Chapter 23

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I stared at the ceiling blankly, having nothing much to do except wait for Kerrick to come home. I rolled on my stomach and sighed before jumping off the bed and going down stairs.

Having no one to talk to felt strange and even though I was living with Kerrick for a good while, I still didn't adjust to it. I slouched on the couch for a while before a thought came to me. I could just call back home.

I picked up the phone and rang Samantha and Victoria and before I knew it, we were laughing and talking non-stop. Warm feelings filled my chest as we talked about old memories and brought up more recent things and gossip. It was really funny that even though we were distances apart, it was as if I was still in my father's store and they just stopped by to talk.

Eventually I was upstairs again, sitting on the floor and talking to Daniel this time. We were generally just speaking about my father and the store but it really made time fly, especially since talking to him could easily wipe away my boredom.

"I really miss you guys." I chuckled over the phone as I leaned against the bed.

"Of course you will, no one else can make you laugh as much as I can." Daniel agreed.

"That's because you're never serious!" I teased.

"That's not true! I happen to be a very serious person, even more since you've left the store." He defended.

"If you say so." My eyes flicked up at the clock on the nightstand as I spoke. "Hey, I'll have to go now, Kerrick will be home at any time."

"Alright, we'll talk again soon." He snickered.

"Yeah, later."

I sighed and hung up, falling back on the bed again. I rubbed my forehead and smiled internally but only for a moment.

"Delancy?"

My eyes flew open and my gaze cut over to the door where Kerrick was standing. I pulled myself off the bed, surprised that I didn't even hear him come in.

"Kerrick, I didn't realize you were there."

"Who were you talking to?"

I straightened my clothes and sat back on the bed while his eyes were still glued on me.

"Someone."

"Someone?" He pressed.

"Yeah, can't I talk to anyone while you're away or is there a rule against that?" I retorted.

He stared at me tight lipped but he didn't seem moved by my words.

"I don't have a problem with that but you could've at least been straight forward." He shrugged, his eyes cutting over to the phone.

"I don't see why that matters." I walked towards the door but he grabbed my hand before I could leave.

"I'm not done talking to you."

"Yes you are, I have no intention of listening to you, especially when you never take in my input." I pulled my hand from his and he narrowed his eyes at me.

"What are you trying to say?"

I turned my back to him but there was more anger in my movements than sadness. "You don't even see me. I feel like I don't matter in your life."

"Is that all?"

The way he bluntly and callously disregard my feelings made my blood boil, so I spun around and pointed a finger at him.

"What's wrong with you? Why are you always like this!?"

"If that is your concern, I don't really care about making my actions pleasing for the account of others. As I've said, this is just the way I am."

I gritted my teeth and glowered at him, the calm way he was insulting me, getting on my last nerve.

"Oh really? I guess that means I have no obligation to you? If you can freely do whatever you want, can't I do the same? If what you said is true, what need do I have to listen to what you're saying or stay here? Right now, I have half a mind made up to just walk out and leave." I hissed with poison but he didn't flinch, however anger was present in his face.

"Didn't I tell you to never say that again?"

"What? I want to leave you?" I spun on my heels and was about to walk away when he sunk his nails in my shoulder and pushed me against the wall.

"Don't ever say that!" He yelled.

"Leave me alone!" I challenged and pulled away from him.

He shot me a slap and in my anger I raked my nails across his face, drawing blood.

Before I could react, he grabbed me by my neck and slammed me against the wall, when I tried to pull away from him he twisted my wrist and shoved me again, this time so hard I momentarily lost almost all the sensation in my arms and back and collapsed against the floor.

I stayed there without even bothering to try and speak because as I tried to pull myself up, my body ached. Tears stained my cheeks while small termers ran through my body with pricking pain but I didn't say a word.

I wanted the earth to swallow me up so I could disappear from all the hurt and emotions running through my mind. I just couldn't anymore.

"Get up." I didn't move but my tear filled gaze flicked up to Kerrick. "I said get up!!!"

I squeezed my eyes shut, hoping he would leave me alone but he didn't so I curled myself up into a ball and cried softly. He touched my face and I shrunk away from him, without meeting his gaze. Then suddenly he scooped me up in his arms, holding me close, before putting me on the bed. I pulled away from him when he sat beside me and I stared at my tensed fists, bile rising up in my throat. I finally looked up at his face when I realized his hands were shaking and his eyes were masked with an indescribable emotion but my chest tightened with anger and withheld emotion so I couldn't say anything because of how bitter and confused I was.

When he finally fell asleep beside me, I cried angrily with my back turned to him so he wouldn't hear.

Did he really care about me? Why was I putting up with him? Why did it hurt so much, so much more?

I squeezed my eyes shut and wished everything that happened was only a nightmare but the ache in my back told me otherwise. Tears filled my eyes again, streaming down my face silently as I pulled as far away from him on the bed as I could but the distance didn't feel far enough. My stomach churned and I tried to hold myself together but I finally fell apart into a crying mess, my sobs stifled by my pillow.

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