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Luciana POV:

I forced myself to the surface of the raging rushing water, desperate for a single breath of oxygen.  No matter how much the water forced me back under, I plan to fight the never-ending battle until it killed me. 

The pattern kept repeating itself... get pulled underwater... struggle to hold my breath for multiple minutes... find a small break in the current... swim to the surface... have just enough time to get some air, then the pattern starts from the beginning.

The longer it went on, the more my lungs screamed at me for more oxygen. They were struggling to the point where I wanted to give up making the pain end. I needed to get out of the water before I did give up, I couldn't do that to my brothers.

In the corner of my eye before I got pulled under, I saw a small sliver of hope. I struggled to swim against the rapids towards the side of the canal. If I wanted to get out of here, I needed to be prepared when the moment struck.

I reached my hands out, preparing for the small moment to present itself.

I felt the algae covered metal ladder brush against my palms. I struggled to tighten my grip on the slippery metal. I had to make my moves carefully, one wrong move and I would be pulled to the bottom of the river. 

Once I knew I had a steady grip on the ladder, I forced my feet onto the bottom step. I moved my hands upward, then took another step up the ladder...

Soon I found myself collapsing onto the hard concrete. My legs were shaking as i finally had a moment to rest.  I forgot about Mia and Nicolas. The hadn't crossed my mind since I jumped into the river. The only thing I knew for sure was that I was not going to go swimming for a good while.

After i caught my breath, I forced myself up from the comforting concrete. My legs still felt like jelly as I took a few slow steps to stabilize myself. 

Before I went or did anything, I needed to figure out where I was.  I started to walk away from the water in a straight line, making sure I didn't get any more lost than I already was. The sky was still dark, no one would be up for me to ask, more like threaten, for directions and money.

I did the only thing I could do in that moment, I kept moving. I kept zoning out as I walked. Before I realized it, the sun was rising in the horizon. 

I stopped walking immediately when I saw it.

The lights turned on, then went dim, then back to bright. It was my saving grace. My feet started to move towards the doors of the diner. My hands were shaky as I reached for the handle on the door. 

It refused to budge as I attempted to pull it open. My eyes started to dart around, trying to find the problem. Then I saw it...

A big bold closed sign mocking me.

My face fell as I moved my hand from the door handle. I had no idea what time it was. I held my head low as I went to sit on the step, leading up to the diner. I had no choice but to sit here and wait for the door to be opened.

I don't know how long I waited on those steps, just staring at the gravel. Something, or someone tapped me on the shoulder, my head instantly snapped to see what it was. It was a person.

"Sorry to scare you, but we are open", the women explained.

I stood up on my feet, wanting to get a better look at her. My heartbeat rose in my chest as I stared at her, she was beautiful. Her fiery red hair stood out against her sun kissed skin. With brown eyes staring right back at me.

"You look like shit", She mumbled.

I looked down at myself. She was right, I did. My clothes were slightly damp with mud spots here and there. 

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