Never Been Hurt is the seventy-sixth chapter of Zak Saturday's Immortal Love Life. It was first published on March 16, 2016.
Well, I’ve got some good news: I’m not pregnant. The bad news, though, I still feel guilty about it.
It’s been three weeks since that night. During that time, I’ve been hanging out and getting to know my half-sisters, Madison and Kiara. We connected great.
Madison actually understood why I feel so guilty about what happened to me. When she was my age, she fell for a guy who eventually sexually abused and raped her and Kiara with his friends. As a result of that, our mom killed all of those boys, not leaving one alive, and Madison and Kiara were homeschooled from that point on. But neither of them ever dated again for fear that they would become so dedicated to a guy to allow him to do something like that to them again. Madison has also never forgiven herself for her sister being victimized like that with her because of her own mistake. I wouldn’t have either if it was Emily.
Right now, I was with my mom and half-sisters in the kitchen. We just made cupcakes and were now frosting them.
“So, how’s it going with you and Nick?” I asked. “And Dad?”
“Uh . . . ok,” Mom replied. “For now.”
“Despite some of the restraints, I haven’t seen Dad so happy since before he died,” Madison said.
“I can tell.”
Nick had wanted her back as his wife. Mom wanted him back too, but she couldn’t just leave my dad like that. She loved him too. So, after a week-long debate with herself over who she would go with, she kind of chose them both.
She would stay married to my dad and she and Nick would be friends like they were the first ten years they knew each other before finally becoming an official couple. But they do get to be overfriendly with each other.
Mom claims that it would just be kissing, but we all could tell that it would be more than that sometimes.
“I think your father is threatened by him,” Mom told me.
“That’s not surprising,” I said. “I mean, he was your husband first, and you told all of us, even Dad, that you could never love someone more, or even come close to loving someone as much as you love Nick.”
“And it’s true.”
We continued to frost the cupcakes.
Then Nick appeared. Again.
“Hey, girls,” he greeted.
“Hey,” we greeted back.
He gave Mom a kiss on the cheek and sat down next to her.
“Can I have one?” he asked.
“Yeah,” Mom replied, and handed him a cupcake.
“You’re here everyday,” I said. “Literally. At least, until Dad gets home from work. But you still stick around a little while afterwards. Why?”
“He’s always done that, Sarah,” Mom said. “Ever since we’ve met.”
“He’s with you for hours on end everyday?”
“Do you ever try to get away from him?”
“Well, we didn’t really like each other that much when we met, so yeah. I would try to use my job to get away from him. But we became friends, and I didn’t care anymore.”
“But you needed your space.”
“Sometimes, maybe. But back then, Nick was the only person I actually liked and didn’t mind his attention 24/7. Especially when I started having a crush on him. I mean, who wants space from someone they have a crush on?”
“Not you, apparently. Uh, can you do the rest? I feel like getting some fresh air.”
“But it’s raining.”
“I know. I’ll bring an umbrella and I’ll be at the park.”
“I think I’m going to get out of here too,” Kiara said. “As much as I love seeing you two somewhat back together, it’s gotten annoying already.”
“I’ll join you as soon as I’m done frosting these,” Madison said.
“Yeah, I guess I’ll help you finish.”
Mom and Nick laughed.
I stood up from my seat, went to get my umbrella, and headed to the park.
It was raining hard, though not too hard, but it was windy.
I went to the bridge that went across the river, sat down on it, and watched the heavy flow of the currents.
Seeing my mom and Nick together like that reminded me of Zak and of my guilt for it. It’s been almost a month now since we broke up, and with everyday that passes, my heart just hurts more and more, reminding me that it’s my fault.
But I still felt like Amber was up to no good. And, until I think otherwise of her, there’s no way we’ll ever get back together.
I turned in the direction from where that came from, and I couldn’t believe who I saw.
He was standing about thirty feet away and was soaking wet, but the droplets in his hair made him look so cute, and he appeared to be out of breath. Did he run all the way here? It didn’t matter. I was just so glad to see him.
“I’m sorry,” he said. “For everything. I love you and I want you back.”
I smiled. Even if he said nothing, I still would’ve done what I did next.
I dropped my umbrella and ran to him. When I reached him, I wrapped my arms around his neck, he wrapped his arms around me, picked me up, and spun me around once. Then we kissed, a soft, warm, passionate kiss. People were right: kissing in the rain really was romantic.
“I really missed you,” Zak said.
“So did I,” I replied.
“I have something for you.”
“Yeah. I’ve been wanting to give it to you for a long time.”
He reached into his pocket, grabbed something out of it, and showed it to me. It was a gold ring, and on the outside of it, there were words carved into it: Forever & Always.
“Oh, Zak,” I said.
“It’s a promise ring,” he said. “A promise that we’ll get married and stay together through anything, both good and bad, forever—”
We smiled. Then he put the ring on my left finger.
When I looked down at it, I had a sudden déjà vu, like I’ve seen this ring somewhere before, and I was wearing it. Well, whatever it was, it doesn’t matter right now. I have my prince back.
We kissed one more time.
“Uh, we should probably get out of this rain now,” Zak said. “Before we get ammonia.”
“Actually, you’ll get ammonia,” I said. “I’m immune to getting anything like that, remember? But you’re right. Let’s go.”
Zak got my umbrella for me and we ran to my house.
After we got inside, we grabbed a couple towels and dried ourselves off. Then we went to my room and sat on my bed.
Zak told me about what happened with him and Amber. He was ashamed about it.
“It’s ok, Zak,” I assured him.
“It is?” he asked.
“Yes. We were broken up. But I’ve gotta say, I’m actually jealous of her.”
“Because she got farther with you in three weeks than I have in three years.”
“I’m not that happy about it. But do you want to be that far with me?”
“Well, after what I went through, I don’t want to be that far with anyone, not even you, for a long time.”
“What do you mean?”
I told him about my rape a few weeks ago.
“Oh,” he said when I finished, then grabbed my hand. “I wish I was there.”
“Me too,” I said. “So, uh, about Amber. Did you find out what she was?”
He was trying to hide it, but I could tell he was mad at me for asking.
I sighed. “Go ahead. Say it. I deserve it.”
“What?” he asked, confused.
“I told you so.”
“Oh. I’m not going to say that.”
“But you’re thinking it.”
“I’ll admit that, but I won’t say.”
I laughed and kissed him. “That’s why I love you. But, since you were right about her, I should go apologize to her.”
I stood up and was about to walk to my bedroom door when I noticed someone standing in front of it.
“Oh. Hi,” I said.
My visionary daughter smiled at me.
“I haven’t seen you in a while.”
“Me neither,” Zak agreed.
She gestured to me.
“What is it?” I asked her.
She gestured to my neck and made a circle.
I instantly knew what she was referring to. “Oh! Thank you for reminding me.”
She smiled and walked out the door, waving goodbye and smiling, and she disappeared.
“Reminding you of what?” Zak asked.
I ran out of the room and down to the music room.
I looked around the floor until I finally spotted it. I picked it up.
“On the night that guy raped me, I had ripped this off my neck and threw it across the floor,” I explained to Zak. “I’m surprised it’s still in one piece.”
“Can I put it on you?” he asked.
I gave it to him and he put it on around my neck. As soon as he did, the amethyst started to glow.
I smiled. “Ok. Well, I should go see Amber now. Do you know where she lives?”
“Uh, no,” Zak replied.
I sighed. “Well, do you have her on your contacts?”
“Yes, I do.”
“Then can I borrow your phone?”
He pulled it out of his pocket and handed it to me.
I took it and dialed her number.
She answered. “Hey, Zak. How’d it go with Sarah?”
“It’s me,” I said.
“Oh. Hi, Sarah. May I ask why you’re calling?”
“Can we talk? I want to apologize to you in person.”
“Uh, ok. Where do you want to meet?”
“Can you come to my house?”
“Sure. Where do you live?”
I gave her directions, then I hung up.
I handed the phone back to Zak. “You know, I just realized something.”
“What?” Zak asked.
“The argument I had with my mom a few weeks ago was just like the one I had with you during that first summer we met about Zon and that Duah. And I was you.”
“Oh. But I was right.”
“And I wasn’t. Don’t rub it in.”
“Sarah,” Mom called through the intercom. “Amber’s here.”
“Ok,” I replied. “Send her down.”
“She got here fast,” Zak noted.
“Yes, she did. But can you leave us alone to talk? You can go hang out with Zack or something.”
He gave me a kiss on the cheek and left the room.
Amber came in a few moments later, and I felt that power surging from her again.
“Hi,” I greeted.
“Hi,” she greeted back. I gestured her over to the couch, and we both sat down.
“Listen, Amber,” I said. “I’m really sorry about what I said about you and how I treated you.”
“It’s ok, Sarah. I understand why. You and Zak are perfect for each other, with all the history you have together. I couldn’t get in the way of that.”
“Huh. I guess Zak was right. You do support our relationship.”
“He told you that?”
I nodded. “Yeah. He also said that you wish—”
I stopped, realizing something. I looked down at my new promise ring, and then at Amber, and I suddenly remembered where I’ve seen them before.
“What is it, Sarah?” Amber asked.
“This ring, and you,” I said. “I once had a dream about you a couple years ago.”
“A dream about me? Really?”
I nodded. “Yeah. It was an alternate universe in the future when Zak was twenty-five years old. You were with him, as his girlfriend, because I had died. He said that you were his comforter whenever he would dwell on having lost me, and you wished that our relationship didn’t end the way it did, that he never lost me.”
“I know. I guess some things from that dream is coming true.”
“And you’re alive to see it.”
“Yeah. But, Amber, I really am sorry for how I treated you, especially now that I know that it’s you from my dream.”
“Like I said, I understand why, but no one likes a jealous girlfriend.”
“I know. But no one also likes girls hitting on their boyfriends.”
“Ok. I may have been hitting on Zak a little bit, but that’s only because I couldn’t help it. I’m not the kind of person who takes girls’ boyfriends away from them.”
“Yes. Though I really shouldn’t be saying that since I’ve never really met a boy before Zak before.”
“You haven’t?” I asked.
Amber shook her head. “No. Well, at least, not in person.”
“What do you mean?”
“I may not have had access to the real world before now, but I did have access to the Internet. A lot.”
“Maybe that’s why. You paid more attention to your social life then your real one.”
“Actually, no. My uncle kept me and my mother from having a life outside of our house.”
She hesitated. She was clearly deciding whether or not she should tell me.
“Amber, I know you’re not human exactly,” I said. “I can feel it with my powers, and you know I can. You have a strong power radiating from you, about as strong as mine and my brother’s. You hiding it and pretending that you’re a full mortal makes me distrust you. I know that this is cliché, but whatever it is—whatever you are—you can tell me.”
She seemed to believe me.
Amber sat down on the couch and sighed. “I’m just like you, an Immortal. I can feel your power like you can feel mine.”
“Are your parents also Immortals?” I asked.
“My mom? No. My dad? I don’t know. I’ve never met him before, and I don’t want to.”
“Because he raped my mother, along with his friends, causing her to get pregnant with me and she had never met any of them before that night or have seen any of them since.”
“Oh. I’m sorry.”
“Yeah. Me too.”
Her father had raped her mother, I thought.
I took a closer look at her. She had blue eyes that looked familiar.
She noticed me staring. “What?”
“Do you know which of those men were your father?” I asked.
Amber shook her head. “No, and I don’t care which one of them is my father. Why?”
“I think your father raped me a few weeks ago.”
“What? He did? Are you sure it was my father? And are you ok?”
“You heard right. Yes, he did. Yes, I’m sure he’s your father. And, yes, I’m fine. Even now that I have Zak back. But, yeah, I’m positive he was your father. You two have the same eyes. And, just like your mom, my mom was also raped by him and his friends over eighty years ago and also had gotten pregnant with my oldest half-brother. He also raped my brother a couple years ago.”
“Did you get pregnant?” Amber asked.
I shook my head. “No.”
“Yeah. But, uh, I’ve noticed that you are quite skilled with your powers.”
“Yeah. A man came and visited me and my mom when my uncle wasn’t with us every once in a while and he taught me how to use my powers. I actually saw him with your mom when I arrived here.”
Amber nodded. “Yes. Is he your father?”
I shook my head. “No. Technically he’s my step-father. But, damn, he sure gets around.”
“But Nick told me that his wife went through what my mom went through and what you just told me about your mom, they sound like they’re the same person.”
“They are. My mom is his wife, but she’s also my dad’s wife. It’s really complicated.”
“Sounds like it is.”
“Yeah. But, about your uncle, why did he keep you and your mother from having a real life?”
“Well, we discovered my powers a few years ago while I was having what I now know was a stupid argument with a girl. I was so angry that I used my powers that I didn’t even know I had. After that, my uncle made me and my mom go into hiding until we—or he, actually—figured out what to do about it. Then I find out that he’s been with the Saturdays who have been with you and your family for the past few years. That made me so mad with him. But Nick helped me through this secretly and taught me how to control my powers. He was like the father I never had, and he kind of was too.”
“He probably learned that from my mom. She likes to treat kids, ones she doesn’t dislike, like they’re her own children. But, then again, he died before he raised his daughters with my mom, so maybe you gave him a chance as your father that was taken away from him with his daughters.”
“But your uncle is not a very good uncle. Of course, I could’ve told you that he wasn’t going to be. I’ll doubt he’ll ever be a good father. But I’ll be surprised if he ever becomes one someday.”
Amber laughed. “I agree. From my experience, he’s probably the worst uncle on the planet.”
I laughed. “I like you. And I mean that.”
“Yes. And if you want, I’ll be your friend.”
I nodded. “Yes.”
She smiled widely. “Excuse me for acting like a totally crazy teenage girl for a moment, though I guess I kind of am one, but I’ve always wanted a friend. Especially someone who is like me. And I’m glad it’s you.”
I smiled. “Me too. It’s nice to have something like that in common with a friend. But if you hit on my boyfriend again, we’re no longer going to be friends.”
She held up her hands. “Consider me warned. Now, would it be inappropriate if I hugged you?”
“Only if we were boys, which we’re not, so come here.”
She gave me a hug and I hugged her back.
“Hey, I just got an idea for a new song,” I said. “Do you want to help me with it?”
“Sure,” Amber replied. “Which reminds me: I listened to all of your albums. They’re really great. Did you really write all of those songs?”
“Every last one.”
“Wow. That is really impressive.”
“Thank you. I even have them all in individual CD cases over there on that desk, and in alphabetical order if there are any songs in particular that you like to listen to.”
“Yeah. Now let’s write a song together.”
It didn’t take long for us to write that song, though it usually doesn’t for me. After writing the lyrics, I called down Selena and Zack to help me with the music. That didn’t take long either.
There was still plenty of hours left in the day, so we called my family down, along with Zak, to come and listen to my new song. Since Amber helped me write it, I had her backup sing with Selena.
We positioned ourselves like we were on a real stage. The music started, and I began to sing:
On and off a shelf to a broken frame of mind, a broken frame of mind
But even if I lose it all
I will love you
You set fire to ashes
So even if I lose it all
I will love you,
I will love you and forever
I will love you,
After I finished the song, my family clapped. I bowed to them. Zak gave me a kiss. And I gave Amber a high-five and a hug.
Today I got my boyfriend back and he gave me a promise ring. A promise to keep ourselves strong and pure and to make it even more stronger with the years to come. I also got a new friend today.
This was now, officially, the best day in my whole life so far. And I couldn’t be more happier.
Aww. Sarah and Zak made up. Sarah and Amber even became friends. They even share a few things in common.
What was the name of the song that Sarah and Amber wrote together, and who sings it?
There's going to be a bit of another time-skip in the next chapter.
Please review here.
- Madison Hollinger
- Kiara Hollinger
- Zak and Sarah's Daughter
- Cj Hollinger
- Emily Hollinger
- Alex Hollinger (mentioned)
- Pikachu Hollinger
- Shillow Hollinger
- Amber Hollinger
- Kimbia Hollinger
- Kika Hollinger
- Chewie Hollinger
- Toto Hollinger
- Honey Hollinger
- Leonardo (mentioned)