Chapter 8 - Neme

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One month of acting. That's all it took for me to get released from New Beginning's. I convinced Dr. Grandi I'd let my anger go and was dedicated to starting over. Ironically enough two days before my release hearing, my mother passed away. I'm back in my childhood home today, back in a place that should bring about happy memories. It doesn't. All of the happy memories have been plagued with poison set forth by a man who ruined my life, ended my husband's, and took away my child's chance of being born into a loving family. I'm standing in my old bedroom staring in the mirror trying to mentally prepare for all of the red tape tomorrow with mom's estate. My hands move to my stomach and I can still feel the emptiness. It's a hollow pain that never gets better. Those who say time heals all wounds are liars.

I hate liars.

After washing I turn the water off and step out onto the white fuzzy rug. I reach up to brush back the hair that's resting on my face. The dark rings around my eyes are prominent. Walking death. I immediately stop myself from feeling. Quickly, I resurrect the steel walls I've so carefully built around my agony. I dreamed about him once more last night. It was so real I woke feeling the pain of the loss all over again. These stupid dreams have me all discombobulated. I don't have time for sadness. I have to stay on course with my plan. When I switch off the bedside lamp I look up and see the tiny glow in the dark constellations from my childhood. I can't believe she left them up there all these years. She redecorated my room and updated it but she left the constellations. The longer I stare up at them the more I try to remember what life was like before it became so hard. I fall asleep without being able to remember.

***

Revenge is a powerful and magnetic thing. I can safely say my need for it has been like a drug that's kept me going. But at the same time, it consumes my every waking moment. If I give up, then I'm giving up on Aaron, our baby, all of it. I can't do that. The betrayal I saw in Aaron's eyes on that fateful day was horrifying. When he breathed his final breaths and realized in those very last moments the betrayal of his brother washed over him causing all color to drain from his face. I've never seen such visible pain in all of my life. And it wasn't pain from the injuries that had been inflicted upon him. It was the pain of betrayal. At one time or another we've all been the betrayed or the betrayer but when you're being murdered by your brother it's a betrayal no one could ever fathom.

I pull on a pair of sweatpants and t-shirt and put my damp hair up in a clip. I don't wear make-up anymore. All make-up does is hide what people see as flaws about themselves. I see flaws regardless. Make-up can't fix the things wrong with me and feeling beautiful isn't part of my plan...yet. Once I get downstairs I hear the sound of a lawn mower. I walk over and peek out the vintage lace curtains in the dining room. It's a guy.

He's cutting the grass. His shirt is off and my eyes betray me because they can't look away. His tan skin is wet with sweat and my thoughts take on a life of their own. He looks like a swimmer or runner. Long slender muscles all well defined yet not bulky. A knot of messy dark hair is pulled up on the top of his head and he has lots of scruff on his face. When he makes a turn in the direction of the house I quickly step aside, away from the window. He's good looking in a grungy kind of way. Not my type. I don't have a type.

Aaron is my only type...or was.

Sadness tries to rear its ugly head and I force it away. I look out the window once more. He looks much older than me too. He must be mom's yard guy. I wonder if he even knows she passed. I decide I'll deal with small details like that after the reading of her will this afternoon. I just need to get through the day.

Most days are the same since Aaron died, even though they're always different. The same because a day never passes I don't miss him, different because each day my anger grows stronger and more powerful. What I've learned from the betrayal I was dealt in life is how to embrace it and use it to my advantage. I've stopped looking for trust in others. They always let me down. The decision I made the day Aaron's body was lowered into the ground was to trust myself first and foremost while ignoring the smoke and mirrors from others.

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