*warning* this chapter contains slightly graphic imagery of self injury

I rummaged in my bag till I found my small toiletries case and I brought it with me to the bathroom. I took a long shower trying to wash away everything that had happened recently. Unfortunately I couldn't wash away everything. There were still cuts and bruises covering my body and my black eye was now every shade of purple and green, not to mention swollen. When I finally got out of the shower I put on a pair of grey sweatpants and a t-shirt from my high school.

I went back to the bathroom and was over come with a sense of sadness and shame. I hated myself for everything that had happened. I didn't understand why Olivia and Alex would agree to take me when clearly I am such a burden. I began to cry and shake. Without thinking twice I reached into my toiletries bag and pulled out a small case. I carefully removed the razor from the case and held it in my hand. I stared at it for a minute trying to decide if I could be bigger than that razor, but when I remembered Mark and everything he had done to me and the hospital I brought the razor to my sink and slowly dragged it across. I sucked my breath in at the first feel of the cool metal but suddenly I was over come with comfort and release.

The blood flew slowly as I carefully put the razor away. I sat curled up in a ball for a moment before gently wiping at the blood and taking off my t-shirt. When I went back into the room I was staying in I dug around my bag for a long sleeved shirt and pulled it on quickly. I gave myself a once over in the mirror. Most of my body was covered up hiding the majority of my injuries but my face was still pretty bruised. I left my hair down hoping it would fall around my face and cover most of it up, but no such luck. I took a deep breath and headed downstairs.


Both Alex and Olivia were in the kitchen when I got downstairs. Olivia was stirring something over the stove and Alex was setting the table. I felt uncomfortable so I just stood silently, slightly hidden to the side of the doorway taking in the scene before me. It was so domestic, so normal, something I had never really been exposed to. For a moment I was afraid that they had forgotten about me, that they were only setting two places at the table but when Alex moved I saw three clear place settings and I couldn't help but let out a little sigh of relief. Alex heard me sigh and smiled at me.

"You don't need to just stand there." She said with a hint of laughter. "Dinner should be ready any minute. Come sit."

I did what I was told and sat down at the only seat at the table without a wine glass placed in front of it.

"Can I help?" I offered softly.

"I think we're good." Olivia said looking over her shoulder and smiling at me. "If you would like to get something to drink there is soda and juice in the refrigerator and water on the door."

I got up and grabbed at Diet Dr. Pepper from out of the fridge for myself. "Do you guys want anything?" I asked looking from Alex to Olivia.

"I think we are going to both have wine." Alex said giving Olivia's shoulder a slight squeeze. "But thank you."

I sat down at the table and my eyes grew larger as I looked at all the food that was suddenly laid out before me. There was pasta and sauce, garlic bread, and a salad.

"I thought spaghetti and sauce would be a safe choice to make, since I don't know what your favorite foods are yet." Olivia said as she served all of us some pasta.

"Spaghetti is great." I said smiling. We sat quietly as we all enjoyed the delicious dinner that Olivia had made.

"Did you have a nice shower?" Alex asked smiling at me.

"Yea, that shower was really great. I could get used to showering in there." I said letting out a small laugh.

"Good!" Olivia said. "That shower is all yours!"

It got quiet again for a moment before Olivia began to talk again. "How are you feeling?" she asked tentatively.

I shrugged. "Been better, been worse I guess. But I am really tired." I admitted.

"How about after dinner we watch a movie and you can go to bed early if you'd like." Olivia offered.

I nodded that sounded wonderful.

"Since I cooked, Alex gets to do the dishes." Olivia said happily as she got up to clear her plate.

I followed Olivia's lead and carried my plate to the sink. But as I got up from the chair and lifted my arm that had been carefully hiding under the table Alex let out a small gasp. I ignored her but I felt her eyes on me. As I gently placed my plate in the sink I realized what had caused her gasp. My face flushed with embarrassment and my eyes filled with tears.

"Izzy!" Olivia called to me. But it was too late I was already running up the stairs to hide in the room and pack my things. I was sure they were going to send me off to foster care first thing in the morning.


I buried my head in the pillow and cried. How could I have been so stupid? I had bled threw the shirt. I was so angry with myself. There was a soft knock on the door and Olivia walked in and sat down next to me on the bed.

"Izzy." She said softly.

"I'm sorry. I'm so sorry. So so sorry." Was all I could manage to choke out between sobs.

Olivia rubbed small comforting circles on my back as I cried. She kept telling me it was ok and she wasn't mad but I still didn't believe her.

Eventually I caught my breath and slowly sat up. My already broken and bruised face looking red and blotchy from crying. Olivia got up and returned a moment later with a warm wash cloth. She gently reached for my sleeve and I immediately pulled back.

"Please let me just clean it up a little ok?" Olivia asked, although it almost sounded as if she was pleading with me.

I rolled up my sleeve and held out my arm. Olivia gingerly held it and put pressure on the fresh wounds.

"I'm sorry." I said softly not looking at Olivia, I took a deep breath and continued. "Can I just spend tonight here before you send me into the system or back to a mental hospital?"

"Isabella." Olivia said, her voice a mix of warmth and sternness. "You are not going anywhere do you understand?"

"But I messed up." I said softly. "I cut myself again. You think I'm crazy and you can't handle me, and you shouldn't have to…" my voice trailed off.

"Why would I think you're crazy?"

I caught Olivia's eyes for a moment and laughed. I actually laughed. "Because I am." I said in between my giggles.

Olivia smiled. "I promise I don't think you are any more crazy then the rest of us."

I sighed. "I mean… I sort of am… plus I don't handle it to well." I admitted softly.

"I agree with you on that, but as time goes on you will handle it better and Alex and I will be there to help you ok?" Olivia reached on to the table next to the bed and grabbed antibacterial lotion and a bandage. "May I?" Olivia asked motioning towards the medical supplies in her hand. I knew it was more or less a rhetorical question because she was going to do it anyways. I nodded and Olivia began to bandage my arm.

When Olivia finished I smiled at her sheepishly, and without hesitating I slowly crawled into her arms. Olivia held me as I cuddled into her side and I finally felt safe.

A/N please please review for more!