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Dying For You To Notice Me

Guest Georgia

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Story Title: Dying for you to notice me

Type of story: Long fiction

Main Characters: Belle Taylor, Aden Jeffries

Rating: T- A

Genre: Pain, romance, drama, self-harm

Does story include spoilers: No

Any warnings: Yes, self harm

Summary: Belle Taylor, the year 12 high school student, was the kind of girl you walked straight past, the invisible girl. She longs for Aden Jeffries to notice her, to love her, but he doesn't. He's just like everyone else, and Belle turns to her diary and a dangerous hobby for help.

Authors Notes: The beautiful banner is by Bec, and she is also proofing this story, so thanks Bec :D And we have a trailer, also made by Bec :lol:

Chapter One: Invisible


There’s always that one person in high school, one who fits the stereotype of the “loser” perfectly. No friends, blends into the background... completely invisible.

I, Belle Taylor, am that girl.

I go to photography club instead of hanging out at the beach. I study instead of partying. I lust after the captain of the rugby team, the most popular guy in school, the unattainable Aden Jefferies, despite the fact that he has a girlfriend; but not just any girlfriend: Nicole Franklin, the most popular girl in school, the head cheerleader, the one girl who is so beautiful that you can’t stand to look at her.

Neither of them notices that I exist, even Aden, the only other member in the photography club. He takes the most amazing pictures of people, in a variety of different poses, but although he admires my landscapes, and sits next to me in the practically empty class room, he still doesn’t know my name.

No matter how many times I think about him, or dream about him holding me against his firm chest... he wouldn’t know my name. I’m just not on his radar...

The siren rings out, piercing my eardrums as usual, signalling the end of the day. I rush down the corridor, cradling my camera tightly in my arms after just coming from my locker where I had thrown my books. I’m running late for photography club, an hour of pure, uninterrupted time with Aden, which is practically perfect.

He sits next to me, his knee rubbing gently across my thigh. His cologne, mixed with the sweat from played rugby, makes a smell that overwhelms my senses. My body automatically angles itself towards him, on the pretence of looking at his photographs.

There are only two things that could make it better: one, him remembering my name, and two, if the photos of Nicole didn’t feature in his displays.

Deep down inside of me, I know that neither of these things are going to happen. We’re in year 12, and Nicole and Aden are the golden couple, the ones that cannot be torn apart, no matter what is thrown at them.

Although he doesn’t know my name, the photography class beckons to me, and I turn a corner, desperately trying to get there in time. The tranquil classroom provides an escape, a place where I’m actually a person, with a recognisable talent, instead of the invisible girl, that seems less important than the walls the school are made of.

Nicole is standing right in front of me, and I’m left looking up at her. She has a frown on her face, and I have a throbbing pain eating away at my head. It becomes painfully obvious that I’ve run straight into Nicole, and fallen to the floor. I stammer an apology, but she doesn’t seem to hear me.

My camera, my view of the world, is lying in pieces, pieces so small that there is no chance that I’ll be able to put it back together. A large group has gathered around me, and I’m no longer the invisible girl.

I’m suddenly the klutz who walked into Nicole Franklin, and they all start laughing at me, some hiding their giggles behind their hands, others actually pointing at me. I can feel my eyes fill up with tears, and I furiously blink them back, desperately trying not to show emotion in front of the other students.

I frantically push myself to my feet, collecting as many pieces of my camera as possible, before running out of the school, trying to get away from everything and everyone.

Aden is standing in the entrance of the school, his arms folded across his chest, sympathy clear in his eyes. He moves quickly out of my way, but not before I see the emotions on his face. He glares at me, probably because I’ve just run into his girlfriend, and that’s what hurts the most.

No matter how much I kid myself, Aden will never care about me, not the way I want him to care. I’ll be lucky if he even remembers my name by the end of this year.

When I’m outside, I let the tears fall, blinding me as I sprint towards Irene’s house, and the safe haven of my bedroom. The camera pieces are flying out of my hands, but I can’t stop and pick them up. I just have to get away from everything that just happened.

When I get home, I run straight to my room. Luckily, no one else is home. Only Irene and I live here, and she is probably still working, and today I’m thankful for that. I lock the door behind me, and collapse on the floor, sobs racking my body.

So much has gone wrong in my life, so much pain and so many tears. My parents had abused me, and I had been put in a foster home, which was where Irene had found me. There were still a lot of scars, both mental and physical, from the attacks that had gone on for numerous years.

And Summer Bay, the place that was supposed to offer me a new life, a new outlook on life, had been the worst place of all.

When my tears had slowly subsided, I crawled towards my desk, and roughly pulled open the bottom drawer, rummaging around until I had found the sharp metal object I had been looking for. I felt complete when it was in my hand again, as if a part of me had been missing and I had finally recovered it.

I pulled up my jumper sleeve, and let out a breath I hadn’t even realised I had been holding. The pattern of scars soothed me, and reminding me of the escape I had found.

I put the scalpel against my wrist, and pulled, ignoring the stinging pain and concentrating on the crimson red blood that was seeping out of the cut. That was the cut to relieve the pain of the past.

I made another cut, slightly about the last, sighing as the blood dripped out of my skin. That was the cut to escape the pain of the present.

And then, I placed the scalpel on my wrist, and pulled one last time, my tears mingling with the blood on my wrist. That was the cut for the pain of the future.

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Thanks for the reviews guys. RR1, no it's not wrong for the Naden fan in you to want Belle to go away.... but at this moment in time, Aden really is that oblivious....

Chapter Two: Crimson Red

Warning: Mentions of self-harm

Lyrics by the Black Eyed Peas, and Evanescence

The blood was cleaned up, the scalpel hidden back in my bottom drawer. My jumper sleeves had been pulled down, and the latest cuts had been covered. I now looked like a typical teenager, but there was a place inside me... one so dark and devastating that I tried to hide it from myself.

The banging in the kitchen alerted me to the fact that Irene was home. I double checked to make sure that there was no sign of what I’d just been doing, and then walked slowly down the stairs. My head was spinning. I hadn’t been able to stop the bleeding very quickly today, and it was affecting my whole body.

“Hey darl”, Irene called as soon as she saw me. I didn’t reply, but nodded at her. Irene seemed to think that was normal; after all, I had never been the most outgoing person anyway.

Irene continued bustling around, babbling on about her day, and I dragged myself onto a chair.

“Is everything alright darl?” she questioned, when the kitchen was once again sparkling clean

“Yeah, I’m just feeling a bit dizzy”, I whispered, my head lying in my hands, trying to stop the nausea that was beginning to overcome my body.

Irene smiled reassuringly at me. “I’m sure it will pass”, she said quietly, before passing me a glass of water

I smiled tightly at her, but didn’t drink, waiting until she left the room, before standing up and walking to the sink, before pouring the water down the drain.

I hardly ever drunk water; I only had a need for it when I was struggling to swallow the food Irene had put on my plate. I was hardly ever hungry, but Irene always wanted to give me a healthy meal. And swallowing it down with water was the only way I could eat my meals.

Not that my food stayed in my stomach for long. Before long, I would be kneeling over the toilet basin, retching, in a desperate bid to stay skinny, and maybe be noticed, for once in my life.

“Girlie, I’m going to have to go back to the diner”, Irene called, as she walked back into the room, her handbag already slung over her shoulder. I waved goodbye, and knew that she wouldn’t be back until later that night.

I quickly walked to my room, and threw on my shortest dress. I had heard rumours of Nicole’s welcome back to school party, an invitation open to the whole of year 12. If I wanted to be noticed, tonight was the best opportunity.

I donned high heels, and staggered down the stairs. I hardly ever dressed up and as a result, I felt awkward and uncomfortable.

I could hear the music booming from a long way away. The party already appeared to be in full swing, and I swallowed, suddenly nervous about my impulsive decision. I clutched my jumper tighter around my body, realizing that it ruined the look of the dress, but having no other way to hide the large amount of scars on my arms.

I picked up my pace, anxious to get into the party, and escape these feelings that were threatening to completely consume me.

The music became louder as I got closer, and the lyrics started to envelope me.

I got a feeling that tonight’s gonna be a good night

That tonight’s gonna be a good night

That tonight’s gonna be a good, good night

I swayed my head lightly to the beat, and smiled when I reached the front door. I peeked inside and my smile grew larger. Aden was inside, talking to a few of the other rugby players, and Nicole was standing on the opposite side of the room, her back to me.

I strolled in, putting on a confident facade, although I was quivering inside, nervous about attending my first ever high school party.

When I walked in, the party seemed to dim down a little bit, and a lot of heads swivelled in my direction. I don’t know how they knew I was there, but they didn’t seem happy to see me. Nicole was the first person to walk over to me, and her eyes were shooting evil glares at me.

“What are you doing here?” she asked, her eyes looking me up and down, taking notice of my high heels, and my extremely short dress, paired with an extremely thick jumper

“I heard about the party”, I whispered, my eyes looking at the floor, not even daring to look Nicole in the eyes

“And?” she questioned, obviously not in the mood to let me off easily

“I heard the other year 12’s say it was an open invitation”

“That doesn’t include you. Open invitation means all the sports teams and the cheerleaders, not the girl who runs into me” Nicole hissed at me, and I recoiled further into myself.

My first effort at being a normal teenager had failed, and not just in a small way. All eyes were rooted firmly on Nicole, and myself, and this time, no one was bothering to hide their laughter this time.

“Just leave”, she whispered, turning on her heel and walking away. I followed suit but ran in the opposite direction, the tears already pouring down my cheeks. I don’t

know why I had bothered. They would have never accepted me anyway.

The lights were still on in the diner, which reassured me that Irene was still at work. I paused and quickly took of my heels, throwing them into the bush, allowing me to run home that much quicker.

I went straight to my bedroom, locked the door, and opened the bottom drawer, pulling out the small piece of metal that I relied on.

I discarded my jumper, and threw my dress into a corner of the room, never wanting to look at it again. I put on an over sized t-shirt, and sat on the floor, gripping the scalpel tightly.

I made one quick cut, followed by another and then one more. Three was the usual amount, but the pain still wasn’t gone from the humiliation of tonight’s events.

My hand was shaking, and the next cut was longer than usual, the crimson blood pouring at faster than usual, and dripping off of my wrist onto my knee.

I let the blood drip for longer than usual, allowing the dizzy feeling and the nausea to take over my body, before pushing the towel against the cut, trying to push the blood back into my body.

It took a long time for the blood to stop gushing out. I threw the scalpel back into the bottom drawer, and violently pushed it shut, trying to get the memory of what just happened out of my head.

I hid the towel under my bed, in a small box that Irene would never find. I crawled into bed, and hid under the covers, running my fingers gently over the scars, careful not to touch the fresh wounds. I allowed the tears to take over my body, and I cried myself to sleep, for the third night in a row.

Long lost words whisper slowly to me

Still can’t find what keeps me here

When all this time I’ve been so hollow... inside

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Chapter Three: Just another Day

I woke up late the next morning, to an insistent banging on the door.

“Girlie, you’ve got to get up, otherwise you’re going to be late for school”, Irene hollered through the door at me

“I don’t think I can go to school today Irene. I’m really not feeling well”, I shouted back, my head thumping at the sound reverberating through the room

“That wild party of Nicole’s knackered you out?” Irene laughed, and anger pounded through my body, overwhelming the pain that had been in my head just a moment before hand

“For your information, I went to the party but Nicole basically threw me out”, I screamed, wincing as the sound made my headache declare itself all over again

“Do you want to talk about it?” Irene asked, her voice softening, but that made me feel so much worse. I didn’t want anyone’s pity... especially Irene’s

“Its fine, I’ve got everything under control, you just go to work, and I’ll be ready to face school tomorrow, I promise”, I said, hoping that Irene wouldn’t be able to tell that I was lying.

It worked though. She seemed to accept my story, because I heard her mutter under her breath about unreliable teens, before turning and walking away. I let out a sigh of relief, and rolled out of my bed, walking straight to the chest of drawers opposite my bed.

I stayed clear of the bottom drawer, I was stronger than that, and I wasn’t going to resort to that form of escaping ever again.

Instead, I pulled open the top drawer, and grabbed my diary, and the fluffy pen that was always next to it.

I perched uncomfortably on the edge of the hard backed chair, and began writing, which was the other way I expressed myself.

Dear Diary,

I attempted to be a normal teenager last night, and it didn’t work out how I wanted it to... not even close.

Nicole basically kicked me out of the house and the whole of the high school laughed at me again... I wish I was back to being invisible again.

Actually, that’s not true. I wish I was Nicole Franklin, with her beautiful blonde hair, and her perfect figure, and her amazing smile... and her drool worthy boyfriend.

But that’s never going to happen, because I’m not Nicole Franklin. I’m Belle Taylor...

My hair is a spiky brown, and it takes forever to make it look even halfway decent. I’m too skinny to look attractive, but if I eat, I’m too fat to be curvy. And my smile... it’s just disgusting. Plus, I don’t have my own personal Aden Jefferies, no matter how many times I dream about it...

So I rushed home, and I tried to escape, escape from the pain that seems to be constantly engulfing me, and pushing me down.

And the metal in my hand... it felt like a part of me. One more important than a heartbeat, the one thing that completed me.

The crimson red was kind of beautiful, in a weird kind of way. It’s the kind of colour that’s so rich, it makes you stop and admire it.

It was pouring out of my wrist, and I couldn’t stop it. I was powerless to stop it... I could just watch the red blood pour out, swirling down my arm

But then my other arm moved, and picked up the towel, forcing the blood to stop flowing. I could feel the sting from the cut, and my tears started to prick at my eyes.

A noise from downstairs startled me, and I quickly threw my diary back into the drawer, and forced myself to walk away. The temptation to open the drawer containing the scalpel was growing stronger with every passing second

“Belle, are you here?” an unfamiliar voice called out, and I cautiously opened the door, poking my head around the frame.

“Yeah”, I whispered, when I saw that it was Irene’s colleague Roman, the chef at the diner. I swallowed noisily... Roman was also Nicole’s father.

“Irene sent me to check up on you”

“Oh, I’m really fine. You didn’t have to worry”, I said quietly, secretly wishing that I had the blade in my hand again, just so that I would be able to escape from reality... if only for a few more minutes

“It was no problem. I needed to talk to you about something else anyway”

This was it, the moment where Roman was going to yell at me for trying to be a normal teenager

“Irene wasn’t too keen about it, but I own half the business as well... how would you like to work for us?”

I bit on my bottom lip, seriously contemplating my options. This could either be a great idea, and everyone would see me as an important part of the town, or the people in Summer Bay would turn even further against me

“Aden’s going to be working in the diner as well; we just need another teen worker”, Roman explained, his voice still soft, as if he was trying to calm down a toddler

And that was what did it for me... more time working close to Aden, being able to move around him to get to the dishes, to work in unison with him, to be able to smell him, or watch him smile at a customer.

“I’d love to”, I smiled, and I actually let out a little giggle. In that moment, I thought that my life would turn out like a fairy tale, or one of those Hollywood movies. You know the ones where there’s that dorky girl, who has to become close to the popular guy, and they fall in love and live happily ever after?

I thought that for once, my life would be perfect, that all the pieces of the jigsaw would finally be assembled and the bigger picture would be breath taking.

With Aden at my side, the scalpel won’t need to be a part of my life anymore. I’ll be indestructible... the man I love will love me back, all those popular people will realise that I exist...

I wave as Roman leaves, and then run back to my bedroom.

I violently pull open the top drawer and grab my diary, frantically ripping out the pages, a flutter of pages drifting down to land by my feet.

I scoop them all up, and throw them out of the window, watching as the wind tears them up into millions of tiny pieces. My past has been erased.

I then open my bottom drawer, and find the scalpel, hesitating as the metal touches my hand, but then I run downstairs and throw it into the rubbish bin outside.

Everything is about to change...

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Thanks for the reviews guys, and feel free to keep them coming :D

Chapter Four: First Shift

“Dream as if you’ll live forever; live as if you’ll die today” James Dean

My first shift was the next day, the early Saturday morning shift. Roman was keen to train both Aden and I as soon as possible. I didn’t care though... I was actually looking forward to working, which might have had something to do with the people I was going to be working with.

I think it was the first time in about a year when I had woken myself up before 7am. I took a shower, and washed my hair with the exotic coconut conditioner that I had bought a few months ago, but never used.

I jumped out of the shower and began the time consuming process that most teenage girls went through every single morning.

I put on a fresh smelling deodorant, washed my face with about ten different creams, gently applied a small amount of perfume to my neck and wrists... then I actually blow dried my hair, so that it cascaded down my back in decent looking waves.

But then the whole look was ruined, because I had to put on a long sleeved jumper, even though it was getting warmer and warmer outside. I would have to wear long sleeves until the wounds on my wrists didn’t show anymore.

As soon as I had finished getting ready, I ran out of the house towards the diner, not daring to look at myself in a mirror, in case all the effort had been wasted.

When I got to the diner, it was still closed, but there was one solitary figure sitting on the wall opposite me.

I tried not to stare too hard, but it was extremely difficult, as Aden slouching against a wall was a sight that was unforgettable.

“Can I help you?” he asked politely, and I nearly jumped out of my skin. We had been going to school together for the last few years, but he had never talked to me before, just around me or through me.

“I’m just waiting for the diner to open”, I whispered, my heart beating louder than usual, and my hands starting to clam up

“Well, I work here, and it should be open in about 15 minutes”, he replied, and my heart literally stopped beating.

He had no idea who I was... no idea that I worked at the diner too. He thought I was just some other customer

“I actually work here as well”, I told him, shocked at the sudden burst of confidence that had suddenly empowered me.

“I haven’t seen you around before”, he replied casually, not even realizing that those six words had shattered all my dreams. “Are you new in town?” he questioned, diligently trying to make conversation with his colleague.

“We’ve actually been at Summer Bay High together since year 8”, I whispered, the confidence draining from my voice, and the colour draining from my face.

He at least had the dignity to act embarrassed. Aden quickly muttered an apology and averted his eyes from my face, concentrating on the ocean behind me.

I wanted to tell him that it was ok... that I wasn’t a noticeable person, but my voice was stuck in my throat. My head started spinning, and my eyes felt like enormous weights.

“Are you ok?” Aden’s voice broke through the haze that was surrounding my head, and I looked up to see concern etched on his face.

Aden Jefferies was concerned about me... that alone was a reason to celebrate.

I slowly nodded my head, despite the fact that I felt like I was about to throw up. Aden smiled slightly and turned his head away from mine again, soon standing up and walking away.

I wanted to call him back to me, to beg him to kiss me... to love me... but I followed his path with my eyes, and saw him kiss Nicole passionately on the lips.

I couldn’t be here any longer; I couldn’t watch their public displays of affection... so I turned on my heel and walked away.

I walked to the bus stop, and waited patiently for the bus to arrive. I rode the bus all the way into Yabbie Creek, and got off when I saw a pharmacy. I bought a new diary, and a shiny, silver scalpel, then caught the bus back to Summer Bay.

I avoided the diner, because I knew that Irene would be mad at me, and Roman would be disappointed.

I went straight home, and up to my bedroom, locking the door behind me. I placed the brand new diary in the top drawer, and then placed my new scalpel on the bed.

I picked up my mobile and messaged Irene, letting her know that I was sick today, and I was sorry that I wasn’t at work, but it wouldn’t happen again.

After all that was done, I sat on the floor, and ripped open the packet containing the scalpel. I twirled it around, between my fingers, and let out a sigh of relief. I felt complete again.

I rolled up my jumper sleeve, and gently rubbed the cuts that were already there. They were a reminder of the other problems in my life... reminders of all the times when I couldn’t cope with the pain, when I was sick to death of being invisible.

And then I remembered Aden not knowing who I was, and Aden putting his perfect lips against Nicole’s, and lowered the scalpel to my wrist.

The crimson red blood poured out, gushing as soon as I made the first tiny incision. My tears rolled off my cheeks and joined the small pool of blood that was collecting at the bottom of my palm.

The first cut felt so perfect, as if it was the natural thing for me to do, so I lowered the scalpel again, and made another little incision, and then another, until the scratches on my arm formed some sort of weird star.

I feel like I’m standing outside of my body, watching on, and I’m powerless to stop myself from cutting, again and again.

I feel sympathy for that poor, broken girl, hurting herself again and again. I feel angry at her, because she was stupid enough to believe that things could be different. And then I feel pain, because I realise that I am that girl...

People always told me that when you die, your life flashes before your eyes. I don’t see anything right now.... is that because I’m not dying, or because there’s nothing to see?

That’s the one thing that scares me the most... there’s nothing worth watching.

So I pick up the towel that has been lying on my floor since this morning, and press it against the cuts, stifling the blood flow.

And that’s when I realize... when I’m dying; I want to be able to see something amazing flashing before my eyes, not something pathetic and heart wrenching.

I want to laugh until I cry, and laugh when nothing is funny. I want to dance in the rain, even though I have no dancing skills. I want to cherish every single moment, and ignore the pain. I want to live, to laugh, and to love. I want to be able to forgive and forget, because life is too short to have regrets.

So once again, I try and hide the scalpel, to hide the temptation, because although I don’t want to hurt myself, I’m not strong enough to get rid of the safety net completely.

And tomorrow... tomorrow will be a new day.

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Thanks for the reviews guys. I love reading them, they seriously make my day :D

Chapter Five: First Shift- Take Two

“It takes a lot of courage to release the familiar and seemingly secure, to embrace the new...” Alan Cohen

I don’t wake up quite as early today, or make such a huge effort on my appearance. I rolled out of bed to an impatient hammering on the door, but today it made me smile. There was at least one person in the world cared about me, and that was an amazing thing.

“You better be coming to work today girlie, because you need to pull your weight”, Irene yelled, in her familiar, somewhat comforting tone

“Don’t worry Irene. I’ll prove I’m reliable”, I called back, the smile on my face growing with each passing second. I knew that I wasn’t completely out of the temptation zone, but at least I was trying.

“Are you on some kind of drug?” Irene questioned, after a brief pause from her side of the door

“No Irene”, I giggled, “I’m just high on life”

Irene mumbled something unintelligible and retreated from the door. I laugh once again, and throw on some clothes, actually stopping to look at myself in the mirror this time, but it was a big mistake.

My clothes are hanging off of my skinny frame, and my hair looks greasy. My eyes have giant rings underneath them, and my appearance makes me feel sick. My fingers itch to open the bottom drawer, but I try and resist. I have to wear thick jumpers in the middle of summer, and that’s not the way I want to live anymore.

Irene becomes my savior, once again, by calling me. “Belle, hurry up. I have to get to work as well darl”

I breathe a sigh of relief, and rush to the door, pulling it open and laughing at the shocked look that was on Irene’s face

“Oh thank god darl, I thought you weren’t going to come”, Irene muttered, before turning and walking out of the house, and towards the diner, leaving me rushing after her.

The walk was brisk, and we were arrived at the diner within fifteen minutes. Irene bustled me straight into the kitchen, giving me no chance to stare open mouthed at

Aden, who was bustling around the diner, a smile on his face, and an apron around his face.

“Alright girlie, today you’re going to be working with Roman, Leah and at times, Aden. Roman will cook the food, with some assistance from Leah, and then you and Aden will alternate between serving and waitressing”, Irene said in her no nonsense tone. “Any questions?” she finished briskly, barely even pausing for air

“No you explained it very clearly Irene”, I teased, a small smile on my face. Irene smiled back, and then left the kitchen, getting ready to start serving the customers

“What do you want me to do first Leah?” I asked, the smile slowly leaving my face as I settled into working mode

“Well, I’m helping you today, as it’s your first day. Roman will cook the food, and I’ll teach you how to plate everything”, Leah said, a reassuring smile set firmly on her face

I smiled cautiously back at Leah, and followed her lead, grabbing a set of tongs, and presenting the food in the exact same way that she had. I had always been a perfectionist, and I wanted to extend that into my work.

Time seemed to fly, and before long, Leah was taking off her apron, and going on her break. Aden came into the kitchen and helped me, and I could feel my heart beat faster as soon as he came anywhere near me

“I’m sorry about yesterday”, he murmured, his knife scraping across the chopping board, as he cut the spring onions into perfect little rings

“That’s alright Aden, it’s to be expected. I’m not exactly memorable”, I reassured him, and giggled slightly, surprised at my confidence and the strength in my voice

“You know my name, but I don’t know yours”, he complained, discarding his knife, and grabbing the grater, quickly and precisely grating a giant chunk of cheese for the burgers and salads

“Belle”, I said somewhat quietly, paying a lot of attention to the lettuce I was arranging on the plate in front of me. This was the longest conversation I had ever had with Aden Jefferies.

“Belle”, he repeated, and my name seemed to roll off of his tongue with ease. I liked the sound of it, which was rare. I usually hated my name

We lapsed into silence, which in a way, was still kind of perfect. He was still there, standing in the kitchen right next to me, his breath mingling in the air with mine...

But as always, perfection has to end.

Nicole bustled into the kitchen, her hair swinging down her back, her dress short enough to pass for a t-shirt.

“Hey Aden”, she called, walking straight up to him, and kissing him on the cheek

“Hey Nic”, he replied, and turned around, lifting her onto the counter top and kissing her passionately. I could hear the sound of them behind me, the parting of their lips, their lips meeting again, Nicole's giggle. I dropped my head sadly.

“So are you getting a break anytime soon?” Nicole questioned, her face slipping into a pout that she had somehow managed to make attractive

“Well, Belle’s break is actually first, but I’m sure if I ask nicely, she’ll trade with me” Aden assumed and turned towards me. I quickly nodded, desperate to get Nicole out of the kitchen

“You go first Aden... I just want to talk to Roman first”, Nicole said, and Aden walked out of the kitchen. I frowned... Roman had already left for the day

“So Beth was it?” Nicole began, a snide tone in her voice

“Belle actually”, I said coldly, trying to concentrate on the salad I was presenting

“Whatever...” Nicole cut me off, “I’m here to warn you”

“Warn me?” I questioned, quickly turning to give her a quick glance before turning back to the salad, having no idea what Nicole was talking about

“Stay away from Aden... he’ll try and be nice to you, because that’s the kind of person he is, but I’m not, and I don’t mince my words. You’re wasting your time and his... he doesn’t really like you, and you’re embarrassing everyone with your pathetic little crush on my boyfriend”, Nicole spat, her eyes shooting daggers at me

I gripped the tongs tightly, and blinked back the angry tears that were filling up my eyes

“Oh, and Roman said that I can have a Halloween party, so you can arrange it”, Nicole continued, not even allowing me to have a say in this discussion

“Nicole, I’m not your slave”, I whispered, furious at Nicole

“But my dad is your boss, and if you don’t do this...” Nicole trailed off, knowing that she had me trapped. Roman was the one that had got me this job, and he wouldn’t

hesitate to get rid of me if I hurt his precious daughter

“Halloween party it is”, I said weakly, trying to make a joke out of the situation

“I thought so. Bye Beverly”, Nicole waved cheerfully, before rushing out of the kitchen after Aden.

Irene walked in as Nicole left. “Darl, it’s the end of your shift now... you can go home”

I slowly undid my apron, and left the diner, desperately trying to avoid going home... the bottom drawer was calling to me, and that wasn’t what I wanted to do, so I sat on the beach, my chin on my knees, and let out all the tears that I had been holding back.

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Thanks for the reviews guys :D

Chapter Six: Halloween Party

To wear a mask is to uncover your hidden fantasies, the person you truly want to be... Georgia Tomlin

The Halloween party was in full swing, the music loud and booming, and the conversation was flowing.

I sat in the corner, my red dress clinging to my body, and my blonde wig itching my head. The cardigan was covering the scars on my arms...

Tonight, the night for disguises, the night for masks, and tricks... was the night I was living my dreams.

I was blonde and “beautiful” tonight, trying to capture the essence of an amazingly beautiful high school student.

And although I wasn’t the center of attention, or being noticed at all... I wasn’t being kicked out, so that was a plus.

“Beverly, what do you think you’re wearing?” a piercing voice cut through my thoughts, and I turned to face the culprit: Nicole Franklin

“A dress”, I said aloofly. I had planned the party for her, and everything seemed to be going perfectly... I wasn’t in the mood to listen to Nicole complain about nothing

“Yeah I get that, but why are you wearing a blond wig and the same dress as me?” she snapped, her eyes narrowing and her hands clenching into balls down beside her waist

I looked at Nicole’s outfit, and a pang of jealously struck my heart. She looked exactly how I wanted to look.

Her dress clung to her curves, instead of her bones, like when I wore clothes. Her hair was perfectly straight, unlike the blonde wig I was wearing, which was curling up at the ends. And her face was flawless... not a spot or a pimple anywhere.... her skin was like porcelain, and for one brief moment, I longed to touch it, just to see how it felt

“We’re wearing the same outfit”, I chuckled dryly, not really seeing the problem. Nicole was wearing it so much better than me, so why was she even bothering to act threatening?

“I noticed that... I was just wondering why you haven’t gone home to get changed already” Nicole hissed, her face contorting into a mask of anger

“Nicole, there is no comparison between the way you look in this dress, and the way I look, so don’t even bother trying to hurt me... just looking at you makes me hurt

inside”, I admitted, my eyes lingering on the floor instead of Nicole’s face

“Well, there’s obviously no point in me talking to you”, Nicole fumed, “I’m going home to get changed, don’t ruin the party while I’m here”

Nicole spun on her heel and walked out, allowing me to breathe for the first time in about 15 minutes

I walked slowly outside, after I was sure that Nicole had left. I needed some fresh air... the party was starting to feel claustrophobic as well as unfamiliar.

The air caressed my cheeks, and calmed my nerves. It made me relax, and I kicked off my shoes, digging my toes into the moist grass as I stood still as a statue in front of the beach.

Everything felt peaceful outside... there were no arguments about matching dresses, or worries about upsetting someone.

Everything was easier out here...

A light tap on my shoulder scared me slightly, as I jumped about a metre into the air.

I turned around, and before I had a chance to register anything, lips were pressing down on mine.

My eyes widened, and took in the person standing in front of me... Aden.

His eyes were shut, and there was a look of undisguised passion on his face, and the markings of something deeper: love

I opened my mouth slightly, and breathed into Aden’s mouth, enjoying the moment while it lasted.

And then, it was over. Aden pulled away, and his face dropped into a mask of horror

“You’re not Nicole”, he stammered, wiping his lips as if I had a contagious disease

“Why would you think I was Nicole?” I questioned, confusion taking over the pleasure that had been on my face just a minute earlier

“You’re wearing a blonde wig, and the same dress as Nicole”, Aden explained the look of horror still on his face

“So you didn’t want to kiss me? You wanted to kiss Nicole?” I asked, the pieces of the puzzle seeming to slip into place

“Of course I wanted to kiss Nicole, she’s my girlfriend”, Aden exclaimed, his eyes narrowing... something that reminded me of one of Nicole’s most frightening poses

“Go and find Nicole”, I whispered, turning away from Aden, and running, back to Irene’s house... back to my salvation.

Aden didn’t want me... no one did.

So I opened the bottom drawer, and pulled out the scalpel. I should have thrown it away while I had the chance... but now I needed it.

I discarded my cardigan, but didn’t bother to get out the towel.

I just held the scalpel to my wrist, and pulled. The sharp searing pain reminded me of all the other pain I had felt in my life... all the pain that I had been unable to escape from.

So I made another cut... but the pain remained. The crimson blood dripped out of my wrist and onto the floor, but the pain stayed behind.

So I made another cut, and then another... but nothing seemed to work. I dropped the scalpel onto the floor, as a montage of scenes flickered in front of my eyes, as my

head spun around.

I’m seven years old and I’m sitting on the bedroom floor. Mummy is standing in front of me, cowering back from my Daddy. Daddy’s drunk as usual, and when Daddy gets drunk, he gets mad. I try and ignore the sounds, concentrating on the toys Mummy bought me, but after Daddy has finished picking on Mummy, he turns to me, picking up my toys and throwing them into the wall. I scream as they shatter into tiny pieces, so Daddy picks me up, and throws me against the wall as well.

I’m eleven years old, and school is the perfect escape. I don’t have any friends, but the teachers seem to like me. They give me ice to put on my bruises, the bruises that Dad keeps giving me. They don’t ask what happens though... I want to tell them, but I can’t. Dad will hurt me and Mum if I tell on him... he’s promised

I’m twelve years old, lying in a hospital bed. Dad went mental, and stabbed Mum in the leg with the kitchen knife. I tried to run away, but he chased me upstairs, and then threw me back down. I’ve got two broken legs, and a fractured arm. The doctors say I’m lucky to be alive, and that I have to be careful. I have to try and not be so clumsy anymore.

I’m thirteen years old, and Irene has taken me home... she seems so nice, but there are still those memories of the past that are haunting my new life. I’m scared to go to sleep at night, in case Dad finds me, and I’m scared that he might find Mum...

So it’s true then... when you’re dying, your life does flash before your eyes. All the memories that I’ve repressed and tried to escape from are here now...

I try to push them back down, out of my head, away from me... but I can’t. I’m powerless to move, to think... to breathe.

So I let the darkness overcome me, because as always, the dark is better than the light.

We are so accustomed to wearing a disguise before others that eventually we are unable to recognize ourselves – Francois De La Rochefoucauld

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Chapter Seven: Body and Soul

Thanks HAA Girl 08 (do you have a name I can mention...?), Tan (I think I remember you saying I could call you that... ?), HeavenForbid (still don't have a name for you... ?), Red Ranger 1 (I don't have a name for you either... ?), Steph, Tele and Bec for the amazing reviews. Keep them coming (if you want), cos I love reading them :D


“Don’t be afraid of death; embrace it. It’s inevitable” – Georgia Tomlin

Nothing makes sense anymore. I can’t tell which way is up, and which way is down. I’m drowning in the sea of death but I don’t have the energy to fight anymore. I was never the strong one, or the brave one... I was always the invisible one. But maybe in death I will finally be noticed...

I can hear the gentle sound of my blood dripping to the floor, and the raspy sound of my breathing... which seems to be getting weaker and weaker with every passing second. I'm gasping now, and my lungs are working even faster to get air into them, a sign that the end is closer.

Instead of being scared of the end that seemed to be looming, I was relieved. I was sick of everything that had gone wrong... sick of not being able to cope with the never-ending pain. My eyes are struggling to stay open, but instead of fighting it I just go with it and let them close.

Maybe there would be something better after this life, something magical and amazing... something that will make me sit back and appreciate things.

But in this life, there was nothing for me to appreciate. I could look at Aden from a distance, but that was all I was going to get. The highlight of my life was a kiss from a man who thought I was someone else.

I didn’t want to live like that anymore. I didn’t want to be the girl who was invisible, who ran home and hurt herself to let the pain escape from her body.

I want to be the kind of person who takes photos because she enjoys the beauty, not because she wants to be hidden behind her camera. I want to be able to stand next to someone like Aden Jefferies and not feel inferior, or look at Nicole, and not hate myself.

The only way to get what I want is to leave all of this behind...

I take short, sharp breaths, wheezing as my body is beginning to feel heavy. I can’t move, but I don’t want to.

I don’t fight the darkness that is growing bigger... I let it take me, loving the feel of the relief that soothes my whole body.

The end is near... I can feel it, feel each second fade into oblivion, and wait for the last second to fade away.

Somewhere, in the back of my brain, I can hear a knock on the door, but I push it away, confiscate the sound, and concentrate on the lack of pain

“Belle”, the voice of an angel calls through my door, and pushes itself to the front of my brain... its Aden, knocking at my bedroom door

“Look, what I said earlier, and how I acted... I’m sorry, I was just upset”, Aden’s voice keeps talking, and overwhelms my senses. I try to push it back down, and attempt to concentrate on the numbness in my body. My breathing is slowed and quiet and my body doesn't feel heavy anymore.

“Look, I know you’re in here Belle, and if you don’t let me in within ten seconds, I’m coming in”, he says, his voice losing the sympathetic tone, and getting suddenly angry

This is bad... I can feel it, the pain of his words breaking through the numbness as I try to open my eyes...

Ten seconds... in ten seconds he’s going to open the door and see me here, and he’s going to try and help...

“10, 9, 8, 7, 6, 5...” Aden’s counting breaks through the panic.

5 seconds isn’t long enough for me to die, to leave the world behind...

“... 4, 3, 2, 1...” and the door is swinging open. I can tell, even in my half-dead state, when he sees me, because his next words stumble out in a high pitched, freaked out tone.

“Oh god Belle”, he whimpers, “oh god, oh god”, he repeats the words over and over, as if saying it will get rid of the horror in front of him

Aden freezes, his words stopping, and the only sound coming from that side of the room was shallow breathing. He can see me lying on my side; in a pool of blood as my arms are close to my face. He is frozen as he witnesses my state, half my face is covered in blood, and part of my hair is no longer brown, but a dark red from where the pool had circled the top half of my body.

He wasn’t going to save me... he was just going to leave... but then, his body sprung into action and he rushed to my side

“God Belle, don’t give up”, his words stumbled out of his mouth in a rush, and I could barely tell what the words were... partly because of the speed of delivery, and partly because everything was starting to fade away...

And then... just when the pain started to fade away again, and the end rushed closer to me, there was a stinging at my wrists

“I need to stop this bleeding”, he mumbled, obviously trying to reassure himself

The sound of the pitter-patter of blood suddenly ceased, and I felt the stinging pain become sharper, and my eyes fluttered open, taking in the sight of Aden, pressing a towel against my cuts

I try and open my mouth, to beg him to let me die, but I can’t seem to control my body... my eyes flutter shut against my will, proof of my previous observation

The pain in my wrists intensifies, as Aden presses the towel constantly harder against the cuts. I want to hate him, to swear at him, and tell him to leave me alone, but when his tears roll down his cheek and splash onto my face, I realize that I love him more than ever. My eyes flutter open for a brief second and I see Aden's blurred face but then he disappears, returning moments later and I hear a ripping sound, I let my head drop and see a piece of cloth or something has being tied around my wrist.

The pressing pain at my wrists persists, and suddenly, I can’t feel the hard wooden floor against my back, but instead I can feel a pair of muscular arms around my back and just under my knees.

“This might hurt, but I have to get you to the hospital”, Aden explained, and for a brief second, I wonder if he can read my mind, but then I realize that he’s probably talking to himself

The pain in my wrists intensifies, as Aden presses the towel constantly harder against the cuts. I want to hate him, to swear at him, and tell him to leave me alone, but when his tears roll down his cheek and splash onto my face, I realize that I love him more than ever.

“Hold on Belle”, he whispers, “you’re going to be ok. We’re only a few minutes away from the hospital”

Everything is becoming clearer, and I hate that fact. I want to be back on my bedroom floor, waiting for death to come and snatch me.

One thought is constantly running around my head: why couldn’t he just leave me to die?

“Death may seem like the answer to all your problems, but for the people you leave behind, their problems are just beginning” – Georgia Tomlin

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12 reviews :o I'm speechless guys, thanks so much. I've never had that many reviews, it made my day :D As there was so many reviews, I'll thank you all individually, cos your awesome :D

Steph (love the new av), Reilly (its great to finally have a name for you), Danni (hope that's your name... ?), Tele (there's some lovely moments in Demon Hunting for you), Red Ranger 1 (who still doesn't have a name), Tan (I'm going to use that name all the time), mad4homeandaway (do you have a name that I can use?), Elainea (hope we can catch up soon), HeavenForbid (do you have a name ?), rocknroll (what about you... a name I can use?), silly_vanessa (can I call you Vanessa?) and Bec (my miracle, who is proofing this story, and commenting, and is still enthusiastic)... you are all amazing

Chapter Eight: Waking Up (Aden’s perspective!)

“When she finally takes off her mask, I can see the true beauty... but it’s clouded by vulnerability and pain”

It’s been a long night... I didn’t expect to see Belle like that, lying on the floor, so vulnerable, but as soon as I did, I knew I couldn’t leave her.

Irene rushed to the hospital as soon as she heard about Belle, and fussed for a few hours, until the nurses practically begged her to leave. None of them seemed to notice me, Aden Jefferies, sitting in the corner of her hospital room, tears streaming down my cheeks.

The sight of Belle lying on the floor, the blood collecting around her, is burned into my brain, and I can’t shut my eyes, because otherwise I know that I’ll see her

I want to hate her, to swear at her, to kill her for trying to kill herself, but I can’t, because there is something connecting me to this tiny, fragile girl in the bed, and I don’t know what it is...

It could be guilt, after all, she probably only hurt herself because of my behavior... but it goes deeper than that. When I had kissed her, I felt a spark, a bolt of electricity, surge through my body, something I had never felt before... even with Nicole

And now, watching her in sleep in the starch white hospital bed, I felt a pull towards her, as if part of me was begging to touch her, to sweep the hair off her forehead...

But instead, I limited myself to sitting in the uncomfortable chair, only breathing when the beeping of the machines reassured me that she was still alive.

And while I waited, I fell deeper and deeper into self-loathing. If she didn’t pull through this, it would be my fault. I didn’t get to her room soon enough... I didn’t stop the bleeding soon enough... I didn’t notice her soon enough

“Aden?” the small voice distracted me from my thoughts, and I practically flew to Belle’s side, gripping onto her hand, but being careful not to get in the way of the wires that seemed to be protruding from every inch of her skin

“Oh god, you scared me”, I reprimanded her, while inside, I was basically jumping for joy

“Why?” she whispered, tears streaming down her face, as confusion spread across my face, having no idea what she was talking about

“Why what?” I asked, reaching to stroke away her tears, but she recoiled in shock

“It was obvious that I was trying to hurt myself... to escape the pain. God, I had a scalpel in my hand, and I didn’t try and get help... it’s not like I fell on the scalpel. Why didn’t you just let me die?” she fumed, her voice breaking on the last sentence, conveying the emotion that she was really feeling

“You wanted me to leave you to die?” I repeated, unsure of the way the words sounded, as well as questioning her sanity

“Of course I did... there was no way I would have let everything get that bad if I didn’t want to die”, she yelled, and it was my turn to recoil in shock

This fragile, beautiful young woman had wanted to die, to end her life before it had even begun, before she had had a chance to experience everything. I forced myself to swallow, and blink back the tears of anger and despair that were forming in my eyes

“Well, I’m sorry for saving you Belle. I assure you it won’t happen again”, I spat, my voice cold, and I was sure that my eyes were distant.

I turned on my heel, and attempted to storm out of the room, but when I heard Belle’s sobs fill the room, I felt my heart break inside my chest. I couldn’t leave her here, even if she hated me for saving her... no one deserved to be in a hospital on their own

“Please stay”, she whispered, choking the words out from between her sobs, and that’s what finalized my decision. Belle needed someone to be there for her, to rub soothing circles on her back while she cried, and to whisper reassurances in her ear.

“Ok”, I said simply, and walked back to the bed, climbing next to her, and cradling her in my arms, patting her back, and rubbing her hair, allowing her to cry into my shirt, not even worrying about the fact that the salt in the tears would ruin my favourite shirt

A million thoughts were swirling around my head, while my hands continued to absentmindedly console her

While I was sitting in the bed, comforting the broken girl in my arms, my girlfriend would be going insane. Nicole had no idea where I was... no idea where I had been since last night, and she hated not knowing. She had to be in control... in charge of every single situation.

And then... what was this strange connection I felt... the strange electricity between me and Belle? Why was I here, comforting her while she cried? Why had I gone to her room last night, when I had already said everything I needed to say about the kiss?

But the worst thing, was not understanding why Belle had taken that scalpel, and cut herself, not stopping the blood from flowing out, every drop bringing her closer to the end?

Did she not realize how much she had going for her? She took those amazing photos, and was naturally beautiful... did she not realize that the guys on the rugby team were always trying to get her to come to the parties, to get into her pants?

And what was wrong with me? Why hadn’t I noticed Belle before? Why hadn’t I noticed the way she scrunched up her nose when she was confused, or the way her eyes widened when she saw something she liked?

I could feel tears of frustration prick at my eyes again, so I shut down my brain, ignoring all the thoughts that were pestering me, and concentrated on the girl in my arms.

“The most important things in our life can be the things we have overlooked for so long”

Well.. I just thought I'd say thank you again, and also let you know that Chapter 9 is Belle's perspective of what you just read :D

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Thank you for the reviews guys, and sorry this took a while to post. I actually had it ready, but thought I'd posted it. I was getting upset that there was no reviews, when I realized it hadn't been posted in the first place :lol:

Chapter Nine: Waking Up (Belle’s perspective)

I can hear the beeping of the machines around me, and the sniffles of certain people, but I don’t want to open my eyes. When they’re shut, I can pretend that I’m at home, in my room, but as soon as I open them, I know that I’m not going to be able to escape the pain that’s been threatening to consume me for so long

A few people have come in and out of my room, some fussing over me and others keeping their distance... except for one person, who has been sitting in the corner of room for hours, sniffles interrupting the silence. Somehow I knew it was Aden... some weird sense in my body was telling me he was there, but I had no idea why he was here.

I can still feel the sensations of Aden’s arms wrapped tightly around me, his tears dropping on my face. I’m still angry at him for saving me, but for some reason, the anger is taking a back seat to the ever intensifying feelings of love.

I want to be lying on the floor again, embracing the fact that the end is about to take me, but I have to stay, just to talk to Aden... I can’t imagine the courage it took him to actually stay and help me... I can’t imagine what he would have seen when he had opened that bedroom door...

He probably only helped me because he felt guilty, assuming that his behavior was the root of all my problems. For some reason, I didn’t blame him for assuming... I wanted to tell him more about my life, so that he could know the full story.

That kiss was electric, and I could still feel the shape of his lips, molding comfortably to the shape of my lip. I could still feel his breath, mingling with mine, and I could still remember the perfectness of that moment.

The sound of a sharp intake of breath from the corner reminded me that Aden was still there, and once again, anger surged through me. Why had he come to my room in the first place? Why hadn’t he just left me there... where there was no pain?

So I waited... waited until I could finally get my anger slightly under control before breaking the silence.

“Aden?” my voice came out small, and somewhat tinny, and my eyebrows furrowed in frustration. I didn’t want to sound vulnerable, not now... not anymore. My eyes, however, widened in shock, as I saw Aden rush to my side

“Oh god, you scared me”, he reprimanded me, and once again, my anger declared its presence.

“Why?” I whisper, tears of anger and pain streaming down my face, as confusion spread across Aden’s face. He obviously had no idea what I was talking about

“Why what?” he asked, reaching to stroke away my tears, but I recoiled in shock. Why would he want to touch me? Did he enjoy raising my hopes, just to shatter my dreams all over again?

“It was obvious that I was trying to hurt myself... to escape the pain. God, I had a scalpel in my hand, and I didn’t try and get help... it’s not like I fell on the scalpel. Why didn’t you just let me die?” I fumed, trying to pour out all of my frustration, but my voice broke on the last sentence, conveying the pain I was feeling inside... which was something I didn’t want to share with anyone

“You wanted me to leave you to die?” Aden repeated, reminding me of a parrot, but I could see that he was confused... it was clear in his eyes. I could see some deeper emotion in his eyes as well... like he was questioning my sanity, and in that moment, I realized that I knew nothing about Aden Jefferies...

“Of course I did... there was no way I would have let everything get that bad if I didn’t want to die”, I yelled, my words receiving the desired effect as Aden recoiled

He seemed to stop and evaluate my words, and the emotions that were flitting across my face. I wish I could see what he could see...

“Well, I’m sorry for saving you Belle. I assure you it won’t happen again”, he spat, his voice suddenly cold, and his eyes distant. I had finally pushed him too far, but instead of feeling triumphant, I felt incredibly guilty, and somewhat saddened

Aden turned on his heel and walked out of the room, pausing right before the door. I wasn’t sure if it was because of the sob that had just broken through my clenched teeth, or because he had left something behind

“Please stay”, I whispered, struggling to choke out two words between my violent sobs. For some reason, I needed Aden, more than I had ever needed anyone before.

“Ok”, he said simply, and walked back to the bed, climbing next to me, and enveloping me in his arms... patting my back and rubbing my hair. He allowed me to cry into his shirt, and the fact that he was so caring made me cry even more.

A million thoughts were swirling around my head, while I attempted to concentrate on Aden’s hands, which were rubbing soothing circles in my hair.

Why was the practically perfect Aden Jefferies staying to comfort me while I cried? Why did he care what happened to me? He had the most amazing girlfriend, the most amazing friends... he had everything that I wanted, so why was he bothering to spend time with me?

And what was this connection I felt to Aden? Sure... he was an amazing guy, and I had strong feelings for him, but I hardly knew him. Why did I feel like he was the one person I was supposed to be with...?

But the worst thing, was not understanding why he was still here, why he was still holding me...

Did he not realize that he had better things to do? He took amazing photos, and had all of those amazing friends, and the most perfect girlfriend... why was he bothering to sit here, with the invisible girl, the one who had nothing going for her? Maybe I was just a social experiment... see how many girls you can make fall in love with you...

I could feel the sobs start to build up again, and I felt Aden’s arms tighten around me, so I let go of everything I had been holding back, and allowed all the tears to fall.

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Chapter Ten: Discharged

“If you enter this world knowing you are loved, and leave knowing the same then everything in between can be dealt with” – Michael Jackson

My bags are packed and sitting on top of the well-made hospital bed, while I perch awkwardly on the edge. All of my discharge forms have been signed, and I’m waiting for courage to fill me, or at least grant me the strength to leave the hospital

It’s strange, because I feel as if I have nowhere to go, and no one to turn to, but everything is exactly the opposite... Irene had my room ready, and therapy sessions organised, plus people from school have been sending flowers to my room daily... with the exception of Aden

I haven’t seen him again, not since the night where he held me when I cried, and tenderly wiped away the tears that had been burning down my cheeks.

He hadn’t sent flowers, or a card... it’s like I no longer exist and once again I’m left wondering if I was just some bizarre social experiment, something that never fails to bring on the waterworks.

I frantically grab for all my bags, and storm out of the room, desperate not to be in the same room as these memories... it wasn’t a good idea, as my left foot got caught up in the handle of one of my bags, and sent me flying towards the floor

I flinched as the cold tiles came closer to my face, and I raised my hands to brace myself for impact, but a set of arms caught me before the tiles could wreck my body even more.

“You’re lucky I was here”, the all too familiar voice whispered, and I could feel the hairs on the back of my neck stand up, and goose bumps raise all up my arms

“I’m not sure if lucky is the right word”, I hissed, and tried to detangle myself from his arms, but he tightened them, pulling me closer to his chest. I couldn’t breathe, couldn’t think, when he was holding me like this.

“What do you mean by that?” he asked, shocked at my tone. I felt like snapping at him, but the innocence in his voice was too hard to resist

“I’ve been in the hospital for over a week, and since that night, you’ve forgotten about me...” I trailed off, annoyed at the way I was sounding. Controlling and needy was not a good combination

“I was sorting some things out Belle”, he explained, and loosened his grip, allowing me to stand up, his expression disapproving, and his eyes shooting daggers at me. All my hatred for Aden disappeared in that moment, and once again, I hated myself, for bringing out that reaction in him.

“Sorry, I didn’t mean to sound like that... I didn’t mean to accuse you. You’re your own person, you’re entitled to your own life”, I mumbled, hoping my voice sounded apologetic instead of weak, and coloured with sadness

Aden didn’t say anything, as his eyes swept around the room, taking in the packed bags, and the made bed, before opening his mouth to speak again. “You going somewhere?”

“I’ve been discharged”, I explained, wondering what was with the small talk, and the sudden change in conversation

“Are they sure you’re ready for that?” Aden asked, his eyes ablaze with curiosity, and some deeper burning emotion that I thought was concern...

“Well, physically, I’m as healthy as a horse”, I joked, my eyes tightening in defence as I realized what Aden was getting at

“Belle, you intentionally tried to end your life... are you sure you’re ready to go home?” he questioned, his tone serious, as his eyes flickered across my face, trying to gauge my reaction

I contemplated making light of the situation, or make some kind of joke, but I had never been funny, so I settled for telling the truth. After all, Aden was the one who had found me... I felt like he deserved an answer

“Physically, I’m fine”, I repeated, “but emotionally... I don’t know if I’ll ever be fine”, I whispered, my eyes dropping away from Aden’s face and concentrating on the floor, while I felt the mask drop from my face, showing just how much pain I was in.

“Come and stay with me”, he said, so quietly that I couldn’t be sure if he was thinking out loud, or making a little joke

Aden lived with Roman Harris... the father of Nicole... who happened to live in the house as well... it would be awkward, to say the least

“You live with Nicole, and she kind of hates me. Plus, I couldn’t impose on Roman”, I explained, trying to make it seem as if Nicole wasn’t the only reason against moving in with Aden

“I kind of don’t live with Roman anymore”, Aden mumbled, and I felt my jaw drop open in shock. Aden’s family didn’t live in Summer Bay, and no one knew anything about them... where would he stay if he didn’t live at Roman’s?

“Where do you live then?” I questioned, my voice raising with disbelief in the middle of my sentence

“I got a letter the other day, and I now own my Dad’s house”, Aden said quietly, and I recoiled in shock. Aden had never mentioned his Dad, so it seemed really strange to hear about his father and the appearance of a house that I had never heard of...

“So you’re moving into your father’s house, and you want me to come with you?” I recapped, still not really understanding why Aden would be asking me, Belle Taylor, to move in with him

“I could use a roommate, and it would be a chance for us to bond... but if you don’t want to, that’s fine. It was a stupid idea”, Aden said, and for one moment, he seemed vulnerable... like any other human

“I’d love to move in with you”, I said softly, and I meant it. Aden would be there for me, could help me in ways that Irene wouldn’t be able to, plus, it would be nice to get to know Aden a bit better. “What about Nicole?” I asked, the nerves I had been hiding finally making themselves shown. I was more than a little bit afraid of the beautiful head cheerleader

“Nicole and I are on a break”, Aden whispered sadly, but there was still a smile present on his face, probably as he was still excited about the whole roommate thing.

I had no idea what to say to him, how to comfort him, so instead, I threw my arm around his shoulder

“So roomie... let’s go furniture shopping”, I announced, excitement colouring my tone. Aden burst into laughter, and grabbed all of my bags, leading the way out of the hospital room, waiting for me to follow.

I took one more glance around the now empty hospital room, and sighed. This place had been safe for me... where there was no temptations, or reasons to hurt myself.

And now, leaving it was terrifying me...

All I could do was pray that Aden would be the answer to everything.

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