I snuggle deeper into the blue blanket I pull from my massive bed and sigh. Tranquility is as foreign to me as the beings around me, but I am finding I like both. 

A shooting star catches my eye, and I smile as I watch it zoom passed this oddly beautiful world. Deep rich hues of color are everywhere you look. From the people to the soil, this world is like a rainbow. I know I won't be able to sleep in the massive bed, so looking out the window until I grow drowsy will be fine. There is so much to look at. 

I lean my forehead against the glass, and within seconds, a soft knock vibrates off my door. I freeze on instinct before slowly thawing. I am no longer trapped in my father's home. I am safe. 

I whisper those three little words over and over as I climb to my feet and straighten out my nightgown. I take even measured steps to keep my heartbeat down before opening my door to find the tall chocolate-skinned human I met at breakfast. 

"Hey Fiadh, right," she says, and I nod as my fingers tighten on the door. 

"I wanted to stop by and see if you would like to get to know one another. Two of the other girls are hanging out tonight, and Xiu isn't interested in making friends," She says with an eyeroll that makes me grin a little. 

I nod and open my door a little more so she can come in. 

"Why do you have all the lights turned off? Were you trying to sleep? I'm sorry if you were, I could go," she says as she stops inside the door. 

I shake my head and point to the window. 

"I was window watching. My last room didn't have one," I whisper, and she looks at me curiously for a second before nodding. 

"This place is beautiful, isn't it," she says as she walks back to my window seat. 

I follow and grin as I nod. 

"Very pretty," I whisper, and she gives ne a smile. 

"You don't talk much, do you," she asks, and I freeze. 

My eyes drop to the ground, and I shake my head. The horrific memories of my life begin to fill my mind, and I start to tremble. 

Father forbid me from speaking in his presence years ago. I was told if he heard my voice, he would beat me until I couldn't walk. He chose that as my punishment after I tried to say something to him and coughed blood on his shirt. From that point on, I was as quiet as a mouse. 

"Hey, I'm sorry," she says quickly before placing a hand on my shoulder. 

I flinch a little, but soon, the gentle warmth of her palm makes me look up. 

"You are safe. I would never let anyone hurt you," she says with a kind smile, and my eyes widen as this stranger pledges to protect me. 

"You don't know me," I whisper, and her smile grows sad. 

"I can recognize when a person needs a little protection. Trust me, Fiadh, when I am around, I have your back," She replies, and my mind explodes as a million thoughts rush through my brain. 

"Thank you," I whisper after a few silent seconds, and she nods. 

We both sit down on the window seal, and she smiles as she looks down at the strange world we are on. 

"It's so colorful. It almost hurts your eyes, doesn't it," she asks, and I grin while nodding. 

"I want a mate from a calm planet with basic colored vegetation," she says, and I giggle a little, which makes her eyes twinkle. 

I point toward the sky as another shooting star zooms past, and she gasps a little before laughing. 

"It's so beautiful out here. It really shows how small Earth is," she says lowly as she looks at the sky. 

I nod and pull my knees to my chest. I have always felt small and secluded. I didn't need to come to space to feel that way. That has been every moment of my life. 

"What kind of male do you hope for," She asks after a few silent moments and my eyebrows furrow as I force myself to think about the Harvest and what it means for me. 

I look at her to find her watching me intently. I blush and look down at the blanket for a second to collect my thoughts. I have never thought about a man sexually looking at me. Or vice versa. Males have been the bane of my existence. They have hated me, and I have feared them. 

"Someone nice...Someone who won't hit me or hurt me in any way. Someone who will protect me against the world. Or I guess worlds," I suddenly declare as my dream man begins to appear in my mind. 

"I don't care about his looks...or his coloring. I just want someone loving and sweet," I finish before looking at Zuri, who has tears in her eyes. 

She clears her through and looks away quickly. 

"Well...umm. Yeah, that sounds good," she says, and I laugh lightly. 

"Sorry," I whisper, and she shakes her head. 

She looks at me cautiously, and I can practically see the questions forming in her mind. 

Unlike earlier with Krystal, I feel comfortable. I'm not worried about Zuri's questions. She seems genuine and caring. I think I am ready to answer her questions. I think I want a friend. I want to tell my story. My mom's story. 

"Who hurt you," she asks, and I stiffen a little even though I was prepared. 

I lick my lips and give her a tiny smile before taking a deep breath. 

"My father mostly, but my brothers would occasionally join him. My father hates women. He married my mother to have sons. He abused her regularly, but as far as I know, it wasn't terrible until...Well, He received two sons before my mother gave birth to me. My birth was her doom. She loved me...She protected me as best as she could. She freed me in the end, and I am sure it cost her...He wouldn't have let her live after finding me gone. He wanted her to see me die. He spoke about that constantly," I whisper as silent tears trail down my cheeks.

I look at Zuri, and she shakes her head as if to clear her mind. 

"My God," Zuri whispers, and I can instantly tell my story has hit her hard. 

She has tears on her face, and her hands are clenched in fists. She looks angry and sad about my answer. I am glad someone else knows about his evil. It feels comforting. I have an ally...a friend. I wish my mom had found a partner and or friend. Maybe she could have been saved like I was. 

"I hate him," Zuri declares loudly after another second, and I laugh, which catches her off guard. 

"I hate him too," I reply, and she smiles while wiping her face. 

"Good. Well, you deserve the nicest guy at the tournament. I will help you find a prince. You deserve it," Zuri states in a matter fact tone that makes me giggle. 

"Thank you," I reply, and she pats my knee. 

"I wish I could travel back to Earth to teach your father a lesson. Maybe we can find you a guy that will do that for you," she says with a distant look in her eye that makes me laugh again. 

"Maybe, but I hate violence. I would prefer to just act like he never existed. My whole past life never existed...That is what I want," I explain, and she nods. 

"I understand. I won't bring it up again, then. It never happened...Thank you for trusting me and sharing such personal information. You didn't have to, but your secret is safe with me. I will be your memory keeper so you can walk away from it forever," she says, and I smile harder than I ever have. 

"Thank you, Zuri," I whisper, and she smiles. 

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