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Description : Expel
Suffering is the nature of this world. It is the golden standard by which all things are measured. It is not happiness that sets the bar, but agony. Even happiness cannot be fully recognized without the right measure of misery to contrast its borders. Suffering magnifies hunger—exhaustion—prods you to move when prosperity is just a dream out of reach. It is the mortal twin of eternal hope. How you respond to its touch molds you, shapes your future as it rains down oppression like fire over your shoulders.

Deception. It laid over my world like a bruise, covered it sopletely I bought the lie that the shadow offered and foundfort nestled in its thorny arms. I walked the trail it dusted with breadcrumbs, walked into the slip noose it had skillfully wove and dove off the cliff without realizing—willingly, with vigor.

Heartbreak. There is no bigger void, no darker shade of soot—no ache more

unstoppable than that of a broken heart.

A heart in pieces can very much kill you—without love’s healing touch, you will

surely die.

They say time heals all wounds.

They lied.

Chapter 1

Death Throes

Rain falls like tears from heaven over the dirt lot behind the bowling alley.

Logan lies to my right with his eyes wide open, gaping up at the sky pouring down its wrath like it didn’t even matter—Gage to my left with a blood-soaked shirt, same dead stare, no affect, no response. I crawl up on my knees and pull both their hands into my chest. I can’t lose Logan and Gage—it’s unimaginable—unacceptable. I look back down at the pink...