The night was beautiful…
I slouched even lower as I reminisced about my past.
“R-Ren… I’m an orphan…”
I didn’t bother to look at Ren. I’m scared of how he’ll look like — I’m scared that his impassive face will change.
“I hated my childhood… Almost every day, I’d be transported to a different foster home… Almost every day, I’d be transported to random strangers… I hated it.”
I think I grew up quicker because of my situation, and that seemingly bad thing was harmful. I realized some things — and I long for the days when I was blissfully ignorant… None of these people truly cared about me… There were a lot of other children that needed help, and I was only a little drop in that population. Who has the time to put all of their efforts into caring for one child when there was a lot that needed attention?
A certain taste was developing in my mouth… I want to vomit… But I continued.
“And I never knew where I would end up… Extremely dirty houses… Dangerous houses… Uncomfortable houses… Scary houses…”
I closed my eyes — no, I forced my eyes shut tight.
“And I never knew where I would end up… Physically abusive people… Verbally abusive people… There were people that overwhelmed me with labour… There were people that got pissed at me for not knowing something I never got a chance to learn… There were people the used me solely for sexual pleasure… There were scary people…”
As my recollection continued, I put my hands on my head — I was scared so I gripped my hair tight.
But why should I be scared? I have Ren next to me… Even if those terrible things come true, I got Ren next to me.
“And through all that, I managed to endure… Being treated as more of a pet rather than a human being… But even so, I still endured.”
And then that part came up.
I don’t know what the day is… I don’t know what the month is… I don’t know what the year is… I don’t know how old I am — middle school?.. Honestly, I don’t care…
But it was the day, and I was sitting in a playground… It was pretty cool, but it was pretty warm at the same time. I looked around. Nothing was really interesting to me… There are trees sprinkled around this dull playground, but that’s it…
I was sitting in a fetal position behind a brick wall… Why? I didn’t want to be at that house… I know Father will be mad at me, but I just can’t take it… Will they be mad because they were worried? Or will they be mad because I wasn’t there?
A voice came from above me. I flicked my head up, and saw a young man…
He was definitely older than me — he’s maybe just finishing high school or just starting college. I could only see his head, and he had short brown hair and patches of short strands coming from his chin…
“Hm… Hey, why do you look so sad?”
I did not say anything, but he smiled… It looked inviting… It looked friendly… It looked enticing…
I still remember that smile… It looked malicious… It looked harmful… It looked scary…
“And then… that place took me in…”
That place… Filled with those people… Owned by that person… I didn’t want to remember, but Ren deserves to know the truth!
“It was September… In three months, I would turn thirteen years old…”
I’ve stayed in that place for a little over a year… In hindsight, it doesn’t seem long. But it honestly felt like I spent an eternity there.
“See, that place… was… um…”
But I put my forehead in my palm… My head really hurts… I can’t do this… But I don’t have to tell him, right? I mean, even when we first met, he was really understanding about things I didn’t want to reveal…
“That place was horrible… That place was so scary…”
I was just reminiscing, but why were tears forming in my eyes? They were released from my left eye first…
“I met so many people there… But all of them were so scary… And I’ve been to many places through there… But all of them were so scary… And the one I knew the most was that man… Scared… I was so scared…”
But I did not want my fear to obstruct my goal… Ren needed to know the truth… I didn’t let the tone of my voice sound sad. Even though I was pained, I was also determined…
Remembering that time made me smile.
“It was the middle of December — just about two weeks before turning fourteen… On that night, I grew a little more confident… I grew a little braver… I grew a little angrier… I grew a little stronger…”
My smile grew a little wider.
“On that night, I ran away from that place… So when I met you on that day in June, I’ve been running away for six months…”
My smile faded for a bit, but…
“And I was grateful... “
I started remembering the good bits — the rainbow after the torrential downpour…
“To have met you — Ren Morales… You were my real saviour…”
“Someone so nice and caring…”
I wanted to only remember that point onward.
“Someone so charitable and compassionate…”
I wanted to forget everything from before I met Ren.
I was so happy to meet Ren… He changed my life… I might’ve been a broken tool, but all broken things can be fixed! He taught me that not everything in life comes with a cost… He showed me that I can be a human rather than a pet… He really saved me — my hero!
I happily turned to him…
“So Ren, Thank y- huh?”
But I was instantly disturbed… My eyes widened…
Ren… What’s happening?
I stared at him… He was doing his usual pose of covering his right shoulder with his left hand, but this time… it looked more intense… He looked to be in serious pain.
His right hand was aggressively grabbing his left upper arm, almost pulling the flesh off… His right hand was clenched in a fist... His entire right arm was trembling…
But his face was what took the majority of my attention. He broke his stoicism — his face was no longer expressionless, and a look of pain took over. His teeth were clenched together… His eyes were desperately trying to stay open… His eyebrows were narrowed… I could hear him breathing slightly heavier than usual…
This look of pain… This look of fear…
Is something going on with his shoulder? He always holds it as if he’s been wounded there, but why was the pain so intense now?
But he quickly picked up the comforter and wrapped himself in it.
But right after, we were interrupted. We both turned to look behind us and saw Bailey shoot up from lying down.
“Gah, dammit! Shi- Why!? Oh my gosh, why must I always have the same damn dream!?”
I stared at Bailey. She was breathing heavily and was sitting up straight. She looked shocked about something.
“H-Huh? B-Bailey, what happened?”
She was still taking deep breaths.
“Oh… S… Sorry, Camryn… Did I wake you?”
I shook my head.
“Huh? Oh, no, I was already awake…”
“I… I see…”
“But how about you, Bailey? You suddenly shot awake and started screaming… What happened?”
After a few seconds, Bailey fully calmed down and spoke in her usual and slightly angry-sounding voice.
“Oh, sorry Camryn. See, I always get the same damn dream… And it always ends in the same scary-ass way… Dammit…”
A nightmare, huh?
Shortly after, Bailey laid back in her bed and covered herself with the comforter.
“Anyways, I’m sorry about that… Good night…”
“Y-Yeah… Good night…”
Honestly, that was a little strange. Was she still tired? Because she never questioned why I was in Ren’s bed.
Speaking of Ren, Bailey’s outburst drew my attention from him. I turned my head back to him and… His body was wrapped in the white comforter. He looked like he normally does — he was no longer grasping his shoulder and he didn’t have a pained expression on his face… Back to his expressionless face…
And his tone of voice sounded the same… He sounded so different to what I was used to, but now it was the same monotone voice. His voice mimicked the feeling his face carried…
“Camryn… Sorry, but I am a little tired from work… Please go back to sleep…”
“Huh? Oh, yeah…”
I slowly stood up and started walking towards the other bed.
“Good night, Ren…”