Going Home (Going Home#1)

All Rights Reserved ©

Eric: Meeting Her Again

I keep playing with my food as my grandmother calmly eats her breakfast, and Albern stands beside her, his hands folded behind his back.

“What? Are you not hungry?” My grandmother speaks up in irritation after ignoring me for the last twenty minutes. The rule is that I cannot leave the table before my grandmother. This is stupid, really, but Albern told me sternly that I will have to do whatever my grandmother asks of me to live here. Hello grams, I’m not ten years old but twenty-three. But something tells me it's wise to do whatever she asks of me. She's doing me a huge favor, by letting me stay here.

“No, because I’m not used to this.....breakfast.” I nervously point at eggs and bacon sitting on my plate with a glass of milk.

My grandmother’s lips turn in a thin line, “Then what do you want?”
“I....uh want to have a cup of coffee?” I fold my hands tightly under the table and avoid looking at her. And probably a ham sandwich, I add in my head.

“Then go ahead, meet up with Leslie. She will take you to the café.” She calmly wipes her face with a napkin and leaves the room. In other words, I won't be getting a coffee in this house.

Leslie? I will gladly prefer getting lost in the town than going to the café with her. I thank God that she hasn't come around in the last five days I’ve been here, not that I went out either but still.

“Mr. Amery, you can use the bike in the garage.” Albern bows and follows my grandmother. What’s up with him and the bows?

“Bike?” I stare after Albern and head to the garage.

I roam around the town twice, going here and there, and I still have the feeling that the town is off in a away I can't figure out. Not a single person looks up at me, and it seems like they are just going about like puppets on a string. I went into the Café for a coffee cup, which turned out to be the ugliest coffee with the worst taste you can ever ask for, and when I tried to inquire the reason for it, all I got was “People don’t drink coffee here much.” That was it. No matter how many questions I asked from the woman behind the counter, I didn’t get any response. It was weird, so I gave up and went for Trade D Crops in the hope of seeing Adria again.

I had a hunch that she will be here. Now I stand by the corner in front of the shop to hide from that old man just in case he goes punching Adria again if he sees me. I wait for half an hour, but I don’t see her. I consider giving up and asking for her, but since I don’t want to put her in any situation, I decide to wait a little longer.

After almost another half an hour, I see her coming from the forest with a cart attached to her bike. She is peddling really fast and stops when she crosses the fence. She is not feeling well from what I can see, for she keeps looking back, and I feel like she is shivering. I look up in the sky, at the storm; it's scary. Did she peddle in that storm through the forest? She must be insane.
She gets off her bike and slumps down against the side of the shop. I watch as she rests her forehead on her knees and folds her arms around her legs. I look around and notice that only a few people are out and about, probably due to the upcoming storm. I leave my bike where I am hiding and run to where Adria is.

“Are you okay!?” I ask her as soon as I reach her, and she jolts up. I hold her arm to prevent her from standing or moving away. Panicked, she looks around us once to see if anyone is watching us.

“Who... are you?” I notice that she is still shivering and is ice cold.
“I will tell you that later but what happened to you? Why are you coming from the forest in such weather?”
She jerks her arm away from my grasp and walks towards her bike, “Mind your own business!”
I notice that she has corn in the cart she has probably brought to Trade D Crops before the storm hits.
“Let me help you with that” I hold the handle and seat of the bike from the other side and together, we drag the bike to the front of the shop. At this, she doesn’t say anything but walks from me with her arms around herself.

“WHAT IS THE MEANING OF THIS?” That same bulky man shouts at us. He probably came out to see the condition of the weather. He is wearing an over-sized jacket over his huge frame and has an old baseball cap covering his curly dark hair.

“I had to bring it, Dan, because we don’t have enough storage in B,” Adria says confidently though I don’t miss her trying to hide her shaking hands behind her. "With this storm, we'd definitely lose this harvest if we don't do something."

“We told you not to bring or CUT the crops more. We need to trade out the ones we have in store here.” Dan approaches us and glares at Adria, who bows down her head, “I’m sorry, I only did what I was told to do.” At that, Dan slaps her hard, and she falls, knocking her cap and hoodie as well.

“What the hell are you doing?” I get in between her and Dan to stop his further approach towards her.

“Who the hell are you, and why are you getting between us?” Dan barks at me.

“I will answer that later, but why are you hitting a girl for no reason at all? I saw you hit her five days ago as well.” Dan scowls at me and punches me in my stomach. I fall as the air is knocked out of me. It’s tough to breathe. What the hell? I think furiously.
“Do you have anger management issues or something fat-ass?” I say through gritted teeth and try to stand up, but his kick in my stomach sends me flying three feet away, knocking the air out of my lungs once again, but this time it hurts like hell. Pissing him off wasn’t a good idea, for I’m no match for him, and now he will only hurt Adria.

“You bitch, it’s all your fault for dragging your boy into the mess!” Dan points at Adria and goes for her again, but this time, she gets up and spin kicks him in the stomach even before I can blink. I gape at her back and clenched fists. I can’t believe that she actually kicked him like that.

Dan is knocked down and starts coughing up. “Lift that punch one more time, and I will break your hands! Understood?” Adria threatens him and starts going back.

“Wait!” I call after her as I stand up with my hand pressed against my stomach. “Wait!!”
She stops and turns around, “Stop bothering me, who the heck are you to meddle?!”

“WHOA! Wait,” I raise my hands and run to stop her, my ribs protest with every step.
“Where are you going?”
She glowers at me, “Back home.”

“Adria! You will be responsible for bringing in the corns when we told you we don’t need more.” Dan stands up behind us and spits at his left before pointing at her.
“Fine then, let these rot in the storm, for we can’t store more in B.” Saying this, she unhooks the cart and drags her bike towards the fence.
“Adria! The storm!!” I shout at her, for the storm is right over us. The thunder cracks, making a chill run up my spine. Adria doesn’t turn to look up at me; she looks up at the sky and keeps moving. Further ahead, in the sky over the forest, I can see that it has started to rain. It’ll be seconds before it start will start raining here as well.

“She is an idiot,” I mutter and run after her.
“BOY NO!!” Dan runs and catches me by my arm before I can reach up to the fence. I jerk my arms away from his grasp and try to walk again, but this time he comes in front of me.

“You will not survive this. Let her go.”

“What do you mean by letting her go?! Have you seen the weather?” I try to get around, but he blocks my path again, and behind him, I can see Adria taking the turn into the forest before she disappears.

“She is the only one who comes and goes through the forest and lives!” Dan breathlessly tells me what Leslie told me days before.

“What do you mean? What happens in the forest if someone else goes?” I ask incredulously.

Dan shakes his head and drags me back towards the shop, “No one knows, for no one came back after going in there. It’s been seven months since this girl first arrived here from the other side, and since then, she willingly uses this path between the towns. Everyone is scared of her.”
Dan drags the cart into the shop, and I help him do it for I want more information on Adria and certainly not because I want to help him.

“She was found at the gate of B a year ago. She was practically naked and unconscious!” He chuckles as it were a pleasant memory, and I clench my fists unconsciously.

“Since then, Jonhsons took her in saying she is their relative, and since then, she has lived with them. They live directly in front of the opening on other side. I bet that this girl spends most of her time in the forest doing God knows what.” He chuckles again, and I clench my jaw to prevent myself from saying anything. All people have on her are assumptions and no one knows what happened to her one year ago and how come she survives her trips through the forest?

There must be something in the forest. Adria was pale and shivering when she came out of the forest. She must have seen something. From her behavior and peoples’ attitude towards her, I'm ready to bet that she never tells anyone what happens in the forest or what she sees in there.

“I should go!”

“Whose son are you? I haven’t seen you around here before.” Dan asks me as he wipes his hands with his jacket.

“I’m Headley’s grandson.” At the name, he looks at me with wide eyes.

“Then you must stay away from that girl!!” He warns and walks to the back of the shop. I guess I’m done here. I'm worried about Adria. It has started to rain heavily, and thunder cracks every two seconds, but I can’t go into the forest. The only thing I can do now is pray for her safety.

Continue Reading Next Chapter

About Us

Inkitt is the world’s first reader-powered publisher, providing a platform to discover hidden talents and turn them into globally successful authors. Write captivating stories, read enchanting novels, and we’ll publish the books our readers love most on our sister app, GALATEA and other formats.