All I Want (Chapters 16 - 18), a short story by jb23hotchner. Date added: 2012-08-28. Times viewed: 715.
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- Intro: All I Want is my daughter back. All I Want is your boyfriend. All I Want is for you to love me. I shall get All I Want. You shall give me All I Want.
CHAPTER 16: New Beginnings
Her father was rarely ever home, which was a good thing. Lily had no idea when the last time she saw him was. She didn’t know if he had aged well or not, whether he still smoked a dozen cigarettes a day, whether he stopped dying his hair. She knew nothing more of her father than she did four years ago.
This was his place; a fancy apartment in the outskirts of Bethany. One thing Lily knew was that old habits rarely died. Back when they were a happy family, Mr. Kelly had this thing where he had to keep a couple of spares somewhere near his front door. Lily found one buried in a flower pot outside; a stupid place to hide a spare, considering he was the only one with a pot outside his door.
She had gone in and waited, hoping for at least an awkward surprise when Mr. Kelly came home. But after the third day, she figured he was on one of his chronic business trips. He wouldn’t be back home for at least another couple of weeks… assuming he left a fortnight ago.
So, naturally, Lily made herself at home. It was like this place had become hers. In fact, she got so used to living like this that when the doorbell rang one morning, it hit her that this was not her apartment.
She cursed as she scurried to put some order in the house. The bell rang again. She did her best to hide stuff that should have remained where she found them. She quickly threw on a top and jeans and shoes for good measure, just so it would look like she had just arrived.
When she eventually opened the door, she let out a long sigh of relief. Not dad. ‘Oh, thank God,’ she said, calming down, ‘I’d almost forgotten about you.’
‘We wouldn’t want that, now would we?’
Lily smiled – genuinely – and let her guest in. She hugged him and as always felt that feeling of comfort and warmth around him.
‘Are you okay?’ asked Chris. It wasn’t that the hug was unusual, just that today’s seemed particularly different. Her heart, for one, was pounding out of her chest.
‘Yeah,’ Lily smiled back, ‘I was just worried that it was my dad at the door, not you.’
‘I don’t think Uncle Nils would really mind that you came over. What with everything that’s going on, I think he would be glad.’
Lily kept her smile. Of course he would be glad, she thought. Her father loved her. Well, besides the fact that they hadn’t seen each other in four years, but he still loved her. ‘You’re my last genuine friend, Chris,’ Lily said. ‘Thanks for that.’
He nodded, acknowledging her thanks. ‘We’re family,’ he said, ‘it’s the least I can do.’
There was a lull. It wasn’t really common among them, which made it all the more awkward. Lily then motioned toward the kitchen. ‘Breakfast?’
‘Oh, yeah,’ Chris said, ‘I’m starving.’
Christina had just left the studio. She was used and her voice rough, yet her producer claimed the song she just did was still not at its very best. “Take a break,” he said, “come back tomorrow.” Screw that, she was thinking. This was exactly as annoying as studying, so why not just do that and get a real job? But who really wants a real job?
‘Hey,’ she said to the phone, settling herself into her brand new car, ‘you want to hang out?’
‘So? Ditch school. You’ve done it before.’
‘Come on, Danny… please?’
She started the car, which roared with authority. It was a bit too manly for her liking, but who cared? It was a freaking Escalade! Talk about an excellent record deal. ‘I just finished recording for the millionth time, and I still have to go back,’ she continued. ‘Please? Besides, I want to talk to you about what happened during Dennis’ party. I know it happened a while back, but it’s been bugging me ever since.’
‘Fine, I won’t call you Danny.’
‘The mall. One hour, Dann_ …n.’
One hour. Dan was at the mall. How he managed to sneak out of school was not much of a mystery to Christina. They used to do it together. She was by her car, sitting on the hood and fondling her phone when she saw him. The smile was wide and as pretty as Dan remembered. It captured his attention, but he was determined not to act on it.
‘Hi,’ she said, peeling off the car and hugging him.
‘What was that for?’
‘Assurance. I’m hoping that we’re still friends.’
‘Christi, we’ve been nothing but friendly since… well, here I am.’
‘Let’s go inside.’ She led him in. The mall was huge; like it was a city of its own. There were bright multicolored lights all along the ceiling and walls, even though the daylight was bursting in. Some figured the lights were there just to show off.
It was almost impossible to canvass the entire building without being drawn to at least a dozen different stores. Christina knew they could find a food court right at the entrance, but she didn’t want to rush her time with Dan. Not when they had the whole day.
They were walking seemingly aimlessly among the sea of people when she decided to bring up the forbidden topic. ‘Look, Dan, I’ll be honest here, that night, what I did, it was meant to get you thinking. I wanted you to think about you, about me, about us. I got what I wanted… up until that shooter came in. But, with hindsight, I realize it was the wrong move on my part. I realize that was never really what I wanted.’
Dan stopped, and Christina followed. He was peering into an electronics shop, but had no intention of going in. there were a bunch of people in there, mostly kids; a couple of whom were locked in a video game battle. Kill Zone. ‘What did you want?’ he asked after a wordless moment. He turned to her, noticing that she too was looking in, but none of this had any of her interest.
‘I don’t know,’ she said. ‘But it wasn’t to hurt you.’
The walk continued. So did Christina, ‘You’ve been a good friend to me… since my freshman year, I might add. Well, at some point, we became friends with benefits, but friends nonetheless. It should have remained that way.’
‘Not for me. For me, it became about real feelings. But all that’s changed now.’
‘It has. And I want to put all that behind us. Can we do that? Can we just go back to our original relationship?’
‘Oh, not the “with benefits” part. That’d be awkward.’
‘So… are we good?’
Dan stopped again, just outside the second floor food court. ‘Christi, if we’re going to do this, I need to know that you’re going to accept that Heather is my girlfriend.’
‘No question,’ she replied.
‘Heather is your girlfriend.’
‘And you’re my friend.’
‘That’s exactly what I was saying.’
He looked at her, the expression telling.
‘Fine,’ she said, ‘and I’m your friend.’
They had just finished cleaning up the dishes when Lily’s phone rang. Both she and Chris were in the kitchen. The phone rang again, vibrating violently against the marble table. Besides that, the apartment had fallen incredibly silent. It was almost a deafening silence.
‘Aren’t you going to answer it?’ Chris asked, staring from the phone to his cousin. She shook her head. It rang again and again until it rerouted to voicemail: “Hey, you know the drill.”
‘Lily, I know you can here this,’ Dennis said after the beep. ‘Look, I just want to talk to you, okay? I’m down here. The doorman won’t let me in without your consent. Please, Lily, let me just… let me just apologize at least.’
Silence. The call wasn’t ended yet. Perhaps Dennis was just waiting for Lily to pick up the phone and tell him to come up. Or maybe not. Perhaps he was just waiting to hear her voice.
In silence, she and Chris looked at each other, then the phone. Just when Lily decided to pick up, the call was ended. Now she was faced with a new quandary. ‘What do I do?’ she asked. It was like she had seen a ghost… or heard one.
‘I can’t answer that question for you, Lil.’
She thought about it, scratching her head, staring at the phone. If she could convince the doorman to let her in, why couldn’t Dennis? ‘I don’t want to see him,’ Lily finally said.
‘But I also want to.’
At this Chris chuckled. He dried his hands and then sat at the table. Slowly, like he was tempting her, he slid the phone towards her. ‘I don’t know how that works, but since you asked for my opinion, I think you should hear him out.’
‘Yeah, totally. I mean, it wouldn’t hurt. Plus, I’m here for you if you need me. Remember, you left him out of the loop, so it’s kind of a good thing that he still wants to be with you.’
Though he might as well have said it was her fault, Lily knew he was right. Deep breaths were taken as she composed herself. This was probably the right thing to do, but it didn’t feel like it. With one last attempt to compose herself, she picked up the phone and called the doorman.
CHAPTER 17: Now My Will Begins To Rise
‘Chris…’ Dennis said. His surprise was obvious and there was perfect cause behind it. What he made of it, on the other hand, wasn’t quite as obvious.
It was Chris who opened the door and invited him in. When Dennis stepped in, he inwardly admitted, he expected to see Lily. But the room was empty. His only immediate company was Chris. Duly, he turned to him and asked, ‘Where’s Lily.’
Chris, his gaze on Dennis unfaltering, replied, ‘She’ll be here.’ He motioned to the living room, where Dennis went and dropped onto one of the perfectly white leather sofas. Stress was taking over him, and it was all too apparent. Chris, in his own curiosity, sat on the lip of the black coffee table and kept his intense stare on Dennis.
‘What’s going on?’ Dennis asked. ‘What are you doing here?’
‘I’m giving Lily what she needs right now,’ Chris replied.
‘Love… friendship… family.’ Dennis was tightening his jaw. Whatever his friend just said must have struck a nerve. Since there was that awkward silence again, Chris continued, ‘You know, now that you’re here, I was hoping you’d fill me in a little.’
‘Fill you in…?’ Dennis repeated. ‘On what?’
‘Oh, come on, Dennis, I don’t need to spit it out, you know exactly what I’m talking about.’
‘You also know exactly what happened. I don’t need to tell you anything.’
‘Maybe not,’ Chris mumbled. He stood up, and having said all he had to say, left the room.
As soon as he was gone was as soon as he was replaced by Lily. Something about her was different, but when Dennis saw her, he couldn’t identify exactly what it was. The fact that she had had a change of clothes was different. Somehow, the thought that she freshened up for him felt good. A good feeling wasn’t something he was used to of late.
Unsuccessfully, he tried to smile. Lily almost did as well, just to recap the good old days. There were so many things he wanted to say to her, yet none of them could formulate themselves in his head. He got to his feet, meeting Lily’s glare.
Lily began, ‘How did you find this place?’
‘My mom’s the mayor.’
‘You came here to apologize,’ she said coldly, ‘so do it.’
But Dennis kept his jaw tight. His expression remained unchanged. Just because the girl he loved was standing before him didn’t necessarily mean he’d get weak in the knees. And he was determined to show that to Lily, too.
‘No,’ he said, shaking his head, ‘I’m not about to do that.’
Somehow, Lily was shocked. She did not see this coming… or maybe she did, which made her wonder why she let him surprise her. Sternly, she said, ‘Leave then.’
‘I’m not about to do that either,’ Dennis replied. ‘Don’t get me wrong, Lily, I will apologize for all the wrong things I have done to you, but not until I get an explanation from you first.’
‘An explanation for what?’
‘Everything. I have heard them from other people, but now I want to hear it from the horse’s mouth. And I want the truth, Lily. You owe me that much.’
‘I don’t owe you anything,’ she reiterated.
‘Oh, I think you do, considering you carried a gun into my home, and you almost killed Heather. Shall I go on?’
'See, this is exactly the type of attitude that got us where we are at the moment.'
'Me? You're blaming me for your transgressions, now?'
'Not everything is a blame game, Dennis!' she snapped back. Both were escalating fast. From the other room, Chris heard everything. He could almost tell what would be said next. Then he thought, maybe he should go in and intervene. Maybe he should help Lily out like he had been doing. Then again, his curiosity had not been fully quenched.
The living room calmed down somewhat. Lily was staring at Dennis expectantly while Dennis glared back like he was looking for a reset button. Since he was the guest only through courtesy, he quickly apologized, and then the both of them cooled down further.
'It's okay,' Lily said. 'If anything, I should be the one to apologize.'
“No kidding,” Dennis wanted to say.
Still keeping whatever calm was left in her, she sat him back down, and then parked herself right next to him. 'You're right, Dennis, you deserve the truth. I'm going to give it to you.'
Although against his better judgment, Antonio Cruz agreed to let Holly into his home. He was a busy man, but he was also the boss in these parts. Holly was showed into the study, where the former spouses could be alone.
Once the door was shut, Holly faced Antonio, smiling beautifully – a lot like Heather. He smiled back. At first he thought he did it out of courtesy, but would later realize Holly's smile still made him weak.
'Before you say anything, Holly,' Antonio began, 'I want to apologize for Heather's behavior the other day. It was wrong for her to talk to you like that and I should have not encouraged it.'
'Wow,' Holly said, 'that almost sounded sincere.'
Antonio could only look back at her. What else could he say that would convince her how genuine he was being? But it was she who came over. 'So why are you here?' he asked.
'Come on, Antonio, aren't you going to argue how that speech came from the bottom of your heart at least?'
'Why would I? I don't have to convince you anything.'
'Okay, whatever you like.'
'Still waiting for the part where you tell me what you are doing here.'
She moved to one of the fancy leather chairs by the desk and made herself at home. She fit snuggly in it and when Antonio saw it, he was reminded of something from their past. Something that made him smile.
'Remember what we were talking about last we saw each other?' asked Holly. Her legs were crossed, possibly to tempt Antonio, since her skirt could not have been any shorter. 'I think it’s time we picked that up.'
Now his expression had changed. 'Why are you doing this, Holly?'
'Why am I doing what?'
'Exhuming old graves. Some secrets best remain hidden.'
'This is my daughter we're talking about!' Holly exclaimed.
'She's my daughter too!'
'And look how well your parenting skills have turned out thus far.'
'Oh, are we back to my parenting skills? You do realize that I have been the only one of us who actually cares about Heather?'
Holly grinned. By her estimation, his approach to the situation was weak. Perhaps she should let him have another go? 'We aren't talking about Heather, Antonio, don't try change the subject.'
'Maybe we should talk about her, considering she's your daughter as well.'
'Heather?' she said, still grinning. 'You can have her. She's far too much trouble for my liking.'
'That's a laugh. She's more like you than you care to admit.'
'Oh, I don't deny it,' Holly said. 'Outside, she's as gorgeous, as fashionable, and inside, she's as ugly. Still, like poles and all that. Anyway, we digress.'
He moved to his desk, walked around it but didn't sit. The sunlight was shooting in magnificently, casting a majestic shadow of him over Holly. Not that anyone noticed. 'Are you just doing this so you can get back at me?'
'Why would you think that?' The way she asked it... it was almost a taunt.
'You do it, you destroy other people's lives. I get that you thrive on being a heel, but I’m not sure you really want to do that.'
'Don't pretend to care about me or anything I do, Antonio.'
'Let's say I don't,' he said sternly, 'I still know you and I know you don't want to do this.'
At this, Holly got up. Slowly, with her eyes glued to his, she edged closer to the desk. She rested her hands on it and kept her hard stare. 'You don't know me,' she said, 'not anymore. The only thing you know about me is my blood type and if I could have changed that after you left me, I would have.'
'I left you? You abandoned us, remember?'
'Tomayto – tomahto. I was just giving you a heads up because let's be honest, I can't exactly get her on my own.'
'You're crazy if you think I'm going to help you destroy a family,' Antonio said.
She stood straight and smiled again as she came to him and placed her palm on his cheek. 'Believe me, dear,' she said smugly, 'you will.’
CHAPTER 18: My Twist of Fate
Athena claimed she wanted to win John’s trust back. Since John loved her, he agreed to give her this chance. After all, he didn’t want to lose her any more than she wanted to lose him. Recent events tainted their relationship among other things and now that things were definitely past their climax, this little trip was only fitting.
It was Friday night. Athena gave some excuse to her folks that they bought, as they always did. After packing a bag, she left the house. John was waiting outside by his dad’s car, a flashy Range Rover. Athena, happily, leaned in and kissed him gingerly. ‘If I’d known you’d be bringing this car…’
‘You’d have what?’ asked John, still holding her.
‘I don’t know yet.’ She looked around and then tactically through the tinted windows. It was obvious what she was looking for and once she saw it, her expression changed drastically. ‘John,’ she said, ‘I know I agreed to company but at some point, I’d really like to be alone with you.’
He sighed, looking into the car as well. Dan and Christina were in the backseat, though they were the furthest things from friends to Athena. They were John’s guests if only to test how much his girlfriend really changed. A plus sign, he knew, was Beyoncé, who Athena could just not live without.
‘I know,’ John said, ‘and I know what you intend on doing once that happens.’
‘You have no idea.’
He smiled. He always loved her sense of adventure. It’s what kept their relationship running all these years. ‘Tell you what, if you behave, we’ll definitely get our alone time.’
Was he serious, she was thinking. What was she; nine? Athena could only chuckle at this, since she knew better than to speak. Swallowing her pride was one of the more difficult things Athena had ever done; one of the things she was certain she was not capable of. And it wasn’t only her. Everyone else in her life knew that to be true. Which is why John grinned and kissed her again when she did.
Every moment since he took that beating courtesy of Dennis was awkward, but not for him. He was used to taking a hit both literally and figuratively. It was his girlfriend who felt the awkwardness. It was like there was this elephant that was constantly in the room, yet they either failed or chose not to see it. That was the excuse. In truth, deep down, they saw it. They just didn’t know what it was. Maybe it was Athena’s transgressions… maybe it was John being a punching bag. What were all those muscles on his arms for if not to kick asses like Dennis’?
Tonight the Mexican ambassador chose not to work. He asked his secretary to handle what had to be handled at this time of night. There was even a kind of state dinner that he promptly turned down, much to the host’s disappointment.
Tonight was going to be the first time Antonio and Heather hang out in a while. It had only been hours since she was discharged from hospital and in that time she had locked herself in her room, refusing to let anyone in. Well, from time to time she let Ander in, but that was it. There was the one time her father came to visit but she made sure he didn’t stay very long.
But Antonio wanted to be with his daughter. He almost lost her – actually, he did – and he just wanted the feeling of her safety again. This is the only reason Heather agreed to hang out with him tonight. She left her room and headed to the lounge, where her she was to succumb to The Avengers.
About an hour in, Heather spoke of her own will for the first time tonight, ‘In the earlier Ironman films,’ she began, ‘where was the Hulk and Thor, et cetera?’
‘Those movies weren’t about them,’ Antonio replied quickly. He was trying to enjoy the movie. Either that or Scarlett Johansson had captured his attention.
‘Yeah, but if they are together now, it means they exist at the same time. Why didn’t any of these Avengers show themselves in Ironman 2?’
Heather chuckled. So Scarlett did capture her father’s attention. It was weird how so many men fell prey to a beautiful woman. But, for whatever reason, Heather didn’t see what was so startling about her. Sure, she was beautiful and had a gorgeous superhero body, but there were other women who looked just as good. But what did she know? She wasn’t attracted to girls. ‘I think she’s called the Black Widow, Daddy,’ she said, still smiling.
‘Black Widow, that’s right.’
They went silent again, allowing the film to play unadulterated. The action was gripping. At least that’s what Antonio would have said. But, Heather wasn’t really paying attention. Thoughts of Scarlett Johansson and the millions of men coveting her reminded her of Dennis. She saw his gorgeous blue eyes staring down at her, his magnificently white teeth glowing as he showcased that ever so handsome smile. As a result of that smile, her body melted. Tiny hairs in all sorts of places stood straight and still.
Memories of Dennis surrendering himself to her came flooding back, and she smiled. Maybe she did have that Scarlett charm after all. The smile lasted mere seconds since thoughts of Dennis yielded into thoughts of Dan. This was bad on her part. Dan was her boyfriend. Why was she thinking of another boy – very intimate thoughts – when she knew she had a boyfriend. Well, because somehow, somewhere deep in the abyss she called a heart, she loved Dennis. Secretly she loved him. Openly, she loved Dan. She really did love him.
Heather had never believed in this “soul mate” crap. But, when she thought about it, she knew Dennis as her soul mate. So, a quandary came when she thought further about the man she loved and each time her mind would always picture Dan first. So, if Dennis was her soul mate, what in the world was Dan, because he felt pretty much like a soul mate as well?
The Clay House, it was called. It was a gorgeous lodge far out of Bethany, in the peripheries of the forest. John and the rest had arrived nearly an hour ago and had settled in excellently. In the lounge, there was a mini-bar and a pool table among other things. These were the only things they were interested in, anyway. Thing is, all five had been playing for a while, and had grown tired of pool; especially with Beyoncé’s prowess.
So, the entertainment switched from pool to poker in John and Athena’s room, but even poker got dull after some point. Christina even suggested they spice it up with a bit of gambling. That worked like a charm… for a while.
‘What do we do now?’ asked Dan, sitting on the ledge, facing the room. ‘We came out here to have fun and so far, I’d say we’ve had 31 percent of it.’
’31 percent’s good,’ Beyoncé said as she toyed with Athena’s hair. Both were on the bed. During one of the poker games in which Beyoncé pulled out, she had started putting Athena’s hair in all sorts of crazy styles. The weird thing was that no matter what Beyoncé did, Athena still looked great. ‘I mean, given everything that’s happened lately, 31 percent fun is a lot.’
‘Bee, I thought we promised not to mention recent events,’ Athena said rather sweetly. This was a voice someone like Christina could have sworn she had never heard from Athena… and thought she would probably never hear.
‘I know,’ Beyoncé said, ‘its just that everyone here’s thinking it. Even though they wouldn’t admit it.’
Dan, obviously lying, said, ‘I’m not.’
‘Yeah right, Danny!’ Christina found herself saying. Just then, everyone’s attention was seemingly drawn to her… and to Dan. They could both practically feel the weight of the others’ eyes on them. It was terrifying.
To break the ice, Athena sat up, allowing Beyoncé more freedom to play with her hair. ‘So, Christina,’ she began, ‘you and Danny a thing now?’
When Athena said it, Christina realized how she must have sounded saying Danny. It wasn’t even purposely said. It must have just rolled off the tongue. ‘What!’ she pretended to be appalled. ‘God, no! Dan and I are just friends.’
‘Certainly doesn’t look that way,’ John found himself saying, and instantly regretted it. His girlfriend and her best friend turned to him with wide smiles. And they thought John didn’t like accusing people just for the fun.
Christina immediately shifted on the sofa, wishing she was a mile away from Dan right now. She even tried to move tactically, but it was hopeless. ‘What does that mean?’ she asked. Like she didn’t know.
John, having seemingly said enough left the floor open to comments. Beyoncé took the mantle without hesitation. ‘It means you have thrown yourself at Dan since we left Athena’s place earlier this evening.’
‘I have not!’
‘Oh, come on, Christi, I was riding in the back with you two. Where is Heather in all this?’
Either the accusatory nature of the topic or the mention of Heather caused Athena to tighten her jaw and sneer bitterly. No one saw it, since they were all looking at Beyoncé, who seemed to be on some sort of vendetta.
‘There’s nothing going on between Dan and me,’ Christina insisted sternly. ‘If there was, you wouldn’t know about it.’
‘Not that there is,’ Dan added quickly. ‘I love Heather. She’s my girl and I wouldn’t cheat on her with anyone.’
Not the awkwardness loomed and everyone let it. How had the conversation come this far? The silence was almost deafening. Long, hard stares were exchanged. Thoughts flooded minds. More and more this little trip seemed like a bad idea. Then, rather unexpectedly, Beyoncé began to laugh. Her laugh was light and sweet, yet it made everyone around her feel stupid.
‘Calm down, guys,’ she said to Dan and Christina, ‘I was just playing. We were just playing. Of course there’s nothing going on between you, right, Athena?’
The pair smiled, but the joy had not reached them yet. It was never going to reach them. Whether or not Beyoncé and the others were really just playing wasn’t the issue. The issue was, they spoke the truth. Christina knew it. How she looked around Dan was obvious. On the face of it, she kept a somber face, like someone who was ashamed. But, deep in her heart, she sat back and smiled. According to her, there was absolutely nothing wrong. There was nothing she hadn’t envisioned a hundred times. There was nothing that was going off script.
Heather left for bed soon after the movie. When she was ready and had tucked herself in, her eyes shut almost automatically. Though there was nothing she had done the entire day, she was tired as hell and could not wait to get her head down.
Finally she did, and sleep came not long after.
Sometime later, though, over a distance, she heard a feint buzz. She was in two minds, so she let it go. But as time wore on, the buzz grew louder and louder. Soon she was drawn out her sleep by the incessant sound of her ringing phone. Timidly, she picked it up, still in the midst of her sleep. ‘Hey, Dennis,’ she groaned.
‘Hey, Heather. I’m sorry, did I wake you?’
What did he think?
He continued, ‘Listen, this is very, very important. I need you to meet me ASAP.’
‘What, like now?’ Heather asked, still quite sleepy.
‘Yeah, now. I wouldn’t if it wasn’t very important. I wouldn’t ask if it wasn’t a matter of life and death.’
Now her eyes opened, her breathing got more intense, her heart beat more vigorously, constantly skipping beats. Sleep had disappeared like darkness at sunrise. ‘What’s going on, are you okay?’
‘Just come over, Heather, please.’
She was already out of bed, shuffling through the room for clothes and shoes. ‘Dennis,’ she cried, ‘you’re scaring me.’
‘I’m sorry,’ Dennis said, ‘I just need you here right now.’
‘Where, your place?’
‘No, no. Meet me at the cabin Lily took you to.’
Heather froze. The sight of that old, dark, cobweb infested cabin was the last thing she wanted to see. Flashes of that horrible night came back. The pain of being struck over the head with something cold and hard came back to her. She recalled the vague feeling of being dragged and then bouncing around like she was riding on a bumpy road. Suddenly the darkness of her room mirrored that of the cabin, and her heart ran back and forth in her chest.
‘I can’t go back there,’ she moaned softly. Dennis didn’t seem to hear. All he said was that she hurry, and the line went dead.
Heather couldn’t remember how or when she used her secret passages to sneak out of the residence – in the middle of the night, no less. She couldn’t remember if she drove her own car or asked Ander to bring her over. The only thing she knew, was that she was here, staring at the grey wooden cabin, its gaping doorway beaming darkness, overgrown grass all around it. The roof was broken up and rotting like the rest of it. Heather even thought she say wood lice and maggots.
Slowly, reluctantly, she walked in. Her body was quivering with fear, coldness had numbed her. Maybe it was pure coincidence that she was in a white top and black jeans like the last time she was here. She didn’t notice.
Inside was pitch black. It was almost like she suddenly became blind. Gingerly, she took out her phone and dialed Dennis’ number. The call took an extraordinary amount of time to connect. But after what felt like a whole hour, finally it was in.
First it was the beeping, but that didn’t catch her attention. It was the buzzing that did. Heather looked up. She could see a bright white light vibrating slowly on the floor, in sync with the ringing. Without a second thought, she ran forward, towards the phone, and turned it face up. The light was blinding.
Then she saw it. A tall fit body lying on the floor, face down.
‘Oh my God,’ she cried, ‘Dennis.’
She took his shoulder and abdomen, ready to flip him, but dead weight was heavy. His shoulder was soft. Softer than Heather remembered. And, it was warm. Wet… sticky, actually. Heather lifted her hand slowly, scared at what she would see. When she looked at it, her fear was confirmed. Her hand was a deep shade of red, and dripping with it. She cried Dennis’ name again, and then flipped him.
At first she thought, déjà vu. His T-shirt was heavy, soaked in blood. Heather suddenly felt the pain of the knife cutting through her stomach. The sight of it on Dennis made her cry, and throw up all over the dusty floor. This was exactly what happened to her not long ago. And now Dennis…
However, when she looked up at his face, her heart stopped completely. Her eyes were wide open, her jaws dropped. Heather, unable to control her emotions anymore, screamed her stunned heart out.
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