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Authors: A.M Hudson

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Tears of the Broken

BOOK: Tears of the Broken
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Tears of the
Broken
A DARK SECRETS NOVEL

Tears of the
Broken

A. M. Hudson

Copyright 2011 by Angela M Hudson

Smashwords Edition

 

Smashwords Edition License Notes

 

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of this author.

This is a work of fiction. Characters,
names, places, events or incidents are products of the author’s
imagination. Any resemblance to actual people, living or dead, or
to places or incidents is purely coincidental.

Join the author on
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: Dark Secrets
Series

Or at
www.darksecretsseries.com
and
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To
Mike, for all the love this book holds.

TEARS OF THE BROKEN

The
tears of the broken are

the
Devil’s liquid when shed in darkness.

Share them with the light,

and
they will become the rain on

the
pathway to freedom.

Prologue

 

Everyone has a secret, but when it’s bound by shame, we’re
forced to live within the darkest circles of our crumbling masks,
unable to find the light of the coming dawn, and forever locked in
the shadows of our own regrets.

 

When
I was born there was no life in me, no light, only stillness. My
mother, who knew the loss of a child too well, held me tight and
kissed my tiny fingers. She traced lines over my lips and face as I
lay breathless and eternally sleeping in her arms.


Her
skin is so white, so soft—like the petals of a rose,” she told my
father as he knelt beside her.


She
was beautiful, like her mother,” he cried.


Goodbye, little one.” My mother kissed my cheek, and at the
very moment my father took me in his arms, life suddenly reached
into my heart. A breath passed before they could move, before they
could dare to believe I was alive.

The
nurse came rushing back into the room and stared on in amazement.
“Look.” She touched my lips as I wailed. “Alive, but her skin is as
pale as the moon, and her lips, with the blood that flows through
them now—”


As
red as the rose.” My father smiled and pressed his cheek to mine.
“She is the blossom of life—a miracle. She will prevail against all
odds.”


Then she must be named accordingly,” the nurse stated as she
took me from him and lowered me to my mother’s waiting
arms.


Greg, we should name her Amara,” my mother said, “after your
mother.”


That’s perfect,” he said. “It means everlasting.”

“Amara-Rose,” Mother whispered. “My
everlasting blossom.”

Chapter One

A
soulless black butterfly, forever trapped in the form of smoke.
When I look at her, that’s what I see. Everyone else has fallen for
the lie, the charlatan, the innocent teenage girl whose life was
changed by a single moment. Though the scars left from that lesson
have faded and reduced to nothing more than a silvery reminder of
her tragic past, she wears her blackest ones on the inside. She
can’t hide those from me, because I know the truth behind this
dark-haired beauty.

Now,
when I look in the mirror, she stares back at me as though we’re
not one—as though our souls have been caught in some wordless
battle for freedom. She is the familiar stranger beyond the glass,
living the lie of the past, and I am here—in the torturous truth of
the present. Everything I truly was inside has been left behind in
a place I can never return.

But
I have to smile and show them that I’m normal, because if I don’t,
they’ll see through my mask of innocence—and I can’t let anyone
know what I’ve really become.

That’s why I’m leaving the house today. That’s why I’m
letting them do this to me.


Ara-Rose, hurry up. You’re going to be late.” That’s Vicki.
She’s my stepmother. Not necessarily evil, but I still can’t think
of her as a Mum. She’ll only ever be the woman who stole my dad
away to America, and now they’ve stolen me.

One
big, happy family. Not.


Sure, Vic—uh, Mum. I’ll be down in a sec.” Okay, chirpy
disposition in place? Check. Cheerful smile? Check.

With
one last glance at my reflection, I straightened the front of my
dress, and the stranger did the same. Then, adrenaline and
obligation pumped through me in a pulsing mix, forcing my feet to
move forward and carry me to the corridor of
inevitability.

Step
one on Ara-Rose’s road to recovery: new school.


Hey
Amara-Rose.”


Hi
Sam, but it’s Ara-Rose, okay? I won’t tell you again.”


Okay,
Amara
. Have fun at school.” He
laughed as he ran past, down the stairs and out the front door
before I could slap him.


Just because you’re younger than me, doesn’t mean I won’t
hurt you, Sam.” The front door slammed behind him.


Nervous?”


Morning, Dad.” I spun around as Dad came out from his room at
the end of the hall; he kissed the top of my head and stood back
with an expectant smile on his lips. “Of course I’m nervous. I
mean, why do I have to go, anyway? I was always ahead in class.
Maybe I could—”


Now, honey, we’ve been through this. I know better than
anyone what happens to young girls who don’t have an education. I
don’t want to see you ruin your life before it’s even begun.” Dad
looked down at me through soft eyes—a poor attempt at displaying
sympathy, I think.


I’m
scared, Dad,” I said quietly, looking at the ground.

He
clicked his tongue and took a deep breath. “I know you are. But
it’s been two months. It’s time—you need to start getting on with
your life.”


But
what if I cry at school or if someone notices my scars?”


Amara-Rose.” Dad shook his head, staring at my disfigured
face. “Honey, you are beautiful. The scars—” I flinched a little
when he touched my cheek. “The doctor said they’ll completely fade,
eventually, and for now—well, they’re barely visible. You’re still
my beautiful girl.”

He’s
such a bad liar. My face crumpled under the fear of the impending
doom.


Oh,
honey, don’t cry. It’ll be okay. You’ll see. Hey—” Dad squished my
cheeks between his hands. “Look, all the kids there are great.
You’re going to love it, I promise. But you know that the hardest
part of a journey is always the first step—and look at you, all
dressed, lookin’ pretty, and you’ve got your little backpack. The
hard part’s over now.”

Hard
part? No, that’s still well and truly in front of me. Lucky I
didn’t wear mascara this morning or it’d be running down my cheeks
right now. Guess I kinda figured there might be tears.

Dad
held me at arms-length and studied my face. “Would you like me to
walk you to school—or I could drive you?”


Dad.” A frown replaced my pout. “It’s across the road. I’ll
walk.”


I
could walk with you?”


Yeah, right. That’ll really help me blend in, won’t it? I
might even be lucky enough to get my head flushed down the toilet,
too.”

Dad
laughed and hugged me again. “None of the kids there are like that.
I think you’ll be just fine. Now—” he turned me toward the stairs
and gave me a soft shove, “go to school. And don’t come home until
you’ve been a normal teenager for at least a day.”


Bye,” I called unenthusiastically over my shoulder as I
clonked toward the front door.

Outside, alone, the emptiness of silence forced my lungs to
draw a deep gasp instead of a long, slow breath. I hate this. I
hate what they’re making me do. But if I don’t go, then they’ll
never get off my back.


Boo!”

The
sudden noise pushed my heart into my throat. “Sam, you little
butt-head.” I dumped my backpack on the grass by the front porch
and ran to the edge of the driveway after my pesky half-brother.
“Come back here and I’ll make it quick.”


I’ll tell Mum if you do it, Amara.” He grinned and hid behind
the car.


It’s Ara-Rose.” I stomped my foot.


Well, that’s a stupid name.”

Sam
disappeared behind a tree, and I squatted down with my face in my
hands, tucking my dress under me so my underwear wouldn’t show.
He’s so going to get it.


Ara-Rose, are…are you crying?” He touched my
shoulder.

Wrong move, little brother. I grabbed his wrist, followed by
his arm, then jammed my shoulder into his chest—flipping him onto
the grass in front of me. The air burst from his lungs with a loud
cough and he rolled into a ball.


Call me Amara again and I’ll slap you.” I dusted off my hands
as I stood up, then stepped over the pile of Sam and walked
off.


You
gotta teach me how to do that,” he said, catching up to me at the
roadside of the corner block.


No
way.”


Please?”


Never.”

Sam
stood beside me and nodded to the building across the road. “Bell’s
gone, Ara. We’re late.”

I
looked up at him—all the way up. Sam’s taller than me, even though
he’s three years younger, but when it comes to height, he got Dad’s
genes. I was not that lucky.


It’s not so bad there, you know. People’re really nice,” Sam
offered.

I
stood in a stunned silence, watching the flood of students file up
the stairs across the football field and duck in through the double
doors. “It’s ugly.”


It’s a school. What’d you expect?” He shrugged.


It’s brown.”


Nah—” his lips broke into a wide, toothy
smile, “it’s brown
and
yellow.”


Thanks. I feel so much better.”


Could be worse—” he stepped onto the road, then stopped as
his eyes focused on my pale, yellow dress, “—at least you won’t
blend in with the ugly, yellow linoleum.”


That’s it! I’m going to kill you this time, you pest.” He ran
away, squealing like a girl, though it sounded more like a
bumblebee. “I used to run track, Sam, remember? You won’t get
away.”

He
darted over the grass toward the school. “Yeah, well, you’re outta
shape these days, big sister. Might wanna get some meat on those
chicken legs.” When I grabbed his shoulder, his face lit with
surprise as his hands formed a shield. “Oh no, don’t kill me, I
take it back.”


Too
late.” I laughed, punching him in the arm—which hurt my own hand
more.


Ouch.” Sam rubbed his arm as I walked away. “You punch like a
girl.”


I
am
a girl.”


Yeah, well, you owe me.” He caught up to me, grinning
brightly.


Okay, enlighten me. Why do I owe you?”


Because I got you to school—without all the tears and
fuss.”

I
stopped walking, smirking at Sam as he shrugged and disappeared
into the building—now only a few steps away. In the distance,
behind me, Dad’s little white house called me to return to its safe
embrace. I turned away.

So,
now what? Okay, Sam helped me get this far, but I still have to get
through the doors of the school
and
a whole day without anyone noticing me or asking
me questions, and most importantly, without needing to ask where a
bathroom is.

Well, I guess the only thing to do is keep moving.

BOOK: Tears of the Broken
2.27Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
ads

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