chapter 22.

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I can feel myself growing more attached to Scarlett and I'm worried because anytime I've let myself be...well myself around any adult that I trust, I've been let down and trust me, that's not a nice feeling.

Some nights, despite how tired I am, I don't want to have to finish work because it means I can't be around Scarlett anymore.

"Don't stay up too late, my sweet girl," Scarlett orders as she says goodbye to me in the parking lot. "I won't," I giggle, getting into the passenger side of Kennedy's car. "See you tomorrow," she says before shutting the door and waving.

"How was work?" Kennedy asks, seemingly quite tired. "It was good," I admit honestly. I remember when I was younger I used to dream of being a vet. Then it was a nurse. I went through a journalist stage too, but that was mainly after watching Gilmore Girls for the first time at the age of eleven. The only reason I started acting is because when I went into seventh grade and got to choose my electives, drama was the only class that wasn't already full by the time my mom handed in the forms.

Drama very quickly became my favourite subject. My teacher said that I was going to be an actress one day if that's what I wanted. It was about the only compliment I got from anyone that year, but it was enough to make me want to do it and turns out it was the best thing that has happened in my life so far.

When we got 'home', I went into the kitchen to have my dinner. Everybody had already eaten earlier since it's already nine-thirty, but Joe put a plate away for me in the fridge.

Taking it out, I put it in the microwave for a minute before sitting down on one of the kitchen stools to eat.

"Oh. Hi," a quiet voice speaks. I turn my head to see Noah's friend from a few weeks ago standing in the doorway. I can't remember his name though. "Hi," I smile shyly. "Noah just asked me to take out the ice cream so it could defrost. He'll be down in a minute."

I nod before turning my attention back to my meal whilst Noah's friend...okay wait, it's annoying me that I can't remember his name.

"What's your name again?" I questions somewhat sheepishly. "Elliot," he smiles kindly. "That's right," I giggle. "Sorry, I forgot."
"T-That's alright. You're Lexie, right?" He asks to which I nod.

There's a pretty awkward silence after that. The only sound being my fork moving around my plate. Elliot grabs out two bowls and spoons from the cupboard before sitting down on the kitchen stool furtherest from me. 

I watch him out the corner of my eye sit quiet awkwardly. He definitely seems uncomfortable right now, but I guess that makes two of us.

Noah walking in right now would be ideal, but unfortunately it doesn't happen.

Unknowingly, I watch him fiddle with his fingers as he stares at the tub of ice cream as if he's begging it to slightly defrost faster, just enough so that he's able to at least scoop it.

When he looks back at me, that's when I realise I've literally just been staring at him for at least a minute. "Sorry," I mumble, looking down at my lap.

"It's okay," he says. I quickly look back at him and smile.

A few more very awkward moments pass as I feel my heart beat faster. I really don't like being left alone with strangers. I mean, I could always get up and leave but that would make it obvious.

"You're really pretty," Elliot speaks abruptly. I stop chewing for a moment before I swallow my food. How do I respond to that? A boy has never complimented me before.

"T-Thanks," I say, avoiding eye contact.

Finally, Noah comes into the kitchen. "Sorry, mom needed me," he explains to Elliot. I take this as my cue to put my dirty dishes in the sink and bolt.

That was very, extremely and especially awkward. I do not wish to relive that experience again.

When I get back up to my room I hear a message come through on my phone.

Scarlett: Hey sweetheart. I forgot to ask you at work today but would you like to stay over Friday night? We could all watch a movie and order in?

Me: yes please, I'd love that :)

Scarlett: Yay! Rose has been asking to see you again too!

I spent a night at her house a couple of weeks ago and Rose and I spent most of our time watching all the Barbie movies. She's obsessed. I'd actually never seen them before and they're definitely for a younger audience but I still enjoyed them.

I see Rose as my little sister in a way. Yes I have Skye and Noah here, but in the nicest way possible, they don't feel like family.

Sometimes I wish I could live with Scarlett and Colin. Not that I can say that to anyone. They just feel safe and there's not other way to put it. My whole life I don't think I've felt safe in a home. Expect for Scarlett's.

I try not to get too caught up in my own head about it though. Whilst there are things I wish I had, I'm extremely grateful for what I already do have.
I'm not living in a place where I'm afraid to come home each night just to get beat up by my own mother anymore and I didn't know if I'd get to this point.

Drawing myself out of my daze, I take out a pair of pyjamas and walk into my bathroom to take a shower.

As I stare in the mirror I let out a shaky breath, trying not to pick out everything I wish I could change about myself. So many times have people violated my body and sometimes I wish I could just step out of it and into a new one. One that actually felt like my own.

hi 🙃 if any of you have ideas for this book let me know!

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