Chapter Twelve

Rosaleen, Aiden — 6 years ago, 19 years old.

The rain was falling on Rosaleen and Aiden as they walked in silence. They only stopped in front of a house, looked at each other one last time before Rosaleen knocked on the door. A woman opened the door and smiled at them.

“Oh, my! What are you guys doing out here in the rain! You will catch a cold, come on in.”

Rosaleen and Aiden looked at each other again and followed the woman in.

“Thank you, Mrs. Brennan.”

The three of them walked to the living room.

“So, what brings you two here? Oh!”

She clapped her hands, making Rosaleen slightly jump.

“I have cookies fresh out of the oven! I made them for Charlie, he’s been upstairs all day. I’m sure he will be quite happy to see you!”

Rosaleen and Aiden frowned at each other, confused.


Rosaleen shifted on her feet, clearly uncomfortable.

“Mrs. Brennan…Charlie is…”

“Yes, I know, he’s been upstairs for quite a while…I think there might be something wrong with him but he’s not willing to tell me. That’s why I made those cookies, they’re his favorite.”

Rosaleen followed Charlie’s mother to the kitchen while Aiden stayed in the living room. She sat at the counter and watched Mrs. Brennan going about.

“What…what makes you think something is wrong with Charlie?”

“I barely see him. He comes home from school and goes straight to his room.”

Aiden looked around and saw a letter with Charlie’s handwriting laying on the desk. He closed his eyes for a second, his heart rate quickening. He received the same kind of letter, too. Slowly he opened it and started to read it.

“Mom, my dear and loving mom. How I wish I could have stopped father. I want to apologize for not doing so, for not protecting you better than this. But know that I am so proud of you for fighting all of this time. Even through your hardest time you would have a smile for me, encouraging words when you felt no hope. I never told you this, but I saw how you felt, I saw it in your eyes. I am so sorry that I could not be there to see you rise from this. I’m sorry for hurting you by doing this, but I am so tired, mom. It hurts just to breathe; it hurts to wake up every morning and get up. Staying in bed all alone doesn’t do it anymore. It did for a while but now even that hurts. So close to my dream of being a lawyer but it is no longer enough, either. It used to keep me going, but I don’t want to do it. No anymore. I don’t want to do all of it anymore. Please, do not blame yourself, don’t blame anybody but me. I got tired of holding on. I kno