben, the look on his face when I told him my decision. He knew that I was right, but he had this look of shame on his face, a look of failure. I don't blame Ben or Abby for anything, they tried as hard as they could to help, but I was just too stubborn to change. Ben has been the greatest friend ever, and I feel terrible letting him down and having him think he let me down.

Ben offered to drive me to the clinic, and I'm glad he did, I never could do it alone. Once I check myself in, Abby, Ben and Ben's dad hug me good-bye. I don't want to leave them and the comfort of their embraces, but I know I have to. As I walk away from them with a nurse, it feels as if I'm leaving my whole life behind, like the world outside of this building is just melting away and I'll never get to see my friends again. I let out a sigh, I know this is going to be a long recovery, and I just hope to get it over with.

Somebody wake me from this nightmare, I can't escape this hell.

I've been in the hospital for two months and I'm dying to go home, sure the people are nice, but they're driving me insane! No one here seems to want to get better but me, and all the depression and zombie skeleton people are starting to creep me out. If I ever look like that I want somebody to force-feed me the world's supply of pudding. The staff isn't that bad, but some of the looks they give me make me run as fast as I can out of the room.

Ben and Abby always visit at least once a week, so I have some kind of normal human contact. I'm able to get out all my sarcasm on the other patients so that I can actually have a real conversation with Abs and Ben, if they didn't visit me I might just try to jump out a window. Whenever they come they tell me how much they miss me and can't wait for me to come home.

Home. I've never felt that I had a real home until now, and I look forward to having an actual family, even if we're not blood related. After the first couple of visits, Abigail told me that when I got better and was ready to leave that I could come live with them, I looked over at Ben just incase it was some cruel joke and he hasda huge grin on his face. When I was sure they really meant it I actually jumped out of my chair and tackled her to the ground I was so happy!

Seeing that they miss me just as much as I miss them makes me want to get better even more, I miss spending time with them, arguing with Abigail and going out for Chinese with Ben. I ask the nursing staff almost everyday when I can go home, I think its starting to annoy them.

So what if you can see the darkest side of me? No one will ever change this animal I have become.

At first when I entered this place, I didn't really feel like helping myself, the only reason that I participated was to go home as fast as I could and so that Ben would no longer be disappointed in me. I didn't want to get better; I had to for my sake and for the sake of my friends. Now that I've been here for near four months and now I really feel like I'm doing this for myself, no more do I feel like crap, well most days. I can still be Johnny rain cloud sometimes, but most of the time I feel like I did back when we first found the treasure.

When I first came here I was able to work the Riley charm on the nurses, but now I'm afraid the charm has worn off and for some unimaginable reason they find me to be obnoxious. Ben, Abby and I thought it was great I was getting back to normal, but apparently the staff did not feel the same way, it might be because I ask when I can go home and when its time to eat every five minutes. One small victory is that it is no longer I running from the room every time I lock eyes with any of the nursing staff. And I now believe that I will be going home very soon.

Help me believe its not the real me. Somebody help me tame this animal I have become.

The doctors say I can finally go home, and I've never been more excited. I watch as Dr. Salagio, the head doctor here, tells Ben and Abigail that I'm free to go, and I over hear several nurses mumbling to each other that its about time. Ben and Abby's faces light up when they hear the news, I catch Abigail's eye and she runs over to hug me. As Abigail moves aside to let Ben at me, the doctor tells us that I have to stay just one more week to make sure that everything is fine, and that I will still have to regularly see Dr. Morris.

The last week spent in this depressing building seems to drag on forever; I don't think I've ever been this happy about it being Thursday. I was lead out to the entranceway to find Ben signing me discharge papers; I smile at him, feeling like a little kid being picked up early from school. As we exit the building, I look around at the people I have spent nearly half a year with, and none of them really seem too sad to see me go. I almost skip out to the car, but I'm able to hold myself back. Sadly, I was not able to hold back my manly shriek of delight as I found a bag of Chinese food sitting in the car.

I jump out of the car before it evens stop as we reach home, man it feels good to say that word. When we enter the house I see balloons and a 'Welcome Home Riley' banner hanging above the stairs. Abigail walks out holding a cake and I can't help but laugh at the sight. This all seems surreal, as if any minute I'll wake up and find myself back in the clinic bed surrounded by itchy white sheets. I don't know what to say, so I let my mouth run free without my brain's help.

"This is totally like in Super Mario where Mario helps free Princess Peach from Bowser and in thanks she bakes him a cake. After all that hard work, all those close calls with death, all he gets in return is a cake!" The two of us begin to argue back and forth, and it feels good; it feels just like old times. I know its been a long hard year, and that nothing will ever be like it was, but I'm looking forward to living with Ben and Abigail. Life's been crappy, but at least I know I have good friends to help me, even if said friends did only let us keep 1 percent of the world's greatest treasure.

Help me believe its not the real me. Somebody help me tame this animal.

One year. It has been one year since I left the clinic a somewhat sane and healthy guy. One year since I moved in with my two best friends. One year since I almost threw my life away and went down an endless road. If someone told me I could go through so much emotion in one year I would have laughed in their face and told them it wasn't possible, that the person would explode. Now I know better, now I know how low people can get. I also know that friends are worth keeping. Now I have a family, an awesome house, and Ben has just told me about a new treasure; this time I get to pick the finder's fee. Life is not now, nor will it ever be, like it was, but I think the future looks doable.


Gahh, crappy ending I know, sorry. Besides that I'm pretty happy with the story, thanks for reading, and once again I apologize for how long it took to get this chapter up.

Reviews are Love