Chapter 1

The rain was pouring and the sky was grey. Nick, however, was dry as he stood inside the waiting room watching through the window. His hands were in his pockets. He was breathing heavily and every so often his breath would catch in his throat.

He was trying his best not to cry.

He had always found waiting rooms to be bleak and the weather outside wasn’t helping. He glanced around. Would it have killed the hospital to give the room a bit of colour? Not that it would have served any purpose. He was sure that even if the walls were lime green his mood wouldn’t be improved any.

He sighed, continuing to watch the drops of rain as they hit the ground. There wasn’t anyone else with him. Lauren had offered to come with him, but he’d declined.

This was something he had to do on his own.

Still, he couldn’t shake the resentment he had towards the others. He knew that AJ hated hospitals and the sight of blood. Kevin was home with his family, as was Howie. It wasn’t that they cared any less, but this whole thing had begun with Nick. It had been an unspoken agreement that when the time came, Nick would be the first person to see him.

This was the way it had to be, and yet it didn’t feel right.

Perhaps it wasn’t the fact that the other boys were missing. Maybe it was the fact that Leighanne and Baylee weren’t there. That Leighanne had up and left the moment that things got hard. Yes, that was most certainly it. Every time Nick pictured her face his blood boiled.

The leaned his head against the thick glass and lightly hit his fist against it.

The rain continued to fall.

“Nickolas Gene Carter?” he heard the nurse call his name.

“Yeah,” he said, looking up from his self pitying stance. “That’s me.”

“You can come right this way,” she said, motioning towards the hall. “He’s ready to see you now.”

Nick nodded slowly, swallowing the lump that had formed in his throat. He knew he was supposed to focus on the future from here on out, but it was so difficult for him to forget what had started all of this in the first place.

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