Chapter 37: Twice.
Alyssa woke up. She had a gigantic headache. She sat upright…
She was in her bed.
She got up, and opened the curtains. It was night out, but she felt rested. She walked into the kitchen. The granite counter was cold, but the floor beneath her bare feet was colder. She heard a groan from the living room, and her whole body tensed up. She clenched her hand into fists, and slowly tip toed towards the couch.
A familiar mess of dark hair tossed and turned.
She let out a sigh of relief, and laughed a little. Her house was clean. She supposed she probably had Owen to thank for that She walked to the other side of the couch, and crouched down. She cupped Owen’s cheek.
“Hey, Owen?” She gently woke him.
“Hmmmmm?” Owen murmured as he groggily opened his eyes.
“You came for me. Twice.”
“Oh. Yeah. About that. I think you owe me like coffee now.”
“I owe you a lot more than that.”
“You’re right. Coffee and breakfast.”
“Is it just the two of us?”
“Yeah. Morgan went home because there’s something weird about his arm and Daveigh has family drama to deal with.”
“He’s not dead. But neither am I so I can chalk that up to a win. Went on a tangent about some dude named Michael. Who is also Daveigh’s ex. And yours.” Owen sat upright. “He also told me he had a wife and a daughter.”
“That he did.”
“He blames you.”
“And I deserve it.”
“Did you stay here despite that, or to confirm it?” Alyssa asked.
“A bit of both. I don’t think it was your fault, Alyssa.”
“I know. But it really is, and I don’t know if I can ever fuck up that badly again. Okay, well I already have. I let you die too.”
“I’m not gonna lie, I don’t know why you called me that night.”
“I just wanted to hear your voice one more time.”
“You called my last name ridiculous. That was rude.”
“I’m sorry, but it is!” She laughed. “I suppose I should tell you my side… Michael never loved me. I tried my hardest to be a perfect little angel for him. I wore really girly dresses, and put on make-up, and I changed the way I laughed and spoke and walked and changed my whole identity just so he would notice me. But I was beyond revolting to him. And then one day suddenly I was his one true love, his only. And I took him home, because imagine my big brother’s surprise when he found out that I also got an angel to fall in love with me. Should have known something was up, and because I didn’t, he slit Delilah’s throat one night and never saw what he even did to the baby. We went into the room and there was just blood everywhere. Like Riley had just… Exploded.”
“That wasn’t your fault.”
“I was careless. I was a kid who fucked up. Not like the totalled your mom’s car kind of fuck up. Like let a serial killer into the house. Then I fucked up with you. You came for me anyway. That’s the part I can’t even understand.”
“You know, whenever I’m sad or confused, I go visit Lisa. And I’ll tell her about my problems. I know she’s too dead to respond, but I always feel a little better keeping her in my life, knowing she’d want me to tell her stuff like that. And if she were still here, she would hate me for dying, but she’d hate me a lot more if I let you die. I’d hate me if I let you die. I can’t let anyone else die. Even if it kills me.”
“You know what I said on the phone?”
“I’ve been in love with you for a while now.”
“And I still think your last name is stupid. Owen?”
Alyssa kissed him.
“I know it’s wrong and selfish of me, and if or when you tell Daveigh I’d be happy to let her punch my face in. But, Owen? I love you. Sincerely, honestly and openly. And it’s okay if you don’t. You really never need to. I am the worst thing that could ever happen to you… But you’re the best thing that’s even happened to me.”
“Oh. You kissed me.”
“You can just pretend nothing happened, if it’s easier for you.”
“I can’t not tell Daveigh.”
“I know. She’s not allowed to get angry with you, ’kay?”
“She probably will anyway. But I’ll live.”
“I’m sorry I kissed you then.”
“So what now?”
“Michael and Drake.”
“What about them?”
“One of them is going to die.”
“And they can. Drake’s a psychopath and Michael is a coward. They can have their grudge match. I’m just tired, you know? Of shitty people treating me like crap. Owen, he hurt me a lot. If I’m not insane already…”
“That’s my line.”
“Boo hoo, princess…” Alyssa smiled. “Why do you care?”
“Something is bothering me. Michael came to Daveigh yesterday.”
“And that kid, Matthew… He was with Michael. I don’t understand why Matthew would hang around with Michael if Michael nearly killed him.”
“Yeah. I’ve been wondering about that too.”
Alyssa sat down next to Owen. She rested her head on his shoulder. They sat together in silence for a while. Neither of them could figure out anything to say for a while. Owen’s phone rang. It was Daveigh calling.
“Hey.” He answered.
“Is Alyssa awake?”
“Yeah, she’s fine.”
“That’s the first bit of good news I’ve heard today.”
“Yeah. Julie told me everything.”
“So my dad was an asshole. Or my aunt was. Or both.”
“I know you just got her back, but can we just… Speak or something. Please. I really need you right now. And we really need to talk about Michael.”
“Okay, yeah. I’ll come to your house in about fifteen minutes.”
“Thanks. It’s just… I’m a bit of a mess.”
“I’ll see you in fifteen, Daveigh. Love you.”
“I love you, Owen.”
Alyssa smiled affectionately. “You can go if you need to, Owen. I don’t think anyone is coming after me for a while.”
“Yeah. Owen… At the car… I really wanted to kiss you all the way back then. But I messed up. And I did. And you died. And really, I don’t even know what would have happened to you if I kissed you then.” She looked terribly sombre at this point. Owen smiled, then sighed pointedly.
“I’ll be back tomorrow to check up on you.”
“Okay. Friends, right?” She smiled.
“Friends. Even if your brother is a psychopath.”
“Even if you’re dumb enough to die for me.”
Alyssa caught Owen’s hand as he was about to leave. She hugged him tightly and he closed his arms around her waist.
“Thank you for everything, Owen.” She smiled.