Living Again~ Thirty-One

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CHAPTER 31

I was exhausted after all the drama with Ethan. I called Aunt Claire to pick me and Luke up from school. We dropped him off first then returned home. Thankfully she didn't ask for any details on Luke's injuries, we just told her he fell and hurt himself. I wouldn't want to repeat all the things I've been through with Ethan to her. Somehow, even after all that has happened, I still want my aunt to hold a good opinion of him. 

I sighed heavily as I trudged up the stairs, guess life doesn't stay perfect for long. I miss him, but I have to control myself and stay away for now. I walked around my room aimlessly. It sucks how I couldn't even stay in my own room without thinking about him. Because after all, he's the one who painted my room with all these purple shades and put up all the photos and everything. I can't escape him, my whole life was stitched around him. 

A slight fear dawned upon me as I thought of not being able to see Ethan's face every day, or watch his face light up at the sight of me. Or feel his comforting arms around me, making me feel loved and safe. All gone. 

He made me smile. He got rid of the nightmares. He taught me how to live again. He made me believe happiness existed even after a tragedy. He changed everything. 

That's when I realised. Without him... I'm nothing. Without him I'm just the broken, helpless little girl who is half dead. Without him.. I'm not me.

Just then there was a knock on my door and Claire stepped in with a smile. 

"Hey Marissa, just wanted to check in on you, you seem a little down today."

She handed me a glass of water. She was so nice, almost like a mother to me. And all I've ever done is burden her with my problems. "I'm fine. School is just... stressful."

Claire nodded understandingly, "It can be. But also remember these are some of the best times of your life. Live them."

I almost choked on my water. Live them. She has NO idea how close I am to losing everything worth living for. I just didn't want to think about my life anymore. I watched my Aunt's face, she looked a little tired. Then only I remembered she was pregnant. I'm so wrapped up in my own problems I don't see what others are going through. How selfish of me.  I changed the subject, "So, what's it like being pregnant?"

Her face lit up immediately, "Oh you have no idea how excited I am! My friends say that I'm just a few weeks into it so the whole 'pregnancy hormones' haven't kicked in yet. Soon enough I'll be eating like a pig and become a hazard."

I laughed a little, "I can't wait to see that."

"I just can't wait for my first baby!"

I nudged her playfully, "First? How many more are you planning to have?"

She laughed, "We'll see. Two are enough for now."

"Two? You're having twins?!"

"No no! This little one" she patted her stomach tenderly, "and you."

I was speechless and hugged her with tears in my eyes. She had no idea how badly I needed this motherly love. 

"I know I dont' say this much but thank you Claire. Without you and Joe, I don't know... I just.."

"Shhh. You don't thank family. Now finish that water and come down and help me prepare dinner."

"Sure, I'll be right there."

I checked my phone before leaving and saw that I had three text messages.

From: Brianna

We need to talk. I know you're spending time with your family this weekend so we'll talk on monday after school, okay?

From: Luke

Hey, just wanted to thank you for everything. I might not be there on Monday, taking time off to recover. See ya later :)

From: Ethan

You've been ignoring my calls :( talk to me before leaving for your family gathering? I'm sure we can work this out, I miss you.

Aw! I had the urge to call him now but I had to go help Claire. 

We made some simple pasta with meatballs. Joe came back from work and he grinned when he saw me and Claire, I guess we all really had become a family. 

I went back upstairs to do my homework and the first thing I did was grab my phone to reply to all the previous messages. I told Luke to get well soon and Ethan and Brianna that I'll talk to them on Monday. I know I was putting this off but I just needed time to think before I could confront either of them.

I was going to put my phone away when it beeped, indicating I had another message.

From: Unkown number

Meet me at 10.30 outside the school hall on Monday. I have access to things which will make your life much easier honey. Be there and you'll know what I mean.

Huh? I frowned. What the hell. I decided to ignore it, I could think about that tomorrow, right now I just needed to sleep. 

**

Claire woke me up the next morning looking as excited as ever. 

"Marissa! This weekened is going to be amazing. I can't wait to announce the good news to everyone!" She ranted on as I packed some clothes and such. Aunt Marie had offered to hold the gathering at her extravagant house, I would be looking forward to it if I wasn't so distracted by everything going on with my friends. 

We placed all our bags in the trunk of the car then got in. Aunt Marie's house was an hour away. It was actually near my old house, the one with all the memories of my parents. But I wasn't planning to visit that place. It had taken me all this time to move on, going there would just bring back all the pain. 

The ride to Aunt Marie's house was peaceful. Claire was obviously excited. I, on the other hand, was feeling anxious. I haven't seen my aunts, uncles, grandparents, and cousins in months. How awkward will this event be?

When we finally got there, there were quite a few cars parked, meaning most of the guests were already inside. I braced myself and got out. We made our way across the front yard, taking in the beautiful scenery surrounding us. I had been here once before with my parents. We went inside into the big, noisy living room. As soon as our presence was clear, silence filled the atmosphere. People turned heads to look at us, look at me, in particular. 

I sweeped my eyes across the room. All these familiar faces. 

It was getting awkward until Claire yelled out happily, "We're here!"

It worked, the silence broke and everyone smiled and laughed at her enthusiasm. I giggled nervously, wondering where to start the greetings. Claire and Joe went towards some of the older people in the group. I thought it would be best if I catch up with my cousins first, since I was quite close with some of them. Carey, the one I was closest to, waved me over to their group. I was heading towards there when I felt a tap on my shoulder.

I turned around and gasped at the sight of the person in front of me. 

I just couldn't believe it.

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