Chapter 33

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Tyson POV

I don't know what I was supposed to feel watching the adoption papers get signed, but I know it's not this. It shouldn't be heaviness and it shouldn't be longing and it shouldn't be confusion. Of course I'm happy, overwhelmingly so, and so relieved. But I'm also curious in a way I wish I wasn't. I don't want to know what my biological parents are like now. But I do, and the want is something I need to forget.

The ride back home is spent in silence, the both of them looking at me and then looking away like they think I'm one second away from screaming. Maybe I am, I don't know. But that's the problem, isn't it? I really don't know.

"I'm going to Amanda and Tiana's house," I tell my mom and my brother when I get home and my mom holds a hand out to me like she thinks I'll leave while my brother looks up at me like I betrayed him but it's too much so I leave as soon as the words are out of my mouth. They'll understand, I hope. I hope.

I take the motorcycle because I don't know, I just want to and the drive is spent hoping my hands won't shake and the potholes aren't that deep. When I reach their house I look up at it hoping it'll give me the relief I need.

Walking into the house, I know something's happening. It's too quiet. My heart's beating but there's no reason so I tell myself not to be a pussy and I walk up the stairs and into Amanda's room where I see her lounging on the bed with her phone. She looks troubled.

"What is it?" I ask and she looks up at me in surprise.

"The usual," she says, sighing. "Except different."

"What?"

She sighs. "The police informed her that they're pursuing a case against her "dad" or whatever. They want her to come in and talk but she refused. She hasn't even moved since. Hasn't eaten. Hasn't drank anything. I'm worried."

"When did this start?" I say. For some reason, I'm angry. I was always there for her. Why isn't she there for me when I need her to be? But I'm also worried and I know my anger is irrelevant so I shut up.

Amanda sighs. "Yesterday. You both left at 5:30, right? Well the police phoned up at somewhere around 6. And then, she had a flashback, which..."

Amanda shudders and my eyes widen. "What happened?"

"Well, she tried to hit me with her phone, which she did. I have a solid bruise now," she says, lifting her shirt to show a bruise forming on her stomach. It's blue and black and purple and sad.

"It must've been from her first experiences because she still called him "dad" like she trusted him with everything. And then she didn't. It was horrible. Seeing her like that. After she got out of it was when she stopped moving. I can't....get it out of my mind. How... how scared she was. I'm glad you weren't there to watch it," she says, looking down.

Somehow, I'm jealous again. But I know I shouldn't be. And what Amanda had seen must've really shook her. She looks more scared than I've seen her in a while.

"That must be why her nightmares always scared her so badly," I say and she pulls in a breathe.

"If that's what she sees each time she has a nightmare...."

"It isn't. Not always. But they're always terrifying enough."

She sighs. "Even after she escaped, she's still stuck there. Even if all of it's gone, it's still here. They say that what's in your head is irrelevant. It's all in your head, right? But they don't know how much that could scare someone. Just because it's in your mind doesn't mean it's not real. I'm only learning that now."

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