Author's Note: Hello, fanfiction. Long time, no see.


By: AnneriaWings

Part Two: Home

Get away get away get the FUCK out of here-

Ice blasted through my body – choking, suffocating. The hallway – lab – walls were closing in. My lungs gasped for the breath they couldn't reach. (I couldn't breathe.) I couldn't breathe and everything was so terrifying and confusing and cold, so cold and bright and-

Snap, went the sterile gloves, memories still seconds-old replayed themselves in my head. A loud scream echoed through me, causing me to nearly trip – I was back there, at their mercy. Panic washed over every cell, over every coherent thought. My mind was racing, my heart pounding from the white adrenaline flooding through my system. Please, I thought desperately, tears springing to my eyes as I painfully stumbled blindly away from the classroom – away from there, away from the lights and pain and panic-

"Jack, help me hold him down!"

(why didn't they listen)

"-most certainly not our s-"

(why didn't they LISTEN-)

No, no, please. Not again. Dear God, not again. This was not happening. Not here, please. I furiously wiped at my eyes. I knew I would completely lose myself if that dam was allowed to break. I was weak – I couldn't handle this, not now. My breath came out in harsh gasps and tears were still running down my cheeks – but I didn't give a shit if anyone saw me – at least, not now.

As I stumbled down the school hallway, I could still hear my parents' voices, garbled and hard to understand (still struggling) – it was the tranquilizer they'd given me, and the haze of pain and exhaustion that made the flashing panic muted (hold him down?) but the pain still so fresh. (please… just make it stop…)

Somehow, a fleeting thought entered my consciousness. (need to sit down) I hugged my torso tightly with a grimace, my hands shaking. I'd been doing so well in keeping the emotions and memories in check- at least until today. Now it was like that first night all over again, after they'd left me to my own devices in the living room – where everything was so confusing, raw, fresh… where everything was so horribly, utterly wrong. Why was it all coming back now? What was wrong with me?

(you're losing it)

I tried not to look back as I slowed down and shoved open a heavy door to one of the back exits, my lungs rasping. It was clear none of the teachers or even Sam were going to follow me. (they don't care) For that, I was grateful. I didn't want to know how I looked to everyone. Probably insane… psychotic, even. (Danny's going crazy, hah…)

How could I have just… broken down like that in the middle of school? No doubt Falluca was already on his way to call my parents. I'd probably made myself the laughing stock of the century among the school. I was pathetic-


"God damnit… God damnit." I whispered. I gripped the handrail of the stairs leading to the employee parking lot and slowly sat down, trying not to collapse on the cement. As the adrenaline wound down, it was then that I was aware of the fierce throbbing in my chest. I winced and brought a hand up to gently clutch the tender area. The rush of panic was gone – finally gone –but in its wake was pain and bone-deep exhaustion.

First day back in two weeks and already you've fucked up, my mind accused. You just… lost it back there… Realization slowly sank to the pit of my stomach and I inhaled sharply, feeling the growing stitch in my side. The wound burned, tender and hot and wet beneath the thinned bandages. I grimaced – the stitches had reopened again.

Taking a shuddering breath, I gazed down at my hands which were still trembling. My shoes crunched against an ashy cigarette butt – no doubt from one of the teachers, probably Mrs. Li from history class, she liked to smoke…

Why am I even here? I sighed and rested my forehead in my hands, fatigue weighing on my shoulders. A single childish thought ran through me, and it was all my exhausted mind could focus on.

I wanna go home.

"H-home," I whispered to the wind, fighting the choking tightness in my throat and closing my eyes. Was it my home anymore? The word itself was nothing more than a lie. Home was where you were supposed to feel safe and… loved.

(most certainly not our son)

Somehow, my body had gotten up from the steps and had wandered back into the school, through the hallways – a short walk on autopilot brought me to a halt in front of the nurse's office, and for a moment I gazed numbly at the door. Faking a bad stomachache or something would probably get me back home. I could retreat to my room, avoid my… avoid them, and sleep for the rest of the day. Sleeping was good… I just… I needed to stop. All I knew was that I couldn't… I couldn't do this anymore. I couldn't keep up this charade with everyone and pretend it was all okay. I didn't know what I was going to do about my life, about my… parents, about anything.

I wanted to find somewhere to lie down and die.

(nobody would care anyway)

I furiously wiped my eyes and pushed the door open. The office was small, bland and surprisingly empty. As soon as I entered, the plump school nurse looked up from behind her computer desk and greeted me with raised eyebrows, gum smacking against her lips.

"Need somethin'?"

I felt flash of doubt close my throat up, but shook my head and mentally tried to steady myself. "I'm... not feeling good," I rasped, my voice weaker than I'd intended to pretend it to be. I licked my lips and glanced at the phone on the nurse's desk. "Like, at all..."

A touch of boredom. "Hall pass?"

"I-I don't… I forgot it..." Cold anxiety started to flood my chest again, my mind teetering desperately on the edge of another attack, another memory. Please… I just want to go home… "I just – can I call my… can I call home?"

The nurse's face softened in concern when she noticed how red my eyes were, the way my hands were shaking a little. "Hey. You okay?"

I couldn't find the right throat muscles to speak, so I just shook my head. Keep it together… there you go. "I just need to go home," I managed to choke. (what home?)

"Just, uh… just dial nine and then your home number," she said, handing me the phone. "If you want you can go to the back room and lie down 'till they get here."

I picked up the phone and just stared at the receiver for a long moment. The thought of willingly speaking to either one of my parents, just hearing their voices, was enough to leave me nauseous. I didn't know what to say… how they were going to react having reality slapped right back into their faces again. (they tried to kill their own son) What was I supposed to tell them?

Hey, went batshit in Bio class because of you, and need a ride home. Can't walk the twelve blocks – again, your fault.

I blinked – where had that come from? I shook my head – get a grip, I snarled to myself and punched the numbers a little too forcefully. I listened and waited with a pounding heart, twisting the cord with sweaty fingers. Finally there was a tired voice on the other line. "Hello?"

(Howdare you?) Mom's soft, fragile voice flashed across my brain, causing me to flinch. I took in a needed breath after a second or two of standing there like an idiot, my mind frozen with fear. All I could come up with was a quiet, "Hi, Mom…"

There was a long, painful pause on the other line. "Danny?" (You're disgusting.)

"Yeah. Uhm… can one of you, like…" I closed my eyes and twisted the cord some more, "come get me?"

There was another long moment of silence, and then a small rustle of fabric on the other end of the phone – she was probably sitting down somewhere. "Did something happen? Are you okay?" (most certainly not our son)

She was right, you know.


Look at you, nearly crying like a child in front of someone. You're pathetic. Weak.

"Danny? You okay?"

I flinched, blinking myself back into the nurse's office. "Uhm…" I started hoarsely while gazing down at my shoes, my eyes distant and unfocused. "No, I – not really..." Was I okay? Was I ever going to be okay? Letting my eyes slip closed, I fought back the sudden lump crawling up my throat. It was so hard to focus on getting a hold of myself. I couldn't just break down front of the nurse like this. (Pathetic wretch.) "I just – I can't stay here."

Why do I even need to explain this to her? I was barely paying attention as Mom sighed hesitantly on the other end of the phone. "I'll… have Dad pick you up, okay, sweetie? Should be around twenty minutes or so…" (hah, she doesn't want to do it herself…) "Will you be okay waiting?"

No. "Yeah… Yeah." I closed my eyes and stamped down on my emotions again. "Thanks."

Then I hung up.

Just like that. No 'I love you' or sentimental crap like that – I just put the phone on the receiver, wordlessly nodded a thank-you to the nurse, and hobbled into a dark room containing a few cots, pushing through a nearby bathroom door.

As soon as I was safely alone, the last remains of my composure broke. I stumbled over to the sink with tears already in my eyes, biting back a soft sob. The dam had collapsed – I couldn't stop everything from flooding back to me in one horrid mess, like water slipping through mental fingers. Curling my fingers on the sink, I bit my lip and tried to focus on breathing to keep the emotion at bay. You're fine, I thought, you're okay…

I turned on the faucet and washed my face. The splash of cold water felt good against my skin, shaking me out of that miserable delirium and rinsing away all the dried sweat and tears. I bit my lip, and then risked a glance upwards in the mirror.

I wish I hadn't.

Honestly, I was surprised none of my teachers had said anything. I looked horrible, really. My hair was disheveled and lackluster. I seemed paler and thinner than normal, my limbs more bony than I remembered. Probably due to the fact that I rarely ate or slept anymore. I looked… well, I looked like shit. I couldn't help but wince at my own reflection.

My eyes… my eyes were the worst. No longer were they the bright and shining blue I was so familiar with. They were a corpse's eyes – clouded, dull, and haunted by a deep pain from a night no one could ever know about. (not like they'd care anyway) The skin underneath sagged darkly from two weeks of little sleep, my face a sickly pale. Even though it was taking an obvious toll, I was just… afraid to go to sleep. Sleeping meant the nightmares would come back.

Sleeping meant I was vulnerable to the outside world.

After a while I stepped back into the darkened room, found an unoccupied cot off in the corner, and dropped onto it with a hiss through my teeth. Sharp daggers of pain lanced through my torso, but I settled into as comfortable a position I could get.

Exhaling quietly, I closed my eyes and waited.


An indeterminable amount of time later, my eyes snapped open as my father's voice suddenly seared through me, forcing me awake – and for a moment, I forgot where I was. It was one of those half-awake, half-dreaming states I couldn't seem to get control of. A split-second flash of memories broke through the relatively blank state I'd managed to find myself in – I was thrown into a hell of accusations, unbearable agony, screaming. It took a moment for me to gather my composure and slow my heart from pounding in my throat, my fingers clenching as I took a steady breath.

I sat up – wincing in pain in the process. Slowly, almost regretfully, I twisted around to face him. Dad was standing in the doorway all awkward-like with this unreadable expression on his face, his bulk casting a faint shadow over the tiled white floor. "Are you… uhh… ready to go?"

I nodded and got to my feet, feeling vulnerable without the weight of my backpack on my shoulders. It hadn't crossed my mind that my backpack and all of my assigned make-up homework for the day were still back in Biology class, but I dismissed the idea of going to retrieve them. I'd call Sam later and have her drop them off or something. I really, really didn't want to go back there.

Dad quietly shuffled aside the doorway as I walked past him – tensing in anxiety as we briefly brushed against each other. I didn't say anything other than a small thank-you accompanied with a half-smile to the nurse as she watched us go, handing my father the signed pass to be excused. We didn't say anything after that as we moved down the hallway.

"You okay?"

I blinked at the unexpected question. "Fine," I muttered, tilting my head a little to look up at him. He focused on my tense shoulders for a moment before glancing away.

We didn't really say anything as we made it into the parking lot and eventually over to the RV. I think Dad was almost desperate to find something to say – something to at least break the silence that stretched between us. By the time we opened our respective doors and climbed inside – me wincing and gripping my torso in the process – Dad looked like he couldn't take it anymore.

"Son, are… you sure you're alright?"

It took a conscious effort on my part not to physically wince away from the sudden sound of his voice. My fingers clenched against my knees, but I couldn't say anything.

"Uhh – I'm not just talking about today. I…" He rubbed the back of his neck and flicked his eyes over to me. "You can talk to us about… anything, you know. What's on your mind, if there's anything we can do… s-stuff like that. Your mother and I… have been… well, you might not… realize it right now, but we're really worried about you, and… yeah."

My breath caught in my throat. For a moment a small spark of light seemed to jump in my chest, briefly pushing through the hollowness curled within. I couldn't speak – my mouth was moving slightly but no sound could come out. Was this the end of the pain?

"I – I mean, if you… don't want to talk about it, that's perfectly fine, we were just… wondering."

The tiny glimmer of hope was snuffed out quicker than it'd come. It left my insides feeling emptier than before, and a suffocating type of silence in the van that neither of us was really willing the break. Dad hadn't really wanted me to talk about it either. It was in his eyes.

Dad looked down at the steering wheel. "Really, though… You okay?"

I closed my eyes and let out a quiet breath, trying to push away the empty black feeling curling inside my chest. Dad's question seemed strained in the confined space of the RV, and I looked out the window, refusing to meet his eyes.

"I'm fine, Dad, just a little tired," I said softly, the rasp of my own voice miles away. The words had automatically jumped to my mouth before I was even aware of them. "I really don't want to talk about it right now." I tightly wrapped my arms around myself, unable to go on. I couldn't do this. "Can you just… drive now?"

I could feel his gaze on me for a long moment before his seat shifted as he moved forward, turning the ignition and purring the RV to life. "Yeah. Yeah – okay, sorry," he whispered. The van lurched forward as he pulled out of the school parking lot.

We were quiet the entire ride home.

My stomach dropped as when we arrived at the house, and for a moment, I forgot it was my home. The red bricks and large neon sign advertising my parents' business seemed too foreign, too impersonal. I wordlessly got out of the van and stepped onto the sidewalk – but hesitated in following my dad as he passed by up the stoop. An almost paralyzing sense of foreboding washed over me, consuming my thoughts entirely. It was pathetic. I was afraid to step into my own home… the place where they'd shoved me on a table and-

Don't go there... Shaking my head and swallowing, I gazed up at the bricks for the longest moment; wishing time would just stop forever. Where the hell was Clockwork when you needed him—?

"Danny?" I blinked and looked at my dad, who was holding the front door open. An awkward, worried look was etched into his face. "You comin'?"

I almost stopped myself from wincing. "Y-yeah, sorry." I followed inside, crossing my arms.

The musty smell of ectoplasm hit my senses immediately as I shut the door behind me. For a second I thought there was a hint of blood to the usual smell of the house, but I shook my head and tried to steady myself. I was just… paranoid, was all.

Dad and I stood there for a moment; with me doing everything I could to avert my eyes from his own. "Do you wanna… rest on the couch or in your room or… something?" The awkward tension between us was almost tangible. I shrugged wordlessly, just standing there like a lost idiot. I just didn't know to say… or do…

I gripped my shoulder anxiously, already heading to the sofa, feeling Dad's eyes on me. The divide between us was more than just those painfully long seconds of silence. The cold feeling dug its way into my heart, painfully and deeply… just like the tools they'd used to—

No no no stop. My mind snapped. My breath hitching a little, I closed my eyes and tried to shakily collect my thoughts. A small whisper of a scream (waitwaitWAIT, no, stop, stop!) echoed in my head, only for a moment, but it was enough to make my blood run cold. The flashback from earlier threatened to bubble up to the surface until it was all I had – I wouldn't… couldn't let that happen again. Stop, stop…


I winced at the sound of my mother's voice and reluctantly turned to look at her as she left the kitchen. Oddly, she looked like she was restraining herself from wrapping me in an embrace. "Everything okay?" She asked quietly.

"'m fine," I mumbled. "I just… wasn't ready to go back."

"That's perfectly okay, sweetie." I met her eyes for a second and felt a stab of guilt. She looked… weak. Broken. "Did... something happen?"

"Don't want to talk about it."

Mom walked up to me and placed a gentle hand on my shoulder. "What happened, sweetie?"

She caught the flinch before I shrugged her off. My tongue felt thick in my mouth and I swallowed a lump of emotion down my throat. "Just—" I raised my hand, letting her trail off. "I don't want to talk about it, Mom..."

She hesitated for a long moment, and then her shoulders deflated. "...Alright..." Her gaze drifted down to my chest – at the way I had my arms crossed. She shifted a little, looking uncomfortable. "How's your… um…"

"Hurts." I took a breath and stared at my feet. "A lot."

"I… I might have some codeine left over from a long time ago… would that help at all?"

I shrugged. "Sure, thanks."

I followed her into the kitchen, unconsciously keeping my distance. Mom dug into the cabinet over the microwave and took out a small orange bottle. She fingered the old prescription bottle for a moment and looked as if she wanted to say something, but took out a pill and handed it to me without a word.

I downed it with a gulp of water and then stared at the counter for a moment before Mom took the glass off my hands. "Thanks…"

Mom nodded and hesitantly went back to cleaning the kitchen counter – like she wanted an excuse to not have to look at me. I stood there awkwardly for a few more seconds, playing with the hem of my shirt – why was I even here? "I'm gonna… uh, go lie down for a little while."

"Okay, sweetie," she said quietly. "You… want me to wake you up for dinner?"

I shrugged again. "If you want…

Exhaling quietly, I trudged up the stairs – gasping a little for air from the stabbing pain in my chest by the time I reached the top. I leaned against the banister, having to pause before somehow making it into my room.

I kicked off my shoes as soon as the door shut, mind and body exhausted. That stupid panic attack and constant, throbbing pain from my wounds were more than taking their toll on my energy. Wincing, I crawled into my bed and groaned while my body sank into the soft folds of my sheets, and even though it was in the middle of the afternoon, sleeping didn't sound like such a bad idea. My mind was numb despite those horrid thoughts still nudging at my brain. I was too tired to let them in.

It didn't take long for me to fall asleep.

The gentle nudging of my mom's hand on my shoulder woke me up hours later, her voice filtering into my fuzzy brain. I blearily opened my eyes – instinctively flinching as I realized how close she was – Mom stepped back, folding her arms and flicking her eyes unsteadily from mine.

"Sorry to wake you up," she said quietly. "Dinner's ready, if you're up to it..."

"Okay." My brain had finally caught up… but I kind of wished I was still asleep. It was… awkward, her being here. (most certainly not our son)

"You don't… have to get up if you don't want to," Mom whispered. "I-I know you're still sore, and tired, and—"

My heart felt cold. She just doesn't want you to go downstairs. She doesn't want to deal with you.

(she doesn't want to deal with you)

"—you probably need your rest…" (crippled freak)

"No… it's fine." I said and struggled to sit up. The narcotic made everything spin and I tried not to move too quickly for fear of making my damned chest hurt even more. A sharp gasp constricted my lungs and Mom noticed it too, folding her arms uncomfortably.

"Do… do you need… help?"

"N-no, I'm okay," I muttered, biting my lip and swallowing down the nausea and pain. I looked up at her and offered an awkward smile… a fake one I was sure she could see through."I'll be down in a few minutes…"

Her gaze fixed on the floor and she nodded, already retreating out of my room. (she doesn't want to deal with you) "Okay," she whispered, then hesitated. "We're having chicken and rice."

"Sounds good…" The door closed and I was left alone.


I shook my head to fend off the depressing thoughts (facts) that were already hammering away at me. I had to stop doing that, before it got worse…

It must've been the codeine from earlier, but my body had a hard time getting out of bed. A wave of light-headedness swept over me once I got to my feet, and I had to throw a hand out to my nightstand to keep from falling over. My hand brushed against something small – my cell phone was resting on top of the thin journal Jazz had bought me. With a start, I realized I hadn't tried to let Sam or Tucker know I'd left school… or even Jazz.

Numbly, I flipped the phone open. '8 Missed Call(s): 11 New Message(s): 3 New Voicemail(s)' flashed angrily across the screen.

Sighing, I tossed the phone back onto my bed and shambled out of my room. I'd deal with it later.

Shaking my head and wincing at the pain, I went over to the stairs on unsteady feet, having to grip the banister on my way down. The pain in my chest was, to my relief, only a minor throb in the back of my mind compared to the constant ache I always felt. That was nice…

When got downstairs, I hesitated upon seeing both parents at the dinner table – even though Jazz was there. My stomach churned and I swallowed. I didn't want to face them. She gave me a worried look as I sat down, but I tried to focus all my willpower on moving my feet. I kept my eyes on the floor and took a seat. The sheer silence in the air reminded me just how uncomfortable I was in my own home.

Is it really home anymore?

I wasn't sure how to answer that question anymore.

"You okay, Danno?"

Surprisingly, it wasn't mom who'd asked the question this time. I glanced up to my father, flicking my eyes back to my food upon seeing the insecurity in his own gaze. (what kind of question is that?) "I'm fine," I said softly.

"You… you sure?"

I clenched my fingers, trying to stave off the anxiety flooding through me. Horrible as it was, it was one thing seeing my mom in a wreck all of the time – mothers do that – but… Dad? The jovial optimist of the family, whose one-track mind and boisterous outlook on life never let him down? The strong one, never backing down in fear or uncertainty when it meant protecting his family?

(it's all your fault)

"I'm fine," I whispered again. My blue eyes trailed down to the dry chicken resting on my plate, wishing the both of them would drop the subject. God, even talking to them over dinner was impossible – full of awkward silence and stilted conversations. "I just…"

I tried to get the words out, but they simply wouldn't come, so I just shook my head, signaling that I didn't want to talk about it. I couldn't do it. I couldn't say the words every ounce of me so desperately wanted them to hear. I couldn't confess how depressed and abandoned I felt. I couldn't confess how sick I was of this charade we were playing… how I just wanted them to truly look at me for once, talk to me, love m—

I stamped down on the thought angrily before it could finish, stabbing at my food. Of course they loved me, of course they cared. I was just being… irrational, was all. We'd figure this out somehow. We'd find a way for things to get back to normal…

We'll fix this, okay?

Dad had promised that things would get better, that he and Mom would try to fix (me) this whole mess we were in. Yet now, two weeks later… everything was still so messed up. There was no hint from either of my parents that things would be okay, the shards of our broken family would mend back together and heal.

My blue eyes trailed despondently down to my lap. Had they lied? Were they unsure of how to sit down and talk to me… or did they not want to try and fix this? Nothing would magically get back to normal in the blink of an eye, I knew that much… but… God, did it have to remain like this?

Of course it does. Because you deserve it.


I was startled out of my trance-like ruminations and glanced up at Mom, who was staring with concern. (fake fake it's all fake) "You okay? You've barely touched your food…"

My fingers unconsciously started twirling my fork and I stared down at my plate. The food looked bland, rubbery and unappetizing. "Just a little nauseous, It's the codeine." It was a lie – they knew it and I knew it, but I just couldn't find it in me to care. "I'm okay, though." I'm okay… I'm okay…

Mom didn't meet my eyes. "If you're sure…'"

My mother hesitated for a moment before plowing her fork back into her food, keeping her eyes firmly away from mine. I hadn't expected anything different, but it still hurt all the same.

I know you're sorry. Why can't we stop pretending? Why can't things go back to the way they were?

"S'okay," I rasped, noting the way both of my parents avoided my eyes. I just want you to look at me.

Please... I just want you to look at me…

talk to me…

love me…

"I'm not really hungry." I suddenly pushed my chair back and stood up. It was a lie. Even though my stomach had a noticeable hunger to it, I didn't want to eat. Not here. "I'm just… gonna go lie down again, okay?"

Mom opened her mouth and looked like she wanted to say something, but her shoulders sank and she nodded. "Okay, sweetie," she said quietly. "I can check up on you later, see if you need anything…"

I nodded – and then left without another word.

It wasn't fair. I couldn't keep this up, this acting. None of us could. It was killing me. I knew I had to do something about it, anything, but… I just didn't know how.

Pushing into my room and closing the door, I closed my eyes and leaned my forehead against the wall – giving in to the sudden lump of tears welling in my eyes, the hollowness curled within my heart sinking deeper than ever.

You are absolutely disgusting.

I hated this. Nothing was fair. Even before the… the vivisection, it just wasn't fair. I risk my life to save strangers, and they shun me for it. I come home with bruises and gashes, and I get yelled at for breaking curfew. I try once to desperately explain my darkest, life-shattering secret to my parents… and I'm cut open and nearly killed.

I hated everything – the entire world. I hated it… so, so much…I hated this situation I'd been unwillingly thrust into, and I hated the fact there was no one to talk to about it who would truly understand.

Sam and Tucker, and Jazz – they meant well, but they just couldn't understand. I'd long-since shut them out entirely, withdrawing so deeply inside myself I'd become a mere hollow shell of who I once was. And by the looks in their eyes – the way they would grimace every time I managed to glance at them – I was hurting them.

Damnit. God damnit, why me? Why did I have to be the one to step in the portal? Why did I have to be the one to go through this nightmare? Why couldn't… why couldn't my parents just listen to me for once in my life?

"Why...?" I rasped, my eyes closing. With a strangled gasp, I finally gave in to the despair lurking within, heaving out the sob that had been aching to come out all day. I was completely losing control of my life and there was nothing I could do about it.

(so stop complaining)

I'd definitely be lying if I told myself I could handle this on my own. I'd be lying if I denied being stripped of nearly every last ounce of self-confidence and faith in my family, even two weeks from now, replaced by growing doubts and a deathly fear for the same loss of control I'd been forced to experience down in the lab.

Two weeks… two weeks had passed, and I was still trapped in this endless cycle of wrongness that was just never going to stop. I was sick of it. I just…

"Stupid…" I mumbled. I didn't care if I was talking to myself. I didn't care if I was trying not to break down like some child. I just… God…I wanted things to go back to the way they were. It was too hard to think about it all – it'd never been easy in the first place, but I'd managed to hold out for those two weeks without breaking in half… so why was everything going downhill so fast?

"What's wrong with me?" I whispered.


It was hopeless. Like a desolate, lonely wasteland, my life had faded into a mere shadow of its former self. Trying to ignore the physical ache in my chest, I buried my head into my pillow, an incomparable amount of misery flowing through me. No one was able to understand. I was utterly lost and alone.

Alone. Just like I'd always been from the start.

But... I had to wonder, wasn't it something I deserved for my own betrayal to my parents?

I pondered that until I finally fell asleep.