#3. Look

I hug her tight ”Well facetime by 7 everyday, okay? ”

She pats my back ”You know I wouldn miss it for anything. ”

Marcus pushes her out of the way and hugs me tightly ”Why do you have to leave so soon? ”

I chuckle and hug him back ”Well see each other again, okay? ”

”Promise me, ” He looks me in the eye ”Youll get better and stay alive, okay? ” A tear drop slips down his face.

”Don make her cry, Marcus. ” Olivia says tears running down her face

I burst out crying and they wrap me in a hug. Pulling away, they both hold my hand.

”Youll see the therapist right? ” She gives me a smile filled with hidden pain.

I bite my lips ”Yes. ” I breathe out ”I mean, I could give it a try, to see if its worth it. ”

She squeezes my hand ”If I ever catch those jerks who did this to you, Ill squeeze the life out of them and make sure they regret messing with you. ”

Marcus and I laugh, knowing very well, she was all talk but no action.

”Im serious. This time Ill really not hold back. ” She whines

”No one said anything, thats just your guilty conscience talking. ” Marcus defends

”You both don want to fight, when Im about to leave. Tell the twins they can sleep all day, now Im gone. ” I hug them one last time, hearing dad calling me out.

”Keep fighting, okay? ” Marcus squeezes my shoulders as I step out the door.

I smile at him and wave them goodbye.

Great. Home sweet home, here I come.

I am well aware of it. Im going back to the fiery pit of hell, school.

***

”This wasn what you promised me mum. ” I yell, tears threatening to spill from my eyes.

I look at dad, but he only avoids my eye, which makes me feel worse.

Im on my feet now, standing up from the couch. ”You can make me go back there. ”

”You know what I went through. ” I start crying ”I almost died. ” I cry out

”Sweetie, please listen to us. ” Mum pleads hugging me tight ”You have to make them pay, you have to go back so you can become a stronger person. Its not going to be easy but well be here with you. ”

Dad gets up and pulls me into his arms ”I don want to send you back there, but letting you run away from your problems, won make them go away neither will it make me a good father. ”

They both wrap me in their arms ” What if I don make it out alive this time? ” I ask trembling.

”You
e strong Reina. Youve got this, you have to make them realize what they did to you was very wrong. ” Mum touches my chin, raising my face to meet hers.

Dad squeezes my hand, comforting me ”Itll be different this time around. I promise. ”

Sobbing in their arms, I let their words sway me. Holding me tighter, they reassure me that they are always going to be here.

Im scared. Im terrified Im going to lose the battle once again. Deep down, I want to make them pay for every tears, blood and sweat I shed because of them. But then again, mum would always say acting indifferent is the best form of revenge.

Knowing I have no choice in this, because my parents had made their mind on this.

If theres anything I needed to do, it was taking the bulls by the horn. As the proverb said.

***

”Oh my God. No freaking way! ” Olivia shrieks

”Ouch my ears. ” I whine, taking out one of my air pods.

”Sorry. When do you resume? ” She asks.

”Today. ” I breathe out shakily, putting my books and school supplies in my backpack.

”Oh my God! ” She screams

God. My poor eardrums.

”Olivia, youll make me go deaf. ” I sob, removing my air pods and putting my phone on speaker.

”Sorry. ” She apologizes ”Why didn you tell me this sooner? ”

”Ive been busy with therapy. ” I finally break the news to her

”Im so proud of you girl. ” I can feel her smile, even though I can see her.

”Remember, Im always here for you, okay? ” She reminds me for the tenth time today.

I grin ”Love you too. Gotta go, or Ill be late. ”

”You got this, okay? Show them what you got, girl. ” She cheers me on.

I chuckle ”Bye. ”

I end the call and slip my phone into my back.

Here I go. You can do this, Reina.

Making my way to the sitting room, Mom gives me a hug and kisses my forehead ”You have no idea, how proud I am of you. ”

Dad takes my bag and leads me out of the house. Opening the car door for me, he gestures for me to sit.

I giggle ”You don have to do this, Dad. ”

”Anything for my princess. ” He slams the door shut and makes his way to the drivers seat.

He starts the engine and we drive in silence. My hands are trembling, my heart pounding hard against my chest, beating fast and loud like a drum.

I think I might die of anxiety before I even make it to school. Dad only followed me, so he could be a source of strength to me.

He had to sign a few documents and then leave. But Im grateful that he would be holding my hand to the battle field.

The sound of the engine dies down, interrupting my train of thoughts. Stepping out of the car, my leg feels wobbly like a bowl of spaghetti. Dad stands right beside me, holding my hand in his.

”Im with you, Reina. ” He grips my hand tightly in a comforting way.

***

A pair of strong hands, grabs my neck tightly, choking me.

”You better not tell anyone about this or else Ill make you wish for something far worse than death. ” He cackles evilly, his minions joining him.

That laugh. I loathe it.

The sound of heels meeting the floor, grows louder, minute by minute and I know whats coming next.

He moves aside, letting her face me completely.

She yanks my hair ”You really thought you could die without our permission. ” She bites her lips, smirking ”Hand it over. ”

My scalp feels like its being torn apart, as she pulls my hair harder.

Pushing me to the floor, using her heels, she steps on my hand.

Wincing in pain, my eyes bloodshot, I conclude theres no use crying anymore and then my world goes black.

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