I rushed out of the library and onto the street, my heart pounding in my ribcage. I couldn't stand to be in there. I couldn't talk about my family again. I had to get my ukulele. I couldn't wait for him to respond- I just- Couldn't... I hated seeing the sympathy in his eyes, I didn't want him to feel bad for me. I didn't need him to feel bad for me. I was fine without telling anyone, I could- No, I will be fine. Just because I told Miles doesn't mean everything went wrong.
I started down the street, almost tempted to run back and tell Miles everything. But I didn't, I told him what he wanted to know, not my life story. Not what happened in Mississipi. I should've told him. I thought, but I shook my head. I shouldn't. I couldn't, and I wouldn't.
I slowed down to a stop, deep in thought. Would I be able to go back to Mississipi? I mean, Ethan said he could could help me, but, should I go back there? I don't think I should go back to Mississipi, but at the same time, I really wanted to. I should get another opinion... Maybe I should ask Miles... I shook my head. No. Im not doing that.
I stared down at the sidewalk, and I could feel something touch my shoulder, but I didn't care. I was thinking about the crack in the sidewalk. I remember jumping over those, for no reason, but just for fun. I remember when Ethan and I used to have races down our road and we had to avoid the cracks. I remember tripping over a tree root growing through the sidewalk and I slammed into the concerete. I remember Ethan coming over to me, laughing about how blind I was, and then helping me up, and I remember me whining, saying we had to start over.
"Dawn?" A voice interrupted my thoughts, and I spun around. It was Miles. He put his hand down, he was the one who touched my shoulder. I mean, it wasn't a big deal. I just... I don't remember the last time somebody has done that. I took a step back, we were too close for comfort.
"Miles." I nodded my head a little and ran my fingers through my hair unconsciously. I should go. I needed to get my ukulele.
He raised his hand and I flinched, putting my hands up, and closing my eyes. It was a reaction, I couldn't control it. I waited for the impact to hit my arms, but instead it didn't. I slowly put my arms down and looked at Miles. He stood there for a second, with a confused look on his face, looking at me up and down. I could feel my face instantly turning flushed. Did I do something wrong? Was it my reaction?
"Erm..." He cleared his throat, "You forgot your phone..." I looked at his hand, and in it, sure enough, was my phone, in its blue, tiny case. I quickly went to grab it, but froze as my hand kinda wrapped around his and my phone. I yelped little bit and stared at my hand, while Miles stared at me. I felt frigid as I froze. I felt guilty, and I quickly tore away.
I gripped my phone as tightly as I could and looked down at my feet again. I felt even more embarrassed than when I crashed into him.
"Well," I noticed he rubbed his neck.
"Well..." I whispered.
"Where are you heading?"
"Back to my house," I never called it home. It wasn't my home. This town's never going to be.
He furrowed his brow, "What? I thought-"
"Its not what it looks like. I just, forgot something." I interrupted him.
"Oh," He nodded. "Just like you forgot your phone?" He grinned.
I smiled- for real this time- and laughed a tiny bit. "Yeah, I guess so."
I could tell he was happy that he made me smile, and just for a second, as I stared at his blue eyes, his grinning face, I forgot about the world. About everything. About my family, about how I ran away, about Mississipi, about Eric and Ethan. About school and the party. The four months I spent locked up in my room, grieving. All I felt, all I knew was how he made my stomach turn to jelly, how he made me feel bubbles, and how he made feel.... Happy?
But then, it disappeard. "Do you want me-?"
I quickly looked away, staring was bad. Don't stare. "You can come," I shuffled my feet, and then quickly added, "If you want."
He nodded and pointed behind me. "Lead the way," and I spun around. You got this...
My knees felt weak as Miles walked beside me, and how he tried small talk.
"So... Anything else you want to talk about?" I had to stop myself from freezing. God, I wanted to tell him so much more, but instead I shrugged. " You know... About your family?" I was almost tempted to say 'Incorrect question!' But I didn't.
"Erm..." I stared at the ground, as if I trying to find an answer there. "Well..." He looked at me, like he was actually interested in what I was going to say. "Did you get those bags to the librarian?" I blurted, I needed to change the subject.
He nodded, "Are you going back to get them...?" He asked, and I nodded. We walked in silence for the next few minutes. We were almost there. "Are you... Okay?" The words were like daggers in the silence. Okay? Okay? OKAY?! I felt like I was going to fall down and have a mental breakdown.
"Wellll..." I noticed my house out of the corner of my eye. "Hey look! There's my house!" I rushed over there.
The brown and grey walls of my house fit perfectly in with the other houses. The bushes in front of the yard where cleanly kept, by me, and it looked pretty nice. My heart pounded in my chest louder and louder like a bomb, closer I got to the house. "S-Stay here..." I was nervous, it showed in my voice.
Please, don't let anyone be home... Please don't let anyone be home. I thought. I walked up the driveway, and stood at the doorway. My heart was going to explode, I could feel it. I was hesitant, but I rapped my knuckles against the door, just to make sure no one was home. I stood there for a few seconds, listening for footsteps. And then I heard it. Stomping. My stepmother. I stepped away from the door, ready to run. I spun around, ready to sprint, hearing the door swing open, I knew I was too late.
"You." My stepmothers voice echoed in my ears. "Turn around." I slowly turned around, avoiding Miles eyes. I risked glancing up at my stepmother and quickly down at the floor. I reminded myself of a puppy, tiny, scared, and helpless.
"I...I..." I whispered, my voice itself, was shaking.
"I almost called the cops on you." I couldn't do this. Not anymore. I came back for something, and this was not it.
"I know you wouldn't have. You didn't even come looking for me yourself." I blurted out, and I immediately regretted it. Bad Idea
"What did you just say to me?" Then, there it came. In a flash, she raised her hand and smacked me, right in the cheek. I fell to the floor, her ring stung on my cheek the most. "Don't talk back to me." My whole body started to shake, I felt cold, and sick, I couldn't run. Not here, not now. Suddenly, she looked up and saw Miles. She smiled. "Oh?" I shakily got up and glanced at Miles. Was he going to come up here? Was he going to say something? I caught his eye and shook my head. He opened his mouth, but then closed it, staying silent and frozen in his place. I could feel her grab my arm. She dug her nails into my skin. "Smile, and wave. You're coming inside. Now." I bit my lip, her nails stung, I was going to bleed, I knew it. I smiled and waved at Miles as she dragged me inside. She let go of me and slammed the door.
"Please, please... No cabniets... Please..." I could feel tears rolling down my cheek, and I could barely speak. I shook my head, I was on my knees, and I was scared she was going to smack me again. That was the worst of my worries. "Please... Please." I choked out.
She nodded and crossed her arms. "Go to your room." My room? My bedroom? That was... I scrambled up and rushed over to my bedroom, her following me.
I stopped breathing. Inside my room, on the floor, broken and in splinters, was my ukulele. The special one my mom got me. The one she painted herself, was broken. My stepmother... She broke it. She broke, my ukulele... I lost it.
I screamed, using all my strength, all my anger, I let it all out in one, deafening scream. Miles probably heard it, if he was still there, that is. I spun around, meeting face to face with my stepmother. "Y-You" Was the only whisper I could choke out. Then, my heart exploded. I started sobbing as I threw my hands at her. First I tried slapping her, and then I turned my hands into fists, and starting to fling them around. I pushed her, tried kicking her, punching her, anything I could. And I screamed. Louder than I ever thought I could. My cheeks were hot and stained with tears, I did this, thing, for five minutes.
I looked at her, her clothes were wrinkled, her hair was messed, - I ripped some of it out- but it didn't look like she went through that much. She narrowed her eyes and raised her hand. I ducked, but instead of smacking me, she kicked me right in the stomach. I gasped in pain, and fell back. I ignored the pain, and pushed past her. I saw my phone on the floor, where I dropped it. My face felt flaming hot, and my cheeks burned, my tears falling down onto the floor. I picked it up, and taped to the back, was a picture of Eric and I. It was one he kissed me on the cheek in the photobooth. I grabbed it, ready to rip it off, but then it disappeard. I gripped my phone tighter and ran to the front door. I swung it open and ran down the stairs, Miles still there.
"Dawn?" He looked at me, but I didn't even give him a glance. I grabbed onto his arm and pulled him away from the house. He started to walk with me, but then stopped. Something had dropped on the ground and he went to pick it up. I spun around, glaring at him.
"Lets go," He picked up the photo that was taped onto my phone. He stared at it for a second, glancing up at me and back at the photo. I went to snatch it away from him, but he stuffed it into his pocket. "Lets... Go." I whispered again, and this time he nodded. I gripped onto his arm tighter as I walked away from the house. My knees felt weak, but I tried to stand strong, by taking long strides. I was shaking, bad, and I was slowly crying. I trained my eyes in front of me, I couldn't do this. Not now, not today. I couldn't deal with anything right now. Anything, at all.