(Warning: This chapter is depressing. I cried at parts while writing it. And most of you may hate me for it. But, I don't care, because this is the way the book needs to go. So... Enjoy. If you can.)
I stuck my hands in my pockets as I headed down the driveway slowly. Today hadn't worked out as well as I'd hoped... I guess I was hoping to get more of her, if you know what I mean. What can I say? I love girls. Doesn't really matter what they look like as long as they're somewhat attractive.
I found myself wondering why Sakari was so quiet at school. It was obvious she wasn't all that shy once you got to know her. She wasn't actually that quiet... and just so... so not the way I thought she was the first day I met her... I'd almost asked her why she was so quiet at school, but I was afraid it might make her feel bad or something... maybe it had something to do with her past. After all, I barely knew anything about her past. We avoided questions like that for some reason.
Something about her almost made me want to change, become a better person, but I knew that wouldn't last. I usually got that feeling when I first got with a girl. It'd stay until I got what I wanted... that's just the way I am.
The wind started picking up and I groaned, realizing that I left my sweatshirt with Sakari... I could always get it tomorrow, but it was kinda cold out... I debated whether or not to turn around while continuing on, finally deciding I'd wait until tomorrow. Even though going back now would mean possibly kissing her again... a black car sped past, almost appearing out of nowhere and I jumped off the side of the road as it flew by.
I rolled my shoulders, glaring at the car in the distance and turning back to the road, thinking "Idiot." The speed limit on this road is like thirty-five because of the kids that live on it.
Sirens in the distance made me turn to see where the car was headed. Weirdly enough it turned into Sakari's driveway... the sirens were getting closer... this was kind of sketchy.
I paused as three police cars turn onto the road and fly by me, practically skidding into Sakari's driveway. What the heck? I turned and started sprinting back towards the house. Did they know she was in there? Who was in the black car? Thoughts were rushing through my head almost as fast as I was running and a few more police cars passed by me, turning into the driveway with the lights and sirens blaring.
The cops were already starting to surround the house when I got there and an officer by the cars saw me and stopped me. "Who are you?" He asked, signaling to some other cop.
"Damien, my name's Damien... what's going on?"
"That's not your business-" He started to say and I interrupted, trying to get around him.
"My girlfriend's in there!" Wow... I was definitely in a little deeper than I'd thought I would be. Maybe I actually felt more for Sakari than just wanting her for the simple fact that she's a hot girl. At that, the cop immediately turned and started talking into a walkie-talkie. I knew better than to demand answers... they wouldn't tell me anything, but I wasn't going to leave until they told me. I leaned against one of the cars, ready to wait as long as I had to, to make sure Sakari was okay.
And then the gunshot and screams filled the air and sent the officers into near panic mode. They kicked the front door down and rushed in, shouting. I tried to push past the officers by the walk-way to the front door but they pushed me back, refusing to let me in.
Dad rushed inside a few minutes after Damien had left, a wild look in his eyes that I instantly recognized. "No, dad, not again!" I said, jumping up and following him into the kitchen. "You said this time would be different!"
"Go pack up!" He shouted, rushing into his room. With tears burning my eyes I fled to my room, quickly packing up the few things that I had unpacked. I reached the bed and saw Damien's sweatshirt lying on my pillow... I picked it up and hugged it to my chest, breathing in his scent. I sighed. I wouldn't ever be able to see him again... Or talk to him, ever again...
Maybe I'd been wrong... maybe having no friends was good. At least that way I didn't have to worry about breaking my heart every time this happened. Dad always did this. We'd finally settle in and he'd rob a bank, or steal something or get in trouble with the law one way or another, and he'd come bursting in the door shouting at me to pack up.
And I always did, rushing around trying to get everything as quickly as possible. Before tonight we'd always made it but when I heard the sirens I started freaking out. They'd never been this close before. "Dad!" I shouted, stuffing the sweatshirt into a box. "What's going on?"
"They found out I robbed the bank." He said, coming into my room and grabbing a box.
"That was you? You didn't get a raise, did you? You lied to me!" I cried. "Again." I turned away from him and picked up my other box. "They're getting closer." I bit my lip hard to keep my tears in. Why did this always have to happen?
I slid a pair of sneakers onto my feet and, remembering the lasagna, rushed into the kitchen and turned the oven off... like it mattered. Dad shouted something and I rushed to the window just in time to see three cop cars race in, tossing up gravel as they skidded to a stop. Immediately they dove out of the cars and started circling.
"Dad!" I shrieked, rushing towards him. "Dad!" The tears were pouring out as he hugged me.
"Go to your room, and don't come out." He kissed the top of my head and squeezed me tight before letting go and gently shoving me into the hallway. "Go! Now! I love you, Sakari."
I shut my door and knelt down by the closet, my heart beating so loudly I could hear it. I could hear the sirens and people talking outside, loudly, ordering dad to come out with his hands up. This was awful... this was worse than school, than no friends, than everything I'd ever thought was horrible before.
I couldn't stop crying, the tears were pouring down, dripping off my chin as I wiped at my face. I pulled my knees up to my chest and leaned against the closet door for support. A sudden gunshot made me scream and ignoring dad's orders, I scrambled to the door, pulling it open and sprinting down the hallway.
The police were pouring into the house now and one of them, grabbed me around the waist, pulling me back away from the door before I could get there. I was thrashing wildly, kicking and screaming, trying to get to the door.
One of the policemen had opened the door, but others surrounding him kept me from seeing inside. Another person latched onto me and I was pulled outside, despite my protests. I saw Damien out of the corner of my eye as I brought towards a car. "We need you to calm down ma'am." One of the officers said. I'd stopped screaming by now, but I was still trying to force my way towards the house. "Ma'am, please control yourself."
I stopped then, sinking down by the police car. "What do you want?"
The two officers exchanged a glance and one of them said, "We need to know if you have any relatives that we can contact."
I sniffed and tried to clear my head. "Um.. I don't know. What's going on? When can I see my dad?"
"I'm afraid that you won't be able to see him."
I froze. "What do you mean? He's going to jail?"
With a deep breath, he looked me in the eyes. "Your father killed himself."
Everything after that was a blur. I remember staring at him, not comprehending what he was saying, and then when it sank in, I started screaming, and pushed past them to run inside. Other officers caught me and even though I tried my hardest, yelling, kicking, even punching out at them, it did nothing.
I sank down to the grass, in a shuddering heap, and everything went black.
The next thing I knew I was waking up, seeing white. I blinked a few times, and tried to swallow. My mouth was extremely dry and I pushed myself into a sitting position. From what I could tell, with the cords around me and that thing on my finger... I was in a hospital...
I looked to my left and saw Damien and a little girl. Damien was asleep but the little girls eyes were wide open and she was staring at me like I was some kind of exotic creature. Her eyes were wide and her mouth was open. "You're awake." She said, starting to smile. "I'm Tess. I'm 4. Who are you?"
"Sakari." I managed to croak out. I glanced to my right and saw Nadia's mom, and a vaguely familiar looking person sitting beside Nadia. Nadia looked sleepy but when she noticed I was awake she sat up, relief on her face. "You're awake!" She cheered, gently shaking her mom and rushing over to wake up Damien.
Damien woke up with a start and looked over at me. In seconds he was right beside me, holding my hand, kissing my forehead. "Sakari... oh my gosh..." He licked his lip, looking uncertain, making me nervous.
"Can you get me some water?" I asked, and he nodded, squeezing my hand before leaving the room. The door swung open a few minutes after he left and a nurse walked in with a bright smile. "Hello dear." She said, as she walked over, "How are you feeling?"
Bitterly, I spat out, "How do you think I'm feeling?" I sighed at the shock looked on her face. "I- I'm sorry, I didn't mean to snap at you."
"I know sweetie. I know."
"No, no you don't." I whispered so quietly that she didn't hear it. After she left, the familiar looking person woke up.
"Sakari, oh thank God you're awake... I don't know if you remember me..."
"Aunt Beth." I said, a feeling of relief rushing through me. "I remember you." It had been years since I'd last seen her though and she came over to hug me.
I heard her sniff gently as she pulled out of the hug and stared at me. "It's been so long..." Her voice was quiet and I'd barely heard her. "The cops found my number in your father's phone. They called me and told me what had happened."
I bit my lip and turned my head, not wanting to remember what had happened. My eyes were watering. "Can we not talk about this right now?" It wasn't phrased as a question and I heard her sit back down in the chair. I settled into the uncomfortable hospital bed, staring at the wall, crying silently until I fell asleep again.
They let me out later that afternoon, saying I was fine. Damien's mother had taken Tess home, and after hugging me and telling me she was glad I was okay, Nadia went home with her mom too, leaving only Aunt Beth and Damien. Aunt Beth had told Damien if he wanted to spend the day with me she would be more than willing to drive him home later. She was spending a few days at a local hotel, where I'd be staying with her too, for now.
She sat down on a chair once we got there and told me and Damien to have a seat on the couch. She sighed, never a good sign when someone says they want to talk to you, and then said, "Sweetie, in a week, after the funeral, you're coming to Burlington, with me, to live with Lucas, Caleb and I."
I glanced over at Damien as her words sunk in. "You mean, I have to go live with you? I have to leave here?"
She nodded, taking a deep breath. "After..." She paused searching for words. "After everything that's happened... it's either you come live with me and Lucas, or you get put into foster care and who knows where you'll end up if that happens. Lucas and I are completely fine with taking you in. And Caleb's even willing to give up his gaming room so we can turn it into a bedroom for you."
"But what about Damien?" I said, my voice barely above a whisper. "I don't want to leave. Isn't there anyway I can stay here?"
She slowly shook her head and I let out the breath I'd been holding. "We leave in a week?" I said, double checking. She nodded.
"Sakari I'm sorry that it has to be this way..."
I just nodded and stood up. "I understand." I tried to sound like I was okay but my voice broke. "Um, I'm gonna... I'll be back." I rushed toward the door, not wanting to break down in front of them. I ran down the hallway and out of the hotel. I blindly headed for the woods, sinking down a few feet into the thick trees. I collapsed by one and let everything out, crying un-relentlessly.
A few minutes passed and I felt someone touch my shoulder. I jumped and sat up straighter, wiping at my face before turning to see who it was.
It was Damien, sympathy completely evident on his face. I closed my eyes, hating that look... he sat down and pulled me into his arms. I pulled away from him, not in the mood to be cuddled. "Leave me alone Damien."
"Sakari, don't push me away."
"Why shouldn't I? I'm going away anyway. I don't have a choice. Just leave me alone."
"I know how you feel-"
I cut him off. "How could you possibly know what I'm feeling?" I stared at him, through tear-filled angry eyes. "You DON'T know. You DON'T understand. You don't and you never will." I shook my head slowly. "You might think that you understand, but trust me. You don't! So just go away, and stop bothering me."
"I'm trying to help you!" He shouted, suddenly.
"Well you're just making it worse." I cried.
"You're impossible. Why did I waste my time with you?"
I refused to look at him, refused to let him see that his words had really hurt, and I heard him leave a few minutes later. I curled up at the base of a tree, crying my eyes out. Why was everything I loved suddenly being destroyed? The pain of losing Damien was nothing compared to losing my dad. I realized that I didn't really care about Damien. He obviously didn't care about me.
I didn't know how long I was there crying, but I finally sat up, knowing that Aunt Beth would be really worried. I made my way back to the hotel where she was pacing the floor. "Oh, Sakari, thank God you're okay." She cried, pulling me into a hug. I let her hug me, but didn't hug her back.
"I'm gonna go sleep..." I said, as she let me go, making my way to my bed. I kicked my shoes off, and then crashed on the bed, tired and drained of all energy. I forced myself to pull the covers up over me, and rolled over to face away from my aunt.
I woke up the next morning around nine, feeling listless and exhausted. I didn't want to move but Aunt Beth came in with a tray of room service food. "I ordered us breakfast." She was trying to sound peppy so I did my part and sat up and ate the plate of pancakes she handed me.
"Thanks." I muttered, running my hand through my messy hair before picking up the fork and taking a small bite.
I spent the next few days in the hotel room, trying hard not to cry. When I wasn't refusing to cry, I was either sleeping, or staring at the ceiling and walls, ignoring everything that was going on around me.
Finally it was funeral day. I stood in front of the mirror in the bathroom, staring at myself. I looked so different... even though it'd only been a week. I looked exhausted, like I hadn't slept in months. The bags under my eyes were still prominent through the coating of makeup I'd applied.
My hair didn't look as soft as it used to either. I was paler than ever before. It didn't help that the black outfit drained any color out of me. I turned away from the mirror, feeling even worse than before. I could hear Aunt Beth outside the bathroom, still getting ready.
I looked down at the disposable razor sitting on the edge of the tub and slowly picked it up. Maybe I could break it and get the blade out...
"Sakari, I'm going to the store. I need to get something. I'll be back in a bit."
"Kay." I replied, keeping my voice with no emotion, even though I was excited. Her leaving meant I could go find some way to get the blade out of the razor without her suspecting anything. As soon as I heard the door shut, I went to find some scissors.
I couldn't break the blade out without cutting up the plastic. Where could I find scissors in a hotel room? Feeling guilty, I opened her suitcase, and instantly saw a pair of toe-nail clippers. I picked them up hesitantly... maybe they'd work... I didn't think I'd find scissors in here anyway. Thinking it through, who would bring scissors for a week-long stay in a hotel? And even if they did bring them, what did they think they'd use it for?
I went back to the bathroom, sat down, and started clipping away at the plastic.
I fiddled with it for a long time, trying to be as quiet as possible. Eventually, somehow, I clipped away the last few pieces near the blades and then, pulling at the blades, I got it out, cutting my fingers a little in the process.
The cuts on my fingers weren't deep, but blood was still dripping down my hands. I pushed my sleeve up and held the blade to my arm. I was shaking slightly, and I sat down on the floor so I'd be steadier.
I heard Beth coming back in and I took a small breath and held it as I pressed down and slashed quickly, then watched the blood seem to bubble to the surface. It hurt. And I had to bite my tongue to keep from crying out.
"Sakari? You're still in there?"
"Mhmm." I managed to say. "I'll be out in just a bit..."
It hurt. But it also felt so good to be feeling something physical. I grabbed some toilet paper and blotted at the cut until most of the blood was wiped up. I dug through Aunt Beth's bathroom bag and found a box of Band Aids. I found the biggest one in the box and stuck it over the cut, before cleaning up the rest of the mess, flushing down the bloody toilet paper that I'd used on my arm and then washing my hands off in the sink. I stuck the blade in my tiny makeup bag.
Aunt Beth had gone to my old house yesterday to get all my things. The makeup bag had come with them. We'd be leaving tonight, after the funeral. I opened the door and walked out, pulling my sleeve down over the Band Aid. Beth glanced over at me, but didn't say anything. I knew she didn't know what I'd just done. I'd thrown the remainders of the razor into the trashcan, under some other stuff so it wouldn't show.
"Okay, I need to use the bathroom and then we can be on our way. Alright?"
I nodded and she walked in. I slid my sleeve up and stared at the Band Aid covered cut. It stung a little and for a second I worried that I may have gone to deep... but the blood was barely showing through the Band Aid so it couldn't be that bad...
I shoved my sleeve done as Beth came out of the bathroom. "Ready to go?"
"Yeah." I said, grabbing my backpack, which had clothes in it, not school supplies, and headed towards the door. The sooner we got there, the sooner it'd be over, right?
Wrong... the ceremony thing seemed to take forever. I tried not to pay attention because everyone was saying things that just made me cry. And then it was time for the burial. I stood beside the open grave, the casket sitting there, closed of course, my eyes filling with tears. Beth and I did the ceremonial throwing a fist full of dirt on top of it, and I broke down crying.
Before it was even really over, I turned and ran. I couldn't watch the rest of it. So I sat by the car, crying my eyes out. I hadn't even noticed that Nadia and her mom were at the funeral, until I felt a small hand on my shoulder, and looked up into her eyes..
"I'm really sorry Sakari." She said, sitting down beside me, little teardrops streaking down her face. "I wish it didn't happen and that you didn't have to go away." She hugged me, wrapping her little arms around my neck. "I won't ever forget you, Sakari. But please, visit me."
"Oh, of course I'll visit. And I could never forget you." I hugged her back, and then Beth came over, saying that people were starting to leave- the funeral was over. We waited until everyone had left, and then I went back to the grave. Beth said she would wait in the car.
The grave wasn't filled in yet, the workers would do that in a bit. I sat by the edge of it and stared down at it, tears filling my eyes. I felt my bottom lip trembling and I started sobbing. "Why? Why did you do it?" I whispered, almost expecting answers. "Why'd you kill yourself? We could've worked it out... jail time wouldn't have been that bad... Did you even think about what it'd do to me?"
"I don't know what do without you." I muttered, getting all of it now. "Everything's changing. And I hate it. I don't know what to do daddy... I miss you. I miss you so much." I closed my eyes and rested my head in my hands, shuddering through tears. I could barely breathe in-between sobs, let alone talk, so I gave up trying to talk for the time being.
"You know-" I finally said, as my tears slightly slowed, "Part of me- part of me wants to- hate you. For doing this." My words were broken up and if anyone had been listening they probably wouldn't have been able to understand. "But I don't hate you. Because- because I just can't... I love you daddy." My throat was burning- from the crying and trying to talk.
I laid down, and stared up at the sky. "I don't even know if you're up there... you did some bad things... I can only hope He forgives you... I do. Forgive you, I mean... " I laid there, for a while longer, staring up at the sky and letting my tears flow.
They slowed a little, then more and finally stopped. I stayed still, just watching the clouds, feeling like maybe dad was now looking down at me. I sat up and took a deep breath. Somehow, I felt better... a little. Talking like that, letting it all out... it helped me. Eventually, I knew I needed to get back to the car, so I stood up and with one last look at the gravesite, walked to where Beth was waiting.
Milena - Thanks so much! But this chapter won't be all that fun... Please don't hate me for it. Yeah, Nadia is really cute, I love writing about her haha. And thanks, I have an obsession with names and meanings so they sort of influence my writing haha. And alright, I'll make sure I let you know haha.
Ria - Thanks!
How upset are you with me for writing this chapter? On a scale of one through ten, ten being extremely mad? (Honestly - I won't hate you if you all say 10...) Click on the poll.