I can't say my life was the same after I was kidnapped. Because it wasn't. But, as time went on, life went back into a familiar routine. Save for the weekly therapy visits and occasional doctor's appointments. And after coming home, I was forced to go back to school. I expected the worst because people in Degrassi knew. They knew everything. It's a like a secret couldn't last more than an hour before reaching the whole student body. No one talked to me - save for Eli, Alli, Jenna, Adam, even Connor, Dave, and Wesley. I got stared at most of the day, and the day's following until the initial hype ended or a new scandal appeared.

That wasn't the worst of it all. Unfortunately, since Fitz was a minor, he was only sent to a juvenile delinquency center and came back the same day I did. When I saw him in the halls, I froze up, my lip quivering. He returned to gaze, expect a maniacal smile crossed his face, one I was too familiar with. Eli was with me, like always, and he sent a death glare in Fitz's direction before herding me in the opposite direction. We made alternate roots to classes so I wouldn't run into him, and Alli, Drew, Adam, and Dave kept tabs on him. Sending us texts when they saw where he was. I was amazed at their loyalty, to bother with the annoying task of watching over me.

Another weird thing was Fiona and Adam. Turns out they became more than just 'friends'. I was shocked when I came back to school, seeing Adam kissing Fiona freely in the hallway. Mostly because no one seemed bothered by the act of affection. Eli filled me in that, at first, people were disgusted. They would taunt Fiona and Adam, even did some disturbing pranks - which Eli didn't want to get into. But, Fiona - along with Holly J, Drew, Sav, Alli, Eli, Jenna, Riley, and Zane - got everyone to back off with a petition to the school board. A new rule was enforced, anyone who insulted or showed discrimination would have a week of detention. Besides that, I was shocked that Fiona of all people would end up with Adam. Not to be mean to Adam, but she didn't seem like that type of person. I always thought she was a bit stuck-up, with some mental issues as well - due to the article on the Anti-Grapevine about the Coyne's kissing.

After talking with Fiona, though, she turned out to be the complete opposite of my assumption. She was nice, and friendly. Eventually, she blended in with my friends, or girl friends. Alli loved her because of her sense of style and 'sheek' look. Jenna was neutral, she didn't seem to trust Fiona, but that was probably just her hormones going off. My strange group of friends, all misfits in a way.

But, I was thankful for them. And that got me through the endless weeks of school. Alli and Jenna were with me as much as possible, forcing me to shop with them on occasion. Jenna needed new clothes every month since her stomach was growing. Maybe I should explain my sudden closeness with Jenna. When I came back to school, she ran up to me in tears. I was shocked to say in the least. She wanted to make amends and meet with me at the Dot after school - to talk. And that's what we did. She explained how she felt horrible for taking K.C. and not realizing what an ass he was. And he wasn't worth loosing the friendship we had. We hugged and buried the hatchet, and started over.

My life was near normal, save for the therapy sessions and whatnot. I was doing great in my classes, I was caught up in everything thanks to Alli and Eli. But things always seemed to take a turn for the worse when my life falls into place. The case against Fitz was coming up and I had to meet with my parent's lawyer for the past two weeks.

Not an ideal way to spend my time, but it had to be done. It was difficult as well. Sometimes we'd have a mock trail, asking me questions that might come up on the case. It was horrible, like torture. Because most questions forced me to relive those horrible moments, play them in my head, which had since been buried far into the back of my mind. I'd have meltdown's most of the time, my mother would have to hold me down during or else I'd run away and lock myself in the bathroom. I heard someone call me crazy one time, when I was locked in the bathroom. I wasn't crazy, I knew deep down that I wasn't.

Last summer, I had taken a psychology class in the nearby community college. Just for fun, because the old Clare thought reading and writing was 'fun'. But, in the class, we went through a project just like my situation now. I wasn't crazy, I was traumatized. And sometimes, when people like me have to remember those horrible situations, it's too much to handle. And we break down, but they have medicine for it. To calm us down. And I'm willing to take them, I'm all for keeping my sanity.

"Clare! Please come out!" Called my mother, slightly banging on the door.

I cringed in the corner of the bathroom, hands interlaced in my hair as I rocked my body. I took deep breathes, wanting them to wash away the images. I saw Fitz as I squeezed my eyes, saw his grimy face. I wanted my happy place. I begged for it when his maniacal laugh echoed through my head. Then, it stopped, and I heard a deeper laugh. Friendlier, happier. Fitz disappeared, replaced my a softer face. Eli. My body stopped trembling, my fingers loosened and I let my body relax. I looked around the bathroom, wondering why I was there in the first place.

"Come on, Sweetie. Let's go!" My mother pleaded, knocking on the door.

I opened the door timidly, my cheeks flushing in embarrassment. My mother folded her arms, her big brown eyes glassy. I could tell she was on the verge of crying, so I wrapped my arms around her torso. She dropped her arms and hugged me tightly. Suffocating me. I scrunched my nose when she kissed the top of my head and let me go.

"I'm sorry." I mumbled, heading back downstairs.

"Don't be, honey. I'll go get you you're medicine, Ms. Hart left already. She says you're getting better. You lasted through eighteen of her twenty questions! And it only took me five minutes to get you out." She smiled, looking somewhat proud.

"I...I hope I do better at the trail." I stuttered, chills running up my spine at the thought.

"Of course. We'll all be there for you. Me, Alli, Darcy, and Eli." My mother walked into the living room with a full glass of water and two bright blue pills.

I took my pills and popped them into my mouth, gulping the whole glass of water before settling into the couch. My mom left for her study, where she was probably work on some new case. She had a degree in law, but never persuade it, considering my dad. But she partnered up with some Bender guy and was a full-time lawyer. She got paid well, and got to work at home.

Being as bored as I was, I decided to go upstairs and work on Ms. Dawes current assignment. A four page report on Shakespeare and his influence on today's society. I decided to change into something more comfortable. Since my mom always forced me to wear something dressy when Ms. Hart came over. I settled on long grey sweats, a tight blue 'Degrassi' shirt, and a zip-up hoodie. Winter was approaching, and it chilled my house. Especially since it was just my mother and me now, Darcy had gotten a real job here and moved in for awhile. Before moving in with Peter. Who have gotten together and just celebrated their one month.

I slid into my desk chair and lifted the top of my laptop, turning it on. I reached over for my rough draft, and a picture slid from under the pile. I bent over, grabbing it from the floor, and stared at it. I wasn't sure what it was. I felt my stomach tighten painfully. It was of Eli and I. Before Fitz. The black and white photo Adam had taken. My lips tugged into a smile, my other hand brushing the front of the picture. A teardrop fell onto the picture, sliding down to the corner before going onto the floor.


I peered over to my computer, snapping out of the little moment I just had. Whenever I thought of the DBF (Days Before Fitz) I would tear up. Because I knew nothing would be the same; I wouldn't be the same. I shook my head, clearing any nasty thoughts and looked over at the screen. I had a messages from Eli.

eli-gold49: hey cutie

clare-e24: hey yourself

eli-gold49: so...wanna do something tonight?

clare-e24: sure. but its like 8, where do you wanna go?

eli-gold49: movie night?

clare-e24: your place or mine?

eli-gold49: how about mine? parents are out of town, henry is at a friends, and john has an exam.

clare-e24: alright. can i pick the movie this time? :)

eli-gold49: as long as it isnt any of your smutty sparkly vampire movies

clare-e24: okay :)

eli-gold49: see you in ten

clare-e24: bye

eli-gold49: bye

eli-gold49 has logged off

clare-e24 has logged off

I looked down at myself and frowned. Eli had seen me in my comfy clothes more than once, and in even less, but I'm not too sure movie night entailed...the slum look. So I got up and rummaged my closet for something suitable. I settled on one of Eli's shirts, his sweatshirt, and jeans. I just finished buttoning them when my doorbell rang. Considering I looked like crap, I let my mom answer it so I could at least fix my make-up. I heard mumbled voices, then a 'Clare! Eli's here!'. Sliding on black flats and fluffing my hair was the final touch before zipping out of my room. I skidded to a halt to go back into my room to get a movie. Settling on 'Whip It'. I sort of felt like the girl, looking for a purpose, expect I haven't found mine. And roller derbies weren't my style.

"Clare!" My mom called again.

"Coming!" I yelled back, shutting my door before heading down the stairs.

"Hey." Eli said, I smiled and kissed him on the cheek quickly.

"I'll be back soon, is eleven okay?" I asked.

"Sure. Actually, how about eleven-thirty? I have to go meet with Billy and I won't be back until then. If I'm not, then go to Alli's." She said, a dreamy smile on her face.

"Sure thing!" I smiled, leaning over to kiss her cheek.

It was no surprise my mom was falling for Billy - her 'partner'. I had met him, and he was pretty decent. Though he looked sort of too young for my mom. He was in his mid-thirties. While my mom was going into her late-forties. But he was balding, and he had a small gut. But he was nice, and even had a kid of his own, whose mother died during childbirth. Timmy was his name. My age.

"Bye!" I called, grabbing Eli's hand and walking out of the house.

I slid into Morty after Eli opened the door for me. He tried to skillfully slid across the hood to the other side, I giggled as he made it about halfway before his chain got stuck on the skull. He got into the car, coughed, and I noted the slight red hue climbing up his neck. After he started Morty, we lapsed into silence. Until I giggled.

"Never mention that again." He said, blush rising to his cheeks.

"Awe, I'm sorry." I giggled, he gave me a scowl before turning to face the road. "It's okay. You're my klutz."

I scooted over to kiss his cheek, and his cheek burnt my lips. I giggled while I pulled away, but remained next to him. He lifted his arm and pulled me closer to him. I smiled and cuddled closer. It may not be the same as it was the DBF, but it was near it, closer than I expected.