Chapter 23

It has been six months since we laid my baby brother to rest, Ma finally got through to Mom, though I can see part of her is still missing. None of us knows how to heal or what we are meant to do.

Ma has thrown herself into the abyss of paperwork bringing the files home, she is broken she is not the Ma I know and love, she holds me still as I will curl up with her on the sofa, or she will watch me play with Jane. Our birthdays came and went but nothing was celebrated not because Ma and Mom did not want to. It was because I did not know how to be happy, I could not enjoy things right now we were still healing still learning how to cope.

Strange how a child whom had only been in your life for a short time could leave such a gaping hole, Jane fussed more and found it hard to settle, she missed him as well and though she didn't understand where Andrew had gone I knew it still hurt her.

I threw myself into my studies, which really began to pay off, I guess. I was moved up a year, I spent a lot of time with Reid as he would help me studied and I could ask him to explain things that I did not fully understand. Though when you ask Reid to explain something you have to prepare yourself to listen to him for at least half hour and then you only try and pull the parts out that you need because he confuses you more.

Morgan is around a lot more as well, he spends a lot of time with Mom, or I should say they spend a lot of time at the gym working out. I wonder when she and Ma will fully come back to me and I can stop being the invisible child and become their daughter again. Maybe they do hold his death against me.

Karen spends more time with Rossi than she does with me now; I am glad she has found someone and that I am no longer her responsibility though she still takes care of Jane. With Rossi being extremely over protective of her, this is funny and sweet at the same time. Still even to them I feel I do not exist. Do they all blame me?

I began to shy away from them all again, it has now been a full year to the day since we lost Andrew. Moreover, I am only just starting to be noticed by my parents again. Adam was around more when I was not in school he understood more than anyone that I had lost my parents for nearly a full year, Mom and me had drifted apart which I never thought would happen.

I am sixteen and already I am looking at colleges I want to attend but it is not my parents who I am going to advice for it is Reid, he has become the big brother to me between him and Adam I have a sort of family, they had no clue what was going on in my life anymore.

I began to miss the closeness that I had with my Mom and the closeness I had built with my Ma, they both still cared I guess but I had Adam at my side thankfully, without him and without Reid I doubt I would have dealt with the grief of losing Andrew, I thought I had lost them for good.

The anniversary of his death I went alone to his resting place sitting on the ground next to his headstone just talking to him as though he was still with us, a soft hand rested on my shoulder causing me to jump slightly as I looked up to see my Mom and Ma standing behind me. It was in that moment they came back to me they saw me instead of seeing through me.

My Mom threw her arms around me as I buried my face into the crevice of her neck allowing all the tears I had built up inside me out, she whispered softly in my ear as I felt Ma wrap her arms around me both of them telling me how sorry they were.

I told them I understood but Mom wouldn't have it and it was that day we started to move forwards as a family Mom and Ma had missed so much, I was graduating this year and if I was honest I didn't know if they noticed that I was in my final year of high school. Alternatively, if they had noticed I had been moved up in grades.

Adam was going to attend the local college and I had chosen that one as well, it was not because Adam was going there, though I do think his choice was because of me. It was because I could not be away from my parents even when they had not noticed that I was around.

I graduated on my seventeenth birthday, I looked across as I took my certificates only to see my Mom and Ma crying, Adam stood with a proud smile written across his face and a bunch of white roses. I guess what shocked me more was the fact that the whole BAU was there and they all had tears in their eyes. Even the stoic Hotch had tears, which took me by surprise.

I had chosen my courses and new what I wanted to aim towards though my Mom and Grandmother was not best happy, only because fear over took them, yes they were proud of me, I had overcome my past to some extent. Though Adam knew that sometimes, I would freak for no reason but he loves me and understood that even now things would become too much for me.

He has learnt how to deal with my panic attacks but he has also built my confidents so much, I still fear crowds and I dislike it greatly if someone touches me but as long as he is by my side and my family are with me I know no matter what happens while I am away at college I will cope.

Adam says I will cope because I am a Prentiss but I know I cope because he gives me the strength to overcome and deal with the things I cannot control and a peace inside me that remains me that it is okay to fear and it is okay to be scared. Nevertheless, more importantly it is okay to trust another person to help you overcome that fear. He is to me what Ma is to Mom. He is my missing part and with him, I am whole.

Mom is now her old self and I mean the old self that I grew up with before her attack, she is strong and guarded but is open with me and Ma and to my shock even Adam, she told us both the other week that he is part of the family and this is his home as we came back due to the end of term.

It is the week of my eighteenth birthday and the house if fully of friends that are now family my Man whom I love deeply, I watch as they talk between themselves and I know him and my mother are planning something they have become thick as thieves part of me now thinks he has replaced or healed Mom and she treats him as though he is her son. I am not sure if I make sense with that statement. Nevertheless, you are my diary and my voice. However, I now find the need to write less and less, we are happy, we still hurt and we miss Andrew everyday but time heals and the whole that he has left in our hearts has healed slightly and left us with peaceful memories.

Jane has been diagnosed with Autism, though we all knew anyway and that does not change who she is it just makes her that more special she is kind and loving, and very attached to Adam she will follow him around some days and we will often find them both playing in the den.

Adam has asked me to marry him and all I could do was stand their open mouthed and in complete shock well that was until Ma nudged me, I couldn't speak all I could do was nod as tears streamed down my face as I looked at the small silver ring he had in his hand, my Mom's face was one of sheer pride and happiness as he placed the ring on my shaking form before wrapping his arms around me as he whispered happy birthday into my ear.

This is where I feel I must end my friend, my life has turned around and I do not fully feel the need to express myself to you, I have found my voice, I think I found it the day I met Adam and the second he placed that ring on my finger I felt complete so for now I will leave you and lock you up safe. However, I may come back and write more for now you are just a diary with bad memories and fears. But with our family as you know nothing always goes to plan so I will keep you close just in case.

You are a reminder of people I have lost, and people I have found, you will always be my friend and my voice when I am unable to express myself.

Yours forever

Sarah Jane Prentiss.