It's been three hours since Adria came back from the forest; alone, pale, shivering, scared, and in someone else’s clothes. Got to admit despite her state, she looked hot and I noticed few guys in the town gaping at her.
She didn’t say anything. Just came back and told my parents monotonously that she'd delivered the corns. She'd gotten late because of the storm and since her clothes were wet, someone from A had given her the clothes. She gave so many explanations which was so unlike her. It wasn’t difficult for us to know that something went down with her. My parents didn’t prod and when I asked her separately she ruffled my hair and told me to stop worrying and prepare for my exam tomorrow.
I turn back to look at her sleeping form as I try and fail to study. She is awake, I can tell that because she keeps tossing and turning in bed and sometimes she folds her legs and unfolds them next.
I shake my head and get up to check on my parents for their bedroom light is still on downstairs.
I sneak out of the room, afraid that Adria might get up.
“.....what to do?” I hear my parents talking so I press my ear against their door to listen.
“Let her be I say, she knows what she is doing.” My father murmurs.
“Our parents did the same with Dianne. We have to ask.” My mother retorts, she sounds upset and furious at the same time.
“Ok, calm down we will discuss this in the morning,” I hear my father get off the bed and I quickly dive into the kitchen. I wait for my father to emerge for a few minutes and when he doesn’t, I tiptoe towards my room.
“....she must have” I hear my mom and stop in my tracks. They're still discussing the issue even though the light was turned off.
“She could. She has been going through the forest for months now. It's about time they make an appearance.” My dad replies.
They??? I press my ear against the door once more. I know what I'm doing is terrible but I've to admit, I've always been curious about Adria. Where she came from and who she is? Since my parents accepted her without much investigation, I've been curious.
“Do you think she will go?” My mother whispers and I barely make out the sentence.
My dad chuckles, “Yes, I think so because she belongs to them.”
Belongs? What the hell is going on?
“I wish Dianne were alive to help her.”
“Dianne herself made the choice to leave this place after that asshole cheated on her and broke her heart. It’s a relief that she had Jia.”
Jia? Who the hell is Jia?
“Anyway, I hope she makes the right choice and not fall for any human guy as her mother did.” My mother sighs loudly.
“Don’t say that. Even if she does, we can only hope that he is the right one for her.”
I have heard enough, I tiptoe towards the front door and run outside.
Who is Jia? Who are my parents talking about? Is it Adria? Is Jia her real name? Who the hell was Dianne? Just who the hell are THEY?
I have too many questions and I know no one will answer any of these. I doubt Adria knows this much as well for if she knew what lies in the forest, she wouldn’t have been so scared. My parents are hiding something and it's about time I take a risk and tell Adria what I heard.
Before going back, I gingerly walk up to the fence and stare into the forest. I badly want to go and look who live in those trees. I take a few more steps towards the forest but stop when a splitting headache makes me struggle for breath. My vision darkens and I stagger back into the tree. It hurts so much that I hurl my dinner in the bushes behind me. Oh God, what's going on with me? I wonder, sitting down on the ground and closing my eyes. Only when I feel like I can breathe again, I push myself to my feet and march towards the house. My feet carry me faster than I would've wanted them to. I feel several emotions at the same time. Anger, disappointment, anticipation, fear, ...
What the hell? I look at the forest once more and go back inside. As soon as I enter the house, the headache vanishes as if it were never there. The surge of multiple emotions dissolves as if it were never there. I gasp and support myself against the door. What I felt out there, wasn't normal. Something's wrong with me.
I find Adria sitting on the stairs to our room above.
She motions me to follow her to our bedroom and I quietly do so.
“You heard it?” She asks as soon as I close the door behind me. I stare at her, “Did you?”
She doesn’t reply but nods, “I heard whatever they said after you ran outside. Before that I don’t know what they were talking about.”
I keep staring at her, “How could you hear everything they said from the stairs?”
“Adria is your name Jia?”
She bites her lower lip and turn towards the window.
“Thought so!” I'm mad at her for not telling me or trusting me enough for her real name.
“Jia is the name my stepfather gave me when he married my mom but my mom used to call me Adria.” She tells me serenely with her face turned towards the window.
“Who are THEY?” I ask her vehemently and clench my fists because whatever the reason I just want to break something or punch someone. The emotions I felt down there are back again. I feel so angry, betrayed. I trusted and loved Adria as a sister I never had but she didn’t feel the same. Who am I kidding? She's always been the same restricted person; it was just me expecting a lot.
“Honestly I don’t know, Jade. I've yet to find out.”
“Don’t you lie to me. You definitely did see something because you were scared. You knew about them and you didn’t tell anyone!!” I glare at her.
“I’m lying for your sake, Jade. Please don’t do anything stupid.”
“You are a liar and so are my parents. They know what is in the forest and they said you belong to them and may you never fall in love with a human boy like your mother did!” I reveal what I'd heard earlier. I laugh at her coldly as she sucks in a breath and gapes at me.
“Don’t you see Adria or Jia that everyone in this house is hiding something and lying to others? Why am I the only one who is being kept in the dark about everything?”
“Jade, please. It’s for your own good! And what’s wrong with you? You don’t seem like yourself!”
“Shut up, Adria. Don’t treat me like a kid just because I’m only a few years younger than you but it still means I am an adult.” I walk up to her and sneer right into her face.
“I don’t want to talk to you anymore so please get out of my bedroom and go to the ones you belong to.”
“Jade wha....” She stares at me.
I scowl, “I'm angry and I don’t want to hurt you.”
With her eyes wide and hurt palpable on her face, Adria inches towards the door. Soon, she runs down the stairs and is out of the house. As soon as she's gone, my emotions leave me. I blink as if waking up from a dream. I look down at my hands, I've left moon-shaped dents in my palms by clenching my fists so tight. I look at the door Adria has left from and feel hurt overtake me. What have I done?