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The Redemption of Callie & Kayden

The Redemption of Callie & Kayden

Titel: The Redemption of Callie & Kayden
Autoren: Jessica Sorensen
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    I want to breathe.
    I want to feel alive again.
    I don’t want to feel the pain.
    I want it all back, but it’s gone.
    I hear every sound, every laugh, every cry. People move around the room frantically, but I can’t take my eyes off the sliding glass doors. There’s a violent storm outside and rain is hammering against the concrete, dirt, and dry leaves. Lights flash as ambulances drive up under the port and the glow reflects off the rain on the ground, red, like blood. Like Kayden’s blood. Like Kayden’s blood all over the floor. So much blood.
    My stomach is empty. My heart is hurting. I can’t move.
    “Callie,” Seth says. “Callie, look at me.”
    I take my gaze off the door and stare into his brown eyes filled with worry. “Huh?”
    He takes my hand in his and his skin is warm and comforting. “He’s going to be okay.”
    I stare at him, forcing back tears, because I have to be strong. “Okay.”
    He lets out a sigh and pats my hand. “You know what? I’m going to go see if he can have visitors yet. It’s been almost a damn week. You’d think they’d let him have visitors by now.” He gets up from the chair and walks across the packed waiting room to the receptionist’s desk.
    He’ll be all right.
    He has to be.
    But in my heart, I know he won’t be all right. Sure, his wounds and broken bones may heal on the outside. On the inside, though, the healing will take longer, and I wonder what Kayden will be like when I see him again. Who will he be?
    Seth starts talking to the receptionist behind the counter, but she barely gives him the time of day as she multitasks between phone calls and the computer. It doesn’t matter, though. I know what she’ll say—the same thing she’s been saying. That he can’t have visitors, except for family. His
, the people who hurt him. He doesn’t need his family.
    “Callie.” Maci Owens’s voice rips me out of my daze. I blink up at Kayden’s mother with a frown on my face. She’s dressed in a pinstripe pencil skirt, her nails are done, and her hair is curled up into a huge bun on the top of her head. “Why are you here?” she asks.
    I almost ask her the same thing. “I came here to see Kayden.” I sit up in the seat.
    “Callie, honey.” She speaks like I’m a little kid, frowning as she stares down at me. “Kayden can’t have visitors. I told you this a few days ago.”
    “But I have to go back to school soon,” I say, gripping onto the arms of the chair. “I need to see him before I go.”
    She shakes her head and sits down in the chair next to me, crossing her legs. “That’s not going to be possible.”
    “Why not?” My voice comes out sharper than it ever has.
    She glances around, worried I’m causing a scene. “Please keep your voice down, honey.”
    “I’m sorry, but I need to know that he’s okay,” I say. There’s so much anger inside me. I’ve never been this angry before and I don’t like it. “And I need to know what happened.”
    “What happened is that Kayden’s sick,” she responds quietly and then starts to get up.
    “Wait.” I get up with her. “What do you mean he’s sick?”
    She slants her head to the side and gives me her best sad face, but all I can think about is how this is the woman who let Kayden get beaten by his father for all those years. “Honey, I don’t know how to tell you this, but Kayden injured himself.”
    I shake my head as I back away from her. “No, he didn’t.”
    Her face grows sadder and she looks like a plastic doll with glassy eyes and a painted-on smile. “Honey, Kayden’s had a problem with cutting for a very long time and this… well, we thought he was getting better, but I guess we were wrong.”
    “No, he doesn’t!” I scream. Actually scream. I’m shocked. She’s shocked. Everyone in the crowded waiting room is shocked. “And my name is Callie, not honey.”
    Seth hurries up to me, his eyes wide and full of concern. “Callie, are you okay?”
    I glance at him, then at the people around the room. It’s gone quiet and they’re staring at me. “I… I don’t know what’s wrong with me.” I reel on my heels and run for the sliding glass doors, bumping my elbows onto the trim when they don’t open quickly enough. I keep running until I find a cluster of bushes around the back of the hospital, and then I fall on my knees and throw up all over the mud. My shoulders shake, my stomach heaves, and tears sting at my eyes. When my
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