I groaned as I laid back down. I was bored as hell and wishing to see my family again. I should be there right now. I really should just be there, but I can’t. I should be stopping this, but it’s something that needs to happen. All of this has gone too far anyways and it’s too late to turn back now. I groaned just as my phone rang out indicating an incoming text message. Finally!
Mark: It’s sad how much he doesn’t remember me.
I frowned. Dad was going to kill me when I showed up again.
Zach: Did mom and Dad remember you at all?
Mark: Everyone thinks that I’m you? Everyone but...
Zach: But who?
Mark: Hope. She doesn’t remember me either, but she knows I’m not you. Something about flicking her nose.
I laughed. Of course that triggered her. He use to do that to her all the time. Even then she hated it. It’s weird how we were sepereated so young, but are still so much alike. It’s as if nothing as changed at all between us. I miss having him around. When they find out Aunt Marla has kept us in contact after all this time their heads are going to explode.
Zach: Have you asked them yet?
Mark: I planned to, but I got sidetracked.
Zach: By what?
Mark: Novian hugged me. We had a little moment. Of course it was because he thought I was you amd everyone thought that you were dead, but it was something I had been wanting for years.
Zach: I know Mark. I know. I sent you to Destiny because of it. I had the privilege of getting to know you all these years. I mean you are my twin, but I’m ready to come home. I just need them to know I’m alive and why I did all of this.
Mark: I know Zach. I can feel you getting restless, but I need more time. Marcus is planning something. Destiny hasn’t told me what yet, but I think it’s got something to do with Beniyah. At first I didn’t know why we had to fake your death, but now I understand.
Zach: Good. Both of us are going to be needed if we have a chance of putting Marcus were he belongs with his brother and cousin. Now get it done.
I sat my phone down not caring for his response. He had two days left and then I was going back home. Novian did deserve to know the brother that was ripped away from us. Our parents deserved to know that we knew they gave him up and the pictures I found proving otherwise. Marcus deserves what he had coming for them, but right now I need to get home. Thankfully Beniyah couldn’t talk the times I went to see Mark otherwise I’d be exposed.
Fuck that. He was out of time. I needed to get home now. I missed Hope and Beniyah. I needed both of my brothers so that we could kick ass together and I was demanding answers from our parents. Standing up I walked up the stairs from the basement of the guest house. All this time I been so close by and no one has even noticed. Just as I’m opening the door I’m face to face with a wide eyes pregnant girl who looks like she wants to scream.
Shit. I definitely can’t turn back now.
Instead of the scream that I was positive was coming she wrapps her arms around me and squeezes me closer, despite the baby bump in the way.
“I knew he wasn’t you.” She cried. “You would never flick my nose. I came out here to force myself to think about the people who would do that and came up with someone, but I didn’t want to believe it. It couldn’t be true. They said he drowned at the lake. That it was too painful to have an actual funeral so they cremated him. I had finally managed to gather the courage and go and ask myself, but then I’m face to face with you. Oh god this is too much and definitely not good for the baby.” She cried her tears soaking my shirt. I said nothing as I rubbed her head whispering soothing words in her ear so that she would calm down. I didn’t blame her. I was fed the same bullshit story when I was younger. To think all those wasted tears for nothing. “Zach?”
“Mmhmm.” I answered already knowing what was coming next.
“Is he really Mark?”
“Yes.” Came a voice from behind us. I smiled staring at my brother who was a reflection of me. He smiled back as he strutted towards us. “Hey Hopeful.” He smiled tears filling his own eyes. Hope let out a strangled sob as she wrapped her arms around him and wept into his chest. “I missed you to Princess.”
“Why didn’t you just say something?” She cried.
“Zach told me not too.” He whispered. I narrowed my eyes at him as she punched me.in the chest and went back to hugging him.
“Well ouch.” I laughed rubbing the spot. She only shrugged as she went and sat on the couch.
“I can’t believe this.” She sighed texting on her phone and then putting it away. I raised a eyebrow at her, but she only shrugged as she tried to control her tears. “Mark. I-I can’t believe it’s really you. I should’ve known when you flicked my nose. I always hated that.” He laughed.
“I can’t believe you all forgot me.”
“We didn’t. It’s not like we knew you were alive. You came back pretending to be Zach. There was no excuse for anything. All I wanted to know is why did you fake you death Zach.”
“I had to. After the accident I was still conscious. I was writhing in pain, but at least I was still aware. Mark was in the ambulance with me. Told me how it was no accident and it was planned. Said that I had to get away for awhile. It worked out for two reasons. I would be safe and he could still go on with Destiny’s original plan. To pretend to be me with some bullshit story while I hid out. That way he gained their trust and could look over the both of you for me. It worked because by the time we met her Mark was already gone. So she had no idea I have a twin. And if she doesn’t know...”
“Neither does Marcus.”
“Exactly. However, Marcus doesn’t know that Mark is here, but he’s planning something and I’m starting to thinl it’s to kidnap your children.”
“What?!” She screamed outloud fear evident in her eyes.
“We won’t let that happen though. The scumbag is obsessed with you princess. He’ll go to any lengths to get you with him. Don’t accept any calls or texts. Even if they say they’re from Destiny. She might be regrettinv her decision now, but she’s still after Novian. I’ll be damn if I let either of them get their hands on either of you.”
“But why were you sent away in the first place Mark.”
“Mark?” Came a voice from behind us. We all turned to see Novian standing there looking between Mark and I in disbelief. It had been a while since all of us were in the same room and it was getting harder to keep my own tears from falling. “W-what? H-how? No way!” He stuttered. A small laughed managed to force itself out as I struggled to withhold my tears.
“Hey little buddy.” He laughed. Everything else happened in a blur. It was like we were three little boys playing in the backyard again as our mother yelled not to get too close to pool while Hope floated in the middle. Novian ran over and hugged both us with a grip I couldn’t escape even if I wanted too.
“I missed you too Novi.” I smiled my own tears filling my eyes.
“We’re not leaving you again little buddy. That’s a promise.” Mumbled Mark causing Novian’s grip to tighten around us. I missed my brother’s more than words could explain.
I sat there smiling as Mark told us about things he did when he was still young, but something kept pestering my mind. I knew it was probably best to just leave it be, but something in me needed to know.
“Mark why were you sent away?” I blurted instantly feeling the mood in the room shift. I felt bad. I should’ve just kept my mouth shut, but it felt like something that needed to be known.
“Honestly princess I don’t know. One minute we were at the lake and the next they were sending me off. I wish I knew.”
“I remember that trip.” Said Zach “That’s the trip mom and dad took us on the last time I saw you. They told us you had drowned. I cried so much.”
“I don’t remember that.” Frowned Novian as I nodded in agreement.
“You wouldn’t. The both of you were like six or seven. We were eleven. We were playing with the both of you in the lake when Novian went out too far. We got scared. Zach ran off to get our parents while I tried to save you while also trying to get Hope to stop screaming. Everything after that is a little hazy, but I do remember that the next day I was on a plane with everything I owned. I never knew why and I never understood.”
“Which is why I brought him back here. Didn’t know all of this would be happening, but we need answers.” Added Zach.
“Why do you two act as if you were never seperated? Like you’re old friends and not practically stranger?” Asked Novian starting to get riled up. I sighed as I placed my hand in his and gently squeezed. All he ever wanted was to be with his brother, but he said he never had time for him. To find out he had another one ripped away from him was starting to get to him. That much was obvious.
“Aunt Marla kept us in contact. She made me swear not to tell anyone. Including you Novian.”
“I wouldn’t have told!” He yelled making me jump from shock.
“Not intentionally no, but you would have. You use to get so excited about things that I knew we shouldn’t be doing. When mom asked you what you did you’d just blab, but it wasn’t your fault you were young.” Explained Zach.
“Why keep away from me when I got older?” He asked his voice cracking.
“It wasn’t my intention. At that point Mark was a memory for you. By the time I got up the courage to tell you the truth you came asking for help on getting a girl to notice you.” He smiled at me as I blushed. “Other things happened though and our relationship was forever damaged. This is probably the longest conversation we’ve had in years without a threat being said.”
“You still could’ve said something.” He spat. “Both of you could have. Mark you could have came back and confronted them. I would’ve stood with you. You’re my brother.” He cried.
“I wanted to come back, but Zach said he didn’t know where you were and that it would have to wait.”
“When was this?” He asked.
“About three years ago. Where were you?” He asked as I gasped feeling tears come to my eyes as a memory came back to me.
“Are you happy Hope?” He spat. “Answer me. Are you happy? Do you see what you’ve caused? I told you that you needed to relax, but you just wouldn’t listen. Now you’re here and my brother is fucking dead because of it. Why would you want to hurt me like that? I NEVER DID ANY FUCKING THING TO YOU AND YOU’RE JUST GOING TO TAKE HIM AWAY FROM ME LIKE THAT! Is this about Destiny? I did what I had to do too protect our son. Do you still blame me for your dad? I was found not guilty damn it! FUCKING ANSWER ME HOPE! WHY ARE YOU DOING THIS TO ME?! We were just starting to bond again. All he ever did was try to protect you AND THIS IS HOW YOU FUCKING REPAY HIM? I can’t do this anymore. I hate you. I fucking hate you Hope and I don’t want to ever speak to you again.”
I gasped as I stared at Novian who was looking at me with concern in his eyes.
“Little H you okay?” He asked. I felt my stomach tighten.
“Um...no. I just remembered something from while I was in a coma.”
“W-what’s that?” He asked his nerves getting the best of him.
“You blaming me for Zach’s death. Making it seem as if I was ungrateful for he had done for me. You said you hated me and never wanted to speak to me again. You were yelling at me and I was basically asleep and unaware of all that had happened.” I cried.
I stood there in shock as the silence in the room vibrated through me. Mark and Zach looked completely ashamed of me. I was ashamed of myself.
“Hope let me explain...” I breathed feeling as if I was seconds away from passing out. All of this was too much.
“I’m listening. I don’t know if it’ll change my mind, but I’m listening.”
“By no means am I trying to justify what I said or anything I ever said out of anger. It was all wrong and very disrespectful and I know better than to talk to you like that. Still you have to understand though. You were in a coma where things seemed to be touch and go and I had no clue if you and the baby were going to make it. I was freaking out because Beniyah was screaming at the top of his lungs and the last time he did that you almost died. I’m in the waiting room trying to relax him and my brother is wheeled past me and the next thing I’m being told is that he’s dead. I snapped. I was wrong and the minute the heart monitor flatlined I knew that. I was forced out of your room because I wouldn’t leave let along let you go. I almost got kicked out and banned from the hospital because I was begging you not to leave me. I don’t really deal with lost to well. I get tired of blaming myself and that once I blamed someone else. Unfortunately, that someone else was you.” I held my head down in shame. I could feel it before she said it.
“That changes nothing Novian. Just give me some space for now.” She said as she walked off tears in her eyes. I turned and began heading after her only to be stopped by Mark.
“Let me go Mark. I’ll never get my family back if she continues to walk off like that.”
“You won’t get then back if don’t let her come to terms with things for herself sometimes. Otherwise she’ll just look at it as if you are victimizing yourself and trying to gain pity. She’ll only grow to resent you for it. Give her the space she asked for.”
“She already had three years. How much more does she need?”
“As much as she wants Novian. Give it to her.” Answered Zach. I sighed defeated as I collasped into their arms tears streaming down my cheeks. This was too much.
“Novian where were you for three years?” Mark asked again.
“In jail.” I cried. “Mr. Evans died in a car accident looking for me because I was too scared that she might be pregnant and didn’t want to go home. I seen everything. He was ran off the road and into hit the car I was in. I took the blame and turned myself in. I rather have her hate me than know the truth. I can’t let her find out.” I cried shaking my head.
“Let her find out what?” Asked Zach as he rubbed my back soothing. I took a moment to relax myself as the memory came back to me.
I was sitting at a green light. I should just go home. All I had to do was make a left turn and keep this little moment to myself and can continue to be and I can learn to be a father.
What the hell? I don’t even know if she’s pregnant or not. Why can’t I just wait for her to tell me. I groaned as I laid my head on the steering wheel when a car pulled up on side of me. I looked up to see Destiny on side of me on the phone. I sighed looks like I’ve been found. I let my window down to let her know I was going on, only what I heard stopped me.
“Yes Marcus I see him....I don’t care the bitch doesn’t deserve to be happy.... I’m just going to run him off the road.... I don’t care that it’s not a part of the plan he never liked me anyways.... the worse that’ll happen is some broken bones....oh well. If he dies, he dies....Bye Marcus, I’m not letting you talk me out of this.”
“Then she hung up. She ran him off the road on purpose and she killed him. I couldn’t believe it. I was too much of.a coward to say something. I just knew she was pregnant and that level of stress wouldn’t have been good for her or the baby. I went to find her myself, but she wasn’t home. She doesn’t know I know.”
“Who doesn’t know what?” Asked Zach.
“Destiny doesn’t know that I know she killed Mr.Evans. She doesn’t know that I know she did it intentionally.” I cried the weight of that secret lifting off my shoulders as they stood their frozen.
“Destiny killed Hope’s father.” I cried. The unspoken secret had been spoken.
I stared at myself in the mirror as I tried to clear the dry blood off my face. I was getting tired of seeing myself like this. At this point I wasn’t sure what I could do to save myself. I had made my bed and now it was time I lyed in it. Still my mind kept replaying the cause of all of this. Zach’s body was gone. According to Marcus he believes that he’s still alive, but I know that’s not true. Brenda sacrificed herself to make sure that wasn’t true. So who had Zach’s body and what the hell did they want it for?
To top it off Mark hadn’t been answering my calls. I’ve been calling him for the past three hours and not one answer. I hope he hasn’t been found out. That’ll mean I have no eyes on the inside. If I do know anything about Novian and Hope it’s that they’ll eventually work through everything and it’ll make their relationship that mucj stronger. I need all of this to be done before that time comes though. Sighing I decided to take my chances and text him. If he hadn’t replied within the hour I was doing something I should’ve done a long time ago.
Destiny: Why aren’t you answering my calls? We need to talk. Marcus called one of his friends. They say Zach’s body isn’t there. What the hell is going on? Watch yourself. If he is alive he’ll be coming home to protect them. Call me when you get this. I don’t know how much longer I can take this. It’s getting worse.
I sighed as I pressed send before deleting the text altogether. I already lost Novian and Zach I couldn’t lose Mark too. He was closest thing to a real friend that I have now. I didn’t want to mess that up. I couldn’t mess that up.
I stood there in shock as Novian’s words registered in my mind. What the hell? I barely remembered Mr.Evans, but what I did remember he was a cool guy. Nice to all and was there if you needed him. Was Destiny truly that evil and vicious to kill a innocent guy because of a crush? Who in the hell does some shit like that? Again my phone went off. I knew who it was, but I just couldn’t bring myself to answer it.
“Mark, you are suppose to stick to the plan. You have to answer that.” Said Zach breaking me out of my thoughts. I stared at him ready to yell, but it was clear he was still trying to wrap his mind around the new information also.
“How am I supposed to talk to her now?” I asked distractedly.
“I-I-I.... I really don’t know.” He sighed rubbing his hands across his face. “I was dating her around this time. Knowing this is worse than a gut punch.”
“Just do what you have to do.” Whispered Novian. “As long as Hope doesn’t find out I don’t care.”
“You can’t keep carrying this around Novian. Unless you tell her it’s going to weigh you down.” I said placing my hand on his shoulder only to have him shrug me off.
“I tell her when you tell her that you are still conversing with her even though she held a gun to your nephew’s head and oh yeah it was all Zach’s idea in the first place.” He had us there. We stayed silent until he stomped away grumbling under his breath. I sighed just had my phone dinged am incoming messaged. Instantly my eyes widen when I read its contents.
“Zach we have a problem.” I blurted.
“They dugged up your grave. Marcus thinks that you’re alive. The first place they’ll be looking is here.” I rushed.
“Shit.” He spat.
“I’m not suppose to be here either.” I breathed. In just a simple second everything had gone wrong and we put our family in danger.
He did it. He called out for a hit on them. Mark included. I was going to lose everyone I cared about. I had already lost so much. I couldn’t lose the last person who was there for me. It was all my own doing and it was time I right things. Sighing i finished tying his arms and legs to bed post and took a moment to just watch him.
This entire time, for seven months, I’ve seen a new side to him. He has beaten me and made this entire thing about getting Hope for himself. Not once did he get his hands dirty. I was the one with the blood on my hands. What was one more? I was pissed.
It was Marcus who got my Hope’s up that Novian felt the same as I did.
It was Marcus that convinced me to help Zack and Hope have sex.
It was Marcus that tricked me into thinking that Zack was only using me as a substitue since he couldn’t have Hope.
It was always Marcus.
He had put all the negative thoughts in my head and now he was going to take away the last bit of happiness I had found in Mark. I couldn’t let him. Letting my anger guild me I lifted the knife above my head and repeatedly stabbed him. By the time I was done I noticed his eyes were wide open. He never had the chance to make a sound. I was satisfied. Grabbing his phone I sent out a text.
Marcus: the hit is off.
Goons: we already shot up the house boss.
Thanks to Novian I needed a day out. Mrs.James and I decided to take Beniyah to Pizza Playland and Games. Mr. James went back to work. Novian texted me saying he’ll be at home waiting for us to return, but I wasn’t too sure I wanted to talk to him about it. Right now I needed other answers and there would never be a more perfect time than now.
“Mrs.James forgive me. I don’t mean to be rude, but why did you all lie to us?” I blurted taking a bite of my pizza.
“Excuse me?” She was taken aback.
“You, Mr.James, my mom and dad. You all lied to us about Mark. Why?” I watched her carefully as guilt and many other emotions plastered themselves on her face.
“Sweetie, you were young, but you should remember. Mark died at the lake when you and Novian were six.”
“No he didn’t. You sent him away when we were six. Why?”
“Who told you this?” He shrieked.
“Mark.” I stated bluntly. For a moment it looked like she stopped breathing before exhaling as tears filled her eyes.
“Hope. Babygirl forgive me. I did what I thought was needed. Mark was a clumsy boy and when it came to you and Novian his own safety went out the window. He did drown at the lake that day, but we managed to save him before it was too late. However, Mr. James thought it best to send him away for a year to his aunt. We didn’t plan on it being this long. We just needed a break. The stress of three kids were too much on us.”
“So you sent him away to make it easier on yourselves. Wow.” I stood up and walked away from her. Mark never did anything wrong. His parents just didn’t want him anymore. That was worse than anything we could come up with. Pulling out my phone I texted Zack.
Hope: Can you come pick us up? We’re at Pizza Playland and Games.
Zack: I’m on my way.
Hope: Thanks and please hurry.
How was I going to tell them the truth?