Chapter 41: The Bitter Goodbye

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I came to the next morning and the doctors told me I'd be okay and that I only had a mild concussion and most likely fainted because of the amount of shock I endured. The police came to my room to take my statement and I had told them what had happened in full detail. For evidence, they took pictures of my injuries. The swollen eye, the bruises on my forearms, and the nasty bruise on my wrist. A few hours later, the returned saying that Noah had confessed to the assault as soon as they showed him the pictures of my injuries and broke down crying as he couldn't believe he could hurt me like that while under the influence. To be honest, I couldn't believe he was able to either nor could I believe he'd actually confess to doing it.

Nathan stayed by my side but stayed silent while doing so. I knew he blamed himself and I wish he hadn't, but I didn't know how to tell him it wasn't his fault in a way that he'd believe me.

When I got home, Alex was waiting by the door and gasped at my appearance. "Oh my God! I'm so sorry you had to go through that, do you want me to make you some tea? I bought some peppermint because I knew that was your favourite."

I rolled my eyes under my sunglasses that I refused to take off since my left eye still was absurdly swollen. "I don't want tea. I want to go home."

Alex stared at me in confusion. "Audrey, you are home."

I let out a bitter laugh. "Home? Here? A place that you dragged me to just so I can get my crap and you can sell? A place where my ex boyfriend attacks me outside of my favourite restaurant? A place where both of our parents died?"

Nathan came up to me and placed his hand on the small of my back and whispered in my ear. "Just breathe, you need to breathe."

I ignored his attempts to calm me down and I just stared at my sister who looked completely dumbfounded. "This isn't home to me, Alex. This is Hell. Now I see why you want to sell this place."

"Audrey I-"

I held up my hand and cut her off. "Just stop. I'm packing up my stuff today and sending it to the cottage. I'm taking the Tesla and driving to Toronto tonight. I hope you're happy."

▪▪▪

As I finished taping the last of my boxes, Nathan walked into my room. "Are you sure you want to drive to Toronto from here? It's a thirty five hour trip. It'll take us at least three days if we take stops and short ones at that."

I sat on my bed and sighed. "I don't know what to do. I just want to take my stuff and leave. I need to get out of here but I don't want to leave my things behind again."

Nathan sat beside me and placed a hand hesitantly on my knee, almost as if I'd break if he were to touch me. "I did some looking around. There's a transportation service for cars based out of Calgary. How about we drop off the car there and take a flight home tonight? Alex agreed to mail out your boxes in the morning."

"Is she sending them to the cottage or the apartment?" I asked.

"The cottage," Nathan responded but scrunched his eyebrows. "How come I haven't seen or heard of the cottage before?"

I shrugged. "It's forty five minutes outside of the city and I just wanted to be close to campus my first year of school so I could get used to the area. Also, I didn't want to be in a big ass four season cottage all by myself - seems a little daunting if you ask me. But I was planning on inviting everyone there during the summer if they wanted."

Nathan nodded his head in understanding. "Fair enough," he studied my room and his eyes landed on me. "Do you want to head out?"

"Yes, please," I said quietly.

We walked down the stairs hand in hand and Alex was standing at the bottom of the stairs, biting her nails. She looked up at me with a worried look on her face. "Please don't go, I didn't mean for all of this to happen. I thought that selling the house would do us good."

"Do us good?" I yelled. "No, you mean selling the house would do you good. I know you, Alex. I know you know this house will sell for a stupidly wealthy price. I'm not an idiot. Both Mom and Dad and Grandma and Grandpa invested a crazy amount in this place. It could sell for a solid million, maybe more. This isn't about letting go or doing us any good, this is about the money and you know it," I licked my lips and Alex tried to speak but I refused to let her have a word. "Don't bother trying to defend yourself. You always cherished money over our family. You barely ever talked to Mom and Dad unless you wanted money and if they didn't give it to you you'd throw a fit. Well, you got your wish. You have your fund, you're selling the house, and you're getting everything you've always wanted. Don't worry Big Sis, you won't have to work a day in your life with all this money."

Instead of remaining apologetic, Alex face shifted into rage. "Yeah well, you have enough money that you don't need to work or go to school too. But here you are acting like you're better than me because you're out at some snobby ass school with your snobby ass friends. Grow up, Audrey and get a frickin clue. No wonder Noah fucking hates you enough to hit you, you're such a bitch I could hit you!"

Nathan walked past me, looking almost as angry as he did when he was beating on Noah. "Don't you ever say your sister deserves that treatment ever again and don't ever threaten her with violence," he growled. He looked up at my stunned face and extended his hand out so I could take it. Accepting his offer he turned back to Alex. "Audrey was right, you really are a piece of work."

With his other hand, he throws his duffle bag over his shoulder and grabs my suitcase. "Let's go home, princess."

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