I shoved my hands into my pocket as Finn pulled into the parking lot. I opened the door. “Where’s your friend?” He asked as I buckled myself in.
“He had some work to do. Did you see your friend?” I looked over at him as he pulled out of the parking lot.
“He had something to do and anyway, I want to talk to you.” He looked at me through the corner of his eyes.
“You want to go out for something to eat? Or we can just bring something back to mine.” I looked out through the window of the truck.
“How about we go back to mine? I want to show you something.” He nodded.
“Sure.” The rest of the car ride was silent as we drove back to base. I didn’t want to say anything and I don’t think that Finn knew what to say. It was awkward. The first time it’s been awkward between us. I didn’t like it. He pulled up to the house looking at its darkness. “Where’s your Mom?” He asked as I unbuckled myself.
“If she knows she could get in trouble she runs off. She’ll be gone for a little longer.” He turned off the car as I unlocked the front door.
“She always did this?” He asked shutting the door behind him as I turned on the lights.
“Yeah it’s a normal thing. I used to use the time to calm myself down when I was younger.” I opened the fridge and pulled out two water bottles. “Chinese good?” He nodded watching me as I put the bottles on the counter and pulled the menu out from a drawer. I picked up the phone.
“You alright?” He asked me as I dialed and waited. I nodded.
“Yeah,” I looked down at the menu as the lady on the other end started to talk. I gave our order before hanging up. I put the water on the table before sitting down. “Where do you want to start?” Finn sat across from me.
“Where ever you want to.” I fiddled with the label on my water bottle.
“I guess it all started when my mom got married again when I 10. This was number three at the time. We were in Texas when everything started. I don’t even remember how it started just that it was happening. My mom always wants the upper-hand; she’ll do anything to get it. Anything.” I shook my head. Finn was looking at me.
“Stuff started to happen and I couldn’t take it. I don’t remember how it happened. It’s a blurry mess.” I chuckled to myself. “I ended up with a guy that didn’t care how old I was. He gave me whatever I wanted.” I closed my eyes.
“What did he give you, Ana?” I opened my eyes to look at him as the tears started to form in my eyes.
“Ecstasy.” I pulled off a piece of the label on my bottle. “I didn’t know better. My mom didn’t teach me squat. So I just went with it. Then when I took it, it made everything go away. I felt normal. I don’t remember when I went from X to heroin. I just did. I would do anything to make what my mom made me do to go away. I was a stupid child.” I ripped the paper in my hands. “It was crazy. This was something grown adults do, I was a kid and I messed in drugs.” I looked over at Finn as he sat just staring at me. “Things started to get really bad a couple years later. I went around for year and a half years just going through the motions of life but then things went bad. I needed more and the guy realized what he did.” I shook my head. “That’s when I met him. I was a fucked 12 year old and he was the bad ass that controlled everything. There is one rule that Zander follows, don’t give drugs to a kid. He punished the guy that gave me them and took me.”
“That’s how you met him?” Finn asked quietly. I nodded.
“I was high out of my mind. I needed things to change. I was so scared. There were all these men around me talking to each other, but I had no idea what they were saying. Z had a reputation of tying up loose ends. He should have just killed me. He was going to. To this day I have no idea what changed his mind. I was detoxing. I wasn’t strong enough to go through it alone. Z took me over his shoulder and took me to his house. Nothing is scarier than a man you have no idea holding you as a doctor shoves you with needles.” I laughed wiping a tear off my cheek. “He helped me through it all. Through everything he stayed in that little room with me as I was wrapped in a blanket shaking. He didn’t leave; no one has ever been there for me as much as he was in that first week. He just rocked me as I cried.” I ran a hand through my hair.
“I was scared and he was my hero. Every thinks he’s this terrible, terrible person but he isn’t. He’s the guy that saved my life. He listened when no one would. He protected me when no one would. Ever since I was young Z has been there for me. Sometimes I wish he didn’t save me. Then my life wouldn’t be what it is.” I put my face in my hands as I started to cry. I listened to Finn’s chair squeak before I felt his arms wrap around me.
“Is that why you would tell me you were trouble? Because of what happened?” I nodded as he pressed his face into my hair.
“I do nothing but bad things. The only person I trust is an arms dealer. That’s not even half of my secrets. How could you like me?” I cried silently. Finn lifted me off of the chair turning me over in his arms so I was looking at him. He took my face in his hands gently stroking the skin with his rough fingers.
“I trust you. Everyone has secrets. Everyone has felt pain. I don’t think of you any less because of something you did in your past. The past is behind you, you are your present. That is the girl I’ve been falling in love with. Ana, you’re the girl that makes me weak in the knees. You’re the girl that makes my stomach turn when I see you. You’re the girl that is in my every thought. It kills me when I hear you tell me that you don’t trust me to love you. Because I do. I love you. I’ve fallen in love with you. You make me have faith. Please, Ana. Let me in. I’m begging you.” I watched as the tears rolled down his face. No one has ever spoken to me like this. I brought my hands to his face pulling his to mine. I pressed my bottom lip in between his forcing his lips to open. I ran my hands to the back of his head over the stubble that was his military haircut. His lips were softer than I expected. He was so rugged, so hard yet his lips were so soft. I ran my tongue over his bottom lip as he pulled back. “Ana.” He whispered breathless.
“Don’t give up on me.” I whispered laying my head on his shoulder. He wrapped his arms around me holding me close to him. “Please.”
“I won’t.” I moved my arm down holding him tightly stroking my fingers over his hair.
“I’m sorry I waited this long.” He started to laugh making me pull back. “What?” I smiled at him.
“I just didn’t expect you to say that.” He smiled kissing my head. The doorbell rang. “Foods here. Let me go get it.” I nodded.
“I have more to tell you.” Maybe everything he said he would take it back. It isn’t something you take lightly.
“Food, food, food I’m starving.” He smiled putting the food down on the table. “If you don’t mind, I want to ask some questions.” I nodded pulling out chop sticks out of the bag. I put the food down on the table.
“Ask away, you deserve answers.” He sat down and opened his food container.
“Did you and Z ever you know…?” I shook my head.
“I never thought of him in that way. He is like my big brother. I never thought of him in a sexual way.” I took a bite of my chicken looking at him. He cleared his throat.
“Do you have any of those diseases you get when you take drugs?” I shook my head again.
“I was afraid of needles so I never had to worry about that. Then when Z had me he used sterile needles. But he took me to get tested and I’m all clean, I promise.” I nodded to myself.
“I was just asking.” Finn asked blushing.
“I know. It’s a logical question.” I put my food down not being able to stomach it anymore. “Especially after what I’m going to show you.” His eyebrows frowned as I stood up. “I’ll be right back, I promise.” I walked to my room and sat down on the bed. The emotions that are racing through my head are making me sick. I ran a hand through my hair pressing it to my skull. I’m not good with all these feelings that were rushing through my stomach.
“You okay?” Finn asked leaning on the door frame.
“I think I’m getting a headache.” Finn sat on the bed and pressed his hand gently to my temple.
“Do you get headaches a lot?” I nodded pressing gently into his soothing touch. “Have you seen a doctor? Something could be wrong.” I opened my eyes to look at him as he looked at me with his eyes clouded in concern.
“I did. He gave me pills to take when I get them. They mostly put me to sleep.” I leaned my head onto his shoulder.
“Take one, Sweetheart. Whatever you have to tell me can wait.” He rubbed my back. I shook my head.
“I need to get this out now. Can you get me a bag of ice?” He nodded as I pulled the only box that was under my bed. I took a deep breath and opened the lid gently. This box held the happiest memories of my life. The papers that lay lifeless next to the stuffed toys and little shirts. I could feel the tears forming in my eyes threatening to fall. I picked up the stuffed pooh bear and rubbed it against my cheek.
“I got the ice.” Finn whispered to me. I looked up at him as he sat down slowly on the bed. “I, uh, I hope this helps.” I nodded handing the little stuffed toy to Finn. I pulled out the couple of little shirts that I kept laying the black batman one in my lap. I pulled the security blanket out of the box running my fingers over the worn fabric. “Ana.” I put the blanket down and pulled a picture out of the box.
“It all started when we moved to Tennessee. My Mom convinced my Step-Dad that it would be good for me if he,” I took a deep long breath, “If he slept with me.” The bed squeaked as Finn moved. “I went along with it. I thought it was what I was supposed to do. I thought it would make my mom like me. But it didn’t, she hated me more after them. The only attention I got was from Benjamin.” I shook my head. “That’s when I started to take the drugs and stay farther away from home. But when I was 13 I found out something that changed my life.” I handed him the picture taking another out. “I was pregnant. I was pregnant and I was going to have a baby.”