Chapter 8

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Tyson POV

I smile as I look at Tiana sleeping soundly, the smile invading my face before I can notice it. I can't help it though. She looks so peaceful in her sleep. Like she doesn't have the weight of the world on her shoulders. She's just safely tucked away from the horror story that is her life, safe and peaceful and beautiful. It's really a wonder to behold, the way the temporary peace changes her features, softening her face and bringing a small upward tilt to her mouth. Beautiful.

"She's b-beautiful when she's like this isn't she?" Tiana's mother asks, joining me.

"Yeah," is all I say, because I don't know what to say, and because the last time we spoke, I forbade her from touching her own daughter when said daughter tried to killed herself.

So I don't look her, I look at Tiana.

She seems to read my mind, though because she whispers "I'm really am sorry," and I stay quiet, knowing she needs this moment to just talk.

"I'm sorry I l-left her there to deal with that m-monster. I'm sorry I didn't do a-anything to help. Sorry I didn't g-give her all the love she d-deserved and more. I'm sorry I was s-such a shitty m-mother. I'm sorry," she whispers, broken.

For some reason, this makes me angry. Does she think a 'sorry' changes everything? It doesn't. It never does.

"If you plan on going back to how you were, then you're not sorry, not really anyway. A 'sorry' doesn't really take away the pain that Tiana has been through. 'Sorry' doesn't redeem you. Actions do. Prove it. Prove you really are sorry," I say sternly.

I can't bring myself to look at her though. I'm not ready to forgive her just yet. And I know I will forgive her if I see her guilt-filled face. So I can't look at her. I don't look at her.

She sighs shakily. "Trust me, I k-know. I'm never going back to how I was. I'm going to be t-there for her. She deserves it, and so so much m-more. I just... I can't believe it t-took her almost dying by her own h-hand for me to get o-out of my funk. What if they couldn't save her? How c-could I live with myself? How could I-"

She doesn't continue since sobs wrack her body. Immediately I hug her and notice that she's sweating, badly, and trembling. Withdrawal.

I don't mention it though, I just hold her while she cries.

"Sorry about that," she says, sniffing slightly.

"Nah," I say, dismissively.

"Then thank you," she says.

I look at her for a moment. "Are you... suffering from withdrawal?" I ask cautiously.

She nods. "It's going to g-get worse. I'm p-planning on going to a rehab centre after T-Tiana is out of the hospital. Can you... can you t-take care of her till then?"

I smile. "Sure. Hey... I wanted to ask you something..." I say, not sure how to proceed.

She wipes her eyes. "Yeah?"

"My mom's a lawyer. So I just thought... If you have any proof, and if you want to... We can represent you in court to lock him up...?"

"Lock him up?!" She asks, eyes wide.

"For good," I say, hoping against all hope that she says yes. That man has done too much damage to roam around freely. I wonder how he has been able to stay free for so long. Tiana has nieghbours doesn't she?

It's funny, in any case, how the worst grow larger, grow stronger, until they take up all the space left for the good, making the good smaller and smaller and making themselves bigger and bigger until their darkness leaks into the good hearted, making them sadder, making them weaker and making them duller. Until the good hearted don't exist as themselves anymore but as someone else entirely. Someone made out of sadness, someone made out of pain and someone made out of blood and tears and bruises. But what the darkness doesn't realize is that all it takes is a simple spark to ignite the biggest and brightest of fires, so bright it overwhelms the darkness, chasing it away. Just like all it takes is a little love to make the oppressed the brightest of people. This is what Tiana could be, a flame. Burning brightly and proudly, warming anyone near it and giving light to those in the dark, but still hurting anyone who threatens it. A flame is something I know she can be. Something she might already be.

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