Wild Horses

Rachel shut the door behind her, clutching her change of clothes that Mr. Shue had given her to her chest. She numbly dropped them and washed her hair out in the sink, then changed. She looked in the mirror and took a deep breath. Why? She didn't understand. She'd gone to the school office to copy some sheet music for Mr. Shuester and had met up with Azimio and his buddies post-practice. Finn had barely batted an eyelash when he saw her walk in the choir room after the attack.

Dating Finn had done nothing for her popularity. Also, winning twelfth place at Nationals two and a half weeks ago apparently wasn't that great in other kids' eyes. Rachel slipped on her skinny jeans that she'd worn for the One number. She hadn't been prepared for this many slushies.

It seemed as if every member of the student body had decided that Rachel Berry was truly and without a doubt, the reigning loser of the school. She'd been getting slushies four or five times a day. She was constantly tripped in the halls. After the third day of having her salad thrown at her, she'd simply stopped eating lunch, sitting just outside the outdoor eating area, under a tree with her iPod blaring in her ears.

She closed her eyes and gripped the edge of the sink till her knuckles were white. She was shaking slightly. She looked up and looked at her face. It was white. She stepped back, examining her body. It hadn't been that long, but she could tell that she was beginning to lose weight. Her fathers, being the owners of a nationally ranked law firm, were always on their iPads at dinner, discussing, cases, while Rachel sat there moving food around her plate. They had asked why she had been so quiet. She simply said she was tired. They accepted this, thinking that once summer started in a week, she could catch up on her sleep.

Rachel examined the scars on her body. She hadn't cut herself. She wouldn't do that. Rachel had been so upset at times that she would simply press her fingernails in; on her legs, and arms. She'd started doing this and she wanted to stop. Sometimes she didn't even realize she was doing it. After a while she'd finally feel it and stop.

Rachel pulled the light blue button-down over her head. She let her wet hair trail down her back. She took a deep breath and walked back to glee.

She walked in to the usual chaos of Glee. Mr. Shuester had told them to simply talk and have fun. Britney, Santana, Mike and Puck were dancing in the corner. Kurt, Mercedes, Quinn, Tina, and Lauren were loudly gossiping. Sam was quietly strumming his guitar with the leader of the band. Finn and Mr. Shuester were talking together. Rachel sighed and did what she did most of the time these days. She walked over and put her iPod on. She let the music wash over her.

Lately she'd been branching out of her usual music choices. She'd been following lots of music blogs. The only escape from the everyday terribleness was music. She spent all her time performing in the dance studio in her basement. She'd been sending videos to colleges and music schools all over the country. She felt her best when she performed. Now, she didn't mind much if there was an audience or not. Just that she could perform.

Finn would occasionally go through the motions and she would too. It had come to the point where she wasn't even stopping him when he tried to go farther. It felt good to feel. She didn't know why she'd agreed to Finn.

She sighed. She felt sick to her stomach; even though she hadn't eaten anything since the apple she'd eaten that morning.

She took a deep breath and braced herself as Mr. Shuester dismissed them. She walked out and Finn fell into step beside her. She let the awkward silence hang in the air as she tried to gather her thoughts together.

"Finn?" she asked as they entered the parking lot. It was misting outside. He turned, looking kind of annoyed at her silence.

"Yeah?" he said, hands in pockets.

"Look. I…" she looked down and took a breath, "I think that we need to…stop and… be apart," she said finally, looking up at him.

"What?" he said, incredulous, "After everything I did for you? Wow, I knew you could be difficult. But really, Rachel?" He took a breath, clenching his fists, "You think you know what you want, and you think Broadway's actually going to have you? Well we went to Nationals and LOST! The same things going to happen to you," Finn said, getting close to her. She backed away from him, and he continued forward.

Rachel locked the door behind her as she walked into her house. She wiped the tears off her face. Her dads weren't home yet. She closed her eyes and thought about what had just happened.

Finn had gone off. He'd yelled so many bad things at her, all the while advancing on her. About how she was going to fail, that she was such a loser and should be happy to have him, that she was ugly and not even worth it. The rest of the club had walked out on it. Puck and Mike had run up, stepping in front of Finn. Kurt came up to try to comfort her. Tears had been pouring down her face. She backed up. She looked at Finn's face, which was stony and cold. She'd turned and ran to her car, pulling out as fast as she could.

Rachel ran up to her room. She took out her buzzing phone and shut it off. She didn't want to talk to anybody. She fell to the floor and cried. She wrapped her arms around her knees. All of the sudden she heard her door open and looked up. It was her fathers.

Their eyes widened in shock to see her in such a state. Then they ran in and hugged her. Rachel felt herself shut down. She did not want to explain this to anybody. Her fathers, being exceptionally smart men and used to people shutting down in shock from their cases, looked at each other over Rachel's head. One picked her up, and the other pulled her covers back. They slid her into bed softly. One ran downstairs to bring her a glass of water. The other put her "Comforting" playlist on. As Everybody Hurts by R.E.M. came on, tears fell softly from Rachel's eyes. Her dads sat on either side of her. Rachel let herself be held.

An hour later, Rachel's dads walked out of Rachel's room. She'd fallen into a fitful sleep. They'd left her music on. One picked up a telephone and dialed.


"Leroy? What a surprise! Wait, no its not. Can Rachel come this summer?"

"That's what I wanted to talk to you about, Lisa. Rachel's having a tough time in school. She's been very unhappy. I don't want her to have to leave, but I have a feeling that she needs to get away from Lima. I feel terrible not having noticed any of this. So, if you want, can she come stay with you in Florida for the summer?"

"Of course! I'm so excited! I haven't seen her in forever," Lisa exclaimed. She was Rachel's aunt and she rarely had a chance to see Rachel. Leroy cleaned up details with Lisa and hung up. Then he went to his husband and they talked.

Rachel opened her eyes the next morning. She got up and went to brush her teeth. Her eyes were red and disgusting. She washed her face. She walked downstairs. Her fathers were sitting at the table. They looked up at her.

"Hey, sweetie. Have a seat," Leroy said gently. She did.

"We called into the school. You don't have to go today, or tomorrow for that matter, since it's the last day of school. We called your Aunt Lisa and she asked if you would want to stay with her in Florida?" Hiram said.

Rachel looked between the two. The two fathers saw her eyes light up a little bit.

She smiled softly and nodded. Both fathers stood up and kissed her forehead and got up to go to work. Rachel sat for a second, thinking. She walked down to her basement. She plugged in her iPod and went to her huge instrumental playlist.

She danced for three hours. She stopped, out of breath. She felt slightly better. She blocked out thoughts of what had happened yesterday. She jumped in the shower.

She went upstairs and looked out the window, since it was sunny; she figured she should get outside. She grabbed a big picnic blanket, a couple books, her iPod, a lunch box with her lunch and put all the stuff in a big tote and the blanket under her arm. She walked across the street into the park that she'd been coming to since she was little. She made her way through the park. It was near empty. She found the little secret place that was hers. She spread the blanket out and sat down. She pulled out a book and a banana from her bag and stretched out. After a while she stopped reading and put her headphones in. Soon she fell asleep, with the sun warming her eyelids, feeling peaceful for once.

The day finished and when her fathers came home, they found that Rachel looked somewhat better. The next day passed much the same as the first. Rachel hadn't checked her phone and didn't want to. As far as she was concerned she wouldn't see those people until next school year.

Rachel waved goodbye to her dads as she boarded her plane. She found her seat. As soon as the plane took off, she fell asleep, head against the window. She was excited about Flordia. She hadn't seen her aunt in years. She knew her aunt was what her fathers called "a free spirit". She owned a small boutique and also owned a magazine. She also painted in her free time. Rachel thought of the best part. Aunt Lisa lived in a beach house. The beach was her backyard.

Rachel sleepily opened her eyes as the plane began descending. She got out and saw her Aunt. She smiled. Lisa was holding up a painted canvas picture of Rachel. The people around her were smiling. That was Lisa. She was very likeable. She was petite, like Rachel. Lisa was the baby of her family and was thirty-two. She had short, choppy, dark brown hair like Rachel's. She had pretty green eyes that sparkled. She wore a dark blue tunic with pretty fringed brown sandals. Rachel ran as fast as she could with her suitcase to her aunt, who enveloped her niece in a hug. She and Rachel slowly walked to Lisa's old, but still cool, convertible. The two were talking as fast as they could.

As they pulled up to Lisa's house, Rachel grinned. Lisa's house was so pretty and quaint. It was light blue, and had tons of flowers planted out front. It had a big porch.

"What do you think?" Lisa said, getting out of the car.

"It's wonderful," Rachel said. Lisa smiled at Rachel. She had great people skills and could tell that Rachel was hurting still. She resolved to make this summer Rachel's best ever.

Rachel and Lisa walked inside. Rachel loved it all. It was open and airy. She asked Lisa if the paintings on the wall were hers. Lisa nodded. Rachel smiled and went to her room. It was small, but cozy. She laughed as a pretty dark red golden retriever came in her room.

"That's Sonny!" Lisa yelled from the other room. Rachel laughed and petted the dog, who immediately started licking her hand with a soft tongue. Lisa came in and laughed.

"Stop it you silly puppy," Lisa said happily, "He'll lick you to death if you let him."

She looked up at Rachel.

"I was thinking we'd go down to Regis' restaurant for dinner," Lisa said. Rachel nodded. Lisa looked at her slyly.

"Can I pick what you wear?" she asked. She had seen pictures of Rachel and had always grudgingly allowed the animal sweaters. Rachel smiled and nodded. Lisa's face lit up and ran to her room. She came back. She put Rachel in a pretty white lace mini dress. Then she put an oversize faded jean jacket on top. Then she gave Rachel black velvet wedge booties. Rachel's hair fell down her back in messy waves. She French braided her bangs back. Lisa nodded. She sat down on Rachel's bed and looked at her niece.

"I think that you need to turn your phone back on, sweetheart," Lisa said quietly. Rachel sighed. She looked up at her aunt. Green eyes met brown and Rachel understood that her aunt wouldn't feed her until she got her phone out and returned some phone calls.

Lisa stood up, dropped a kiss on Rachel's cheek and walked out. Rachel closed her eyes and breathed deeply.

She opened her bag and pulled her new iPhone out. She checked her phone. Thirty two missed calls. Fourty eight texts. She sighed and listened to her voicemail. People really were worried. She felt a tear fall down her cheek. She decided to do this via text, since she wasn't sure if she could talk.

Rachel: Hey…

Kurt: Rachel! How ru? Ru alrite? Y hvnt u been in skool?

Rachel: My dads called in for me. I'm in Florida at my aunts.

Kurt: Hmmm.. that's unxpcted. Well ru alrite?

Rachel: been worse

Kurt: well…alrite… txt me if u wanna talk later

Rachel: thx kurt

Rachel smiled. She moved on.

Rachel: Hi

Mercedes: Rachel! Sweet jesus where ru? Y'd u miss skool? Ru ok?

Rachel: I'm in Florida with my aunt.

Mercedes: Seriously? Hmm.. I guess that's good… Ru cool? Finn said some pretty bad things…

Rachel: I'll survive

Mercedes: Well alrite. Txt me l8er if u want sum1 to vent 2

Rachel: sounds good.

Rachel: Um… hi Puck

Puck: Oh god, ru ok? U didn't look so good wen u ran off

Rachel sighed, she was tired of giving this answer

Rachel: I'm alright. Im in florida with my aunt

Puck: cool I guess. Oh and if I were u I wouldn't check my facebook…

Rachel: y?

Puck: it aint pretty

Rachel: how many kids said bad stuff, puck?

Puck: …a lot

Rachel: just what I needed… thanx 4 the update

Puck: sure… txt me if u need sumthin

Rachel smiled a little. Puck had become her friend recently after the whole, nose-job debacle. He had sent her most of the texts. She continued on to all the other Glee members who'd called or texted her. Much the same conversations happened. Lisa poked her head in, took in the tears on Rachel's face and walked over and hugged her. She grabbed a tissue and dabbed Rachel's eyes. She grabbed Rachel's two walked outside and got in the car.

Driving through the town, Rachel's mood improved slightly. It was a tiny town. It was the type of town where everybody knew each other. As they parked Rachel felt her phone buzz. It was a forward from Kurt that Blaine had sent him. "Courage". Rachel smiled and slipped her phone into the side pocket of the door. She walked into the restaurant with Lisa. Lots of people said hello to Lisa. Lisa introduced Rachel to all of them. She put on a smile for everybody. Rachel sat down across from Lisa. As their waiter came to take their drink orders, Lisa stood and whispered in his ear. He smiled and nodded, walking off. Rachel looked at her aunt with a raised eyebrow and Lisa shrugged and smiled. Their meal went well. It seemed that this place was the "it place" of the town. As they had coffee after they ate, a man came up onto a makeshift stage. Rachel watched as he announced some people playing. Some were actually pretty good. Then Regis came onstage.

"Alright alright. Settle down. Tonight we have a new volunteer for open mike. She happens to be the niece of our wonderful Lisa Berry. We were hoping she'd slow things down a bit. Everybody put your hands together for Rachel Berry!" Eyes looked their way. Lisa smiled innocently, causing the whole place to laugh. She held out her hand and Rachel rolled out her eyes. She handed Lisa her jacket. Lisa smiled at her and whispered the song in her ear. Rachel's eyes widened. She hadn't sung that song since she was a little girl. She walked up to the stage. She grabbed the mike. She nodded to the guitar player and he began. She took a breath and began to sing.

Childhood living is easy to do
the things you wanted I bought them for you

Rachel closed her eyes and truly felt the song that had been her favorite song as a child.

Graceless lady you know who I am
You know I can't let you slide through my hands

She opened her eyes. The lights that shined on her made her seem almost otherworldly to the audience.

Wild horses couldn't drag me away
Wild, wild horses, couldn't drag me away
I watched you suffer a dull aching pain
Now you decided to show me the same

She shook her head, eyes shut tight.

No sweeping exits or offstage lines
Could make me feel bitter or treat you unkind

She opened her eyes and looked up at the ceiling, tears sparkling in her eyes.

Wild horses couldn't drag me away
Wild, wild horses, couldn't drag me away

I know I dreamed you a sin and a lie
I have my freedom but I don't have much time
Faith has been broken, tears must be cried
Let's do some living after we die

She looked out and saw her aunt who also had tears on her cheeks. Lots of other people did as well. They had never heard anything so beautiful and raw.

Wild horses couldn't drag me away
Wild, wild horses, we'll ride them some day
Wild horses couldn't drag me away
Wild, wild horses, we'll ride them some day

The crowd burst into cheers. Lisa pressed the stop button on her camcorder. That was definitely going to be sent out. Rachel dipped her head with a smile. She wiped her eyes and made her way over to her aunt. Lisa jumped up and wrapped her arms around her niece.

This story has been in the back of my head for a while and I want to try it! REVIEW please!

Song- Wild Horses- the Rolling Stones

ps. follow me on twitter: Swheeley96