035; real life

92 10 25

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Awsten goes back to being quiet after the phone call, unable to really think about anything other than all that happened in the last few weeks.  After a while, visiting hours end so there's no one to talk to anyway. He wants to sleep but every time he closes his eyes, he sees Emily with that horrible smile on her face as she died.

Whenever he moves, there's a little part of him that expects to hear the rattling of the chain.

The day drags on and on and Awsten just wants to leave. He wants to walk out and go home and try to forget any of this ever happened.  Unfortunately, hens certain he's not going to be forgetting most of this no matter how hard he tries.  And he can't leave until he's healthy again, and walking is painful with how bruised and sore he is so he can't exactly walk out, the doctors barely want him walking at all right now.  Bed rest, they'd insisted, just for a day or two.  As if he hasn't had enough of being told where he could go and when he could go there.

Despite all that, he hides his growing frustration with this whole thing, telling himself that it could be worse.  He could be dead.  Or worse, still stuck with Emily.  The hospital isn't too bad compared to how hellish the last few weeks have been.  Starting with the car crash that cost him a baby and the love of his life, things have been on a downhill spiral and he hopes more than anything that this is the end of that spiral.

He gives a near silent sigh, tipping his head back and staring at the ceiling momentarily. He can't stand it here. It's so quiet and all he can do is relive the ordeal in his head, go through it all and try to figure out how things could've been different. Emily didn't have to die. Who's to say she even would have really killed him if she'd gotten the gun back? Then he considers the fact that she nearly shot in the head beforehand. But still. Maybe it didn't have to happen this way.

How is he supposed to live with having killed someone?  How is he supposed to live with that little part of himself that's relieved she's dead?

He doesn't know what to do with that part of himself. He wants to bury it and pretend it doesn't exist but he can't deny the fact that, once the fact that Emily is really gone settled in, he felt relieved. She can't hurt him or anyone else anymore because she's dead and he hates himself for thinking of it like that at all and not just thinking about the fact that he took a person's life. He tells himself he shouldn't be relieved. He tells himself it's not okay to feel that way. But then he recalls the fact that she threatened his friends and his family and she put him through hell and now she can't do that anymore because she's dead, he killed her. He's horrified with himself for having done it and feels sick thinking about how he isn't entirely sure he'd undo it if he could. If it came down to saving himself or letting her do whatever it was she was set to do to him, would he not do exactly what he did all over again? He wants to say he wouldn't but, when he really sits and just thinks about it, he can't imagine having done it any different. He'd be the dead one right now if he hadn't done what he did, and he doubts she would feel guilty about it. He can't imagine she'd sit obsessing over whether or not she'd done the right thing. She never really seemed to question herself. She just did things and insisted she was right and refused to believe anything else. Even as she died, her main focus was her belief that she'd been right when she really couldn't have been more wrong. She thought he loved her. How could she so genuinely believe that he loved her after everything? None of it makes sense to him and it never will.

That's the other thing about her death that really bothers him.

He'll never have answers. He can never find out why it was him out of all the people in the world that she formed the horrible obsession with. He'll never know why she was so determined to have him.  There will never be any part of this he's really able to understand and, in an odd way, it somehow feels like that's a win for her.  Her last laugh leaving him in the dark on why any of this even happened.  She's dead but, in some ways, she still won.

He tries not to think too much about that.  What's done is done, right?  No going back and changing it.

The night drags on and he wishes he had something to occupy his time because he really can't sleep. He doesn't even know how much time is going by, which is painfully familiar to his time spent locked in the trunk of Emily's car and then chained up in either her room or one of the other rooms. Now that the thought is in his head, it's all he can think about. He wants the lights back on. He suddenly hates how dark the room is.

He needs to be able to see. He lets out a shaky breath and slowly gets up, wincing in pain. He holds his breath for a moment, trying to figure out how to handle the pain from the broken ribs. He got pretty used to the pain of breathing while staying still but moving makes it worse, which he figures is why the doctor told him to stay in bed but he's tired of having to listen to people. He hasn't been making his own choices for the last few weeks so, if he decides he wants to get out of bed and turn on the light, he won't allow anyone in the world to stop him, even if he has to lean on the wall the whole way to the light switch just to keep himself standing.

He turns on the light and brightness floods the room, much more comforting that the suffocating darkness. He doesn't feel like walking back to the bed, choosing to just sit on the floor there. He carefully lowers himself down, biting back a pained groan as he moves the wrong way and everything feels like it's burning. He relaxes a bit once he's sitting, his back leaning against the wall. He stares out of the window across the room, occupying his mind with trying to count each of the stars he can see.

The stars soon start to fade as morning creeps in and he sits and watches the sunrise, wishing he could be home.

Better here than Emily's, he reminds himself, at least there aren't bars on the windows here.

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