Lara was sitting on her bed, looking at old photos from the past. Ones from elementary school, high school, prom and a few photos of her, Rob and Jack. A few tears slid down her face and she quickly wiped them away when she heard the front door open.
"Sweetie, we are home with some dinner," called her boyfriend. She walked out of her bedroom and was greeted by her, now 3 and a half-year-old son. She picked him up and spun him around. He giggled and smiled as if nothing in the world could hurt him. She put Jack down and started grabbing out some plates for the pizza and glasses for drinks.
"Hey Toby," Lara said, greeting her boyfriend with a kiss.
"Hello beautiful. Oh guess what my boss said to me today at work," he said excitedly.
She shrugged as she filled a glass with some Coke.
"I am getting a transfer and you will never guess where," he said almost jumping. Lara smiled and fully faced her boyfriend with the glass in her hand. She shrugged yet again, eager to hear where.
"New Jersey! You know because it is like a mecca for music. What do you think? Isn't it so exciting?" Toby said bouncing around the kitchen. Little did he know that Lara was slowly losing grip of the glass and SMASH! The glass smashed into millions of tiny little pieces all over the floor.
"Oh God, you go keep Jack away from this and I will clean up," Toby said quickly turning around. Lara just walked out and made sure Jack was away from the glass and then walked into the bathroom. Why the fuck was this happening to her? She couldn't go back. Not now, not after everything she had done to get away. She looked up at herself in the mirror and suddenly a feeling of disgusting was welling up in the pit of her stomach. If she went back she would have to face everyone she left behind, not to mention the Department Of Children Services about why she ran away. She opened the drawer and moved everything until she saw it. Lying on the bottom of the drawer, she lifted it out. She held it up and it sent a chilling feeling down her spine. Lara slid down the wall and sat on the floor. Just as she was bout to but the blade to her skin, there was a small knock at the door.
"Mommy?" said a small yet excited voice. It was Jack. Lara sighed and didn't answer.
"Mommy, are you there?" Jack called once again.
"Go Jack. I am trying to do something," she called back. He still didn't leave but kept knocking on the door.
"But I need to show you something," she sighed and didn't answer. Maybe if she ignored him he would go.
"Mommy?" he called once again. Lara stood up, angrily, and rolled her shorts back down to her knee. She swung the door open with a force.
"What Jack? I said I was trying to do something," she spat out, sounding mean and angry. Jack's smile faded and he frowned. He held out a piece of paper.
"I just wanted to show you a picture I did today," he said before running away, with a few tears in his eyes. Lara opened the paper and saw it was picture of herself, Jack and Toby, all together outside the house. She felt awful, so she went to find her son and apologise. As she walked into the lounge room, she saw Toby once again on the phone. He saw her walk out and hung up the phone.
"I have some news regarding our move to Jersey," he said as he led her to the couch and sat her down. She waited for him to tell her.
"We have to leave on Friday, otherwise I lose the position to some other guy called David Hopeski," he said, very excitedly. Lara looked down into her lap, where her hands were shaking. He held onto them and looked into her eyes. She could not go back. However, she could not lose Toby. She could not bare to take Jack away from the only father figure he ever had.
"Are you OK? You are shaking," Toby said as he gripped her hands tighter. Lara nodded and stood up to leave the room.
"So can I call my boss and tell him we are going?" Toby called. Lara stood still and turned back to face him. Slowly she nodded. He smiled widely and picked up the phone, dialing away as fast as he could. Lara turned and walked into the bedroom, where she locked the door. She needed to be alone right now. All she kept picturing was her being back in Jersey with everyone still judging her. The fact that she had run away at the age of 20 with a baby and hardly any money was something everyone would still be talking about to this day. Was she going to be able to face all the rumours 3 years later?
Why? Why? Why did I do this? Was the thought that kept crossing the mind of Lara Rowe. She was sitting in the back seat of a taxi, which was driving her, her son and her boyfriend to their new apartment. She was driving down the roads she knew all to well. The ones she tried to escape from. Lara closed her eyes and slowly drifted off. The faces of everyone she knew and left kept coming back to her. The looks of disappointment upon their faces. She was not going to be able to face it.
"Honey. We are here," Toby said slightly nudging her arm. She looked up and saw the new apartment where they would be living. She got out of the car and saw Toby holding Jack's hand and with the other hand, getting out the suitcases. Lara paid the driver and he sped off. Toby handed Jack to her and grabbed as many suitcases as he could. They made their way inside and up to their apartment. They opened the door and Jack ran in jumping on the bed.
"Hey, if it is OK, I think I may go for a walk," Lara said to Toby. He nodded and threw the suitcases on the couch. Lara turned but felt someone tugging at her sleeve.
"No Jack. You have to sty here and help Toby. Be a good boy for me," she said and walked away. She did not know where her feet where taking her, but they usually led her to the right place. As she walked, the chilly July air hit her face, making it feel like millions of tiny shards of glass where slicing through her face. Many people would flinch at this feeling, but Lara being the person she was, enjoyed it. She just kept walking for another 5 minutes until she realised where she was going. Lara didn't want to go there but somehow she couldn't stop herself from going. She stopped once she had reached the place. Lara looked up and saw one of her favourite people in the world walking out the front door. As she turned around, she saw Lara and ran up and hugged her. It was tight hug you would give someone who you hadn't seen in 3 years.
"Lara darling. What are you doing here? Where have you been and how have you been doing? My God, it feels like its has been a decade since I last saw you," she said. Lara smiled at her as if everything was fine.
"Hi Linda. I just came back to visit. Umm, what have you heard about me leaving? Can I just ask?" Lara asked Linda. Linda smiled and squeezed her hand.
"Lara darling, you know you could have just come to me if you needed help with Jack. You didn't have to run away," Linda said. Lara looked to the ground and nodded. Linda was always like a mother to her, ever since she became friends with Frank. Linda led Lara up to the porch and sat her down on the swinging chair; Linda then took a seat next to her.
"Lara talk to me," Linda said as she wiped away a few tears that had rolled down Lara's cheek.
"Linda, I couldn't stay here. They would have taken Jack away from. Everyone knew I couldn't provide for him and then Rob left me. I was a mess and running away seemed like the only rational thing to do. I went to Canada and got a crappy apartment and job. That was when I met Toby and we sort of hit it off. Then we started going out and he told me to move in with him. I have not been doing well at all. I have been, umm crying a lot when I am alone," Lara lied. She could not tell Linda that she self-harms.
"Linda is Frank home?" Lara asked. Linda smiled and nodded. Lara let herself into the house after thanking Linda for listening. As Lara entered the house, she remembered the smell. It made her feel at home. Quietly she walked up stairs and knocked on Frank's door. She got no answer but thought she heard moving in the room. She opened the door in one swift movement and quickly regretted it.
"Umm, Hi guys," Lara said. Frank was lying on top of Maggie on the bed getting it on. They both smiled, trying to subtly cover themselves.
"Hey, what's up?" Maggie replied. Lara looked down the ground and saw a leather whip on the floor. She gasped and quickly walked out of the room, closing the door behind her.
"I will wait for you two downstairs," she said before breaking into short leaps down the stairs and into the living room. Lovely, she gets back 3 years later and still her two best friends are sex-crazed maniacs. Nothing had changed.
Lara was sitting on the couch flicking through a TV magazine when Frank and Maggie joined her. There was an awkward silence in the air. Frank being Frank was the first to break it.
"So, why are you back here," he asked. Lara was slightly taken back at the way he asked her. So cold and full of anger. Maggie looked up at him and gave him a don't-be-so-mean-you-dick look. She looked back down and even though Lara was staring at the ground, she could tell Frank and Maggie were staring right at her.
"My boyfriend got offered a job out here. He took so I came back with him and Jack," she spoke quietly. Frank sighed and sat down. She looked over to him and his heads was in his hands.
"Lara did you not think about what would happen once you left? Jason, Maggie, Danielle and I were left to clean up the mess, your mess. Tell lies to every person left, right and centre. Did you not care? How could you have been so stupid?" Frank said, but yelled the last bit. Maggie calmed him down as Lara cried silently.
"Put yourself in my shoes Frank. What if you knew someone was coming to take your child away from you,"
"YOU DIDN'T KNOW THEY WERE GOING TO!" he yelled. Maggie again calmed him down but Lara was raging.
"YES I DID! Frank my son was going to get taken away, I did what I thought was best for him. How can you not understand that," she asked. He struggled his way out of Maggie's grip and went back upstairs. Lara collapsed on the couch. Maggie stood up and walked over to her.
"We have put up with so much shit for you over the last 3 years. You better hope to God it wasn't all for nothing. When people find out you are back, rumours are going to start to spread and then if DoCS finds out, all of this may end up costing you your son," she said coldly before walking away to find Frank. Lara was left alone to her thoughts once again. She knew everyone would be disappointed or angry that she left or came back. Why did she have to come back? She should have just told Toby that she couldn't leave her job or something like that. Lara stood up with tears in her eyes and ran out of the house. She was running back to the apartment; it was time Toby knew the whole story. Watching the ground, Lara walked quickly. Suddenly Lara's right side collided with someone else and she was sent down to the ground.
"Shit, I am so sorry. Are you OK?" the guy asked. She looked up at him and nodded. He held out his hand to help her up. She took it and pushed herself off the ground. She smiled at the guy and continued to walk.
"Excuse me, you look really familiar. You're from around her, aren't you?" the guy called after her. Lara stopped dead in her tracks. She heard footsteps come up behind her and then she saw feet. She looked up at the guy with the poofy afro.
"Wait, do you know Frank Iero?" the guy asked. Lara nodded slowly, scared about how this stranger knew all this information. He smiled and held out his hand, wanting a shake.
"I am Ray Toro. One of Iero's friends and band mates," Ray said to her. She smiled and shook his hand.
"Look I don't seem to sound rude or anything, its just I have to be getting home," Lara said. Ray smiled and said goodbye. Lara continued to walk home and as she turned the corner into her street, it started to rain, heavily. Once she had reached the front of her apartment, now soaking wet, she fell to the ground and looked out to the road. How ever hard she tried, her past kept coming back to haunt her. Was the real reason she ran away the thing driving her to insanity? Or was Lara Rowe keeping a bigger secret from the world?
Love Dani xoxo