✚ Chapter Seven ✚

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  Healing Gabriel: Chapter Seven

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                                                       ※(*)※Gabriel's POV※(*)※

         "I could've paid for myself..." I said quietly to Evan when the three of us sat down in a booth by a window in the corner of the small restaurant. He sat next to me, Alana across from us. She didn't seem to mind not sitting by her boyfriend.

         Boyfriend.

         I was amazed by Alana, the girl back in the hospital room from what seems so long ago. She'd been taken advantage of in one of the cruelest ways, and yet...look at her! She's beautiful, funny, and overall, very flamboyant. Why couldn't I be like her? Why did I have to be so...so afraid? I'm the guy, aren't I supposed to be fearless? Isn't she supposed to be the one who can't stand the idea of being touched or even looked at the wrong way?

         One glance at Alana, and it doesn't even look like she was raped. I always see her in the hallways, dancing and laughing, talking to both popular and unpopular students. She's always smiling, not afraid to touch people, and she seems to love kisses.

         I am absolutely nothing compared to her.

         "Nonsense," Evan said, bringing me back to reality. "My treat. So, Alana. You wanted to talk?"

         "Yeah," she said, taking a bite of her grilled cheese sandwich. After she swallowed, she looked at me. I gave a slight nod, then looked out the window.

         "You know about Gabriel being molested, correct?"

         I felt my chest grow tight, but I bit my tongue to keep from breaking down. I was not going to start crying in public. I am better than that.

         No you're not.

         "Yeah...wait, how do you know? Did he tell you?"

          "He didn't have to tell me. I already knew."

          "I'm confused. Can you explain what you mean by that?"

         "I was there at the same place Gabriel was kidnapped. Only, we were in separate rooms." The way Alana said it, so calmly and quietly, both caused anger and admiration from me. I was angry that I couldn't talk about it without my voice cracking and my eyes watering. But I admired Alana that she could talk normally about something so awful and terrible.

         "Are you serious? No, stupid question. Oh, my God. You guys...are both so...different, though! You're all calm and happy...and Gabe's all...all..."

         "Overreactive?" I finished for him, looking away from the window and at the two of them. Evan's eyes met my own.

         "Cynical," he corrected me, looking away.

         "Different people handle their traumas in different ways," Alana explained to Evan.

         "I know, but...you were, like, deflowered. He was only touched and stuff."

          I folded my arms over my chest, self-concious and annoyed that Evan thought being m*lested was any less than being r*ped. He doesn't know what I had to do, what I had to watch every single day for almost six months.

         "That is where the backgrounds come in," Alana said, taking a sip of her pop. I sat down Indian style on the booth, prodding at my garden salad with my plastic fork. Again, I don't have much of an appetite.

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