Angel Boy
Author: Lacey Raine

Chapter 22

After a fortnight of being passed around care Homes and social worker's offices, I ended up with Uncle Ryan. He'd been down as my guardian if anything happened to Jack. I was kind of grateful for that, I guess. But I begged him not to make me go to school. I couldn't face them all, not yet. I was too proud. I spent most of my time lurking in the churchyard on the other side of town, near Mum and Dad's graves. There was part of me that couldn't help thinking that they were looking down, ashamed. Ashamed of Jack because of what he'd done to me. Ashamed of me for telling on him, not standing up for myself. I could still remember Dad's words clearly, though I'd been about three when he said them. If you don't defend yourself, Az, nobody ever will.

The rest of my time, I spent locked in what had became my room, drawing, reading, thinking, remembering. Alex often tapped on the door when she got back from school, but I was yet to talk to anybody. I felt empty, more depressed than ever.

It wasn't until I'd been living with Ryan for a few days that I realised, through fonder memories of happy times, I didn't have to miss Jack. I could barely remember my toddler-years, but the few memories I had often involved Jack, much younger, thirteen maybe, or fourteen, laughing about something, tickling me, taking me out to the park, playing stupid games. And the empty void was filled with laughs and smiles that I still couldn't show on my face for some reason.

I drew the memories, through the way I'd seen them. I drew other things as well, of course. Photos. Views. My friends. Friends. I had Ruby and Emerson, who, in my opinion, were the two best friends any guy could have. Ruby, just plainly because I loved her. I loved Em too, but in a different way. He'd been there for me when I needed him, when he could've just backed away, left me alone to deal with it. But he didn't. He was there moral support, and it had benefited me that he'd told, after all. In fact, I'd received several long texts from him, begging me to forgive him, apologizing like crazy. They always made me smile.

I had great family. I had great friends. I had my books and my sketchpad and my paints. And just like that, I realized. Life wasn't so bad.

I was going to be okay.


                                                            The End.


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