Jade: There for Him
I see Zoe lovingly pat Adam’s head in her lap. Cyril told me that Adam had a long-time crush on her, but to me, it looks like it’s the same for Zoe. I wonder why aren’t they together already?
“You will wake him up,” I whisper, and Zoe looks up at me with a start.
“Nah. He’s sleeping like the dead.”
“You love him?” I ask quietly. She hesitates before nodding. I expect her to explain, though when she doesn’t, I sit down and wait patiently for Cyril to get off the call. He’s talking in a low voice in the kitchenette, and I can’t make out the words.
“I think you should sleep too,” I say to Zoe, who stretches and stifles a yawn, careful enough not to wake up Adam.
“Yeah, I think so too. We girls are taking the room, I bet?”
I nod, and she gingerly lifts Adam’s head off her lap and puts it down on the cushion. Behind her, I notice Cyril disconnect the call and lowers his head before turning around and walking towards us.
“Dawson died.” Cyril slumps down on the sofa, with me perched on its arm.
“He, what??” Zoe stops in her tracks and whirls around to face him while I stare at him. Who’s Dawson?
“Yeah. Slow poisoning. Police took Kayley away into custody.”
“What about Verona?”
“She’s looking after the club for now.”
“Ok, SHIT! This is working exactly as she wanted.” I run my hand through my hair.
“Cyril, look,” Zoe sits down by his legs, “It’s not your fault. We will figure something out.”
Cyril twitches his fingers nervously, “I...uh...he asked me if I would be his son. I wanted to ask him about my mother, and now I feel like I’ve lost both him and mom.”
I take one of his hands into mine, and he doesn’t pull away, “If he asked you to be his son, something tells me he didn’t have your mother.”
Cyril and Zoe both turn to stare at me, “Why would you think that?”
“With that one sentence, I think he cared about you. He wouldn’t have done anything that might’ve turned you away from him.”
“She’s right. I’d wanted to imply the same, but you wouldn’t have listened.” Zoe pats Cyril’s knees before she stands up. “We’ll figure out where your mother is, one way or another. Wherever she is, I hope she’s safe.”
“Does it make any sense? He threatened me with her. How can he not have her then?” Cyril looks at me, then back at Zoe, who looks away, scratching her neck.
“Maybe, maybe he asked Verona to look after her or something? Dawson might’ve threatened you and all, but I think he wouldn’t have said that if he had your mom.”
Without a word more, Cyril gets up and pats my head before heading out of the apartment. I silently watch him go, unable to do anything. I think it is best if he is left alone for now.
“We should sleep now. Only time will turn how the things are going to turn out now.” Zoe yawns, and I stop myself from yawning too.
After tossing and turning for about three hours, I get out of bed and tiptoe into the kitchenette. Only the lamp in the kitchenette is left turned on while the living room is dark. Careful not to make a sound or trip over anything, I make it to the refrigerator.
“Who's there?” Cyril turns on the living room lamp when I open the refrigerator door, making me jump.
“It's me!” I squeak.
“Honestly, why aren’t you asleep?” He groans and pulls the blanket over his head.
“I could ask you the same.” I retort and take a huge gulp of water, coughing in the end.
“You will wake up, Adam,” Cyril says with mock annoyance and gets up to come into the kitchenette. I try to control my coughs as I watch him take out a glass and pour some water. He looks cute with his hair standing at weird angles.
“Stop staring. You look funny yourself.”
I look down at my rumpled clothes. I felt lazy, so I didn’t change into night pajamas, and right now, I’m thankful that I didn’t. Cyril hadn’t changed either because he, Adam, and Zoe ran away in a rush and couldn’t bring the spare clothes.
“What are you thinking about?” I ask when he keeps staring unseeingly at the refrigerator.
“Nothing much... just that you said Jia is special. She has some magical abilities like the rest of her people. It makes me wonder about the reason Verona and her grandmother are after her.”
I shrug, “I asked her not to tell me everything, for I was leaving the place anyway, but right now, I am regretting not asking her.”
He smiles at me then but quickly looks down at his empty glass, “We all make mistakes, Jade. And this is making me think if sending Eric to his grandmother after framing him, letting Jia kill David was all part of the plan?”
“It makes sense. But you said Verona took the job in the club after Adria ran away.”
He shakes his head, “Yeah, but that doesn’t mean she never visited the club or Dawson. I mean, why join the place right after Jia left? Why not before it. It wasn’t like Dawson’s business suffered much loss as Jia predicted.”
“Look, like you said, if you and Adria got rid of Dawson’s most trusted people who were the base of his business, don’t you think it should have crumbled after they died?”
“Unless there was someone else behind those two. Someone powerful and rich enough. Verona!?” He stares at me with his eyes wide and mouth hanging open, “You are a genius, Jade!”
I feel my face become red, “No, I’m not. I’m pretty stupid.”
“And I think we should go after Verona’s locker by ourselves. I don’t want Chadwick to get hands-on, something we will have to explain!”
“Like magical abilities?” I put the glass down and perch it on the kitchen slab.
“Yes, and Adria being there and all.”
“We should grab some sleep then.” Saying this, he starts to go back.
“Just don’t anything stupid on your own. We three followed you here and will help you through till the end, so just... don’t do anything stupid.”
He nods before smiling sadly at me, “You think I would do something like that?”
“I have a hunch?”
He shakes his head and looks away; when he speaks, I feel his voice crack. “I have to find out what happened to my mother.”
I can’t resist anymore, so I get down and walk towards him before putting my hand on his shoulder, “We will help you!”
“I never loved my mother as any other kid does. She was strict, and she always told me to give up on Jia, but I used to shout at her. We always fought, and I used to wish that I'd grow up quick so I could leave. The last time I saw her, it was the same. She had leukemia, and doctors said she might not live a year. I didn’t feel anything. I was an adult, and I told her that she'd be fine. She got angry when I was leaving for work. She wanted me to stay with her and help her sort dad’s stuff, but I started shouting, and then I left.” He stops and looks down. I feel his shoulders shake a little.
“Cyril, you didn’t know that she would be gone by the time you would come back. It was like every other day. I know that she would've forgiven you had she known you.”
“That’s the irony. She was my mother, and she didn’t even know me. She blamed me for being the reason dad left. My parents didn’t plan on having me. They had a fight, and my mom decided to have me as a challenge or to punish my dad, I don’t know. So my dad left.”
He takes in a shaky breath, and I feel my heartbreak. What kinds of parents don’t want kids and treat them the way his mother had treated him?
He puts his hand on mine without turning around and squeezes it, “Get some sleep, Jade. We have to make a plan tomorrow to get to Verona’s locker, as Eric said.”
“If you ever want to talk, I am here to listen. Okay?” Then he turns around and looks up at me strangely before smiling, “Noted.”
I nod, and he lets go of my hand, “Good night!”