Part 32

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^^this edit perfectly represents how Ash feels about his stepfather (source is desnos on tumblr)

Also off topic y'all but my school sucks so bad. I hate it there 😭😭

Do you ever feel like you're so sad you're numb? You can't move. Can't do anything. After crying myself to sleep last night, I lay in bed, blankly staring at the wall. I still have that horrible pain in my chest, it throbs with it as my mind forces me to relive Daemon snapping at me. It emphasizes every word he said, telling me how much he must hate me.

I know he said he didn't mean it, but how could he have said it and not meant it? What did I expect when I did the worst thing possible: bring up his dead mom when he's drunk. I don't know why I did that. I was desperate for connection. I wanted to be someone he could confide in. Kind how you'd rely on a mate. I wanted to be that for him. But Lylah's talk about us possibly being mates just got to my head and I went too far. I'm the worst. I know that.

When I think about how happy we were, how good our relationship felt, I feel like shit. I spoiled it. Why does it feel like everything's going wrong? And that I seem to be the cause of it all. What is it about me that drives people away?

I recall the memory of a few weeks after my mom died. I was locked in the cellar as usual, because my stepfather didn't want me bothering him and his friends while they drank. Last time they'd been over, I'd burst out crying when one of them twisted my arm in the process of forcing me to sit on his lap.

Needless to say, I wasn't allowed to be out while they were over for a few weeks after that. Of course, that was before they came up with the idea to use me as their human ashtray. I was fun for them. As I got older and my body developed, instead of being annoyed by my crying, they started to like it. They found pleasure in hurting me just to see my reaction, whether it was crying or shielding myself in fright. They thought of it as a game, and I was the prey. My stepfather never let them go too far. The worst damage to me was reserved for him.

Almost got sidetracked there. What I was saying was that I was locked down there, right? I was only 10 at the time. It goes like this:

My stepfather comes down after a few long, agonizing hours. I plead for him to let me out. I tell him I'll promise to play outside and won't bother them at all. But he ignores all of that. He looks me straight in the eyes.

"You miss your mommy?" he asks.

At the mention of her, my eyes get wet. I tell him yes. I really do miss her so much.

He kneels in front of where I sit, grabbing my face roughly in one of his hands. "You know why she died?"

I nod my head. Mommy was sick. She had an illness she couldn't fight.

My stepfather laughs dryly. "Ah, you may think you know. But the real reason she died is that she couldn't stand being here with you anymore,"

I blink in confusion. "T-that's not true. M-Mommy loves me. She said!" I tremble as his grip on my face tightens. He could crush my face. He could if he wanted, using only that one hand.

"Mommy was a good liar, wasn't she? You dumb runt. Why would she love you? You're worthless. Even your daddy left ya, didn't he?"

"She loves me! She loves me!" I insist. "She said daddy did too!"

My stepfather yanks my face toward him. "You poor little thing, actually believing that," he coos. "You really are pathetic, aren't you?"

"D-don't know what that means!" I squeak, hoping he won't hit me.

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