Chapter Twenty-Eight: Ghosts Of the Past

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Madison's P.O.V

"Why are we here?" His tone was as sharp as steel, nothing amiable about it. His posture was tense from what I could see from behind him. I gulped, taking in the sight of the place after ten whole years. I had never had the guts or the strength to ever come back. Remembering what happened here still shook me to the core.

"I think you know."

He took a deep breath, probably digesting the past again.

The wind was silent, just like my heart. It was either too afraid to beat or beating harder than I could take. It wasn't like the place was exactly the same, but the new railings on the cliffside didn't hide the long fall behind them.

I could hear the school bell ring and then the cheering of kids as the end of the school day descended. Miles still hadn't said anything back or asked for any further explanation. He was just as lost in the place as he was ten years ago. Like all three of us were.

"Do you still remember?" He finally let out. There wasn't any of the hardness left in his tone, but I would have been grateful if it was.

"Every little bit."

A few moments passed before either of us could say anything else. There was just something about the air here, it felt like even the trees knew of our dark past. It felt like they were staring at me with their hidden, accusing eyes.

"Madison why are we here?" Miles asked again. He just looked drained now. I couldn't blame him.

"For closure."

He shook his head, as if expecting a better answer.

"I'm already over it."

I grabbed his hand as he tried to walk past me.

"No, you're not." I said bitterly. He tried to shake my grip off but my will of holding on to him was stronger than his will to make me let go of him.

I was always afraid of coming back to this place, I just didn't know why or from what. Now I did. I was scared of myself, of what would happen to me when I laid my eyes on the past again. I could clearly feel the fire burning inside me. The anger at the world, at everything wrong with it. Including me. I was angry at myself, for knowing what I had done and being able to live with it. It was one of those moments where my emotions got so overwhelming, they were the only thing left inside me. I had no brain, no better judgement. Just this fury and want to tear everything apart.

Miles was having a hard time looking at me, and even given our close proximity, his head was tilted away from mine. Like he couldn't bear to look at me. Like it was painful. And maybe it was, looking at a murderer and knowing there was nothing you could do about it.

"You're not over this, just like I am not. Nobody is. You know why I moved away after what happened here? Huh? Miles you wanna know? It wasn't because Granny told me I should, in fact it was what I wanted. I couldn't live here, not after what happened. I couldn't face you guys because every time you looked at me, I only saw blame in your eyes. Heck, every time I looked in the mirror I saw hatred and blame. It was everywhere I looked! It was suffocating, it was too much. I still heat Lydia's voice, her screams for help. She haunts me, her death haunts me. She blames me too and there is nothing I can do to change it."

"Madison please stop—" He tried to cut me off. Now he was the one holding me and I was the one trying to break away.

"You know why I haven't killed myself yet? Because I don't deserve to die, I don't deserve that peace. I should pay for what I did, I should have to face you all every day. It's one of the reasons I came back. But when I saw you for the first time that day after coming back, that blame wasn't there. Miles where did it go? Please bring it back, I deserve it. Please hate me, you should hate me." I hadn't realized when I had started crying but the taste of the tears wasn't a relief. I didn't deserve to cry.

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