Seeing Through Tears

Chapter Four

I Just Wanted a Life

The booming sound of my father's TV traveled through the wide cracks surrounding my door, flooding my ears with the irritating distraction. It was just enough to drive me insane. Here I was, sitting in my tiny, square shaped bedroom trying to do my homework and he wouldn't even give me the decency to turn the volume down on his precious television.

I sighed and tapped my pencil on my math textbook impatiently, becoming really pissed off by the situation. It had been a week since he hit me and he still wouldn't let me out of the house. I'd even asked him as nicely as I could, but he only yelled and told me to vacuum the stairs, just after I had finished vacuuming the entire house! And when I had pointed that out to him, he threw a glass at me. Luckily, he missed my head by a few meters.

Needless to say I was very fed up, and feeling very rebellious. I had to get away for a while, no matter what the consequences. I needed a life apart from this. I needed to be a teenage girl.

Making my decision I put my pencil down, walking over to my window. There was a large oak tree in front of the window that I used to climb down to the ground for emergencies. But as of today, I think I'll use it much more.


"You look like a whore," I told Nev disgustedly (but honestly).

Nev was currently wearing a skimpy red dress (well at, least to me it was) that belonged to some over-priced preppy store that I had the pleasure of standing in at the moment. I had decided to go over to Nev's and go shopping after I climbed down my tree. I thought I'd get it over with, since I had agreed to help her. And it was quite clear that she did, in fact, need my help.

Nev pouted at me and looked down at the dress. "I do not," she argued childishly.

"Right, because having your boobs hang out and practically showing your ass is what a nun would do."

"Of course not a nun… but maybe a Catholic school girl," Nev said, smiling mischievously.

I shrugged, and picked out a midnight blue dress from the sales rack. "Well, what else would they wear?" I asked, handing her the dress.

Her eyes lit up upon seeing the silky fabric, and she took off like a storm for the dressing room. A smile tugged on my lips - I knew that girl all too well.

She came out a few minutes later and anxiously made her was (way) to the mirror. "Wow," she breathed, gazing at her reflection.

By golly, I think she likes it.

"Turn around and let me see," I commanded motherly.

She complied, turning around to show me one of the most beautiful dresses I've ever seen. It hung tightly around her waist and flared out at her hips, reaching just above her ankles. Her sleeves hung tightly onto her arms, until they reached the elbow, where the fabric was intentionally cut in half, flowing gracefully with Nev's movements.

"It's beautiful," I whispered, mesmerized. It was ironic that I was so taken with a dress, seeing as how I had refused to wear one since I was eight years old.

Nev beamed and jumped up and down for a moment. "This is the one!" She squealed.

And so our mission was complete. Nev was going to her brother's wedding, looking beautifully respectable to her family, and pleased with herself.


I arrived home in the evening, around eight, climbing up the tree and going through my window. When I stepped inside my bedroom, a pleasant sight did not greet me.

Sitting on my bed with one of the angriest expressions on his face was my father. If looks could, in fact kill, I'd honestly be ashes right now. Hell, I was as good as dead at this moment.

"H-hi dad," I stuttered. My words only seemed to heighten his rage as his jaw tensed. And at this point, I think I would be safer if I threw myself out of the window. I remained silent and looked down at the floor, studying the old stained brown carpet that was my own.

When he didn't say anything for five whole minutes, I asked quietly, "Did y-you want something?"

Hearing him move from the bed I lifted my gaze from the floor. He staggered over to me, his eyes blazing with rage and fists balled together. When he reached a foot's distance he stopped, and I noticed a vein popping out of his forehead.

With one swift movement he swung his fist at me. I flinched in response, causing him to hit me in the eye. The one he had yet to mark. He clutched onto my shoulder just as I stumbled back and roughly yanked me towards him.

I was so frightened that I became incapable of breath. He held a death grip on my shoulder. I could feel his dirty nails dig into my skin, infecting, tainting, and corrupting along with every other wound he conjured, every word he ever spoke. In a calm, deadly voice he whispered in my ear: "The dishes needed washing." He then shoved me at the wall. I heard him stomp out of my room. I heard the loud slam of my door. I heard I silence following afterwards.

I slid down the wall and curled into a ball on the stained, hideous rug. I began to cry like the coward I was, making a fuss out of a tiny little punch as hot tears of sadness and solitude rolled down my face.

I just wanted my life. And I would get it, even if it killed me.


Paints can be a real pain in the ass sometimes. Did you know that? I not only went shopping for Nev's dress yesterday, but also to find paints for myself. I didn't find any of the right kind, though. So I talked my art teacher into lending me some.

Part of living my life, I decided, was doing what I loved. And what I loved doing most of all was art. I could honestly never get enough of it for just one block a day. I needed more. I needed to paint things that weren't assigned to me, but were truly my own.

It was quite unfortunate, though, that my backpack was stuffed with books today, leaving me with the only choice of carrying the plastic bottles in my arms. Now usually I wouldn't have had a problem with that, but when you're carrying a dozen small bottles of paint to your brother's house, which was four miles away from your school, things tend to get tricky.

I was still at school at four o'clock, carefully creeping down the practically deserted stairs when I realized I couldn't see me feet because of the paints. Call me strange if you want to, but I just can't walk down stairs if I couldn't see where my feet were going. But I tried anyway. Guess how that turned out?

I fell.

My foot slipped on the edge of a step and gravity pulled me backwards, towards the ground. Or so I thought. I had closed my eyes when I knew it would be coming and braced myself, my senses unable to notice anyone else around. So I was very surprised when I found myself captured by a pair of strong arms.

After about ten seconds of recovering, I was able to slow my heart beat from the whole scarce and open my eyes… only to meet Seth McLane's midnight blue ones.

So much for trying to calm my racing heart. It seemed that being in close proximity with him gives me a heart attack. And not only that, I wouldn't even be able to stand if he let go; my knees were so weak.

His handsome face hovered above me, worry and concern etched across those fine features. He seemed to be studying my face so intently that he didn't yet realize the awkward position we had ourselves in. We were still on the stairs, with me still in his arms and bent backwards a bit. My back was resting on his knee and he leaned over me. It was like we were dancing and he froze right in the middle of dipping me. I was vaguely aware of the smell of leather, and soon noticed that he had ditched his trench coat today for a ripped, faded leather jacket.

It seemed like forever before words came, but they did eventually. Out of nowhere, Seth asked me, "Do you always run into doors?"

"Huh?" Was my dumb reply. Really classy, don't you think? It took me a moment to register that I used that excuse with him for my last shiner. "Oh yes," I said with a small, strained smile, trying to cover up my moment of confusion. "All the time. I'm a real klutz as you can see." I then let out a nervous, awkward laugh that made him arch his eyebrow for half a second.

Shaking his head, he argued. "I don't think anyone can be so horrible as to cause two black eyes in one week."

"Well I am," I said weakly, throwing in a shrug for good measure. Wouldn't he just drop it and let go of me? It wasn't like it was his problem if I kept getting these things. He didn't have to worry about it.

I watched him as he resumed gazing at my black eye, all words gone. When he lifted his hand and slowly brought it close to my face, I knew that I had to get out of there.

"Um… Seth?" I spluttered when his thumb was an inch away from my cheek.

"Hmm?" He mumbled, blinking a few times as if coming out of a trance.

I took a deep breath. "You can let go of me now."

He looked down at his arms and quickly pulled me up and moved himself away, obviously embarrassed. I don't blame him. I would be, too, if I were holding someone like me the way he was.

I walked down to the bottom of the stairs and picked up my paints. Seth was still there, watching me. But he didn't help, or even offer assistance. Isn't he such a wonderful gentleman? Pft. Yeah right. Gentleman my ass.

Once I had collected all the paints, I continued walking down the hall, Seth following several feet behind. I was about to tell him to stop stalking me, when he called after me. "You're not walking home like that are you?"

"No," I said simply.

He walked a bit faster to match my pace. "I didn't know you had a car," Seth said, surprise in his voice.

"I don't."

"Then how are you getting home?"


"But I thought you-"

"Yes, and I was right."


"I'm walking to Rae's home, not my own."

"Oh," he said, sense dawning on him. Then he beamed at me. "That means I can give you a ride."

It only took me half a second to agree. After all, it made perfect sense. Seth lived at Rae's so why not hitch a ride instead of walking with a dozen paints? I thought it was logical too, until we entered the parking lot and he walked right up to a motorcycle.

I stood there and gazed at the black beauty. Like any girl, I had a thing for guys and motorcycles. I thought they were hot, gorgeous creatures unless I was on them, because if I was, I'd be utterly petrified.

He looked at me expectantly, beckoning me forward with a glint in his eyes. Luckily, I came up with an excuse, although a lame one.

"What will I do with my paints?" I asked him with an innocent frown. "I have no where to put them on that thing." He went over to his motorcycle and seemed to be doing something that I paid no attention to. I carried on with my lame excuse. "Oh well, guess I'll have to walk."

I turned to walk away when he called loudly, "Wait!" I spun around and looked at him. He held a black backpack in the air. "I have bag!" He declared proudly.

I raised both my eyebrows and smirked at him. Nice grammar, man. Nice.

"Oh no," I protested, not willing to go on that motorcycle. "It's your backpack. You have stuff in it… what if my paints spill?"

He walked over to me with a smirk on his face, and showed me the inside of the backpack, which was empty at the moment.

"Oh…" Crap, so much for that plan. "Wait, that sub in English gave us three chapters to read of 'All Quiet on the Western Front.' Where is your book?"

"In here," he told me, tapping his head.

"Um…" I was rather confused now.

He smiled as my confusion and damn it, the smile could have been labeled as adorable if it weren't for his attire and reputation. "I read that book last year. Two times actually."

"Oh." I nodded, trying to think of another excuse as I bit my lip in thought.

"So you can put your paints in there now," he encouraged, but I just stood there and stared at the bag. Seth grew impatient and started putting the paints in for me. When he was done, he hooked the back up to a wire thing on his bike, allowing it to hang on safely. I had no idea what it's called; I know nothing of bikes. Don't ask me what kind of bike it was either, because I have no clue. All I know is that it's black, new, and shiny.

Leaning on the bike he called, "Come on Anna, I don't have all day."

Then why don't you just go without me? I felt like asking. But I didn't. He had the impression that he was doing something nice and I wasn't about to offend him. Maybe I was wrong about him before. After all, he is my brother's friend, and Rae doesn't think he does drugs. Even if I am his friend's little sister (by five minutes only), he's still insisting on giving me a ride.

I hesitantly walked up to the beast as if it would jump and attack me. Seth noticed this and laughed.

"It's not going to bite you," he assured me, continuing to chuckle.

"That's what you think," I muttered, completely unconvinced.

He shook his head and grinned, picking up the helmet that was hanging on the motorcycle. "Here," he said, handing it to me.

I took it gratefully. At least if there was an accident, I'd still have a nice head, right? Not like it'd matter when the rest of me was ripped apart. I put it on and realized that the strap was way too loose on my tiny head. I tried to adjust it, but it was no use. I looked up at Seth helplessly, unnoticeably forming my lower lip into a pout.

He gave me an amused smirk and took the straps. Needing to look at what ever it was at a close rage, I found Seth's face near mine once again. His hand brushed against my face a few times, making my skin tingle in a strange way. When he was done, he pulled away and took a seat on the bike.

He shot me a weird look, his face contorting several different ways. "What are you waiting for?" He asked with a hint of impatiens. "Get on."

I just cocked my head to the side, noticing something. "Where's your helmet?"

"Right there," he replied, pointing to my head.

I frowned and crossed my arms stubbornly, jerking my head towards the bike as I spoke. "I don't want you riding that without one." Ah ha! I had found a new excuse!

To my disappointment, Seth remained completely unfazed. "I ride it all the time without a helmet."

"Well not with me you're not."

"Anna," Seth sighed.

"I mean what if we get in an accident?"


"And you were injured."


"Or died."

"Anna listen-"

"I wouldn't be able to live with-"

"Listen Anna," Seth yelled. "Shut up, put that cute little ass of yours in the seat and wrap your arms around me so I can take you home, God damn it!"

My mouth clamped shut immediately, and I jumped onto the seat behind him, wrapping my arms around his toned torso. The scent of leather and aftershave filled my nose, and I'd be lying if I told you I didn't enjoy it.

Seth glanced back at me, revealing a pleased grin. "You'd better hold on tight. I go fast around corners so don't be afraid to suffocate me."

And with that, he kicked the stand and took off, going two times the speed limit. So much for my plans of living…


Authors note: God I love this chapter. Sorry it's up later in the day, rather than early, but sometimes I have a life besides writing.

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