Chapter 6

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Tiana POV

The first thing I notice when I wake up is the smell. The unfortunate, nose-stinging smell of cleanliness that every person who dreads hospistals want to get away from. That I want to get away from.

The second is the noise. The noise being the insistent beeping of a heart monitor. The insistent beating of my heart. The insistent reminder that I'm alive and still living in this hellhole.

Why am I still alive?

I open my eyes to get a better sense of everything and the first things I see are watchful grey eyes watching me with surprise and wonder. Tyson. He's the one who kept me alive.

Why is he here?

"Y.. Why are you here?" I croak, my voice hoarse and my throat sore. He gives me a glass of water. I drink it.

"What do you mean?" he asks, looking at me with so much wonder, awe, sadness and guilt that, for a second, I am unable to look away.

"Why are you here? Why do you care?" I ask.

He looks like he's searching for words and I'm about to ask him again when he blurts out "I read you diary!"

I stiffen. No

"What?" I ask, a little breathless.

"I read your diary," he says slowly, hesitently.

I nod my head once, accepting this situtaion. There's nothing I can do about it anyway. But this boy in front of me now knows me better than anyone else, even my crappy parents. It's a scary thought. But there's something more important that I want to know about. Something I need to know about.

"Why am I still alive?"

Now it's Tyson's turn to stiffen.

"Look," he starts. "I know your life is shitty and, right now, it seems like the only way to end the pain is death, but I can help yo-"

"Why do you care?" I ask again, interrupting him.

He doesn't mean it, he doesn't mean it, he doesn't mean it... He doesn't

"Why do you keep asking me that?" he asks, looking hurt.

"Because I'm not used to being cared for and I don't understand why someone would care for me," I say truthfully. His eyes soften and he looks like he hates the fact that I think so low of myself. I just spoke the truth.

"I'll help you change that," he whispers.

"Why did you save me?" I ask before I can begin to start hoping. "Has it ever occurred to you that I don't want to be saved?" I ask him, my temper rising just a little.

I don't want to be alive. I don't.

"Tiana," he whispers, his voice wavering. "You don't mean that. You just-"

"No!" I exclaim. "You do not get to come here acting like you care. Like you know me. You read my diary. You know I know about the bet. So why so you care? Why did you stay?? Just call the bet off or something because I'm not gonna sleep with you. We're not gonna get a chance anyway because as soon as I'm out of here, I'm taking my own-"

"No!" he exclaims, stopping me. He looks lile he couldn't bear to hear me finish my sentance. "Look, I know you know about the bet but the truth is, bet aside, I do care about you. I don't know why...but I do. And it scares me because I've never felt this way before and yet... I'm okay with being scared. Because I like this feeling. Whatever it is. And I want to help you. I want to help make your crappy life into something you can cherish. You can get better. You'll get better. I'll make sure of it. Just...just please please don't ever do that again. Don't leave," he says, looking more than a little desperate. It softens my resolve to try escaping again.

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