The last time she experienced such an incident, was when Ruth backstabbed her. But then, she had her immortality to save her. This time, Aqua was no more than a mere mortal. If the wound itself didn't kill her, the unstoppable bleeding would.
"Dad?" Jayden's voice called from the other side of the door. He knocked twice, but when no answer came, he unlocked the door and stepped in, only for his footsteps to fall into silence. After a few seconds where he registered the scene in front of him, he ran to his father, sliding onto his knees. "Dad." He tried shaking him conscious. "Dad, please, no."
His voice faded into the background. She could see him press his phone to his ear, making a call. But everything was a blur; a haze as her eyes drooped, slipping into unconsciousness.
Of course, Aqua knew that his father was his first priority. She knew he wouldn't give a care in the world if she was the one who was dead. But the reality hit her like a punch to the gut.
She felt so alone.
During her waking life, she's always been alone. And now that she was losing her life for the second time, she was still alone.
To see Jayden not even glance her way, had her heart lurching with agony.
She wasn't the nicest, nor was she the kindest. But at the very least, she was willing to change. For herself, for Jayden, and for Igujin. The one person who saw the best in her when all was dark; who tried helping her, in so many different ways, granting her opportunities she wouldn't have given anyone.
It was all coming to an end.
* * *
Aqua's eyelids slowly fluttered open, squinting at the immediate light. She woke up to the beeping of her heart monitor, and she could sense someone's warmth intertwined with her fingers. She turned her head to the side. And Jayden was there, holding onto her hand, head buried into the mattress.
It reminded her of the time he was with his mother.
She gave a soft smile. Seeing him beside her, had her filled with hope. Hope that he too, cares about her.
He must've sensed her move because he lifted his head. "Hey." He smiled, yet she couldn't help but notice how weak he was. His eyes were bloodshot, tearful and puffy from having cried too much. "At least one is alive." He humorlessly joked.
"Did Allen...?" She trailed off, unable to complete her words lest they awaken his pain.
"... Yeah. He also apparently is a murderer."
"I saw what happened."
"The security cameras..." He released her hand. "I don't understand why he would try to do such a thing to you." He fiddled with the hospital bed cover.
"Did you see what happened to him?" Aqua questioned, knowing well Aurelia couldn't have been seen through the cameras.
"He stabbed himself after." He scowled, and Aqua realized how painful it must have been for him to watch what had went down. She knew that him remembering the scene doubled his distress, and she didn't want that. "I'm sorry," he said.
"Please don't say that. Let me explain everything to you."
* * *
She told him everything. From the very beginning of Aurelia's plan to the very depth of it. She told him how Allen was truly killed and how his mother died, apologizing on her mother's behalf, as well as explained to him his inability to see her.
"We need a plan to counterattack," he said, then shook his head. "But I can't think of anything right now, there's a lot to take in."
"Go home and rest well." After her words, she interjected. "No, don't."
"Aurelia could be after you."
Realization dawned upon him. "I don't understand her interference with our family though. Why us?" Expressing his confusion, he frowned.
"Allen was the reincarnation of the man who killed her. So she planted herself within your family without you knowing, just so she could strike at the right time." She didn't know exactly how her mother did it, but she knew well how cruel she could get.
"My grandparents died early too, do you think she...?"
The door to the room abruptly opened. Brooke stood frozen, tears forming in her eyes. "I heard what happened." Her lips trembled.
Jayden pushed his chair back, scraping the floor as he did, and marched to where Brooke was. He wrapped his arms around her, his voice quivering. "It's okay." He hugged her tighter. "We'll be okay."
"I feel so terrible, I wasn't there for you," she cried. "I'm sorry."
"No, no, it's fine. Aqua was." He pulled back and gestured to her.
"Are you okay?" She ran to Aqua's side, taking her hand within hers. Before she could respond to her, Jayden intervened.
"Her state is stable, that's what the doctor said."
"I'm glad. Jayden would've been really hurt if he had lost you too."
Aqua smiled at that. Maybe Jayden does care for her after all.