Part 23

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23. Seth

With a haphazardly packed duffle bag and backpack in the trunk of my car, I speed away from campus. After having one of the worst weeks of my life, the last game of the season came surprisingly easy. We won 2:0 and throughout the whole thing I could not stop thinking about going home. If Jackson hadn't started screaming at me right there on the field after the first half time break, the outcome might have been different but I pulled myself together one last time.

Now I feel like I'm falling apart with each mile I drive.

The closer to home I get, the worse my anger gets. I don't want to see him again but I know I will. I thought I'd never have to face him ever again. After what he's done to me... My mother...

But now he's back. My father's back.

I haven't talked to either my mother or him. Getting to talk to my sister has proven quite difficult as my father seems to have put Lilly on the case of not letting her talk to me. If Arya wasn't there, I probably would not have gotten to talk to her at all...

Arya.

As I let my mind wander, my tight grip loosens on the steering wheel. My heart beats uncomfortably fast in my chest and I have to take a deep breath to calm myself down. Damn, I miss her so much. As if the last days weren't torture enough, Arya's absence weighed me down immensely. If you would have told me that I could miss a woman this much a couple years ago, I would have announced you mentally instable.

The car swerves slightly as my eyes glaze over and I have to rip the steering wheel to the left to avoid colliding with the guard railing. Someone behind me honks and I fight the urge to flip them off.

As I steady my car, I pick my phone up off the passenger seat. I steal a couple glances at the screen only to be disappointed at no missed calls or text messages.

Arya has her second meeting with the guy that's helping her with her art today. Honestly, I have no idea what she's on about when she talks to me about art. Usually I'll let her ramble on and on and on about this artist or that gallery when in all reality, I hear none of the words she speaks and instead get lost, watching her soft lips move eagerly.

The first meeting apparently went really well. She called me the second she was back at her cousin's. To say that she was excited was an understatement. God, I would have loved to have been with her then...

An hour passes. A dull ache forms at my temples and I try to massage the on-coming headache away. My pain killers are in the backpack in the back of the car. I could stop to take them out but that would mean wasting time. Time is about the last thing I can afford to waste. So I drive on.

When I finally pull up in front of my home, I decide to park the car on the street instead of driving all the way up to the garages.

Just when I'm about to climb out of my seat, my phone buzzes.

You there yet? xx

I smile at Arya's text and quickly respond, telling her that I'm on my way up to the house. My fingers shake slightly as I clutch my phone in one hand and use the other to dig for the house keys in my backpack. I'll leave all my stuff in the car for now.

Once again, the phone buzzes. A warning. I am not to do anything stupid.

As soon as I punch the code into the keypad at the gate, I can feel frustration and anger becoming a dangerous mixture in the pit of my stomach.

Don't do anything stupid, I tell myself. Keep calm... no matter what!

The lock clicks twice as I twist the key. Inside I hear voices. Loud voices.

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