Ashley Nikole Quotes
“I was walking along one day and smacked into this wall called hope deferred and depression and...grief.
And it wouldn't budge.
After some time, I realized this darkness I'd found myself in was called grief.
I'd been through so much trauma, everything about me- including my body, emotions and soul, was shutting down and going into preservation mode.
I entered a season where the battle caught up with me and I realized just how badly I'd been beaten and torn up, inside and out.”
“Your father's last words were touching."
Elie's breath hitched. "You're lying."
"Why would I do that?" He reached into his vest and withdrew a silver chain. Dropping the piece into Ellie's hand, she realized what is was- her mother's ring, on the chain her dad always wore around his neck.
"Hold your gusto, darlin'," he drawled, breath hot on her neck. "I didn't kill him."
Ellie shook her head, staring at the ring. "How dare you?" she whispered.
Jutting her chin out, Ellie grasped the front of Terrence's shirt. "So help me God, I'll-"
"Making threats are we, now?" His brows raised in mock fear. "You're not in a place to be doing that." Open handed, Terrence shoved straight finger's into Ellie's ribs, sending her to the ground.
Pain zig-zagged through her torso, nearly making her vomit.
Ellie glared up at North as she willed the air back into her lungs. "I will never stop fighting," she wheezed as the room drifted out of focus then back again.
Terrence crouched next to her. "Just remember lover-boy the next time you think about getting in my way.”
“Sarah was Ethan's dear little sister." He made a clicking noise with his tongue. "Poor woman." There was something akin to anguish in his voice. "I will always regret her."
Ellie grimaced in disgust "'Was'? Are you saying she's dead?"
Terrence nodded, and in the dark, her eyes were finally beginning to adjust so she could better see him. The sadness in his features spoke volumes.
So, he had one human bone in his body. He wasn't ALL divisive and wicked.
Too bad that didn't matter a load of poo to Ellie.”
“Sustained, complicated grief is hard- & yes, potentially dangerous-
ANYTHING worthwhile in life holds a certain measure of risk to it- and friends who tell you grief is dangerous & caution you to short track your process- don't even get me started on that cop-out of a mentality.
"Yes" friends are the unsafe ones, YEEE-IKESSS. Avoid them like the plague.
Face your process head on and figure out your relationship status with your G-Friend- & I don't mean girlfriend.
Grief is there to help us connect the islands, as it were, of our life. Without it, when something happens, we become wounded, detached & don't heal. We walk around with a gimp thinking we are stronger for ignoring that pesky, four-letter word of a third wheel friend.”
“Ebony, wait," Ethan called.
She heard him tripping through the foliage to catch up. "Ebony--"
"We need to talk--"
"Then start moving your gums," she threw over her shoulder.
"I didn't kill her."
Ebony kept walking. An easy enough thing to deny, especially when Ethan expected her to believe every word he said.
"Ebony." He gripped her shoulders and spun her around.
Ebony fisted her hands in his shirt and barely noticed the blue hue of his lips. "I am not stupid," she whispered. "And I don't believe you.”
“She tried lowering him slowly, but he ended up falling and taking her down with him. Ellie couldn't tell which of them groaned the loudest.
"Seriously! Could you eat a little less?" she groused, pushing back onto her haunches.
Ethan smirked and shook his head. Motioned to his well defined torso. "Muscle, not fat.”
“Crying isn't so bad. I mean, I have a sister..." He paused, and she had the distinct impression he was debating whether or not he should elaborate. On what, Ellie wasn't sure.
"And I cry all the time," he said, his voice slightly higher pitched than it usually was.
"You do?" Ellie ventured, her voice sounding muted from crying.
"Well, it's been a while...and by 'a while', I mean about two days,”
“You'll yet find happiness."
A twang of anger snapped within her at his words.
"Shut your trap, highness, or I'll bloody well shut it for you!" She lunged forward and grabbed the front of his shirt. Her fingers itched for- for what? A weapon.
She berated herself for her violent state of mind.
Hands still fisted in his shirt, Justice felt their trembling and prayed he did not.
Jonathan glanced down at her hands, face impassive, then returned his eyes to her face. When Justice finally gave in and lifted her gaze, her vision blurred at the empathy written in his eyes.”
“What if I make it through this, so damaged that the rest of my life is a living hell? A graphic rerun of everything I survived, but over and over and over again?” She inhaled a shuddering breath. “So every single detail—that was already burned into my brain and every inch of my body—gets worked in like oil on a cutting board!” Tears dribbled down her face. “But I’m not a cutting board, Dakota, and what I went through in British Columbia was not oil to be worked in,” she whispered. “It was worse than dying, and I’m afraid that living after this will be a worse punishment than I ever imagined.” She shrugged one shoulder. “And I don’t think I’m up to the task.”
“Horns blared and tires squalled, then Avery collided with a bumper and went down. Her breaths reverberated in her ears as she all but kissed the cool cement, trying to get her bearings. She had no time to be dizzy, no time to be weak—no time to be in pain!
Someone was yelling at her.
Another horn blared.
Avery pushed up her knees, trembling. She wasn’t ready for this.”
“He pressed a finger to her carotid and swore.
She was dead.
Not on his watch was she gonna stay that way.
“You’re not dying today, lady.” He grabbed the switchblade knife from his jean’s back pocket, flicked it open, then cut down the front of her sweater. He pocketed the knife and clasped his hands together, then laced his fingers and pressed the heel of his hand to the middle of her sternum and began compressions.”
“Ebony!" The shout was desperate as the look on the man's face.
She looked down, only to realize she hung off a ledge, no landing in sight. Fire glowed from every tree and blade of grass around her.
"Don't you let go," he pleaded.
"I can't reach--" she strained harder, but the ledge collapsed beneath her grasp.
"No!" Her fingers slipped, then she plunged into the darkness.”
“Pulling the threadbare sheet over her shoulder, she rolled onto her side away from him. Cries, deep and gun-wrenching built in her chest, threatening to steal away what air was left in her lungs.
She didn't care that Bucket Man sat a foot away, witnessing her lose what grip she had left on reality.
She had nothing.
Her memory was gone and she was already half dead. Her only friend was agony, and she was the daughter of a monster.”