All she saw was Jared. Those eyes dampened by the sorrow she was causing him. The way he had pleaded with her so hopefully. He had tried so hard to convince her that nothing had happened in Italy and she had made sure that he knew that she believed him. She really did trust him at his word but there was something in him that she had always seen. A sort of darkness that refused to be shaken no matter how long he exposed himself to the light. He was so lost in his own sadness that he had lost the way of being set free. Perhaps in a way he wanted what he had before with Bianca, maybe that was what gave him a sort of stability. Or maybe it was all he had known for what seemed like forever and now he simply couldn't picture himself without it.
Either way she knew that staying with him would only make things worse on him. Would only make him feel pressured to change what he inwardly longed to change. She had to let him do it on his own time. No one could do it for him, no one could usher him out the door of his prison. It was something only he could do.
Slowly she lifted herself from the couch and sat up. She looked about her apartment desperately through a heavy glaze of tears. She felt pathetic sitting there then, looking up at the walls that once had been the expression of her soul. She had been where Jared was, only just recently. But it had taken seeing her dad again to bring it all to light. She had tried to suppress not only the past when she had been confronted with her dad's anger but she had also tried to tell herself that if she just made it through it would be over soon. She had outlets, she had ways of escape.
But now as she sat there so alone she knew that her thoughts had been completely wrong. She had closed the door to her supposed outlet, she no longer wanted that self inflicted pain that she had lived with for far too long. It hadn't just been a promise she had made to Jared, it was a promise she made to herself, a way to lift herself out of her own darkness.
The sound of her dad's voice made her throat constrict and every bruise she wore because of her throb even deeper. She saw the memory again all the way until she had passed out. His threatening eyes, his angered fists and his strength overwhelming her.
Stiffly she turned around. His gaze was a mix of both anger and betrayal. She swallowed harshly and stood up. She stepped back away from the couch, fingering her phone in her jackets pocket. She prayed she had dialed the right number. She had always been so afraid before to make sure he would be taken away from her life.
"I waited for you. I don't want you seeing that man again." He stated more than firmly.
She was backed up against the wall finally pulling her hands from her pockets and dropping them in front of her. "I don't want you here." She forced out. She thought of a million ways she could defend herself, a million ways she could escape. But she was backed up against the wall and he was walking towards her.
"You know I didn't mean what happened....You're my daughter, Rowan. I just got so angry when you left the way you did and I couldn't find you." He stopped in front of her, his hands gripping tightly at his side like he was trying to suppress the anger inside of him.
"Dad please, I want you to leave." She didn't want the tears to fall, didn't want the way her hands shook to betray her.
He just stood there staring down at her, his eyes sharp and empty like they always were when he was angry. His hands lifted, his jaw clenched. He was reaching forward to her neck until a loud knock interrupted them. Both their eyes shot to the door.
"Who is it?" He demanded.
She looked up at him for approval before she managed to slip away to the door. She held her breath as she unlocked it and opened it. It was an officer and when her eyes fell on him relief flooded out of her...
The officer had been driving past her apartment when the call had come through the radio. He had gone up to take a look, much to Rowan's luck it had worked. They had taken her dad away and he had cried out so many curses at her, told her that she didn't love him at all if she was going to let this happen to him. She had tried to block her ears to it but she couldn't help but collapse crying once he was gone. She couldn't help the hole formed inside of her.
Days passed and she found herself packing up her apartment, she cleaned off the paintings on the walls and was left with a completely empty apartment. Her bags were sitting by the front door, she had thrown out the things she no longer needed. She felt like she was starting new and the feeling was overwhelming. She couldn't know if it was pain or if it was relief. Either way it coursed through her brilliantly.
A knock came at the door and she opened it smiling across at her beautiful sister. She wrapped her in a hug and let out a laugh at the squeeze her sister gave her.
"Thank you so much for coming all the way out here for me." She said softly, giving her sister a smile once they pulled from the embrace.
"I wish you had called me sooner!" She declared, looking at the square of an apartment with a bit of dismay. "But I'm glad I'm here now. Are you ready?"
Rowan nodded, trying to ignore the curious and worried glances her sister gave her over the bandages she wore. She gave her a look that said an explanation would come later. Her sister gave her an approving nod and picked up one of her bags and rushing out of the apartment.
Rowan turned around and looked one last time at her old place. The memory of Jared having been there stung her sharply. She had shown him everything in that bedroom before he had taken her in his arms with all the love he could have given her. His kisses had been almost a source of healing as they caressed over her scars. He had brought her here after the hospital, holding her against his chest and they had promised themselves to the other.
She wondered if there was hope for them both, for either of them on their own. Tears built in her eyes, regret filled her painfully. She had the thought to send her sister away and rush back into Jared's arms. She needed him so badly. What was a new beginning without him there with her? But what could she do when she wasn't sure what he was feeling? When she wasn't sure how long it would take for him to take himself out of his shadows?
She reached her hand into her pocket, lifting the phone out and let her fingers linger over the numbers. She had the thought to call him, the need to call him, hear his voice and feel that familiar comfort. But her sister rushed up the stairs and looked in through the front door.
"Change your mind?" She asked, startling Rowan from her thoughts.
Rowan let out a small laugh and shook her head. "Of course not." She replied, dropping her phone back into her pocket with a sigh.
She picked up the last bag and closed the door. There was always hope even in the darkest of times. it wouldn't take that long. That's what she told herself when her sisters car pulled away from the curb and began its drive towards the airport. Hope belonged to those who needed it and she definitely did. the problem was if she really believed things could change. She had told herself again and again that she did but now as she shut her eyes and let a single tear fall from her lashes she just wasn't sure.