CHAPTER 2: Clingy Managers Are the Motherfucking Worst
My heart pounds in my ears as I practically race down the asphalt road to Lia’s house, Charlotte’s best friend’s house, tires screeching. My hand goes to pick up my phone as I looked up into the rearview mirror and see a huge black SUV speeding to catch up with the car Mr. Hotness had given me. I press the gas pedal just a little harder as a small smirk pulls on the edges of my face.
It had been years since I’d done anything fun - reckless, yes, but fun - like this.
I huffed out a small breath of annoyance as my brain radically thought about whether this driver could either just be going my way or have mistaken me for another driver, but the car windows were dark and tinted, the bland old midnight Lexus almost invisible in the night.
The driver motions for me to pull over on the side of the road as I pull the driver’s wheel to my left and take the road to up the large hill next to the city. It had multiple long winding roads that curved too far for a large car like that to go fast on and plus, it was so dark the driver wouldn’t be able to see at least four feet in front of him.
Guess both options are ruled out then, I think. There’s no way that car is just following me “by accident.”
But who the fuck is in it?
And what do they want to do with me?
My teeth gnawed on my lower lip as I contemplated taking the left back towards the direction of the house, where I would reach quicker, or taking the right to the main road. The right would take much longer but it would be an extra precaution.
It was a risk I would have to take, because I didn’t know how much time I had.
When I used to work out in the field, all decisions were on the spot and final. Either you made a good one or a bad one.
Either you fucked up or you didn’t.
And that was that.
My hand reaches for the phone again as I press the only caller on my favorites list: Charlie. She picked up on the first ring because she knew I usually didn’t call Friday nights.
If I had already texted before and I was calling again, it meant something important was going on.
And something went terribly wrong.
“Hey, babygirl,” I said, wincing as I made a sharp left turn into our neighborhood. Lia’s family and us lived on the same street, just a couple houses down.
“Hey, mom. What’s wrong?” Her adorably sweet voice asked me from the other side and my tense shoulders immediately relaxed as I slid into our driveway and out the car, jamming my key into the lock and throwing open the wood door.
“I’m sorry, baby. I know this is very sudden, but you need to leave Lia’s house right now with all of your clothes. I’m going to grab our emergency bags, pack up some paperwork, and we’re going to speed our way out of here, okay? Stay with Lia until I tell you to come out.”
I could already hear her parking all of her stuff back together, silently telling Lia’s family her goodbyes. Emily, her mom, was quickly becoming a friend that I thought I could rely on, but I knew I could never open up to.
Opening up meant putting other people at harm.
Putting other people at harm was not allowed.
“Mommy, are we ever going to come back again?” Charlotte’s voice whispers into the phone as I frantically located the bags that we’d stuffed to the very last inch with money, clothes, food and water, flashlights, personal essentials, and a couple of blankets enough for a family of eight.
“I don’t know, baby, I don’t know. I’m so sorry, but I have no clue.” Fuck, fuck, fuck, fuck, fuck.
I need to get out of here.
Bags, house/mortgage paperwork, passports and birth certificates, chargers, laptop, driver’s license . . . picture! Shit.
My hand snatched out to grab the old, antique photo frame with a couple pictures of my parents and me and of Charlie as I ran out the door, unlocked the car, and sped down the street. Charlotte ran into the back seat, throwing in her tiny sleepover bag with the two large ones next to her.
“Go, Mommy, Go!” she yelled, bringing me out of my test to make sure she was safe as another black Sedan raced behind us.
“Seatbelt!” I said as I heard it click from behind me and pressed the gas pedal down hard. “GPS, GPS, GPS, shit,” I muttered. “Fuck.”
“Let me?” Charlie asks.
“Babygirl, as long as you’re safe and your seatbelt is on the entire time, do whatever the heck you want.”
She taps on the control screen of the Lexus a few times as an automated voice spoke loudly in the car speakers. “Take the right on 1-80 North towards the Delaware exit.”
“Thank fu- god,” I said, slumping slightly in my seat as the Sedan melted into the background of the hundreds of cars behind me on the highway. My eyes followed it until it stopped on a shoulder, turning back around in the direction it came from.
“Mom?” Charlotte asks.
“I hope you know I’ve heard you curse since I was like, five years old. And that I really don’t care. Most of the kids in my school curse anyway; it doesn’t bother me.”
My mouth sort of dropped in surprise for a moment before I grinned, pulling onto the highway that I was supposed to drive on for eighty miles. “You should have told me earlier, Charlie! I could’ve let you in on so many you could’ve said to your classmates.”
She giggled, the mood lightened as the beautiful, pealing bell sound washed over the car. A couple of minutes later, Charlotte said, “Mom, why’d we have to leave?”
I sighed softly. How was I supposed to explain to my kid that I had no idea what the fuck was happening, that I was just told by some hotass dude that had captured the attention every single cell within my body in just one look to go into a car, pick up everything absolutely important and follow directions to a randomass place that I had not yet checked the directions to?
That was a job for later.
“Who’s that?” she asks, pointing to the screen.
The car in front of me slows down so I look to switch lanes, not wanting the lead we had on those men. “I’m sorry, Charlie, I can’t see the name. Can you read it for me?”
“It says ‘Ronan,’” she reads, confused. “Should I pick up the call?”
“Please. And babygirl, you probably should put in headphones and turn the music all the way up. I don’t know if you’re allowed to hear this just yet. Could you also text Zach for me and tell him we’re okay?”
“Of course.” She obediently plugs the headphones into her phone and plays some music she has downloaded offline. It’s so loud that I can hear it from my seat, especially as she leans a little closer to press the green “pick-up-call” button.
“Hello?” I ask into the silent call, speeding up just a little bit.
“Hello? May I speak to Ms. Raven Arcaro?” the man I assumed whose name was Ronan said in a deep, grumbly voice that started to light hot, feverish shivers all over my body but was quickly stopped when I realized he knew my real name.
My shoulders immediately tensed.
It had been a decade since anybody had called me by that name.
I chewed on my bottom lip, saying carefully, “You’re speaking to her.”
“Thank fucking god,” he muttered. “We thought they might’ve gotten you.”
I snorted softly. “It’ll take a lot more than that to bring me down.” Clearly, they underestimated me. “Care to fucking answer a couple of questions?”
I heard voices in the background. “Not until you get here. It’s not safe.”
“How do you I’m not being followed?”
He paused with a moment’s hesitation as if contemplating whether or not I was in the right mental state to hear his answer. “Trust me, we know. I’m sorry we had to make you leave like that, but it was the best way. I admit there’s always another way but there was no better choice. Stay safe.”
I rolled my eyes as he cut the call.
Stay safe, my ass.
I've got to admit, this might be one of the best chapters of anything I've ever written. Hope y'all like it as much as I do!
Also, I hope you're staying safe, healthy, wearing your masks, and practicing social distancing. We can do as much harm to each other as to ourselves if we don't try and do all of these things, and I give my condolences to anyone who has lost loved ones to COVID-19.
To anyone who is struggling financially or in any other way, shape or form, and need someone to talk to, feel free to drop a comment below and let me know. I'll try and do my best to help out. :)
And a beautiful quote to anyone who needs it: "Everything will make sense one day. So for right now, laugh at your mistakes, smile through your tears, and keep reminding yourself that everything really does happen for a reason." - Unknown.
I love you all so fucking much. Thank you for all the support you give me.
So much motherfucking love,
Are you enjoying my ongoing story? Please let me know what you think by leaving a review! Thanks, TanviOverHereWrite a Review