A/N: So, I am so sorry. I had so much going on! I had to get a surgery done and I have a certain type of blood disease, and I had to get so many tests done and they kept me in the hospital a lot longer than we all thought. It wasn't for months at a time, but with all of the doctor's appointments and testing and with school on top of that, my life has been pretty hectic for the past like 4 months. But, everything is better now, I just have a checkup with my doctor, and I'm waiting to get these darn stitches out. So, I can update a lot faster now. Again, I apologize for the long wait!

This chapter is called Comfortably Numb by Pink Floyd (my favorite of their songs! I loooove Pink Floyd! Lol). There will be lyrics in the chapter.

Also, I apologize for sounding so… "1700s," as I believe it was put? I don't mean to, this is how I talk and I'm surprised that it's abnormal for a 20 year old college student to actually sound like she's in college. That being said, if I did sound like I was in the 1700s, I would be speaking the same way that Shakespeare writes, and I don't sound like him lol. But I must ask, how would you want me to speak? Like how I hear some of the more illiterate people nowadays? Should I speak in nothing but slang? I am not going to degrade the English language or myself by writing like how I hear some people talk. I adore the way I write, and if you don't like it, please don't read my stories. I bolded this paragraph because I'm proud of my writing skills and I wanted to try to capture some attention to the absurdity of the comment of my writing being "too proper." I know that I'm not perfect, no one is, but I'm still proud of the fact that I can write as well as I do. I make mistakes, just as everyone else. It's not my profession, nor is it what I care most about in life, but what I can do, I'm happy with, and I don't want anyone to say otherwise. I do know loads of people that speak in this manner, and those that speak in slang and acronyms and whatever else kids today use as their language. I fucking hate hearing some people talk and seeing how they write. I physically have a hard time reading some of the shit that people write, and you complain about my proper English? Thank you for reading the story so far and for your criticism, but I'm not going to change my writing style. Sorry for the rant.

Last time: "But I do need to ask. What do you need from me?"

"Paul. I just want to try to get everything to go back to the way it was before. I know that I'll never forget what happened, and I don't want to. I just want to be able to move on. And I can't do that unless I have you in my life. You're my lifeline. I really missed you, Paul."

"Oh, Ari."

I gathered her in my arms again. We stayed clutching at each other for our dear lives for a long time.

"We can do this. We can build back up to that relationship that we had. I know we can. I'll do anything to help you get over what happened."

Disclaimer: I do not own any of the characters that are in this story, except Ariya. She is my own little creation.

Ariya POV



After two weeks of nothing but pain and suffering from these horrible memories, I could feel nothing.

Absolutely nothing.

Not feeling sorry for myself, no more caring for those stupid faces of pity from anyone that saw me on the reservation. No more reacting to that ridiculous fear that kids get when they see my new scar.

The scar.

At first, I was horrified. It was the very reminder that I did not want or need. Every single goddamn time I looked in the mirror, all I could see was my father's hand coming down on me, slapping me, punching me. All I could see was my other brother's legs coming towards my side, kicking me nice and hard. All I could see was her… Rachel… I could see that twisted look on her face, one that was bordering on psychotic, as she smiled and took a knife, slicing down my face while I was tied up to a wall and unable to move.

Now when I look at the scar, I don't feel anything. I just see it. I still see every memory that I did before, but they didn't frighten me anymore.

I wasn't terrified anymore.

But I couldn't feel any of those better emotions.

Sometimes feeling the pain is better than not feeling anything at all.

To not feel any happiness for being out of the hospital, for being away from my father, for being safe with Sam now.

I know that I'm safe now, and, while I should feel relieved and just excited that they can't hurt me anymore, I feel nothing.

Absolutely nothing.

It was…weird, to say the least. I know how I'm supposed to feel, but I just… didn't.


And no one understood.

It was easy to fake the emotions that people expected me to feel, to show them that I was okay, even though I knew I wasn't.

Apparently when I sleep, I scream out Paul's name. It's the only time that I show true emotions.

Emily encouraged that I listen to my music to bring some normality back into my life. I used to always listen to music, and her, along with my therapist, agreed that it would help me out in the transition to a normal mindset.

So, I was lying in bed as the music played, my IPod was on shuffle, when Pink Floyd's Comfortably Numb came on.

Is there anybody in there?
Just nod if you can hear me
Is there anyone home?

Come on
I hear you're feeling down
I can ease your pain
Get you on your feet again

I'll need some information first
Just the basic facts
Can you show me where it hurts?

I lay there, listening to the lyrics, and, after a little while, realized that there were tears rolling down my face.

My body was reacting to something that I couldn't even emotionally feel. My hand moved up to touch my face, catching one of the wet trails as it slid down from my eye and into my hairline. I looked at my hand, marveling at the wetness on my fingers.

The chorus came through, and I felt the tears increase. My vision was blurred and my eyes stung, but no sounds came out of my mouth and my body wasn't shaking like it normally would when I cried. I just listened and closed my eyes.

There is no pain you are receding
A distant ship's smoke on the horizon
You are only coming through in waves
Your lips move
But I can't hear what you're saying

When I was a child I had a fever
My hands felt just like
Two balloons
Now I've got that feeling once again
I can't explain
You would not understand
This is not how I am

I... Have become comfortably numb

Comfortably numb… Is that what I am now? I know that I don't feel, but am I okay with it? Is it okay with me that I don't feel anything at all?

Just a little pinprick
There'll be no more aaaaaaaah!
But you may feel a little sick

Can you stand up?
I do believe it's working
That'll keep you going through the show
Come on
It's time to go

Funny, the music for the chorus is a little uplifting, it sounds as though I was supposed to feel something. But the words are really just the opposite of the background music. How can they have such moving music with such depressing lyrics?

There is no pain you are receding
A distant ship's smoke on the horizon
You are only coming through in waves
Your lips move
But I can't hear what you're saying

When I was a child
I caught a fleeting glimpse
Out of the corner of my eye

I turned to look but it was gone
I cannot put my finger on it now
The child is grown
The dream is gone
I... Have become comfortably numb

Yes. I am comfortably numb. I don't want to feel. I don't want to forget what happened to me, but I also don't want to feel any of the emotions that go along with the memories.

Hearing the front door open and close, I quickly wiped away my tears, knowing that Sam would flip absolute shit if he came upstairs to find me the way I assumed that I looked.

Turning over in bed, I wrapped myself even further in my blanket, trying to warm this never-ending cold that seemed to seep into my bones.

The stairs creaked with Sam's every slow step up to my room. I heard him sigh before opening the door.


I turned back over to lie on my other side, looking up at him, I gave him a small smile.

"Hey, Sam. How was work?"

He returned my smile and came to lay down in bed with me, his warmth was very welcome.

"Eh, work is work. I'm actually really lucky to have the guys working for me. Easy labor right there." He chuckled and shook his head. "How about you? What did you do today?"

"Nothing really. Didn't feel really up to anything."

"Did you at least eat?"

"Um." I had to think back. 'Did I eat anything?'

He let out another sigh before lifting me up into his arms, blanket still secured around me.

"Come on, I have to feed you. Em is at work right now, so I guess you're gonna have to settle for my cooking." Sam nudged me with his head playfully. I had an idea. 'Maybe he'll stop walking around like someone kicked his puppy if I cook him dinner.'

"Sam, don't worry about it. Let me see what I can cook up here."

His smile was almost blinding and he put me down immediately. The warmth of his body was all but ripped away, and I began to shiver, wrapping my arms around myself. He looked concerned, and put up his finger in the 'just a minute' gesture. Sam got up and left the kitchen for a little, and I could hear him rummaging around in his room before coming back down with a gray bundle in his hands.

It was his old hoodie. "Put your arms up." I rolled my eyes but did as he asked, making him smile. He quickly got the hoodie over my head and got my arms through the sleeves. "There. It looks good, Sis."

I smiled and turned over to the stove. The hoodie didn't completely warm me up, but maybe the heat of the tiny flames would help a bit. I whipped up some pasta and chicken for us to eat, and we sat down at the kitchen table and ate in silence together. I put on an act of eating, even though I mostly just took little bites and moved my food around my plate. I never got hungry much anymore, and if I did, I didn't really get to eat much. But for Sam, I ate as much as I thought my body could take, which seemed to satisfy him, as he watched me eat.

When we were both done, Sam eating about four times the amount that I ate, he took the dishes to wash them. I stayed, sitting on the counter top, just kind of staring off into space.

"So, I worked another shift with Paul again today."

I sighed, knowing where this was going. Paul. I thought about him every single day, and he was always on the back of my mind, always right there and ready for me to remember.

Just thinking about him was the only thing that I could actually feel these days. Even his name brought emotions to me that I didn't think that I could feel anymore. Sam always seemed to bring his name up every day. Always with the same opening sentence too. They work together nearly every day. Why should today be any different?

"Oh?" I bit back the sudden rush of longing that welled up inside of me. I really miss Paul. But, he didn't seem to miss me anymore. He doesn't come to see me or call me. Maybe I just pushed him away too much. It's not my fault! I really needed space. From everything.

Be careful of what you wish for, I guess.

"Yeah. He really misses you."

My ears perked up at this, and I looked up at Sam's face.

"He does?"

Sam smiled. "Of course he does. He loves you. He understood that you needed this space, and was more than willing to give you whatever you need. That doesn't stop him from missing you at all."

"He misses me." I whispered to myself, smiling. I could feel my heart thumping hard at the thought of Paul. The shrink really helped me through those trust issues that I was having, and made me realize that Paul could never hurt me.

He loves me.

And I do love him.

I remember how love feels now.

My back started up the stinging pain that it had whenever I thought of Paul, but this time, it was… different. Almost… healing… Like it was healing my soul.

But for some reason, if I thought about anything except for Paul, I couldn't feel anything.

Maybe I should go see him. Maybe this is my body's way of telling me that, without Paul, I can't feel anything.

It's worth a shot.

The next day, I got up, knowing that Paul had off from work today, and got ready to go see him. I didn't really try too hard to look good. I just threw on Sam's sweatshirt again over a white shirt and some yoga pants. Walking along the familiar path to his house, I looked around at all of the beautiful colors of October. The trees were all covered in gorgeous reds, oranges, and yellows, the more brown leaves falling on the ground. There were still those sturdy Evergreen trees that make it even through winter. There were few clouds in the sky, and it was a rare sunny day with little wind. The sun shined across the area, the light scattering over the green, dewy grass, and accentuating the beauty that is autumn.

I turned the corner to go to the more isolated part of the Res, and saw my favorite little run down house. It still needed that paint job, and now that the rainy season was over, we could get that done. It looked a bit worse for wear, and I knew that something had to have happened while I was… gone. The door was busted, and almost broken off its hinges, but still there. The grass was in dire need of getting cut, and the bushes were wildly grown. The lawn needed some fixing up to do, but that could be handled later.

Walking up the stairs and onto the little porch, I took a deep breath and raised my hand, knocking softly on the door.

I could hear his footsteps get closer and closer, and I felt myself becoming more and more nervous.

'What if he doesn't want to see me?'

The door opened, and I nearly cried at the sight of my Paul. He looked the same as I remembered him. I watched as his eyes wandered all over me, and I fidgeted under his gaze.

I looked over him as well, and I drank in every single detail that was already etched into my mind.

He didn't say anything, and I felt these horrible feelings welling up inside. I quickly wrapped my arms around myself and looked down as I felt myself start to cry.

I felt his hand touch at my face where I knew that disgusting scar was, and he traced it all the way down towards my lip. I knew that he wouldn't want me anymore once he saw this without it being bandaged.

My vision was beginning to blur with the tears that were threatening to break through. I heard him whisper, "I'm so sorry." I almost missed it because he said it so quietly, but I did hear him, and I immediately looked up, ready to argue with him. It was my fault. All my fault.

How could he think that it was his fault?

Looking into his eyes, I saw him struggling with something.

"I wasn't there for you when you needed me the most. I couldn't protect you. I couldn't save you from what was hurting you the most."

He sounded so broken, so sad, and I knew that I needed to help him through it. It wasn't his fault. I reached for him; my hand was shaking because of how nervous I felt.

As soon as I touched him, I felt every part of my soul fix itself. I instantly regretted any moment lost between us, and while I would mourn that time, I wanted to move on and stay with him now, not allowing another moment that we're not together.

I could feel a burning desire, not just physical, but more spiritual than anything. I need to be here. I know that with ever fiber in my being, that I need to just be here with Paul. And looking into his eyes, I could see that they were black with need.

"Paul." I never heard my voice be so needy. I was so scared of my emotions that I whispered to him.

"What is it, sweetheart?"

"Paul." I needed him to know what I needed from him.

"What do you want me to do? I don't know what to do." His hand went to touch my own on his arm, and he held on tightly.

"I miss you, Paul."

He moved closer to me, pulling me into his embrace by my arm. He tenderly wrapped his arms around me, and held me tight. I pushed my face into his chest and breathed him in, and began to cry. Hard.

"I miss you too, baby. So much."

I could feel his nose digging around into my braid, breathing me in.

"I'm sorry. I was just so terrified of anyone that wasn't Sam. The doctor was the one to remind me how much I love you."

"God, baby. It's okay. You didn't do anything wrong. You hear me? Not a damn thing. I completely understand."

"I knew that I had to see you because I missed you so much."

"Does Sam know where you are?"

"I left a note."

I felt Paul freeze against me.

"He'll probably be freaking out, honey. You know how Sam is. Always hit first ask questions later when it comes to you."

"Mmmmfbblggbllfmmm?" I couldn't even make out what I was trying to say.

"What?" I lifted up my head and looked at him.

"He can't get mad that I'm here with you, though. Right?"

"No, honey. He can't. But I'll quick try to call him. See if he's still at work."

He took me to the couch, and I sat down, watching him take his phone into the kitchen.

I could hear him talking, but I wasn't listening to what he was saying.

Looking around the house, I could see that it was slightly kept up, like he, or someone else, was trying to clean it every once in a while.

After a little while, I stopped hearing Paul, and so I stood, walking to the opening of the kitchen.

"Paul? Was Sam there?" I bit my lip. I was kinda nervous, I mean, it is Sam and he is a bit of a worrier when it came to me.

"Yeah, he said thanks for letting him know, but he had to get back to work."


"You okay?" I had to laugh at that. It's all anyone ever asks me anymore. But being here with Paul, I know that I'm going to be just fine.

"You know, I am so tired of people asking me that. Paul, I know that I acted different when I woke up, but you, along with everyone else, have to understand that the last couple of things I remembered were males that were much bigger than me, hurting me. And I was just terrified of it happening again. I know that you would never hurt me, but I was just trying to protect myself. That quack is actually okay with her advice. She reminded me how much you mean to me. I'm so sorry for staying away from you. Thank you for giving me time and space to come back to my senses. I am so grateful for that. Thank you, Paul."

"I knew that you just needed some space, that it wasn't anything personal. But you didn't need this intense relationship at the time."

"No, I really didn't."

"But I do need to ask. What do you need from me?"

"Paul. I just want to try to get everything to go back to the way it was before. I know that I'll never forget what happened, and I don't want to. I just want to be able to move on. And I can't do that unless I have you in my life. You're my lifeline. I really missed you, Paul."

"Oh, Ari."

He came over to me and hugged me again, holding me securely to his body.

"We can do this. We can build back up to that relationship that we had. I know we can. I'll do anything to help you get over what happened."

I knew that he was right. I knew that we would be just fine after a little while. He was my heart, and I just need him with me.

I do apologize for my little rant above. Grammar is a particularly weak point for me, and even though I do not know all of the rules and I do make my own mistakes, I will pass on writing any way that's not how I'm used to talking or spelling, for that matter. I've never heard anyone complain about how I speak, and I do know that my friends enjoy being able to talk to someone without them responding like a complete idiot. I really do have a hard time understanding how people talk and write, and I fear for the future of our country if this persists. I really do. Lol.

Anyways, I do thank you for your review, and I hope that you don't take what I said to heart. Everyone is entitled to their own opinion, and I can't really say anything against yours, except to defend my argument. There is no such thing as a wrong opinion, and I do ask that everyone give their opinion.

So, that being said. Please review! Like I said before, now that my whole surgery thing is over, I will, hopefully, have more time to update more quickly. Until next time