Chapter Twenty-Four

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Chapter Twenty-Four


“Are you sure you want to do this?” asked Addison.

I lowered my head as my roommate placed a hand on my shoulder.

“I mean, you could try it another few days?” she added.

Shaking my head, I wiped a tear out of the corner of my eye. “I just can’t… I’m so sorry, Addison.”

“It’s okay,” said Addison. “I understand. I just wish you didn’t have to move out.”

Squeezing my eyes shut, I tried to force the tears away. The nightmares had been unbearable since I tried to move back into my college apartment. I couldn’t fall asleep without feeling the sharp blade of the knife cutting my leg or seeing Easton’s smirking face. The reality that I might never be okay started to sink in and the results were beyond terrifying. I couldn’t sleep or eat. Dark bags had developed under my eyes and now were a permanent fixture. Unable to focus on anything, the thought of going back to school seemed like an impossible act. What if I can’t go back to college? I had asked my mother. Just come home, Abriana, she had told me. We love you and we’ll help you get through this as a family.

“I bet Alexa is excited your moving back home,” said Addison.

I nodded as a small smile crossed my lips. Sweet, Lex. She had really gone above and beyond the last three weeks. Everything from bringing me breakfast in bed, grape juice, oatmeal, and fresh mango slices, to staying up late and watching reruns of Gossip Girl.

“How are the nightmares?” asked Addison, her face full of concern.

I paused and exhaled slowly. “They’re pretty bad.”

Her face fell. “I wish there was something I could do to help.”

“Me too, Addie. Me too,” I said.

Addison stood up and smoothed out her plum-colored shirt over her white shorts. “I’m going to hold off on advertising for a new roommate for a few weeks, just in case you change your mind.”

“Thanks, Addie,” I said. “I-”

A loud knock interrupted our conversation.

“Almost ready?” asked Alexa as she burst through the door. She balanced two boxes in her hands and she had her keys hanging out of her back pocket.

I looked around my old apartment one last time. The worn couch where Addison and I had spent hours watching movies, drinking wine, and gossiping sat in the middle of the room. My heart broke as I realized I’d probably never sit on it again.

Alexa frowned. “Earth to Bri?”

“Oh,” I said, slightly startled. “Um, yeah. I mean, yes, I’m ready to go.”

Addison gave me a heartfelt embrace before picking up a box. “Maybe I can stop over some time tomorrow?”

“We’re going camping,” said Alexa with a big smile on her face.

A look of concern washed over Addison’s face. “Really?”

“Yeah, the whole family decided to take some time off and get away,” said Alexa.

Addison frowned. “Are you sure you want to go camping? I mean, is it the best idea to go into the woods after everything that has happened?”

I bit my lower lip. I had to admit, I had my doubts, but Alexa seemed so intent on spending some family time together, I couldn’t say no to her or my parents. “It will be fine,” I said forcing a smile. “It will be good to get away from the reporters. Ever since Easton slipped back into his coma, they refuse to ask me anything without mentioning his name at least seven times. Ugh!”

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