"I'm so sorry." Christa said, barely above a whisper.
"It's actually fine," Bella turned towards her, "I'm over her now, she probably wasn't worth it anyways." She smiled lightly.
"Well, I know you may be over Liza, but what about your family?" Christa asked, leaning on Bella to try and cheer her up.
"So, here's the thing, my parents have always been a pain, so I wasn't so surprised they'd send Dylan. I just didn't think Cedrick would go so far as to please them. Seeing my big bro do that kinda shocked me." She looked over at Christa, who still had her head on Bella's shoulder.
"I mean, I can relate a little. My dad left my mom and I when I was twelve, and that was pretty tough for us. I felt a bit betrayed on a certain level." Christa recalled how quickly it had all happened, a once happy family torn apart in what seemed like an instant.
"Oh, if you don't mind talking about it, what happened?" Bella asked curiously.
"It's not that difficult for me to talk about now, so here's how it went down: I think that my childhood had been a pretty good one up to that point, not a lot of fighting, a generally happy family overall. It had always been apparent that my dad loved his mom a lot, and I mean a lot, so when she passed away… he just had a really tough time. My mom and I tried our best to console him, ya know, just make him feel better in general, but it never really helped. He started taking a bunch of over the counter drugs, like Tylenall, and we just thought he had been feeling sick, until he began taking other stuff too. We asked him, but he was just so angry all the time, we never found the right moment to talk to him. Before we knew it, he had sketchy people stopping by our house once or twice a week dropping off different drugs. He was always locked in his room, and he'd stopped working, everything was falling apart. My parents started to fight every day, until my mom snapped. She told him to either make an effort to stop, or ger the hell out, he chose the latter. That night, he picked up all his stuff, shoved it into his SUV, and drove off. We never heard from him again after that. My mom tried to call and text him, but he never responded… she thinks he overdosed at some point." Christa remembered her grieving mother. She couldn't help but blame herself for the incident, and twelve-year-old Christa tried to comfort her even though she herself had also been deeply affected by the sudden disappearance of her father. Christa hadn't thought about him in so long, it was almost a relief to talk about it out loud. She looked down at her jeans, which were now stained with a few tears. She wiped her eyes, now realizing that she'd been crying, "Oh, I'm sorry- I didn't realize that-"
Bella hugged her to her chest in one swift motion, "You know I'll always be here for you, right?"
"Yeah, I know." Christa responded, hugging her right back.
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