By: Katherine Ellis

I sit on the roof of the building, my legs dangling off the edge. It would be so easy to just lean forward a bit. To finally be free from my life. I consider the idea for a moment, and almost decide to do it and take my freedom, when I hear footsteps behind me. 

"Aren't you cold?" A voice asks me from behind. It's a male voice, and it's very familiar. "No," I say quietly, although the goosebumps scattered across my arms make it a pretty clear lie. I hear a shuffling noise behind me, and suddenly a jacket is draped over my shoulders. I don't look back though, to see the person who's supposedly going to save my life. No one's talking me out of this. I've waited so long to be free, and now that I finally have the opportunity, no one is going to take it away from me. 

I hear more shuffling, and suddenly someone is sitting next to me. I look over and see a boy, a very cute and fit boy, sitting next to me. He's 18 years old, just a year older than me. His brown, slightly messy hair, which is probably due to the fact that it's almost two in the morning, frames his handsome face. His soft, chocolate brown eyes stare out at the stars, and it's clear that he's thinking. Of all the people that I expected to try and stop me, Carter Mathews was not one of them.  

"How did you know I would be here?" I asked quietly, wondering what was going to happen next. I could always just throw myself off. It's not like he's going to be able to grab me in time to stop me. 

"Your window was closed," He replied quietly, not shifting his gaze from the stars. 

"What?" My voice is quiet, barely audible.  

"You always leave your window open when you're home, but you always close it when 

you're not." 

"But how did you know I'd be here?" 

"Where else would you go," He replies quietly, his voice barely above a whisper. We sit together for a little longer before he speaks again. 

"I know we're not really that close anymore, but you can always talk to me. I'm the only person who actually understands what you're going through." 

This hits a nerve. He knows not to mention what happened. He knows not to mention her. I don't care if he was her brother, he has no idea what I'm going through. It's not just her either. He doesn't know. He'll never know. 

"Lauren, I know you guys were closer than her and I ever were, but I lost her too, and I want to help. I really do. This isn't the answer. Lizzie wouldn't have wanted this. She would've wanted you to stay strong and keep fighting," He says carefully, trying his best to not anger me. It doesn't work though, and I feel fury course through my veins. 

"I didn't just lose her, I lost a piece of myself. We were always with each other, we were always there for each other, and now something's happening to me and I don't know how to deal with it without her. I don't know what to do. I'm scared, lost, and alone, and no matter how many times you tell me that you'll be there for me, I know that you'll never understand. Not like she did," I reply, breaking down. I start to sob, and Carter pulls me to him, letting me bury my face into his chest. 

"Lauren, please tell me, what's going on?" He asks quietly, holding me tightly. I don't reply.

"It's not just Elizabeth is it? Losing your best friend might be part of it, but there's more, 

isn't there? I'm so sorry I didn't see it before. Please just tell me what's wrong Laur. I want to help you. I really do," He pleads. I just shake my head and pull myself out of his grasp, wiping away my tears.  

"I don't want to talk about it. I don't need help. Please just leave me alone Carter," I whisper, looking away from him. I don't want to see his eyes. 

"At least let me walk you home. I don't want you to make any bad decisions," He replies. "Fine, but after that, I want you to stay away from me," I say quietly, looking over at him to see his reaction. He looks hurt, but quickly covers it up with a smile as he carefully stands up, and offers me his hand. I take it, and he pulls me up, gripping my hand tightly. We walk down the eight flights of stairs, and out the front door of the building. The whole time his hand is clutching mine, as if to make sure that I don't run away.  

After about twenty five minutes of walking we're standing outside of my house. Carter lets go of my hand, and I walk over towards the tree in my yard. I pull myself up into the tree, and climb up until I'm right outside my window, which is on the second floor. I gently open the window, not making any noise, and look back. Carter is still standing on the sidewalk, watching me. He smiles slightly, although it looks more like a grimace, and I smile back, and slip through the window, leaving it open.