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The Hayes family lived off the grid in islandea. After the last war, the country had crumbled, joining it's borders with Xkidxi and Eyiidawi. Peach and Ruth's father had been a soldier in the war, and ordered to do terrible things before his discharge. He had to hide him and his wife away, to avoid being punished for things he had no choice but to do.
Peach's mother was always very quiet, eternally out of it with very little to say. She suffered some kind of intellectual disability. She was scared of the outside world, describing it and her husbands yelling as being "Too much."
Sometimes, when she was breaking down, she'd beg to leave this terrible place- she'd go into hysterics before being consoled by their father, who gently reminded her there was nowhere to go- and despite their differences, or their fights, it would all be okay.
Their dad wasn't always home, though everyone prefered when he was- he was the only one holding the house together, seeing as their mom was seemingly incapable of taking care of herself or anything else. Peach hated their mothers vacent stare- and how few words seemed to reach her. Peach's mother, to put it simply seemed creepy- There was nothing tender, nothing loving, there was nothing.
Sometimes, when their father was away, Ruth would speak to her. He would tell her things that would make her perk up, and for a moment seem normal like the rest of them. "We should run away." Is what he'd say, and her face would contort into disgust, she'd shake her head. Ruth's soft voice would continue. "If we run far enough away, maybe he won't find us." And finally, their mother would speak. Her eyes wide, her breathing getting labored. "No, no. He will, and even if he doesn't, we'll die out there. I can't hunt, I can't fend off wild animals. It's hopeless."
The silence after carried until their mom insisted it was better he stop thinking this way, and talking about these things. She kept insisting if he heard him... In response, Ruth only whimpered. Their mother then asked him where he got the keys, and Ruth said their dad lost them while drunk, before storming out. The mother, mortified - asked him to put them back, but he insisted she keep them. Through the crack in the door where she was snooping, Peach's face grew hot at the idea of them abandoning her and dad. Ruth was terrible, but she was in her opinion- just as terrible for not saying a word about it. She wondered if she could get in trouble for not saying anything, and the idea would cost her years of sleep throughout the rest of her life.
--- 1988/12/14//m1nc3m347 "Did you forget to lock it?" He shut the door behind him, and when he turned to face her, he went sheet white. A scream barely managed to leave his throat before his knees buckled. Ruth passed out in front of the door. Their father glanced at Ruth- before dropping his gun and running towards his daughter. He looked over her face, beads of sweat forming on his forhead. His hands trembled.
"Dad," Peach fumbled-snapping out of the catatonic state she was stuck in when him and her brother entered. "I can't see." Her dad screamed for their mother, who was nowhere to be found. His child was bloodied with tattered clothes clinging to her skin, and it was that very moment she slowly decided to lay down, wincing and writhing on the floor- trying to find a position that was comfortable. "I can't see." She said, but it came out as a whisper. She tilted her head back, vision fuzzy as he tore the house apart. "That fucking bitch!" He screamed. "Where is she?" Peach stared up at him, as he dropped a bunch of bags on the floor, rummaging through them. He was panting, rubbing his face and cursing a thousand different things. "This is all a fucking nightmare." He finally stated, in a matter of fact voice. "Or maybe, this is her way of punishing me." While he tended to her injuries, he began to softly hum a song. He had said it was a song his brother always used to hum. "Punishing my children?" He propped peach up against the wall, still deep in thought. "Did she do this to you?" After a minute or two, around the moment he had scrubbed up most of the blood, he went rigid.
"Ruth, Ruth! Jesus christ Ruth get off of the ground!" Ruth clumbsily pulled himself off the floor, eyes staring blankly at the ground as he did so. Their dad stood suddenly, and as he did- Ruth looked at him. The room was quiet. "Ruth, get in the truck. We need to go to a hospital." The air became electric as the words were uttered, as if everyone had woken up. 1988/1/03//4b4nd0n3d Mom was in the shed, in the backyard. Three times a day, she would get chaperoned into the house, at the loving touch of a gun. Today, she stumbled in as if she were drunk, until her husband pushed her into the counter, where she remained, hunched over the sink motionlessly. It felt wrong to stare at her, so I looked down at the table instead. The air was filled with the soft jingling of keys as the doors were locked, and I relaxed once I knew they were. I felt my skin burn, and knew dad was staring at me. "Set a good example for your mother, dear. Eat your food." I poked at my dinner and furrowed my brows. "It hurts to eat. I don't want mom in here when I do."
My mom and I made eye contact for a split second, and even though dad was right behind her, I shrank back in my chair, and braced myself. She looked dead, but I saw emotion well up in her deep brown eyes alongside tears. I'd never seen her cry before. "I did everything I could to ensure you'd be a miscarriage. I tried. It's my fault you're alive." I went back to quietly eating my dinner and recoiled as my brother rubbed my back briefly while striding through the kitchen. A slap eminated through the air. Mom grunted. "I know mom. I know." Ruth's voice was shaky as he spoke. I realized she wasn't talking to me. I was at most, a feature of the room to her, something her eyes would drift over but never quite focus on. Looking back, I think that was her way of saying she hated me. "Dad, she's out of her mind. She needs food, she needs water. You can't expect to get something out of her if you're giving her nothing." What Ruth said sounded reasonable. I didn't like Mom much, but somehow she was becoming worse. "She's refusing to eat or drink anything, she's trying to kill herself again. I'm taking good care of her." I know mom did that sometimes, it irked me. Before she tried to run away, I thought she didn't know how to take care of herself, I didn't know she was choosing not to take care of herself...not to take care of us. Why did she leave Ruth to take care of her and me? She didn't love us, not one bit. She said herself, she didn't want us to be born. Scarier still, my dad wasn't acting like himself since mom ran away either. I didn't know who was right, or who was wrong. It all felt wrong. It all felt bad. My dad dragged her off to the bathroom, and I stood up from the table and went to my room. I stared at my hands, and wished I was someone else, someone somewhere else. When Ruth opened the door later that night, it worked. 1988/1/04//n35c13nc3
Peach's grasp on her surroundings waxed and waned. The childs eye staring sightlessly at her own hands. About an hour later, she bundled them up into fists, slumping over at the edge of her cot. She straightened up robotically when the door opened, a sliver of light momentarily blinding her, until the door was silently shut again. In the moonlight, the child good make out her older brothers features. She scooted to the side as he took a seat on the cot. The teenager stared off into space and took a deep breath, trying to calm himself. "You shouldn't be here." Peach whispered, twiddling her fingers. "Mom and dad are really angry." Ruth's breathing got shaky again, and Peach thought better of saying anything else. "I went over the ramifications of telling you this multiple times, you're so young." Despite the fact Ruth was whispering, his voice cracked. Peach watched him try to do what she did best, and fail continuously. "I snuck out last night, to give mom water. Dad isn't giving her anything, Peachy. He's lying." Peach stared ahead while he spoke. Despite the child giving no indication she was listening, Ruth continued. "Dad isn't who he says he is, he's lying, dad lies about all kinds of things." Peach shook her head. As Ruth continued, she began to shake her head faster. 'No, no, no, no.' She thought. Dad would never lie. Dad said he always told the truth. "Dad was never a soldier, and civilization didn't collapse. Dad made it all up. Dad is crazy, Peach. He's just crazy." Peach sputtered, 'No' beginning to grip the bedsheets.
"Wait, wait. Please calm down, I shouldn't be telling you this...You won't tell dad, right?" Ruth said, after the immediate terror of Peach's small outburst loosened it's grip on his tounge. "I...never tell a secret." Peach asserted softly, though maybe that depended on what he was going to say. The house felt alive with all kinds of sounds, any of which could be foosteps, leading up to dad swinging the door open. Ruth didn't want to go to the shed with mom, but being less alone in all of this somehow felt more important, and Peach was the only company he could get right now. "Dad isn't letting mom leave, Dad is pretending we're all one big happy family, but we're not Peach- you've seen it." Peach leaned against Ruth, and shut her eyes as he spoke. Her muscles relaxed, and she let the painful words wash over her, as her mind toyed around with all the terrible ideas that had been presented to her. "Mom has been trapped here for 16 years, that's why she's acting so weird...but she wasn't always like that. She's a very good person. I promise." Peach felt his arm wrap around her, and he rested his head against hers and let out a shaky sigh. Peach reluctently accepted the hug. "Is that why Dad keeps Mom in the shed? So she doesn't try to escape?" Peach asked, trying to make sense of all these terrible things Ruth had said. Ruth hugged her a little tighter, feeling a wave of relief wash over him as she tried to accept what he was saying. The encouragement streamlined his ability to recollect everything he'd seen, been told and puzzled together over the years. "He thought Mom tried to murder you, and that she was going to the cops to blame it all on him." Ruth said, his whisper quiet voice still managing to faulter as he tried to quell his emotions. "He's trying to make it so she never wants to leave again, and I don't think she'll ever try to run away again." Peach perked up a little bit. She didn't want mom to run away. "Why's that?" She said, trying to sound disinterested. "Because if she does, and she does call the cops...Dad will kill all of us. He said so, he said that would push him to it." Peach's world shattered. Ruth said her name a few times, but something inside of the childs head snapped. She looked and felt lifeless. "Dad wouldn't do that." Peach said, pulling away, her voice quivering. "Go away." She said, voice raising in pitch. "Leave me alone!" Ruth stood up, pleading her to quiet down, as Peach devolved into sobbing and cradling her healing face, the hiccuping sobs wouldn't stop, she couldn't stop them. They just kept coming. It was right then, that angry footsteps
could be heard from the floor above. Lights flooded in from under the door. Peach looked up at Ruth tearfully, as Ruth tried to figure out his next
move. It was right then, they both looked to the window.
I fumbled with the window. My hands were trembling. I looked at Peach, aware tears were dripping down my face. My sister looked like she'd shut down for a second.
She was young, but she was smart for someone her age. I could see her gears turning. She got off the bed, and leaned against the door wordlessly. I checked the window for a latch, and wasn't able to find one. I was hoping my mind was playing tricks on me, and that there was no way in hell dad was up at this time. I began to pace like a caged animal, breathing speeding up until I felt like I was going to scream. 'You're being irrational, Ruth. Calm down, he's not going to kill you. Maybe you can explain yourself- you can lie, say she was crying, and you were checking in on her...you knock him over, and bolt for an exit, you can use the cot to smash in the window.' I'd read a lot about adrenaline, maybe I could force my way out- I was the one fighting for my life, wasn't I? Was that train of thought ethical? I didn't want to attack my own dad, and even if I did- then what? I was almost mocking myself, with the 'If then, then what' statements. The door slammed open as if my sister wasn't there, and I looked like a deer in the headlights. My dad didn't say a fucking word, he just stormed in looking irate, grabbed me by the wrist and pulled me out. The bedroom door slammed shut, and hallway lights whizzed past. It was all so nauseating. I could hear my sister crying as I stumbled along with him in a bit of a daze. Without even thinking, I snapped my arm away from him. The moment I did, he turned and swung at me. I threw my arms up in the air to block the punch. He seemed uncoordinated, and the idea he might be drunk emboldened me. I shoved my dad away from me, and he looked totally incredulous. He blinked away the uncertainty about whatever the hell just happened, and I wasn't drunk but I felt the same way. Bewildered with myself. I guess I didn't have any choice but to fight, now- I couldn't even fathom what he was going to do to me for this if I didn't.
"Dad, she was crying- I was just comforting her." my voice was calmer then I expected. I stood my ground. "Get the fuck out of my house. Get the fuck away from me, and my family." My dad snapped. Is it weird that made me angry? I wanted to go, but he didn't deserve our family. He was a phychopath, I did my research and i'm pretty sure he was a clincial one. We stared at each other for a bit, and I could tell we were quietly plotting out how to kill the other. I had nothing to lose. "You always lock the doors you fucking phychopath-" Good job making him regret buying you those textbooks on the human condition, and phychology. I could see it on his face, that is where his mind immediately went, straight to those damned textbooks. "How about you unlock the doors, and I will gladly take you up on your offer? I'm sick of this, i'm sick of you." I continued, as my dad rolled his eyes and waved me off, sauntring towards the kitchen table. "Why don't you just let everyone else go too, I can tell you've been getting sick of us. You're going to get rid of us, aren't you?" Shut up Ruth. Keep it together. 'Shut up Ruth.' I kept saying to myself, but my mouth kept on taunting him. Was I snapping?
"Oh, because you'd be better off without me? Do you really think," The chair tilted back, because of the awkward angle my dad was using to lean on it. I watched him stagger and wrinkled my nose in disgust. My dad continued. "Your mom is mentally ill, for fucks sakes how many times do I have to tell you to stop feeding into her...delusions?" I bit my tongue. He was too drunk to hurt me...I think. Chancing it was easier than lashing out when there was an opportunity we could all walk away from this, like uh...like nothing ever happened. He didn't know what I said to Peach, he's drunk- I could still get out of this unscathed. The idea calmed my blooming hysteria. "Your fucking mother...She's a danger to herself and everyone else. I had to track her down in the middle of the woods, where she was freezing to death. I had to explain to her that her fucking daughter got attacked by wild animals out in the forest, and was currently in the ER, while she was out dying because we got in a little bit of an argument." His words were slurred, but I could make out what he was saying. What he was saying lined up with reality well enough I was considering what the hell I was doing. "You always take her side, Ruth? I am not...i'm not saying i'm perfect- but you're breaking my heart." I looked away, reluctant to believe what he was saying. Was I just reluctant because I didn't want to admit i'd hurt him? If I did that, that would mean he actually did care, right? "She's talking about how i'm a monster and her daughter is a monster, she's talking about how you're going to kill me and free her from her own goddamn marriage, she refuses to go move back in with her parents, she's currently trying to kill herself- and when she's not doing that, she's always going off about how she wants to kill all of us, including herself, Ruth. I know you love her, fuck I love her too...but who the hell is the bad guy here?"
I wanted to believe him, I wanted to believe everything was okay- but I couldn't, I had to test it. I had to push it a little further. So, I crossed my arms, and tilted my head a bit. "You keep...insinuating she's mentally ill. What mental illness does she have?" My dad looked pissed that i'd ask, and suddenly the little voice in my head that was telling me he was full of shit reignited. Accepting his lies would be easy- but then what?
I began to fear the worst of my situation again, and maybe not knowing what was wrong was the scariest part. It was twisted how normal excruciating emotional pain had become for me, but I was daring myself to dream of a life that was a little better for all of us. "Fucking phychosis, we've been over this. You just won't believe me." It didn't fit. She didn't fit the criterion.
"She's never had delusions, she's always been consistant. Dad, I don't want to piss you off- but aren't you the one who said civilization collapsed, before taking Peach to a hospital? Aren't you the one who has a wife in a shed, claiming she wants to hurt us, me, you. Didn't you say when she ran away that she wanted to 'punish' you and was the one who attacked Peach? Aren't you the one who thinks you're wanted by the government, who thinks they're a war hero, who thinks they're...perfect?"
My dads face dropped a little bit. I heard him snort, and then he started laughing. "You know, maybe you're the insane one." my dad mocked, clearly getting ready to attack me again. I bolted, and he gave chase. We clambered up the stairs, and I for a moment felt his nails dig into my leg, I kicked him in the face, and I didn't stop running until i'd reached his room. I dove for the gun, and I had it ready to fire faster than should of been humanly possible. When he opened the door, he was on his and knees, and I wondered if he'd finally turned into a fucking animal who existed for the express purpose of killing me. I kicked one of the empty liquor bottles at his head, and in turn laughed when it met it's target. Maybe my own delight I offically was untouchable brought out something terrible in me, but I was smiling. I couldn't help it. I trained the gun on him, and said: "Stand the fuck up. We're about to test how insane I am." my smile dropped when he looked at me, and started sobbing. "Save it. Get the keys." My dad yelled "Have you lost your fucking mind Ruth?" And without moving a muscle, I said the words i'll never forget. "Neither of us want to find out if I have, right? so shut the fuck up before I kill you." Scaring the shit out of myself, I slid in a quick "Please and thank you. Sorry dad." 1988/1/04//b1u3pr1n7 For the first time in months, the Hayes family got together first thing in the morning for breakfast. The mother seemed animated for once, busy making pancakes on the stove, coffee in hand. The father was also present, with his own cup of coffee. That day the father was out of sorts, his hand trembled and droplets of coffee splashed onto the table.
Across from him was his own 16 year old son, who hadn't slept the night before- and had a loaded gun trained directly at his head. The father tried to express a single accidental slip of the trigger could blow his brains out, or a bullet coult ricochet and hit someone else. The morning sun pooled in throgh the windows, and the smell of a decent meal cooking had Ruth's mouth watering. "Shut up 'darling', haven't you been doing the same for the past 16 years of our marriage?" The mother said, finishing her coffee and serving up everyones meal. "Ruth, keep the gun on him. I'm going to wake up your sister." The mother emerged holding Peach's hand, the child woke up immediately when she saw a gun was being pointed at their fathers head. Pensively, Peach sat at the table. "Peachy, dear. Your father is in a lot of trouble." Their mother said, and Ruth nodded. "He's going to prison for a long, long time." To which the father replied, "Honey. I told you it was a bad idea to go off your medication." The mother said, "Cecil, you're going to jail or going to hell. Choose your words carefully." Peach said thank you when passed a plate of pancakes, and as per usual poked at her food. "Marie, I'm sorry for locking you in a shed, but I didn't want you hurting the kids." The father asserted. He went to wipe food off of Peach's face, and froze when Ruth snapped, "Don't move!" Testing the waters, Cecil used a napkin to clean his childs face, and no shot went off. Without making eye contact, he returned to his original position, face brightening up as food was served in front of him.
"I haven't seen you this lively in a while, do you actually hate me that much, my love? Does it please you this much to see me suffer?" The mother had no response, aside from frying pancakes a little more aggressively. Peach broke the silence to say, "Mom, are you feeling ok?" And her face brightened a bit when their mother responded, "Better than I have in a long time. Where would I be without you two?"
Ruth was drinking his coffee with a straw, and waited for his mom to feed him, never once breaking eye contact with his father or taking his finger off the trigger. Once breakfast was done, and the table was cleared- it was time to figure out what to do next. "Cecil, i'm leaving. You can enjoy being a drunk, dysfunctional violent phycho all by yourself, in your oasis in the middle of nowhere. I'm taking the kids, i'm taking the truck, and you can go find civilization by navigate the woods, just like I had to." The father seemed to draw a blank, and then quite simply said, "No." Ruth felt discomfort creeping up on him again, and wanted this nightmare to end as soon as possible.
To Peach, this entire situation was nothing new- though Ruth having a gun, and Mom looking happy was very, very new. Dad was always animated, it was nice to see Mom wasn't always half dead. "Why no? What are you going to do about it?" the mother said, sifting through his wallet while the father began to sweat. "Well, dear- let's start with the truck having no gas, shall we? Than, we can go into the more important things, such as you never once being there for the kids, the fact you blame everything on me- it all went down hill after our marriage."
The mother angrily retorted, "Cecil, you knocked me up twice by 'Accident', you've been threatning me to make me stay this whole time when I want to leave, you're trying to convince me i'm mentally ill." Ruth nodded, that's what he had said verbatim. The father looked irritated, snapping "I don't know what you're going on about Marie. You said you wanted kids the moment I wanted to send you back, you said you were sorry- you started on the medication, that fell through. You can't keep doing this to me. Maybe i'd be a better husband to you, if you'd be a better wife to me." Ruth's eyes darted back between the two of them. His face began to darken, his gears began to turn. As mom and dad bickered, Ruth stood. "Ok. Ok. Shut up. Both of you." Ruth said. Peach looked at him with wide eyes, and Ruth didn't return any eye contact. "Peach lost her eye, and got mauled by wild animals, mom- why did you let her follow you? Dad, you locked mom in the shed for almost a month, you wouldn't let her live in the house with us. Mom, you haven't been here for us in 9 years, and Dad, you've been getting more violent by the day. Both of you are saying the other is crazy, so are you just both crazy?" "Ruth, have you lost your mind?" The mother said, and having heard that for the second time in the same day. Ruth began to back away from the table, both parents remained frozen in place, as his aim darted from parent to parent. "Ruth, give me the gun." His mom said, and Ruth began shaking his head. Something inside of his head warned him, even if him, his sister, and his mother fled this place- that would only be the beginning of his problems. How much of what they said was a lie? What was wrong with them? What was wrong with him? One shot of buckshot and he'd hit them both. Unsure if either had done anything wrong, he also contemplated turning the gun on himself. He hadn't gotten to live a normal life, he hadn't gotten to see normal smiling people until their hospital visit, at least not that he could remember. One pull, and he could escape any obligation to take part in this unfixable, eternal situation. One shot to deal with what he didn't know. And yet, maybe these decisions were best saved for later. Until then, he could cut his loses- forget about this, all of this...and just go leave it to fate. "There's a whole world out there I missed out on. Mom, Dad. I love you very much, and maybe i'll make it somewhere, maybe I won't. Thank you for raising me." he paused. "Take care of Peach. I'd rather take my chances out there, than in this house." And right as his dad jolted up, Ruth fired a shot at the floor, tiredly lowing the gun and wiping tears from his eyes. "I figured it's best to go before you lock everything up again." Ruth continued, backing up the hall slowly.
"Ruth, wait- please, you can't go out there. You'll get arrested the moment you arrive in the city." His mom pleaded. Ruth cotinued walking backwards until he felt the door behind him. "Well, then they can arrest me. I said i'd take my chances." The father looked at the mother, and the mother said "Dammit Cecil, do something." To which, Cecil just shrugged. "He's your kid." The father said. "That's where he got the phychotic traits from." And right as the fighting started again, Ruth reached for the knob with white knuckles. He looked at Peach sorrowfully, as she emerged from her room to peer at him as the door opened. He could leave his own survival to luck, not hers though. Ruth Hayes saluted his little sister, and said: "Goodbye, I love you- and if you hear from me again, I made it. If you don't, assume I made it- and if and when we do meet again, if you member this at all...Let me know if I was the crazy one." And with that, Ruth snuck out of the door, closing it silently. Peach waited for him to come back, she waited days and weeks for him to come back, so she could hear from him again. Ruth Hayes however, never came back- by the time their dad had suited up to track him down, a fine new layer of snow had covered his eldest childs tracks. 1996/?/??//4mb1v4l3nc3
"You remind me a lot of him, sometimes." Peach said as a gunshot rang out through the air. "Damn, a twofer." her boyfriend said, as Peach stumbled through the snow towards her kill. "Heh, this could be us!" She said, posing with the two dead Tahca. Peach radioed in for her dad to bring the truck, and when she was done wiping blood off on her pants, she leaned in for a kiss. "How do I remind you of him?" Her boyfriend said, after a small pause- clearly curious, especially because Peach rarely brought up the topic. "Well you have some differences, I can't see you running off and dying in the woods. Sometimes you have the pray in your sights, and you don't take the shot." "I just sometimes wonder if the Tahca had a family, somewhere. I imagine them wandering through the woods with flashlights during a search party, not knowing their missing fried is rolled out on our dinner table."
They shared a few laughs, and Peach got a kiss on the cheek before swatting him away as her dad drove up, beaming at the kill they were going to load into the truckbed. Her dad didn't really mind the sudden company anymore, he was getting old and seemed to appreciate her boyfriends helping hand. 'Take care of her' he'd always say, and Peach couldn't help but snort and roll her eyes. Take care of her? That wasn't going to happen, not in a million years. 1998/?/??//du4l17y
"S-sorry. Not that it matters, but I don't think I can do this." Peach said, looking at the floor. Her boyfriend pulled her in for a hug. Peach shook her head, and tried to pull away. "What's wrong with you all of a sudden?" He said, holding her chin and trying to make her look at him. "P-please, I don't want to." She said, swatting his hand away, tears welling up in her eyes. Her boyfriend tried to calm her, hands on her shoulders and nearly shaking her. "Peachy, speak to me. Baby, what's wrong?" Peach was acting like a wild animal, eyes darting around sightlessly as she began to hyperventilate. "Did I do something wrong?" He asked, and Peach pulled away, sitting with him at the side of the bed and hiding her face in her hands. "I can't, I can't publish it. I can't publish all those terrible things." She said, rocking herself back and forth in a pitiful attempt to self sooth. As well as their relationship had been going, her boyfriend was noticing how fast she'd seemed to be deteriorating since they moved out together. She'd told him everything one night, and since then she hadn't been acting herself. Thinking better of any more physical attempts at comfort, he stood and left their bedroom for a bit.
Peach pulled her hands away from her face, they were covered with tears and a bit of snot. Hiccuping sobs, she rubbed it all off on her pant legs and stared at the wall. 'What's wrong with me?' She asked herself, biting her trembling bottom lip. 'What the hell is wrong with me?' There was an implacable pain, a strange noise coming from he back of her head, like being struck with a bat again and again. She watched him leave, gun in hand. "Let me know if I was the crazy one." She threw her head up to face the ceiling as if possessed, and let out a wail of agony. Her boyfriend opened the door, and offered her a hot chocolate. She held it with shaky hands, still snivviling. "Is this...f-for me?" She asked, hiccuping. "Fu-fuck babe, I think...I think i'm gonna die, or my life is gonna end...I...I think I'm going i-insane." She sputtered. She stiffened as a blanket was thrown over her shoulders, and her boyfriend wrapped his arm around her. The dark room, the moonlight on his face. He pulled her in, he said mom was... "M-mom was t-trapped for sixteen years. H-he kept her...in a shed." Peach croaked out. "She was d-dying. N-Not that it...m-matters." She was totally out of it, but she could hear him say, "I know baby. I know." Peach continued to cry, taking a sip of her drink. "It's...hot." She said, her trembling slowing. "C-Cool it off for me?" She said. He took the cup and blew for a bit, then handed it back.
"T-Thank you." She said. "Sorry...I'm doing it again, aren't I?" Peach looked down at the ripples in the warm beverage, gripping the glass tightly in two hands. "You won't...lock me up, right? F-for being crazy?" She began to cry again, she couldn't hold the tears back, no matter how hard she tried, they kept spilling forward. "Peachy, look at me. Look at me." Slowly, Peach looked at him, but her eyes darted back to the glass on occassion. "I wouldn't ever do that, you aren't crazy. You're traumatized, and i'll do whatever it takes to help you through this. We're a team, we're in this together." He cooed. "R-really?" Peach stammered, taking one last gasping breath, before sipping the drink again. "I promise." He said. "Thank you for the dr...drink. It's really good, and I usually fucking...h-hate coco." She said, laughing softly before more waterworks rattled her system. "You love coco, it's your favorite." He said, petting her head. "I-is it?" She asked, taking another sip. "It always has been." Concern was evident in his voice. "Y-You're right. Sorry." She said. "I think the stress of your book is really getting to you, maybe we should see a doctor." He said, opening up his phone. "No, no...I- I'll be ok. I just...need some s-sleep. Thank you. S-Sorry." "Are you sure? You're not acting like yourself, i'm worried about you." "I-I'm sure. T-Thanks."