Chapter 34

  1. CHAPTER 1
  2. CHAPTER 1
  3. Chapter 1
  4. Chapter 1
  5. CHAPTER 1
  6. CHAPTER 1
  7. Chapter 1 Moose Malloy
  8. Chapter 1.
  9. CHAPTER 10
  10. Chapter 10


I sit in the car for quite a while, knowing that the moment I get out is the moment that Ill be admitting the truth. That Ryland is nothing but a ghost. A memory of Evan Ryan Wellings, the boy I lost a while ago and who I cant let go. The boy I counted buttons with, who told me to be someone else, who I left to burn in this very cabin after he kept me sane all those years. Im slowly remembering, yet forgetting at the same time, memories so distant, slipping away like pieces of sand in the wind.

Its not raining yet it feels like its raining as I get out of the car. Hours feel like they pass as I walk through the field toward the cabin I burned down so many years ago. And when I approach it, it somehow looks faded, more nonexistent, as if its just a shadow of a memory sitting out in the middle of nowhere hidden by the grass and the trees.

I enter without saying a word and walk around the place that used to be my solitude. I can remember now, how he kept us here, chained up in the basement below, hidden beneath the floorboards. Lily, Evan, and I, the things they did to us for years until Lily got a hold of a match, struck it, and the whole place started to burn.

I was so happy when I first saw the fire, Ryland says from behind me, close but so far away. All I could think was either I was going to get away or burn to death and I was happy with either way, because I knew Id be free.

I swallow the lump in my throat, staring at what was once the trap door that led to where he kept us hidden. I let you burn You told me to run and I did I just left you.

I dont hear him step up, but I feel him right behind me, the coldness that brings me warmth. There was no way for you to get me out. I swear I feel him touch me, trace a finger up my back, but it might just be me remembering another place and another time that doesnt exist anymore, even though Im trying to hold onto it. I was locked up with chains. All you could do was run and get help.

If I wouldnt have tried to shoot him. I struggle for air as I recollect pulling the trigger, missing the shot, the man coming at me, but Lily stepped in the way and took the gun from my hand. After that, there were only flames and the feeling of melting. Then maybe I would have had enough time to get help before the place burnt down.

You know thats not true, he says. You knew the moment the place started on fire, that I wasnt going to make it out.

I shut my eyes, remembering how he kept Evan chained up, wanting nothing to do with him, but wanted everything to do with me and Lily. Im sorry.

You dont need to be sorry, he says quietly. Whats done is done. You need to stop blaming yourself and let me go.

I shake my head. I dont want to youre the only person that makes me feel like everything is going to be okay when clearly its not.

Everything is going to be okay, he promises as I open my eyes and face him. His hair is in his eyes that look brighter, not as sad as they usually do, like he can sense that hes about to be free from the place. Free. Once you admit the truth, itll all get better from there. You just need to accept what is.

I dont even know what is or what was, I say, reaching for him, wanting to touch him just one time. Just once.

Thats life Maddie, he says, my hand moves toward him, so close, just a little more and I finally feel him. Just once. No one knows much of anything, whether they have amnesia or not. But they keep on living, just like you need to. It would be a tragedy if the fire ended up destroying all three of us.

I stand on my tiptoes and lean in toward him, our lips so close. And what about you? My hand hovers right beside his cheek, a sliver of space between us, just another inch and Ill touch him.

Thats up to you, he says, his eyes drifting to my mouth. I already told you that as long as you wanted me here, Id always be here.

But you dont want to be here?

I just want you to be happy. Thats all Ive ever wanted for you.

I want to ask him what will make him happy, but I think I already know. Being trapped is something no one wants. Im the thing keeping Ryland Evan a prisoner here, simply because Im selfish. And its not Lily whos doing it. This is solely me. Maddie Asherford. Im selfish and its time to stop.

Thank you for everything, I say, tears stinging my eyes. And Im so sorry, for what happened to you. Then before I can back out, I move my mouth toward his quickly, bringing my hand against his cheek. The contact sends a surge of heat through my body, so sweltering I feel like Im back in the cabin again when it was on fire.

And then the heat goes coldI go cold. And I know hes gone.

I stand there for a while, unmoving with my eyes shut, knowing the second I lift my eyelids, itll all officially be over. Itll all be gone. If I could, Id probably stay that way forever, holding on for just another second, another moment, just one more. But eventually I have to move forward and open my eyes.

And when I do, Im not standing in a cabin, just a field that once held one.

All alone.


: 2015-09-15; : 2;

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Chapter 33 | Chapter 35
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