Sadie clicked her tongue as she stared down the boxes in her car. “Thank you, parentals. You give me a car but can’t even help me move in, that’s great.” She sighed to herself as she grabbed a box and set it onto the ground. She repeated this until she had a nice stack of three boxes on the ground, she only had five boxes, and she figured she could come back for the other two and carry these up to her apartment on the second floor. “Okay, Sadie, you can do this. It’s just one flight of stairs.” She gave herself a pep talk before bending down and grabbing the three stacked boxes, which were a lot heavier than she thought they would be. She kind of grunted as she lifted the boxes and began to walk towards the stairs, she couldn’t really see where she was going, considering the stacked boxes were bigger than her, and she hoped she was heading in the right direction. Thankfully, she made it to the stairs. Making it up the stairs was a whole other dilemma.
“You look like you need some help.” A male voice came from behind her and she swung around quickly, causing two of the boxes to topple onto the ground. She could feel heat creeping onto her cheeks and she squeezed her eyes shut, as if that would make her disappear and take away the embarrassment. Mystery boy was laughing now, and that only made her cheeks go from pink to red. She opened her eyes to see just who was laughing at her, and then wished she hadn’t. He was cute. So cute. “I, um, hi.” She stuttered out, frozen by his smile. He picked up the boxes as she stood there, and made sure to pick up the few things that had scattered onto the ground. “Hi. So tell me, where are we heading?” He asked, boxes in hand. “You don’t have to help, really.” She replied, managing not to stutter or blush even more. It was an accomplishment. “I insist. You’re lucky you caught me on a good day, moving boxes isn’t something I usually do.” “I’ll lead the way.” She spoke with a smile, then headed up the stairs. She had to admit, it was a lot easier carrying one box rather than three, so she was very grateful that mystery boy had decided to help her out. After defeating the stairs, she made a sharp turn to the right, then stopped a few doors down. “This is it.” She grinned, placing the box in front of her door and then reaching into her pockets for her keys. “Thank you for the help, I can handle it from here.” She turned her back to him, and was about to turn the key in the lock, when mystery boy grabbed her by the arm and turned her around, at first she was frightened, but once she saw the look on his face she knew he meant no harm. “I always have time to help a pretty girl, just knock on the ceiling if you need anything, I live right above you.” The fact that he had called her pretty, combined with the nonexistent space between them caused not only her face to turn a bright shade of red, but also her neck and ears. “Um, okay. I’d feel more comfortable asking you for help if I knew your name.” She was surprised that she was capable of forming an actual sentence. “Carter.” He said, leaning into her. For a moment, she thought he would kiss her, but then he backed off, gave a small salute and then began to walk away. “I’m Sadie, by the way!” She shouted after him, and he gave her a small smirk before he disappeared. Later that night, after gathering all her boxes and unpacking everything, Sadie stood up on her nightstand and knocked on the ceiling a few times. No response. She tried once more and there was nothing again. She sighed, a little disappointed - until she heard the doorbell ring. She jumped off the nightstand and skipped to the door, she swung it open and there he was. “You do realize it’s late. I could be sleeping.” She looked down at her feet, “Oh, right. Sorry.” He placed his hand under her chin and lifted her head up, so she was looking at him, and not her dainty feet. “So, what do you need?” He dropped his hand then stepped inside, and she lied and said she needed help reaching something on top of the fridge. There was nothing there, but Carter played along, and every once in awhile, when Aria was out with someone and Sadie was feeling alone, she’ll knock on the ceiling and he’ll be there.
Quiet. The last few days her house has been nothing but quiet. At first, the ringing of the home phone and pounding of fists on the door were the sounds that filled her ears. Even after building herself a fort in her closet, the screams of the angry neighbors couldn’t be drowned out. The worst sounds were the ones that came from inside. Her mother’s constant sobs and her father’s yelling were too much to endure. She wanted to escape, but going outside was like being under a magnifying glass. The stares were harsh and unforgiving, and the journalists were relentless. She was trapped. The weight of what her brother did was on her, and she hated it.
She wanted everything to go back to normal. She counted on Britta to bring back a piece of her old life, but when that fell through, so did everything else. Her happy façade came crumbling, all at once. She screamed and cried, and wished that her best friend was there to wipe away the tears and tell her it’ll be okay. But she wasn’t. Ade had been scorned for her brother’s actions. With that thought, she hopped out of her bed and headed straight for Devon’s abandoned room. She swung the door open with such force that she was sure she put a hole in the wall. “I HATE YOU.” She screamed, as if he was still there.
She picked up the papers on his desk; nothing had been touched since he was last in there. She found herself ripping them up, scattering them around the room. She torn down his posters and knocked his things off his shelves. “You couldn’t have reached out for help, COULD YOU? WHY WOULD YOU DO THAT?” She yelled at the air. “HOW COULD YOU KILL PEOPLE? HOW COULD YOU RUIN THEIR FAMILIES LIVES? YOUR FAMILIES LIVES? DID YOU THINK OF ANYONE BUT YOURSELF, DEVON? DID YOU?” She collapsed onto his floor, curled up in a ball, she sobbed. She sobbed until her body ran out of tears. And then she was numb.