CHAPTER 79 - THE DECEPTIVE EYES OF LOVE
“You’re unbelievable.” I scoffed, glaring. “Seriously unbelievable.”
“Well, hello to you too.” He cracked a tiny smile, holding the ‘phone’ to his ear.
“Don’t even try it.” I scowled.
“What? I just said hello.” Jake grinned impishly.
“Exactly.” I hissed.
“Oh, so I’m not even allowed to say hello? Then why are you here?”
“Honestly? I don’t know.” I spat, inching closer to the glass. “I’m so mad at you, I can’t even begin to describe it. I was gonna tell you off, but you know what, you don’t even deserve it.”
“Ouch.” He feigned hurt, the jerk.
“Jake, this is serious.”
He sighed, leaning back against his seat. “Not as serious as the war between Block C and Block D, believe me.”
“What?” I arched an eyebrow at him.
“Never mind. So, what brings you here?”
Ugh, the nerve this guy has! “Oh, I don’t know ... maybe the fact that you’d rather be in jail than spend time with me?!”
“Hey, it wasn’t my fault, I-”
“Seriously?” I scoffed. “Jake, you willingly took off your ankle monitor, and left it in the sand!”
He shrugged. “How else could I have taken a bath?”
“You shouldn’t have in the first place. Especially not out State.” He actually fled Massacchussetts, can you believe it? Marshalls found him in Connecticut, I bet because he wanted to be found. I mean, a fugitive that doesn’t want to be found doesn’t purposely turn on the GPS signal of his phone, don’t you think? They caught him in 2 hours. He was in a motel, lying on bed, watching TV.
“Oh, come on ... I just took some fresh air.” He laughed, but I knew he was pretending. He may have grown a beard in the few weeks I haven’t seen him, his looks may have roughened, but it was still somewhat easy to read his moods on his face. At least for me.
“You are unbelievable.” I growled, glaring. “I nearly had a heart attack when I heard the vocal message!”
He wiggled his eyebrows. “Not literally, I hope ...”
“Jake!” I shrilled, making other people turned to me, and gaining a warning look from the guard.
“Okay, okay, I’m sorry ...” Jake sighed. “But in my defense, it was the only way.”
“Wow, that is so flattering ...”
“You know what I mean, baby-that is ... Silvia.” He grimaced.
“No, I don’t! And that’s the whole point, you jerk!” I spat, furious, punching the glass that divided us for good measure. And there goes warning look number two from the guard behind him, which I ignored. “You disappeared out of nowhere, left me that damn message on the phone! What was I supposed to think?!”
“Oh, come on, you seriously thought I’d killed myself?” Jake scoffed. “Not that I’ve never tried, but I won’t go down by drowning.” He tsked at me. “That’s some wimpy way to die right there.”
“Oh, so you have a suicide ranking too now?”
“Well, I mean, if I had to choose between drowning and getting shot, I’d rather get shot.” He shrugged. “Although, in here it’s easier to get shanked.”
“Don’t even joke about it.” I glared. “I’ve spent the past three weeks worried sick.”
“About me?” Jake wondered, seemingly marveled. “Why?”
“Uh ... maybe because you’re a jerk and you’re stuck in a maximum security prison in North Carolina?” I pointed at the environment around us, where convicts were busy talking to family or friends.
Jake shrugged. “It’s not like I haven’t been in a place like this before. It almost feels like home. I would have rather Rikers, though, I still have a few friends there.”
I seriously can’t believe this guy. “Jake, how can you act so carelessly?” I asked rhetorically, leaning in a bit more, enough to spot a couple of bruises on his face. He probably pissed off the wrong guy, or worse, willingly picked up a fight. I have a feeling he’d be capable of that. “You’re far away from your family, your friends. You’re stuck in a federal prison for the next 3 years, amongst the scum of the Earth. You yourself just said it’s easy to get stabbed in this place ... how can you act like you don’t even care? How can everyone else’s concern simply wash over you like this?”
Jake lowered his head, closing his eyes. His voice dropped as he spoke, and he sounded terrifyingly serious: “When you lose every reason to live, you cease worrying about mundane things like, surviving.”
I held in my breaths, my heart sinking. I’m not stupid nor naïve. I know he was talking about ... me. About us. “But you have a reason to live. Multiple reasons.” I attempted to say. “You just keep on forgetting the impact you have on people.”
He cracked a small, sad, smile. “Funny, that’s the third time you tell me that.”
“And it’s true, I-”
“No, it’s not.” He argued, raising his head to look me in the eyes, yet another reason for my heart to sink deeper into the most terrifying abyss. “And the proof is, what I’ve done to all of you.”
“Starting from you and my sister, and even Colin. And let’s not forget about my whole family. If I have an impact on people’s lives, it’s the same as a ferocious hurricane. But just because I can’t stop it, doesn’t mean I can’t do anything to try.”
A lonely tear escaped my eye. “So this is why you ran off, isn’t it? You knew they’d throw you back in prison for violating the terms of your parole. And I bet you’re hoping your sentence will be prolonged.” I sniffled, unable to retain myself. “And all because of your absurd belief that you’re our doom.”
“It’s not an absurd belief when it’s corroborated by proof.” Jake argued, stoic. “Silvia, look at yourself. You’re crying. The woman that one time nearly dug her nails into her own palms not to shed a single tear, now is crying in front of all this people.”
“I did that to you. I made you so weak. And I also repeatedly, ruthlessly hurt my sister as well as my best friend.” He claimed, raising his voice. “God, I killed my own mother! With these same hands,” he raised them, and slammed them against the glass window, successfully making me flinch, “I killed the woman that brought me into this world.”
“I did. You can ask my uncle, or even Colin. I did.”
My eyes widened. It can’t be like he says he is. He didn’t do such a thing. He did not. He’s just trying to push me away, once again. “I don’t believe you.” I murmured.
Jake shrugged, his gaze void as he stared into my hazel eyes. “Suit yourself. But that’s it.” He scoffed. “You know what,” he leaned in, and I unconsciously did the same, so that our faces seemed to be almost touching, or they would have, hadn’t it been for the glass window between us. “Get the keys to my place, go into my bedroom, and look beneath the pillow on the left side of the bed.”
“You’ll find a letter.” He said, not even blinking. “I wrote it a while ago.”
“To ... whom?”
“To me?” I startled.
“To you.” He nodded. “After that time at the café. I knew you wouldn’t give up, despite everything, so I thought that, knowing the full truth about me, beyond the rumors, beyond Tess’ half lies, would finally convince you.”
“It would finally convince you that you’re betting on the wrong horse. It would finally stick some common sense into your hazy mind, and remind you of the man you chose once, and never should again.”
“I know you’ve been through things.” I croaked out. “Serene ... Serene told me, she ...”
“Serene knows nothing.” Jake spat. “She doesn’t know squat about our family. Nor about her brother. She has idolized a man that isn’t half her worth, and you’re making the same mistake.”
“Read my life.” He said peremptorily. “Read my life without the deceptive eyes of love. Then, only then, try and come back here to tell me you still want me in yours.”