A/N: So the whole 'finish this by the end of summer' didn't work out. New plan is more realistic and is to write the final three chapters (including epilogue) before NaNoWriMo starts, in which I'll be uploading a new story. ^_^ I've tried to take your suggestions into account in this chapter and the rest that remain. I've been blasting out The Black Parade/Living With Ghosts whilst writing this in homage to Taylor, hence the reference to 'Kill all your friends'.

Having succumbed to spending the morning in bed, I was all too aware that I actually needed to get some work done. The timetable tacked upon the wall, with each day set out in neat blocks had become a wasted effort of Amanda's. Over the fortnight, school work had piled itself up across my desk, so slowly that I hadn't noticed it until now. History textbooks, accompanied by the English books loomed to my left, shadowed by a pile of papers to the right. Just looking at it all was exhausting.

I scanned over the desk for some minor piece of work that would challenge the procrastination. Half-hidden by textbooks was a black cover. I picked the thing up and realised that it was the new journal (read your average lined notebook) that Sarah wanted me to fill in. Another responsibility. That was the problem with being at home. I could somehow justify to myself spending the day on Netflix. At least school gave me a routine and forced me to stick with it.

'Do something productive. Maybe not school work today. I can work up to that. Anything is better than this guilt at not doing anything.'

I got up and waded through a pile of clothes. As I kicked away a t-shirt Ramona came to mind, and I snickered at the thought of her seeing my room.

'Might leave her speechless for once. Perhaps too much stuff has accumulated on the floor. And I could kill at least a week tidying away everything.'

Still, the contents of my desk preyed upon my mind, or rather the sense of restlessness inside of me. At least my revision had a deadline of two months, whereas the I completed journal hung over me with the reminder that I was seeing Sarah again tomorrow. I suppose I'd repressed things from each therapist, and this new one was no exception. All the suggestions each one had given me merged into conflicting advice. So I'd learnt not to let on that anyone hurt me, to take the worst years and lock them away. Perhaps why Sarah had suggested keeping a journal, probably thinking that I would be uninhibited when writing and spill out everything between the ruled pages.

But I knew exactly where those memories lay. Once the thought came to mind, it took hold. Perhaps the only way for life to get better was to confront the very things I dreaded to think of.

I went into my parents room and opened the wardrobe door. Sifted through the folders and boxes, then lifted out a faded cardboard box. Covered by various drawings and treasured schoolwork was the thick photo album that came to rest upon my lap. Dust was embedded into the velvet cover, the tips of pages tinged with yellow.

Pandora's box came to mind- lifting the lid and revealing things perhaps best kept concealed. At least that's what we'd decided when Matt and Amanda had sealed fragments of the first thirteen years of my life between waxy plastic, then buried the box within their wardrobe.

I pulled back the cover, finding it to be heavier than I'd expected. Weighed down by all it held. Within each creamy page were two photographs, and the first six were of this pinkish, curled up mass swathed in blankets, clasped in the arms of younger versions of Amanda, then Matt. Looking at them gave that vague sense of familiarity, like looking at the face of someone you'd seen before, but couldn't quite remember who they were. As I turned the pages, other relatives came into view, all relatively unchanged, whilst the baby in the forefront of the photos gradually grew into a version of myself that I could recognise.

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