1 The odds
I internally groaned, listening to my cousin Zara bragged to her friends about how lavish her wedding would be. And the designer wedding dress that she had personally fetched overseas. Which of course, I paid for.
Zara was two years older than me. And she hadn’t shown me a single drop of kindness ever since I lived with them. She'd once put bleach on my mouth wash and thought that I wouldn't notice the strong and sweet aroma that reeked. She was that typical spoiled bitch who was typically living off of my inheritance.
“Oh my gosh, Sis! I can’t believe that your dad got you this!” friend one said, referring to the designer shoes. Did he now? Awesome.
“You’re so lucky!” friend two chimed in. Yes, she is. And I'm just that unlucky bitch.
“Well, you know my dad. This is nothing to him,” Zara proudly said. Ugh. Bitch, please.
I rolled my eyes upon hearing her say that her father aka my uncle had paid for everything himself, not wanting her future husband to be burdened by something so trivial. But in truth, he had not paid a single dime for his daughter’s wedding. There’s nothing wrong with wanting to give your daughter the best damn wedding ever but at least work hard and pay for it with your damn money.
If only I could say that to his face.
The people around me always thought that I was dumb and naïve for always nodding to whatever they’d asked and say. Truth be told, I knew they were using me but I was just enduring it until I turned eighteen and spit the words I’m done on their ungrateful faces.
After my parents were helplessly murdered, uncle Scott became my immediate guardian and I lived with them for two years. He was my father’s half-brother.
At first, they were very warm and welcoming but as months passed by their claws and fangs finally emerged. Revealing their true nature. They only took me in for the money that my parents had left me. I wouldn’t mind them spending that money had they just treated me nice and fair. But they just couldn't. Strangely enough, we'd often received kindness from strangers rather than our own flesh and blood. I suppose some people are just rotten to the core.
I turned eighteen two weeks ago and considered legally responsible for myself. So, I decided to move—live independently, and pursue my dreams. Of course, my uncle didn’t like the idea of their personal bank account moving away but he couldn’t do anything about it since I was already in the legal age.
The next day, after Zara’s grand wedding I immediately left not wanting to mingle with their guests. I didn’t like how they bragged about things and mentioned the names of my parents in the process. I’d rather not hear it. Consider the wedding package as my parting gift. So long suckers!
My skin crawled as I drove in the dark and dreaded highway in between thick forestry that never seemed to end. And the sound of the wolves howling in the dead of the night added more spice to my growing anxiety.
I stepped on the accelerator, wanting to get past the woodlands that made my skin crawl and my throat tightened. I was claustrophobic and had always feared the dark even as a child. I felt suffocated whenever I was surrounded by darkness. It was like a void, slowly sucking the life out of me.
I fumbled the buttons on the dashboard and turned the radio on, hoping to calm my racing heart but all I got was an ear-shattering static that made me cursed under my breath, “Shit.”
“Okay, no radio then. We’ll just find something else,” I said, distracting myself from having another anxiety attack while driving. I opened the compartment looking for the USB where I had downloaded my favorite songs when something suddenly jumped out of nowhere. The tires screeched as I hit the break, avoiding the person who jumped on the road.
“Fuck!” I cursed, trembling, feeling the anxiety taking over me. I peeked out in search of the person that I had almost crushed.
I gasped, upon sighting the woman standing in front of my car, her white dress was covered in blood and she was securely clutching something in her arms. She ran up to my window which caused me to have a full-blown panic. I made sure that my car was locked. Shit! Shit! Shit!
“Please, help! Help us!” the woman yelled frantically while banging at the window. I was alarmed, grabbing my phone, and dialed the police.
“Please, they’re coming!” she begged as she banged my window with her bloody hand. She looked so terrified. Okay, maybe this is not a scam and she really needs help.
“Okay! Alright! I already called the police!” I panicked, showing her my phone that wasn’t working because there was no service in the area. Fuck!
“No, please! Please, just take him!” she cried out.
“Take who?!” I asked confusedly. I looked around and didn’t see anyone else. I finally found the courage and rolled my window down.
“I love you so much,” The woman said, pressing her forehead against the bloody blanket and kissed it before quickly placing it on my lap. What the fuck?! God, I hope that she's not a psycho carrying some human limbs around.
“Please, take him. His name is Ethan and he was born today,” she said in tears. I was so shocked that I didn’t know how to react. I peeked inside the blanket and saw a sleeping baby that was still covered in blood.
“Holy shit!” I gasped. A baby?!
“What’s your name? I’ll come for him later,” she asked. I nodded.
“Okay! Zia, I mean Anastasia Collins. I just moved to Blue Lake, no. 56 Sunflower street. Just outside the city of Pines. What’s your name??”
“Thank you so much, Anastasia. I will never forget your kindness,” she said, grabbing my hand. Gratitude was radiating from her deep green eyes.
“Please, take him and go. Some horrible people are after us and they’re almost here. Please, go now!”
“No! Come with us! Hop in!” I told her, unlocking my car and carefully placing the baby on the front seat.
“What are you waiting for?! Let’s go!” I yelled, glancing back at the woman but she was gone with the wind. I gasped, looking around but found no sign of her. Oh my goodness! Where is she?!
“Hello?! Where are you?! Please, come with us! Maybe I can help you!” I yelled, hoping the woman would hear it and come back. I’m not capable of taking care of a child! I just turned eighteen! And I still watch cartoons!
I panicked, quickly locking my car upon spotting a wolf on the side of the road, looking directly at me. I rolled the window up as my heart pounded in fear, wanting to abandon my chest. The wolf howled before vanishing into the thick forest. Holy shit! She must have been eaten by wolves! Oh my God!
I stepped on the gas and drove away, securing the baby on the front seat with one hand while I gripped the steering wheel tightly on the other. What are the odds of something sinister happening?
“The universe must be fucking with me.”
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