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"Hello? Emily, come home this instant! How dare you leave home so suddenly!"

I scoff, unable to believe her words. I silently wish I never answered the phone but the damn woman wouldn't take no for an answer. After ignoring her calls multiple times, I decided to answer before she blew my phone up. . . Literally.

"Leave me alone Mum."

"Where are you? I demand that you come home!" Mum screeches at the other end. Besides me Jake raises an eyebrow and I know he can hear her scream like a banshee.

"I'm safe, isn't that all that matters?" I argue back with her, desperately trying to make her see sense. I hear her pause on the other end before she inhales sharply. I wonder whether she finally understands but when she begins calling me selfish and an inconvenience, I slump my shoulders in defeat.

Why can she not see that I ran away for my own safety?

Would I always be the child blamed for all of the troubles in her life?

Raw tears sting the back of my eyes and I sniffle, reaching up to quickly wipe them away. A warm hand slips into my left one, intertwining our fingers together. The small contact surprises me because in the past, I'm all alone as the tears fall. I turn my head, eyes connecting with warm blue ones —

"You're okay." Jake murmurs, reaching over and plucking the phone from my hand. That's when I notice it shaking and I watch as Jake silently ends the calls, silencing Mum's voice.

"She has quite the voice on her, doesn't she?" Jake says, amusement and disbelief lining his voice.

"Yeah, that's my mum." I respond quietly. Moments of silence fall on us and I close my eyes, Jake's warm hand still in mine.

"Why didn't she stop Trevor?" He asks after a while, his tone dropping to almost a hushed whisper. I sigh and run a hand over my face, totally exhausted from the day.

I ask myself the same question over and over again, lying wide awake at night. I have a vague idea why Mum let Trevor do what he did. It's always been there in the back of my mind and I try to push it away but it just keeps eating away at me.

"I think she blames me for my Dad's death and it's her way of punishing me." I whisper, feeling physically sick from the thought.

I didn't know it was possible to feel pain in your heart but right now it felt like a glass bottle was stabbing through it continuously. The glass ripping away at me, tearing me apart. I miss him so much.

Jake silently pulls me me towards him and wraps an arm around my shoulder. I'm grateful for his support and lean against him, resting my head into the crook of his neck. He smells good.

"Do you really think that?" Jake asks quietly, his voice a murmur. I nod my head silently, feeling my eyes fill up with emotional tears. The door suddenly opens, ending the conversation between Jake and I.

Tobias and Ivory walk in, chatting quietly between themselves. I sniffle quickly, wiping away the tears before they can see the pain in my eyes.

"Another party?" I ask Ivory, noticing at her black skin tight dress. Her wild hair is curled around her shoulders and she's wearing sky high black heels. She looks amazing. Ivory nods, grinning widely at me.

"It's downtown, just a few friends that me and Tobias know."

I nod silently, shuffling away from Jake as I notice how close we're sitting next to each other. I don't feel comfortable under Tobias' dark stare.

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