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Sam finally says something, and gives me an indication as to why he's here. "Mom's sick, like really sick. She's been asking for you. I told her that I'd find you and bring you home. You can't send me back without you. Please, sis. She's dying."

I don't want this news to affect me, but it does. My arms drop to my sides. "When? How long has this been going on?"

He tilts his head to the side. It's his are you a moron face. "I sent you letters. It got a lot worse a few months ago. I found you last Christmas. I knew something wasn't right, but I didn't want to make Mom worse. When she started asking for you, I started writing you, asking you to come home. Way to blow me off."

I watch him. There are too many emotions boiling beneath the surface. "I didn't open the letters."

"Why the f.u.c.k not?"



I glare at him. "You seriously want me to answer that? You're dead to me, all of you. I don't want anything to do with any of you. And why the h.e.l.l are you still hanging out with Dean? Look what he did to me last night! Look!" I hold up my hands so he can see my palms. They're covered in scabs. "This is nothing compared to what he used to do. How could you bring him here?"

"You're still on that?"

"Holy f.u.c.k," Peter turns and yells in Sam's face. "Are you that stupid? Look at your sister and tell me that she liked getting her skin ripped off last night. Say it, asshole." Peter pushes Sam's shoulders, but Sam doesn't push back. Whatever Peter said to him before still has Sam spooked.

Sam's eyes flick to mine. "Just come home." He turns and leaves without another word. Peter shuts the door behind him. When Peter turns to look at me, I feel like I'm falling apart. I don't understand how or why I even care. I have no more tears. I reach behind me, and fall down onto the couch nauseated.

"Why? Why did he have to come here and tell me that? I can't go. I can't face them. Not after everything that happened." I'm taking to myself, saying a million reasons why I can't do it.

After a few moments, I feel Peter sit down next to me. I'm staring straight ahead, seeing nothing. I don't know what to do, and I don't know why. "There's only one question here, Sidney. Will you regret not saying good-bye to your mom?"

"I don't know. I can't face them. I can't manage them and Dean, and..."

"I'll go with you." I glance up at him, surprised. "You don't think I'd send you alone? Not with those two?"

"What'd you say to him?"

Peter grins wickedly, and shakes his head. "Not telling. That's my little secret. I was holding back last night. I didn't want to hurt either of them. I didn't want to cause you more pain or make you feel more conflicted about me than you already do. I warned Sam that I won't hold back again. No one will hurt you, not while I'm around." His eyes are so blue.

"I don't want this life. I want a refund." I grip my face in my hands. I don't know what to do. Part of me wants to go. My mom has never said she needed me before. If she really said that, I should go, but I don't know if Sam is lying.

Peter wraps his arms around me and pulls me to his chest. "I don't want a refund." His words shock me. Peter's been through h.e.l.l and back. I sit up and look at him.

"You'd do it over again?"

He nods. "In a heartbeat."

"Why?" My mouth drops open into a little O. I can't stand my life. I'd trade it in a second. I feel like a piece of tissue paper that's been torn and glued back together too many times. There's no tissue left. All the color is gone. I'm a mass of scars and glue. The pieces of me that remain are battered and broken.

I watch Peter's face. I don't understand how he can say that he'd knowingly sign up for this.

He smiles at me and touches my cheek. "I wouldn't give any of it up. I know who I am. I know what matters to me. Those things shaped me, they changed me. I wouldn't do it differently. I wouldn't give it up." He leans in close to me, his lips right by mine. He whispers to me, "And, I'd do it exactly the same way again if I was given another chance, because in the end, it led me to you."

Peter's courage gives me strength. I didn't know I felt this way. I didn't think that I could take my life back, not after having it violently ripped away.

I know what I need to do. Running away didn't work. My past found me. It will always find me. I'll never be free, not unless I face the pain I tried to leave behind.

I have to go home and face my past.





CHAPTER DISCUSSION