Chapter 51: Courage
I don’t have the courage to call them. I paced back and forth on the wooden deck. If I Facetimed them, they would see my red eyes. If I called, they would complain about not being able to see me. Which would bring me back to my original problem. It’s not like they aren’t going to find out tomorrow anyways.
“Are you okay?” Clementine opened the door to reveal everyone standing by the door.
“No.” I groaned out. I wanted to lay down and not wake up. Even though I miss my old life, I don’t want to go home. I felt emotionless there.
“What’s the matter?” Kai asked hesitantly. I think this is the first time they have seen me as such a wreck. Besides Adrian, no one else has seen me freak out.
“This.” I nearly poked my eye out, “How am I suppose to hide, this? They are going to find out. Then they will take me away from here. Probably lock me back up in that house. I would be stuck there. They won’t let me go away for college. I am going to be trapped forever!”
Two hands clamp down on my shoulder sending jolts of lighting through my body. Almost immediately I began to calm down. His touch shouldn’t have this effect on me, but it does, and I can’t help but enjoy it.
“Relax.” Kai pulled me into a hug. My breathing eventually went back to normal.
“Do you think red eyed or even pink eye demons walk around all the time with their natural eye colors in the human world.” The way Kai phrased made me feel like the answer was no. “There is a charm you can wear. Just be careful to not take it off around mortals.”
“Do you have it now?” I asked hesitantly.
“No. We will receive them tomorrow at the start of our mission.” Let out a sigh of disappointment.
“Why?” Alvina piped up from the doorway. Her voice reminded me, Kai and I weren’t alone.
I turned to her with a blush and I caught the end of what Zephyr whispered to Clementine.
“Hey!” I shouted, “You two are way worse than Kai and me!” I clamped my hand over my mouth. Did I just admit that there was a Kai and me? Looking at Zephyr’s smug grin, I guess I did.
“Well, well. Isn’t this an interesting development.” Alvina mused. I stared at the floor. Can it open up and eat me, already?
“I need the pendant to call my parents.” I changed to topic. Too bad it wasn’t a better subject.
“Don’t worry.” Kai said in a calming voice, “The new dean already called and said you were coming home.”
“He did what!” I shouted, “Now I really need that pendant.” As if on que my cellphone began to ring. It was my parents. “You take it.” I tossed my phone to Alvina.
Alvina looked at me incredulously, “What do you want me to say?”
“Say we are…” I needed to think fast. What is something they would approve of? “Say we are studying, and I stepped out to the bathroom.” That should work right? “Zephyr you need to move away from there. My dad can’t see any guys in the background.”
“Why?” He asked.
I didn’t have time to explain. They where calling. I couldn’t decline it. They would get angry and I would have to stay with them for a week, “Just do it!”
“Okay. Jeez.” He crouched down as Alvina picked up the phone.
She showcased her most bedazzling smile, “Hello Twyla’s dad.” She waved at the phone.
My heart stopped. How is he going to react?
“Where is she? Why would she leave her phone with the likes of you. You don’t look trustworthy. What is your grade average? Is she studying enough. I don’t think living away is good for her, anymore.” I wanted to collapse. Alvina, if you can hear my thought! Say something!!
Alvina motioned with her other hand. She wanted a book. Clementine grabbed it and handed it to her, “Twyla went to use the bathroom. She was tutoring me.” Alvina showed part of the phonebook. “She is super smart. All the teachers absolutely love her. She is getting extra points for this in our English class. She is so cool.” I smiled. She won him over.
He laughed, “That’s my daughter.” He was happy and he knew people where around. He wasn’t going to yell at me, now. I pushed Kai away and motioned for the phone.
“Oh here she is now.” Alvina beamed. She covered the camera part of the phone and handed it to me. She knew that’s the best way to hand a phone when a person is hiding something.
I waited a moment and fixed my smile in place, “Hi dad.”
“Why are you outside?” Crap. I forgotten. What should I say? Not to mention my eyes. Please don’t notice my eyes!
“The school has a lot of those window walls. You know rich people.” It wasn’t a lie. Hopefully, he buys it.
“Yeah.” He was quiet for a moment, “Is there anywhere we ca talk in private?”
I guess I wasn’t out of the doghouse. Oh well. “Yeah sure. Can I call you back?” He nodded and hung up.
I looked over at the others and offered them a weak smile, “Give me a moment.” I was barely holding in tears. I hated crying and if my dad saw he would get even angrier. In truth, I have always been a little scared of him. At least he can only yell at me through phones.
I pushed past everyone in the doorway. I could feel their sympathy. I didn’t want it. I went into my room, pulled on my headphones, and sat on my bed. I didn’t want them to hear what was about to come next.
With a sigh, I called him back. This way he couldn’t see my face but still get his point across. I shouldn’t have asked for the phone from Alvina. That was my mistake, thinking I could talk to my parents.
“Hi.” I said weakly.
“WHAT ON EARTH ARE YOU DOING LETTING A RANDOM GIRL ANSWER YOUR PHONE?” He roared.
“I was in the bathroom.” I offered timidly. I hated feeling so weak.
“HOW DARE YOU NOT TELL US YOU WHERE COMING HOME! WE HAD TO HEAR IT FROM THE DEAN! CAN YOU IMAGINE THE SHOCK IT GAVE US?” I shook my head and looked down. Think happy thoughts. I put my mask back on. He will not see me cry.
“I’m sorry.” Daises are pretty. I wonder if Alvina has some in her garden.
“If you want.” Nyra offered, “I can take over. I will talk to your dad. You wont even hear a thing.”
“Please.” I croaked to her. Just like that I felt myself lose control of my body.
I slipped into darkness. I couldn’t feel or hear or move. I wonder if death feels like this. Compared to talking to my father, death sounds like the better option. I’m not suicidal but I have contemplated if death would be a better choice every once and a while. Then I remind myself, choosing death would be cowardly. I needed to be strong enough to live and see what life was like away from my parents.
I had nearly forgotten about my parents in my self-loathing rant. I wanted to go back to my old life, but one phone call reminded me why I haven’t nor will I. Death, Angels and Demons seemed like the better option. Thank you, father, for reminding me what I have become.
“Nyra.” I called out to her.
“Yes.” She answered.
“Switch places with me.” I asked. I know I might live to regret this. But if I never say it, it will never be known.
“Are you sure? This guy sounds like an asshole. I can handle him.” I loved Nyra.
“No. I need to do this before I lose my courage.” I whispered. As we switched and I felt myself regain consciousness, I hear him. He was still yelling. Of course he was. He never thought to ask first, jump to conclusions. Trying to correct him would only piss me off even further.
“Can you give it a break” I said timidly. He continued yelling. He didn’t even hear me over his loudmouth. I got this. My body was alive with nerves as I shouted, “Give me a break!!:
“What?” He stopped. That’s a first. I don’t think, I have ever seen him stop his loud lectures, as he calls it.
“Just shut up for a moment!” I yelled once more. Every part of me was alive.
“Excuse me!” He yelled in outrage.
“Oh get over yourself! You think you have the right to yell at me! For what? Not giving you a head up. Do you know how ridiculous you sound?!” The other side of the phone was silent. He was listening. Good.
“You want me to tell you everything and study at the same time. You want me to study to be something you want. Did you ever ask me what I have wanted? Let me answer that for you. No. No, you haven’t. You give me impossible standards but still expect me to live with them. I try!” My voice broke a little.
“You got this.” Nyra cheered me on.
“I try so hard to be your perfect daughter. But it’s never enough! I’m sick and tired of you and mom and everyone. When I first came here, I was happy. Do you know why? I didn’t have to be around you anymore. I didn’t even want to come home for vacation. But this time I have to, and I am dreading it. You claim that I will thank you in the future. I may not know the future, but I certainly will never thank you. You have made me live for the future. News flash, there is no such thing as the future. I could die right now and have no future! I like living in the present.” I was panting and stuttering over my words, but I got it all out.
“Are you done?’ He asked. I rolled my eyes; he will never change.
“Yes.” I spat as much anger as I possibly can into that one word.
“Fine. Don’t come home tomorrow and expect a bed to be waiting for you.” With that he hung up.
What did I just do?