AQUA

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Chapter 23 - Into the past

Aqua's eyes skimmed around the hospital room. She could make out Jayden's head buried into the mattress of the bed, tightly holding hands with a beautiful woman who looked just like him. She laid immobile, the heart monitor attached to her beeping in steady rhythms.

The door opened and Allen walked in. He took off his jacket and set it over Jayden's slouched shoulders. "Son..." He softly shook him awake. "Go home, I'll spend the night with her."

Jayden rubbed his eyes, groggy. "No. I want to stay beside her."

"At midnight, you're going to turn eighteen. Wouldn't you want to be well rested for the party?" He tried easing the pain of his son, hoping to lighten the atmosphere but he made things more miserable without noticing much.

"How can I celebrate when she's not here?" His voice cracked, thick with grief.

"Jayden..."

His lips trembled ever so slightly, tears welling in his eyes. "She can't go, dad. I know she won't."

Allen opened his mouth to speak but decided against it. "I'm going to give you some time alone with her." He patted his back, and departed with a last painful glance at his desperate son.

"Please, wake up. Please, mom," Jayden whispered, a tear rolling down his cheek. "Don't you want to spend my eighteenth birthday with me? Don't you miss home?"

A presence by the corner of the room caught Aqua's attention. As she narrowed her eyes to find out who it was, her eyebrows furrowed. Is that...

Aurelia.

Confirming her suspicions, Aurelia stepped forward, and walked like a royal all the way till she stood by the end of the bed, her dress trailing behind her. Her fingers spasmed with a thin bolt of lightning. She watched over Jayden's mother with defiance shining bright in her eyes.

She pressed her forefinger to the rail of the metal footboard and it carried the magic within her veins, to the very being of the woman.

Aqua watched as the magic consumed her, striking her in the heart. However, she showed no sign of a struggle. Or pain. But what puzzled Aqua the most was how Jayden was unaware of what was happening. He couldn't see neither Aurelia, nor her magic consuming his mother whole.

Jayden grasped his mother's hand as the heart monitor started beeping louder; faster.

The clock struck midnight, and her heartbeat flat-lined.

Jayden backed away in shock, unable to do anything, the depth of his despair being the assailant to his reflexes. He couldn't call out to anyone. He couldn't move. He just stared, eyes wide and brimming with the glimmer of his tears.

Allen ran inside, yelling for the nurses to come and save her. They all filed in, pushing the two of them outside. But Jayden was frozen. As he was pushed out, all he could do was stare, non-moving.

He watched as they pulled out the defibrillators, shocking her three times but to no avail.

For an eighteen year-old boy to see his mother in such a state, was heart-breaking. Even to Aqua. Though she never had such an experience with her mother before, she did with her father, who was murdered at the very hands of Aurelia. And she saw him bleed to death beneath her feet.

Aqua reached out to Jayden only for her hand to go through him. And she pulled back, a sigh escaping her lips.

Poor soul.

Why would her mother do such a thing? What relation did she have with Jayden, five years ago, to be there beside him in the hospital room?

Jayden sunk to his knees, limp and emotionless. Without realizing, Aqua found herself wishing she would've been there to comfort him.


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