A soft knock on the door startled Catherine as she quickly stashed the book she was reading under her bed. "Hold on. I'm not decent." She said quickly as she pulls out her blouse from her jeans and then gathers up the notes she was writing and locked it in her undergarments drawer, where no one is allowed. "Okay. Done." She said as soon as she looks half ready and her books and notes were secured.
"Tyler told me everything." Pouge said as he enters Catherine's room. "Why did you do that?" He asked. His tone was neutral; he was not there to judge her, or to side with her.
"I don't know. I just need to get away. I feel so, stuffed in this house, in this room. I can't stand him fussing over me all the time and feeling sorry for me all the time. I was not wasted, I swear I was not. I was just, I wanted to go back to what was. Me, Reid and Tyler. Our tree house. That was all I did. He would not listen to me, and much less Tyler and Reid, especially Reid." Catherine said letting out all she was feeling at that moment.
"He said differently to me. You shut off any kind of contact possible and you purposely, avoided him as you came home. I'm not trying to judge any of you just that, tell me what's going on in your mind. He's worried." Pouge said softly.
"Of what?" Catherine replied with a long face.
"Of you being hurt. You're not exactly very healthy at this point of time. And of Chase hurting you. All of our fear could be in front of our eyes if we're not careful. Why were you avoiding him anyways?" He asked. "Were you angry at him? Or were you just scared?"
"More like disappointed. Of myself that is. I didn't want him to fuss over me over the phone either, just to clear myself up for the phone thing. Before I went out that night I promised him to come back in time and told him to wait up for me just to talk about what was on his mind that was bothering him earlier, but I forgotten about that. It sort of escaped my mind. I just felt that I needed to be alone." Catherine replied.
"What's wrong?" Pouge said as he sensed something was not right.
"If I tell you, will you tell Caleb?" Catherine tried her luck.
"Depends." He answered.
"On what?" She asked.
"On how important the information is to us. If it's about you trying to get away from the marrow thing, than yes I will definitely tell him." He said truthfully. To him there is nothing more important than to keep her alive and to keep their family together. "Why do I get the
sense of you're trying to tell me there is a way to will your power equally to all of us?" Pouge smiled as he slightly shifting himself on the bed and crossed his arms.
"Because you can read me like a book?" Catherine said as she made a face. Pouge just shrugged. "Were you following me to the book store and library? I thought so I saw you." She said shaking her head and pulled out the book under her bed.
"I was not worried you were searching for that. I was worried if you would collapse between the aisles and no one was there to see to you or even worse no one knows you." He answered.
"I truly think that I should will it. I've been back less than six months, my brother hates me already, and my own mother is planning to kill me off, not that my illness would not take care of it already, she had to plan it with…" She trailed as she was not sure how will Pouge to react if he knows about Reid father's past rage that resurface just as Catherine landed that day.
"With who, Andy?" Pouge questioned her curiously. Catherine just kept quiet. She regretted her words just then. She never had any secrets. None at all, ever with Pouge. He was he best of friends, most reliable one she ever have, ever will have. "We don't keep secrets from each other, remember?" Pouge said.
"I'm sorry. Not this one. Forget what I said please. At least let me die in peace. Pouge, with people wanting me dead and planning exquisitely for it, and me, having a fatal illness, what are the coincidences?" Catherine said as she hastily flips through the big bulky book to find the paragraph she read earlier.
"So, you make it a point to piss everyone who loves you off?" Pouge asked.
"So, I make them oblivious of my existence. They would not be so sad if, I don't matter." Catherine said.
"You will always matter." Caleb said curtly as he walks in to Catherine's room.
"And I thought you will never talk to me again." Catherine said quietly. Pouge stared at the siblings. "You were listening to mom's phone calls and now listening to Pouge? You have serious trust issues." She said sarcastically.
"Can you tell me how can I trust anyone, when some one out there clearly wanting my sister dead. With the fact that she herself, is trying to kill herself every way possible and there is a witch trying to force her power to him and a mother who clearly wanting her child to die, tell me how can I trust anyone?" Caleb cried for an answer in vain. "Who was mom talking to, Andy?" He asked.
"No one." She answered quietly.
"Alexandria. Please tell me. Who was she talking to?" Catherine body stiffened. No one other than her father had called her that.
"Don't call me that." Catherine said as her jaw tightens. Her pale hands balled into a fist. "Only daddy calls me that." She said.
"Caleb, don't push her." Pouge warns. One thing he know about Catherine is she hardly ever get mad angry. But if she does, she is comparable to an angry monster that is ever ready to strike. With her knuckles turning white, he knows this is one of the times.
"Stay out of it." Caleb replied. "Who was mommy talking to, Alexandria?" Caleb said again.
"I said. Don't call me that, Caleb." Catherine said again. Her breath were getting heavier and a little less controlled. Pouge knows one more trigger and she will blow. Like putting a spark in a room full of gasoline.
"Tell us, who did she called, Alex…" Caleb said as Pouge cut him off.
"Shut up, Caleb!" Pouge said as he charged towards Catherine who was almost hitting her brother. Even at normal times, she could not hit Caleb that hard, much less gets away from Pouge's firm grip. But that was not what Pouge was afraid of, he was terrified to see her charge on her brother and then rip off her central venous catheter. Not that he have not seen it before, but he knows how painful it is just to put it in.
"Let me go." Catherine said clenching her jaw tight.
"No. I'll let you go if, you won't do anything stupid." Pouge said.
"Okay. I won't. Just let me go." Catherine struggled to squeeze away from Pouge's firm grip.
"Caleb, can I have a moment with Andy?" Pouge said turning towards Caleb. Caleb just shrugged. "Alone, please." He continued, Caleb could not do anything but to comply. Soon as he was on the other side of the door, and Catherine was sitting Pouge asked "Who was it? Was it anyone we know?" Pouge asked softly, trying not to be too pushy.
Instead of answering, Catherine just nodded. "Ok. Let's make a deal. I ask you a question and you answer then you can ask me back one question." Pouge replied with a nod. "Why were you holding me back? I can't hurt Caleb." Catherine said.
"Impulse." He answered simply. "We've both seen what you'll do if you get angry. So, I did it because I don't need to see blood spilled on this carpet." He answered. "My turn. Who was it?" He smiled.
"Papa Joe." Catherine said quietly not able to look at Pouge. Loud enough for him to hear but silent enough for Caleb to think she was not answering. "My turn. Why are you here?" She asked.
"Tyler and Caleb were worried that you'll do something so stupid that they will regret living. They're not wrong it seems." He said. "This is working, rather well." He smiled. "How did you know?" He asked.
"I've known for years. It was always him." She said. Ending it at that. "No more question." She said.
"One more." Pouge pleaded. "Where are you going?" He asked as he pulled a backpack from under Catherine's bed. "For your?" He asked guessing the unsure.
"Ascension." She replied. "Yeah. That's one." She smiled.
"You should just let me asked her alone. You shouldn't have come in her room." Pouge said as he sat opposite Caleb at Nicky's. "She's going somewhere tomorrow, before her ascension. It's dangerous. I don't know where to. We'll just have to keep an eye on her, all day tomorrow." Pouge said.
"Thanks for the head up. Who was it anyway?" Caleb asked.
"Joe." Pouge answered one word. "Reid doesn't know and please keep it that way. He doesn't need to know about this okay." Pouge said. "he's ascending today, and I think Andy might be with him, to watch him."
"She told me. Before she went out. Tyler and her. Does she hate me?" Caleb asked.
"She won't be talking to you if she does, would she?" Pouge answered.
"Why does she tell you everything? I'm her bro…" Caleb suddenly realized that Catherine is not her flesh and blood.
"Technically, you're her brother longer than me and Tyler." Pouge said smirking. "Well, firstly, I don't shout at her and I don't call her names she won't let me call her. And, I'm her friend first, then I'm her brother." Pouge said.
"What else do you know and I don't?" Caleb asked.
"Reid asked her to prom." Pouge answered.
"She's not the prom type." Caleb replied.
"Do you know she dances? Tell you what. When you decide to be her brother again, ask her to show you the round box at the back of her closet, the one in the middle not on top." Pouge said.
"What's in there?" Caleb asked.
"Go and ask her. Cal, you cannot put your ego first. She's our younger sister. it's hard for you to share, I know you. In 2 days time, tops, you're going to regret this. whatever it is you are doing now, you are going to regret it." Pouge said.
"I'm sick of her playing with my mind." Caleb said ducking away from his real problem.
"Is she? Or is your mother doing that?" Pouge challenged.
"Reid, where are you?" Catherine said in a whispery voice through the phone. "Can you come here? I need to tell you something."
"Is everything alright, Andy? What's wrong?" Reid asked. "Is Caleb there?" he worriedly asked.
"Ummm… he… he's here, but I just need to talk to you." She staggered to answer Reid.
"Andy, I don't want to get in anymore trouble. Caleb is angry enough at me as it is. I think is it better for me to stay away from your house till the prom." Reid answered.
"Well, okay. Can you meet me at the tree house tomorrow? Alone, please. And don't tell anyone. Especially Pouge and Tyler." Catherine said finally. She heard Reid sighed on the other end of the line but she choose to ignore it. "Can you promise me?" She asked.
"Okay, okay. I'll see you there. But not too late. You're ascending tomorrow. As I will soon." He said. She could sense his smile and his arrogance in his voice.
"Good luck." She said before hanging up the phone. Quietly she lay down on her bed and stared to the ceiling. The big mansion feels so peaceful and quiet with her brothers out of the house and her mother nowhere to be found.
Catherine closed her eyes and breathes deeply as she knows this might just be her last day of freedom. Freedom from what her power might take away.
"If you close your eyes long enough, you will see a light in the darkness." 8 years old Caleb whispered to 6 years old crying Catherine. "In the darkness, there will always be light. You still have me don't you?" Caleb caresses his sister's hair softly and lovingly.
"But you're not daddy." Catherine said between sobs.
"I'm not, but, I'll take care of you as well as daddy will or better, okay? I promise." As he held his little sister close.
"I wish that were true, Cal. I wish you are true." Catherine whispered to the silence of the night.
There is not a reason that I can tell you or the others why I am doing this, but I believe this is for the best. At least it is for me. I have dreamt of being together with all of you as a family for a very long time. Since daddy died. But it seems that it will just remain as a dream. Nothing will ever be the same.
But this is what I choose to do. I can't live without it but I cannot live with it. I can't be like this forever, and I can't keep relying on you and Pouge and Tyler. Cal, believe me, if there is anyway that I can do over, I will. Life is not always fair, but there is always light in the darkness right? You thought me that. Thank you.
There isn't enough time to get what I need to make the potion for you guys. There will never be enough ingredients to do it. But you always thought me that there is always more than one way to do things right. I'm glad I do listen to you some time.
Reid will know where to find me, tomorrow. Tyler might know too, and definitely Pouge knows. But please don't look for me.
I need this time alone. Don't find me please. I love you.
Catherine wrote and slips it under Caleb's door. "I'm sorry, Cal." She said to herself unsure, if she really meant it or she said it just because she is used to having to apologize to him so many times.