Chapter 44

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Colton's POV

I use the restroom sink to support me as I try not to fall apart. My mom is here and it's real. She looks the same but different at the same time. I'd be able to recognize her from a mile away, but she looks... brighter? There's light in her eyes. She looks well rested. She no longer looks fragile and afraid. I wish I could say the same about myself.

My stubbornness kept me from running straight into her arms. She's my mom. But I can't just let myself forget what she did. I can't just forgive her.

At this moment I have no idea what I want. Earlier today I was just thinking about her, but I never would have expected to see her any time soon. Is it possible that she did come back for me, or does she just want something? I have no idea.

I hear the restroom door open and pray that it isn't my mom, I need to clear my head before I can see her again.

I feel arms wrap around me from behind and Camryn lets out a long sigh, resting her head on my back. "How are you?" She asks. Such a simple question for a complicated situation.

"Honestly, not that great," I croak. My voice sounds much deeper since I started crying like a wuss. Today was the first time I cried heavily in years. I think the last time was when my mom left and now it's because she's back.

"Come on, let me take you home," Cam says, turning me around and grabbing my hand. I follow her out of the bathroom and relax a little when I don't see my mom sitting at the booth. Then again, something also deflates inside of me knowing that she left again.

We get outside and walk across the parking lot to Cam's car. "What about my bike?" I ask her.

"We can pick it up tomorrow or something," she says and we both get in the car. The drive home is silent at first. "What's her name?" Camryn asks out of nowhere.

"What?" I ask.

"Your mom? I don't think you ever told me her name," she says.

"Oh, um it's Madeleine." I haven't had to say my mom's name out loud for a while and it sounds foreign to me.

For the rest of the car ride, I try not to think, but then a small question pops into my head: Does my dad know that she's back?

I don't think my mother would ever want to see him again so I doubt he knows she's in town. I'm just afraid of what my dad would do if he did find out she's here.

We pull into Cam's driveway and she holds onto me as we make our way inside.

"Cam? You're home early," her mom calls from the living room.

"Go upstairs, I'll be there in two minutes," Cam whispers, then dips into the living room to see her mom. I do as told and make my way to Camryn's room.

My body aches after each step but I try to keep quiet. I know her mom is still not completely fond of me being over after that night with my dad.

Once I reach her room, I slowly sit on the bed. How did this day go so bad? I woke up this morning excited because I was finally going to take Camryn out on a real date with her cousin as a third wheel. Then I run into Penn and get into a fight, then I get arrested, then I get beaten by my father, then my mom decides to pop in after five years. This day has to go down as my worst one yet.

I lay down on the bed, but hear something underneath me. I sit up and see that I was lying on a piece of paper. I glance at it before setting it on the night stand but then pick it up again after realizing what it is. It's an address. This is probably the address Aimee was talking about before she left. This is where Camryn's parents live.

As I stare at the paper, Cam walks in. "I brought you some of my painkillers from my accident, they work really well," she says examining the label with a bottle of water in her hand. When she looks up, she sees what I'm holding. "What's that?" She asks.

"The address of our next destination," I say, showing her the paper. Her eyes go wide as she takes it from me.

"Oh no it isn't," she says, folding it up and putting it in her nightstand drawer. "Here take these." She hands me the pills and water and I gladly take them.

"Why don't you want to see your parents?" I ask as she sits down on the bed next to me. I can feel my body staring to hurt less. She's right, these pills really do work.

"Why don't you want to see yours," she smirks at me, trying to lighten the mood.

"Touché, but it's different."

"I know," she sighs, falling back onto the bed. "I thought tonight was about you, why are we talking about me?" She asks.

"Because I'm sick of thinking about my problems," I admit. I stand from the bed and feel no pain. I take advantage of this healthy feeling and open Cam's window to step onto the roof. "C'mon, it's a beautiful night," I say to Cam.

I jump onto my roof and Cam quickly follows. I know she really likes this spot and it's kind of growing on me. The moon looks like a toenail and Cam seems to enjoy it as we lay down.

"We haven't been up here in a while," she says, wrapping her arm around me and resting her head on my chest.

"I know, now tell me why you don't want to see your birth parents," I push.

"I don't want to talk about that, I want to know how you're handling everything that happened today."

"I'll tell you that when you tell me this," I compromise.

"Fine," she huffs. "I already told you that I'm scared of what I'll find, but honestly I think I want to go through with it."

I raise my eyebrows at her and sit up, shocked because I know how big of a deal this is for her. "Really?" I ask.

She sits up too and looks at her hands in her lap as she talks to me. "I guess. After seeing your... Madeleine, it made me realize that I don't want to waste another second of not knowing them like how she wasted all these years not seeing you. If it ends badly, at least I got it over with, if it ends up being great, then I'd just have more time getting to know them."

"Camryn that's great," I say pulling her into my arms. I'm proud of her. I know how scared she is but I'm happy she wants to go through with it. "When do you want to go?" I ask.

"Next week, before thanksgiving," she says. I nod and lie back down, pulling her down with me.

I'm glad that Cam is moving forward with her life, but as for me, my past keeps trying to pull me back. I'm not going to let it. Not this time. Not when things are going so good for me. That's it, I'm getting out. I'm going to move forward too.

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