Justin doesn't say anything on the way back home but I can feel his eyes on me. Watching me. This time, I hate it. I just want to disappear. I don't want him to see me at all. I'm no angel. I'm a sinner. I have paid for the price of my sin. And I'm still paying for it now. I was lucky that the nightclub would take me in despite my criminal record. It was a good thing the owner of the club is a gangster himself…
I couldn't get any other jobs. My options were limited after having a criminal record. I was no longer a 'citizen'. They treated me like a dangerous animal who might harm the society. I rest my head against the window, looking out at the passing trees.
It's over now…
As soon as he pulls the car into the garage, I leap out of the car and walk to my room. I hear Justin echoing footsteps behind me but I don't turn around. As soon as I enter my room, I quickly throw my things into my suitcase.
“What the hell are you doing?” I hear Justin ask me but I still don't face him.
“Why the fuck are you packing?” I don't answer. “Elena, look at me.”
I continue stuffing my suitcase. “Look at me!” He says more angrily and I whip my face to him.
“What? You heard what she said. You know what I am. A criminal. How can I stay? It's best for me to leave and I promise you, I will pay back the money once I have it.”
“Fuck, that's not what I mean. Stop jumping to the conclusion so quickly.”
“Then what do you want from me, Justin? What do you want me to say?” I throw my arms in the air.
“What she said, explain that to me.”
“There's nothing to explain. What she said is the truth, okay? I told you. I'm not… good.”
“I asked what the fuck happened!” He roars at me. I run my fingers through my hair in frustration. I'm glad for the anger. It stops me from crying.
“Okay, you want to know what happened? Fine, I'll tell you. They came to take our house away. These people. They came to take everything away and leave us on the streets. I couldn't let that happen. I tried to stop them. I wouldn't let them take any of our parent's things. So, to make me stop, this guy beat my little brother up. He was already sick at that time and he was screaming in pain.”
My voice shakes, my lips trembling.
“Lucas called for me, to make it stop. I tried but he was stronger than me, so I did what I could do. I picked a rock and hit him hard on the head. He got sent to the hospital for internal bleeding in his brain and I got locked up. Are you satisfied? Now let me go.”
I pull the suitcase with me and try to step through the door but Justin blocks me with his body.
“I didn't ask you to leave.”
“Which guy in a right mind would want to have me around?” I snap.
“Stay,” he says. I shake my head. There's no way I'm staying now. I can't even bear to face him. I feel so humiliated and knowing he knows my secret, makes it worse. At least in front of him, I want to look like a good person. But now he knows the truth about me. All the dirty ugly truth. How can he wants me to stay? Even I hate myself. I just want to crawl into a hole and hide. I'm not a good person. I might ruin him if I stay.
I pull my suitcase and walks around him towards the door.
Justin grabs my shoulders. “Are you deaf? I'm telling you to stay.”
“Haven't you been listening?” I shout.
“Do you think I give a shit about what you did in the past?”
“You should give a shit about that. Why wouldn't you care?”
“Because I love you, you crazy bitch!” he yells. I stop struggling. My eyes widen in surprise, before tears falls down my cheeks.
“Look up and see me, Elena.” he says more gently now. “Don't go. I love you.”
I desperately want to turn around and run into his arms. Justin just admitted he loves me. But he's someone with a bright future. He comes from a good family and being with me would only bring him down. What would others say if they find out his girlfriend is a criminal? They would condemn him.
“I'm not good for you,” I whisper.
“And I'm not good for you either. I'm not some prince Charming riding on a white horse. I'm fucked up, short-tempered and I can be a real bastard sometimes. But I still want you. You make me want to do better, and I will, for you.”
I laugh. “Then we both are really fucked-up, aren't we?”
“Of course, we're not two perfect souls like the characters from Disney movies. I can't promise you that we'll be happy. We'll fight a lot and there'll be drama and shit.” Justin tips my chin with his hand. “But I want that with you. Because you fit right in here, woman.” He slaps his chest. “You're right. Maybe I didn't love her at all. But I do love you. I bared my fucking soul to you and you know my good and my bad. There's no barriers between us now.”
“But I can't stay.” I shake my head.
“Are you going to destroy my heart again? Are you going to be like her, and break my heart into fucking pieces? Are you going to kill me this time?”
“I can't be with you!” I shout. The world blurs with my tears. “You are the only good thing in my life after it's gone to hell. But I committed a crime, Justin. I'm not worthy to be with you. I wish I can be a normal girl who loves you but I'm someone with a lot of baggage on my shoulders.”
Justin cups my face and wipe my tears with his thumb.
“I have never believed you did the wrong thing. You did it to save your brother. You did it because you love him. It wasn't your fault. You are the kindest and the bravest person I've ever known. Don't go. I need you.”
Justin wraps his arms around me and I cling to him, burying my face on his chest. He holds me as I cry. He becomes my rock and my anchor, and I cling to him hard to stop myself being swept by the waves.
“Young Master. Miss Elena.” A voice calls out from the doorway. I turn to find the old butler looking at us anxiously.
“What's the matter, Harry?” Justin asks, his arms around me.
“The hospital called. It's-it's Miss Elena's brother. He collapsed.”
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