Repunzel | Teen Ink


October 18, 2013
By IveGotRedHair, Lincoln, Other
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IveGotRedHair, Lincoln, Other
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Favorite Quote:
"I fell in love like you fall asleep, slowly then all at once"

I knew they’d be chasing me they never could leave me alone, so I keep running looking for a place to hide. I’m running out of breath and I couldn’t keep it up for much longer when an old house comes into view, it’s beaten up with braded windows and grass nearly as high as my waist. Doesn’t look like anyone lives there so maybe I could hide, I’m far enough in front that I could probably get inside before they noticed. I got around the side of the house looking for a way in but all the boards seem tightly screwed down, please don’t find me, please don’t find me was all I could think why trying to open the boards. I’ve been thrown around and beaten up enough I just want a break is that so bad? I was around the back of the house now and I manage to slide the board in front of the back door aside and slip inside. It’s dark inside and I couldn’t see anything, I just sit on the floor and try to catch my breath my hand on my chest I could feel my heart beating like lightning and my breathing so heavy I almost don’t hear the sound coming from inside the house. I pull myself off the floor and go more into the house towards the noise, it was probably just a bird come down the chimney as I get nearer the noise the less it sounds like a bird and more like a person crying... As I reach the middle of the house there’s light coming from under one of the doors, I press my ear to the door yep someone is crying.
“Hello?” I called out, more shuffling behind the door.
“I....Is someone...Out there?” came a timid girl’s voice.
“Yes...Hello” I said.
“Wh...Why are you here? H...How did you find me?” she asked, obviously scared.
“I didn’t think anyone was here, I was just looking for a place to hide” I said. “Can you open the door? It’s not very easy to talk to you like this”
“I...I can’t it’s locked from the outside” she said. I looked at the door and saw that she was right; there were two bolts and a heavy lock making sure that this door didn’t open.
“Hold on” I said, I pulled open the two stiff bolts but the padlock was another question. About five minutes later and after stabbing about three pens into the lock it sprang open and I slowly pushed the door open. Inside it looked like a normal girl’s room, bed, desk, books, cds and right in the middle sitting on the floor was a girl, long blonde hair, shining blue eyes, small and very skinny.
“Hi” I said, taking a step into her room.
“No, no you stay out there” she said.
“Okay” I said sitting down in the door way of her room. “What’s your name?”
“Raye” she said smiling slightly. “What’s yours?” she seemed to be getting more comfortable talking with me as she wasn’t stammering as much.
“Sam, Sam Flinn” I said. “Why...Why are you locked in this room?” I didn’t think she’d answer me I mean it seemed like a touchy subject.
“My dad’s trying to keep me safe from the outside world” she said.
“Okay...Have you ever been outside?”
“.....Not since I was five” she looked sad, wow what a world she’s missed out on, what a life she’s missing.
“You shouldn’t live like this, why have you never left?” I asked.
“I couldn’t the door it’s locked all the time except when my dad comes to visit” she said.
“Then you could’ve run away? Or anything! Why stay here and suffer this?” I asked.
“Be...Because I don’t know anything else, this is my life Sam this is all I have and all I’m going to have” she had tears in her eyes now.
“It doesn’t have to be, come with me I can take you away and show you a better life” I said, I didn’t really think about what I just said but I knew I had to get her away from here, she deserves a real life.
“Really? I don’t know”
“I know...I know I sound crazy but I can take you back with me show you a real life, but you need to trust me?” I said, holding out my hand to her.
“I don’t know...I’ve always dreamt of a day like this but now I don’t know if it’s what I want anymore. I mean my dad would die if he came and I was gone, I don’t think I can do that to him”
“I can understand not wanting to hurt him but Raye you

deserve a life of your own, you’re not a doll that’s just here to be looked at. Please come with me”
She sat there looking around the room before getting up and looking out of the window.
“Every day I look out of this window and wonder what’s going on out there and now I don’t know if I want to know anymore...” I got up and walked into her room, putting my arm around her back.
“I know the world is big and scary and to you it must seem even bigger and even scarier but trust me it’s not all scary some of it amazing and beautiful. And you’re missing it all hiding away in here, there’s a world out there waiting to be explored, a life out there waiting for you to live it” I said. Raye pulled me in for a hug, her head on my chest.
“Ah this is stupid, I’ve dreamt of going outside since I was a little girl and now I’m throwing away the chance because I’m scared! No you know what Sam I’ll go” she said, a smile creeping onto her lips.
“Right let’s go then” I said. Raye quickly packed a bag, with clothes, make up, a few books and an iPod.
“Okay let’s see if I can handle the outside world....And if can handle me” she said. I took her hand and we walked out of the house together.

Sam took my hand and slowly let me out of the house, I had my eyes tightly closed and I could feel the light against them the second I stepped outside. I open by eyes straight away and I’m nearly blinded by the light so I snap them shut again.
“Slowly, just open your eyes slowly” said Sam. I nodded. Slowly and carefully opened my eyes to the world for the first time in over twelve years,
“Wow” I breathed, the sun was shining high in the sky and there was a little late summer breeze. I reached out and played with the long grass between my fingers, the hard ground under my feet and the sharp clean air in my lungs. Sam tugged slightly on my hand pulling me through the garden towards the road. I looked down at my feet walking across the uneven ground trying to avoid falling in any holes.
“You okay?” Sam asked as I pull on his arm trying not to fall over.
“Yeah, yeah I just don’t get out a lot” I said, he smiled and helped me walk through the garden until we were on the hard smooth ground of the sidewalk.
“How far is it to your house?” I asked.
“Just about a mile”
“How am I going to get there?”
“One small step at a time” he smiled. We walked down the street, everything seems so exciting. The neat roses in the gardens of the other houses, the people walking by with dogs and they paid no attention to me.
“You’re loving this aren’t you?” asked Sam,
“Yes” I said. As we walked around the corner there was a park with a huge lake, it looked so beautiful I had to see it closer. I dropped Sam’s hand and run towards the shimmering water, I nearly tripped a few times as I ran; I was so unstable on my feet. I kneeled down by the water and slipped my fingers into the icy cold water.
“Raye, Raye wait up” Sam’s voice came from behind me.
“Sorry it just looked so beautiful I had to” I said.
“Okay come on Raye we need to get out of here” he said taking my hand and pulling me up.
“Why? What is it?”
“There are some not very nice people who hang around here...Who let’s say don’t like me very much” he said. Sam quickly walked me away from the lake and back onto the street.
“Are those the people you were hiding from?” I asked.
“Yeah...” he sighed. “There are some people at my school that don’t like me very much so I thought better run than suffer...”
“Is that the school I’m going to be going to?” I asked worried.
“Yeah spouse it is” he said.
“Oh god...I don’t want to have to...I’m going back to my room” I said, I knew this world would be bad. I started trying to go back towards the house.
“No Raye wait” said Sam catching up with me. “I wouldn’t let anything happen to you” he took both my hands in his, I looked up in to his big brown eyes and caramel coloured fringe that stuck out all over the place. I just smiled and held his hand again.
“So, Princess are you going to tell me your fairytale?” he asked.
“Yeah well I found you locked away in a room like a Princess, though that would make me a Prince...” he laughed. “So then your fairytale?”
“Do you really want to know?” I asked.
“My fairytale as you call it started it when I was four. I had a normal family a mum, a dad and me it was your typical family life. When my mum got sick, very sick and she went to the Doctors they said she had a problem with her heart and she’d have to go to hospital; things didn’t go well and she got worse and worse. My mum died three weeks later, being just four I didn’t really understand but my dad he took it very, very badly. He stopped talking with my mum’s family then his own family it became just him and me, I turned five and was meant to be starting school except I didn’t. My dad said he wanted to keep me close by so he homeschooled me, but he didn’t like me going outside without him and it got to a point where he didn’t like me going outside at all. I guess I never thought about it I was just trying to keep my dad happy as I was all he had, I used to be upset about not being allowed outside but as I’ve grown up I got used to the idea I excepted I was never going to leave that room. Until you came along”
“Wow they should turn that into a film or something!” he said.
“Thanks but I prefer books. What about you? What’s your fairytale?” I asked.
“It’s not even worth me explaining and there no time this is my street” he said. I looked up, we were standing on a long street, the houses were huge the biggest I’d ever seen.
“Wow! You live here?” I asked.
“Yep, that one over there” he said, pointing at one of the houses. With big white fence going all the way around, a beautiful tidy garden filled with flowers, there was three stories high with a window in the attic and two posh looking cars in the drive.
“Come on” Sam pulled on my hand leading me up the path and to the front door. He opened the door and I was standing the in the door of a huge hall with a beautiful winding stair case.
“Oh my god Sam your home is amazing” I said.
“It’s my parent’s house, they’re the ones with all the money” he said.
“Come on we’re not going to stand here all day” and he started making his way up the stairs so I followed him. He took me into his room; it was another huge room with blue painted walls, a big double bed, chest of drawers and shelves with books all over them and a big desk with a computer and lots of the bits on it. I sat down on the bed not knowing what to say.
“Yeah I know it’s a real geek’s room...” he said dumping his bag down on the chair in front of the desk.
“Geek?” I asked a little confused as I’d never heard that before.
“Err...Someone who’s quite clever and spends a lot of time reading or on computers...” he said playing with his hair slightly. So this is what awkward felt like...
“Right your room” Sam opened a door in his room that I hadn’t noticed that lead to another room.
“Sorry I know it’s rather small” he said. I picked my bag of the bed and walked in. The room was currently not small; it was bigger than the one I had been living in.
“You call this small?” I said standing in the middle of the room, there was another double bed against the wall, a wardrobe, big window with a window seat and another door which I guessed went to a bathroom.

“This is small compared to the rest of the house” he laughed. “Right...So I better go speak to my parents, you get comfortable in here I’ll be back soon...ish” and he left the room. I sat on the bed and opened my bag my clothes spilling out over the floor; I picked them up and started putting them in the wardrobe before putting out the books and cds on the chest of drawers. I’d just sat down on the bed again when I heard Sam’s door slam shut...Oh no. I opened the door to his room to see him lying back on his bed.
“Sam...Are you okay?” I asked.
“Oh...I didn’t see you there” he said, sitting up.
“Is something wrong?” I asked, sitting down beside him.
“No not really...My parents are just too busy for me like always. You know in seventeen years I’ve barely had an hour’s conversation with them?”
“Oh god Sam that’s terrible...Is it just you and your parents?” I asked hugging him.
“No...I’ve got a brother and is it really that bad? I mean no I don’t talk to them, no they don’t know a thing about me but I can do anything I want. Like have you here” he smiled slightly. I just looked at him sadly not really knowing what to say, I mean what kind of family life was that?

So many things to happen in one day so many things swimming around in my head, no wonder I couldn’t get to sleep. This morning I was lying in a small bed, in a small room in a house I’d not left in twelve years and now I was lying in a huge double bed, in a huge house of someone I barely knew... Why did I do this? I’ve run away from the only family I’ve got for what to live with a stranger? Was wanting to see the world enough of a reason to leave my dad with no reason or expiration? All these questions were swimming around in my house. Maybe I should stay a bit then go back, just so I could see some of the outside world or maybe I should stop being so stupid about wanting to see the world and just except that I belong with my dad in that room. I repacked my bag and walked through into Sam’s room, I decided I couldn’t go through with this. I tried to sneak through Sam’s room as quiet as possible but I stopped and watched him sleep, the soft rise and fall of his chest, the way his hair got all messy and his glasses still on his nose, he must fallen asleep why reading. I gently took them off and placed them on the bedside table being careful not to wake him.
“Bye Sam” I whispered.
“Raye?” His voice was quiet, he was barely awake.
“What’s wrong?” It’s like someone flicked a switch, he woke up and looked at me with a worried expression.
“I-I-I can’t do this” I started crying.
“Aw Raye I understand this one hell of a change for you in one day but if you live now you’ll never know what a life you could have”
“But maybe it’s better if I didn’t know, I mean I could just go back to my dad and he’d never know what I’d done” I said.
“No that’s not right! Yes you love your dad but do you really want to live the rest of your life locked up just to please him?” he asked.
“I-I I don’t know, I wanted to see the world so badly and I know it’s going to break his heart. What do I do?”
“You live your dream, you deserve that and as for your dad you can go back one day when you’re ready” he said, pushing my hair behind my ear.
“Is a dream worth giving up your family?”
“I don’t know, but if you don’t follow it you’ll never know. I dream is not something you should let fly away, it’s something you have to fight for” he said, running his fingers lightly through my hair.
“But is my dream even worth fighting for?”
“Every dream is worth fighting for” he smiled.
“I don’t know if believe you”
“Well I’ll have to prove it to you then”
“Go to sleep and as tomorrow it’s the start of a new life” he said.
“Night Sam”
“Night Raye” even in the low light I could see him smiling.

Normally I would lie in bed staring up at the ceiling and wonder what the point of getting up is, but now I had every reason to get up as Sam said today is the first day of a new life for me! And it’s a school day so that would Sam would go and I would be on my own again.
“Morning Raye” said Sam, coming into my room.
“Morning” I yawned.
“Sorry it is a bit early for you?”
“Its fine” I said, rubbing my eyes.
“I was wondering if you wanted to come to school with me today?” he asked.
“I don’t....I don’t know”
“Are you scared?” He asked, sitting down on the side of the bed.
“Honestly yes and some of the stuff from last night is still worrying me”
“I promise I won’t ever let anyone hurt you or upset you. Look I know I’m not the person you’d want to go to for family advise but trust me this’ll be worth everything in the end” he smiled, his bed hair sticking up in all directions.
“You’d really do that for me?” I asked.
“Really...Well you are my Princess” he smiled.
“Alright Sam let’s do it” I said.
“Okay we have to go in like half an hour so meet him downstairs when you’re ready” and he left the room. I pulled myself out of the bed and made my way to the bathroom, my hair came nearly to waist and was always a pain to wash but I’d always refused to get it cut as it reminded me of my mother. Showered, dressed and ready I went down to find Sam but I’d not been in the rest of the house and I had no idea where the kitchen was... I walked through a huge living room that had only white furniture and a real fire place with a fire burning away in it, the dining room was big enough to hold about 100 people and finally the kitchen where I found Sam standing over a counter making toast.
“What took you so long?” he asked, giving me a plate of buttered toast.
“I got...lost” I admitted.
“Haha I didn’t think this house was the Tardis” he laughed.
“Oh...It’s from a tv program; I should show it to you it’s amazing”
“Okay if you say so” I said.
“Right come on we’ve got to walk there yet” Sam threw his bag over this shoulder and took my hand.
“You mean you have all this and you don’t own a car?” I asked.
“Yeah...pretty much” We begin walking down the street the opposite way from yesterday, I began to realise what I was doing. I was going to school for the first time when this was only my second day outside, I don’t know what to do or say, what’s normal what isn’t or anything...
“Nearly there”
“Sam I don’t know it this is good idea anymore...”
“Why? What’s wrong?” His bag hanging off one shoulder, a half smile on his face and his hair straightened so it sweeps across his face.
“I don’t know if I can do this yet, I mean I don’t understand anything here, I would stick out. I want to feel good and comfortable about this and I just don’t yet” I said.
“Okay I understand what you mean, but what shall we do then?”
“I don’t know you have to go to school and...” Sam cut me off.
“Who says I have to go? I’d rather spend the day with you” he said.
“Yeah, who needs perfect attendance anyway?”
“Thank you” I said, he held my hand tighter. We started walking away from the school and back down the road.
“Where are we going?”
“Well I need some coffee so into town, is that okay?” he asked.
“Yes” I smiled.
As we started getting closer to the middle of town I noticed more cars on the road, more people around and the first shops. I was trying to take everything in, the smell, sounds and just the feel to me it was just like a new world.
“This is amazing” I said, not being able to stop looking at the world around me.
“I’ll take you to New York one day, if you think this is amazing New York would blow you away” he said, smiling.
“Aw look Sam a second hand book shop” I was nearly jumping up and down, I was so excited by everything.
“I remember you said you like books, do you want to go in and I’ll meet you in there in a few minutes?” he asked.
“Oh yes!”
“Okay see you in a few” he said, pulling me in for a quick hug. I went over to the shop and slowly pushed the door open. When I stepped inside my mouth dropped when I saw the amount of books lining the walls.


I walked up to the counter and paid for my coffee and cold drink for Raye, just as I was turning to leave I noticed a board with adverts on it and right in the middle was a poster for a missing girl that I hadn’t noticed before. The sun was shining and it was a really nice day, I was glad I was spending it with Raye and not in school. I opened the door to the shop I was struck by the shear amount of books, they lined every wall, in piles on the floor and there was a stair case going up to higher levels. Every book you could have ever dreamed of was there from the first Charles Dickens to the latest John Green, I found Raye sitting on the floor at the back of the shop surrounded by old books.
“I got you a drink” I said, sitting down opposite her.
“Thanks” she took it without her eyes leaving the book she was holding. I didn’t recognise the names of the books on the walls around me so I just sipped my coffee and waited for her to finish.
“My mother used to read me this story when I was very young” she said.
“What is it?”
“Beauty and the beast, I love how she isn’t going looking for love but finds it when she lest expects it” The way she held the book and played with the pages between her fingers it, the story obviously meant a lot to her.
“Come on then” I held out my hand for the book.
“No Sam I couldn’t...You’ve done enough for me already” she said.
“I don’t care, you want the book and I want to get it for you”
“Thank you” her smile was beautiful and I would do anything to keep her smiling. I paid for the book which only cost me $10 a small price to pay for her smile.
As went back to walking through the middle of town, Raye was holding the book to her chest the whole time.
“How do you feel about the world now?” I asked.
“It’s still scary I don’t understand any of it and I’m worried about the fact I don’t know what I’m doing” she said.
“Raye” I pulled her arm around so she was standing in front of me. “You are doing amazingly well and all you have to do is be yourself,” You’re perfect I didn’t say it because I knew she’d just disagree.
“Thank you Sam” she put her arms around me and hugged me tightly. “As long as I have you, I’ll be okay”

“Come with me” I said, offering her my hand.
“Where are we going?” she asked, gripping my hand.
“To face everything” I smiled. She didn’t notice where we were going until we were standing in the exact same please we had been a few hours earlier.
“No Sam” she stopped walking and let go of my hand letting it fall to my side.
“It’s okay I’m not asking you to go in just look” I said. She nodded. We carried on down the road and the school came into view, the huge main building, tall red gates I spouse it could look quite daunting. I looked at Raye and for the first time since I’d found her she honestly looked scared.
“Don’t you dare think about going back, yeah I know that’s what you’re thinking but you can’t. This is your dream Raye to be free and I’m not letting you throw it away because you won’t face a bunch of teenagers. They are the same as me....Well they don’t get beaten up as much but the thing is I know you can get through this”
“Don’t go telling me about how to get through high school as you don’t even know yourself”
“Raye listen to me...”
“I can’t! Sam maybe it is stupid that I’m scared of my dream but...I am” the book slipped from her hands I got it just before it hit the floor. I hold the book up to see it had fallen open to the part of the story were Belle is begging the beast to let her dad go.

“Belle was scared, look” I held out the book to her. “She was scared of what was going to happen but that didn’t stop her and it shouldn’t stop you” She wiped her eyes and looked at me.
“But I’m not her” she said.
“No you’re not, but you have something better!” I said.
“And what’s that?”
“A friend who’s going to take you home, make you hot chocolate and on Monday we are going to do this together”
“Together” she grips my hand tightly in hers and just for a moment I see her smile.

The weekend was just alot of working (Me) and sleeping (Raye). But way too soon for my liking my alarm was going off on Monday morning. I pulled myself out of bed to turn it off and had to fight the temptation not just to crawl back into bed.
“Raye, Raye wake up it’s time for school” I yawned. She opened the door in between ours room, she was standing there fully clothed and ready.
“S***, what time did you get up?”
“Just after five” she said.
“S***, wish I could get up that early” I said, wiping my still sleepy eyes.
“Go get ready, I don’t want to be late on my first day!” she laughed; I nodded and headed back into my own room. After about twenty minutes of running the shower too hot, nearly burning myself on the hair straighteners and putting my top on backwards I was finally ready for school. I met Raye in the kitchen sitting eating her toast.
“Ready?” I asked.
“As I’ll ever be...Just promise me you won’t leave me?” she asked, holding up her pinkie finger.
“Promise” I said, wrapping my pinkie finger around hers and squeezing. The walk to school was uneventful and quite, I think Raye was still very nervous.
“Look I’m walk you up to reception and come and get you after my first lesson okay?” I said.
“Don’t leave me Sam” she said.
“Hey this is the easy bit” I held her head in my hands. “I’ll be back” and I kissed her forehead. My lips touched her soft porcelain skin and I run by hand through her beautiful blonde her that almost shone. How I wanted to kiss her lips, those soft pink lips with that smile... No I have to stop thinking like that, I’m trying to help her not me.
“Thank you” she gave me a quick hug, and I lead her to the small building that was reception before running off to my own class.


I stood very nervously in front of the desk in reception, the lady hadn’t noticed me come in and I was scared to talk to her. Sitting on top of the desk was a piece of paper ‘Missing Girl’ with a picture underneath, the picture wasn’t very good as I had to look hard it to realise who it was.... It was me. My heart jumped dad he was looking for me? I grabbed the paper and stuffed in my bag before anyone noticed.
“Oh...Hey there dear, what’s up?” asked the receptionist, snapping me out of my thoughts.
“I-I-I’m Raye Flinn I’m starting here today?” Sam said I should use his last name as if anyone asks I’m his cousin.
“Oh of course, well hello Raye” She started handing me bits of paper to sign, things to read and a map to follow. I felt over whelmed by all the things, I wanted to take a step back and breathe.
“And that’s you all set” she said, passing me one final piece of paper. It was a timetable with the list of all my classes on it, they were all so close how was I ever going to find out where I was meant to be going? Thank god I had Sam.


I slammed my Maths book shut and almost leaped out of my seat as I threw things in my bag. As I run down the hall way I look at my watch hopefully I’d make it time I didn’t want to be late, but just then I slammed into a wall and fell backwards only it wasn’t a wall it was my friend Ricky well I say my friend...
“OI Flinn watch were you’re going” he snapped, I slowly pulled myself off the floor.
“Sorry” I muttered, trying to back away slowly.
“Where do you think you’re going Flinn?” he said, walking towards me quicker than I could get away.
“M-Meeting someone” I stuttered.
“Oh got a girlfriend do we?” he laughed. I wanted to run back to my next lesson but I had to go to Raye and he was standing in my way. I just tried to push past him but he grabbed me by the collar of my shirt.
“You’re not going anywhere till you pay for running into me” he said.
“I said sorry” I said, pulling at his hand.
“Not good enough” and he shoved me very hard into the locker which caused me to fall to the floor again. Ricky just laughed as I held my shoulder in pain before walking off. I sat there for a few minutes waiting in the pain for my shoulder to stop but then Raye came into my head, I looked down at my watch ten minutes late... I scramble to my feet and start running, pushing through people and out into the grounds. I arrive outside reception and she’s not there, I look through the door not there either s*** she’s gone!


Thanks a lot Sam, you don’t turn up and leave me to face this huge school all on my own thanks a f*ing lot! I walked around the school carrying more pieces of paper and books than I could really carry, I was trying not to walk into people and still trying to find the class I was meant to be in. Everyone started going to their classes and I was left standing in the middle of the hall still no idea where I was meant to be going, someone tapped me on the shoulder and I span around to see a very out of breath Sam.
“What do you want?” I snapped.
“Sorry....I...I’m late” he said in between breaths.
“Late? Sam I’m going to miss my first ever school lesson because of you!”
“It’s not my fault” he said.
“Oh isn’t it? You promised and you didn’t show up”
“Let me explain...” he started.
“No, you lied Sam and now I’ll be ever off on my own” and I walked away.


I stood there and watched her walk away my mouth open. I was about to run after her when the second bell rang, go after Raye or go to class? I turned around and headed away from the way Raye had walked, she obviously didn’t want me.
The only time I saw her for the rest of the day was passing in the halls, I tried to talk to her but she just walked away. She must felt like I’d betrayed her.
I stood outside the grates waiting for Raye as no matter how mad she was with me I had to stay with her. Raye came out about five minutes after I did and started walking down the street.
“Wait up” I called after her.
“Because without me you’d still me in that room” I said.
“Hmm okay” she slowed down so I was walking side by side with her.
“How was your first day?” I asked. She broke into a smile.
“Amazing! I learned so much like the fact maths in a lot harder than I thought but English, I love it all of the books” she had a beaming smile on her face I couldn’t help smile back. We arrived back at the house and went straight upstairs, my shoulder was now killing me I’d have to take some pain killers soon.
“The bad thing about today was....You” said Raye, sitting down on my bed beside me.
“I’m sorry...” I began.
“Why Sam? Why did you leave me when you promised you wouldn’t?” she asked.
“I was sitting on the floor in the middle of the corridor after Ricky had thrown me into a locker” I couldn’t look at her as I spoke; I knew it would hurt her and I couldn’t look at the pain in her eyes.
“H-H-He beat you up?”
“Yeah” I sighed.
“Are you in pain?” she asked, I nodded. I saw a tear run down her face and resisted the temptation to wipe it away.
“Left shoulder” I said, she slowly undid the buttons on my shirt and slid it off my shoulder to revile a huge bruise forming.
“Oh my god Sam...” she traced her fingers along it which made me flinch.
“It’s fine” I winced.
“No, it’s not” she got up and left the room, leaving me staring after her with my shirt half off, she came back holding a bowl of water and a few cloths.
“Sorry this might be a little cold” she placed the cloths into the water before putting it on my shoulder.
“I’m sorry” the way she moved so softly, the way she played with my fringe and the way she bite her lip when she thought hard, I couldn’t help noticing everything about her.

I stared up at the ceiling unable to sleep; I had so many things swimming around in my head. School work, this guy called Ricky.... After I’d helped Sam out we’d talked about him.
“How did all this start?” I asked.
“I’m small, clever but not strong and just an easy target really...” he sighed.
“Aw Sam that’s terrible” I said, slowly rubbing his back.
“Yeah well I’ll live” his voice sounded so sad. As we sat in the low light of his room I found myself staring at the outline of his silhouette, the way his leaning forward, running his hand over his injured shoulder, the way his hair was all messy so matter how much he straighten it, the way he fiddled with his glasses. I don’t know why but I couldn’t stop looking.
“You shouldn’t have to put up with this!” I said. Sam took my face in his hands and looked me straight in the eye.
“Raye promise me you won’t do anything, promise me you won’t go trying to talk to Ricky. I don’t want to see you hurt” he said, worry in his voice.
“But...But I can’t sit here and let you get hurt” I said. He stroked my hair, as tears threatened to fall.
“Hey I’ve been putting up with this for a while; I can keep putting up with it for a bit longer” he said, smiling but it looked weak, probably to get up to stop worrying. I just wrapped my arms around him and pulled him into a hug.
“Don’t worry I’ll be fine” he whispered in my ear.
I rolled over in bed, pulling the duvet up to my chin. I know I’d promised not to do anything but how could I sit here and do nothing? He was my friend and I wanted to help him but I was beginning to wonder if there was something else there... Another feeling... something deeper.
I got out of bed and opened the big bay windows that looked over their front yard. I stared out into the night sky hoping to find the answer to my problems up there. If only my mum was here, one I wouldn’t be in this mess, two she’d know what to do and three she could tell me what these feelings are. Just as I stood there staring at the stars I saw someone start walking towards the house, well I say walking more like stumbling. Who could be coming into the house at three in the morning? I’d been living in this house four days and not met any other member of Sam’s family so at a guess this was his brother. Michael I think was his name; I’d seen it written around the place so I guessed that was him as Sam hadn’t said anything. I was about to calm back into bed when my bag court my eye, a piece of paper sticking out the top. I pulled out the crumbled piece out and held it in my hands, the old photo of me, it’s in black and white so you can’t see my blonde hair but it was defiantly me. It made me shiver, my dad was looking for me I spouse I didn’t expect him to give up when I’d left but I don’t know does that mean I have to go back? Or just spend the rest of my life running? I clamed back into bed my head still swimming just as I heard Michael stomp up the stairs, how he didn’t wake anyone I don’t know. That’s the last thing I remember before I was being shaken awake.
“Raye, Raye wake up” I opened my eyes to see Sam standing over me, his glasses sliding off his nose. I reach up and pushed them back on causing him to laugh.
“Morning” he laughed.
“Morning” I mumbled.
“You better get up”
“I don’t want to” I said, pulling the duvet over my head.
“What’s wrong?” I felt Sam sit down on the bed beside me. I rummaged around the bed until I found the poster; I passed it to him without getting out from under the duvet.
“Oh s***”
“Sam what am I going to do? Do I go back? Do I just keeping running?”
“There is not ‘I’ we’re in this together. You don’t ever have to go back if you don’t want to, if that’s what you want and it you don’t. No you don’t have to run, I’m not going to make you go back to that room if that’s not what you want” he said.
“Really” I pushed the duvet back and saw Sam smiling back at me.
“By the way... it’s already ten to!”
“S***, Sam why didn’t you wake me up earlier?” Jumping out of bed, and searching for my clothes. I caught him looking at me as I scrambled around the floor and smiled.
“You looked so... Peaceful when you’re sleeping” he said, running his hand through his hair.
“Yeah but now we’re going to be late” I said, pulling on my skinny jeans.
“Doesn’t matter” and he walked out of the room why I finished getting ready. We grabbed a bite to eat on the way out and I really mean a bite, I barely got through one piece of toast.
Despite the fact we were going to be late we didn’t exactly walk quickly to school.
“Sam...” I started. “What’s your brother like?”
“My brother? Why do you want to know?” he asked.
“I just saw his name around the house, I wondered...”
“What you mean like his pictures, football trophies, baby teeth and everything else around the house?” he asked.
“Michael Jonathon Flinn... My older brother, he’s always been the sporty one, the good looking one, the one that my parents are proud of” he sighed.
“What...What about you?”
“Me? God no my parents have never cared. I was always just small and geeky with no hope is my families world” his voice was soft but sad.
“I’m guessing this means you and Michael don’t get on”
“Get on? We don’t talk! We have nothing in common at all. I mean if you looked at us you wouldn’t even know we had the same parents, I’m beginning to think we don’t. Michael’s big, a footballs player’s body, light brown hair and eyes why I’m small with dark hair and eyes.” Sam didn’t look happy; in fact he looked almost heartbroken, that I wished I hadn’t said anything.
“I’m sorry”
“It’s not important” he said.
“No it’s fine. I’ll meet you for lunch okay?” he asked, as we stood outside the gates to the school.
“Yeah sure” I said, as we both walked are opposite ways.

My mind wondered as I tried to listen to Mrs Morganstern talk, Sam was out there right now possibly getting beaten up. I know, I know I promised I wouldn’t do anything but I couldn’t sit here and do nothing either. Without even realising it I’d made notes, some part of my brain had to have been listening; I left the lesson just as the bell rang and started making my way down the corridor. It was still only my second day so I was still getting lost, I was pretty sure I’d taken the wrong turn as I didn’t recognise were I was when I saw a sigh that said ‘Library’ on the wall above one of the doors. Forgetting the fact I was lost and that I was meant to be going to class I pushing open the door. Inside was a small room that was empty of people apart from one middle aged lady who I guessed was the librarian, there weren’t many books but a place for me to get away from the school and read was enough for me.
I sat at the back of the small room a book in hand; I forgot where I was and what I was meant to be doing I got completely lost in the book.
I looked up from my book to see a girl standing in front of me. She was about my age, very long red hair, deep brown eyes that stood out against her makeup.
“Hi, can I help you?” I asked.
“Hey...Yeah you’ve just been sitting there so long I wondered if you were alright” Her ascent wasn’t American it sounded maybe French...No Dutch.
“Oh... God I’ve been sitting here that long! I’ve missed like all my lessons and it’s only my second day”
“Aw it’s fine! We all mess up in our first week, can I show you to your lesson?” she asked.
“Thank you” I said. We walked back out of the library and along the corridor.
“What’s your name?” I asked.
“Becca yourself?”
“Raye” I said, she just smiled.
“Becca do you know a guy called Ricky?” I asked.
“Do you know where I could find him?” I asked. She looked at her phone before back at me.
“I do”
“Do you think I could try talking to him?”
“Why? He’s such an asshole you wouldn’t want to” she said.
“He’s bulling my friend and I have to do something” I said.
“They’d be better off moving schools” she said.
“Oh come on, talking to him can’t be hopeless” I said.
“Oh believe me it is”
“Then help me?” I asked.
“I...I Don’t know how to...”
“Please Becca, you seem to know about him” I said.
“This is your lesson” she said, stopping outside a door.
“Please?” I asked again.
“Sorry” and she walked away.
I took my place in the middle row of the class and tried to pay attention to what I was meant being taught, but my mind kept wondering back to what Becca had said. I was more confused, she obviously knows him but said she won’t help... I mean it can’t be pointless trying to talk to him can it? He really must be a horrible person but I still won’t sit here and do nothing as my best friend is getting beaten up every other day.
I looked up just in time to see Mr Johnson dump a pile of papers on to my desk.
“What’s this for?” I asked.
“Homework Miss Flinn” he replied.
“All this is for me?”
“Yep” there was a slight smirk on his face as he spoke. It was a geography essay about lakes... If I didn’t have enough to worry about I now have a six page essay to write.
I was sat on the wall outside the school, my new rather heavy bag sitting at my feet as I waited for Sam. He came around the corner about five minutes later at first it looked like he was limping but as he came closer he stopped.
“Sam, are you okay?” I asked straight away.
“Yeah fine...Why?”
“You looked like you were limping” I said, concerned.
“Nope, maybe you need some glasses” he laughed. I jumped off the wall and throw my heavy bag over my shoulder, sighing as I walked.
“Are you okay?” he asked, a concerned expression on his face.
“Yeah... Just when did we start getting so much homework?” I asked.
“Haha, don’t worry I’ll help you” he said, taking me hand.


Every step put me in horrible pain and just as we got to the front door I thought I was going to pass out. I’d been in P.E with Ricky and as normal he’d had some fun with his usual punch bag (A.k.a me) Raye had been right I had been limping when she saw me but I had to stop as if she knew she’d only want to talk to Ricky more and I wasn’t going to get her dragged into this. When Raye’s bedroom door closed I slummed down in my desk chair letting out a loud groan as I did, I was in real pain but I’ve gone through this before I could do it again. Raye knocked on my door about an hour later.
“Come in” I said, without taking my eyes of the computer screen.
“Sam could I have your help with this?” she asked, holding a maths book in her hand.
“Sure, pull up a chair” I tried not to flinch as I pushed my chair to side, making room for her.
“Thank you” she said.


Even with Sam’s helps this work was going to take me days... Maybe I’ll have to put my Ricky talk on hold for a while.


It had been a week and I’d barely spoken to Sam. We’d walk to school together and we’d wait outside the gates for me at the end of the day, but when we get back I go into my room to do homework and that’s it I don’t see him for the rest of the day. Something was wrong... Something was very wrong and it was stirring new feelings in me.
I walked into the kitchen one morning in the middle of the week and nearly walked into a woman. She was probably shorter than Sam, but very skinny and the same caramel coloured hair though it was greying at the roots.
“Oh H-H-Hello” I stammered, not sure what to say to the woman I guessed was Sam’s mother.
“Hello” she said, not turning away from her cooking to face me.
“Hmm, Mrs Flinn have you spoken to Sam lately?” I asked.
“No” she said bluntly.
“Oh...Well he’s just been acting a little strange recently” I said.
“Well never mind” she said, quite unconcerned. I was quite shocked by her lack of concern for her son, I was tempted to ask her if she even cared.
“He’s never been normal like....” she was cut off by a man calling her from another room. She gave me a polite smile and walked off. She didn’t need to finish her sentence for me to know what she was going to say. ‘He’s never been normal like Michael’ it hurt me to know Sam is thought of like that even in his own family.

Sam still seems distant as we walked to school so I snapped; I’d had enough of his distance. I wanted my friend back.
“Sam what’s going on?” I asked, trying to keep the pain out of my voice.
“What do you mean?” he asked, not looking at me.
“The fact I never see you! What’s wrong Sam?” I asked again.
“Nothing I’m fine” he said, staring straight ahead.
“You’re obviously not, will you please just tell me?”
“I-I-I can’t okay... I just can’t” his voice breaking. I took my hands in his and looked up into his sad, brown eyes.
“Please” I almost begged.
“I-I’ll tell you tonight okay? I can’t do it now” he said.
“Promise” he said, linking his pink around mine.
“See you later” he said, leaning over and giving me a kiss on the forehead before walking off into the school.

Throughout the day I kept hearing whispers and gossip about this missing girl and how a new girl at appeared at the school at the same time... I knew it was me so I had to keep a low profile. I looked for Becca as she hadn’t motioned anything about it and I felt I could trust her but I couldn’t find her anywhere. I tried to pay attention in my classes but I was so worried about Sam I even forgot to eat my lunch. When the final bell rang I sighed with relief and ran for the front gates, it had started to rain slightly and I saw Sam his hair slightly damp from standing in the rain and looking really tried.
“You don’t look good” I said.
“Come on, I want to get out of this rain” he said, completely ignoring my statement. I slipped my hand into his as we walked, he was freezing.
“You go get some dry clothes, I’ll make you some coffee deal?” I asked, as we walked through the front door.
“Yeah” he sighed and made his way up the stairs. It hurt to see him like this, he seemed so broken what happened to the boy that found me and was always smiling?

I sat down beside him, a mug of coffee in each hand for us. He took one and sipped at it slowly. I watched him he drank; his still damp hair sticking to his forehead, his eyes looking down but sad, his breathing was uneven like something was hurting him and his arm was shaking.
“Sam what’s wrong with you?” I asked, worried.
“Nothing I told you this morning” he sighed.
“There is something very wrong! I mean look at you” I said, my voice raised slightly.
“It’s nothing, leave it alone” he said, still quite calm.
“I’m trying to help you, just tell me” I said.
“Just leave it alone Raye” He snapped. I was taken aback by his reaction, not once since I’d known him had he raised his voice.
“I would if you just tell me” I snapped back.
“I can’t”
“Why not?”
“Be-Be-Because I can’t” we were nearly yelling at each other now.
“I’m trying to help you” I yelled.
“I don’t need help” he yelled back.
“You obviously do!”
“Ricky’s been beating me up even more and right now I can’t really breathe due to the pain in my chest” he nearly screamed.
“What?” I said, my voice dropping to just above a whisper. My heart felt like someone had punched it...
“Ricky had been beating me up even more, I can’t even seem to go a day without something anymore” even Sam’s voice sounded in pain.
“Why would he do that to you?” I asked.
“Because he doesn’t know there’s more to me than the geek on the outside” he sighed.
“Oh Sam...”
“There’s no point feeling sorry for me, I’ve just to get on and live with it” he said.
“No you don’t... You could let me help you” I was back to shouting again.
“No I can’t! If I did I’d just be letting you get hurt as well and I can’t do that to you” he shouted back.
“No you don’t, Raye promise me you won’t do anything?” he asked more calmly.
“But...I-I promise” I said, wrapping my little finger around his.
“Let me at least get you some pain killers” I said.
“Thanks” he smiled weakly; I think he was trying to get me to stop worrying.
“I....Never mind”
“Hmm okay” and I walked out of the room to find Sam some pain killers.
It took me a few minutes to get the pain killers in Sam as he was saying the pain wasn’t that bad but he was obviously lying.
“Go to bed” I said, to Sam who was still typing at his computer.
“I can’t” he moaned.
“Why not?” I asked, talking to him as he were a small child.
“Pain killers keep me awake” he said.
“At least get into bed then” I said. He nodded and claimed under his duvet. I couldn’t help but smile at him as he patted the bed beside him, waiting for me to join him.
“Wait Raye put Doctor Who on” he said.
“Get the box-set that says Doctor Who and put it in the DVD player” I did what he said before lying down on the bed next to him. He cuddled up against me and I wrapped my arms around him just as the title music started. Sam fell asleep on me about two episodes in, I thought about getting up and letting him sleep but I was too comfortable lying there and he was too peaceful in his sleep to wake.

You know when you are looking for something and you can never find it but when you stop looking you find it straight away. So the day I stopped looking for Becca I walk into her... Literally. Which was great as since the night in Sam’s room he has been talking to me more about everything about I think he’s only putting on a front. I felt terrible about breaking our promise but I couldn’t sit back and do nothing.
I’d just been to the library and I had an arm full of books when I walked into someone and dropped them.
“I see you’ve been in the library again” I looked up to see Becca smiling at me, holding one of the books I’d dropped.
“Yeah it’s where I spend all my free time” I said. She helped me pick up the books and then turned to walk away again.
“Wait Becca!” I called.
“Something wrong?” she asked.
“It’s Sam...”
“What’s wrong with him?”
“He...He’s broken...” my voice broke as I realised how true that was.
“Is that because of....Ricky?” She asked.
“Yes. Please, why won’t you help me?” I begged.
“Because I can’t, I’m sorry but I can’t do it anymore” she said, disappearing into the crowd forming in the corridor. I hurried after her; I knew she was the only person who could help me.
“Becca please wait!” I called. She stopped and I saw her shoulders tense.
“I really, really need your...” When she turned around I saw tears running down her checks. “Becca what’s wrong?” I carefully put my arms around her and gave her a hug.
“Thanks Raye” she said, wiping her slightly running make up. Becca had a free lesson and I thought talking with her would be more important than maths anyway so I skipped my lesson and we went outside onto the unused playing flied. As we sat down Becca started crying again.
“I’m sorry Raye, I’m really am sorry” she said.
“What’s wrong?” I asked.
“He’s my brother....” her breathing hitched as she cried.
“You mean that psycho is related to you?” I asked, shocked. I may have all but no family but it must be horrible to have a member of your own family fiscally hurt you like that, I couldn’t quite imagine how she must feel. She sobbed again.
“I’m sorry, I’m sorry I didn’t mean it like that” I said quickly.
“No you’re right he is a psycho “she said.
“Then you have to help me stop him” I said.
“No-No I can’t, not anymore”
“Why? You yourself said he’s horrible, you’ve got to help me save my friend” I said.
“Because I’ve tried before and I have the scars to prove it” she said.
“No....No your own brother beat you up?” I asked, shocked.
“Then you must know how much it hurts and how to save Sam from this...” I said.
“Yes I do know but I still don’t think I can help you” she said. I sighed; it really was beginning to look hopeless but a part of me refused to give up, for Sam’s sake.
“Can we try at least?” I asked.
“Alright, look I’ll talk to Sam maybe we can work something out between us” she said.

“Raye why... How could you do this after you promised me you wouldn’t?” said Sam. We were stood outside the school gates and I’d told him that Becca was waiting to talk to him about everything.
“Because I care about you too much to watch you get hurt!” I snapped.
“You...You care about me?”
“Of course, of course I do!” I said, putting my hand up to his hair and moving the stray strands out of his eyes.
“So will you do this for me please?” I asked. Sam seemed to snap out of his day dream.
“Err, Err okay” he sighed.
We found Becca sitting at the back of the library reading an old copy of One Day.
“Hey Becca this is Sam” Sam shakily shook her hand and she smiled at him.
“Hi” I’d never seen him so awkward. We all sat around the table without saying anything, Becca placed down her book and looked back at me.
“So what are we going to do?” I asked, growing bored of the silence.
“Nothing, I told you I’m fine and I don’t need any help” said Sam.
“I still don’t know if there’s anything to be done” Becca said calmly.
“Becca what exactly happened when you confronted him before?”
“He...He told me I was being stupid and truanted to beat me up if I didn’t keep my nose out of his business” she said shakily. “Then next time when I asked to stop well he beat me up.... I’m afraid if I try again he’ll only do it again”
“Raye we can’t ask Becca to get herself beaten up for me! It’s not worth it” said Sam.
“I’m not asking her to, I just want to know what we can do! What happened to the Sam I first spoke to? Who told me to get out and live my life? I just....I just....Want there to be something I can do...” I trailed off. I just couldn’t make my month say the words I was thinking. He sighed and looked at me.
“I also told you the world was a scary place. Nothing is the answer Raye, okay?” he said.
“No that is not okay” I bagged on fist on the table.
“Raye, Sam I think the best thing we can do is keep you and Ricky as far away from each other as possible and I don’t know try not to provoke him” said Becca.
“You mean that psycho can just get away with all this and we can’t do anything to stop him?”
“I’m afraid so” Becca sighed.
“No” I stormed out of the library. I don’t think I’d ever felt so angry, I stormed through the school buildings till I was outside on the playing flied. The football players were standing talking and acting like jerks, I just marched right up to the biggest one.
“How dare you treat my friend like that, you vile excuse of a human being” I yelled.
“Who’s your friend sweet cheeks?” he asked, smirking.
“Sam Flinn”
“Oh Flinn? Why didn’t you say! Yeah like I’ll stop having fun with him” he laughed a cold bitter laugh.
“You despicable human being” I spat.
“Oh I am, am I?”
“Yes...Not only do you treat my friend like s*** but you’re own family” His eyes grew dark.
“What did you say?”
“Your own family Ricky, how could you do that to her?” I nearly screamed. Just then a teacher came over to see what all the yelling was about.
“What’s going on here?” he asked.
“This girl is harassing me Sir” said Ricky in his best innocent voice.
“Is this is true Miss?” he asked me.
“It is Sir” piped up one of Ricky’s friends.
“Well you better come with me” just as I was being lend back across on the playing field I heard Ricky and his friends burst out laughing “How does that stupid missing girl think she is” I stopped in my tracks, frozen. They knew I was the missing girl from the poster? How did they know it was me?
“Oi! Come on you” snapped Mr Richardson.
“Stop blabbing and start walking” My mouth still not forming words I still carried on walking.

I sat outside the Principles office waiting for Raye to come out. I’d run out after her but I lost her and by the time I found her Mr Richardson was lending her back across the playing field away from Ricky and his mates. So I have no idea what happened. It took nearly forty minutes for Raye to come out by that time I was hungry and not feeling all that well.
“What the hell took you so long?” I asked.
“Sorry there was alot of talking”
“What even happened?”
“I...I snapped, I went to talk...Well yell at Ricky” she sighed.
“Are you okay?” I asked, currently worried he’d hurt her.
“Fine, but then he accused me of harassing him... That’s what all the talking was about”
“Oh god, did you tell them?” I asked.
“I had to...” I closed my eyes and sighed.
“What did they say?”
“That Ricky is a model student and I was being ridiculous and I got suspended for a week....”
“I knew it wouldn’t be good” I said.
“And...And they know it’s me in that poster”
“Oh god...”
“What are we going to do?” she asked.
“I don’t know... But let’s just get home, I’m really tired” I said. She smiled, took my hand and we carried on walking back.

Me and Raye talked it out, she has full run of the house and I gave her some money if she wanted to go into town for anything but apart from that there wasn’t much else I could do. It was weird walking to school without her it reminded me of what it used to be like and how lonely I used to be.
I’d got through my first period and was walking through the corridor to my locker to get my next lot of books when I got slammed into a wall. Well there goes the idea I’d get through the day.
“Hello Ricky” I said pulling myself of the floor.
“What did you think you were doing with that girl? Trying to intimidate me?” he laughed, pinning me back against the wall.
“Wrong answer” he said punching me really hard in the stomach. He let me go and I fell to the floor again, coughing really hard. We kicked me in the stomach a few times before pulling me to my feet by my collar and slamming me hard into the wall, smashing my head and making my vision to go black for a few seconds. The bell rang; he punched me one more time before heading off to his lesson, leaving me in mess on floor. I tried to get up but started coughing up blood so went straight to the bathroom; every step sending pain shooting threw my body. I could barely hold myself up matter about go to a lesson.


I’d spend the day sitting reading in the living room of Sam’s house, as much as I love to read I felt bad about Sam going to school alone and it was my fault. I was half in and half out my book, my mind kept wondering and I couldn’t get into in when I heard Sam come in.
“Sam?” I called out, it sounded like he was coughing.
“Where are you?” he asked, faintly.
“Living room” I called back. He slowly walked into the room, not hiding the fact he was limping badly.
“What happened to you?” I asked, as we sat down wincing beside me.
“Ri-Ricky beat the hell out me”
“I should have been there, to beat the hell out of him” he smiled slightly before coughing again.
“Aw you sound terrible, are you ill?” I asked. He nods his head; I gently placed my hand on his forehead.
“Aw sweetie you’re burning up” he just sighed.
“Come on up to bed, I’ll get you some pain killers”
“Thank you Raye” I watched him limp up the stairs before following him with a box of pain killers in hand. It took no convincing to get Sam to take the pain killers this time; he was obviously in worse pain. I sat on the bed beside him, wrapping my arm around him just as my fingers lightly brushed his side he tensed up.
“I’m sorry; I didn’t mean to hurt you”
“Its fine” he shuffled about so I could put my arms around him without hurting him. I felt sorry for Sam, he was sick and in pain and still trying to act like he was okay.
“You can stop pretending you’re okay” I said.
“I am” he coughed. I got up from the bed, pulled a DVD from the stack beside the TV on it on before turning to face Sam. He was lying on his side, the duvet wrapped around him and he did look pale. I laid down beside him, putting my arm around his shoulders.
“Raye...” he whispers in my ear.
“Shhh, go to sleep” I whispered back. He rested his head on my shoulder and closed his sweet brown eyes as I ran my hand through his hair.

It was the second time I’d woken up in Sam’s bed after we’d both fallen asleep watching his tv. Sam was still wrapped up in his duvet so I’d gotten a blanket out of the other room for me. I sat up and looked over at Sam the duvet had slipped off his side slightly and I could see the bruise running along his side and onto his stomach, I pulled the duvet back onto him as I didn’t like seeing the pain he was in. That caused him to stair and roll over which made him cough.
I sighed.
“What’s wrong?” Sam asked, in a croaky voice.
“Nothing sweetie, how are you feeling?” I asked nothing was really wrong just everything was a bit crap at the moment, I was suspended and Sam was sick.
“Terrible” he said before coughing again. I placed my hand on his forehead again.
“God you’re getting hotter!”
“That hurt” he said, rubbing his chest after he’d finished coughing.
“Your cough is hurting you chest?” I asked. He nodded.
“What else hurts?” I asked, concerned.
“My head, I just feel really stiff, I’ve got no energy and my side is really hurting”
“And you’re running a high fever, Sam you’re really not well” I said.
“(Cough, cough) I noticed”
“Don’t you think you should go see a Doctor or something?” I asked.
“Raye it’s just the flu, I’m fine” he said. I sighed and settled myself back down next to him; I wasn’t so sure he was fine.

Two days of sitting with Sam and trying to take care of him. Two days of coaxing water, pain killers and medicine in him but if anything he was getting worse.
I was woken in the middle of the night by Sam coughing in the next room; I got out of bed and went to see if he was okay.
“Shh it’s okay” I said, sitting down beside him.
“Th—anks Ray-e” he kept coughing, he could barely talk. I felt his forehead to check his fever, he was still getting hotter. I went into the bathroom for a cloth and water, before carefully laying it on his head.
“Sam will you please go see a Doctor now” I said, badly worried.
“I’m ill not dying” he spluttered.
“Sam you’re really ill! Have you seen you’re self lately? You need medical attention”
“You really think so?”
“Yes I do, please Sam I don’t like seeing you so bad” I said.
“Okay, okay we’ll sort it in the morning” he said, before coughing again.
“Thank you”
“It’s okay”
“Shh go back to sleep now” I said, as he drifted back into an uneasy sleep. I didn’t go back to my bed, I stayed with Sam still trying to cool his fever but nothing seemed to work. I watched him as he slept, the gentle rise and fall of his chest, the way his hair fell into his eyes, the way he fidgeted as he slept.
I hadn’t really moved when Sam woke a few hours later.
“You’re still here?” his voice was so quite I barely heard him.
“Well I wasn’t going to leave you” I said. He went to sit up causing him to cough badly, I sighed.
“I’m sorry, I don’t mean to worry you like this” he said.
“Its fine, but can we just get you a Doctor and sorted out?”
“Sure, can you bring me a phone?” he asked, I found him one of the house phones before leaving him to make the call so I could get breakfast.
“How did it go?” I asked, passing him a mug of tea.
“Fine, I’ve got an appointment at eleven. But Raye the Doctors surgery is eight miles away, I can’t walk, you can’t drive so how are we going to get there?”
“Well I’m going to have to talk to your mum” I said.
“Good luck with that” he scoffed.
“I’ll be back before you finish your tea!” I said, walking off to find his mother.

I found her in one of the back rooms reading, with what looked like a glass of wine... It was half eight in the morning. She hadn’t notice me enter the room so I coughed lightly trying to get her attention. She held up her hand to me as if to say ‘Don’t bother me’ I was about to turn to go when she lowered her book and looked at me.
“Oh it’s you; I was expecting to see Sam”
“Oh... Well its Sam I need to talk to you about”
“What’s he done?” she was very blunt as she spoke.
“He’s really ill, I’ve made a Doctor appointment for him but I can’t drive so we need....”
“A lift” she cut me off.
“Why?” she asked, staring at me as if I’d just asked her to do the impossible.
“Because he’s your son, he’s sick and needs care. I’m asking you to drive twenty minutes to get your son medical care” I was trying not to shout.
“Will you please stop saying that”
“What that’s he’s you son?”
“He was a mistake” she spat.
“A mistake? You’re calling him a mistake?”
“He was the result of a stupid night almost eighteen years ago that nearly broke up my marriage! And everyday I have to be reminded of it” I stood there in shock, letting her words sink in. Sam was a mistake, a result of his mum having an affair! When he said he didn’t think him and his brother had the same parents, I don’t think he would have thought it really true.
“Shut your mouth dear, you’ll catch flies” I quickly shut my month.
“I’m sorry I....”
“Oh stop your babbling”
“Look I’ll take you to this dam Doctor Appointment if you don’t say anything” she said, I stood there biting my lip as I thought, Sam you really should know this. The man he thinks is his Father isn’t his Father at all and there’s another man out there that is. He needed to see that Doctor too, he was so sick I could feel it, like something bad was going to happen. I was biting so hard on my lip it started bleeding.
“Okay, I won’t say a thing” I turned to leave when Sam’s mum voice stops me.
“You know I don’t even know your name”
“Raye, Raye Hadlington”
“Hm” she picked up her book again and I took that as my queue to leave. Sam was watching some episode of Doctor Who when I came back to his room.
“How’d it go?”
“Yeah we’ve got a lift” I said, sitting on the bed beside him.
“How did you do that?”
“You know, I’ve got no idea”
“Raye you’re bleeding” there was worry in his croaky voice as he reached up to wipe the blood from my lip, his hot fingers tracing the line of my lips a slight smile on his face.
“Are you okay? What happened?” I smiled as I looked at the worried expression on his face.
“Nothing, nothing I’m fine” I said, pushing his hair out the way so I could see his caramel eyes.
“Yes, I probably just bite it too hard”
“Hmm... Okay”
“Go back to sleep, you need rest before we go out” He pulled me down so I was lying next to him.
“Raye...” I put my fingers on his lips.
“Sleep” He rested his head on my chest and I ran my fingers down his back as I felt the soft breathing of him sleeping.

All the way to the Doctor’s Sam was half asleep on my shoulder as me and his mother sat in silence, nothing more to say to each other since our talk earlier.
“Sam, Sam wake up” I whispered in his ear as we pulled into the car park. He stirred causing him to cough.
“Come on” I took his hand as he stepped out of the car; he was unsteady on his feet so I lead him into the surgery, just like he lead me out of my room those months ago. I talked to reception why he sat in the waiting room, his mother had not come in with us.
“I’m cold” he said, shivering violently.
“I know, it’s just the fever” I said, rubbing my hands over his arms trying to have him feel slightly better. We stayed like that for nearly twenty minutes until Sam’s name was called.
“Sam Flinn”
“You’ll be fine now go and get some medicine” I said, lightly kissing him on the cheek.
“Okay” He got up and walked off through the corridor until I couldn’t see him anymore. I sat there nervously for what felt like ages, biting on my lip till it bleed again. I’d never actually been to a Doctor so I didn’t know how long these things normally last but I was getting really worried. Sam come back about two minutes later, followed by a Doctor, he looked even worse.
“Sam... Sam what’s wrong?”
“Miss, are you with him?” asked the Doctor.
“Yes I’m his... Cousin” Sam was shaking again so I wrapped my arms around him.
“Seriously what’s wrong?” I was panicking.
“Mr Flinn has an infection of his heart known as Endocarditic; he’s going to have to go to hospital”
“Oh my god... Is he going to be okay?” Hospital... Hospital I was so scared.
“With a curse of antibiotics he should be fine but if that doesn’t solve the problem he’s going to need surgery” My heart dropped, Sam surgery? No, no, no.
“Hey! Raye I’ll be fine” said Sam, pushing my hair behind my ear.
“Okay” I sighed.
“The longer you stand here the worse it’s going to get” the Doctor interrupted.
“Yeah... Yeah let’s go” I said. When we got outside Sam’s mum was impatiently tapping her fingers on the wheel.
“What on earth took you so long?”
“Not now, can you just take us to hospital please?” she huffed but started the car and headed in the direction of the hospital. Sam had just stepped out of the car when we’d arrived when his mother turned to me.
“How long is this going to be?”
“I don’t know, depends how long it takes them to help your son” I snapped. She scoffed before driving off.
“What was that about?” Sam asked.
“Oh never mind” I said and we both walked into the large, white forbidding build that was a place of care... Apparently.


Some Doctor led my away, leaving Raye in the waiting room. I was given a bed in a ward and they started poking needles in me which made me start to feel sleepy. I was scared chances are I’ll need surgery and Raye I knew I loved her... And that scared me more, as I knew the pain love caused and I didn’t want, I couldn’t do that to her. And what must this be like for her? She’s so worried all I wanted to do was hold her tell her it’ll be okay but I could barely keep my eyes open, I could hear Raye’s voice outside the room and I tried to stay awake but the medication pulled me under.


Sam was taken away and I was left sitting in a waiting room again, the white walls and disinfected smell was giving me a headache. I’d barely slept, I was worried, stressed and all I wanted was for Sam to be okay. A nurse came in and told me I could go and see him, she said the medicine they’d given him will make him very tired and he would probably be asleep. When I entered the room he was lying on the bed, tubes going through an IV in his hand feeding him some kind of medication. He looked pale against the white sheets and his breathing was slow and shallow. I sat down beside the bed, taking his hand in mine, tears threaten to fall. As sat there watching him hooked up to hospital medicines remind me of my mum. I may have been only four when she died but there’s this imagine in my head of her living lifeless on a hospital bed, wires everywhere, a faint beeping noise and in the middle this pale lifeless woman with her eyes closed. I rubbed Sam’s hand between mine, holding on tightly I wasn’t going to lose him like I lost mum. I didn’t realise I was crying until I felt Sam’s hand on my face, wiping away the tears.
“You’re awake”
“Why are you crying?” Sam’s voice was horse and just a whisper.
“I-I don’t want to lose you”
“You won’t” I leaned forward placing a kiss on his forehead and he drifted back into sleep.
“I can’t lose you” I said, even though I knew he couldn’t hear me.

I stayed with Sam for hours as he drifted in and out of sleep. At one point I had nearly fallen asleep when I felt him squeeze my hand tightly.
“I-Its –h-hurts” he moaned.
“What does?” I asked, concerned.
“My chest” he tried to put his hand on his chest but the tubes in his arm pulled him back. I placed my hand on his bare chest, he was still red hot it was like the medication was having no effect on his fever.
“I need to find you a nurse or something” I said, getting up from the chair where I’ve been sat for hours.
“D-Don’t go” he said, holding my hand even tighter. Tears welled up in my eyes as I looked at him; he was in such horrible pain.
“I’ll be right back” I said, pulling free of his hand. I opened the door out into the corridor, not a nurse in sight. Why was no one around when you needed someone? I ran down the corridor, looking for anyone and nearly ran into a nurse walking towards me.
“You’ve got to help me” I begged.
“What’s wrong?” she asked.
“It-It’s my friend he’s in pain” I said, slightly out of breath.
“Show me” I nearly ran back to Sam’s room. He looked worse, like the pain was making breathing hard. The nurse started tending to him, she called a Doctor and they both started sticking needles in him as I just stood in the corner and watched. Never being able to take my eyes of Sam’s pained expression.
“Miss, Miss” I didn’t realise the nurse was shaking my shoulder.
“You’re going to have to leave”
“We’ve had to put Mr Flinn under heavy sedation and you’ll have to leave I’m afraid” she said.
“I-I-I errr”
“Come on” she lead me out of the room and back into the waiting room I’d been in hours before. I took a sit in a chair on the other side of the room, as far away from other people as I could, I didn’t want to talk to anyone. Somehow I managed to fall asleep and I think it was only due to lack of it that I did. My dreams were just empty just darkness, maybe that’s just what you see when you’re in deep sleep. But some people say dreams tell the future so how is darkness mine?
To my surprise I feel someone shaking my shoulder and I open my eyes to see Sam’s mum standing in front of me.
“What’s going on?” I croaked out.
“I came to see my son” I almost snorted in laughter, come to see Sam? When did she give a dam?
“They told me he’s asleep”
“Yeah, they’ve just put him under due to...” I broke down remembering that pained expression as he stared at me. To my even bigger surprise I felt Sam’s mum place her hand on mine, I looked at her trying to wipe the tears from my face.
“He’s going to be okay” she said. I pulled my hand back.
“Why do you care? Only a few hours ago you were yelling at me, telling me how much of a mistake he was!”
“No I will not! You tell me how much of a mistake your son was, how you’ve never cared then the second someone starts taking care of him you become protective” I yelled.
“Will you please be quite” she snapped.
“No, I’m going back to sit outside his room. It’s better that being here with you” I snapped, making my way back to Sam’s room. I pulled a chair up outside his room and just started crying again.
“Raye, Raye I know you’re upset but listen to me” I looked up to see Sam’s mum standing in front of me.
“What do you want?”
“I know I said Sam was a mistake and that’s true but he is still my son even if I don’t act like most of the time. But that’s not the reason I came here today, I came for you” she was kneeling down in front of me, staring straight in my eyes.
“Me? What have I got to do with anything?”
“I wanted to check you were alright. It may have been a long time but I know first love when I see it” My mouth dropped, I barely had time to realise what had been said when a nurse came up to us asking if we were with Sam. We said yes and she said we could see him now.
“Oh Raye I think there’s someone you might know” There was a smile on her face and not in a good way. I pushed the door open and lying on his bed Sam slept softly and I smiled slightly. Standing beside him was a man, he turned to face me and my mouth dropped again.
“Hi Raye”
“What’s going on? What are you doing here?” I stared back at my dad, his piercing blue eyes the same at mine. I mixture of relief and confusion it had been months and I never thought I’d see him again and there he was standing in front of me, I had to fight the need to hug him. But at the same time my Dad wasn’t even a Doctor what was he doing here? How did we get here? How did he know I’d be here? I turned to see Sam’s mum closing the door behind us.
“Mrs Flinn here contacted me saying you’d been staying with them and for me to take you back” he said. I turned to face Sam’s mum.
“You ratted me out to him? Do you know what why I ran away in the first place? Because he pretty much locked me up!”
“I only did that to protect you!” Dad cut in.
“I don’t think locking me up for thirteen years is protecting me! More like driving me insane”
“Look” Sam’s mum cut back in. “I don’t care what happened with you two in the past just that you have to go”
“I am not going back! I have Sam I’m not leaving him!” I said.
“We were afraid you’d say that... So we came up with a plan” he said.
“We? Are you working in some sort of team?” I asked, snapping around to look at Sam’s mum. She sighed obviously not loving the idea of explaining what the hell was going on.
“Well after I snapped and I told you things no one outside me and my husband know I had to do something. So with your name, I did a little research and found a missing girl finding your description and with your name. I talked to your father and we decided the best way to sort both our problems was for you to back to your father and not be near my son again” she said. I just stared at them in disbelief, go back? Never see Sam again? What was going on here? I’m not going back.
“You’re all just doing this for yourselves! Don’t you think how me and Sam are going to feel about all of this?” I snapped. They both looked away from me, obviously they hadn’t.
“You selfish gits! I can’t go back, I can’t”
“Look Raye, Sam’s sick...” my dad started but I cut him off.
“Well I know that! I was the person who convinced him to see a Doctor in the first place”
“As I was saying, he’s sick so much so that the medication hasn’t worked and they’re going to have to do the surgery”
“Will he be okay?” Was the first thing I said without even realising I said it.
“That depends...”
“On what?” I demanded.
“If you agree to come back with me or not” he said.
“What’s that got to do with weather Sam will survive or not?” I snapped. They both looked at each other and Dad let a long sigh.
“If you agree he’ll be fine and make a full recovery and if you don’t... The papers won’t get signed and he won’t live another 48 hours” My heart dropped and I stared at my dad hoping I’d miss heard.
“Y-You’re saying that if I don’t go back to how things used to be you’re going to let Sam die?” Without meeting my eye Dad nodded. The information was too much and I felt like I was going to faint, Dad came to hold me but I pushed him off.
“Get off me! I can’t believe I ever loved you” I yelled. I turned to face Sam’s mum who was standing arms crossed on the other side of the room.
“Why? Why would you risk losing your son just to keep a secret?”
“Because appearance is everything”
“I really have to pick between my future and his?” I asked, hoping this was a horrible mistake.
“Yes” my Dad answered.
“No, no I can’t I refuse!” I said.
“Then he’ll die anyway”
“I can’t... I can’t” I cried.
“You’ve got two hours” and they both walked out of the room, leaving me and an unconscious Sam alone. My knees gave way and I fell to the floor, tears running down my face. If I went back I’d never see Sam again but if I didn’t he’d die...

I forced myself to open my eyes and stare around the room once more, my eyes hurt from the fact I’d not slept in over 48 hours. I was sitting in the chair beside Sam, he was still asleep. They said he’d be under medication until the surgery so I don’t even get to say goodbye. I watched him sleeping no idea what’s going on I felt another lump in my throat and I thought I was going to start crying again but I’d cried so much in the last few hours I didn’t think any tears were left. I’d been to the house and got my things, they were sitting on the floor at my feet expect the book. The Beauty and The Beast book Sam had bought me was sitting on my lap, if I couldn’t say goodbye the lest I could do was write. I opened the book to one of the blank pages before the story started and began to write, my hand was shaking so badly I don’t even know if it was readable and I started the cry, tears dropping onto the page as I wrote. I got up from my chair some time later after writing and rewriting everything I wanted to say, I couldn’t tell Sam the truth he’d upset him and that was the last thing I wanted to do. I placed the book on it, picking my bag of the floor and swinging it onto my back.
“Goodbye Sam” I said, leaning in to give him one more kiss on the check before walking out of the room, forcing myself not to look back. The last time I walked out of a hospital room leaving someone behind it was my mum, and it was like leaving a piece of my heart behind. That feeling of a piece of my heart missing has been with me ever since but being with Sam it slowly started to heal, and now I don’t think there was any heart left to heal.
Dad was waiting in the car outside the hospital; I got in the passenger side but continued to stare out the window. I couldn’t even look at my Dad. It took nearly an hour to get back to the house from that hospital and in all that time I didn’t speak, move or even look at my Dad, everything reminded me of Sam and it hurt. Especially when we drove past the park where I’d run off in front of Sam and he’d come running behind me telling me what it was he had been running from when he found me. I remember being so scared, I didn’t know the world and I sure as hell understand it but now I know no one really does.
I got out of the car when we pulled up on the street outside the house and walked round the back of the house. I the saw footprints in the ground that I knew were me and Sam leaving this god dam place. Dad pushed the boards out the way and I walked through the house and to my room, I could see there were new locks on the door. I walked in and Dad closed the door behind me and I heard the lock click in place, I collapsed on the bed and started to cry my eyes out again. It was real I was back here and I wasn’t ever going to see Sam again. I don’t know what having your heart broken feels like but I’m imaging it’s this. That feeling of everything good crashing out of my life, of nothing and emptiness; that feeling of holding your breath not wanting to take another because with every breath it’s still over and he’s not coming back.


Being on sleep medication puts you in this weird dream like state where you’re not really asleep or awake. It was like I was standing in a room and I could hear people talking but I couldn’t see them. I kept hearing bits and pieces of what people were saying.
“He’s going to be fine”
“We go into surgery in an hour”
I seem to walk around the room I was in; it was large and completely white, almost blindingly. I wanted to wake up and go back to Raye but I couldn’t, it was like being held under water I wanted to come back up but the medication was holding me down. Then clear as day, like someone was actually talking in my ear I heard a voice.
“Goodbye Sam” It was Raye, clear in my ear and she sounded upset, really upset in fact the most upset I’d ever heard her. I had to get to her I tried to fight against everything to get to her and at one point I thought I was getting close to the top but I was pulled back down harder. Suddenly the walls in the room got fuzzy and the peoples voices disappeared I was sure they’d up’d my medication. I still tried to fight it, Raye there was something wrong but no matter what I did I couldn’t get to her. I lay on the ground of my white walled room and stared at the white ceiling, I was in this horrible pain. It wasn’t the kind of pain I would be feeling if I was awake it was the pain of knowing Raye is upset and something is badly wrong, the pain of being in love. Isn’t the pain of being ‘in love’ or just the pain of being in love with someone who isn’t? I love Raye so much and she doesn’t... but maybe, maybe if for once in my life I said what I was feeling instead of hiding behind a computer screen I’d find out...

I found myself staring at a ceiling again but it wasn’t all white anymore, there were dull yellow lights shining on me that I tried to close my eyes against it. Then I realise I’m in pain, not the same pain as before it’s a physical pain in my chest. Slowly my brain comes around and I realise I’m awake, I go to sit up straight away looking for Raye but the room in empty.
“Sam? You’re awake?” A girls voice, I snap my head around to see Raye but instead I see my mother...
“W-W-What are you?” I don’t how long I’d been asleep, a day, two my voice was croaky and unused.
“What am I doing here?” she asked, finishing my question. I nodded.
“I came to see my son” she said. I coughed lightly, clearing my throat
“I didn’t know Michael was here” Her expression didn’t change, I might as well as said the funniest thing in the world and she wouldn’t care.
“How are you feeling?” she asked.
“Sore... When the f*** did you care? What do you want?”
“I came to say sorry” and she got up; I noticed she was holding Raye’s Beauty and The Beast book I’d brought for her.
“What are you doing with that? And Sorry? Sorry? It’s a bit fucking late for that” she just placed the book down at the foot of my bed and walked out of the room. I pulled at the wires until I was able to reach the book; I pulled it onto my lap. I wondered why it was here and Raye wasn’t, I traced the words on the front when I noticed one of the pages was marked, I opened it to a blank page before the story started that had been written on. It was messy like someone was trying to write in a hurry or was shaking and there were dots were the ink had run like the person had been crying then right at the bottom written in the messiest hand writing yet was the word Raye.

‘Dear Sam,
I spouse I should start this letter with I hope you’re feeling better.
The next thing I need to say is I’m sorry. I’m sorry you got dragged into my stupid messed up world, you don’t deserve any of this. It would have been better if you’d never found me in the first place, I really am sorry. (Sorry? Why is everyone sorry? What’s going on?) I spouse I should tell you why I’m telling you all this... Sam I’m going back. (No Raye you can’t go, I won’t let you! Please stay with me) I know I know I said I wouldn’t but I’ve spoken to my dad since then. Have you ever looked at someone in the eye when they tell you they need you? That’s how I feel, Sam my Dad needs me more than I’ve ever known anyone to need me. (I need you Raye, I need you so much, and I know I should have told you but please don’t you dare leave me alone in this world) I know you said I should have my own life but this is my life, with my Dad, it’s not in the real world but to be honest I’ve seen the real world and it scares me. (Well the idea of the world without you scares me)
I am truly sorry for everything I put you through, I’m sorry for the pain my leaving will cause, I’m sorry for not even saying goodbye, I’m just sorry. Just go back to way you were before (I can’t be back, there is no way I can go back) forget about me, it’s what I deserve.

Goodbye Sam
I love you
Raye xxxx’
There are tears running down my face, can she really be gone?
“I love you too Raye”

Two weeks till I was allowed to leave the hospital, two weeks I had to stay there staying at the door waiting, hoping for her to come back. I should have been out sooner but I took longer to get any better, I didn’t want to get better, I didn’t want life if she wasn’t in it. I barely ate; I saw her in my dreams and made me miss more so I didn’t sleep. I had to force myself to do those things just so I could get out of that dam place. Once at home I had no one fussing over me I had no one to stop me from falling. They calling it falling in love but it’s not really falling it’s more like flying it’s depression that’s all falling. Like falling into a black hole that you can never see the way out of.
It my first few days I didn’t get out of bed much, mostly to do with pain but as the days went on and the pain died away I still had no motivation to get up. On one of the days I did I opened the door into what was Raye’s room. It was just the same as it had been before she’d arrived, the bed made, no things in the drawers or closest, in fact it looked so empty it hurt. It was like she’d never been here at all, it was almost like she wasn’t real, like she was just someone from my imagination that hadn’t been real at all. That thought made me mad, like fire in my head. Mental and physical pain all merging into just pure pain running through my veins. She was real; she was a person, a person I love! I got so angry, the pain turning to hatred of everything in that room, every memory, every moment.
I took the pillows in my hands and ripped them up, sending feathers flying everywhere. It threw everything of the bed, ripping everything till there were feathers and pieces of material littering the floor. I pulled out the draws until they crashed to the floor, some breaking apart at the joins. The wardrobe was empty after Raye had taken her clothes but right at the bottom in the corner was a small bottle, I grabbed it expecting it to be some stupid trinket but it was a perfume bottle. I opened it thinking I’d smell the stuffy perfume my mother wears but instead I smell that instant sweetness and vanilla mixed with soft flowers that Raye always smelt of. The pain got more intense as I realised I’d never smell this on her again, I’d never hold her, I’d never run my fingers through her long blonde hair. I gripped the bottle as hard as I could and threw it at the window, it smashed straight through sending glass everywhere. I just stood there as the wind blew in from the smashed window, as the glass surrounded my feet and the smell of the perfume faded into the night air. All the fire drains away and I’m left dumb and empty just like the night sky.


The shadow of the bars on the window cast down on my desk as I tried to write. The piece of paper in front of my covered in my messy hand writing, odd words here and there, and bits crossed out and scribbled over. I’d tried writing down everything I’d been feeling, but mostly it was just the word empty written over and over again.
The door creaked
“I brought you dinner” came my Dad’s voice.
“I don’t want it” I said, without looking up.
“You haven’t eaten properly in days, I’m worried about you” he said.
“I said I don’t want it”
“Why not? Do you not like pasta anymore?” he asked.
“You just don’t get it do you? I don’t want to eat because I don’t want to live!” I snapped.
“I don’t understand”
“I have nothing to live for” I muttered.
“I have nothing to live for!” I nearly yelled. “I live everyday in this god dam room, never going anywhere, never doing anything, never talking to anyone, never seeing him again. How is that meant to be enough?”
“It was before” he argued.
“You think we can go back to how it was before? We can’t okay! I love him Dad and now you expect me to live the rest of my life without him” I cried.
“You talk to me like I don’t know that pain” he said quietly.
“You didn’t have a choice, Mum died you weren’t taken away from her!” I screamed.
“I’m only doing what’s best”
“But for whom?”
“I’ve lost you once I can’t do it again” he slammed the door and left the house. I just screamed and kicked the door, all I wanted was to get out I didn’t care if it was out of this room or out of life. Whatever came first.

I don’t remember the last time I left the house, unless you count hospital it would be when I went to school on my own as Raye had been suspended. That felt like forever ago... Well in away it was, it was another time, like another chapter of my life and has since been closed. That I keep looking back on because I just can’t force myself to move forward.
I lay on my bed, my hands across my chest tracing the stitches not worrying about the pain that I got every time I touched them. Pain didn’t bother me anymore; in fact it was the only thing I could feel.
“Hey” said a weak voice from the door. I snapped my head up to see Michael pocking his head round the door.
“What do you want?” I asked, quickly moving my hand away from the stitches.
“I wanted to ask if you were okay?” he asked, stepping into my room.
“Do I f*ing look okay?” I snapped.
“Sorry... I ...I just thought I’d ask” he generally sounded sorry, I sighed.
“I didn’t mean to snap... Sorry it’s just so much I can’t really handle it” I said.
“It’s okay, I mean it’s a big thing to have surgery like that” I almost burst out laughing, he still thought this was about the surgery? It was never about that! It was always, always about Raye.
“It was never about that” I said honestly. I don’t know why I was telling him, I spouse he was my brother after all even if we’d never acted like it.
“What is it about then?” he asked, sitting on the edge of the bed beside me.
“Raye” I breathed.
“The girl”
“I love her... I love her so much and she’s just gone, gone and not coming back”
“That’s the reason you’ve been depressed lately?” he asked, I nodded.
“Oh...” he said again.
“I rescued her... Well I thought I did. I brought her here, I saw her every day, I took her to school, she stood up for me, got in a fight for me! Took care of me, maybe even could have loved me. But now she’s f*ing gone” I rested my head back against the headboard and closed my eyes. “The worse part isn’t just that’s she’s gone it’s that she wanted to go, wanted to leave, never come back to me”
“That’s not true” said Michael, I snapped my eyes open and stared at him.
“What do you know?”
“More than you think”
“What the f*** is going on?”
“It’s... Hmm how do I say this? There was this... this plan to take Raye away”
“What plan? Who made it? Is she okay?”
“The plan to take her away from you... To make things go back to normal. Mum and Raye’s dad made it; I was only in on it because mum couldn’t keep secrets from me if she tried. Yes Sam she’s okay, she is back with her dad it just didn’t happen the way you think it did” said Michael.
“What did happen?” I asked, not sure if I wanted to know the answer.
“We... They made her choice, mum really wanted her gone so she did the only thing that could make sure of that. When you were under the medication and it was said you needed the surgery mum took the moment to... Her and Raye’s dad cornered Raye, they made her pick. If she didn’t go back with him, they’d...They’d let you die”
“WHAT?” I yelled. “They made her pick between my life and hers?”
“What f*ing reason would they have to do that to her?” Michael looked away like he was unsure whether to go on.
“Michael f*ing tell me why they made the girl I love do that” I said. He sighed and turned back to face me.
“Because she knew a secret she shouldn’t have and mum didn’t want it to get out” he said very quietly.
“That’s it? They made Raye go back to the man who kept her in like a prison to keep a god dam secret?”
“I...I can’t believe it”
“Look Sam I’m sorry, I’m sorry I was ever involved in this. I promise you that if I’d ever known you were in love with her I wouldn’t have done it” Michael did honestly sound sorry but I didn’t care.
“Michael what was the secret?” I asked.
“I can’t...”
“I’m in to far now! If there is a chance... A chance to get her back you have to tell me” Michael looked at me, straight into my eyes showing signs of hope for the first time.
“I’m only doing this because I believe in love. Mum and Raye had an argument, mum ended up telling Raye the biggest secret this family has been trying to hide for the last eighteen years. Mum had had an affair, it was just a one night stand, not a long term thing but she got pregnant... Sam it was you. The man I call my dad isn’t yours, you half belong to another family altogether. Mum and Dad argued about what to do, because there was no hiding the fact you weren’t his. In the end they kept you, and raised you like you were my brother but it’s never really worked. Mum hated the fact that she had to be reminded of what she’d done every day when she looked into your eyes and saw that man staring back at her. Dad hated her for doing it, he never really hated you, and he knew it wasn’t your fault for being born. Mum never wanted you to know, she knew it would ruin everything they’d tried so long to hide” Michael explained.
“I spouse that explains my life... One stupid mistake” My head was swimming, my whole life made sense. Why my mother hated me, why my dad (If I can even call him that) ignored me, why Michael always was the good one.
“Why... Why though? They sent Raye back to hell, they risked my life, they life and trick and hide but why?” I asked, not sure if it was directed at Michael of if I was asking myself.
“Because someone people are selfish, they want to hold on to everything they’ve got and can’t risk it ever changing”
“You’re cleverer than I give you credit for” I said.
“Well thanks” he laughed. We both just sat there in silence, the weight of everything Michael had said still sinking in.

I was laid out across my bed, staring hopelessly at the ceiling. My life in front of me, I was to spend in this room as my Dad came and went. Chances are I’d probably die before I’m twenty one as I’d get sick living like this or I’d break and do it myself, to be fair I was tempted to do it myself right now. Life seemed so much more hopeless since I came back, I’d it always hated here but it was so much worse once you know what and who you’re missing. With nothing to distracted myself I could stop thinking about Sam, I wondered if he felt better, I wondered if he missed me, I wondered how he was getting on with life and more than anything I wondered if he loved me like I did him.
I got up and went to my small bathroom cupboard, I opened it revelling pain killers and razors. Both things I could use, I reached for the razors, playing with the thin pieces of mental between my fingers. The bottle of pain killers in my other hand, weighing up the way they felt and wondering how many it would take.
“RAYE!” my heart stopped and I dropped the razors and pain killers into the sink at the sound of my Dad’s voice. I turned to face him; he was staring at me wide eyed with his mouth slightly open.
“What are you doing?”
“W-Where you trying to hurt yourself?”
“I... Err” he didn’t let me finish, he grabbed me by the arm and pulled me into my bedroom.
“You are not doing that to yourself, I won’t lose you like that” he picked me up and put me on the bed, taking a piece of rope and wrapping it around my hands then tying it to the end.
“You are not leaving this room EVER!”
“Dad, don’t do this to me, please!” I called. He slapped me across the face so hard I fell back against the head board. My cheek stinging at tears rolled down it.


“NO!” I yelled snapping awake. I’d just had a nightmare and I couldn’t shake the feeling Raye was in trouble. I got out of bed and walked in Michael’s room.
“Wake up!” I yelled.
“What?” he looked at me with one eye open and no shirt on.
“I need you to drive me to Raye”
“Why... What?”
“I need to get Raye now, so get a move on!”
“Okay” Why Michael woke up a bit I went and put some clothes on before meeting him outside by his car.
“Why are we going now? It’s nearly 5am” he said, unlocking his car.
“Because she’s in trouble”
“How do you even know that?” he asked, his car roaring into life.
“Because when you’re in love with a person you have a strange connection”
“Good thing I believe in love or I’d think you were crazy!” he laughed, as he pulled out the drive and started driving down the empty street.
“Hm Michael?”
“You’re driving the wrong way”
“Oh f***” he did the quickest three point turn and we were roaring down the street again. I stared out the window, a part of me was scared I mean I knew something bad was going on but the other part of me just wanted her back.

I was shaking as we pulled up the other side of the road to Raye’s. The house looked the same as it did the first time, old, almost abandon. Michael and I didn’t say anything as we walked up the drive to the door, despite there was no car on the drive I didn’t want anyone knowing we were there. I went straight behind the house to where the board had been lose last time, I tried to push it but it wouldn’t move.
“Mike help here” I said, my hand on my chest as it was hurting with all the movement.
“No one calls me that” he said jokily, moving me out the way and giving the board one large shove. Being a footballer and working out he was a lot stronger than me and moved it in one push.
“You’re such a wimp Sam” he laughed.
“I’ve had major surgery you know” I said, leading the way into the dark house. I remembered the way into the house and straight Raye’s bedroom door; it was locked just like before but with more and harder to pick locks.
“I’m the strength but you’re the brains of this rescue mission, how do you plan to get them open?” Michael whispered in my ear. I took a penknife from my pocket.
“With this”
It took me the best part of fifteen minutes at get the locks open, how Raye didn’t hear this worried me. What was she doing in there? Was she even in there?
‘Click’ the last lock opened. I stood up and pushed the door.
“Stay there” I whispered to Michael, he nodded.

“Raye?” I stepped into her room.
“RAYE” I ran over to her, she was lying on the bed, or more like tied to the bed. I took the gag out of her mouth and she breathed heavily.
“S-S-am...You...Have to get... Out of here” she breathed.
“I’m going” I said, untying her arms and legs.
“No you have to go”
“Not without you”
“You have to” she said, rubbing her arms. Who knew how long she’d be tied up like that.
“Sam you don’t know what’s going on here. They’ll hurt you if you don’t” she begged.
“I know exactly what’s going on here and I refuse to let them hurt you anymore”
“No I...I can’t leave without you”
“No Sam... I...I love you” I looked down at the girl in my arms, her blonde hair falling across her face, her blue eyes shining and a slight smile on her lips, she was so beautiful.
“I love you too” I picked her up, her arms around my neck and placed my lips to hers. The feeling of her soft, pink lips being pressed against mine made this warm feeling spread through me. Like nothing could ever hurt me as long as I had her in my arms.
“Get me out of here” she whispered.
“With pleasure my Princess” I turned around to face Michael only to see him slumped on the floor, his head resting against the door frame.
“Michael!” I put Raye down and run over to him.
“Mike, Mike wake up” I said, shaking his shoulders.
“He’s only knocked out, he’ll be fine” I looked up to see Raye’s Dad standing in front of me.
“What did you do to him?”
“He just hit his head that’s all” he stepped over Michael and entered the room.
“Oh Raye you got of bed I see, feeling better are we?” he smirked.
“You’re the one who tied her up!” I snapped.
“Only because she was misbehaving”
“It’s your fault I did that” she yelled.
“Let’s not play the blame game, now Sam if you’d like to just take your brother and go” he said.
“No” me and Raye both said together.
“So you’d rather stay? Don’t you realise you’re ruining her life?”
“I’m ruining it? I’m not the one keeping her locked up!” I yelled.
“How many times I’m only doing it to protect her, as she’s proven she can’t look after herself”
“Protect me? Protect me? It’s your ‘protecting’ me that makes me want to do those things” Raye yelled.
“What things?” I asked.
“Sam I...I”
“Oh so you haven’t told him? I came in the other day to Raye trying to kill herself” My heart dropped to my stomach.
“Raye, no, no you didn’t want to do that to yourself. Please no”
“Sam I didn’t know what else to do, I had nothing left! I was back here with him, without you. The idea of spending the rest of my life like this... I just couldn’t take it”
“See can’t take care of herself” her Dad said fact ‘o factly.
“You’re trying to blame her for this? It’s your and my mother f*ing fault!”
“Nice to hear me being called” I snapped around to my mother leaning on the doorframe above where Michael was passed out.
“What the f*** is going on here?” I snapped.
“Well I got a phone calling saying someone wasn’t going along with the plan so I came to see what I could do”
“Just get the f*** out” I growled.
“Not now sweetie” she said, patting me on the shoulder.
“Don’t ‘sweetie’ me” I said, shoving her hand off.
“Sam we’re just trying to do what’s best for you” she was trying to play me, to trick me into believing her.
“Ha! I’ve never heard such a lie”
“I’m not a liar”
“Who told you that?” she stared at Raye with evil eyes, I pulled Raye away from her.
“Michael, he told me everything. Especially about how you tricked Raye into choosing between my life and hers”
“We did we thought was bes...”
“Yeah best for you! You didn’t give us a second f*ing thought. You just wanted to keep your dam secret”
“It’s out now so can this all just end?” Raye speaking for the first time since my mum had walked in.
“You still can’t leave” her Dad said.
“And I can’t live like this, what do you want from me?”
“I...I...I just want my little girl”
“Well she’s gone! Dad she left a long time ago and you’ve got to accept that”
“NO I’m not losing the only piece of your mother I left”
“You’re the best I have”
“Let’s go” I whispered in Raye’s ear. I grabbed tightly onto her hand and went to run for the door, only to be knocked the floor.
“Ahh” I groaned, a stabbing pain in my chest. I put my hand over the stitches only to find blood on my hand.
“DAD” screamed Raye. “Don’t you dare lay a hand on him, if you’re going to hurt him you’ve got to hurt me too”
“Raye no” I said weakly.
“Shh Sam it’s okay”
“You’re not to hurt him” she gave me a hand and pulled me up. I winced as I stood up, one arm around my chest.
Her Dad just stared at us month open, not moving.
“Come on Sam” Raye tightly held my hand and lead me to the door. Mum was screaming for Raye’s dad to stop us but he was still stood frozen to the spot.
“You two stop right now”
“You stop right now” she said again.
“I said no....” I turned to see her pointing a small hand gun at us.
“I said stop” she said again.
“Raye” I pulled her around so we were both staring at mum and the gun...
“Put that down okay? Enough people have already gotten hurt” Looking at Michael slummed against the wall, the angry red marks around Raye’s arms and the blood covering my hand.
“No I’ve had enough of... Of this. Everything’s ruined now and I’m left with one option” she pointed the gun at me, her hand shaking.
“You can’t be serious! You’re risking your son’s life twice for some dammed secret that he already knows? Do you know how crazy that sounds?”
“It’s all I’ve got left, my husband left me after he found out what I’d done and it’s all... It’s all his fault!” she screamed.
“Ha! You deserved it, he should have left you after you had that dump affair” I laughed.
“I regret that affair to this day, now I’m about to do something I should have done years ago. Sam Maximums Flinn should have died years ago so I guess you could say I’m doing the right thing” she laughed, cocking the gun.
“NO” screamed Raye, as I pushed her behind me. A heard the loud crack of the gun going off.
“SAM” screamed Raye again. I closed my eyes waiting for the pain but nothing came.
“NO” screamed my mother. I opened my eyes to see Michael lying at my feet, bleeding heavily.
“Michael! No Michael you didn’t” I kneeled down beside him, the wound was deep and the bleed was turning into a pool around him.
“I...Had to. She was going... To kill you” he breathed.
“No Michael I won’t let you die”
“Too late little bro” his breath was becoming short and his eyes were dropping.
“No please don’t die!” I begged.
“But why Michael? Why did you do this for me?”
“I...I told you.... I believe in love” his eyes closed and he become still. I stared up at Raye who was standing over me; I had tears in my eyes. She was splattered with blood and shaking badly. I pulled myself up and wrapped my arms around her.
“No Michael no” my mother was sobbing over his body.
“You killed him! You killed him” she screamed at me.
“No Mum you killed him” she just started sobbing again, the gun lay forgotten on the floor.

After that everything moved very quickly, police were called by people who heard the gun shoot. They came rushing in out, ambulance came and took Michael’s body away. I tried not to look as the black bag was loaded aboard. They cleaned me and Raye up, putting bandages over the cuts on her arms and re-bandaging my chest. Raye’s dad came out of the room and stood by us as the police dragged my Mum out of the house crying and screaming.
“HE DID IT!” She screamed pointing at me. “HE KILLED MY SON, TAKE HIM AWAY” but they continued to drag her away.
“My beautiful son and you killed him!” she screamed again. I just waved as the police car drove away leaving Raye, her dad and me alone outside the house.
“Can I go now?” asked Raye, speaking for the first time in about an hour. Her Dad looked away and I was afraid after all this he still wouldn’t let her go.
“Yes, yes you can go” he said, still not facing us. I pulled Raye into a kiss, after everything that had happened there was nothing I needed more than the feeling of her in my arms.
“I realised I what I was doing. My wife, the woman I loved was taken from me and now I was doing the same to you. I couldn’t put anyone through the pain I felt when I lost your mother. I am truly sorry for everything, I can’t believe how out of control everything got and Sam I’m truly sorry about your brother”
“Thanks” I muttered weakly.
“Dad, I do love him and I promise you I won’t ever let him go” she hugged her Dad; even now she was still a Daddy’s girl.
“I promise I won’t ever hurt her” I said, gripping her hand tightly.
“I know you won’t, the love you two have is very special. It’s incredibly strong”
“We know” We both said at the same time.

Raye’s Dad stood in the middle of the street, waving us off. We’d gone in Michael’s car, I could almost hear his voice in my head ‘Go live your life, go with the love of your life’
“Where do you want to go?” I asked.
“Anywhere, everywhere, as long as you are by my side” she smiled her beautiful beaming smile. The sun was coming up as we drove out into the country.
“At last I see the light, like I always dreamed”
“Come on Princess, we’ve got the world of your dreams waiting for you”
“With my Prince beside me” she smiled back.
“I love you”
“I love you more”
“I love you most”

The End.

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